Minnesota Hunter Safety Course


Treating Hypothermia

If you suspect you or your companion might be getting hypothermic, don't doubt yourself. Take immediate action.

  • Keep the person warm with a blanket or coat.
  • Build a fire to keep the person warm.
  • Give them warm liquids to drink.
  • Remove their wet clothing.
  • Seek medical help.

The best way to fight hypothermia is to prevent it from ever happening. All hunters should take the following steps:

  • Wear layered clothing. The layer against the skin should be a synthetic such as polypropylene which will draw moisture away from the skin. Wool is a good choice for outer layers, since it will insulate your body heat, even when wet. A waterproof coat or hunting suit is also a good idea, especially if there is a chance of foul weather.
  • Remember that most body heat is lost by the extremities. Wear a good hat, gloves, socks and boots that will keep you warm and dry.
  • Drink warm liquids, and above all avoid alcohol and drugs. These will slow your metabolism and will increase loss of body heat.
  • Stop hunting when you get cold. Feeling cold can affect your motor skills, and make it dangerous to handle a firearm. If you start to feel cold, unload your firearm and return to camp to get warm.

Be sure to carry a cell phone with you, and know the emergency numbers in the area where you will be hunting. Also, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take a class in first aid and CPR. Contact your local health department and join a class.