ice; this lowers your body temperature and thus
reduces endurance. One way you can melt snow
or ice for drinking water is to put ice or snow in
a plastic water bag and place it between the outer
layers of your clothing.
If your fuel supply permits, it is better to drink
hot water in cold climates. Hot liquids area rapid
and effective source of internal warmth.
There are more than 50 named deserts in
the World. Deserts cover nearly one-fifth of the
earths land surface. Therefore, the aircrewman
must have a good knowledge of desert survival.
Deserts have extreme temperatures; hot days
and cool nights are common. You may think of
a desert as always being hot and dry. However,
in winter months, the desert can become a
Lack of water and exposure to sun and heat
are the big hazards to health in the desert. One
to five percent dehydration will make you lose
your appetite, become sleepy and nauseated, and
begin to vomit. As dehydration goes up to 10
p e r c e n t , d i z z i n e s s r e s u l t s . Y o u w i l l h a ve
headaches, difficulty in breathing, tingling of the
l e g s a n d a r m s c a u s e d b y p o o r c i r c u l a t i o n,
indistinct speech, and, finally, an inability to walk.
Still, 10 percent dehydration generally causes no
permanent ill effects. When dehydration exceeds
10 percent, you will become delirious, spastic,
almost deaf, and barely able to see. The skin
shrivels and becomes numb. At temperatures
above 90°F, dehydration over 15 percent is
generally fatal. At 85° and less, the body can
stand up to 25 percent dehydration. Dehydration
is quickly cured by waterin fact, only water can
When you are dehydrated, you dont have to
worry about how much water you drink or how
quickly you drink it if the water is warm or cool.
Cold water, though, will upset the stomach.
Table 5-1 shows the number of days you can
normally expect to survive on a given amount of
water, according to temperature and whether you
rest or walk at night until you are exhausted.
Aside from a lack of water, exposure to the
sun is the foremost desert ailment. Stay under
cover as much as possible. If you must be out in
the sun, keep as much of your body covered as
possible. Roll down your sleeves, button your
collar and turn it up around your neck, keep your
head covered, and, if possible, cover your face
also. Tuck the legs of your pants into your socks
and keep your shoes on. On any area of your body
that is not covered with clothing, use a sunburn
ointment. It is better to use it as a preventive than
as a cure. Wear a cloth neckpiece to cover the back
of your neck from the sun. If you have no hat,
make a headpiece like that worn by the Arabs,
as shown in figure 5-40. You can also adapt your
pilot chute as a parasol for use in the desert.
Exposure to desert heat is dangerous. It may
cause three different types of heat collapseheat
s t r o k e , h e a t e x h a u s t i o n , a n d h e a t c r a m p s.
Another desert danger is sun glare. Glare is ex-
tremely painful. You can avoid it easily by
taking the proper precautions. Keep your eyes
protected from the glare of the sun by darkening
the bridge of the nose and the area beneath the
Table 5-1.Survival Potential as Determined by the Amount of Water, Temperature, and Activity