With summer already a rather distant memory, it’s time to get prepared for winter hikes. Online hiking equipment stores like Buy Outdoor can kit you out with everything you need. What they can’t do however is sell you common sense. So, read on for some winter survival skills. Although you will not plan them, you may be met by a variety of survival situations. For these situations you will need a set of skills that you can’t buy in hiking equipment stores.
Winter Survival Skills
If you get lost or stranded in the winter, you will need to learn how to build a shelter. Temperatures will drop fiercely as the sun goes down, and lying still on cold ground can lead to frostbite or hypothermia. If one of your party is injured and you cannot move, digging a snow cave can provide shelter. If you are mobile, and there is no snow, make a shelter with a tarp; an essential bit of kit you can buy in stores and online.
Hiking Equipment Stores : Fire Starting Equipment
A fire will keep you warm. It can help you alert people to your needs with a smoke signal. It can also be used to melt snow and make warm drinks. In the winter, the ground will be damp or worse still, covered in snow. Starting a fire is far harder than in summer. You will need to bring fire starters with you on your trip. Wood will burn better in a pit. So, dig a pit, and try and collect some firewood that is above ground level. Logs you find on the ground will be wet and they will be difficult to burn.
No one should set out on a hike without knowing basic first aid skills. These become even more important in winter. You will need to know how to keep an injured person warm, and how to stabilize their condition. A reflective blanket is an essential part of your kit. This will keep you warm and can keep an injured person warm while you try to seek help.
Hiking equipment stores can provide you with everything you need to keep warm and dry whilst you are stranded. So, you need to concentrate on being found. If you have no mobile signal or battery and haven’t bought a battery charger, then smoke signals are a good way to attract attention. Once your fire is burning, adding wetter logs will actually cause more smoke to billow. But, be careful not to put your fire out!
In your backpack of hiking essentials you will have a cup that you use to drink from. So, even if you have ran out of water, you can always find a water source. If the ground is frozen, then melt snow. If it is cold but the temperature is not below zero, look for a stream. Keeping hydrated is essential ,and even though you won’t feel thirsty like you do in extreme heat, your body still needs water.