HOW TO SURVIVE A night in the snow

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HOW TO SURVIVE A night in the snow

Winter can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful. If you enjoy venturing out into the snowy
 wilderness or going off piste, know what it takes to survive a night in the cold.

1  Do everything you can to get home, or at least to shelter. Call for help, walk to the nearest road
 and flag down a ride, or invite yourself into the nearest house.

2  Just in case you get stranded, every skier,
 winter walker and even car driver should
 consider carrying a basic snow-survival kit
 containing: chemical heat packs; a 30cm x
 30cm (1ft x 1ft) piece of foam pad for insulation,
 two heavy-duty bin liners and a lighter.

3  Before you set out, check your gloves fit. If
 they are too tight they can restrict blood flow.
 To check, raise your arms and swing them as
 hard as you can towards the floor. If the mitts
 don’t fly off, they’re too snug.

Cut up your car seat 

4  Cut up your car seat. Foam torn from the
 seats and stuffed into your clothing will create
 insulation. Stay in the car – it offers great
 protection from the elements.

5  Put on the bin liners. You can reduce the
 effects of the wind and minimise moisture
 transfer by wearing one bag next to your skin
 and the other outside all your other layers.

6  Stay hydrated. If you’re low on water,
 begin melting snow immediately. Do this by
 constantly adding about one-third snow to
 two-thirds existing water, and keeping it close
 to your body. Once it melts, drink off about a
 third of the water and repeat.

Build a fire. 

7  Build a fire. It may be tough to start a fire
 in winter conditions but in a survival situation
 you should try to burn anything you have that’s
 flammable to keep warm, including fence posts
 or natural dead wood that’s been kept covered
 and dry by a blanket of snow.

8  Make a bed and lie on it. Use any branches
 you can find – the more foliage the better –
 to create a mattress that is 25cm (10in) thick.
 Then insert several thinner 25cm- (10in-) long
 sprigs into your mattress vertically so it will
 maintain maximum height when you sit or
lie on it.

Leave snow caves 

9  Leave snow caves to the experts (and polar bears). You have to expend a lot of energy to make
 one, so you’re better off saving your breath. If you do build one, make it small.

10 Cuddle up, if you can. If you’re stranded
 with a partner, hunker down for the night
 back-to-back. It not only offers the best heat
 transfer, you can also sense if the other person
 falls asleep.

11  Stay awake. Your metabolic rate drops
 considerably when you’re sleeping. Do isometric
 exercises such as pressing your back into your
 partner’s. Star jumps (jumping jacks) help get
 the blood flowing to your hands and feet.

superglue accidents 

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