Dress for Survival
Surviving the cold is about protecting core body temperature. Spinning
Yarn is one way to prepare for this, by fashioning the appropriate warm garment. Following these few tips for
surviving cold weather, we can see where spinning yarn can be part of the process…
1. Dress in layers. It traps heat close to your body. Use a foundation layer to
wick moisture from the body to outer layers, which should be wind-resistant and waterproof
.Wear snow pants and a good winter jacket. Carry mittens or gloves (with glove liners), socks, and a hat.
Spinning yarn in summer allows time for these essentials to be knitted, crocheted or felted for winter.
2. Cover your head – 50% of heat goes out the head and neck, so wear a wind-
blocking hat, scarf and gloves. Spinning yarn of Qiviut, the garment is especially warm. Strong winds cause the most concern with keeping
warm. The moving air takes heat away from your body making it feel colder than what it really is. It can take as
little as 30 seconds for bare skin to become frostbitten. This is one of the reasons why Antarctica is such so
extreme - it is often both very cold and very windy.
3. Cover your mouth with a scarf or full face mask. Your breath will warm the air.
You may add goggles also.
4. Eat regularly - Extreme cold causes your body to burn more calories, so eating
appropriate food will generate body heat. A hot cup of cocoa or soup raises your body temperature and helps your insulating layer do the job.
Prolonged exposure to intense cold changes your body’s chemical reactions, which
begin to slow until they generate too little energy for your muscles to work. Your body will carefully regulate
blood flow, sending blood only to the most essential parts—your brain and heart, protecting your body core and key
organs, preserving the core temperature to avoid death from hypothermia.
Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure characterized by a loss of feeling and
a white/pale appearance in fingers, nose, ear lobes or toes. Permanent damage can result.
Marion will be following these principles when she is spinning yarn on the ice. As Shackleton did,
picture yourself as surviving and never entertain thoughts of failure.