People who live in poorly heated
homes can gradually develop hypothermia in temperatures of
60°F (16°C) to
trench foot or
chilblains, can develop gradually in moderate
temperatures, especially when the skin is wet.
Wet conditions (rain, being in water, sweat).
Water on the skin causes you to feel cool and
Wet skin freezes more quickly than dry
Wet feet and hands can be damaged even at temperatures above
freezing if they are constantly wet.
Wind. Heat loss increases in
windy weather because the wind chill factor makes the outside temperature feel
A wind chill factor of 1 to 3 means that proper clothing will
likely protect you from frostbite.
A wind chill factor of 4 means
that exposed skin may freeze depending on how active you are while you are
A wind chill factor of 5 or 6 means that exposed skin can
freeze very quickly. Face, hands, and feet should all be
A wind chill factor of 7 means extreme cold conditions
with a high chance of cold exposure injury.
At higher altitudes, the air is "thinner" so you need to breathe more air to get the same amount of oxygen. Because the air is also drier, you may lose more body heat through the lungs by panting and being too active. Lower oxygen levels can also
change your normal good judgment, such as knowing when to wear adequate
At higher altitudes, you don't shiver as much.
Shivering makes the body warm.
At higher altitudes, cold
temperatures and storms are often more intense. Shelter may be harder to find
or not provide enough protection.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.