As winter approaches, being prepared for snowstorms in the wilderness can mean the difference between life and death. To survive, always have a plan, invest in a quality map and GPS device, share your itinerary with friends or family, and know how to build a shelter. Also, be aware of avalanche danger, check the forecast, and bring proper safety equipment. If you become lost or trapped, try to remain calm and retrace your steps, hunker down in a shelter, dress in layers and avoid wetness, carry extra clothing and blankets, and try to stay on the surface of snow if trapped in an avalanche.
Chilling Tales: Surviving Snowstorms in the Wilderness
As winter approaches, it’s important to take precautions when venturing into the great outdoors. Snowstorms in the wilderness can be beautiful, but also dangerous. Being prepared for the worst can mean the difference between life and death. Here are some chilling tales and tips for surviving snowstorms in the wilderness.
Tale #1: Stranded on a Mountain
In January 1959, a group of hikers called the Dyatlov Pass Group set out on a trek through the Northern Ural Mountains in Russia. A snowstorm hit, and the group became lost, eventually becoming stranded in a remote area. Nine of the hikers died from hypothermia and other injuries from the brutal conditions. The remaining members recorded their last moments in a diary before succumbing to the elements.
Tip #1: Have a Plan
Always have a plan for your trip, including where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and how you’ll communicate with the outside world. Invest in a quality map and GPS device, and make sure to share your itinerary with friends or family. Knowing your plan and sticking to it can save your life in the event of an emergency.
Tale #2: Alone in the Wilderness
In 2003, Brian Salquist, a seasoned outdoorsman, went on a five-day trip to the Yosemite National Park in California. A sudden snowstorm hit, leaving him lost and alone in the wilderness. Salquist managed to survive for almost two weeks by hunkering down beneath some trees, drinking from a nearby stream, and eating pine nuts.
Tip #2: Know How to Build a Shelter
Knowing how to build a shelter is key to surviving in the wilderness during a snowstorm. Make sure to choose a dry and protected area to build your shelter, and use materials such as branches and leaves to insulate the interior. Also, be sure to keep a lighter or matches handy to start a fire for warmth.
Tale #3: A Trip Gone Wrong
In 2015, a group of five snowmobilers went on a trip in the backcountry near Vail, Colorado. A snowstorm hit, causing several avalanches that buried the group. Two of the snowmobilers were killed, but the remaining three managed to dig themselves out of the snow and survive.
Tip #3: Be Aware of Avalanche Danger
Snowstorms increase the risk of avalanches, which can be deadly. Before embarking on any backcountry trip, make sure to check the avalanche forecast for your area. Also, bring along proper safety equipment, such as avalanche beacons, probes, and shovels.
Q: What should I do if I become lost in a snowstorm?
A: Stay calm and don’t panic. Try to retrace your steps or find a landmark to help you navigate your way back to safety. If that fails, hunker down in a shelter and wait for rescue.
Q: How can I prevent hypothermia in a snowstorm?
A: Dress in layers and avoid getting wet. Carry extra clothing and blankets to stay warm. Also, make sure to eat and drink water regularly to keep your body fueled.
Q: What should I do if I become trapped in an avalanche?
A: Try to stay on the surface of the snow and extend your arms and legs to create space around your body. Once the avalanche stops, try to rescue yourself or signal for help.
In conclusion, surviving snowstorms in the wilderness takes careful planning, knowledge of survival techniques, and the right equipment. By following these tips and being prepared for the worst, you can increase your chances of making it through a snowstorm unscathed. Stay safe out there!