Summary: Cold climate survival becomes easy provided you follow the ten essentials given below.
A combination of ten essentials makes survival in extreme cold easier be it for the mountaineer or trekker or even when you are indoors. The following points need to be borne in mind always when trying to find comfort in the cold.
The Ten Cold Survival Essentials:
Pile socks, shirts, pants, hats and jackets made of fleece or warm material like flannel or corts wool are a must as are fleece blankets along with goose down jackets when travelling in the cold. If you are a mountaineer, a sleeping bag is also mandatory as it will form an extra covering when you have to stay in tents even in sub-zero temperatures. Carrying tinned and non-perishable food items is also a must and it is always advisable to carry at least three days’ rations during winter. Additionally, MRE’s, other dehydrated foods as also power bars help to tackle hunger and increase energy levels.
When travelling or having to survive in extreme cold, make sure to have facilities to melt snow to get water and also to purify it. Portable water purifiers or purification pellets may be carried so as not to invite infection from contaminated water. The other essentials are a knife, duct tape, lighter, string and a pick axe or even small hammer. Duct tape comes in handy to seal off tears and holes in tents. Also carrying your cell phone or any wireless communication set is absolutely mandatory because if you are out in the wilderness, that’s your only medium of communication, particularly in emergencies. Also carry spare batteries or a crank device should batteries freeze in frigid conditions. A spirit lamp and stove is also a must for cooking food or melting snow for water but these must be used in well-ventilated spaces because they give out noxious fumes.
A strong and state-of-the-art GPS unit is also essential when travelling to set you off in the right direction and should form a part of your emergency kit. The other must haves are portable lighting systems which can be either crank or battery operated. Flashlights are good for short term use but can’t be relied upon heavily as they tend to run out of battery power. You should also have a well-stocked first aid kit containing cleaning soaps, antiseptic lotions, cotton wool, gauze, bandages, Band-Aids, gloves and basic medication for upset stomach or even fever and colds. Lastly, carrying a survival book that contains tips is also helpful.