Don’t Let a Snowstorm Ruin Your Hunting Trip: Here’s How to Survive
Winter hunting can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous if you get caught in a snowstorm. You don’t want to end up freezing, starving or losing a limb, do you? That’s why you need to know how to survive a winter storm while hunting. Here are some tips to help you out.
Stay Put and Stay Warm
If you have a car or a tent, don’t leave it. It’s safer to stay where you are and wait for the storm to blow over. Going out in the snow can make things worse. You could get lost, hurt or frostbitten. If you’re with others, cuddle up and share your body heat. Don’t let anyone go out for help, it’s too risky.
If you don’t have a car or a tent, find some shelter fast. Look for a cave, an overhang, a tarp or anything else that can keep you out of the wind and snow. If nothing else, dig a hole in a snowbank and cover it with branches or snow. A snow cave can keep you cozy and dry by trapping your body heat and blocking the wind.
Keep Yourself Dry and Toasty
Keeping yourself dry and toasty is key for surviving a winter storm. You can lose heat quickly through conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. To prevent this, wear layers of clothing that are warm, waterproof and breathable. Stay away from cotton, it sucks when it gets wet. Wool, fleece and synthetic fabrics are better.
You also need to cover your head, hands and feet, as these are the parts of your body that lose heat the most. Wear a hat, gloves and boots that are suitable for the weather. If you have extra clothing or blankets, wrap them around your body or use them as bedding. If you have a fire or a heater, use them to warm up your shelter and melt snow for drinking water.
Drink Up and Eat Up
Water is vital for your survival, as it helps regulate your body temperature, prevent dehydration and flush out toxins. You need to drink at least two liters of water per day, even if you’re not thirsty. If you don’t have any water, melt some snow and drink it. Don’t eat snow directly, it can lower your body temperature and cause dehydration. Melt the snow in a container using your fire or heater, or place it inside your clothing and let your body heat melt it.
Food is also important for your survival, as it gives you energy and nutrients for your body. You need to eat at least 1,500 calories per day, preferably from high-protein and high-fat foods that can keep you warm and full. If you have food with you, ration it wisely and eat small portions throughout the day. Don’t eat big meals, as this can divert blood flow from your extremities to your digestive system. If you don’t have food with you, look for edible plants or animals that you can hunt or trap.
Signal for Help
If you’re stranded in a winter storm while hunting, someone will probably be looking for you sooner or later. You need to make yourself visible and audible to potential rescuers. You can use any of these methods to signal for help:
- Use a whistle, a horn or a gun to make loud noises at regular intervals.
- Use a mirror, a flashlight or a shiny object to reflect sunlight or artificial light.
- Use bright-colored clothing, flags or markers to contrast with the snow.
- Use smoke or fire to create visible plumes in the air.
- Use letters or symbols made of rocks, branches or snow to spell out SOS or HELP on the ground.
The best way to survive a winter storm while hunting is to not get stranded in the first place. Before you go hunting in the winter, make sure you do these things:
- Check the weather forecast and avoid going out if there’s a storm coming.
- Tell someone where you’re going, when you’re leaving and when you expect to be back.
- Pack a survival kit with winter storm essentials like water, food, fire-starting tools, flashlight, knife, compass, whistle, first-aid kit and warm clothing. You can also customize your kit according to your needs and preferences.
- Know how to use your survival kit items and practice your survival skills before you need them.
- Dress appropriately for the weather and wear layers of clothing that are warm, waterproof and breathable. Stay away from cotton and opt for wool, fleece or synthetic fabrics.
- Stay on marked trails or roads and avoid unfamiliar or risky areas. If you get lost or stuck, stay put and signal for help.