How to treat mild cases of hypothermia

Wilderness First Aid

Learn the basics of how to treat a person who is suffering from hypothermia. This is a life saving skill that is especially important for hikers, backpackers and in general for those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors.

How to Treat Hypothermia

First if you can, seek medical treatment as soon as possible for anyone who appears to be hypothermic. That is not always an option if you are backpacking or are in a remote area.

Second, get the person out of the cold and to a warm, dry location. If you can’t get them out of the cold, attempt to shield them from the elements.

Remove any wet clothing and put on dry clothing.  

Use layers of blankets, coats, extra clothing, hats, gloves, etc. to warm the person. Only the person’s face should be exposed. Another good thing to do is to prewarm a sleeping bag, by having another person hop in it. Or you can put WARM (not hot) water bottles in it.

Insulate the hypothermic person from the cold ground. Simply putting a blanket down or the waterproof side of a shell can make a big difference.

Share your body heat with the hypothermic person. This is best done skin to skin. Then cover you both with layers.

Warm non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages can also help warm the body, assuming the person is able to swallow.

Remember the best treatment is prevention - you can prevent hypothermia by staying warm, staying dry, staying hydrated, eating wel,l and making sure you know how to layer for winter weather.

Also remember that knowing the causes and symptoms of hypothermia is very important because a person that is becoming hypothermic may not realize it until hypothermia has already set in.

Source: Mayo Clinic