Cold Weather Survival Guide

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Would you
know how to survive on your own in the kind of extreme environment
faced by the Ice Road Truckers every day? Cold weather survival
is a challenge now matter how you slice it, but this cold weather
survival guide, prepared by survival expert Greg Davenport, will
get you moving in the right direction.

First things
first: Knowing these three key steps to survival will give you the
best possible chance of staying alive.

1. Avoid
Exposure Injuries

How well can
you meet basic survival needs with frostbitten fingers, swollen
painful feet or hypothermia? Odds are, not very well. You must avoid
exposure injuries at all cost. Staying dry and creating a barrier
between your body and the wind and cold is essential. Wearing appropriate
layers of clothing (a base wicking layer like silk or polyester,
an insulating layer like wool or fleece and an outer protective
layer like Gore-Tex, as well as a hat, insulated gloves, wool blend
socks and boots); seeking shelter (using your vehicle or creating
one with a tarp or from trees, tree boughs and/or snow); and buildling
a fire (to warm up by, dry clothes or create a warm drink) are the
foundation of avoiding cold injuries.

2. Stay

Without water,
you’ll die in approximately two to five days. In addition, dehydration
will directly affect your ability to make logical decisions and
handle any problems that may arise. In cold weather, fluids are
lost when the body works to warm itself. Prevention is the best
way to avoid dehydration. To accomplish this, drink at least 2 quarts
of water per day during minimal activity and 4 to 6 quarts per day
during more intense activity. Obvious water sources include surface
streams, lakes, ponds and precipitation. Remember that eating snow
will cause your body to lose heat, so melt and warm it up before
drinking. To do this, use a fire or put it in a container (preferably
with some water already in it) and shake the container or put it
between the layers of your clothing to warm it.

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11, 2010

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