Cold Weather Survival

 

Being afraid of extreme cold weather is a natural thing. Most people have the tendency to stay indoors next to the wood burning stove when the temperatures dip into the sub-zero ranges. But, some of us enjoy the challenges of facing the extremes—a Man against Nature challenge. Most people think that I’m nuts when they hear that I’m heading 150 miles into the Northern interior of Alaska. Sometimes I believe them too…
Nonetheless; being out there in the thick of winter is both a way to test my gear, and myself. It allows me the quiet time that I need to recharge myself, and the opportunity to get my survival mind-set used to the frigid weather.
 
But it starts at home through meticulous selection of the gear that I will be trusting to keep me safe…
 
Clothing:

Base Layer:

  • Fleece (Stretch) Union Suit
  • Polypropylene Socks
  • Thermax Sock Liner
  • Polypropylene T-Shirt

 
Mid Layer:

  • Wool Pants
  • Wool Pull-Over Sweater
  • Polar-Tec Insulated Jacket

 
Outer Layer:

  • Gortex Parka
  • Gortex Gaiters
  • Gortex Gloves
  • Fleece Face Mask
  • Fleece Watch Cap
  • Snow Goggles
  • Cold Weather (Bunny) Boots
The list above includes everything that I wear. It looks like a lot of clothing, but in reality, it is three layers that help to trap body heat, and keep the cold wind, as well as the wet snow from the “creeping chill” that signals the start of hypothermia.
 
Choosing my gear is very important. If my life will depend on a piece of equipment, or clothing, you can be assured that a lot of thought has went into it, before I lay down my money. The Parka is one such piece of gear that is essential. I don’t play around when choosing what Cold Weather Parka.
  • Snag proof Zippers
  • Multiple Inner-Pockets
  • Multiple Outer Pocket
  • Draw String Waist
  • Snow Skirt
  • Adjustable Collar That Reaches To The Nose
  • Fur Trimmed Hood
  • Nylon Sleeve Skirt: (Keeps the snow and wind off the wrists)
  • Waterproof (Not Water Resistant)
  • Armpit Venting Zippers
The multiple inner-pocket hold the survival gear that I consider essential out in the cold weather.
Extra Insulated Socks are layered in both (large) lower pockets. Having them rolled-up creates unwanted bulk, so I keep one sock in each pocket. It reduced the bulk; most times it’s easy to forget about them until they are needed.
 
Extra Cell-Phone Battery is stored in one of the upper zippered pockets. The battery is wrapped in wool, and then placed inside of a small zip-lock bag. The wool helps to protect the connections from snapping, and in a pinch, the wool can also be used as an emergency fire starter. The zip-lock bag can be used to melt snow for water.
 
A Mini-Flashlight is kept in another chest pocket. During the Alaska winter months there isn’t much daylight. The sun rises about 10:30 AM, and stats setting around 3:30 PM. By 4:30 it is already dark. Having a flashlight handy is a blessing.
 
Disposable Lighter & Waterproof Matches are likewise stored in a zip-lock bag inside of the Parka.
 
In one of the upper-pockets an Emergency Blanket rides along in case I am forced to hunker-down and get warm. I carry both the standard blanket, and the Emergency Space Bag. Both are essential survival gear that I don’t want to get separated from.
 
Zipper-Pull Mini-Compass and Temperature Gauge complete the ensemble. Sometimes it’s beneficial to know what the temperature is, and during darkness or white-out conditions, the little compass might help to determine travel direction. But, during a blizzard, hunkering-down is the only way to survive. It’s easy to get lost out there, or walk right off the edge of a cliff, or stumble into an ice filled stream.
 
A small Water Bottle that is kept half-filled rides near my chest. Keeping it half-filled insures that in the event that I fall down, the water bottle isn’t crushed, and end’s up exploding inside of the parka. Keeping it next to my chest insures that it doesn’t freeze.
 
A pair of Extra Gloves are not only an essential item, but a part of the survival gear. Gloves get wet, or ripped open on sharp ice. Having a spare set of gloves insures that my time out in the woods is uneventful.
Oftentimes a few granola bars, and chocolate bars are stashed away in the pockets for added energy during the arduous trek across the frozen landscape.
 
Peppermint candies gives a little energy boost. A few soft tissues will help to defray the “runny nose” problems that are associated with cold weather. Soft Berber Fleece works really good, as does pieces of Marino Wool from worn out clothing.
 
 
 
Having quality Cold Weather Boots is paramount to survival out there in the snow country. I prefer the military “Bunny” boots. They are rated to –60 below zero. Topped-off with a set of gortex gaiters to keep the snow out from the top of the boots—keeps my feet in good condition.
 
Tinted Snow Goggles are also a must out there. The sun reflecting off of the snow can quickly create conditions called “snow blindness”. Blowing snow, or ice-fog are likewise deflected by the goggles.

Basic Survival Equipment:

  • Rucksack/Backpack
  • Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
  • Gortex Bivy Cover
  • Sleeping (Ground) Pad
  • Folding Stove w/ Heat Tabs
  • Canteen Cup
  • Arctic Canteen, w/ Carrier
  • Eating Utensils
  • Ka-Bar Knife
  • Sharpening Steel
  • Leatherman Multi-Tool
  • Toilet Paper
  • Fire Making Kit
  • Parachute Cord
  • 8′ x 8′ Canvas Tarp
  • Chemical Lights
  • Chemical Heat Packs
  • 3-Piece Mess Kit
  • Individual First Aid Kit
  • Lensatic Compass
  • Waterproof Map Case
  • Lip Balm
  • Complete Change of Clothing
  • Small Thermos Bottle
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Poncho

The one thing that I always try to keep in mind when I am out there, is that weight can be the enemy. Humping around a heavy backpack means that walking in the snow requires more effort. Minimal gear which fulfills the requirements for cold weather survival is the only way to go. The added space in the backpack is filled with extra food.

Food Supplies:

  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Instant Coffee
  • Instant Soup
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Tea Bags
  • Raisins
  • Dried Pineapples
  • M&M (Crushed) Candies and mixed with Brown Sugar
  • Emergen-C Vitamin Drink
  • Sugar Packs
  • Non-Dairy Creamer Packs
  • Salt Packs
  • Pepper Packs
  • Mountain House Freeze Dried Scrambled Eggs & Peppers
  • Mountain House Freeze Dried Chili Mac
  • Mountain House Freeze Dried Beef Stroganoff
  • MRE Wheat Bread
  • MRE Crackers
  • MRE Peanut Butter
  • MRE Jelly


Emergency Gear:

  • SPOT-Satellite “Messenger”
  • Arial Signaling Flares
  • Signaling Whistle
  • Orange Signaling Smoke Markers
  • Fluorescent Orange Marker Panel

When I am “just playing” out in the woods; there’s always a chance that I could get myself into serious trouble. Being alone out there when the temperatures are 30-50 degrees below zero, can mean death if a broken ankle, or deep laceration occurs. Having and extra cell-phone battery is alright as long as there is a signal, but most times there isn’t a tower nearby. The SPOT Satellite device works wonders. It’s easy to summon assistance. But once the search and rescue airplanes are overhead, you have to help them find you. Orange panels, smoke bombs, and signal flares will make it easier for SAR to get to you. All of these items can be wrapped inside of an old Blaze Orange hunting vest, and then secured with rubber bands.

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: HERE

West Coast Survival Strategies: How To Get Out Alive

The most difficult aspect of getting out of dodge when SHTF, is know when to go, where to go, and how to get there. This is where many survivalists drop the ball because it is a real challenge to figure this part of the survival planning out. There are many obstacles to overcome, and it requires a high level of understanding about the inherent difficulties; as well as meticulous attention to a myriad of details.

Given the fact that California has a population density of 37,253,956 people, this should indicate the severity of Bugging Out, and what it means to those trying to flee the large cities. Whereas Oregon has a population of 3,831,074. What’s the difference between 37.2 million people, and 3.8 million people? The answer is Movement…

It’s already clear that California’s highway and interstate system are overcrowded; imagine trying to get across LA when a very large percentage of the population is hitting the streets in utter panic. If you have never experience the Santa Monica Freeway at rush hour on a three day weekend–then you cannot begin to imagine that chaos.

 

The very first thing that must be considered when working out an escape plan, is to know your area within your own neighborhood, and also the area leading out of it.

Step Number 1:

  1. Get a detailed city map that shows all the streets and major highways.
  2. Locate your home on the map and draw a green square around the location.
  3. Find the quickest way out of the area using major roads and highways–Mark These in RED MARKER.
  4. Identify every street leading out of the area on city streets, but NOT major highways or 4-land streets. In order words, look for neighborhood streets that will take you across town. Mark these with a GREEN MARKER.

 

 

 

 

Step Number 2:

Take a drive on at least three or four of the streets that you have marked in GREEN. This will be the most important part of the survival plan. The intent is to become familiar with the route, and the resources that you will encounter. bring the map with you, as well as a writing pad and pens.

Here is what you will need to look for:

  • Bridges; whether you drive over it, or under it.
  • Culverts and large drainage pipes.
  • Overhead walkways.

Mark the exact location of each bridge with a RED SQUARE

Mark the exact location of each culvert with a GREEN CIRCLE

Mark the exact location of walkways with a RED SQUARE

The purpose of this is to have the ability to quickly re-route yourself if the primary route is blocked. Knowing where all the bridges and culverts are located will make this a much easier job. This will prevent you from wasting time, and wasting precious gasoline to get to safety. You will need to know every route out of the area, as well as every obstruction that could fall down in an earthquake, or flood-out during a severe storm. Knowing where all of these obstructions and choke points are located; gives you an advantage that the unprepared people won’t have. Culverts can also be useful as emergency temporary shelters, as long as there is no standing water inside the culvert.

 

Read The Full Article HERE

Follow Up: Survival Planning Before You Die!

Franke schein - Alaska Survivalist

In a previous article that I wrote yesterday titled “Startling Facts About Survivalists: You Are Going To Die!” I outlined what I personally believe to be some serious misconceptions about the current survival trends.

Many of the readers that have found the article interesting, asked how it was possible to overcome these issues, and proceed forward utilizing a reality based survival plan.

 

In another book that I had planned to publish early in 2012; I outline what I believe to be the nexus of survival planning. That doesn’t mean that I am the ultimate authority, or that my plans will work for everyone; but it does mean that these plans will work for me personally, and consequently those people within the rank and file of The Alaska Watchmen Group that have come to rely upon my judgment, and critical thinking in these area.

When I “engage the brain” in these areas, I first set to pen and paper every conceivable threat that I and the group will face. Even the most ludicrous things are written down, at least for the moment.

Each threat is then dissected into it’s inherent sub-threat which may pose a danger or risk.

 

Read The Full Article Below:

http://frankeschein.blogspot.com/2011/12/follow-up-survival-planning-before-you.html

Survival Network

One of the most difficult things that survivalists encounter, is trying to convince family and friends that they should undertake preparations for future disasters. Even among my own family , friends, and co-workers; I see that little smirk, or the outright denial, when I bring up the subject.

Nonetheless; it should remain a priority for survivalist to reach-out to others right now, while things are nice out there. After SHTF, it might very well be too late.

 

Read The Full Article Below:

http://frankeschein.blogspot.com/2011/12/survival-network.html

Casting Call: Survivalists Wanted

Casting Call For Survivalists

Casting Call For Survivalists

Major national television production is looking for Survivalists, Preppers, and individuals actively preparing for the 2012 End Of The World phenomenon. If chosen, you will be featured on a national syndicated television show that reaches millions of viewers.

If you are a survivalist; then this is your chance to help spread the message that emergency preparations
mean more than getting ready for 2012. It also means preparing for weather events, local and national crisis, as well as disasters that affect local economies.

Respond by sending email HERE:

( URL: http://frankeschein.blogspot.com/2011/11/casting-call-survivalists-wanted.html )
Please include a brief bio, picture, and explain what you think may happen during the 2012 events, and what you are doing to get ready. This show will feature “A Day In The Life” kind of episode. It’s not about sensationalism–but rather about showing the true survivalists out there that are serious about survival planning.