Keeping your wits in bitterly cold conditions greatly increases your chances of surviving. Whether you became lost and have spent more time hunting than you’d planned or were blitzed by severe weather conditions you need to follow a few basic tips to keep warm until you can find help.
Use these 4 strategies to increase your chances of survival in dangerous weather conditions.
Follow Weather Patterns
Keep an eye to the sky for clues as to what to expect next. If you want to survive learn how to anticipate weather patterns by paying attention to the atmosphere. Note wind shifts as any marked difference in wind speed or direction can indicate a significant weather change in weather conditions. You may need to take immediate shelter based on the change in winds.
Low flying birds may signal that rain or snow is on the way and flat smoke pouring from a fire can also mean precipitation is imminent. Learning to spot these cues can help you take action swiftly during potentially life-threatening storms. The combination of cold temperatures and any form of precipitation can kill even the most seasoned outdoorsman if they don’t find shelter.
Take in Ample Water
Staying hydrated increases your chances of surviving in bitterly cold weather conditions. Melt ice and snow with a fire if you want to access a source of pure, clean water to drink. Choose ice over snow if both are ample as ice contains more fluid after being melted.
Never attempt to ingest snow or ice to hydrate as doing so robs your body of critical heat. If you can’t start a fire fill a container with snow and ice. Place the container between your layers of clothing to heat it and produce drinking water. Don’t place the canteen against your skin as this can accelerate frost bite.
Build a Fire
Building a fire can warm you from the inside out. You will feel physically better sitting by a heat source and mentally you’ll feel more hopeful with a source which can help you cook, melt water and provide light during nighttime hours.
Don’t create a fire inside of your shelter to avoid damaging your lodging and to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Dry fuel sources and firewood to the best of your ability for a warm fire. Clear the area of moisture and snow to create a long-lasting, sustaining fire.
You’ll rely largely on your choice of clothing to maintain your body warmth. Raising your body heat by layering clothing can help you survive in bitterly cold conditions. You can also take off clothing to avoid sweating.
Don’t wear tight clothing to ensure proper blood flow. As you stack on layers make sure that your skin can breathe easily. Promote insulation and retention of body heat by wearing loose layers of clothing. Make sure clothing stays dry and clean as moisture and debris can adversely affect the insulating properties of clothing.
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