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rolling in snow after a cold water immersion?
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dadvntur


Jun 5, 2011, 8:33 PM
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rolling in snow after a cold water immersion?
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Is anyone familiar with the [survival?] practice of rolling in snow immediately after recovery from an immersion in cold water? Such as immediately after recovering from a fall through ice into a body of water?

A co-worker of mine brought in a July 2007 BBC episode, "Top Gear: Polar Special" in which during a phase of arctic training prior to one of the shows staged automotive epics, one of the series players (Jeremy Clarkson) is shoved into icy waters and immediately after his recovery from frigid waters is told (yelled at) repeatedly by the SAS-type instructor to, "Roll in the snow!". Sadly it's a gear-head show, not a mountain-head show, therefore the arctic and alpine training portions of the episode were minute and lacking in detail.

But a quick web search of this 'snow rolling' technique following a cold water immersion resulted in these three related items:

1) http:/fenlaners.blogspot.com/2007/12/submersion-through-ice-at-30-degrees.html

in which the 2 test participants are wearing merino wool thermals.

2) www.survivaltopics.com/survival/eskimo-windproof-clothing-trick/

3) a quote from "How to Stay Alive in the Woods" by Bradford Angier (1956) stating, "If you fall into icy water, try rolling around in the snow once you get out. This will blot out some of the moisture in your clothing before it can reach your body."


If this were a commonly taught survival practice I would have expected to see more mention of it included in the multitude of ice/cold water immersion rescue information which is readily available from numerous sources on the internet.

My thought on the practice is that it probably helps compress out of one's clothing some of the water from the immersion. And that snow which sticks to the surface of one's wet clothes must hinder some of the heat loss [convection?] through the wet clothing.

But I'm curious if anyone knows if this [survival?] technique is still advocated for use with modern man made outer shell materials (such as Gore-Tex), or is it an old school survival technique mainly applicable/useful with natural material garments (such as wool).

Even here in the upper midwest - where my ice climbing experience is limited to - there exist locations where a frozen water hazards are sometimes negotiated.


skiclimb


Jun 6, 2011, 5:51 AM
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Re: [dadvntur] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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I can't see much benefit if wearing modern synthetics. I have gotten so soaked that I have stripped down and wrung out my clothes then put em back on... sucks .. that shit is pretty cold for a minute or so when put back on.

If you are healthy and in good shape, getting dunked (assuming you can get out) should not be life threatening in average winter conditions. Say down to 0 deg F

You do need to get the stuff drier if can and stay very active until you either dry out or get shelter.


saymurphy


Jun 6, 2011, 9:07 AM
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Re: [dadvntur] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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If you're interested in learning more about hypothermia issues, check out the links on Dr. Popsicle's bio page.


skiclimb


Jun 6, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Really really excellent video on that page. The only rolling in snow was to avoid standing and get away from broken ice.


aprice00


Jun 6, 2011, 12:41 PM
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Re: [dadvntur] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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There is an episode of Man vs Wild where Bear Grylls jumps into ice covered water, gets out, strips down, and rubs down with snow to wick the water.

I consider him somewhat of an expert but from what I understand there is some controversy of whether this is a safe practice or not.

The right answer is probably " It depends on the situation"


TarHeelEMT


Jun 6, 2011, 6:41 PM
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Re: [aprice00] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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aprice00 wrote:
There is an episode of Man vs Wild where Bear Grylls jumps into ice covered water, gets out, strips down, and rubs down with snow to wick the water.

I consider him somewhat of an expert but from what I understand there is some controversy of whether this is a safe practice or not.

The right answer is probably " It depends on the situation"

Whether or not Bear Grylls is an expert on survival is vastly overshadowed by the terrible advice he gives on survival.


aprice00


Jun 6, 2011, 7:11 PM
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Re: [TarHeelEMT] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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TarHeelEMT wrote:
aprice00 wrote:
There is an episode of Man vs Wild where Bear Grylls jumps into ice covered water, gets out, strips down, and rubs down with snow to wick the water.

I consider him somewhat of an expert but from what I understand there is some controversy of whether this is a safe practice or not.

The right answer is probably " It depends on the situation"

Whether or not Bear Grylls is an expert on survival is vastly overshadowed by the terrible advice he gives on survival.

Yeah hence the "somewhat of an expert"


dadvntur


Jun 7, 2011, 7:57 PM
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Re: [skiclimb] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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Thanks for responses. I suppose the rolling in snow technique versus stripping/wringing of clothing would mostly be a situational choice dependent upon the wind chill factor, one's physical condition, etc. And I too suspect that it would be less beneficial - regarding the mitigation of heat loss to convection/wind - with modern synthetics versus wool. That said, if in such a situation wearing synthetics in such cold/wind chill where stripping/wringing of clothing not a viable option then I'll roll around in snow for a few seconds if it will buy me a few more minutes of survival time.

the corrected link to the webpage two testers in Swedish Lapland is:
http://fenlaners.blogspot.com/2007/12/submersion-through-ice-at-30-degrees.html


(This post was edited by dadvntur on Jun 7, 2011, 7:59 PM)


wwalt822


Jun 8, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Re: [dadvntur] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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dadvntur wrote:
Thanks for responses. I suppose the rolling in snow technique versus stripping/wringing of clothing would mostly be a situational choice dependent upon the wind chill factor, one's physical condition, etc. And I too suspect that it would be less beneficial - regarding the mitigation of heat loss to convection/wind - with modern synthetics versus wool. That said, if in such a situation wearing synthetics in such cold/wind chill where stripping/wringing of clothing not a viable option then I'll roll around in snow for a few seconds if it will buy me a few more minutes of survival time.

the corrected link to the webpage two testers in Swedish Lapland is:
http://fenlaners.blogspot.com/2007/12/submersion-through-ice-at-30-degrees.html

The reason behind rolling in the snow naked after you fall into icy water is to soak up the water off of you. This will only work with really dry snow and only if your skin isnt warm enough to quickly melt more snow. You will lose heat quicker in wet clothes or if your skin is wet. If you really get your clothes completely soaked in dangerous temps far from safety then your only real hope is to get a fire going or get a lot of warm water bottles heated up with a stove.


chasegru


Sep 21, 2011, 6:14 AM
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Re: [TarHeelEMT] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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TarHeelEMT wrote:
Whether or not Bear Grylls is an expert on survival is vastly overshadowed by the terrible advice he gives on survival.

You didn't like it when he told Will Ferrell you could rappel off a frozen candy bar, deadmanned in the snow?


dynosore


Sep 21, 2011, 6:23 AM
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Re: [wwalt822] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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wwalt822 wrote:
dadvntur wrote:
Thanks for responses. I suppose the rolling in snow technique versus stripping/wringing of clothing would mostly be a situational choice dependent upon the wind chill factor, one's physical condition, etc. And I too suspect that it would be less beneficial - regarding the mitigation of heat loss to convection/wind - with modern synthetics versus wool. That said, if in such a situation wearing synthetics in such cold/wind chill where stripping/wringing of clothing not a viable option then I'll roll around in snow for a few seconds if it will buy me a few more minutes of survival time.

the corrected link to the webpage two testers in Swedish Lapland is:
http://fenlaners.blogspot.com/2007/12/submersion-through-ice-at-30-degrees.html

The reason behind rolling in the snow naked after you fall into icy water is to soak up the water off of you. This will only work with really dry snow and only if your skin isnt warm enough to quickly melt more snow. You will lose heat quicker in wet clothes or if your skin is wet. If you really get your clothes completely soaked in dangerous temps far from safety then your only real hope is to get a fire going or get a lot of warm water bottles heated up with a stove.

This is correct. Having fallen thru the ice as a kid, twice Pirate, the idea that you're going to blot the water off yourself and then put soaking clothes back on and survive is beyond laughable. Run home crying to mommy. Worked for me Angelic


trenchdigger


Sep 21, 2011, 6:48 AM
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Re: [aprice00] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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aprice00 wrote:
TarHeelEMT wrote:
aprice00 wrote:
There is an episode of Man vs Wild where Bear Grylls jumps into ice covered water, gets out, strips down, and rubs down with snow to wick the water.

I consider him somewhat of an expert but from what I understand there is some controversy of whether this is a safe practice or not.

The right answer is probably " It depends on the situation"

Whether or not Bear Grylls is an expert on survival is vastly overshadowed by the terrible advice he gives on survival.

Yeah hence the "somewhat of an expert"

Dr Giesbrecht is an expert on hypothermia. Bear Grylls is an expert at making entertaining television shows. Following his survival advice is a great way to earn a Darwin award nomination.


dan2see


Sep 21, 2011, 9:14 AM
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Re: [dadvntur] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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These great stories about extreme behaviour are always entertaining. The best part of the stories is that somebody else is doing it, and it's somewhere else, not here.

Dad, you live in Wisconsin. I guess that's snow country. So this winter, give it a try. To be scientific, you should do your wet/wick stunt in February, the "dead of winter", when the snow is deepest and softest and wickiest. Then report back to us.

----o----o----

I have never done the polar-bear swim. In fact where I live, there is no natural body of water where you could fall into it, get soaked, and climb back out again.

But it's fun to do a snow-angel in a snow-drift. Naked of course. But I have two tricks: 1. Wait for a warm day, and 2. Jump right out and into a big soft warm towel. That's my "wick trick".


6pacfershur


Sep 21, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Re: [dadvntur] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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while walking back from a day of iceclimbing, my partner broke through the ice on a lake trying to rescue his dog that broke through the ice....my partner was in the water for 10 seconds at the most; he was severely hypothermic in less than 10 minutes, thats how long it took us to get to the car; he couldnt even unzip his pocket to get the car keys out; once i got the car started and him in it, i went back for the dog; she finally managed to haul out and was in better shape than my buddy


Rudmin


Sep 21, 2011, 5:14 PM
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Re: [chasegru] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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chasegru wrote:
TarHeelEMT wrote:
Whether or not Bear Grylls is an expert on survival is vastly overshadowed by the terrible advice he gives on survival.

You didn't like it when he told Will Ferrell you could rappel off a frozen candy bar, deadmanned in the snow?

Someone did a pull test that had a frozen snickers bar buried in hard packed snow hold more than 20 guys pulling on it.


gunkiemike


Sep 21, 2011, 7:33 PM
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Re: [trenchdigger] rolling in snow after a cold water immersion? [In reply to]
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trenchdigger wrote:
Dr Giesbrecht is an expert on hypothermia. Bear Grylls is an expert at making entertaining television shows. Following his survival advice is a great way to earn a Darwin award nomination.

Amen to that. First thing BG does when he's "out there" is start eating questionable shit. Lack of food doesn't kill you quickly, but dehydration will. And I can't think of a better way to bring that on, than to start vomiting and/or getting diarrhea from eating something bad.

But then he also runs across the desert at midday, jumping from rock to rock, so maybe the injuries would kill you even sooner.


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