Wind Chill

Last year during our January Camp out we got into a discussion about wind chill.
Now as you know, or may not know, the wind chill temperature is how cold people and animals feel when outside. Windchill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As the wind increases, it draws heat from the body, driving down skin temperature and eventually the internal body temperature. Therefore, the wind makes it FEEL much colder. If the temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind is blowing at 15 mph, the wind chill is

-19 degrees Fahrenheit. At this wind chill temperature, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes.

Our grand debate was what Wind chill effected. If it is all about heat loss, then would it not effect anything that produces heat? Well, I am not sure if we ever solved this global issue, but it was a great way to introduce the topic of wind chill to the Scouts and why it is an important part of winter activities, camping in particular. It is important to wear those layers that provide protection from the wind, not so much to keep the wind out as to keep the warmth in, but I suppose that is one and the same.

Setting camp, select sites out of the wind. In a stand of trees, behind big rocks. Avoid low areas and valleys, they become wind tunnels.

Understanding wind chill is important. It can help you in planning and preparing for your next winter adventure.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Paul Siple, a Boy Scout, created the wind chill chart with another scientist. Siple was an Eagle Scout chosen to go on a Byrd expedition to Antarctica in 1928. He eventually went on six Antarctic expeditions as a geographer.One of Paul Siple’s snowshoes is in the museum at Worth Scout Ranch in Texas.Here are two good pages on Paul Siple:Eagle Scout Siple with Admiral Byrd in the AntarcticPaul Siple: Man of Cold and Wind


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