BASICS OF SURVIVAL IN NATURE IN THE COLD PERIOD

During evolution, we learned how to live with nature. After centuries, we have forgotten what it is like to live in harmony with her. How to read her signs and take advantage of her gifts. It is true that at times nature is very cruel, which is why we have tried so hard to master it, but in most cases it is like a mother who loves her children and teaches them about life.

Let me say at the outset that we got lost (at my age of 15) in the home forest, with a group of eleven children between the ages of 5 and 12. Most stressful was the fact that the day was approaching evening and there was no sun to look for. I vividly remember how it boiled in my head from panic and fear, but I was not allowed to show it to the children – not to be scared. When I calmed down, I decided to find a path and not leave it in any way, when we came to some crossroads of the path, we always chose the one that led to the valley, this way we came from the forest. Of course, we did not come to the home environment, but quite the opposite. When I saw the house, salvation followed.

What we need to pay attention to before we go camping in the snow. We must first ask ourselves:

Where are we headed?

How much time will we spend in winter conditions?

Do we even have the right equipment to undertake the venture?

Have we informed at least the nearest where we are going? Namely, an exact or very approximate location is necessary to help in a possible rescue. Of course also go there, they will look for you there. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Do we have a survival partner? If you go alone – you risk a lot.

Do we have a plan B? In winter, many things can surprise you.

What to do if there is no telephone network in the location?

Each location also has its own specific characteristics in winter. These are, for example:

Altitude, accessibility or variability of the terrain, microclimate (if there is a water source nearby, very low temperatures and a lot of humidity in the air can usually be expected), flora, fauna … All this needs to be thought about. If you go to an unknown location, be prepared for the worst case scenario. Mark the direction of departure to an unknown area so that you can return to the starting point or so that rescuers can find you more easily.

In principle, you determine the length of your stay in nature. But we all know very well that this stay can be extended against our will for a variety of reasons. I will not list them because there is no ceiling to just these. So always keep in mind before you leave, what if … but do it with feeling, which doesn’t mean nothing can happen to you at home. If there is a situation where we get stuck, we try to calm down and in no way allow ourselves to be buried by headlessness.

Comfort will largely depend on the equipment you have. Personally, I don’t use “high tech” equipment and I try to get as close as possible to natural remedies – strange, isn’t it? Look, in Slovenia we have about 70% coverage with forests. Take advantage of this and try a bed and bivouac made of spruce branches – if you don’t have an “armaflex” base and tarpaulin. You will be amazed at what nature has to offer. Of the equipment, I would especially like to emphasize warm and “spare” clothes. Be dressed according to the onion principle – so multi-layered. With more effort, you’re sure to sweat – keep in mind that you have extra dry and fresh clothes to stay dry. Also, don’t forget about personal hygiene.

Remind your loved ones and friends (at least 3 people) about winter camping so that it will be easier to find you if you do not return on time as agreed. Of course, it’s important not to go it alone. If you yourself take a lot of risks, as I mentioned.

Before going to bed, insulate your bed well and use the materials available. If you sleep in a sleeping bag, I recommend sleeping only in your underwear. Today, there are also a variety of bivouac bags in which you can sleep in the rain or snow – they are waterproof. In emergencies, the so-called astronaut foil – a rescue blanket – will come in handy. In winter, the golden side should be on the outside of the body.

IMPORTANT:

Consider the following components when preparing your survival kit:

a) Fire extinguishers

Matches, lighter (petrol, butane), magnesium rod with metal plate, kerosene jelly, before the prepared netivo – I personally recommend a cotton swab from which we get a really huge netivo. We can light a fire even without these tools – we use a bow – drill – rubbing wood against wood with the help of a bow.

b) Water purification and transport equipment

Water disinfectants – tablets, a metal container is used to boil water (it can be a container for a survival kit).

You can also boil water in an ordinary PVC bag – just make sure that the flame of the fire is not higher than the water level in the bag (no worries, the bag does not melt because it is “cooled” by water up to 100 degrees Celsius, plastic melts above 180 degrees Celsius)

Water can be transported in different ways. In a bottle, watering can, plastic bag, condom + sock, metal containers and the like.

c) Equipment for fishing, hunting and food preparation in the wild

Fishing:

You need different sizes of hooks, some weights, “lax” – fishing line, pliers and scissors. Think about the size of the fish you are dealing with and adapt the equipment to the situation.

Hunting:

I have to point out here that you really only hunt game as a last resort when it comes to real survival. In peacetime, this is strictly forbidden. Hunters must also consider when a particular species of game may be hunted.

Traps and snares. We know a lot of types of traps that we can use (lift, pedal …) I advise you to buy parachute ropes, which you will definitely need. There are really many advantages, one of which is that from one basic rope, you get up to 7 smaller ones.

Most of the time, of course, if you have the conditions, you will prepare food in metal containers, bake something on stones, on a stick and the like.

d) Signaling aids

During the day, use a signal mirror, whistle, pyrotechnic devices (smoke, signal rockets …)

At night, use a whistle, lights (flashlight, chemical lamp that we break to cause a reaction, torches …)

e) Equipment for the preparation of bivouacs

You will need ropes, if you do not have them in a given situation, it will take a lot of effort (use spruce roots, make a rope out of nettles, but it takes at least a day for the fibers to dry).

In most cases, a small saw, ax or knife will come in handy.

You will be able to use a poncho, cape, sleeping bag, cotton sheet, astronaut foil-blanket, garbage bags and the like.

f) First aid

First aid is absolutely important because we never know what might happen to us. Have at least basic things with you, such as: Bandages, patches, tape, razor or scalpel, gauze, disinfectant, sunburn, salt, sugar (sweating loses a significant amount of salt from the body, when we are tired we can dangerously drop sugar ), alcohol wipes, eye wash solution, sewing supplies …

g) Various other aids

Compass, pen and preferably waterproof paper, wood screws, sharp knife with one-piece blade, Swiss Army knife and grindstone…

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