People think I'm weird for having a CB radio in my truck, but last winter during an ice storm I went off the road. Literally all of the county's emergency crews were busy taking care of other ditch parties. I called out on my CB for the local off-roading enthusiasts, and 15 minutes later a snowmobile arrived with a winch. I paid $30 to the man for his help (though he insisted he didn't need payment), and I was back on the road. The CB cost me $250; how much would a tow truck have cost?
This article should be read by everyone who has to travel in winter conditions. Seems like every winter I hear the obituary on the news of people who go off the road and try to hoof it somewhere miles away in a normal winter jacket, jeans, and boots. I keep a snowmobile suit in my truck during the winter. One thing I would have added is something along the lines of "and you knew you couldn't stay in your car with the heat running waiting for help, you'd die from the exhaust fumes". I think that's more common than freezing to death.
He apparently survived by eating some snow (and drinking some soda?) but had nothing else to eat. He had a sleeping bag and I guess the snow makes quite good isolation. Not something I'd recommend though, he was lucky to survive and was in a really bad shape when he was found.
( some pictures: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article14394731.ab )
It was actually pretty amazing how well it worked. We had sleeping bags, but woke up to find the interior of the car quite warm. It actually seemed downright cozy and luxurious compared to sleeping in mountain lodges where it's typically miserably cold in the sleeping areas outside your sleeping bag.
My takeaway: this experience seems to suggest that a few people in a small space that's wind-tight and maybe has a bit of insulation (clearly not great in a car with all that glass) can keep things reasonably warm with only body heat...
I'm hesitant to actually agree, since cracking the window open doesn't seem like an awesome idea in the middle of a blizzard but... eh.
Nitpick: If you have a diesel, your car will not start at all if the engine is cold, but if you have a diesel and live anywhere where there's a risk of it being cold enough for hypothermia, you already know this. Also if you have a crappy battery, in cold enough weather it won't put out enough juice to turn over the starting motor (that's why there is a difference between cranking amps and cold cranking amps). But again, if you live in an area where this is an issue you should already know this, and your battery is probably rated to like -40.
It was interesting seeing electric trains too - the pantographs gave off amazing blue sparks that you normally don't get when the weather is warmer.
The value of getting out and clearing the top of the car is very great regardless. A vehicle is much more recognizable as a vehicle when it's not covered with snow.
The following is not commentary on your situation, but tips to reduce chance of getting stuck:
1. I strongly recommend running a set of good snow tires, no matter whether you have an AWD Subaru or a 4x4 truck or a FWD Corolla. Yes, truck snow tires exist.
The reason is that the rubber compound is much much softer on these tires, and it stays soft when the temperatures drop. All-season tires are much harder in cold temperatures. The tread is also cut into much smaller blocks (known as siping), the edges of which help bite into the ice.
While ice is slippery no matter what, the difference in the grip level between a typical all season tire and a good snow tire is very significant. We are talking 3x the stopping distance. I've seen it on glare ice.
Now, if you really want to be protected, you must buy good studded snow tires. A set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7's will make ice seem almost like wet pavement. The amount of ice grip you have with those is unbelievable. The downside is the increased tire noise.
2. Practice controlling skids on ice or snow: practice countersteer, practice NOT hitting the brakes, practice using throttle.
If you can practice this to make it second nature, or at least not foreign, this can make the difference between you spinning and not.
Get out to a snowy parking lot, start turning, let off throttle, then yank the e-brake (and put it down right away). You should start experiencing a spin at this point. No matter what, train yourself to immediately countersteer, such that your front wheels are pointed to where you want the car to go and not where the car is facing.
Now, while countersteering every time, compare the following 3 situations after starting the spin:
A. Counterseteer & do nothing with brake or gas. Simply get your feet off the pedals.
B. Countersteer & hit the brakes.
C. Countersteer & apply gas.
You must actually experience each of these to believe it, but you will learn that it is "C", applying gas, which will get you back in line the soonest. You will notice that as soon as you give it gas, the spin will stop or slow down significantly. You will notice that if you hit the brakes, you spin much further than if you were to simply let go off all the controls.
This is counter-intuitive, but basically if you start spinning on ice on a straight road and you have a FWD/AWD car, applying some throttle will often stop your spin, whereas hitting the brakes almost guarantees a spin. It's worth practicing, if you can.
The reason has to do with weight transfer. Your car's traction at each end is determined by the amount of weight. When you accelerate, you decrease traction up front and you increase traction in the rear. Lifting off throttle increases front end traction and decreases rear end traction, a little. Hitting the brakes massively decreases rear end traction and massively increases front end bite.
ATs wear quicker than all-seasons (~50,000 miles). MTs wear extremely quickly (~30,000 miles). Normal all-season tires generally wear at ~60,000 miles.
-edit- also, before buying studded tires, check to see if they're legal in your state/country, and make a note of the legality dates. Many times they're only legal from November through March (studded tires damage the road when the road is dry). Tire chains are temporary solutions, but are practically illegal in many states (can only be used if the chain never touches the road surface).
It's also a lot of fun to deal with a car that is borderline out of control in a more controlled environment.
> you back in line the soonest. You will notice that as soon
> as you give it gas, the spin will stop or slow down
That only helps with more common, oversteer situations (when the rear wheels are skidding).
On the contrary, if you're experiencing an understeer (front wheels are skidding) applying more gas will only make matters worse. You want the front wheels to regain traction, and there are two ways to do so- countersteering and do nothing with accelerator. A tiny little bit of braking may be neccessary.
All this advice is rarely useful when driving a car (except in places where temperature is below freezing point) but it's extremely important when riding a motorcycle on every kind of terrain.
While it's true that braking can be very helpful, I'd caution against suggesting it because braking during a slide, even while it's understeer caused, can be very delicate and easy to overdo. And releasing the gas will quite often normalize the difference quite fast enough.
While this contributes to the effect, it's does not properly represent what's actually going on. Generally speaking, you want to perform action that normalizes the speed of the tires and the wheels, as you said, this is basically never breaking because wheels are good at slowing themselves down. If the slide is caused by slow tires, or if the tires have time to slow while the slide is happening (The most common case, and also the one that is caused by hitting the e-brake) Then indeed, as you said applying gas is the proper action. But compare this to a slide caused by wheel-spin due to too much gas, Any additional application of gas will just make the problem worse.
Having said that, if you do find yourself in a slide caused by too much gas, hitting the brakes will almost always make it worse, instead lightening up on the gas, and then slowly reapplying tends to be the most effective strategy.
With a front-mounted hitch, though, you can keep the winch inside and just hook it to either the front or the back depending on the needs. The downside is there's one more thing in your car taking up space and becoming a projectile in a crash.
Come-alongs (hand winches) are less than ideal for many reasons I've listed in another reply to your comment. The better solution is to do your best to not need one.
It's only $15 for the cheapest one (they have other types too that mount to the car). Also get a long strap to go with it in case the nearest tree is not close.
You don't want an electric winch anyway - you never know if you'll have power in an emergency.
Generally speaking, if the engine can't start/run, and help is nowhere to be found, winching the vehicle out will be more trouble than its worth. The best part of an electric winch is you may use it in conjunction with the engine when solo, meaning you can generally free the vehicle as soon as you find some traction, rather than constantly advancing, re-entering the vehicle and checking for traction again.
But you're right about and additional strap: one should always have with their winch, at a minimum, a tow strap and a tree saver (plus requisite shackles, snatch blocks, and gloves if using wire rope, or rock guards with synthetic). I once got stuck deep in a ravine, and 150' of synthetic rope fell short of the nearest tree by 5 feet, but a tow strap and tree saver made up the difference and I got to sleep in my bed that night, rather than in the jeep.
I remember reading somewhere that emergency calls can use any network.
I was a big fan of the Android phones that had AM/FM radios awhile back. At least you'd be able to hear broadcasts to have a general idea of where the storm is heading. I grabbed one of those survival kits that have matches, a knife, first aid, etc.
Again, my Galaxy Nexus doesn't seem to have this functionality, although that's merely me trying to locate the pre-baked application and not finding it. So you're probably right about the ISV not including it.
On a side not, at home, the local phone company tends to be pretty good at keeping the line going even when power fails. Last time, I got stuck 20 hours without power, the phone line worked the whole time. The cell towers did not.
Were you a Norwegian fisherman or Inuit hunter, both of whom frequently work gloveless in the cold, your chilled hands would open their surface capillaries periodically to allow surges of warm blood to pass into them and maintain their flexibility. This phenomenon, known as the hunter's response, can elevate a 35-degree skin temperature to 50 degrees within seven or eight minutes.
Other human adaptations to the cold are more mysterious. Tibetan Buddhist monks can raise the skin temperature of their hands and feet by 15 degrees through meditation. Australian aborigines, who once slept on the ground, unclothed, on near-freezing nights, would slip into a light hypothermic state, suppressing shivering until the rising sun rewarmed them.
You have no such defenses, having spent your days at a keyboard in a climate-controlled office. Only after about ten minutes of hard climbing, as your body temperature rises, does blood start seeping back into your fingers. Sweat trickles down your sternum and spine.
You just go sit outside in the cold for five or ten minutes at a time while keeping your hands and/or feet submerged in insulated warm water. The goal is to expose most of your body to the cold while keeping the capillaries open. After about fifty repetitions of this (at three to six repetitions per day), your body gets used to the idea of maintaining circulation despite an overall cold environment.
Though, I have recommended this technique several times to some female with very severe "cold hand" problems.
Btw: I think I've seen the same talk at MITOC Winter School. I forgot the name of the speaker but he was a great guy. (Quote: "If you can't bend them - that's a bad sign.") I think he speaks at MITOC every year.
I live in Los Angeles and my brother lives in Flagstaff. Every year at the holidays, I go spend a week with him and his family. In Flagstaff there can be entire days below freezing and the nights can easily reach single digits F. When I'm there and it's 25 F, I'm fine. Toodle along like normal. Come back to LA and it's 50 and I shiver. Same outfits even. It's the strangest thing.
Maybe altitude? FLG is 7000 ft and LAX is more or less sea level. I dunno.
The scientific experiments with him are published now.
Kox et al, 2011
The Influence of Concentration/Meditation on Autonomic Nervous System Activity and the Innate Immune Response: A Case Study
in Psychosomatic Medicine
We call it the penguin dance.
I used to teach a martial art that practiced this. In our meditation, you visualize glowing energy flowing through your body into your hands. After several months, it happens fairly naturally. Among more experienced practitioners, the skin temperature difference is very noticeable.
When we practiced this, we conflated it with hitting harder, which anecdotally seems to be true, but I'm not sure why.
My teacher claimed that doing the meditation and slowly working your way up to hitting harder materials would increase bone density in your hands, though I have no proof of this.
I'd love to see more western science studying these phenomenon.
Also timely, one of our power users at Referly just made a preparedness kit list for winter driving. I probably should have had some of this when driving alone in the Sierra Nevadas last month. http://refer.ly/winter_driving_preparedness_kit/c/789d5ae050...
2. $280 / $1MM ~ 1/3500.
3. A useful metric might be 911 calls, of which there are 240 million in 2008, for the US population of 305 million. If you assume 5% of the calls are life-or-death, that your daily odds of needing to call in remote areas are the same as the country mean, that you spend 5 days a year in remote areas, and a 5-year useful life for the device, then there is a 0.2% chance the device will save your life.
240/310 * .05 * 5/365 * 5 ~ 0.002
Actually, I think you a) misunderstood the claim in point 2, and b) take issue with the assumptions - not the math/statistics - in point 3.
your math in point 2 assumes you will certainly find yourself in a life threatening situation while carrying the device.
In point 2 the likelihood of a life threatening situation was not assumed or calculated (that's point 3). The conclusion, restated: If there's a 1/3500 chance you'll be able to effectively use the device to save your life, you're breaking even while mitigating risk.
And your point 3 probably vastly overestimates the fraction of life-or-death calls.
You've stated that I've made assumptions and you're right - which is why they're labeled as such. Feel free to suggest yours.
F->C: Subtract 30, divide by 2.
C->F: Double it & Add 30.
Often known as the "Bob & Doug McKenzie method" from around here it makes for fast conversions since the actual conversion (°F - 32) * 5 / 9 = °C is close enough when dealing in the normal temperature range of weather.
I've been counting along increments of 1.5 in whichever direction from 0 C or 32 F.
I probably made it a .5 for mental calculating.
Just out of curiosity I tried yours and it even works with minus temperatures, although a bit confusing at first.
Yours are exactly the reason I read the comments on posts.
edit: to make it a bit clearer
Worst was where they switched without even mentioning it. One paragraph they're still using F and said "The lowest recorded core temperature in a surviving adult is 60.8 degrees.", then the very next paragraph, with no talk of changing units, they talked about people dying "though temperatures never fell below freezing and ranged as high as 45". Just because the second story happened in England..?
I'm also questioning if you have a sense of either temperature scale. It's quite funny to think that it could reach 45 C in England at all, much less that people would freeze to death in it.
Edit: funnily enough, 45C turns out to be the hottest temperature I've personally experienced, the day LA set it's record high in September 2010.
- Celsius scale is based on water freezing at 0C and boiling at 100C. That's 32F and 212F, respectively.
- 45C is about halfway between 0C and 100C, so it's about halfway between 32F and 212F.
- Normal body temp 98.7F or 36C.
- Also -40C == -40F. I looked this up once because I was out on a day that where the wind chill was -40F. I thought that I did something wrong when the conversion came out exactly the same. ;-)
Gets you to within a couple of degrees for commonly experienced temperatures, plenty close enough for most purposes. 45C ~= 120F. The true value is 113F.
The metric system on the other hand, is so elegant and simple. Only one unit: meter.
When I buy a gallon of gas, I know what I can expect to get from it. I know roughly how much a gallon is and how much a liter is, but I'd have to do math to tell you how far my car will go on a liter of gas. Don't even ask me me how many liters I need to travel 100 km…
It doesn't help that gasoline is sold only by the gallon, fuel efficiency is given in miles per gallon, speed limits are in miles per hour, and mile markers give our position on our highways and number our exits. Non-SI units are burned into our brains and our infrastructure all over the place. Grow up in that world, and the awkward math doesn't seem all that bad compared to having to get your bearings in a whole new system.
(That's not to say we shouldn't be switching to metric… but there are definite downsides for a population so used to our strange way of doing things.)
Besides, these length units do have integer relationships with each other: 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, and 1760 yards to a mile. I find the first two easy to remember, and the third easy enough to calculate by remembering that one mile is 5280 feet.
But a yard is 0.9144 meters, making a foot 30.48 cm and a mile ~1609 m. Math within metric is easy. Math within our silly units is slightly more complicated, but we get used to it. Conversion between the systems is messy.
All of them were equally wedded to the pre-change system (fixed in mental habits, etc.), of course; there's nothing special about the American situation.
There's obviously a cost, but it's most severe for the older generation (whose mental habits are so ingrained they have real trouble adjusting) -- even for younger adults, your brain adapts to the new system after using it regularly for a while. AFAICT (I moved from the US to a metric-using country 7 years ago) it's never quite the same as the system you grew up with, but I'm pretty comfortable with it now.
It's something like learning bad words in another language -- they never gain the burned-in power of expletives in your native language, but your ears certainly learn to perk up when you hear them, and you can use them perfectly well.
Summing up -- quit whining, America, switch to better measurement systems, and the difficulties will smooth out more quickly than you think. :)
Should've stayed with the car. Should've called for help. Once he got out, he should've stayed on the road instead of cutting through the woods. Should've ditched the skis once they broke. Should've exerted himself less.
Lots of little should-haves like those are what can kill someone who's not prepared for and experienced with harsh conditions.
"In 1980, 16 shipwrecked Danish fishermen were hauled to safety after an hour and a half in the frigid North Sea. They then walked across the deck of the rescue ship, stepped below for a hot drink, and dropped dead, all 16 of them."
The closest match was to "Other classic examples of post-immersion collapse include the survivors of the SS Empire Howard (Lee, 1971). The Captain of the ship, Capt Downey, reported: "everyone was conscious when taken out of the water but many lost consciousness when taken into the warmth of the trawler. Nine (out of 12) died shortly after being rescued", where "The SS Empire Howard was sunk by a U-boat on 16, April, 1942.
The roads were covered with snow, and suddenly we got stuck in a snow-covered road. Being a firefighter (trained in rescue) I had some idea of what I had to do... but of course, no shovel or any other tool to remove the snow. For 1 hour or so I tried to remove the snow with no luck. I got into the car, told my wife that the smartest thing would be to stay in the car. If necessary, the fuel in the car would keep us worm for days.
After some time, a car came down the road and helped us out... only to get stucked again, this time because the car actually got de-oxygenated at exactly 4,000 meters... Luckily this time the same car was behind us for a few minutes and we could push the car until the downhill.
Now we tell the story with friends and laugh about it. But if you ever go to some place that you have a slight chance of getting stuck in the snow: pack a shovel or at least make sure you have the fuel tank full. And never get out of the car wandering to find something.
Always know your resources available!
The description of the feeling of burning is unreal!
What is even better is the incredible knowledge of how to revive a patient from this state.
I belief these techniques are used in heart bypass operations ?
The blood is taken out of your body through the femoral vein (under the skin between your hip and your nether regions), taken through the perfusion machine and pumped back into the femoral artery. Because at this stage the heart will have been stopped, the high pressure in the femoral artery makes blood flow backwards up the aorta, where it supplies oxygenated blood from the machine to the whole body.
At one stage the flow has to be switched off in order to sew the metal valve onto the top of the aorta. In preparation for this, the blood leaving the perfusion machine is chilled (I'm not sure to what temperature). This slows the body's metabolism down and would cause hypothermic stupor if the patient had not already been under anaesthetic. I was told by the perfusionist that this gave the surgeons around an hour of extra operating time before the brain's oxygen content dropped to dangerous levels. All this is of course monitored by the anaesthetist and the perfusionist. The hypothermia will be reversed during the process of reviving the patient.
With the advent of endovascular procedures, this sort of surgery is becoming a rarity. It's much easier to pass a small tube up the aorta and inflate the narrowed artery from the inside than it is to open up the chest and sew a new blood vessel onto the heart. Of course, the medicine's more boring but it's all about getting a good outcome for the patient, isn't it?
This to repair an ascending aortic dissection that terminates in my left iliac.
I walked out of the hospital, but the recovery was a PITA.
My core temp got down to 18C (65-66F) for over an hour. (According to the surgical notes I was on the heart lung machine for over 4 hours, and without perfusion for 45 minutes.)
Whole thing is here, http://aorticdissection.com/2011/12/06/jim-thompson-47/ though I assumed that the termination was the right iliac until last Spring, when I had them run a CT on the lower extremities, and found that the termination was in my left leg (and that the false lumen had blocked the iliac in my right leg.)
Maybe when you're a doctor you'll remember, "When the symptoms don't make sense, think dissection" and save someone else.
Those heated blankets they have in post-surgery rooms are very nice...
WRT the hypothermia, you may have been slightly hypothermic as a result of having so much of your body surface exposed to the air. People don't realise that ambient temperature (18-22C) is actually quite cold in relation to body temperature (36.7C) - it's only the fact that we wear clothes that means we don't feel it.
Nowadays we have heated blankets in theatre too, to offset this heat loss.
I've only gotten mild frostbite once, but I'd never want to have it again. The skin blackens and peels, and itches like nothing I've ever experienced before.
I sometimes make bad decisions.
says that Inuit were curious why people were hunting whales for oil for light, when they knew that seal oil was better for the qulliq.
Ahh, even better. The Dorset culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorset_culture - 500 BCE–1500 CE) used soapstone lamps very much like the the qulliq for heat.
A search for "dorset soapstone lamps" finds plenty of examples that lamps were used, and even pictures of the archeological finds of such lamps.
http://books.google.se/books?id=kGWuMa6sRYsC&pg=PA372... says "Winter light and heat were supplied by soapstone lamps ... The previous Dorset inhabitants of Arctic Canada had used soapstone lamps for some 2,000 years. ... Soapstone cooking pots ... "
http://books.google.se/books?id=iBCc5bQlP1wC&pg=PA179... has "The most conspicuous difference between Saqqaq and Dorset sites lies in the occurrence of fire-cracked rocks. These are common in Saqqaq sites ... During the Dorset culture, the heating of winter dwellings relied on the use of soapstone lamps."
(Note that "Saqqaq culture existed from around 2500 BCE until about 800 BCE", so is before Dorset, pushing back the use of fire even further.)
Or for a regular HTML link, http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/dorset-cultu... says "Dorset culture, 500 BC-1500 AD, is known archaeologically from most coastal regions of arctic Canada. The Dorset people were descended from Palaeoeskimos of the PRE-DORSET CULTURE. Compared to their ancestors, the Dorset people had a more successful economy and lived in more permanent houses built of snow and turf and heated with soapstone oil lamps."
> Among the archipelagic tribes of southern Chile it was predominantly the women who gathered shellfish on the beaches at low tide and who, from bark canoes, dived with a shell blade and a basket held in their teeth. The shellfish gatherers were careful not to exhaust the supply in one area. These people also always carried a fire on a clay platform in their canoes, both for warmth and for roasting shellfish over the coals. The men hunted roosting cormorants, penguins, steamer ducks, petrels, and other marine birds at night with torches and killed them with clubs. Ducks and geese were lured by decoys, then captured with pole snares.
"Because of Mr. Kim's background as a technology analyst, observers speculated that the family had used online mapping to find their route. However, Mrs. Kim told state police that they had used a paper road map, an account supported by the Oregon State Police, which reported that the Kims had used an official State of Oregon highway map."
A key skill is constant regulation of your body temperature. You never want to become too hot/sweaty or too cold. If too cold - get into shelter, drink something hot, eat carbs, add clothes, move faster. If too hot - remove clothes, or move slower. Fix temperature problems immediately - never tough it out.
Common mistakes: people get distracted by gadgets, or they get impatient and start to wander. Then they lose awareness of their body temperature, and become hypothermic. Once you get hypothermic, things fall apart fast.
If you do winter travel in remote areas, carry warm clothes, water and food. Then if you get stuck, be patient and steady. Follow this advice, and the odds of freezing to death go way down! :-)
The article describes one type of winter danger (extreme cold), but there's another equally dangerous condition it doesn't deal with — temperatures right around freezing.
A friend and I ended a snowcamping trip a day early yesterday because temperatures were ±32º morning and night. The result of the temperature staying just below or at freezing is that you get very wet. You get very wet just doing mundane tasks like shoveling snow because your body heat needs to shift the temperature of snow on your clothing by just a few degrees to melt. Being slightly unprepared for a night in these conditions is just as dangerous as being in the arctic (where you may be cold, but you'll definitely be dry).
Stumbles, fumbles, mumbles and grumbles.
These can be relatively early external signs of altered mentation and potentially of the on-set of hypothermia.
Hypothermia can occur even in fairly warm temperatures, too; you don't need freezing temperatures.
When carrying food, remember you're going to be eating a whole lot more when it's cold and you're exercising.
Avoid cotton clothing, as that gets and stays brutally cold when it gets wet. Wool or synthetics work much better.
In general, if you're driving somewhere remote and something goes wrong, you're almost always better off staying with your vehicle vs. setting out on foot for help. There are obviously exceptions, but as a general thing, it's true.
Get your position, call 911, wait.
If the signal is not good enough to make a call, send an SMS
I'd tend to agree that staying with the car is sensible. Maybe with some bright orange tarpaulin / flag thing over the car (although that'd probably get buried in snow.)
At least if you're travelling in really bad weather you know you might get stuck and so you should prepare.
People in England were caught out when light snow was forecast; they left work early and joined the M25 at the same time as the road gritters, which caused a weird cascade effect and blocked a major motorway in the UK for 24 hours when there was only 1 or 2 cm of snow.
In my experience, the phone will retry sending the SMS a couple of times if the signal is low.
Still, having a gps is helpful (at least you know where you are and can wander but knows how to get back)
Having an automotive gps with maps is even more helpful
But yeah, it is a very bad situation nonetheless
Even in a worst case scenario where I happened to drive up into the mountains in just jeans and a t-shirt and get caught in a snow storm and nobody knew where I had gone I could easily travel for several days through the back country (let alone alone the roads) with just that equipment. And if I stayed with my car it would definitely extend the amount of time I could survive until rescue arrived. The total cost of all of this stuff is almost nothing, it's worth it to be prepared.
I really want to get into bay area amateur radio and get on some repeaters and stuff. An HT in the car seems like it would be a good addition. Maybe 2013.
I just saw a list of the "ten essentials" posted at the entrance to a wilderness area in New Hampshire's White Mountains. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I was without many of them, though it was on a day hike with a partner on a very wide, flat, heavily-traveled trail. I remember a spring backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains where one person in my group fell into a creek we were crossing near nightfall as it was beginning to snow. Fortunately we had extra dry clothes ready at hand to give that person to change into.
Along the way we get sad stories like the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1998, where everyone except Lockheed Martin was using metric units in the parts and software written for the orbiter.
So come on, USA! Keep trying!
The article is really well written and you'd be well-advised to read it despite your grievances with the units.