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Author Topic: Methods for emergency warmth  (Read 7130 times)

Yowbarb

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Methods for emergency warmth
« on: September 02, 2011, 10:29:42 AM »
I found a Mother Earth News article with instructions,
Yowbarb

A Lifesaving Heater From Candles

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1984-11-01/Survival-Heater.aspx
A Lifesaving Heater From Candles
How to build a survival heater with tin cans and candles.
By Hugo I. Doc Wiener
November/December 1984

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1984-11-01/Survival-Heater.aspx#ixzz1WohzGGlj

Should you find yourself in need of a bit of warmth, you might consider constructing...

Hugo I. "Doc" Wiener Last winter, while ice fishing in Wisconsin, I was trapped in my cabin by a sudden, unexpected blizzard. What really worried me was that my propane supply was running out, and a three-foot snowfall made it impossible to gather firewood.

Fortunately, I discovered that I'd stored four boxes of Parowax and three boxes of 15-hour votive candles in the shelter, so I set about experimenting with the resources on hand. To my surprise and relief, that fuel kept me from freezing while I waited out the storm. In fact, I was able to pass the time doing some writing . . . in comparative comfort! My salvation lay in magnifying the heat of a single, fat candle by enclosing it in three successive layers of metal: a Vienna sausage tin, a fruit juice can, and a large coffee can.

Since I was lucky enough to have some Dill pipe cleaners in the the cabin, I began making a candle the size of the six-ounce sausage tin by twisting three of the cleaners together to form a sturdy and dependable wick. After removing the old wick from a base candle, I heated an ice pick and gently reamed out a hole in the wax that was big enough to accept the new wick. When inserted in the candle, the twisted pipe cleaners extended 3/4" above the top of the wax and protruded below so that they could be bent into three separate legs that would keep the wick upright when the wax liquefied. This formed the central core of my candle mold; I dipped the exposed wick in hot wax to prevent its charring on first lighting, and then filled the rest of the tin with one and a half cakes of melted Parowax (and when the Parowax was gone, with two and a half votive candles).

To make the outer layer of my little stove, I used a three-pound coffee tin, with two inches of sand in the bottom to act as ballast. An inverted 46-ounce fruit juice can was just the right size to fit inside the coffee tin and to cover the smaller can containing the candle. I punched the middle can with holes every half inch to provide ventilation.

(Page 2 of 2)
By Hugo I. Doc Wiener
November/December 1984

"The heater burned for six to eight hours with enough intensity to warm me, provided I sat immediately over it. And it didn't give me a "hot seat" . . . but it would have if I'd been careless. Of course, since I was using a wooden chair, I covered its underside with aluminum foil held in place by thumbtacks. I was also careful to see that no flammable fabric or plastic was exposed to the heat and, because a burning candle consumes considerable oxygen, made sure there was adequate ventilation in the cabin (a precaution that was all too easy to take, under the circumstances). In addition, I kept a bucket of water handy, though sand would have served as well, in case of an accident.

Not only did this little heater keep the cold at bay, which is why I'm here to write about it, but there was an extra bonus: It could bring a pint of water to a slow boil in about 40 minutes and, in an hour, heat a quart to 160°F in a shallow pan. Hot coffee and canned soup do wonders for the morale when the wild wind's whistling outside!

Heaven forbid you should find yourself in the same fix I did, but don't fret if you do: Some empty tins and some candles can pull you through!"

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1984-11-01/Survival-Heater.aspx?page=2#ixzz1WogSZvjh

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1984-11-01/Survival-Heater.aspx#ixzz1Woi9kPLZ

Yowbarb

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011, 01:17:52 AM »
Emergency warmth. I have a problem with a hypothermia response due to my medications. What I have found that works well for emergency warmth is if I'm outside is to breath into my jacket, kind of like using it as a mask. In the home get under a blanket and do the same thing.

The air temperature of the air that you breath has a lot to do the the core warmth of the human body in that the blood flows through the lungs. If the air that is breathed is warm then the blood flow will warm the body. You can conserve a lot of warmth if you basically use yourself as a heater.

Billxam this is good advice.
I did this when I was up in Portland.
It was a change from California. (I was born in Portland but hadn't been there since age 2.)  As Indian summer suddenly turned into wind gusts and ice hanging from the trees I would automatically breathe into my jacket. I was going out early am predawn to work.
Very important to warm up the air we breathe...
- Yowbarb

Sunnybug

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2011, 05:40:22 AM »
I have a wide wool scarf that I drape over my head (like a hood) and then around my face to breath though. Keeps me nice an toasty warm. Seems to work similar to the jacket breathing.
Sunny

Yowbarb

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 08:57:23 PM »
I have a wide wool scarf that I drape over my head (like a hood) and then around my face to breath though. Keeps me nice an toasty warm. Seems to work similar to the jacket breathing.
Sunny

Sunnybug, I always do that too, every time I do out when it is cold. I bought a whole bunch of inexpensive but nice "mufflers" for my family and I.
Before we know it even in Florida there will be times when we need a muffler when we go on our nighttime walk.
- Yowbarb

Thehumbleman1

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 09:33:17 PM »
Something small but I live in Canada, used to the cold, I live in the mountains.  Using your breath to keep you warm is good, but can be bad too.
I would suggest, just from experience to slow your breathing and use your nose only if possible.  When you breath in through your mouth you lose body heat, just by opening it.  When you breath out of your mouth alot of condensation can build up and more heat loss.  Using your nose with softer, lighter breaths will still warm you, slower, but the condensation build up will be much less. 
There's probably a diagram somewhere on the web that shows your main areas of heat loss.  Its why we naturally put our hands between our legs, curl up in the fetal position and keep our arms tight to the body, instintive human behaviour my guess.  Armpits, groin, neck, chest and head from what I remember are the main areas of heat loss.  Hands and feet are always an issue, not much tissue, freeze easy.  We'd wrap our feet with a jacket or small blanket up to our knees, kept hands in tight to the body, one holding the other.  Keeping our back to the wind and insulating them best we could(digging in works great, snow or dirt and used cedar bows for best protection) with what we have, the back of our necks and heads especially.  For kids, have them face you, in fetal, they stay warm and sheilded, you both share the little oven between you.  I've had a "few" unprepared nights under the stars over the years, I learned the above and stop going out adventuring on a whim without gear.  ;D

For men, start growing your beards, they work too, sorry gals you have to buy yours.

Mike

billy861

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 11:35:08 PM »
I recall during military training the Drill Sarge telling us that a large % of our body heat escaped thru the top of our head... I was freezing my you know what off, so I thought I'd listen to this, and use my wool beanie the next morn... I was warmer, but not yet warm enough... This time, a female Drill Sergeant said "Stop eating cold cereal, and put some warm food in you, it will keep you warm"... So again, I followed these instructions, and sure enough, I was a lot warmer... No more shiverin and a shakin... Started wearing my beanie to bed, stayed warm all night ;D

Yowbarb

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 02:19:20 AM »
I recall during military training the Drill Sarge telling us that a large % of our body heat escaped thru the top of our head... I was freezing my you know what off, so I thought I'd listen to this, and use my wool beanie the next morn... I was warmer, but not yet warm enough... This time, a female Drill Sergeant said "Stop eating cold cereal, and put some warm food in you, it will keep you warm"... So again, I followed these instructions, and sure enough, I was a lot warmer... No more shiverin and a shakin... Started wearing my beanie to bed, stayed warm all night ;D


Good ideas,
Yowbarb

errrv

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2011, 06:55:06 AM »
In our mountain training, a single candle will keep a snow cave very warm... No can needed.

Yowbarb

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2011, 07:11:54 AM »
In our mountain training, a single candle will keep a snow cave very warm... No can needed.

Good info to have!
Thanks very much,
Yowbarb

errrv

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Re: Methods for emergency warmth
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2011, 07:48:36 AM »
Theres a concept used in winter survival called the "vapor barrier". Basically you use this as the outside layer with an insulating barrier in-between. The concept can be used on your body, sleeping bag, and shelter. If used on your shelter, make sure you can breathe! Make an air vent hole to offgas the co2.

Rain goulashes for your feet, rain suit for your body, plastic tarp for your shelter. Non-cotton insulating layers. Remember "cotton kills"!

I spent two weeks exposed to the elements in - minus 40.0 F temps in 1986. It truly sucked, but through sheer will & using my training, I did ok and made it home to tell the tale. Once you get a system in place, it's actually fairly easy to function.

Make sure to pack extreme cold weather gear in your bugout bags! See my blog "on the move" for more tips.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 07:56:39 AM by errrv »

 

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