Behavior on snow and at low temperatures – GSS of Serbia

Given the announced low temperatures and snowfall, below are tips that can help you when the temperature goes to a “deep” minus, and we find ourselves far from “civilization”.

– Layered thinner wardrobe is warmer than single thick things.
– Neither clothes nor shoes must tighten, otherwise the blood circulation will stop and there will be a rapid hypothermia and frostbite.
– The outer layer of clothing should be made of a material that does not allow wind and moisture. It is ideal that it is a material that allows the body to breathe, so that the moisture from the body is filtered to the outside while preventing the outside moisture from penetrating inside … One of such materials is Goreteks, since when sports jackets and shoes are made.
– The jacket should be closed around the neck, hips and on the sleeves so that warm air does not come out.
– The hat should be worn and it should cover at least the upper part of the ears, and it is good that the jacket has a hood that can be pulled over the hat.

– It is necessary to find a lee, not to stand in the wind. If this cannot be avoided, turn your back to the wind and not your chest and face, put on your hood, put your hands in your pockets.
– The pace of movement on the snow should not be fast so as not to sweat, but also too slow so as not to cool down, considering the fact that the snow surface and the wind lower the body temperature. It is best to walk at a moderate speed.
– If it is necessary to cover the snow, it is to be expected that the person will sweat. That’s why you should have a dry T-shirt and change your clothes as soon as the snow stops burning.
– Snow makes walking difficult. The journey of 25 cm on snow in an hour will take much longer with 50 cm of snow, and the height of the hips is even more challenging for the strongest – and the walk can take hours for what we are used to crossing in 15 minutes. .
– After high snow, the body comes into constant contact with the cold surface, so the cooling speed is much higher, this should be kept in mind if you plan to cross the terrain that is snowy.
– Bring something sweet (chocolate, raisins …), if possible a thermos with a sweet drink (sweetened tea, juice …), have a candle (and a lighter), because it can raise the temperature by a few in the shelter degrees that are most often decisive in the struggle for life.
– If there is no natural shelter, it is best to dig a hole under the tree (there is already empty and sheltered space), cut off the branches on which to sit (so as not to sit directly on the snow) and wait for the blizzard to rise or fog to rise.
– Do not sit on the snow for rest, do not fall asleep.
– There are foils made of plastic material that are coated with reflective material, which serve to retain heat. They wrap around the body when we are at rest, and are easily folded so that they can be carried in a pocket. One of the names is astrofolia, it is a good idea to have it with you during the winter.
– The feeling for space is changing. The objects, which we manage in normal conditions, become invisible in these and the configuration of the terrain changes completely. In such conditions, orientation without GPS, compass or map is almost impossible even for the best experts in the field, and yet there are few who know how to operate these devices.
– Do not go alone, look for or wait for someone and go in pairs or groups.
– One of the very useful means to call for help is a mobile phone. However, it is often not possible to make calls because the cold “discharges” the battery. Therefore, the phone should never be kept in the outer pocket, but as close to the body as possible.

List of useful things that can fit in your pocket:
– Candle and lighter
– Whistle
– Flashlight
– Charged cell phone
– Chocolate or other sweets
– Pocketknife
– Astropholia

If you are in a vehicle you should not leave it, because you are protected from the wind inside … it is always easier to find a snow-covered vehicle than a man who has fallen into the rubbish. It goes without saying that you should never travel by car without winter equipment, a shovel, a candle-lighter, water, food and a blanket. And, of course, a full tank, because in case you have to wait, you will spend a lot of fuel on engine operation and heating. You must make sure that the exhaust is free while your engine is running and the car is at a standstill, so as not to suffocate with carbon monoxide from the exhaust gases.

Do not consume alcohol. Alcohol dilates blood vessels and only gives the impression that you are warmer. Due to the increased peripheral circulation, the cold blood from the arms and legs will cool the whole body sooner, so hypothermia – and freezing – will occur much earlier than if no alcohol had been drunk. Do not rub frozen hands / feet with snow, or anything else. Do not put in hot water, in a hot place. Failure to do so will result in skin damage. Take off wet and cold shoes / clothes / gloves and warm them with something dry (blanket) and give them hot and sugary drinks.

If a skier gets lost on Kopaonik, cannot orientate and does not see the signalization, it is necessary to call the Mountain Rescue Service by phone at +381 63 466 466, to provide information, and based on the last reading of the ski pass you can find out which cable car was the last pass, which makes it possible to determine which part of the ski resort needs to be searched in search of a skier.
GSS of Serbia