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Winter Survival Techniques

ALERT Cadet Alpha 3rd California 2005 : 1/23 ~ 1/25

3 cups of rice per person per day) Small Cooking Pot with Lid (boiling waters) Wood Powered Camp Stove (no liquid fuels) Lighter and Matches (bring plenty of extra) .Winter Survival Tools Multi-Purpose Knife (Swiss army or Leatherman) Avalanche Shovel and/or Snow Pick Steel Wire (10 ft – setting fire on suspended firewood) Duct Tape (binding any broken things) Rice (quick energy .

Fire) Water (Circulation) Food (Energy) .Winter Survival Needs Hazards of Winter Weathers Getting about in the snow Snow Shelters Warmth (Clothing.

ears. reddening or blackened skin. or leave outer clothing at the entrance to avoid melting snow which wet gear and clothing. . Never go out without adequate clothing – however briefly. Avoid spilling gasoline on bare flesh. Dry them as soon as possible. and hands. exercise hands) Watch each other for patches of waxy. Avoid tight clothing which reduces circulation. snow blindness. Never touch metal with bare hands.Hazards of Cold Weather Exposure (frostbite. Do not get clothing wet whether through sweat or water. Lower melting point causes more damage than water. and hypothermia) Stretch muscles in every directions (winkle face. especially faces. Knock snow off before entering shelter.

Thread the string through something on the front of your boot. .Emergency Snowshoes (to get to safety without exhaustion in knee deep snows) Cut two stocky branches about 3 feet long – Fir tree with plenty of small green branches Tie one branch to each foot at the front end of the branch. Leave enough room for swivel during walk.

Melt snow over a fire – but. but snow melted water should be safer. Obtain by digging a hole in frozen lakes or streams where there is running water beneath the ice. Collect solar-heated water by making a depressed basin on snow and covering it with black trash bag. DO NOT use water filter or iodine when water temperature is below 60 degree F. add small amount at a time on a “seed” water to convert snow to slush to water.Emergency Drinking Water (eating snow takes away calories which leads to hypothermia) Converting snow to water takes incredible energy. . Purify stream water by boiling.

boil water. Make metal mesh with steel wire (~10 ft). Candle Light Animal Fat oil . – – – Keeps the firewood from melting into snow. Stack the fire wood with starter. and for signaling) Hanging firewood fire for warmth. and fuel.Emergency Fire in Snow (to keep warm. cook meal. tinder.

) Preheat water to above 60oF to use Filtration.) Preheat water to above 60oF to use Chemical. boil for about 8~10 minutes.Water Purification Techniques (for drinking and food preparation) Boil water for 3~5 minutes plus additional one minutes per every 1000 feet of elevation. (ex: at 5000 ft elevation.) . (not recommended. because the sub freezing water in the pump could have cracked the filter to contaminate the system. (not recommended. because Iodine and Chlorine become ineffective in cold water temperatures.

and security – but requires lots of energy) Igloo . Snow Cave .can be dug into a snow hillside. safety. .can be created by digging a trench in the snow down to ground level (if possible).Winter Snow Shelters (for warmth. Snow Mound Shelter (Quinzee) – if not enough snow or not enough consistency Winter Tents – when prepared with snow tents.can be constructed if there is enough snow with proper consistency to pack into hard blocks Snow Pit .

leave some cracks and spaces to allow air to circulate. trioxide or any other chemicals. Candles are the maximum I would use. Don't just sit around! Keep Exit Open: You want to block the entrance of your shelter after you enter in order to keep the shelter warm but don't seal the doorway. be sure to leave a light on to guide you back. Only dry clothes will keep you warm when cold. Brush-off Snows: . wrap your boots and water bottle in a plastic bag and take them into your sleeping bag (if you have one). you will get warm and wet from sweat. Keep Dry: Keep Warm: The thicker the walls of your shelter are. remain active in order to stay warm. This can give you a lethal dose of carbon monoxide even with ventilation holes. Bring your digging tool inside the shelter with you in case you have to dig your way out in the morning. Keep Light: If you leave the shelter at night. So take some layers off while you're digging. Keep Boots: If it's freezing cold. collect some boughs. Don't light up a gas stove. Brush off all particles of snow stuck to your clothes before entering the shelter or they will melt and get you wet. the more insulation you'll have. prepare a meal. While waiting for the snow to harden. get a fire going.Cautions for Snow Shelters While shoveling and digging.

. Ventilation -. dig general purpose area for gears and stove shelves.Igloo (for longer term stay with sufficient hard-packed snow) Location – Flat area away from trees and big rocks. Make ~2” ventilation hole on the top of the roof for cooking and heating inside. Make 3 ft deep entrance hole with snow block covers. Orient for cross wind entrance hole. Bedding area should be raised and insulated. Smooth out internal ceiling to avoid dripping. Construction – Cut snow blocks to construct spiral wall small enough for you to lie down and put your gears. Roof – cover block seams with power snow.

Sleeping and sitting platform should be above the entrance. Avoid newly fallen. Lit candle can raise inside by 20 degrees. Ventilation -. Snow drift should be at least 9 ft deep. or loose snow. Make a shelf and aluminum heat reflector for candle. .Snow Cave Shelter (when there is packed snow bank or drift for burrowing) Location – hard packed snow bank on the leeward side of a steep ridge or river bank. Cover entrance hole with backpack. Insulate sleeping area. Probe it with sticks. Smooth out the ceiling to avoid water dripping and make draining channels around the sleeping area. powdery. Make ~2” ventilation hole on the top side of roof. Construction – burrow a small entrance tunnel then dig a chamber right angles up the entrance.

Bedding area should be raised and insulate with soft branches and leaves. Construction – dig 3 ft deep.Snow Pit Trench Shelter (for open area with sufficient snows depth) Location – Flat area away from trees and big rocks.5” wet snow blocks. Make 1. . Make 5”x5” ventilation hole on the opposite side of door if wants to cook inside. small enough for you to lie down and put your gears. ski. Ventilation -.5 ft trench entrance with snow block as a door. Roof . Cover ~3” with dry snow or 1.support with poles.5 ft x1. or sticks and cover with tarp. Orient the trench down wind on the short side of the trench.

Clear the floor and put ~1” layers of snow for the sleeping area. Make ~2” ventilation hole on the top side of roof. Lit candle can raise inside by 20 degrees. The snow should be heaped on to allow greater insulation. Cover entrance hole with backpack. Reduce entrance hole to be smaller. Preparation – pile the snow on top of your covered gear/brush. Smooth out ceiling and glaze the inside with candle heat. Construction – dig horizontally at the bottom of the mound to create the entrance. Remove snow inside and put them on the outside heap.Quinzee Snow Mound Shelter (when there is not enough snow – make a snow pile and dig) Location – select an area in the snow about 6 to 8 feet in diameter with no trees or big rocks in the way. . Ventilation -. let the mound sit for a few hours to allow the snow to be hardened together.

Emergency Signaling (Most air searches are done from 200 to 500 feet.) Needs to be visible from 200~500 feet. (It will be difficult to hear and watch for the rescuers when you are inside your shelter) . Signal in sets of three (calls or signs) to indicate emergency help request. Post flags and make markings to get rescuers attention and lead them to your shelter entrance.

Semaphore Flag Signaling E The flags are held. for each of the left and right hands (LH and RH) six letters require the hand to be brought across the body so that both flags are on the same side. S. The pattern resembles a clock face divided into eight positions: up. in various positions representing each of the letters of the alphabet. high. low. V. •fourth circle: T. down. I. •second circle: H. B. •sixth circle: W. N (omitting J). arms extended. Q. U. G. •seventh circle: Z . •first circle: A. L. J (or 'alphabetic'). C. P. X. out. F. Y and 'annul'. E. K. D. M. •third circle: O. R. •fifth circle: 'numeric'.