Outdoor Situations: How Can You Help Someone Suffering from Snowblindness?

With the wild weather outside, today might be a great time to talk about …

Snowblindness

You and some friends have had a great day out in the snow!   It’s late in the

'Fun in the Sun' Calls for Quality Sunglasses Year Round!

afternoon when suddenly, Jim calls out that his eyes feel like he has grit in them and he is seeing red.

The group soon realizes that Jim is experiencing snowblindness.  It will be dark soon; what should you do?

Your Choices

For the conditions outlined here, which of these 3 possibilities is the best solution?

1) Someone offers to stay with  Jim while the rest of you go back and get help.

2) Cover Jim’s eyes and lead him back home as quickly as possible.

3) Wait until Jim’s snowblindness passes.

A Few Facts About Snowblindness

  • Snowblindness is an eye injury that can be serious and can be permanent!
  • It is caused by the reflected sunlight off of ice, snow or water.
  • Essentially, it sunburns the cornea of the eye.
  • Symptoms include:  dry eyes, headaches, seeing red, dizziness, swelling of the eyelids, pain.

The Solution

Snowblindness Occurs Most Often on Sunny Days, But Can Happen on Cloudy Days Too!

Jim’s snowblindness is not going to pass as long as he is out in the sun.  Therefore, waiting won’t help.  So neither 1 or 3 will work.

He needs to get inside quickly; into a darkened room until his eyes recover.  Covering his eyes while he travels home is important; his eyes can start to recover because he is no longer looking at the reflected light from the snow and ice.

How to Avoid Snowblindness

  • Wear quality sunglasses with at least 90% UV absorption.
  • Reduce glare by smudging the area under the eyes with charcoal (think football players).

Another Tip

Use a cool, damp cloth on the eyes.  Applying a hot, damp cloth to the eyes only increases the pain!

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Tomorrow: 10 Tips for Hiking in the Wilderness

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Occasionally: I’ll pose another ‘Outdoor Situation’ with Some Tips

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments Off on Outdoor Situations: How Can You Help Someone Suffering from Snowblindness?  
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Spectacular Scenes: Northern Lights Over Tepees!

Northern Lights Over Tepees

These are

spectacular and the tepees are so

majestic in the dark!

However,

check out that thermometer!

(scroll down)

NORTHERN LIGHTS

YELLOW KNIFE , CANADA


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BELOW IS

A FIRE RAINBOW – THE RAREST

OF ALL

NATURALLY OCCURRING

ATMOSPHERIC

PHENOMENA.

THE PICTURE WAS CAPTURED

ON THE

IDAHO – WASHINGTON BORDER.

THE EVENT LASTED ABOUT 1 HOUR.

CLOUDS HAVE TO BE CIRRUS,

AT LEAST 20K FEET

IN THE AIR,

WITH JUST THE

RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE CRYSTALS AND

THE SUN HAS TO HIT

THE CLOUDS AT PRECISELY 58 DEGREES.

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Come back tomorrow:

Sunday Only – Sea Creatures Rear Window Graphics!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 11:37 am  Comments Off on Spectacular Scenes: Northern Lights Over Tepees!  
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How to Use Animal & Insect Behavior to Predict Weather!

Weather can change in a matter of minutes.  If you want to maximize your time outdoors, you need to learn to read the signs.

Sometimes, it is as simple as looking at the wild life around you!

These Horses are Reacting to the Gathering Storm (Used by Permission of Vantage Point Graphics)

Domesticated Animals

Horses and cattle respond to a storm by gathering together in their own groups.  They turn their backs to the storm and lower their heads.

Instinctively, they understand that they should leave the tops of hills — or any place that is elevated and open.

Wild Game:  Deer, Elk, Sheep

Like their domesticated brethren, wild game move off higher terrain and down into the more protected areas of valleys.

As they sense the passing of a storm, they return to grazing and foraging in the higher regions.

Sea Gulls

When a hurricane is heading to our shores, sea gulls move inland to local vacant parking lots.  They ride out the winds and rain on the ground, patiently waiting for the storm to pass.

Actually, they do this when any large storm heads our way!  It is amazing to see thousands and thousands of sea gulls standing silently on acres of empty parking lots.

Wild Geese

Biologists theorize that birds (including geese and sea gulls) stay on the ground because a gathering storm causes the air pressure to drop.  As this happens, birds find it more difficult to stay aloft on the thinning air currents.

Frogs

An increase in frog serenading indicates that a storm is on its way!  Why?  Generally, frogs must stay in water to keep their skin moist.

However, when a storm is approaching, the heavy humidity in the air protects the frog’s skin.  Thus, he can  sit on the shore and sing!

Flies and Mosquitoes

Want to know when you can avoid flies and mosquitoes?  The short answer is:  Go fishing 1 hour before the start of a storm!

When flies and mosquitoes sense the coming of a storm, they dash around madly, trying to eat enough to carry them through the storm.  Generally, they start this mad noshing about 12 hours before the storm’s start.

However, they spend the last hour before the onset of the storm finding good hiding places!

Crickets

Biologists measure some of the strangest things! Want to know the outdoor temperature where you are?  Count the number of cricket chirps for 14 seconds + add 40.  That is the temperature in Farenheit!  Try it;  it works!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 1:00 am  Comments Off on How to Use Animal & Insect Behavior to Predict Weather!  
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Predicting Weather for Outdoor Hunting, Fishing, Etc.

Learning to Predict Weather

With all the wizardry that modern science offers meteorologists, it still seems  impossible to offer accurate long-range forecasts.  There are just too many variables involved in weather.

It is one occupational path I’ve never wanted to follow.  One has to have a very thick hide to take all the ribbing and griping directed at the weather-man (or woman).

However, to engage in outdoor activities, it is helpful to learn some basic weather facts.  If you recall, a few weeks ago, I wrote about a careful angler who was struck by lightning, during light rain with thunder sounding many miles away.

Sometimes, you can rate the weather with these facts — so you can take a

Cumulus Clouds are Fluffy and Aren't High in Altitude

quick hunting, camping or fishing trip (even when weather folks can’t give a clear prediction).  Also, these hints may help you decide when to abandon your activity.

Fair Weather Needs

  • You can expect fair weather when early morning fog burns off by noon
  • Wind is blowing from the west or northwest
  • The barometric pressure remains steady or rises slowly
  • Cumulus clouds are in the sky

Cold Temperatures Need

  • The night is clear, with no clouds or wind
  • The barometric pressure is rising in winter or
  • The pressure rises before a front blows into the area

Rain and/or Snow Needs 

Clouds Darken, the Air Feels Saturated with Moisture, Winds Shift & Strengthen

 

  • The sky grows darker
  • The barometric pressure is falling
  • Winds from the south get stronger
  • Cumulus clouds darken, thicken and get taller
  • The wind shifts counterclockwise

Weather Will Clear When

  • The barometric pressure starts a quick rise.
  • Wind direction shifts from south to west

Watch Those Cloud Formations!

Clouds are important indicators of weather changes.  As you see from the two pictures above, as the clouds get larger and thicker, the weather is changing — for the worse.

Watch the speed of the cloud’s movement.  As clouds move faster, they are telling you 2 things:  the wind is changing and the barometric pressure is changing.   This can be an early warning of a storm.

Finally

If you are observant, you can maximize your time outdoors.  Learning certain truisms of cloud formations and  how weather changes, will help you make better camping, hunting and fishing decisions!

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Soon: How Does the Weather Affect Wild Game & Their Terrain?

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com