Pre-planning before you venture out into the wilderness is the key to survival. If you are a hunter or an outdoors enthusiast, you are certainly not going to let inclement weather get in the way of your passion. To be successful during the winter season, though, there are some important things to know for your own safety before you head out into the harsh elements.
Many hunters travel through the woods on foot, which is why it’s important to dress in layers and wear proper footwear. If you are comfortable, healthy and warm, you are more likely to be able to think rationally when facing such extreme conditions. The last thing you want is to be stranded in a blizzard in wet clothes and sneakers. Instead, wear multiple layers of clothes so that you can remove a coat or shirt if you get too warm, and wear thick, insulated and waterproof boots so that your feet stay warm and dry while you’re out.
Make sure you have clean, drinkable water as it is very important that you stay hydrated. If you become dehydrated in a dangerously cold environment, you are even more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. You may also not be thinking clearly, which may lead to poor judgement that may endanger you further. While you may think that with all the snow around, finding water is no problem, it’s important to only eat snow for hydration if you have been active. Snow can lower your body temperature quickly – a serious dangerous in blizzard conditions. Instead, use a can or cup to melt snow over a fire first.
If conditions don’t show any sign of letting up and you may need to stay in place to ride out the storm, it’s important to have shelter. Fortunately, snow is often a great building material. Snow is actually a good insulator, which is why igloos work so well. Construct a small shelter in the snow or use sticks to frame up a rudimentary shelter to get out of the elements. Make sure that you leave an opening to allow fresh air in, and make your sleeping place higher than the door entry to help allow heat to rise. Last, use nearby foliage – pine branches, grasses or other plant life – as a layer between you and the snow to keep your body heat. Get a comprehensive look at shelter tips from Safe Bee.
While Watson’s Kaby Lodge is closed during the cold months, we recognize that many of our friends and guests are all-season outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. Nature can be enjoyed just as much in during cold weather as it is in the warmer weather, as long as you are well equipped and know how to stay safe.
Check out even more wilderness tips in our Wilderness How To’s section. Stay safe wherever your winter takes you and happy holidays from Tom and Michel!