Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter survival tips

By: David Hicks

Bad things happen in life, and if you hadn’t realized then you need to get with the program. What really counts is if you’re prepared when these horrible events occur. Being knowledgeable can go a long way when your or someone else’s life is on the line. The winter months is or has to be the hardest to go through if you got lost or injured and needed rescued. So teaching you a few tips and hints about survival may just increase your chances and allow you to return home to a cozy couch and hot chocolate. These tips may one day save your life, let’s just hope you won’t have to use them.
You’re out on a hike in the middle of the winter. Then you suddenly realize that while your mind was wondering you strayed off the path, really far off the path. So now you’re lost with no supplies and nobody has a clue where you are at. The number one thing you want to do is find shelter. Without proper shelter you will take the wind on directly, possibly wet your clothes, and deal with harsh weather which could all lead to hyperthermia or frostbite. You can create a barrier of some kind by using pine limbs or some form of evergreen and you can lay it as a teepee kind of tent. As you’re setting up your barrier, make sure you clear the snow off the ground where your shelter is.
The next important item is a source of heat. You need to build a fire as quickly as possible. There are multiple ways you can do this, but you always need to have the same wood-type progression which is, kindling and leaves and then sticks that are dry and are much larger. You can use a bow which can be made from a stick with a string tied on its ends, then a second stick wrapped around the string once. With wood or a rock at the top to apply pressure and some sticks at the bottom to collect the friction, you then take the bow back and forth. You then apply leaves and thin kindling, and you have your fire.
Now getting stuck out in the woods sounds a little extreme, so here is one last tip that will help no matter how much trouble you are. Make sure you can always get in contact with someone in case of an emergency. Bring either a cell phone or if one is not available at least tell someone you are going out. Never go out into the woods alone and unprepared for an accident. Being unprepared is the number one cause for losing to Mother Nature in the game of survival.


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