How to Build a Winter Survival Kit

How to Build a Winter Survival KitWhether you are taking a short walk through the woods, a road trip or an extended hiking trip through the wilderness, a winter survival kit is a must during cold months. An accident or equipment failure, a missed trail head or turnoff or a change in the weather quickly can turn a pleasant winter afternoon into a disaster. Being prepared for the worst ahead of time is common sense.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Gather winter clothing. You should keep thermal underwear, ski goggles, mittens or gloves, boots, a warm jacket and blankets or a sleeping bag in your car or your pack. If possible, get gear made of fabrics that stay warm even when wet, such as wool and Gore-Tex. Also, pack several chemical hand warmers. They can help stave off frost bite and hypothermia in dire situations.
Step 2
Pack emergency food and water supplies. Get dried nuts and fruits, granola, energy bars, chocolate and other high-energy, dense foods with long shelf lives. They take up little space and will sustain you for a long time should you become stranded. Bring bottled water. Bring a portable camp stove and fuel, waterproof matches or some other fire starter and a pot or coffee can to melt snow in. It's a good idea to bring an extra fire starter as a backup.
Step 3
Bring basic tools. Gather nylon cord, a survival knife, a multi-tool, two flashlights, a camp shovel and a first aid kit. If you are assembling an emergency survival kit for the road, bring chains, a bag of sand to give you traction, a tire iron, de-icer, an ice scraper and jumper cables. If your survival kit is for the wilderness, bring a hatchet as well.
Step 4
Bring navigation and rescue tools. Keep a fully charged cell phone. If you are hiking, invest in a GPS system equipped with an emergency beacon. Pack a backup navigation system as well: a compass and two maps of the area in waterproof containers. Bring road flares for your car, and consider bringing a flare gun if you are going to be hiking. Finally, bring an emergency whistle to attract attention.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure that your spare tire is in good shape and none of the bolts on your wheels are stripped.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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