Friday, August 9, 2019

A Lesson on Preparedness from Summer Camp

A story from Army Reserve summer camp, told to me by a guy I know. The camp was in late July, in Kansas. Not exactly a time and place known for “I wish I’d brought a sweater”.

Toward the end a front came through, bringing rain and about twenty degrees cooler temperatures, so that night it was in the 60s instead of 80s, and the next day was 80 instead of 100. This doesn’t sound bad, unless you’re wet and tired, at which time even fairly mild temperatures can become dangerous.

This guy is the cautious sort, so he’d taken some cool/mild cold weather gear along, just in case, so he was able to change into it. Nobody else in the unit had brought that gear. In the morning, people felt downright chilly, and the ones who had gotten wet and decided “Screw it, it’s summer and I’m tired” and went to sleep woke up shivering, because in those conditions wind chill is a thing even in summer.

Worse, that chill can lead to hypothermia.  Here there were medics to take care of them, but for a small group or lone person, in a situation where things are already difficult to bad, it's potentially life-threatening.

So remember: even in summer, depending on where you are or going, having something a bit warmer to change into is a good idea because Murphy is a bastard.

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