Monday, January 23, 2012

Extreme Survival in Winter

It's been pretty warm here in North East Georgia, so no snow to play in so far. I'm from the north, and snow, ice and sub zero temps were the norm. I saw this really good clip about Extreme Survival on the Weather Channel. Several people gave their stories, among them a neat Japanese dude who says its way better than a round of golf. He loves it out there, near Mt. Rainier, bring it baby.
He used his socks to start his fire, then burned $6 in cash to start it.

The weather channel has a great site, though:

This link tells the importance of layers, keeping those layers clean for maximum warmth:

This goes right along with keeping your sleeping bag clean. If you find its not doing the job anymore, try washing it before throwing it out.

I washed my Marmot 800 goose down bag after literally hundreds of nights/ thousands of trail miles. Its good as new...well, taking into account the tiny hole that's been stitched up, and some abrasion from AT shelter floors.

Anyways, my whole take away from this was: in a survival situation, what are the things, or thing I would want, most of all.
My list:

Fire tools, first and foremost, redundancy is fine, preferred, actually: matches, lighter, flint, cotton and petroleum firestarters. A candle would be nice. Take plenty and double bag for water protection. In a survival situation, those extra baggies can collect water or food.

A vapor barrier, large plastic bags, silnylon tarp, rain suit, plastic sheeting all fit in this category. Perfect for holding body warmth in, protection from the elements, allowing to sleep on dry surface, able to walk out.

Cutting tool, preferably a decent knife, razor blade, emergency saw.  I don't go for these multipurpose tools, but that would fit here too. These would be useful in many ways, cutting limbs for shelter, firewood, cordage. Really, its the last on the list cause a person can make due without a cutting implement.

Most importantly, this list does me no good unless its with me. I've got this stuff in my car. I need to carry it on my trails. Day hikers get lost, adventurers get turned around. Add some food, and its amazing.  One story told of a lady surviving 7 weeks on jerky and gorp when their vehicle became stranded in Nevada.


  1. Good post, staying dry is a big thing in cold weather. Don't let yourself sweat too much.

  2. Yeah the dry thing is really important. When I was doing a lot of day hiking I carried a fairly well stuffed pack because I always carried a change of clothes in case of wetness.

  3. One thing I noticed is how it recommended keeping the stuff clean, cause body oil, dust and debris compacted the insulation. I ask myself, when's the last time I washed my winter down jacket....humm, could maybe do that