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Apr 24 , 2020

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The Wind-Chill Factor

by Frank Ross

The Wind Chill Factor is an important effect that many outdoor enthusiasts fail to take into consideration before departing on an extended winter expedition.

Freezing weather can come quickly, and sometimes unexpectedly.
Freezing weather can come quickly,
and sometimes unexpectedly.

Dog mushers in Alaska consider the general rule of thumb to be 30/30/30. At -30 degrees with a 30 mph wind, your flesh will freeze in 30 seconds. If that doesn't get your attention, then you've never been really cold.

Cold weather is stimulating to some while others avoid it like the plague. For the serious outdoor enthusiast it's just another part of what you have to deal with, when you plan a trip or outing.

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes the seriousness of the wind chill effect during extended exposure. In extreme conditions, even a quick sprint to the mailbox can mean frost bite if your skin is not properly protected.

The chart below will give you a good idea of how dramatically the wind impacts the effects of our body's temperature. No matter what you plan on doing outdoors, you need to check the weather before you start out, and be prepared for any unexpected changes.

Since you never know when you'll get a flat tire, or simply lose your way while hiking or hunting in one of America's great wilderness areas, it is always a good idea to be prepared for any possibility.

New NWS Wind Chill Chart is available with a click.

If you are going to be outside, especially in very remote areas during winter months, it is a good idea to be prepared for a major calamity. Having a survival kit might sound like an extreme precaution, but until you need one, you will never know how important they are.