Winter Backpacking Tips

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Winter backpacking can mean your footprints are the only ones out there. That adds to the beauty of the experience, but also to the danger. Alone and in a cold enviroment, it’s important to know what to do in an emergency. Learning a few basic cold weather survival skills can save your life.

Fire Making

Imagine slipping into a stream and soaking everything with you, when you are more than a day from the nearest road and it’s below freezing out. What would you do? Start a fire, of course, but can you?

Always carry waterproof matches, and practice starting a fire in the cold BEFORE you go winter backpacking. Learn which tinders work even when wet. Birch bark, for example, will burn when wet, and so will sap from pines and spruces. You may have only minutes before your fingers get too cold to function, so speed is of the essence.

Winter Backpacking – Survival Shelters

You’ll probably have a tent with you, but you still may want to learn shelter building using snow blocks. Sometimes you can stomp out blocks without tools, using your feet, and then liff them from beneath. Just play around in your backyard until you get the...

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