Spending some time in the woods in the wintertime, either voluntarily or because you wound up getting stuck out there, is no joke. You need to be able to take care of yourself, which means meeting all of your basic needs, lest you end up starving or freezing to death. Before the cold weather sets in for good, take the time to review these five guidelines of winter survival. Are you prepared?
1) Stay in One Place
If you’re waiting for a rescue after being stranded out in the cold for days, then you need to stay in one place. The temptation to go out to see if you can find your own way home may be tempting. You probably also think that the more you move around, the less likely you are to freeze to death. However, this just makes it tougher for any searchers to find you. Your footsteps will vanish as the snow continues to fall, leaving you unable to see where you’ve been, and for anyone to track you. Instead, stay put and set up a proper (or as proper as you can get, depending on your supplies) camp. This will give you the protection that you need, and allow others to find you.
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2) Be Prepared to Stay Warm without a Fire
Ideally, you’ll have a fire to keep you warm when you’re out in the snow. This isn’t always possible, however. It might be snowing too hard for the fire to stay lit, finding dry wood to use as kindling may be tricky, and so on. Instead of relying on that fire, you need to be prepared to survive without one. Make sure that you’re dressed warmly, carry some extra blankets, and find whatever shelter that you can. It’s all about mind over matter at that point.
3) Remain Confident
Speaking of “mind over matter” – confidence goes a long way towards surviving the winter in the woods. You need to be as mentally prepared as you are physically. What do we mean by this? Well, you can pack all of the possible provisions that you can and be in great physical shape, but those will only take you so far, especially if you’re not mentally prepared to survive. Even if you have to repeat the words “I can do this” over and over again in your head as a kind of mantra, you need to remember that you can do this.
4) Trap Prey In Order to Feed Yourself
Getting trapped in the woods in the middle of a snowstorm is bad, but this situation is made even worse when you don’t have any food. You’ll need to trap prey and understand how to properly prepare it. Otherwise, you’ll end up starving to death out there if your rescuers are days or weeks away. Plus, solid food gives you the energy that you need in order to keep your body functioning and warm. Remember that you’ll need to cook your game properly, lest you end up with food poisoning. This can make a bad situation even more dangerous.
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5) Be Able To Start a Fire without Matches
It’s very easy to start a fire when you have matches and dry wood. But what happens if you don’t have these things? You’ll end up in trouble. You need to know how to start a fire without matches. This could involve using a bullet, or anything else that you have on hand. All that matters is that you can get that fire started. This is definitely something that you should practice, just in case.
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