CPR First Aid

How Inuits Survive the Extreme Cold?

It is interesting how where a person lives in the world, and the culture they experience growing up can significantly affect how they react to certain temperatures and weather conditions. In a sense, reactions to temperatures are subjective due to geography and history. 

Those who live in the tropics may be well-adjusted to heat. At the same time, those who live in snowy conditions are accustomed to the cold. However, what about extreme temperatures? 

A case in point is the Inuit people. These people live in such cold conditions that it is hard to imagine how they do it. 

Fortunately, that’s exactly what we are here to find out. Let’s learn more about how Inuits survive the extreme cold.

Who Are the Inuits?

If you are not familiar with these people, let’s take a brief look at who they are.

The Inuits are a group of people who live in the Arctic region. They are known for their hunting and fishing skills, as well as their unique culture and traditions.

These people originally came from Siberia, and they started to migrate to North America around 5,000 years ago.

Today, there are around 150,000 living in Nunangat, which is their homeland. This homeland spans four countries: Canada, Greenland, Russia, and the United States.

They also have their own language called Inuktitut, and they have their own form of government called the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

Inuits: Arctic dwellers, adept at hunting and fishing, with rich culture.

Where Do They Live?

Let’s take a look at where these people live.

As mentioned before, these people live in Nunangat. This is a homeland that covers around 4 million square kilometres.

These people mainly live in three regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut, and Nunavik.

Inuvialuit Settlement Region is located in the western Arctic of Canada and it is home to around 10,000 of these people.

Nunavut is the largest region and it is located in the eastern Arctic of Canada. It is home to around 65,000.

Lastly, Nunavik is located in the northern part of Quebec, Canada and it is home to around 18,000 members.

What Is the Climate Like Where They Live?

Now that we know where these people live, what is the climate like in these areas?

Their homeland experiences an arctic climate. This means that it has long, cold winters and short, cool summers.

The average winter temperature in Nunangat is -15 degrees Celsius. However, it can get as low as -40 degrees Celsius.

In the summer, the average temperature is 10 degrees Celsius. However, it can go up to 20 or 30 degrees Celsius in some parts.

With such extreme temperatures, it’s no wonder that these people have had to adapt in order to survive.

How Do They Survive the Extreme Cold?

So, how do they survive the extremely cold temperatures? Let’s take a look at some of the ways


One of the reasons these people are able to survive in such extreme conditions is due to their genetics. Studies have shown that they have a genetic mutation that helps them adapt to cold weather better.

This mutation is called “cold-adapted alleles” and it allows them to produce more heat and stay warm in frigid temperatures.

Another study states that the genes that help them adapt to the cold may have come from certain extinct ancestors. They were called the Denisovans and they branched off from modern human beings many years ago.

Although these people have this genetic advantage, it is not the only reason they are able to survive in such cold conditions

Their Diet

Another reason is their diet. The Inuits mainly eat fish and seal meat. They also eat whales, Caribou, and other animals.

These people hunt for most of their food, and they use every part of the animal. This includes the blubber, which is used for oil.

This diet provides them with a lot of protein and fat, which helps them stay warm in the cold weather.

In addition to eating meat, these cold people also eat plants. These include seaweed, berries, and roots.

They have also been known to eat unusual foods, such as polar bear liver and raw seal skin.

Most, if not all, of these foods are geared towards surviving the cold.

Their Clothing

In addition to their diet, these people also wear clothing that helps them survive in the cold weather.

The Inuit people have many different types of clothing, and each one is designed for a specific purpose.

For example, they have parkas which are made of caribou or seal skin. These are used to keep them warm in the winter.

They also have mukluks, which are boots made of caribou or seal skin. These are used to keep their feet warm and dry.

Lastly, they have fur gloves and hats, which are used to keep their hands and heads warm.

As you can see, their clothing is specifically designed to help them survive in the cold weather.

Tips For Living in the Extreme Cold

If you are ever planning on living in the cold, or in climates similar to those of the Inuit people, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Remember essentials for cold living, like Inuit: attire, shelter, heating, food.

Dress For the Occasion

The first tip we have is to dress for the occasion. As discussed previously, these people who survive easily in the extreme cold have very distinct clothing that helps them greatly.

While you do not have to hunt animals to make your own cold-resistant clothing, you can easily find some being sold.

Make sure that you complete your articles of clothing, taking great care to cover every inch of your body. In addition, it is best to layer as best as you can.

Finally, if you aren’t sure what types of clothing to buy, get an expert’s opinion.

Choose the Right Location

The second tip we have is to choose the right location. As you know, the Inuit people live in some of the coldest places on Earth.

This is not by accident. Over time, they have learned which areas are best to live in and which ones should be avoided.

When looking for a place to live in a very cold climate, make sure that you choose an area that has resources nearby.

You will want to make sure that you have access to food and water, as well as medical help if needed.

It is also important to make sure that your shelter can withstand cold temperatures and conditions.

Beware of Hypothermia and Frostbite

The third tip we have is to know what you are getting yourself into. This includes knowing what conditions the cold can bring such as hypothermia and frostbite. In extremely cold conditions, these two things are a real danger.

Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms include shivering, confusion, and drowsiness.

Frostbite occurs when your skin tissue freezes. This usually happens on exposed areas, such as your nose, ears, fingers, or toes. Symptoms include numbness and white or pale skin.

If you experience either of these things, it is important to seek medical help immediately.

Learned Resilience

If there is anything these people have taught us, it is that people are resilient. More importantly, this resilience can be learned if the will is also there.

So, if you want to live in the extreme cold, then by all means. These people have shown us that it is possible. In addition, the tips we have shared will help you out in the long run.

We cannot stress enough though that people need to be aware of the dangers the cold brings. Moreover, it is as important to understand what to do when people get afflicted with these dangers. This is easily done by learning first aid.

People show resilience, a lesson: resilience is learnable with will. So, live in extreme cold if desired.

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