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9 Winter Survival Items Your Bug-Out Bag May Be Missing

9 Winter Survival Items Your Bug-Out Bag May Be MissingHaving a set of clothes in your survival/bug-out bag is important for all four seasons, but you’ll need to pack more clothes than usual in a fall or winter environment. Additionally, you should also have an extra set of clothes in your car and at your work.

Hypothermia and frostbite can impact anyone – even those who believe they’re prepared. During the Korean War, 10 percent of the total US casualties were due to the cold weather.

If the power goes out or the grid goes down while you’re at work, you may want heavier clothing than what you wore for the day. And if you’re in your car, you might be wearing something that won’t keep you warm enough in a crisis. You may have to walk dozens of miles, and you’ll definitely be glad you had those clothes then.

So, what kind of clothes do you need to pack for the fall and winter? You’ll no doubt be tempted to pack a pile of old clothes that you don’t need anymore, but you may want to reconsider. They may not be in good enough condition to keep you warm.

Consider packing:

1. Boots. But not just any pair of boots. You need a durable pair of boots that will hold up exceptionally well in the fall and winter. One option is snow boots, but since those only work during the winter, perhaps a better option would be a good pair of mud boots. Mud boots are high (some can even reach your knees), they hold up well both in winter and in muddy terrain, are lightweight, and also easy to slip on and off. Granted, you might not be able to fit a pair of boots in your survival/but-out bag, but at least you can in your car.

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2. Hat. Again, not just any hat. You need a good wool hat that will keep your head warm at night and in the middle of winter. If at all possible, you should have two hats so that one can serve as a backup to the other, or so that you can put one over the other on extra cold nights.

3. Gloves. During winter, our hands are often the first body parts to get cold – and then numb. Consider this when shopping for globes. Get durable ones that are lined – that will keep you warm in even the harshest conditions.

4. Ski mask (balaclava). About the time your fingertips get numb, your nose and ears do, too. A good thick ski mask can keep you warm even when temperatures dip well below zero. Depending on your geographical location, consider getting one that exposes only your eyes.

5. Flannel shirt. Flannel shirts wrap up compactly, are incredibly comfortable, and are long sleeved and warm. This shouldn’t be your primary upper body clothing for the winter, but having a good flannel will give you more warmth than a normal T-shirt.

6. Fleece jacket. Fleece jackets are also warm, wrap up compactly, and provide ample shelter for your body. Plus, they can be worn on top of your shirt and under a larger coat, securing you extra warmth. In the fall, a fleece jacket should give you enough warmth without the need of a larger coat.

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7. Three pairs of socks. Yes, three pairs of socks. If possible, one or two of these pairs should be wool and the other one or two normal. Wearing the same socks repeatedly can cause problems in your feet, so it’s important to rotate them.

8. Long underwear. Wearing long underwear may sound dorky, but it’s essential and provides superb protection against the cold. You’ll notice the benefits of long underwear when laying down at night trying to stay warm.

9. Wool pants. There is no better option for pants then wool in both a fall and winter environment. Wool is warm, durable, lasts a long time, and is resistant to flame (so you can be close to the campfire). The only downside to wool is that it is very easy to get dirty, but that’s a small sacrifice to make for pants that will keep you both dry and warm.

This may sound like a lot of clothes, but you should be able to get all of them into your survival/bug-out bag if it is large enough.  You should definitely be able to store all of this at work and in your car as well. One more suggestion: It’s a good idea to store winter clothes in a waterproof, airtight bag. When you need them, you’ll be glad you did.

What other winter clothes would you pack away? Leave your reply in the section below:

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  1. As a resident of Frost Bite Central I can with some small authority add to this article.
    The point on three pairs of socks is a good one. What causes the most problems is that we tend to perspire wet our socks and then freeze. More than one pair allows us to hang the used ones inside our jacket and wear dry ones. An even better solution is to add a couple of pairs of under socks. These come in silk which can be costly or what’s called “olefin” a polyester. These wick moisture away from skin and absorb it allowing for dry warm feet/ They are a life saver in the deep cold we see here in Minnesota. At least one pair o n the feet and one pair drying is a must especially if you need to walk out of something.
    Other than that I must compliment the author. I would think that they might have actually experienced 40 below actual unlike many who just write about it. Good Job eh

  2. When I used to go skiing, I would spray my feet with anti-antiperspirant – like Right Guard – before I put on my socks. Incredibly enough, this kept me feet from perspiring and my feet did not get cold!

  3. Hi! I need to say something about the advice on boots if I may. I have much experience with extreme cold weather having not only lived in Alaska for ten years but also from having spent several months living outdoors (entirely) in sub-zero temps. When we built our cabin we spent 3 months in life threatening cold temps. Average daytime temp was -20’s. The advice to use mudboots must be carefully considered. Neoprene boots might cut it but I can tell you that we had -100 rated pac boots (Sorrels) and if it had not been for those and other key equipment we would have died….wool gloves, long johns, wool socks (by all means don’t get anything less than 85% wool) and our dogs who kept us from freezing at night (temps down to -35 or so… We were in a tent..) as we put them under the blankets with us…(trust me they WANTED under the blankets!) were all essential.Spend the money for good gear. Tough stuff. Do not under ANY circumstances use rubber boots as your fall back boots for winter survival. You will lose your toes at the very least…

  4. Hi! Great advice! If I may, I would add a pair of dark sunglasses, as if you need to walk for hours on the snow in a sunny day, the white becomes almost blinding (or maybe put some charcoal under your eyes before going out to avoid the reflection). If you get glasses, in my experience of mountaineering the best ones are those that have leather patches on the sides, so that neither the sun nor the wind can get to your eyes.

  5. Thank you Greg from Alaska. And all other comments and advice !
    By the way….I live near the ocean in NJ. I despise winter !!!

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