Remind yourself to think and stay calm. Panic can cause you to make bad and possibly dangerous decisions.
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With the way things are going in the world, it doesn’t take much imagination to think of several scenarios that could leave you stranded in the wilderness. And in the winter, these situations can become deadly in a hurry.
A closed road or car trouble in a remote area, or a wrong turn on a hike can go horribly wrong in a hurry as daylight wanes and temperatures plunge. Since frostbite and hypothermia can set in quickly, you must find ways to stay warm, dry, and hydrated until help arrives or conditions allow you to find your way to safety.
This article will explore the survival basics you need to know if you’re stranded in the winter wilderness.
Finding or Building a Shelter
If you are on foot, your first priority for winter survival is to find or create shelter. Hopefully, you have some materials, such as a tarp or plastic bags in your backpack, which you can use to make a quick, sturdy shelter. You can supplement with things you find in Mother Nature.
Here are ideas for finding the right location:
Try draping your tarp over a low branch, a large bush, or a fallen tree. Secure the outside edges with heavy rocks. If you have rope or paracord with you, you can use it to create a taller shelter. String the rope tight in the tree and then drape the tarp over the rope. You can add more insulations with leaves and branches.
This video shows three different ways to make simple tarp shelters:
Evergreen trees can provide a sturdy canopy, and they have the added bonus of having a bed of needles underneath. If there are no evergreens where you are located, look for any kind of mature tree that has a broad canopy and a thick trunk. A large bush or fallen branches might also provide some shelter. Maximize the insulation from the wind and cold by piling up fallen limbs and snow on all sides of this shelter.
This video shows you the steps for making a small tree well temporary shelter. Since you can’t build a fire inside this type of shelter, look for rocks that you can heat up in a fire and then bring inside to warm you.