Winter Wilderness Survival Guide

Winter Wilderness Survival GuideWinter weather is a formidable adversary. History is replete with armies that were unbeatable in battle that have been defeated and crippled by cold weather. Failure to properly combat the elements can result in death.


Staying warm in a cold environment is priority number one. Keep your clothing clean, don't overheat, layer your clothing and stay dry.


Maintain good hygiene using snow baths if necessary. How to: Take handfuls of snow and rub it on skin that typically gets sweaty such as armpits and between legs. Wipe yourself dry when finished.

Keep feet dry and warm. Understand how to prevent and treat cold injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite.


A snow cave (pictured above) is a quickly constructed simple shelter that provides protection from wind and severe cold. To make a snow cave, dig far enough into the snow for your whole body with a narrow opening preferably covered. Line the bottom of the cave with vegetation to insulate the body from contact with the snow. The floor of the cave should descend at a slight angle to allow water from melted snow to drain away from the body.


Building a fire quickly with shivering fingers can be essential, especially if you become wet. Keep dry tinder available as well as fire-starting items. As you build the fire, ensure snow and ice on the ground or on overhanging trees above do not extinguish your efforts.


Dehydration is a significant issue and lowers the body's resistance to cold. Snow and ice can be melted to produce water but do not eat snow or ice nor warm with direct body contact. Use a fire or warm between layers of clothing.

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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