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Winter Survival: 3 Things to Consider to Live Through Being Stranded

Recently a friend of mine was out delivering fertilizer to local farmers when he got caught in a flash flood in rural Indiana. It turned out ok, however he wasn’t sure, for a while, that it would. Luckily for my buddy, he couldn’t have died from exposure in this instance because it was summertime. What would he have done though if it had been winter and he had been trapped in his vehicle either by an avalanche or a blizzard?

There are several factors to consider here. First off the fact that in a vehicle you have a few things already established. You already have shelter from the environment to an extent, (most animals and wind, snow, etc…), and you also have a source of heat as long as you can keep the motor running.

However, one of the age old questions as far as survivalists go, is whether or not you’re better off staying in the car or getting out of it and making a survival shelter of some sort. Though I don’t want to get into any sort of debate on this, I do want to point out some key factors that support staying in your car as opposed to venturing away from it. Here are three factors to consider.

  1. You have an established, basically waterproof, structure. The only issue with the cab of a motor vehicle is the fact that there is so much dead air space that has to be heated rather than chilled in order for you to survive any length of time. Water isn’t a problem in  this scenario because you have snow to melt, (don’t eat the snow, melt it and drink it because the calories burned in converting something frozen to 98 degrees are necessary for your survival). Consider the use of snow, debris, seat cushions, etc… inside the cab of your vehicle to create less dead air space for your body heat to sustain.
  2. Your vehicle is like a flag. I used to be a deputy sheriff back in the day; and there is nothing that draws a cop’s, (or any other rescue worker’s), attention like an obviously stranded vehicle. Even if you’re not actively seeking rescue, if you get caught in a disaster and are snowed in, eventually somebody is going to come poking around to make sure you’re ok.
  3. Your vehicle has resources. I mentioned before the insulation capabilities from the seats etc…; however, there are other resources that can be used for survival that every vehicle has. A powerful battery for instance, as well as flammable fluids that can be used for creating fire, torches, better shelters, etc…
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