Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Surviving the Winter Cold in the Smokies

The following is by a guest author:

Although the winter weather in the Smokies may be tolerable on short walks and hikes, if you get lost or find yourself alone and in trouble in the region during the winter, you will need to know how to keep yourself alive and well whilst help is on its way.

The average low winter temperature around the base of the Smokies tends to be around 28°F degrees (-2°C), but at the highest altitudes, the temperature can decrease to 18°F (-8°C), and even temperatures of -20°F aren’t unheard of. This means that you’ll really need to know how to look after yourself. You should always start with the basics, and in this circumstance, the basics amounts to high quality outdoor clothing like that available from e-Outdoor that will protect you from the worst of the elements. But then what? Here are three vital survival tips.

Are You a Pro Fire Starter?

Knowing how to start a fire is probably the most important piece of knowledge you can have if you get stuck in the Smokies during the winter. Not only will a fire keep you warm and dry, it will also allow you to cook food, ward of any irritating bugs, and even act as a signal during the night to those who could be coming to rescue you. With that in mind, don’t ever just carry one fire-starting tool: carry them all. This way you can be sure you’re covering all bases.

Could You Build a Survival Shelter?

Once you’ve built your fire, it’s time to construct a make shift shelter to help keep you warm overnight. The best way to do this is to always carry with you a reflective tarp as this can be used as the base material for the shelter and can be secured using some parachute cord. A third item that you would be mad to leave base camp without would be some trash bags, as these can be used to waterproof the floor of your shelter, or can even be fashioned into a raincoat to keep you dry.

Do You Know How to Keep Hydrated?

Finally, it’s obvious that locating water is essential if you’re stuck for any length of time. If it’s icy though, you’ll need to know how to convert that ice into drinkable water. A good technique is to create “snow marshmallows” by packing snow around the end of a stick and then putting them close to a fire so the water starts to drip.

So there you have it: three of the most important survival tips for if you ever find yourself lost in the Smokies.


Jeff
Hiking in the Smokies

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