All extreme environments require a custom survival kit. Certainly, while there are basic survival items necessary for any environment (water, fire starters, knife, first aid supplies), each environment will require supplementary items unique to survival in that area.
For example, if you live in the desert, additional survival items should include sun block, several water containers, a signal mirror and a bandana. In the tropics, you would want a machete, mosquito net and foot fungus medication. If you live in the mountains … well, you get the idea.
When you venture into a remote area in the winter, you should have all of the basic items that every survival kit needs, such as water, knife and fire-starter. But being truly prepared for a winter survival situation means that you’ll need the additional survival tools relevant to winter survival.
Unfortunately, there are a few items that too many people overlook when putting together their winter survival kits. Here are five:
1. A Complete Set of Extra Clothing. Many people will throw an extra jacket and pair of boots or gloves in the back of their car. But that’s not enough for winter. At the minimum, you should have at least one extra set of every clothing item in your vehicle, and if possible, in your survival pack. That means that for every coat, jacket, pair of pants and snow pants, boots, wool socks, neck gator, scarf, and hat … you’ll need one more. Why? In case you get wet.
You can sweat profusely while building shelter or walking in the snow. Or, you could even fall in a puddle, stream or lake. With a complete extra set of clothes, you’ll be fine.
2. Cat Litter. You read that right. The reason: for traction. If you have to traverse icy areas, the last thing you want to do is slip and fall … and suddenly have an injury on your hands. When traversing icy or slippery areas, spread the litter around you as you go. An alternative to cat litter is rock salt or winter sand. All of these also can come in handy if your car gets stuck in the ice or snow.
3. Metal Cup. How else are you going to melt snow for drinking water? Unfortunately, many winter preparers forget this simple item. This isn’t just any other cheap drinking container; this is a solid, metal cup that can be held for long durations over the fire. A metal cup is an absolute must for any winter survival kit, so don’t overlook it.
4. Snowshoes. Trudging and working through the snow is exhausting, especially if your feet sink through with each step. Snowshoes work by a process called flotation, meaning they will distribute your weight over a larger amount of space. In other words, your feet won’t sink nearly as far into the snow as they would otherwise, saving you a lot of energy. Include a pair of snowshoes in the back of your car and as a part of your winter survival pack.
5. Sunglasses. Sunglasses will prove their worth in a variety of different survival situations. You may ask: Who needs sunglasses in the winter time? Well, the sun’s reflection on snow only magnifies the effects of the sun’s rays, causing UV light to burn eye corneas if they meet their mark. Snow blindness is a serious problem in the winter time, and simply donning a pair of sunglasses will reduce the sun’s glare on your eyes significantly. You’ll have a greater chance for survival – and you’ll likely have fewer headaches, too.
What winter survival items would you add to this list? Share them in the section below: