Who’s tired of cold weather? I’m not! Here are more thoughts from me in our recent vein of cold weather survival posts.
I got out in the woods this weekend at a local state park. I love hiking in the winter. I love the quiet and the crunch of snow. I was properly dressed, so I wasn’t cold, but the air was cold, crisp, almost biting. I think it only got up to the teens that day, and it was blowing snow when I was out. Avoiding sweat was a convenient excuse to take my time. Ice was a good excuse to avoid the trails. It was great.
While I was out I took the time to practice some shelter making. That particular park is in the process of adding an outdoor play area and there were piles of cleared underbrush I could use to cheat. And cheat I did. I found a great little tree in one of the piles, I need an 8 or 9 foot tall tree/branch, big guys, you’ll need to look for one at least 10 feet long. 10 feet of tie line knotted around a Huckleberry tree had the ridge post tied up waist high, with the branch hitting the ground upwind. My little folding handsaw made short work of some dead fall and I had ribs leaning up against the ridge post in no time. Finding materials to fill in the sides was a lot more difficult. The idea with this type of shelter is that you pile on leaves and pine boughs and they act to trap in heat and shed rain/snow. Well, I didn’t have all day, and there weren’t a ton of leaves around, so I worked on it for a bit, and then quit when my initial source of leaves ran out. :-D It was just practice after all.
I snapped some pictures, thinking y’all might want a peek. There aren’t any pine trees in the part of the park I was in, so it’s all deciduous leaves and kinda spotty in places. If I really needed shelter for the night I would have needed at least another foot of leaves to have it all properly covered. :-D That would have taken awhile. I’ll let random kids finish it this summer, or next fall when the leaves are all falling. I’m sure the tie line and ridge post will last that long.
If you are a hunter or a hiker or anyone who ever gets out into nature, I highly recommend you learn how to make improvised shelters. It could save your life.
I’m sure you’re all getting out and practicing your cold weather survival skills. Let us know if you’ve got some good stories or lessons. For those waiting to practice till, “later” I encourage you to GET OUT THERE! Stay safe, have fun, practice now.
– Calamity Jane
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