Sub Zero Survival
Sub Zero Survival
One of the most difficult environments to survive in by far is the sub zero environment. Because of the harshness of this environment it will be assumed that YOU know about the area you are entering and have an idea of the plants and animals that inhabit the area. Heading out into a cold environment without the proper knowledge or right equipment is disaster waiting to happen.
So you have gone out into a sub zero environment for a hunting trip, research or skiing and the weather has changed drastically or you find yourself lost. Either way you are in a dangerous situation, no food, no shelter and no water. You should first refer to the “7 basic skills” and remain calm. Assumedly before you left you notified someone you were going hunting or skiing and told them when you expected to be back. This way there should be someone looking for you when you don’t turn up.
In a cold environment the biggest threat is hypothermia, where your body get so cold it takes all the blood away from your limbs and condenses it around your vital organs. This can be fatal and hypothermia and hyperthermia are the most common forms of death in all survival situations.
To help avoid hypothermia there are 3 steps you should follow.
1. Keep your clothing clean and dry.
2. Avoid overheating. Sweat can dampen your cloths and reduce their effectiveness of providing warmth. If you think you are going to sweat, take off some layers but be sure to put them back on when you start to get too cold.
3. Wear layers of loose clothing. Layers create more airspace helping to insulate your body more than a single thick piece of clothing.
If you don’t have a tent and sleeping bag you will have to use some of innovation. Some basic shelters you can create in sub zero environments (providing there is snow) are listed below:
1. Snow cave shelter
2. Trench shelter
3. Igloo/snow house (requires a lot of energy and skill)
4. Lean-to Shelter
5. Fallen tree shelter
Make sure whatever shelter you go with, provides some form of insulation, protecting from the wind and NEVER sleep directly on the ground.
If you can, you should make a fire if possible, but shelter is a higher priority. If you make a fire make sure there is ventilation so that the smoke can escape and that your shelter doesn’t melt down around you.
Lastly, NEVER eat snow to try and hydrate yourself, this will drop your core body temperature and snow is approximately 80% air. You should always melt the snow before drinking it and purify it if possible.