cold weather survival

All posts tagged cold weather survival

By Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition 

With the unusual winter weather that many parts of the country are experiencing, driving conditions will be harsh and potentially dangerous. Moreover, getting stranded in your vehicle could become a very real threat, especially if you are traveling in isolated parts of the country. If this happens, you have a potentially dangerous survival situation on your hands.

Most people’s instinct will tell them to leave the car and go for help. If you are in a desolate area, you may not know how far help is and leaving your car will expose you and could get you lost in the wilderness if you don’t know where you are going.

6 Critical Tips You Need to Know In Order To Survive Being Stranded in Your Car in Freezing Temperatures


OK, let’s put your survival know-how to the test. Here’s the scenario:

At 3 p.m., a last minute work order has requested you to deliver some equipment but you must drive through a remote area where the road’s elevation is between 4,000 and 4,500 feet. The road is infamous for people who don’t know the area to take in the wintertime and get stuck, but you’ve driven it a few times and feel confident you can make it before dark. Before you set out, you turn on your GPS on your cell phone just in case. You’ve also checked the weather station, which turns out is calling for unexpected snow flurries in the area, but you’re on a deadline and will drive very carefully. 

Not a lot of people are driving on the road and you wish you could be at home too. The snow has been coming down for most of the trip making the roads slick. An hour into driving, you unknowingly make a wrong turn and end up on a remote logging road. The snow is really coming down making it difficult to see and you are losing daylight fast.

You curse your GPS for not telling you where to turn but realize you’ve lost signal and have no idea where you are. You decide to turn the car around and go out the way you came. As you get to the edge of the road, you lose traction and slide into a snow bank. 

As you try to free the car from the snow bank, the car won’t budge. You feel yourself panicking as you weigh all the problems – you’ve taken a wrong turn and are on a remote logging road, no one is in sight, you’re stuck in a snow bank and it’s dark outside. 


How to Survive Being Stranded in Your Car in Winter

So, what would you do if you were in this situation? Do you have the skills to get out alive?

Let’s look at some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Keep calm. In this type of situation, you could be stranded for hours or in some cases, days. Mental preparedness is key and you must think rationally and logically. This is easier said than done when you’re in a survival situation.
  2. Stay in your car. Above all, exposure will be your greatest threat. Survival experts stress that it is easier for authorities to find you in your car than find you wandering in unknown territory.
  3. Have a vehicle preparedness kit. This emergency kit should reflect the season your area is experiencing and the terrain you are driving through. In winter, you want to have preps on hand to keep the core body warm. Items like a whistle, brightly colored rag or ribbon, thermos, hand warmers, emergency blankets, emergency beacon, a first aid kit, and flashlight. For a more in-depth article on critical items to carry in your vehicle, click here.
  4. Have survival food and water in the car at all times. Keep the basics in mind for food and water. Snow can be melted for water (have a portable water filter in your preparedness car kit. Protein bars, MRE’s or easy survival foods can be utilized for this emergency situation.
  5. Make your car visible. Have a bright colored rag or ribbon and tie it onto your car so that search parties can find you. Even using a reflective sun shade could help alert authorities to your whereabouts.
  6. Run your vehicle every 10 minutes. If your gasoline amount allows, run your vehicle to stay warm. You can bring heat to the interior of the car and charge your cell phone at the same time. Note: Make sure the exhaust pipe of the car is unobstructed from snow. If snow is covering the pipe, this could cause exhaust fumes to enter your car and cause health issues.

To survive this type of emergency, you must fight your instinct to leave. Staying with the vehicle will provide you shelter, warmth and if you have emergency supplies, you could have all you need to survive. No doubt that these life-saving tips will help you keep calm, think rationally and, ultimately, survive.

About the author:

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

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Video still: Wilderness Rocks, YouTube

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

How can you stay warm even in the coldest of climates if you are compelled to trek through the great wilderness around us?

There’s no way to know the exact conditions you may have to endure, or the situation that will lead way to the SHTF we have all been anticipating.

But you can be ready, and practice to hone your skills until that day comes.

Whether camping or bugging out, there are some good tips and skills for adapting for harsh winters, and these may come in handy, particularly if you live in the northern parts of the country.

On top of the appropriate warm gear, it would be wise to be able to control heat while backpacking or on the run. While it isn’t easy to do in every situation, it is possible even in a temporary structure.

One of the best strategies to use a portable, wood-burning stove designed to safely set up inside tents, with the stove exhaust exiting through a sectioned-pipe (also portable) that is designed to vent through hole in the roof of the tent or shelter.

Best of all, these stoves are relatively affordable (or you could make your own).

Check out this video via Wilderness Rocks:

Hot Tent Wood Stove Bushcraft Overnight winter survival Backpacking.

Here are some other videos on how to best handle the harsh climate of winter survival camping.

As usual, there isn’t just one right way to do it, but putting these strategies into practice will give you the opportunity to work out which methods work best for your needs.

The last thing anyone wants to do is discover they are inadequately prepared to deal with the cold once there is no turning back.

Solo Bushcraft Camp. 2 Nights in Snow – Natural Shelter, Minimal Gear.

Warmest Winter Survival Shelter – Deep In Bear Country

Bush Camp Long Term Winter Survival Shelter Construction

Whatever you do, make sure you stay out of the cold long enough to avoid getting hypothermia, or succumbing to the elements.

Surviving in this climate can be one of the most deadly settings you’ll ever encounter.

Continue reading at SHTFplan.com: Hot Tent Survival Camping: How to “Stay Warm In the Harshest Winter Climate”

winter-water

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

“Water, water, everywhere,” wrote Coleridge, in application to the ancient mariner of his prose.  The big difference, though, is his water was not potable, as it was the ocean.  The water I’m referring to in this piece is the water that is all around you in the winter, and the importance of consuming the proper amount of water to prevent dehydration.  Be advised: your needs for water do not decrease; rather, they increase due to stressors that are different on the human body.

The tendency is to not drink as much when the weather is cold.  This is a natural thing, as people usually (even when thirsty during the winter) do not wish to drink cold beverages.  Conversely, they prefer warm beverages that are (usually) caffeinated, such as coffee or tea.  As a die-hard coffee drinker, I know from experience that you must offset the caffeine consumption (to a degree) with an increased intake of water.  At the end of this article, I’ll mention more on this.

How the Body Loses Water During Winter Months

With increased activity, there are many ways that a person loses water.  Diaphoresis (sweating/perspiration) is one way, and insensible water loss is also increased, examples being water lost from the eyeballs and from respiration.  People breathe out 1-2 glasses of water per day.  Urination is another way that water is lost, the composition of urine being about 95% water and 5% miscellaneous solids.  The needs (on average) of water consumption in humans is about a gallon per day, with kids needing a little less except when they’re extremely active.

Water is Fuel

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuel: never forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water.

As mentioned earlier, you may (due to the cold and a desire to not drink that accompanies it) take in more food than water.  This, too, is not good for you.  I don’t want to get into proponents of eating your food and drinking sparingly to allow hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest more efficiently.  That may be, but more importantly, you need liquid to consume your food.  Remember, if you do not drink, your body will rob what water is in and between the cells (that is, inter, and intracellular fluid, respectively) to digest the food.  We learned it thoroughly in SERE school: Thou shalt not eat until thou canst drink.  You must be able to drink in for your body not to take from itself to digest the food.  If you do not drink, then you’re dehydrating yourself when you eat.

The appearance of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration.  Dark yellow urine means you need water.  Your body excretes the waste it must excrete on a regular basis; nevertheless, the body will reabsorb as much water as possible to conserve it.  The urine will be thicker with more solutes (dissolved substances, such as sodium) in it.  This brings us to the secondary problem: your body needs to excrete wastes but you’ll be losing electrolytes.  Your food replaces the electrolytes, but if you have no food readily available, you want to supplement and not just drink excessive quantities of water.  Too much water can flush out your electrolytes.

Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  In a survival situation, do not eat snow.  The eating of snow robs your body of calories (as explained earlier) to enable itself to melt the snow into water, and in addition, lowers your body temperature.  You can melt it over a fire, in which case it is worth it.  I highly recommend a small folding stove with hexamine tablets.  Each tablet burns for about 9 minutes…plenty of time to melt some snow, ice, or icicles for your water.  As mentioned in times past, the U.S. Army issue canteen cup is a great thing to have, made of steel.  It can take a beating and be set on a campfire or on a little portable stove with good results.

It is very difficult to keep water on hand when you’re dealing with subzero temperatures.  Most urban and suburban residents are always able to duck into a store and purchase whatever they want…for now.  People in more remote or less dense areas may have a bit of a problem.  Living where I do, I have a real problem. What I do is pack two thermoses (Aladdin’s) with hot water, and then wrap the outside with towels to further insulate them.  This ensures that I have a supply of drinkable water when I leave the house for up to 24 hours without freezing.

I also tote electrolyte packets and bouillon cubes with me, as well as my ever-present jar of instant coffee.  Returning to my earlier note, whatever you drink as far as coffee and tea are concerned?  Don’t deviate from that, and your body will compensate for the caffeine consumption so that it will not affect you in the same manner as if you were drinking that amount for the first time.  I usually have five cups a day, and my coffee is very strong.  Most people would shake akin to a leaf and be hitting the restroom all day long.

But perhaps you get the gist of the article: you need to maintain your consumption of water, even during the wintertime.  You should also have access to fire-starting materials and things such as hand warmers/chemical heat producers.  You don’t know when the need will arise for you to melt some water.  If you can keep a Camelback handy and keep the water pouch near your body heat to keep it from freezing, all the better.  Just have a source of water, and a means to replenish that source when it runs out.  During the winter, you don’t want to be dehydrated.  And if the SHTF, or if there’s a winter emergency?  These measures can mean the difference between life and death.  Stay hydrated, stay safe, and bundle up…the winter’s just starting!  JJ out!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

 About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

survivopedia-polar-vortex

By Theresa Crouse SurvivoPedia

The term “polar vortex” isn’t one that most people became familiar with until just recently. We had to face it last winter, and we have to face it again these days.

Now, however, it’s a serious concern and needs to be figured into your potential disaster events if you live in areas that may be affected.

Read the following article to find out what a polar vortex is, what it isn’t (if you haven’t been affected by one), and what you need to do to prepare!

What is a Polar Vortex?

We have two polar vortexes – one around each pole. It’s an area of low pressure that circulates counterclockwise in the stratosphere around the pole all the time, but weakens in the winter time.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 11 Tips On How To Survive A Polar Vortex

By  – The Prepper Journal

Currently enjoying the first real Winter storm of the season up here in Canada and I must say I really like it. Got me thinking about those things relating to Winter survival that are either not really talked about or, worse yet, ignored. I am assuming you do not have a massive solar array and geothermal power. I am also assuming you live in the snow belt meaning two to five months of Winter and arctic temperatures.

It is Snowing. A lot!

Here at work I just opened our Storm accommodation plan so staff can sleep overnight rather than risk life, limb, and fenders trying to get home as 20cm of snow falls (8 inches). They have the option to sleep in warm, dry, secure location and get a free meal voucher. Awesome deal but in SHTF when it snows hard it gets complex. Stay or go? I’d stay put until the obvious storm front has passed me by as I really will have no idea if the snow is stopping in an hour or going to keep dropping the next three days.

This means in the Winter season you always need to have a Winter bug in kit on you at all times you know you cannot easily get back to home base. You should always have a compass on you in SHTF as fog, rain, and snow can easily get you lost real fast even close to home base. This is my minimum gear I’d have on me if venturing any distance in the Winter season in Southern Ontario away from the home base.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Winter SHTF Planning and Preparation

BIG Ice

By  – SurvivoPedia

When you install solar panels or wind turbines, you think you’ll never have to worry about paying an electric bill, let alone losing power during an ice storm. On the other hand, solar panels will generate very little power on cloudy days and windmill blades can easily be frozen in place when snow, sleet, and ice hit.

Under these circumstances, you have to look into alternative power generation systems that will work when ice blocks off other options.

What Problems to Expect During Winter

You know that water can seep into even the tiniest cracks. From there, when the water freezes to form ice, it will expand and can easily break containers as well as any object within the container. As a result, most systems that haven’t been weatherproofed for ice conditions will be destroyed or require extensive repairs before they will work again.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Off-Grid Winter: How To Generate Power On Ice

cold weather survival gear

By The Bug Out Bag Guide

Winter can be a beautiful and highly enjoyable season with lots of holiday celebrations and exciting sports; however, if you live in an area where snow is inevitable, winter presents some unique threats to your survival you need to be prepared for with appropriate cold weather survival gear.

The temperature drop itself can be a huge threat. In the cold, your body will need to work harder and require more calories and warmth to sustain itself. Additionally, basic survival activities such as harvesting water, gathering food, and lighting a fire become increasingly challenging when faced with snow-covered ground.

cold weather survival gear

Be prepared for winter survival scenarios that can leave you out in the cold.

However, the best reason to prepare yourself and your family with cold weather survival gear is that you need not only be prepared for bugging out, but also for the chance that a major blizzard could leave you stranded in your home without power, or worse, out in the elements. In this article, we will address the challenges and threats you could possibly face this winter and provide some key tips and recommendations on cold weather survival gear to help you be prepared.

Maintaining Core Body Temperature

For your body to function properly, it must maintain a temperature of 98.6℉. If your body deviates from this temperature, there are built-in mechanisms that kick in to help restore the core temperature and warm you up.

cold weather survival gear

Typical outward signs that your body is working harder to keep you warm include shivering, teeth chattering, and goosebumps. If your body goes through prolonged periods of exposure to cold temperatures, your heartbeat will decrease and blood pressure will slow, reducing the delivery of oxygen to your organs.

Continue reading at The Bug Out Bag guide: Cold Weather Survival Gear & Tips For Battling The Snow