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Hypothermia attacks quietly and with only a few warning signs, which usually go unnoticed by the unsuspecting victim. In the early stages, a victim will shiver as the body attempts to generate heat to keep the core warm. Then the victim becomes slightly disoriented and speech may become slurred. Finally, the victim becomes sleepy and then loses consciousness. At this point, the victim usually dies.

Bowhunter avoiding hypothermia by using a hypothermia emergency bag
If you begin to shiver—a first sign of hypothermia—stop and get warm.

Treatment of Hypothermia

Once hypothermia starts, exercise will not help. You need outside sources of heat to rewarm the body.

  • Find shelter.
  • Use fire, blankets, or body heat to warm up.
  • Drink warm liquids and eat quick-energy foods to produce inner-body heat.
  • Replace wet clothing. If there is no dry clothing, use a fire to dry one layer at a time.