Survive! Ten Keys to Stay Alive in Subzero Weather
By Anita Wardlaw
Many a survival manual attests that childhood scouts and adult soldiers, alike, often are taught to follow the simple C.O.L.D. survival formula.
1. C = Keep yourself and clothing as clean as possible to allow skin and clothing to breathe.
2. O = Overheating should be avoided, to keep sweat from forming.
3. L = Layer clothing, allowing air between layers, which keeps you warmer. Should you become overheated, layers can be removed to adjust body temperature.
4. D = Dry. Stay dry. Water can freeze, making you colder.
Other champions of dangerous frigid temperatures, including Inuit First Nations people, explorers, scientists, and others cite many survival tips, as well.
5. Never venture into wilderness or across town in subzero temps, without survival tools in your pack, or in the trunk of your vehicle, depending on your trek. Basic life savers include proper boots and clothing, a metal saucepan, a metal cup, dried fruits, nuts, other packaged high energy snacks, waterproof matches, a compass, flares, a sleeping bag, a quick tent, & a keen GPS smartphone.
6. If stranded, stay put, preserving energy. Signal/call for help, using flares or fire in the woods, as needed. In the bush, build fire with dry twigs to keep warm. Fire and smoke can be seen from afar.
7. Melt snow in a sauce pan for drinking water. Avoid dehydration at all costs.
8. Stay out of the wind. Wind chill lowers your temperature and drains energy.
9. Stay in your vehicle if on the roadside. In the back woods, pitch your tent, make a lean-to from brush, or build shelter by burrowing beneath packed snow, making sure to include a big air hole.
10. Snuggle with a dog or person, benefitting from the other's heat. And above all, ask God for help.