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!