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Outdoor Survival - Learn Some Basic Techniques For Surviving In Cold Conditions

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Since the dawn of man, people have learned to use techniques for surviving in any condition. One only has to look at a map of the globe and see that any habitat that nature can throw at humans has been turned into livable terrain. Even the polar extremes have hearty bands of people crossing their vast expanses.

What separates people in different habitats at times are the specific techniques for finding the three basic elements required to sustain human life: water, food, and shelter. In this series, we take a brief look at different habitats and how each one can present a challenge in obtaining one of the three key resources.

Cold Regions:

Polar temperatures can drop to as low as -60 degrees C and never eclipse the freezing point. Travel in these regions is extremely tough on the body and if you find yourself in a survival situation in this climate it is advised not to do more traveling than is absolutely necessary. The biggest risk is being caught out in an area where no suitable shelter can be obtained to protect from the harsh elements. Another problem with traveling is that compass use in cold regions is generally not an option due to inaccuracy relating to the magnetic pole proximity. The best travel guide is the sky in these areas but in order to use this method one would have to travel during the frigid night when stars are visible. A tip for necessary travel, if trees are available one can attempt to make snowshoes from small trees by bending a fresh branch in a teardrop shape, secure it with local rope-like material and make a platform to stand on.

The key to finding quick shelter in cold regions is locating either natural shelter such as rock or ice formations that protect from the wind or trees that can serve as shelter from the wind and are free from heavy snow accumulation. If out in the open, generally the only option is to construct a barrier to the elements such as an igloo using the available snow and ice.

Finding suitable fire material also can present a significant challenge, especially if no trees are available. If fuel is available from a disabled vehicle can it serve as a temporary source of fuel for a fire. Other options include animal fat and any plant material that can be scavenged. One word of advice is to be extremely careful in starting a fire near any ice/snow shelter as the heat can quickly melt the structure leaving one further exposed.


Edited by jack3476

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