THE COLD: Even though we are heading into the summer months, hypothermia is still the most major problem in attempting to survive. It kills more than any other thing in the outdoors, especially in survival situations. If the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at any time, hypothermia is possible.
This Instructable will be a guide for surviving, from the beginning of a survival situation to the end. Remember, your most important resource is yourself. The biggest killer is you. Stupidity, fear, stress, anxiety. All can be killers. Remember, you can and will SURVIVE!!!
A basic survival kit:
4. Magnifying Glass
5. Needles and Thread
7. Glow Stick
8. Snare Wire
9. Medical kit
Water Sterilising Tablets
10. Surgical Blades
12. A Trusted and Reliable Knife
13. Stormproof Matches
14. 30 Feet Cordage
15. Trash Bag
16. Hand Warmers
Step 1: Clothing
The key to keeping warm:
Keep it Clean
Avoid Over heating
Wear it Loose
Keep it Dry
Remember, in most situations, if you are dressed right, you can survive. Again, even though we are going into the summer months, cold can still kill, or at the least, make for an uncomfortable night.
Severe cold can freeze flesh in minutes. Cover every part of the body if venturing into the extreme cold. If clothing has no drawstrings, tie sleeves around the cuffs. Never allow your body to sweat!!! as soon as you stop sweating, that moisture can kill you. Outer garments should be windproof, but not necessarily waterproof, as it will trap moisture inside.Cotton is killer. It absorbs water and has no insulating properties when wet.
When preparing, wear a thin skullcap, and over that, a heavy insulated hat. Ensure outer gloves are waterproof, while inners are thick and insulating. Boots should be waterproof. If possible, wear three layers of socks.
Step 2: Shelter
Get out of the wind! This goes along with normal camping as well. It sucks the heat away from you, and decreases the air temperature. Look for natural shelter to improve on, but avoid sites where a snowdrift, avalanche, or rock fall may bury you. Avoid snow laden branches. (Jeremiah Johnson had his fire put out this way) You want to stop the wind, but don't block every hole. You MUST have ventilation, especially if your shelter has a fire. A down sleeping bag will insulate better than synthetic, but if it once gets wet it WILL NOT INSULATE AT ALL. If you can, a snowcave is the best shelter, but much harder to construct than you think. If you stay away from the wind, you will survive.
Step 3: Fire
Fuel sources will be limited. Dead branches, bird tallow, fuel from wreckage. On the tundra, willow, birch scrub, and juniper can be found.
The simplest way to have the best chance to have a successful fire is to carry kindling with you. One fire starter can be found here. Carry them in an empty pill bottle. In a real emergency, you may have to use all of them to start a successful fire. Otherwise, ration them the best that you can.
Look around you, and gather as much kindling as you think you will need. Then triple it. There should be three piles of kindling. One matchstick thickness, one finger, and one wrist thickness. If attempting to build a fire on wet ground or snow, lay a layer of kindling down to insulate the fire. Your winter survival kit should also include waterproof matches. Lay two fire starters down, then build a tepee of kindling, layering thicknesses, but leaving an opening to insert the match. If in high wind, shield the kindling with your body. Strike two matches, and light the cottonballs. When the thinnest wood first begins to burn, add more layers. If you have nothing more to do around camp, and are waiting to be rescued, gather firewood.
Step 4: Water
If you are surrounded by snow, you may assume that you are surrounded by water. You are. But it's frozen. In summer, water is plentiful. Drink muddy flowing water rather than clear pond water. If in doubt, boil it. In winter, melt ice and snow. Do not eat ice! It can injure your mouth and throat and further dehydration. Thaw snow enough to mold it into a ball before eating it. Remember- if you are already cold and tired, eating snow will further chill your body.
Step 5: Health
Frostbite, hypothermia, and snow blindness are the main hazards. Efforts to exclude drafts in a shelter can lead to lack of oxygen and carbon monoxide poisoning. Thinking can be sluggish. keep alert and active, but avoid fatigue and conserve energy for useful tasks. Sleep as much as possible. You won't freeze in your sleep unless you are so exhausted that you cannot regenerate the heat that you lose to the air. Exercise fingers and toes to improve circulation. don't put off defecation- this can cause constipation, and lead to extreme loss of energy and health over time. Always cook meat, unless it is impossible to do so.
Step 6: Rescue
You have survived. You have made it through the cold. The chopper is coming down the valley. But what happens if they don't see you? Do whatever you can. Yell. Scream. Light moist wood on fire. Jump and move around. Flap extra clothing. If you have a cellular device, keep it turned off. Check once every hour for service, along hilltops and ridges, out of trees.
Sometimes, you just have to keep on surviving.
Fear and Anxiety
Pain, Illness, and Injury
Thirst, Hunger, and Fatigue
Can you cope? You have to...
Remember your priorities. Live, to see your family. Live to live. Live to survive!!
Participated in the
Outdoor Survival Contest