It is no easy task surviving in the wilderness. Imagine the thought of being cut off from any support net or supplies that can offer you optimal conditions. But, as bad as that may sound, getting stranded in a cold weather situation where you have to survive put additional challenges to the mix. If you don’t train and plan for these harsh survival conditions, then you may end up putting your body through a lot. In worse case scenarios, you may end up dead.
Luckily, you can overcome most of the challenges you may face when stuck in a cold weather environment. You only need to have some survival knowledge and experience, and you may well see the next day. Here are some of the basic winter survival tips and skills you might want to consider.
- Be active
It is only natural that most people tend to hole themselves up during the winter and in cold seasons. But doing this can only add to your list of problems. It is wise to be very active, even in the cold. Doing so, you will be ensuring that you stay fit and healthy. If possible, try and exercise twice as hard as you do in the summer times. Exercising during the summer can involve skiing, biking, and even running and jogging.
- Build a cold weather shelter
It is crucial that you build a survival shelter for the cold weather. A proper shelter helps keep the heat in and the cold gusting wind and dump out. If you are not in a position to find an appropriate shelter, then a lean-to shelter can work just as well. At least to get you through the situation. You can use branches to make the shelter. Then pile snow on top of the branches. The snow acts as an insulator keeping the warm air in and the cold out.
- Cover your head
Studies reveal that close to 90% of all the heat that you lose occur through your head. This is bound to happen if you do not have your head covered. It is, therefore, wise to always have a hat or hood that will keep the heat in and your head dry. Clothing and other layers that cover the head are also easily removable in case you find yourself feeling hot. Some instances or situations may force you to work in the cold seasons and add to your list of worries if you succumb to hypothermia.
Fire was bound to pop up sometime in this list. Fire is a crucial and essential survival element to have at your disposal when stuck in a winter survival environment. There are two main reasons why you need to know how to start a fire. They are:
- Keeping warm
- Melting the snow
The need for you to keep warm cannot be overstated when stuck in a cold weather survival scenario. Then, melting the snow also help provide you with a significant water source and supply that you need for surviving. The same fire will help you boil the melted snow to make the water palatable and safe for drinking. Boiling the water ensures that any pathogens and disease-causing microorganisms are killed.
- Dress in layers
When stuck in a cold weather environment, you need to work out the fastest and most convenient way of regulating your body temperature. It is best to use multiple layers of clothes and other insulators to trap the heat compared to one thick layer. The main reason behind this is that multiple layers trap air between them. This air will then act as an insulator and protect you from the cold. For most adults, having between three and five layers can do the trick. And it is best to have the outermost layer being waterproof to limit the degree of heat exchange plus keep the heat in.