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The Survival Doctor’s Winter Car-Supplies List

The Survival Doctor’s Winter-Car Supplies List

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

One of my Facebook followers recently asked me what I’d suggest keeping in the car for winter weather. I started to tell her to go to my website, but then I realized, surprise, I don’t have it listed. Well I’m sorry for that, but here’s my list.

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Is It a Cold or the Flu? How to Tell the Difference

Is It a Cold or the Flu? How to Tell the Difference

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

One reason colds and the flu spread during winter is the same reason they’ll spread during a disaster: There are lots of crowds. Respiratory infections don’t care whether you’re in an emergency shelter after a flood or a crowded mall the week before Christmas; they’re just thrilled about the opportunity to multiply.

As such, it’s a good idea to be able to differentiate a common cold from the full-blown flu. Why? Because usually with a cold, you get over it no matter what you do. The flu can be different, and the complications can be deadly.

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Two Days in Sub-Zero Weather: How These Adults and Kids Survived—Well

How One Family Survived Two Days in Sub-Zero Car

An in-the-news extra post for the week.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

A man, a woman, and four children survived in the Nevada mountains for 48 hours in an overturned car that wouldn’t start (no heater). The temperature got down to well below zero … and they came away with only mild hypothermia.

Of course, when things like that happen, I always try to find some takeaway lessons, and this situation has some good ones:

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Santa’s Bugging Out: 11 Survival Gifts He Should Drop at Your House

GyverGear, from "Santa's Bugging Out: 10 Survival Gifts He Should Drop at Your House" | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Don’t you love receiving a gift that you can really use? One that says the gifter must have really thought about you personally before buying it?

And don’t you just love it when you come upon that perfect gift for someone? One that will brighten their day?

I’ve picked out my 10 favorite gifts that I think most everyone should have on hand for camping, hiking, or just-in-case emergencies that can happen at any time.

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47 Ways You’re Preparing for Winter Survival This Year

47 Ways You’re Preparing for Winter Survival This Year

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

People, I hate to tell you, but it’s time to start preparing for the winter.

Very soon the holidays will kick into full gear. Everyone will be shopping. Everyone will be more rushed. It’s a fantastic time of year, but before you get into that holiday season of peace on Earth, how about preparing now for a little peace of mind?

To that end, I asked my Facebook followers how they’re prepping for the winter. Their answers were so insightful that I thought you’d enjoy reading some of them.* (By the way, for medical supply suggestions, download my free list.)

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How to Keep Winter Skin Seasoned Like a Cast-Iron Skillet

How to Keep Winter Skin Seasoned Like a Cast-Iron Skillet | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Winter can do a number on your skin. Add the cold to the dry air, mix in a little wind, and it can be downright dangerous—potentially life-threatening if you tend to ignore it and don’t properly treat the damage.

How many of us have gone out to play on a cold winter’s day, only to go to bed that night with a red, raw, painful face?

It can be from sunburn or windburn, but usually it’s both. Cracks in the dry skin—even blisters—can occur. If the skin gets infected, that can be dangerous. If you can’t get to a medical facility, it could be even deadly. But there are simple things you can do to prevent this damage. Basically, just keep your skin well-seasoned, like a cast-iron skillet.

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How to Walk in the Snow Without Falling (Much)

How to walk in the snow without falling (much) | TheSurvivalDoctor.com

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I thought when I moved to Colorado, people would know how to walk in the snow without falling. They’re used to it, right?

Not so. In fact, in every area of the country I’ve practiced, some of the worst breaks, bruises, cuts, and dislocations come from people slipping down in the snow. Sometimes they’re in a hurry, like shopping, or like you would be in an emergency.

Okay, I’ll admit it. Many years ago, I was running to an ambulance, slipped on the one piece of ice still left over from a freeze, and broke my ankle. I wasn’t much help after that.

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Carbon Monoxide: How Your Choice of Heat Can Kill You

lit lantern on black

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

CDC. A family of four found is found dead in a two-room tent with the propane heater still running. The cause of death: carbon monoxide poisoning.

A father and son fall asleep in their charcoal-heated tent. They don’t wake up.

Your choice of heat can kill you without singeing a hair.

Carbon monoxide is colorless and orderless—a silent killer. It’ s the leading cause of poisoning deaths. How can you ensure you or your family isn’t its next victim? When you’re camping or the heat goes off, remember that unless you have a working chimney, makeshift heating may be your greatest danger.

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Stranded With Frostbite? 17 Dos and Don’ts

Man stranded in snowy woods.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

In my last post, I talked about how Olympic gold-medal winner Rulon Gardner saved most of his foot despite severe frostbite. The main thing is, he didn’t rewarm it while there was still a chance of the tissue refreezing. (If it had refrozen, it would have been dead meat—literally.) And of course, he was able to get to a medical facility.

But what if you can’t get expert care? What if you’re stranded in some shack or tent? Here are some first-aid dos and don’ts for severe frostbite when help is not on the way.

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Frozen Foot? When Not to Rewarm It

Rulon Gardner wrestling at the 2004 Olympics

Rulon Gardner (in blue) wrestling at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, two years after a dangerous bout with frostbite.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Relatively speaking, losing just one toe and a couple of toe tips was pretty much a best-case scenario for Rulon Gardner. He could have lost his entire foot—and some people would have in the same situation.

As I talked about Tuesday, the Olympic gold-medal wrestler survived being stranded on a mountainside for seventeen hours in 2002. His right shoe was frozen to his foot. I imagine the tissue was gray or white and hard to the touch, frozen with severe frostbite. But Rulon did a few things that saved his foot—things anyone in the same situation could do, high-level athlete or average joe.

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