The effects of cold and heat

  • Maintaining body temperature
  • Core temperature
  • Alcohol
  • Recognition of hypothermia
  • Management of hypothermia
  • Vapour barrier principle
  • Prevention of cold injury
  • Other cold-related conditions
  • Heat illness
  • Heat-related conditions

In the outdoors, death or serious illnesses or injuries are relatively uncommon. The frequency of encountering a seriously injured or very ill person in the bush is low, so few outdoor leaders have good hands-on experience in managing medical emergencies. However, conditions arising from extremes of cold and heat are relatively common, and are potentially life threatening. Hence, a knowledge of effective techniques to prevent heat and cold related injuries and conditions, and the correct treatments to apply, can be life saving.