11 Survival Essentials For Winter Driving And To Have In Your Car
Emergencies can happen any time – that’s why having a stash of these 11 survival essentials for winter driving in your car is very important. These items could save you from a miserable, possibly even life threatening experience on the road.
Pay attention to the local weather forecast or if traveling watch the Weather Channel and keep track of your planned route.
If bad weather is expected ask yourself this question, Is this trip really essential? Life or death essential? Consider rescheduling your trip.
1. Water. Store the water bottles inside a box or a bag so it will take a longer time to freeze.
2. Food. When picking out which type of food to store, look for MREs or other items which are high in protein like survival bars and jerky. This will provide you the needed energy if you have to hike to somewhere.
3. Fire starters. Any type of fire starter will do but if you opt to use matches, make sure to bring the waterproof variety.
4. Blankets. If you’re stuck on the side of the road in the winter, you need to stay warm.
5. Flares or reflective triangle. So that you or your vehicle are less likely to get hit at the side of the road in the dark.
6. Shovel. If you’re in a region where you car could get stuck in deep snow it would always be a good idea to bring a shovel whenever you decide to drive during winter.
7. Gloves. Always keep your hands warm with a good pair of gloves. You will need your hands to be in their best condition if you expect to be doing work out in the cold.
8. Light. Keep a good flashlight handy and make sure the batteries are charged or fresh.
9. First aid kit. Accidents happen, and you can’t just stand by and be helpless. Having a first aid kit will permit you to help yourself or your passengers before medical aid arrives.
10. Communications. You need to have a device with you to allow you to call for help in case you get stuck somewhere. So keep your cell phone or ham radio charged always and in the vehicle with you.
11. Spare tire, jack and tire iron. This is applicable ALL the time. Always have a spare and tools in the car in case of a flat tire.
Winter will present a number of challenges for both you and your car so always be prepared for the cold. Before setting out, check your vehicle’s hoses, belts, spark plugs, fluid levels, tires, filters, etc. to make sure that everything is working well. Practice extra control when driving on an icy road and if you do skid, stay calm. Keep it together if ever you find yourself in a situation where you are stranded and make use of the essential tools in your trunk.
Many people new to prepping, or even those just setting out on their own for the first time find the thought of preparing for major winter storms overwhelming. I get this entirely. The key is to break it down into manageable chunks and deal with one chunk before you move onto the next. Today we lookout your vehicle and what you need to think about when travelling around in winter.
We cannot guarantee that a storm will come late Friday when we are all safely at home so any vehicle in use should have an emergency ‘extreme weather kit’ in the trunk and a few extra supplies inside the car so lets take a look at that first.
You need to make sure that should your car become your home for a couple of days that it’s up for the job. Your vehicle should be well maintained and have appropriate tires. You also need to be mentally prepared for spending time in the vehicle, not knowing when rescue will come?the traffic will start moving again.
A serious accident can see tail-backs miles and miles long and in heavy falling snow this can turn into a life threatening situation very quickly for those stuck in the traffic without out adequate fuel, clothing and food. Knowing that you have the equipment and supplies to survive such a situation will make you calmer should disaster strike. You won’t be worrying about eating or freezing to death which means you can concentrate on the task in hand: Getting yourself out of the situation or sitting it out with relative ease.
So, what do you need to have with you? Some items are obvious, some not so obvious:
A shovel preferably a strong but lightweight folding one.
Windshield scraper and small broom
Flashlight with extra batteries or dynamo/wind up flashlight
Battery powered radio or dynamo/battery radio
Tow chains and/ropes
Tire chains if allowed in your area
Emergency reflective triangle or sign
Flares if your route uses back roads,/remote areas
Full first aid kit
Rock salt/grit/cat litter for putting under wheels to aid traction.
Distress flag/ bright bandana to attract attention.
Whistle to attract attention
A largish card with your name and cell number written on it. If you leave the vehicle add your direction of travel, the date and the time you left the vehicle. Leave this in the car
Matches, lighter and small tea light candles packed into a small wide necked jar. The candle can be put into the bottom of the jar and stood on the dashboard to give a gentle light that can be seen from a considerable distance. Have your window open just a crack to make sure no fumes build up. This also applies if you run the engine for even just a few minutes.
Keep the gas tank topped up.
Any daily required prescription medications.
Phone comparable power pack capable of at least 3 full charges of your phone.
Baby wipes for personal hygiene.
Half a dozen good quality heavy gauge plastic bags big enough to ‘go’ in if the call of nature can’t be stalled any longer.
A dozen bright strips of fabric with your name and cell number written on them in permanent marker: If you are in a remote area and have to leave your vehicle there are decent markers and can be tied to tree branches alerting rescuers to the fact that you are there and your direction of travel.
A couple of thick fleece blankets and/or a sleeping bag.
Sweat top and pants big enough to go over your regular clothes.
Wool socks, boot type big enough to go on easily.
Hat preferably with ear flaps, mittens and scarf
Thick tread knee high rubber boots in case for any reason you end up having to walk out.
Water and pouch fruit juice drinks
Bag of your chosen trail mix
High energy snack bars
Couple of packs of cookies
Few individual bags of dried fruit and/or nuts
Couple of high calorie chocolate bars, Snickers, Mars bars or similar
The exhaust/tail pipe has to be kept free of snow otherwise fumes will back up into the vehicle every time you run the engine. A sure way to get carbon monoxide poisoning
Bonus tip: Pee contains urea and peeing or tipping your makeshift pee bag out under the exhaust/tailpipe of the vehicle after you’ve cleared it will not only melt the remaining snow but prevent more snow building in that area keeping the pipe snow free for a considerable time.
Packing most of the kit into a hiking style back pack is the best option because if for any reason you have to walk out of the situation you can take it with you. On your journey try to have it inside the vehicle, it can go in the trunk whilst you’re at work and get slipped back into the vehicle for the trip home.
The folding shovel should be able to attach to the pack via velcro or a lanyard in case you have to leave the vehicle. Should you have to leave your vehicle put on the spare clothes you have with you, you can always take them off if you are too hot and better that than get hypothermia and/or frostbite. The rubber boots will protect your feet and lower legs from the worst of the weather.
Mittens are better than gloves as your hands retain more heat. The scarf should be wrapped around your mouth and nose to reduce the cold air entering your body and to protect your nose from frostbite. Make sure your ears are covered as they are also susceptible to frost bite.
As soon as you become stuck you need to let someone know where you are. In remote areas, in cases of accident or of a breakdown this should be 911 (999 UK) first and then a family member. Tell them where you are and what the issue is and when you hang up turn off the phone to save the battery. Now is not the time to see if there is a Pokemon near the vehicle.
The standard advice is to stay with your vehicle, it gives you some protection from the weather but on occasions that’s just not possible. Remember if you leave the vehicle be sure to:
Leave the card with the date and time as well as direction of travel.
Wear as many of the clothes as you can without impeding your ability to move comfortably.
Take the food and drink with you.
Do not eat snow it will lower your core temperature and can speed up the onset of hypothermia.
Mark the route you take with the cloth strips.
In wooded areas walk in the centre of the road there will be less hazards than there are near the tree line. Think animals, hidden tree roots and uneven ground.
If you’ve yet to build a winter emergency vehicle kit, now’s the time.
With fall currently in full swing, those of us who live, work, and play in the mountains are seeing the first signs that winter is near.
Soon, the mountain peaks will be capped white with snow and roadway conditions will change for the worst at the drop of a hat. Icy roads and deep snow are extremely dangerous for travel and a leading cause of stranded vehicles.
Every year, we hear stories of motorists stranded in blizzards. Sometimes it’s only overnight, but occasionally (on rural back roads) they are stranded for days or weeks, huddled in their vehicle struggling to stay warm.
Too many of those sad tales end in tragedy. For example, here’s a story of a man trapped in his vehicle for 2 weeks when caught in a freak blizzard storm.
He was luck, he survived. But if he’d properly prepared, he wouldn’t have had such a close call.
With some basic survival knowledge and a stash of survival supplies, your odds of surviving stranded in a winter blizzard goes up significantly. These are supplies everyone should store in their vehicle for winter travel. It’s called a winter car emergency survival kit.
This kit will help you accomplish two things. It will help you get unstuck should your vehicle slide off the road. And this kit will help you survive should you not be able to get your vehicle unstuck.
So you winter emergency vehicle kit is made up of items that fit into these two categories:
Gear to help you get unstuck
Supplies in case you can’t get unstuck
Items To Help You Get Unstuck
Your best bet is to be self-sufficient and avoid spending a night (or longer) stranded. So it’s worth having a few key tools in your vehicle to get you going again.
Mainly, the preventative equipment required for self-rescue consists of 1) ways to remove (or simply move) snow and 2) traction devices to help you get a grip on icy and snowy surfaces. Plus a few items to make the use of these items a little more convenient.
1 – Snow Shovel
A good, sturdy shovel is an absolute must for a winter car kit. Often, some efficient digging can help you quickly get free.
And even if you still can’t get your vehicle free, a shovel will allow you to keep your vehicle from being entirely buried under a snow drift. Because a vehicle that’s completely buried in snow is nearly impossible for a rescue team to spot.
Or if worst came to worst, you could use your shovel to build a snow shelter.
2 – Windshield Scraper and Brush
In all winter weather conditions, you’ll have to remove a lot of snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof and windshield.
A good, heavy-duty scraper and brush with a long handle will save you a lot of time and effort, as well as make it easier to see out your windows, keeping it out of the ditch.
Have one of these is a must have all winter long. I’m always amazed when people are huddled in their cars for 30 or more minutes waiting for their vehicles defroster to warm their windshield because they don’t own a scraper. Talk about unprepared!
3 – Traction Mats
Often, a little extra traction is all that’s needed to get moving again. Many people use sand or kitty litter, but these items only work once and then you’re out of luck.
A set of traction mats are reusable and can be easily repositioned to keep you heading in the right direction.
4 – Tire Chains
In packed snow road conditions, tire chains are an excellent way to help with traction and prevent sliding in the first place. However, they are a controversial topic, so make sure to check the local regulations regarding their use.
Many western states, require tire chains in severe conditions. In the Midwest, they are illegal in most jurisdictions even during the worst snows.
If you carry chains, make sure you know how to install them – put them on first in your dry driveway and later in a snowy parking lot.
It’s a lot harder to get them on tight and secure when it’s dark, and you’re fumbling with cold hands, so you’ll appreciate the practice if the need arises.
5 – Small Tarp
A small tarp makes kneeling in the snow (and roadside slush) a lot easier and drier.
It also helps keep you from losing parts or tools into the snow. A 5’x7′ tarp is a perfect size for a lot of roadside uses.
6 – Battery Boost Jumper
Cold weather is rough on your vehicle’s battery, and it’s easy to find yourself unable to start the engine when you need it most.
A self-contained battery jumper is a simple solution and much better than waiting for another motorist to jump start your engine.
7 – LED Tactical Flashlight
All survival kits need a super bright LED EDC flashlight. If it’s dark out or the blizzard has blocked the sun out you’ll need illumination to see what you’re doing. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a spare set of batteries in your winter emergency vehicle kit as well.
Items In Case You Can’t Get Unstuck
If you have to stay out overnight, you’ll need a few more things.
At this point, your focus turns from getting your vehicle out, to keeping yourself and your passengers protected from the elements and as warm as possible.
8 – Water
In the winter, the colder temperatures often trick people into assuming they don’t need to drink as much water. You tend not to feel as thirsty.
The truth is you need to stay hydrated to maintain proper body temperature, no matter the weather outside. Want proof?
High-altitude mountaineers spend about as much time melting drinking water as they do climbing – it’s THAT important.
A stainless steel water bottle is an excellent choice since you can use it over a camp stove or small fire to melt and heat water.
Never eat large amounts of snow directly. Always melt the snow before ingesting. If you eat snow directly, you’re basically using your internal body temperature to melt the snow. This can lower your core temperature and lead to hypothermia.
9 – Food
In the cold, your body is craving calories in any form, burning them at an increased pace to keep your core body temperature up.
Cookies, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, plain chocolate bars, jerky. I like the high-calorie bars since you buy them once and you’re food preparation is done.
Snickers bars may taste great, but you’ll chip a tooth on the caramel trying to eat one that’s been sitting in sub-zero temps for even a few hours.
If you’re able to heat water over a stove or fire, consider adding powdered hot chocolate or another warm drink with lots of calories.
10 – Extra Warm Clothes
If your vehicle is stuck in the snow, chances are you’ll int the cold for an extended period of time as you attempt to get out on your own.
Quite often, this can leave you snowy and wet, a bad combination for cold weather survival.
Carrying a change of clothes and some extra insulating layers will let you get out of any wet clothes and warm up while you plan your next move.
Glove are a must. If you’re trying to do any of these survival tasks with bare hands you’re not going to be successful. I like Mechanix brand gloves since they provide me the dexterity to perform survival tasks. Try lighting a fire with thick mittens on; not fun.
These blankets are made with a heat reflective internal layer that helps trap the body heat you’re generating. Keeping you warmer, longer.
Also, consider how many people you’ll be traveling with and be sure that you can keep everyone warm.
12 – Paracord (FireCord)
With so many paracord uses for survival, it a must-add item to any survival kit. You should spend a few dollars more to get Firecord. It’s designed with 7 strands of paracord and 1 strand of Fire Cord you can use as fire tinder.
These fire starting shoe laces are also a good idea since you might not always be riding in your own vehicle and your shoe laces can go everywhere you go.
A fire will allow you to keep warm, melt snow into water, and signal searchers.
14 – Camp Stove
Your matches and lighter won’t be worth much if you don’t have something dry enough to burn.
In dry, cold conditions (like the Rocky Mountains), you may be able to find enough dead, dry wood to maintain a small fire, so a fire starter makes a wise addition.
In wetter climates (like the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest), finding anything dry enough to burn is always a challenge. So adding a small portable camp stove is a better option.
15 – Extra Fuel Bottle
Obviously, extra fuel can be handy if you’re relying on your vehicle for shelter. Running the engine for heat will help keep you warm, but it will also slowly drain your gas tank.
Carrying a couple of extra liters of fuel in a sturdy container will give you a bit of a buffer in case you run out.
And One More Item
16 – Winter Travel Kit Bag / Tote
A large zippered duffle bag is a great way to keep all your winter travel survival supplies organized and contained in your trunk or under the back seat. Once you’ve assembled your supplies, choose a bag that will fit them all.
It doesn’t necessarily need a lot of pockets, but make sure you have a way to separate your spare gas can and your camp fuel from the rest of the gear.
Winter Emergency Vehicle Kit Action Plan
This action plan can be summed up in just two words: Do It.
Invest in the gear and supplies listed in this article. Then put them all in a duffle bag and put this bag full survival items in your trunk.
You have zero excuses not to do this. If you drive in winter conditions at all, it’s your personal responsibility to invest in a few essential tools and supplies.
This responsibility goes double for anyone who drives others around. That means parents of young children and those who take care of handicap or elderly.
The time to take meaningful action is NOW before the first flakes begin to fall.
We all know it’s coming. It arrives every year and with it comes a huge variety of weather. Snow, high winds, ice storms, fog you name it and winter throws it at us. Then there’s the added complication of power outages and all the disruption that brings with it. In short, winter can be a total ball-ache.
Now I HATE winter with a passion that is only equalled by my hatred of politicians and paedophiles so for me, getting everything in order before winter arrives is critical, because if it’s not done before hand it sure as hell won’t be done during the cold weather. I watch news reports of people in snow and enjoying it – how I have no idea but they do. Me, no thanks, give me heat and sunshine any day of the week.
So, how does a winter-phobe like me deal with the cold season? In short, I don’t, I prepare for it well in advance so I have as few issues as it’s humanly possible to have during the colder weather. So, without further ado here’s the Lizzie check list for winter preparation.
Garden and driveway
Make sure all general garden maintenance is up to date. Loose and/or old branches cut down, perennial weeds burnt etc.
Check slabs and pathways for cracks that may let water in and then freeze causing more damage and trip hazards – repair as required.
Put a couple of bags of rock salt and grit mix out the back to keep the patio safe to walk on ( need to get to wood store and ‘spare’ pantry in the garage.
Put a couple of bags of rock salt and grit behind the side gate to keep the drive ice-free.
Stow all the garden furniture away for the winter. It’s VERY windy in my location and tables regularly become low flying objects!
Bag up footballs, super-soaker guns and other kiddie crap and hang in the garage.
Rinse and air dry the wetsuits and store in rodent proof box.
Make sure wood supply is adequate and coal bunker is full.
Garage (not used for the car shall we say)
Grease saws and garden tools to keep them in good condition.
Clean and grease lawnmower blades and wipe the machine down ready for spring.
Replace all tools in their rightful home at the far end of the garage.
Check roof for gaps and holes – close the door during daylight and look up, any splits and gaps will show. Seal/repair as required.
Wipe down outsides of all electrical items: tumble drier, spare fridge and spare freezers. Check all plugs and sockets for damage, repair as required.
Clean out cupboards checking food dates and looking for blown/rusting cans.
Check pipe lagging under the sink.
Empty out and check contents of two ’emergency boxes’: candles 12, matches 2 boxes, lighters 2, firelighters 2 boxes, hurricane lamp, lamp oil 2 bottles, flashlight with 2 spare bulbs, new batteries x 3 packs, pack of fuses, 3, 5 and 13 amp. Small toolkit in a box : straight and cross head screwdrivers small, medium and large of each, small hammer, pliers, small wrench, insulation tape, electrical screwdriver for checking currents, selection of screws, duct tape, super-glue.
Check for flaking paint/varnish on wooden doors and sills, repaint /varnish if required to prevent water penetration and rot.
Check weatherboards and fascias are in good repair and tightly fixed in place.
Seal any gaps in window frames/door frames
Clean UPVC frames and windows.
Check lagging on the outdoor taps. Re-lag if needed.
Check the roof. Go into the loft during daylight, close the hatch and look for dislodged tiles or slates. Repair as required.
Check pipes on exterior walls are lagged.
Put one emergency box right outside the back door on back porch ready for use.
Test central heating and bleed radiators if needed.
Get boiler serviced.
Get chimneys swept.
Fill log baskets and put next to each fire, ditto coal scuttles.
Get it serviced.
Check tires for tread and uneven wear.
Check wiper blades are not split and work well.
Top up antifreeze.
Check first aid kit and restock if required.
In the boot (trunk): Small bag of rock salt, shovel, warning triangle, small vehicle tool kit, wellies (gum boots), bag with ‘shit kit’ items such as emergency food, water, mylar blankets, lightweight fleece blanket, blow up pillow, flashlight and new batteries, pair of fleece pants, fleece top, spare socks. Spare can of fuel.
Glove Compartment/ door storage/inside the car
Boiled sweets (hard candy)
Energy drinks/bottled water or both
Flashlight and spare batteries
Two charge power pack with correct phone connector
Cash in notes and change
A book you’ve been meaning to read, a crossword book, anything to fill the time if you happen to get stuck because of accidents, traffic or weather.
It looks like an awful lot of things to do but actually it isn’t. If your home and car are well maintained throughout the year most of it is just a matter of checking to make sure all is in order and working. It takes me no longer than two days to complete the list around all my regular household tasks and going about my usual business outside the home.
Have a think, make a list of things that applicable to you based on the winter weather in your area, then act on it. Far better to get the loose roof tile fixed now than not be able to tackle it in a howling snow storm in a couple of months time.
Recently, we’ve been asked a question about what types of foods are good sources of carbohydrates in the winter.
The reader was specifically worried about his son, who is going on a military survival retreat in Maine and can’t afford to lose the 20 pounds that the program has warned him that he will likely lose. His question was about sources of carbohydrates.
My son will be sent to Maine in the winter for a 3 week military survival course. Others who have experienced this say that the participants will lose an average of 20 pounds during that time. He can ill afford to lose 20 pounds, so I was wondering if you knew a good source for carbs that can be found in abundance in the winter? I think he is fairly good at locating small game for protein. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Best regards,
Though there are many great wild sources of carbohydrates to eat in Maine, I’ve had a problem finding exact nutritional values of wild plants. Go figure. Since the main goal is preventing weight loss, we’re looking for plants that can be found in a great enough quantity to thrive, versus simply survive.
Therefore, we need plants that are both high in calories and found in enough quantity to make a substantial meal. The first part was easy, the second part, not so much. So, I’ll share what I’ve found.
It turns out that these plants are considered a pest by many because they grow so prolifically in marshy areas and around ponds.
Fortunately for somebody foraging, cattails are a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients year-round. In the winter time, the best parts of the plant to eat are the rhizomes, or roots, and the corms, the little shoots that are the beginnings of next year’s plants.
You probably won’t be able to just rip the cattail out of the mud; you’re likely going to have to dig for it a bit. Just run your hand down the stalk of the cattail and into the mud. Feel for the roots, then follow them down a bit and PULL!
Don’t stop with just one plant; grab several at a time because they’re not that heavy and you can carry them or store them in camp. No need to get wet more than once if you don’t have to.
Now, you’re going to notice little shoots around the base of the plant, which are older corms and are the beginnings of next year’s plant.
You’ll also find little pod-like pieces on the rhizomes and around the bottom of the stalks. These are less mature corms and are also edible. You can eat both types of corms raw. Just peel off the outer fibrous part and eat the delicate interior.
The rhizomes are going to look sort of hairy. Wash them as well as you can, then peel them just like you would a potato. Your goal is to extract the starch from the rhizome and there are a couple of ways to do this.
You can break up the rhizome and then put it in a small bowl of water and squeeze the rhizome pieces in the water until the starch is remove. The water turns a milky white. Let the water settle for a couple of hours and the heavy, starchy flour will settle to the bottom. Pour off the water and spread the flour out to dry.
The second way is to use your knife to squeeze the starch out onto a rock. Just lay the rhizome flat and slide your knife down the rhizome, sort of like you’re squeezing toothpaste from a tube. The starchy paste will collect on the rock.
Either way, you can let the paste dry and smash it with a mortar and pestle into a flour, or you can toss it in the pan and toast it as-is, toss it into a soup along with the corms, or you can eat it raw.
Of course, you can always make a bread with it by mixing it with other ingredients, but in a survival situation, you’re probably not going to have access to yeast and all that good stuff.
These pretty berry-like plants not only add a pop of color to the winter landscape, they’re also a good source of nutrition and can be found in enough quantity to be worth the effort. Rose hips are the fruits of the rose plant and are usually red or orange but can also be dark-colored. Just open them up, pop out the seed, and eat the flesh.
One cup of rosehips has 206 calories, 49g of carbs, and 31g of fiber. It also provides 110% of your RDV of vitamin A, 901% of your RDV of vitamin C, and more than 20% of your RDV of calcium and magnesium. Eat more rose hips!
They’re not just for Christmas anymore! Pine trees provide a couple of different sources of food. If you’ve ever eaten pesto, you’ve eaten pine nuts, which are found in pinecones. There is some work involved for the amount of food that you get, but there’s also a tremendous amount of calories and nutrition in them.
Just one cup of pine nuts has 909 calories, 92 grams of fat, 23% of your RDV of potassium and 84% of your RDA of magnesium. They’re also a good source of fiber, so that you have a slower digestion process. You’ll feel full longer.
All pine trees have edible nuts tucked into the pine cones, but only about 20 species produce seeds that are large enough to warrant the effort. Still, in a survival situation, something is better than nothing. Fortunately, there are often many different types of pine trees in the same area, so if you don’t get decent-sized nuts from one, try another.
Wild Berries and Fruits
Even if there’s snow, it’s still possible to dig through the snow to get to fruits, and if you’re lucky, you may even find some grapes or berries, especially cranberries in Maine, above the snow.
One of the advantages of having thumbs is that you can dig through the snow a bit if you find a bush to see if there are berries buried. Apples are another great resource that you can find under the snow.
Yes, they’ll be frozen, but they’re delicious, nutritious, and packed with carbs. They also drop late, so it’s probable that they were frozen before they rotted. Other fruits to keep an eye out for include peaches and pears.
Grass and Grains
Believe it or not, most (99%) of all grasses in the US are edible. They’re often tough for your body to digest, but they’re better than nothing. This includes wheat, oats, and wild meadow varieties. The best part to eat in the winter is the starchy base and the seed heads.
1% of the seeds are toxic and need to be cooked before being eaten, and if seeds are blackish or purple, avoid them because that’s a sign of poisonous fungus. Eat them if they’re green or brown.
I often consult a man very close to me when I have questions such as these, because he’s actually been there, done that as part of his army survivalist training. He made it all the way through the training and has described in great detail (and to my dismay) exactly what a bug feels like when you eat it. He says the trick is this – crunch (chew), crunch, crunch, crunch, swallow!
Aside from his advice about how to eat a bug with minimal “biting back”, he also says that the most crucial step to survival is knowing the plants, animals, and insects of your area. Know what’s edible and what’s not, and most importantly,know what will kill you if you eat it.
If you have a problem with being too thin, it’s important to realize that your body uses more than just carbohydrates for energy – it can also use protein and fat. The bottom line is that your weight isn’t dependent upon eating carbs. It’s a matter of calories in versus calories out. It doesn’t matter if those calories are in the form of carbs, fat, or protein.
There will likely be some energy dips while you’re transitioning from carbs to protein, so if you’re planning to use protein as your main source of energy during a retreat, you may want to do that before you leave. In real life, of course, you won’t have that luxury, but until then, do what you can to survive the survival training.
Being stranded in your car in nice weather is bad enough, but getting stranded in ice and snow and surviving winter weather is something you must be prepared for.
As preppers we all prepare for natural disasters of one sort or the other.
The UK Winter is something that we also need to prepare for as well.
The basic risks still exist – and during the winter months the added risk of Hypothermia is higher than at any other time.
In order to survive the winter weather, it is essential to be fully prepared and have the correct equipment with you, if you were to get yourself stranded in your car.
Breaking down in the snow and ice or just sliding off the road and getting stuck can be quite dangerous at the least and potentially fatal in the worse scenario.
Being fully prepared with the correct winter survival kit is essential to keep yourself alive until help arrives.
The 5 basic rules to surviving, still apply to surviving winter in your car.
But remember, always adapt the amount of survival preparation to suit your own families needs and consider a worse case scenario of a car full of adults.
You must have enough survival equipment and supplies for this.
This is your No:1 concern and most important survival decision.
Your car will provide all the shelter you need and protect you from the elements, so DO NOT leave your vehicle.
The only real time you would consider leaving is when you are fully equipped to do so, your life was in danger, or you knew exactly where you were heading for.
Tip: write “HELP & SOS” on the outside of the windscreen and back window
being able to keep warm and offset hypothermia is essential to survival
Your car will provide all the shelter you need and protect you from the elements, so DO NOT leave your vehicle.
The only real time you would consider leaving is when you are fully equipped to do so, your life was in danger, or you knew exactly where you were heading for.
Tip: run your car engine for short periods of time [10-15mins] to stop any freezing, and run the heater [set on feet only], as any heat will rise and add to the warmth inside. Ensure that nothing is blocking that will allow fumes into the cabin area. [e.g. the exhaust system] and keep all windows and doors closed to prevent any fumes entering.
You will need a to ensure you have a supply of water for at least 48 hours. As well as an energy drink to keep you alert. Do not eat the snow or ice around you, no matter how fresh it is. Snow will cool your body temperature down too much and the last thing you want is for your core temperature to drop. Snow and ice can also contain dirt, bacteria and other unsavoury things.!
It seems like the summers are getting shorter and the winters longer, but then again, we say this every year, and it may just seem that way as we get older. Nonetheless, winter is just around the corner, so it is time to start thinking about winterizing your home. Some things can wait, while others cannot.
1.) Garden hoses can be damaged if left exposed to the cold, so start thinking about storage places. In addition, if you have freeze proof spigots, hoses have to be uncoupled to allow the water to properly drain from the spigot to prevent freezing and bursting the line.
2.) Cover outdoor spigots with insulated covers as an added measure to prevent freezing.
3.) Lawn sprinkler/irrigation systems must be drained to prevent damage to the system.
4.) Crawl space vents will have to be closed or covered to keep cold air out of the crawl space. In warm weather, of course, the vents are opened to reduce moisture buildup which can lead to mold and mildew problems, not to mention moisture attracts insects in particular certain termites.
5.) Have your heating system checked before you need it. Heating and air conditioning service companies experience high demand for services during the first cold snap of the season, so get ahead of the rush.
6.) Make sure your gutters are cleaned out. Stopped up drain spouts will allow water to build up and if it freezes it can damage the roof line, soffits, and the guttering system itself.
7.) Prune back any branches that overhang the roof line. Snow and ice can weigh down even healthy limbs that right now do not seem to be a hazard, but once under strain from the weight of snow and ice could snap and damage the roof or walls of the home.
8.) Stock up on ice melt now, because as you know, the minute the first snow or ice is predicted people rush to the stores and clean out the supply. Retail stores never seem to have their act together when it comes to inventorying certain items, because if they order too much then they have to inventory a product that has only one use for a short period.
9.) Service your generators and stabilize the fuel . Make sure they work properly and that you have fresh fuel going into the colder months. Inspect your electrical cords for serviceability and if you had purchased appliances over the summer months, make sure you have electrical cords rated for the appliance and ensure your generator can handle the additional load.
10.) Check your water pipes insulation, and if you use heat tape make sure it is working by testing it before it gets cold.
11.) Inspect your hot water tank blanket, and if you do not have one it is recommended you do get one if your tank is located in a non-heated part of the home such as in the garage, basement, or crawlspace.
This may also be a good time to drain your tank to clear out the sediment. Too much build up in the bottom of the tank can have an effect on the efficiency, and may even cause damage, and in some cases the sediment may build up to the point you cannot drain the tank, because of a clogged spigot. In addition, if you need to use your hot water tank as an emergency water supply, you want it as sediment free as possible and of course you want the drain to work.
12.) If you have a wood burning fireplace or wood stove have your chimney cleaned and inspected for damage before your first fire. Creosote buildup as you know is dangerous and over time it will build up even if you only burned well seasoned wood. Seasoned wood will still have up to 20 percent moisture content which will cause a buildup.