When you hear the word “marines” what’s the first thing to come to mind? Marines are known for being tough, fighting hard, protecting our country, and for knowing how to survive outdoors no matter the weather conditions. For this last reason alone, when a marine gives you tips on how to survive the winter weather outdoors, you listen. Here are some of their top guidelines.
Keep a Number of Key Items on Hand
According to the Marine Survival Course Handbook, whenever you venture outdoors in the winter, you’ll need to have some very important things with you. You can gather them into a kit that you keep in the trunk or back seat of your car or you can put them in a large waterproof backpack, one like hikers and campers carry. No matter what, you’ll be prepared for any circumstance once you’ve put this kit together.
What goes in it?
The list includes: 550 cord, non perishable food, water, matches and/or a lighter, a flint, a poncho or coat, blankets or sleeping bags (or both), a knife, a multi-purpose tool like a Swiss army knife, a fully stocked first aid kit, electrical tape, duct or gorilla tape, a clean and empty metal container, a small sewing kit, a mirror, and a compass. All of these things will get you through just about any situation.
Don’t Leave Your Car
Once you find yourself stuck outdoors when the snow is flying, your first task is to find shelter. This is very important, as hypothermia can set in fairly quickly, even if you’re wearing a warm coat. If you happen to be in your car, don’t leave it. Instead, stay inside of the car and do your best to make it obvious that you’re in it. On top of that, don’t leave it running, even if you want to stay warm. One of two things can happen – if the snow is bad enough, your tailpipe could get covered, allowing your car to fill up with exhaust fumes. This can have deadly consequences. The other thing that could happen is that you run out of gas. As long as you have your survival kit in your trunk, you should be okay without the heater.
If you don’t have your car with you, then you’ll have to create your own shelter from the weather. The Marines recommend using a hollowed out log or even a nearby cave, as long as animals aren’t living in either one. However, if those aren’t options, then you’ll have to dig your shelter. You can dig a snow cave near the base of a tree. Pack the snow walls tightly to ensure that it keeps its shape, and find some evergreen boughs to place over the top of the case as a cover from the elements. This will get you out of the storm.
Related Article: 3 Great Shelter Options for Survival Unexpected Situations
Know How to Start a Fire
You’ll need to know how to start a fire in order to keep warm and cook any prey that you manage to catch. You can even use the fire to create a water generator – something that melts the snow into drinkable water. The first step involves starting the fire itself. You’ll need the lighter or matches from your survival kit, as well as some dried wood. Make sure that your fire is in a well-ventilated place, especially if you’re seeking shelter in a cave.
While these tips can help you survive a wintry situation, there’s one other thing that the Marines espouse –the power of positive thinking. If you believe that you’ll survive, then you will.