Would you be prepared to survive overnight in sub-zero temperatures?
When heading into the wild for a fun day of adventure, we take for granted that we will be back home comfy, cozy and warm at the end of the day. Mishaps can happen, though. Are you prepared to handle that situation?
That is where this should start. Have a plan! If you choose to go out into those brutal conditions, have a plan if things go awry. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to have some essentials with you to make it through a night.
In today’s world of technology, we have become dependent on cell phones to get us out of a bad situation. They are handy to get us out of problems, and they can be used as a compass or GPS device to guide you back out. They can allow you to make a call for help. It would help if you were prepared, though, if your device has a drained battery or, worse yet, lost or broken.
Following these tips to help:
- Tell someone where you are going to be and what time you expect to be back. Even if you have to leave a note at home, that option is better than no one knowing.
- Bring a few survival items along in a pack. You would be surprised at how little gear you need. These items referenced below weigh under 5 pounds. Will you have enough equipment to be as comfy as sitting in your lazy boy at home? No, but you will have enough to get you through a night.
- Flint to start a fire, this is the most reliable fire starting device that you can have with you. There is no better device for starting a fire. I like to take this a bit further, and it doesn’t add much more weight, take a few cotton balls and swab them heavy in Vaseline. These make a great fire starter!
- A Saw – I use us EZ Kut Products WOW Saw and Pruners. You could get away with a pocket saw, or zip saw. With a little effort, you can break down plenty of wood to burn through the night; it can also be used to help build a shelter.
- Space blanket or survival blanket – used to retain your body heat and used in building shelter.
- Paracord – this helps assist with building a shelter.
- Toe, hand, and body warmers – help create warmth to any cold spots
- First aid kit – There are many options available for this; find one that you feel confident in carrying with you. Will assist with any first aid you may have to administer to yourself.
These few items will be enough to get you through a night. The biggest challenge that you will have is keeping yourself warm. Hyperthermia is the biggest obstacle that you will have to avoid.
Considering that you are in sub-zero temperatures, it is highly likely that you will be in an environment with snow. You can eat the snow to keep your body hydrated. You will want to keep yourself hydrated during the night.
Making the right decision about where to build your shelter for the night is essential. The ideal environment is to be near pine trees. The pine boughs will allow you to make a simple lean-to structure along with bedding to lay down. The pine boughs will insulate you from laying directly on the snow.
Pine boughs can also be used to help signal your location if you are in a situation where you need to be found. They can create quite a bit of smoke when burning, during the daytime, you might need that to show your rescuers your location.
Be cautious about how much of a sweat you break while working on making firewood and your shelter. Getting too sweaty will not be good and allows hyperthermia to creep in on you.
As you head out for your next outdoor adventure, don’t assume that you will be home that night and plan for the worse outcome. Taking the time to plan and have these few items with you will help save your life. It will be a night that you will remember and have a heck of a story to tell your friends and family should you ever find yourself in this situation.
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