With any survival situation that you come across there will be a defining moment that proves whether or not you were truly prepared for what you are about to face. In most situations as long you have the core skills down and a few core items with you, you are going to be just fine. The number one thing that can waver that confidence and belief of making it through, is weather.
Practicing our survival skills on a regular basis is going to help instill that confidence in ourselves, and make things more natural when we come upon them. We need to make sure that we are practicing these skills in ALL weather types to ensure that any variables that are thrown our way, we will have an answer for. I don’t believe that there is a more important weather type to practice in than winter and all the elements that come along with it like snow, freezing temperatures, frigid air and so on.
Now with that being said if you plan on never stepping foot into weather that drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and that is the common surroundings that you live in day to day, then continuous winter survival preparation would not be your best use of time. However if you plan on venturing out for a vacation to a foreign climate and you don’t know what is takes to survive through the roughest of situations, you could find yourself in a whole heap of trouble.
You may have the core survival skills down pat when it comes to warm weather and surroundings that would aid you in water, food, shelter, and fire building. The true test is to take those skills to below freezing temperatures in the barren desert, or the snow covered mountains in 6-10 feet of powder, and adapt to what might be some of the toughest conditions that you could face. Practice fire building with little to no fuel resources, see what it takes to get moisture out of wood and kindling. Practice your winter sheltering and finding resources to keep you out of the wind and bitter cold. Practice using your body heat to melt down snow for water. There are so many things that you can do to better prepare yourself.
There is so much survival gear out there for different situations, get familiar with some of it and find out what you like. There are general things that I take with me every time I venture out, but there are certain things that I take with me depending on the weather and conditions of the day. Be smart in what you pack with you, and don’t be afraid to try new things. I have adapted to many survival gear products that I didn’t think I would even try, let a lone like!
Make winter survival/ fun! So many people think that the cold is NOT FUN! It is actually quite the contrary when you are prepared. When I first got into the winter sports I didn’t didn’t like the cold much. It’s cold, wet, and miserable and nothing can keep me from believing that. I will never forget the first time I was shown I could be comfortable in the cold and have a TON of fun. When Perry first introduced me to the F.O.A.M gear, I just thought that it was some funky looking stuff that would most likely not keep me warm, man was I WRONG! The F.O.A.M. gear has a unique way of keeping you comfortable at all times, even when you are shoeing up a hill and sweating to death, it does not keep you hot like other products out there. Those are the types of things that you need to consider when preparing, try new ideas and find out what works best for you.
All in all the point of preparation is to make sure that when a situation is given to us, we can have the confidence to make it through it just fine. Make sure that you practice in different situations, make sure that you pick survival gear that works best for you, but most of all make sure that you have fun while you do it!
Out for now, Beau Graves (AKA BurntFlame)