Snow Survival – How to Survive a Snowstorm

Snow Survival

Snow Survival

Snow survival is something that must be mastered in colder climates, where snowstorms are even remotely possible. Would you know what to do if you suddenly found yourself snowed in at your vacation cabin, or even in your own home?

What about if you were pushing the limit, trying to drive home, but the blizzard made driving any farther impossible?

Sure, our weather technologies have come a long way, but I’m sure you’ve seen your share of forecasted “flurries” turn into life-stopping blankets of white.

Survival on snow and in icy conditions is a specialized skill that you should master now, before it’s too late!

First things first: your trusty survival kit. A true and complete survival kit should be within reach at all times, because they will drastically increase your chances and duration of survival in any emergency.

That means you need to have one at home, in your car, and anywhere else that you frequent.

Snow Survival Kit

Some items to include in your survival kit are first aid supplies, flashlight, knife, matches, batteries, water, snacks, blankets, and an emergency cell phone.

Now, if you find yourself trapped in or around your car during a snowstorm, the first thing to remember is, “Don’t panic!” I know it may seem obvious and/or easier-said-than-done, but if you panic, your judgement will be drastically impaired, leading to even more problems and decreasing your chances of snow survival.

First, locate your survival kit either in the glove compartment, back seat, or the trunk. Turn the car off to conserve fuel, because you may need it later for heating as your body temperature drops.

If you’re stranded for more than a day and must leave your car for any reason, you need to find other shelter as quickly as possible. Try locating some thick tree coverage where snow is less likely to penetrate, and build a small fort underneath.

In extreme cases, when no other option is available, you can actually use the snow itself to dig a snow cave. Snow is actually a good insulator if packed tightly enough, but you’ll want to avoid getting too wet at all costs.

Survival on Snow

Snow survival is also possible by literally surviving on snow, as it may be your only source of water, which is even more important than food in the early stages. When eating snow, be sure to eat only a small amount at a time, and let it rest in your mouth for several seconds to avoid cooling the inside of your body too much.

When it comes time to sleep, use any and all blankets, clothes, and cover that you can to stay warm, and if you’re in a group of two or more people, huddle together as tightly as possible.

If you followed the above tips and survived your first night in the snow, you need to muster up any energy you have left to look for help and proper shelter, because your body will not last long in extreme cold.

Snow survival is one of the most dangerous situations to be in, but with enough preparation and survival skills training, you will find yourself in front of a fire in no time!

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  • Eldrick

    Great article! I live in the North, so this may come in handy one day!

  • admin

    I hope so, Eldrick, stay safe!

  • Henrik

    This is a really great article, I’m a scouts leader up north in Norway and this is really helping me! Any other sites about winter survival?

  • Paul Dragotto

    GOT LOST SNOW SKING IN UTAH. LUCKY I HAD MY FANNY PACK WITH A LIGHTER AND A MYLAR EMERGANCY BLANKET, SNICKERS BAR AND GUM. MADE A SMALL SNOW AND TREE SHELTER AND FOUND SOME WET WOOD, AND GOT A FIRE GOING. TOOK 10 HOURS AFTER DARK THEY SAW THE FIRE AND FOUND ME. WAS LUCKY TO FIND ROCKS TO MAKE A FIRE PIT.

  • stillsane

    Happy to see you made it.

  • NakedToad

    Put a metal cup or jetboil in your cold weather kit. Don’t go anywhere in the cold without it. Don’t try eating snow. Melt it in the cup before ingesting it. The most important thing in the snow is warmth and shelter. Make sure that you have the means to start a fire. I don’t go anywhere without two or more ways to start a fire, an emergency thermal blanket, a knife, my titanium cup, water, and a water filter. I take that a few more things on even an hour hike here in the local area.

  • dude

    he didn’t lol

  • oaking

    The reason snow is a good insulator is the air trapped in the snow, if you pack it too tightly, you will have blocks of ice, not exception insulators. It needs to be packed enough to not collapse on you, I have spent the night in a snow cave – the easiest way to to find a tree, get near the trunk then did away from the trunk to make the cave, your sleeping platform needs to be higher than the highest point on the entrance.
    Using your mouth to melt snow is not a good idea, you need a container that you can put the snow into for melting, you can use your external body heat to help melt it, but be careful no to get too cold.