Smoking, Drinking, Sex Pills, and All Drugs

Don’t use these or be careful with them:

Tobacco cigarets narrow blood vessels in your skin, cooling the exposed part of your body. (Doctors call this narrowing “constricting”.) If you like smoking, it still cools you off.

I don’t know about electronic cigarets, chewing tobacco, or tobacco for roll-your-own cigarets.

Alcohol widens blood vessels in your skin, taking blood away from your critical organs. (Doctors call the widening “dilating”.) Alcohol also impairs your judgment, which gets in the way of escaping a bad situation in time. On top of that, women’s fashions and alcohol often don’t mix.

Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, or Staxyn in men concentrates blood into the penis, so there’s less where your body needs it. Reload is like Viagra. In a warm house, the distortion may be acceptable. In the snow, it could be dangerous. I suspect it could be deadly.

(They may not be offered for women, but if any are the effect may be comparable. A sexual enhancement medication specifically for women is reportedly being developed. It may work mainly through the brain, so I don’t know if its effect on blood flow is similar.)

Aphrodisiacs, if they work at all, reportedly are allergens. They cause allergic reactions. The worst allergies can choke you to death, but most people who are allergic at all to anything have only mild symptoms. Symptoms probably replace your ability to deal with hypothermia. An aphrodisiac either doesn’t work or probably makes it harder to get warm. Don’t use one until you’re safe.

All these effects are artificial distortions of your heat distribution system, which is supposed to help thermostasis, or stability of internal temperature, where it matters. If you want tobacco, alcohol, or sex stuff, wait till you’re already warm, like indoors.

Combining these may not be self-canceling, since the timing may differ. Avoid till you’re warm first.

Perhaps some drugs, prescription, illegal, and other, can distort the body’s warmth. Try to find out ahead of time. For legal drugs, there may be a very long sheet printed in type that needs a magnifying glass and it possibly may say. If it doesn’t, that often means the manufacturer just may not know. If you’re planning an expedition, a pharmacist or physician might know enough to advise you. For illegal drugs, reliable information is harder or impossible to come by.

Cigarettes, alcohol, and sex enhancement medications probably are not good for staying warm in the winter. All drugs should be checked before use.

Websites of Interest

These websites have some interesting content, although I disagree with some of it:


Hiking organizations:

General retailers of outdoor products:

General information: