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this question would qualify as a survival question. on march 6 i am doing the polar plunge to help raise money for special olymp

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  • #16
    My core temp was once 11 degrees below normal many hours after I was rescued. Contrary to what some folks believe or say, a couple of degrees below normal is not necessarily fatal. Of course, my temp was reduced gradually (ambient air) rather than dramatically. It was nonetheless quite an ordeal, complete with total hallucinations, etc. I also have done the ice water plunge in Alaska as part of training. Had to swim 75 yards to a boat and climb in. If you're just jumping in and out, you shouldn't have too much to worry about except the gasp. Get into some dry duds quickly and you'll be surprised how fast you're back to normal and stop shivering. I second the booze ban. At least wait till you've stopped shivering before taking a drink if you must (but hoisting hooch would seem out of place at a special olympics benefit). It'll probably make you start shivering again.

    Also, tank up on some calories before and after you take the plunge (candy bars, donuts, etc.). Avoid the coffee, especially before the dip, unless decaffinated. The caffiene will hinder digestion and decrease your body's ability to fuel itself. I think it also does something to circulatory system. Jim, do you remember anything about that?

    If you have heart trouble or suspect you might, DON'T DO THIS. Those special needs kids need you alive. Have fun!

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    • #17
      Wear a wet or dry Diving suit ( there IS a difference I am not sure what they are) I believe a diving shop will rent one to you they are pretty pricey. what they are) it wont keep you "Warm & Toasty" But will prevent a fast freeze. Why not jusr DONATE MONEY to the cause rather than endanger yourself? Even so, get in and out pretty quick!

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      • #18
        One of the 'Polar jumps' recently was called off by doctors due to water that was TOO COLD and, they said,
        dangerous. Plunge at your own risk. Why don't you just toss in a $20 or $50?

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        • #19
          I did that before. my advice is to don't think just jump. If they have a hot tub use it before (if you can) and defiantly after. as soon as the cold hits you will panic (I did even after my third time) so stay calm.

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          • #20
            I always thought many cold plungers used vaseline as insulation and protection from the cold water. Whether it's true or not I know where I would put it if I was taking a cold plunge.

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            • #21
              Cudo's to you sir for doing this. A couple guys I work with did this last year here at our resivoir so cold the ice had to be broke out to the point they turned around at. my advice to you is keep your head up (but if its like here you run in so that shouldnt be an issue) just get there and back as quickly as you can the guys i work with just wore speedo's (helped them get more donations) then begin the process of drying off and geting warm. just remember your doing this for a great cause and your discomfort will only be temporary.

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              • #22
                also the booze is a horrible idea read any survival book and it will tell you so. i would also stay warm before hand dont lower your body temp most important is to get out of your wet cold cloths and into your dry ones and you'll be like new. good luck

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                • #23
                  "For God's sake, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a pool man!"

                  spartan88, your a HOOT!

                  And a +1x3!

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                  • #24
                    no more advice to give it has pretty much been covered but just wanted to give you props for doing this for an amazing cause. be safe and dont drink alcohol its about the most dangerous thing you could do

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                    • #25
                      Being in Search and Rescue, OH being the recue’e not the rescuer, has an excellent insight on this thru personal experience and a +1! But remember, every person reacts differently.

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                      • #26
                        Lot's of good advice here. From my own experience it's always better to jump right in than to go slowly.

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                        • #27
                          Many years ago, my brothers and I used to dive in and retrieve ducks and geese from the Missouri river in South Dakota. The weather was usually between zero and 15 degrees later in season. We tried our best to drop them on the ice or on a sandbar but occassionally, one would make it to the open water where the river's fast current kept the ice open a little longer. The three of us took turns so we had time to warm up between flocks. We took our clothes off and ran to dive past the shore ice... it cuts your shins real bad if you try to wade through 5-10 feet of thin ice along the shore. Brace for the shock of cold water but keep your wits about you. You can last about 3-5 minutes in the freezing water before you begin to lose control of your muscles. Get in and get out within a couple of minutes if you can and you will adjust to the cold and be able to swim. Don't stay out too long, losing control of your jaw will be your first sign that hypothermia is taking over. If that happens, get out quick no matter what because you may not be able to swim. Be careful coming back to shore... give yourself sufficient time to be able to patiently break up the shore ice slowly so it doesn't cut your shins as you break through it heading for shore. That was always my unfavorite part because it is sometimes hard to stop the bleeding if you get too cut up and it can delay your return to warm clothes. Once on shore, squeegee your whole body with your hands immediately before the water freezes on your skin. Shake your hair and any water drops off and immediately get into nice thick DRY clothes. A couple of big dry towels at this stage will do wonders. If you did a good job getting most of the water off your skin, you will get toasty warm again right away. Be sure to remember a hefty hat or your hair will freeze fast. Once you are back in dry clothes, do jumping jacks and run in place a little until you get your blood flowing good to extremeties. We did this numerous times a day each and were able to keep hunting all day without getting out of the cold. The hardest part is definitely the first five seconds after you hit the water. Brace your mind with a strong positive attitude and keep your focus; it will be over before you know it. By the way, I must add, that when we took my highschool football coach duck hunting, he was shocked that we did this and he went right out and bought us beautiful Black Lab. What a guy! Have fun and keep the faith... you can do it!

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                          • #28
                            ive done it a couple times on new years day one year they had to break through 2" of ice so we could gt in....i dont really feel a shock as long as you run in..if you jump in then it gets dangerous

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                            • #29
                              Gees, Dakota. You kids were nuts! I can see why your coach bought you a dog. It would have been tough for him to live with himself if something happened to one of you and he knew what you were doing. Interesting story but I think we should warn all the youngsters out there to probably not try this at home. Not everyone is that tough. In fact, very few are.

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