Hypothermia is a condition where the body loses heat faster than it creates it. During hunting, it generally occurs if a hunter is not adequately dressed for the weather or fails to dry off after getting wet (either from being in water or being caught out in the rain or snow). Hypothermia can happen to anyone, and at any time. Hunters should always take measures to help prevent hypothermia, and recognize the first symptoms so that they can react in kind.
Many people who suffer from hypothermia don't recognize the symptoms themselves, and might even argue that they are doing fine. This is why it is important to always hunt with a companion, and ensure that both are able to recognize the signs of hypothermia, such as:
- Uncontrolled shivering (this is the first unmistakable sign).
- Numbness or loss of control of the extremities.
- Muscle spasms.
- Pale blue skin, slow rate of breathing and slow or irregular heartbeat.