Many people living in several places in the world have been experiencing the harsh effects of winter aggravated by extreme snow fall. Being exposed to extreme cold for long period can greatly affect the health condition of an individual. Even if there’s central heating unit in your home, it can’t guarantee to keep you warm if the weather outside is extremely wet cold.
During winter and cold season, windchill is also associated when the cold weather is coupled with winds. This saps the heat faster as compared to cold alone. That’s why it makes sense knowing some of the effective survival tips in the snow. Generally, the basic principle of surviving in the snow is to keep your head thickly covered because it has little fat that serves as insulation.
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In spite of the cold weather and snow, many people prefer winter backpacking. Winter is serene and beautiful, but it can be life threatening if you’re unprepared for the extreme weather condition. If you’re stuck in the wild during winter or having backpacking, it’s best to know different ways on how to survive in the snow. As you start planning, make sure to include bringing the right equipment and clothing.
Another thing to consider is to listen for the weather forecast for several days so that you’ll be prepared in case the weather condition gets worse. You should be prepared for cold and snowy conditions, snow storms, cloud cover and freezing temperatures.
Here are some tips for you to survive in the snow:
- Keep the Heat in and Stay Dry
The most common cause of mortality when stranded in snow is hypothermia. It’s because when the body gets wet, the body temperature decreases. That’s why you shouldn’t let the snow reach your skin particularly if you’re wearing jeans. You should keep the heat in and stay dry. You can also wear clothes in layer so that the heat will be trapped in, but avoid keeping your body too warm as it will make you perspire. When you perspire, it will create moisture that when soaked into your clothes will make it wet. Wear wicking clothes so that the moisture can easily escape such as synthetic fabrics. Likewise, wear gloves and a hat so that body heat won’t escape from your head and hands.
- Drink and Eat Right
If you’re planning for winter backpacking, make sure to bring more than enough water. Otherwise, drinking melted snow won’t save you from cold weather. Keep yourself hydrated, but don’t drink frozen water as it can’t help, thus you can keep the water inside your backpack or sleeping bag to avoid freezing.
To ensure maintaining the body heat, you should eat to obtain heat and energy from the calories generated from the food. It is recommended eating chunks of butter to keep the body warm as well as other oily foods or pasta that gives a warming effect. Likewise, you should ensure bringing sufficient amount of food and drinks to avoid deficiency in case you get stuck for some days in the snow.
- Winter Shelter
Photo source: http://survivalthrive.com
Another thing that can save you from snow is building winter shelters. If you’re backpacking in place with freezing condition, make sure to bring winter tent so that you can survive in the snow. However, you still need to learn building survival shelters. During heavy snow, it’s ideal to surround your tent with snow blocks to keep the heat in and block the wind.
- Secure a Heat Source
Having a heat source can help to survive in snow. It can serve not only to keep the food and drinks warm, but also to produce heat that will keep the body warm. You should also bring lighter and waterproof matches that can be used in starting the fire.
When you’re out in the wild during winter season you should expect for the worst weather condition. It’s important to consider and practice the survival tips in the snow discussed above in case you’re living in a cold place. It can help in avoiding possible injuries caused by cold weather. The effect of snow and the cold weather may be tolerable inside your house, but you need to be careful when you’re out.
Make sure to have contact with local rangers so that you can call them in case you need help. Always prioritize your safety so that you can survive in the snow. It’s fun making activities in the snow, but if you’re unprepared, it can be dangerous and life-threatening.