Safety Quiz: Frostbite and Other Cold-Weather Hazards

Staying warm during a cold-weather outing isn’t just a luxury. You can’t “tough out” frostbite, an injury to body tissues caused by exposure to extreme cold.

The good news: It’s not that difficult to stay warm, as long as you’re prepared with the right gear and the right knowledge.

For gear tips, click here. For information on frostbite and other cold-weather hazards, click here, review the Guide to Safe Scouting, and then come back and take our quiz.

1. Which of the following is a major no-no when you’re outside in the cold for an extended period of time?

a. Drinking too much water

b. Allowing your clothes to get wet

c. Dressing in layers

d. Taking off your mittens briefly to perform a task that requires the use of your fingers

2. Prevent frostbite by:

a. Removing a layer of clothing to prevent excess sweating

b. Sleeping in a tent instead of a snow shelter

c. Getting plenty of sleep

d. Wearing tight clothing

3. True or false: Frostnip is the least severe of the four degrees of severity from the cold.

Photo by Celin Serbo

4. The signs of second-degree frostbite include:

a. Labored breathing

b. Headaches

c. Damage to muscles, tendons and bones

d. Clear blisters usually surrounded by redness and swelling

5. Third- and fourth-degree frostbite:

a. Will cause your skin to feel frozen and hard

b. Can turn your skin red, purple or even black

c. Can result in the development of thick, black, dead tissue over one to two weeks if left untreated

d. All of the above

6. You should wear loose clothing in the cold because:

a. It’s easier to take off and put on

b. It’s more comfortable in cold weather

c. It allows full blood flow, and the air space between layers provides additional insulation

d. All of the above

7. Ischemia is:

a. The phenomenon that occurs in association with frostbite when an organ or other part of the body does not get enough blood supply

b. Dehydration from lack of moisture in the air in cold weather

c. Muscle pain caused by low oxygen

d. A tingling in your fingers from frostnip

8. True or false: Cub Scouts should participate in cold-weather camping only at council-designated locations.

Photo by Celin Serbo

9. One of the first signs of frostnip or frostbite is:

a. Shivering

b. General fatigue

c. Redness or pain in any skin area

d. All of the above

10. If anyone experiences any symptoms of second-, third- or fourth-degree frostbite, they should:

a. Warm up by a fire or in a heated building

b. Go to the nearest health-care facility immediately

c. Eat warm food

d. All of the above

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For additional advice about keeping young people safe during Scouting adventures, visit

Scroll down for the answers …



  1. B. If your clothes get wet, change into a dry set or get to a warmer area — such as near a campfire or inside a heated vehicle — until you dry off.
  2. A. Perspiration gets your clothes wet, which sucks the heat right out of your body. Dress in layers so you can take some off if you get too warm.
  3. True. First-degree frostnip might cause limited damage to skin and might be painful (but with no immediate blistering). Wounds will look like a central white area surrounded by pink skin, followed by mild swelling.
  4. D. Rewarming must begin immediately, followed by professional medical care.
  5. D. Rewarming in this condition will induce critical pain. Seek professional medical care immediately.
  6. C.
  7. A.
  8. True.
  9. C. Get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin immediately!
  10. B.

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