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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2005, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Winter Survival Kit

While watching the news this morning there was a report of a man with a disabled car. He decided to walk for help... and got 5 miles before he succumbed to hypothermia.

So, get those winter kits in the Jeeps and live to attend the Bash in the spring (virtually or in person).

Toe tags ain't too wonderful this time of year!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2005, 09:19 AM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

Low buck vehicle winter survival kit...

Everyone says they don't need one with cell phones so close...
A. In the event of a major winter storm, the cops and emergency rescue have real problems to deal with, and a stuck motorist is a low priority.
B. Lots of people become stranded on back roads, where it's hard to find you, or there may not be cell phone service at all.
C. "Chance Favors The Prepared Mind".
Knowing what to do, and having the correct hardware will greatly increase your chances for survival, and even reducing discomfort while waiting for help.

01. Large Flash Light With New Batteries, one with flashing red light a bonus,
02. Heavy Blanket Or Blankets, layers are best,
03. Large Metal Coffee Can, with lid,
04. Smaller Metal Coffee Can, with lid, punch holes in sides about 1" up from top & bottom,
05. Fat, Slow Burn Candle, must fit in small coffee can,
06. Matches & Small Butane Lighter, (this means BOTH)
07. Pre Packaged, Tear Open Heat Packs,
08. Small Packages Of Unsalted Peanuts, Granola Bars, "Survival Butter", ect.,
09. Packages Of "Survival Water",
10. Cold Weather I.Q.

01, Self explanatory.

02. If the vehicle tail pipe is obstructed, or you pulled the exhaust lose when you became stuck, you CAN NOT run the vehicle engine to keep warm.
If the tail pipe is NOT OBSTRUCTED, you may run the engine, but you have to keep an up wind (windward) side window open about an inch (1") to admit fresh air into the vehicle.
If you don't, carbon monoxide poising is a real threat.

Blankets are cheap, keep two or three in the vehicle.
Stay on the back seat and cover up, put any news papers, dry cloths, seat covers, floor mats, ect. (anything dry) under you, as cold comes from below to displace heat as it rises.
If you have wet cloths, take them off.

03. Large Metal Can w/Lid...
Keeps your gear together in one place.
When the large can is placed on top of the small can, the metal works as a heat diffuser, you can melt snow for drinking water, leaving water in the can will put some humidity in the air and keep body water loss to a minimum, warm water also works as a heat diffuser, and you can heat small items in the can (like food).

When the candle gets to burning low, place the small can in the large one.
The large can works as a catch can for wax and keeps the smaller can from overheating the carpet or interior.

The larger coffee can will also double as a 'Latrine' in an emergency, as getting out of the vehicle will certainly get you cold, lose all the vehicle heat, and may result in getting you wet from snow melt on cloths.

04. Smaller metal coffee can with lid.
Punching a row of 1/2" holes around the can about 1" from the top and 1" from the bottom allows air to enter and exhaust to exit as the candle burns inside the can.
With the larger can on top, you have just made a wax fuel stove that is capable of keeping you alive in the average passenger vehicle down to 0 (zero) degrees Fahrenheit.

05. Fat candle no taller or larger around than your small coffee can.
I like to leave at least 1/2" between the sides of the candle and the smaller coffee can.
If the candle you find is longer than the small coffee can, it's not a problem as long is it fits inside the larger coffee can.
You can also cut off a candle very easily.

If the candle is very thin, it won't stand up very well in the can, so you may want to provide a base for thin candles.
A wire (like a coat hanger) can be bent to hold the thin candle centered in the small can pretty easily, costs and weighs next to nothing.
Sand in the bottom of the small coffee can works well, but you will have to raise the air inlet holes a little, and the sand will require another container when it's just riding around waiting for the worst to happen...
Don't rule out an actual candle base holder. There are some reasonable sized ones for sale that are quite durable.

I like long burn 'Emergency' candles, of the UNSCENTED variety.
('perfume' and confined spaces don't get along very well...)
Several will fit in a small coffee can, and that means lots of heating time...

06. Matches & Small Butane Lighter.
This isn't 'Either/Or', you need to have both.
Butane is easiest, but I've seen butane leak out over time, and I've seen it cold enough that butane wouldn't easily light, or even flow through the valve in the lighter correctly.
Wooden 'Strike Anywhere' or 'Lifeboat' matches are the best.
Being larger, they are easier to use with cold fingers, and will ignite easily.
If you don't have the 'Strike Anywhere' matches,
Many types of matches will not ignite unless you have the package striker intended for them!

07. Pre-Packaged Tear Open Heat Packs.
These things heat up on contact with oxygen, so as soon as you open the package, you are off to the races! Nothing else required.

These are wonderful gadgets, especially for someone that is already feeling the effects of exposure...
Not the, "Damn, it's COLD out there!" exposure, the not talking, not shivering anymore type of exposure...

They are also good for hands and feet of some dipstick that already knew he was too stuck to get out already, but had to spend 30 minutes in snow & slush trying to get the vehicle to move...
You can warm fingers up enough to get the candle lit... And wait for help.

08. Packages Of High Energy Foods.
To stay warm, you have to feed and water the body.
High energy (high fat) foods like Peanuts, Chocolate, Trail Mix, Granola Bars, ect. are excellent.
Calories are the name of the game for making body heat!

Avoid salt! No Salted Peanuts!
Nothing that says, "Electrolyte Balanced" or Electrolyte Replacing"...
Salt is a diuretic, will make you have to urinate more often, and dries out body tissues, not to mention makes you thirsty.

"Survival Butter" is a disgusting, Yet life saving mix of...
Whole Milk Fat Unsalted Butter, Sugar or Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon.
Non dehydrating, Tons of calories, Taste isn't bad, but texture is pure slime to eat!
Not recommended for warmer climates as when it becomes liquid, it's REALLY nasty!

09. Water.
Chances are if you are stranded in winter weather, there is snow around you, so water isn't the problem...
Cold weather "Survival Water" will need to be in "Freeze Proof" containers.
The US Military has water in bags that expand when the water freezes, and this is the only way I know of to store water.

Dehydration will kill you faster than anything in extreme cold.
The human body looses water nearly as fast in extreme cold as it does in the desert.
With out water, your body can not regulate internal temperature, and you will have problems...

Loose, Layers of cloths insulate better than one large garment.
Large, oversized coats with sweaters and lighter jackets will insulate better than one big coat of the same weight.

Don't breath inside your cloths to try and warm up. The moisture in your breath will ruin the insulating properties of your cloths.

Man made insulation works better than natural fibers. Down filled garments don't work worth a hoot if they get damp, and body moisture is all it takes.
Cotton is considered the "Cloth Of Death", and depending on the method of tanning, leather can actually work against you.

Shed layers of cloths as you get warm with manual labor or rising temperatures.
Don't allow your body to sweat in your cold weather gear. Skin oils and moisture will be trapped in the fabrics and ruin the insulating properties.

Keep hydrated! You MUST have water to regulate body temperature.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 11:06 AM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

Great info! Having lived in Alaska for 10 years, I know most of it, but still a great reminder.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 01:51 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

Thanks Junk!

A few of the "More expensive" (Not really expensive, but have a cost) things I always keep with me:
Links are provided to some cheap internet places I have found to get them:
Trioxane Bars not great at heating food/water, but the best firestarter I ever saw, dries out the wood real well, and cheap.
MRE's (Yes sold out) the most durable, but also take up a lot of space, and somewhat expensive.
Emergency Food bars, coast guard approved, high energy and no salt.
Emergency Food Tabs, same as above, but tablets.
Magnesium Fire starter with striker on back. Must have a good knife though.
emergency sleeping bag
pocket flares -depending on the terrain, of course.

I am sure there are more, enjoy.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2005, 09:22 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

Question: Snowshoes? Overboard? Too much to carry? Not useful enough?
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2005, 09:46 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

Always travel with people a little weaker than you are.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2005, 10:32 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

For your heat source/cooking appliance, do a Google search for “buddy burner”. There are several good sites out there that describe how to make them.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2005, 10:46 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

“buddy burner”

[/ QUOTE ]
That follows my line of thought.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2005, 08:15 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

This was a thread on cheap VEHICLE survival kits, or so I thought...

Trioxane Bars, or any kind of chemical fuel tabs are short lived, and produce fumes you don't want in a closed vehicle.

MRE's don't weather well. Freezing or over heating can ruin them quickly. 45 to 55 degrees is the recommended storage temp for MRE's.

Magnesium Fire starter is virtually useless in a vehicle. It's a last ditch way to start fires in survival situations. I'm usually much faster with a fire board and bow drill.
Ever try and start a fire with one of those things when your hands are broken or too cold to move? (I have, and it didn't work.)

emergency sleeping bags are usually those little reflective plastic things, not worth a darn when you can have real blankets from Good Will or St. Vincent duPaul for cheap.

pocket flares (hand held) are a good way to get a fire started or to signal help from a long way off, but useless inside a vehicle.

My Hiking/ Hunting/ Wondering around the woods kit includes most of the above...
(except MRE's, I wouldn't eat them when I was IN the military!)...

Solid Blade Knife.
Large enough with comfortable and SAFE grip, to do some chopping, and heavy enough to drive a nail...
Don't overlook the sheath of a knife. The sheath can be as useful as the knife in some cases.
Don't forget to tie some extra cord (cordage) to the sheath for construction projects, everything from shelter to splints.

Self explanatory. Mine fits in a pistol magazine pouch with a mag lite and a diamond knife sharpener.

Mini Mag Light.
Converted to LED's so the batteries live more than 20 minutes and I don't need a new bulb every time it's dropped or whacked on something...
If you are smart, you will rig a wrist lanyard for your mag light.

Duct Tape
Wrapped around the Mini Mag Light handle. Makes the handle easier to hold on to, keeps the aluminum from sucking heat from your hand, and you all should know how may uses duct tape has!
My personal favorite is to seal sucking chest wounds and close serious gashes...

Military Canteen, Canteen Cup, Canteen Cup Stove, Canteen Cover.
Water treating and storage, Cooking container, Cooking stove all in a light weight, durable nesting and self storing package.
This is where I keep my trioxane matches and water treatment tabs.

Utility Pouch.
This is where I keep my...
Rain Poncho, under a buck, disposable, weighs nearly nothing and is very compact.
Emergency Blanket, Under two bucks, works as reflector for fire, blanket, rain proof shelter or signaling device.
Fire Starters
You should always have three sources of fire starting. Matches, Butane Lighter, and Flairs are a good combo.
Fire Tender
Fuel sticks, Paraffine Cubes or Cotton balls saturated with vaseline work very well for fire tender, cost next to nothing and are safe to store.

You need some where to hang all this crap, and a belt is the logical choice.
A 'Butt Pack' makes a good choice, with built in storage it's a natural.

I use a heavy nylon belt with a 'D' ring buckle, in case I have to suspend something heavy or rappell to get myself out of a 'Situation'...
The 'Slipper' type buckle lends it's self well to being used as a tourniquet, or to adjust for something smaller than my waist (which is almost everything!)...
Built in pistol holster optional.

Other things you may want to take along would be,
Wound wire for snares, fishing tackle & line, first aid equipment, radio or signaling devices, mosquito net, compass, thermometer & wind chill gauge, whistle....


Raduckal Wrote:
Always travel with people a little weaker than you are.

[/ QUOTE ]

The saying around here is,
"I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you!"
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2005, 09:00 PM
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Re: Winter Survival Kit

I have printed this out... Next time I go through "Donner Pass" this time of year it will be handy.

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