Winter Survival Guidelines
Recently a family survived a disastrous rollover car accident in the woods of Upstate NY. They were somewhat prepared with some of the basic materials. But more importantly they had recently trained at one of our Wilderness Survival seminars and lived to see their loved ones after their incident. The key to Success when you are faced with a Survival situation is the following:
• Stop- assess your situation
• Safety- determine if you or anyone in your party is injured and if they need immediate medical attention. Act immediately to take care of that situation.
• Plan- make a plan of attack …quickly and decisively in order to save lives and move to a secure and safe position. Determine your order of priority as to what actions must take place and how. Determine the skills of those in your group or family and who is to lead by example, knowledge, courage and experience. Do not cater to screaming meemies.
• Implement your plan: Once you have assessed your situation determine what has to be done and who is to guide you and the group, family or self to survive
• Shelter-if you are safe and in a car or truck, stay there until you assess the exterior weather and how stable your vehicle is.
• Communicate- attempt to communicate with emergency services, police, anyone who could get you help to your location.
• Shelter- develop a plan to build a shelter adjacent to the car or truck, because you are going to need to build a fire immediately to stay warm, and send a signal.
• Fire- start a fire immediately. Use items within the car to start the fire: paper, gasoline, rags, interior cushions in lieu of firewood.
• Supplies- Take inventory of all you supplies including: fire starter material, water, food, weapons, rope, tarps, clothing…Send a search- rescue team out to acquire wood and trees for shelter building and firewood.
• Warmth- stay dry, if you have extra clothing in the vehicle layer your clothing and distribute to those in need less prepared, children and elderly first.
• Signal- burn black smoke by placing rubber items on the fire to attract passerby’s and nearby emergency station. take off a mirror to shine out to passing cars or planes.
• Water- you can go 3 days only without water. Ration your existing water, then build a water purification with clothing adjacent to the fire.
• Food- assess your inventory, then plan to set traps and search for food after everyone is safe, secure and sheltered. If need be set traps and hunt for berries and edible plants.
• Pray for courage, wisdom, perseverance and guidance to live another day.
1. Water/Food: for cars, at least a few gallons.
2. Fire starting material: a flint, matches, a lighter.
3. 550 Cord: gets its name from the weight it can bear. Good for making shelters, trapping animals, treating wounds.
5. A metal container: for boiling water. It’s not safe to eat mass amounts of snow off the ground. Must be a non-petrol carrying container. Kill two birds with one stone and carry a can of beans.
6. Tape: Electrical or gorilla duct tape has near-infinite uses.
7. A knife and/or multipurpose tool: Some of these sell for cheap and contain a flint.
8. First Aid kit
10. A mirror: for signaling. A woman’s makeup mirror will suffice.
11. Pocket sewing kit
These items can be packed differently for travel in a car or on foot. Obviously, one for a car can be a bit more robust.