Page 81 - WCM 2022 Winter
P. 81

and rated for far below zero. They’re 18-inch waterproof rubber, and lined with 1600 grams of Thinsulate. I have never had cold feet with these boots, even in the most frigid temperatures.
To keep my hands comfy, I wear wool gloves if I’m moving around, then a heavier pair of mittens if I find myself in a stationary position. A wool head covering also goes a long way in helping to maintain body temp. If a lot of wind accompanies the cold temperatures, I wear a face covering that keeps me snug and warm.
Icy-cold weather can also lend itself to slippery conditions, so I use non-slip grips on my boots. Some folks like screw-in metal studs that attach to the sole of the boot, but I prefer the cable style that wraps around the bottom. If you will be around frozen water, these add-on boot grips are an essential part of your gear to maintain solid footing.
I make sure to eat a good breakfast before heading out, and I pack high-energy snacks to carry me through the day. I remove the noisy wrappers and put the snacks in other containers to avoid too much calamity in the woods. I also take a thermos of warm tea with me to get my core warmed up. Another great way to take the chill off is using chemical hand
warmers, the kind that heat up as soon as you take them out of the packet. I place them around my
waist between layers of clothing, and stick a few in
my pockets for extra protection if I feel chilled. It’s surprising how those little packs can take the edge off!
Always be prepared for an unexpected overnight
stay - nobody wants to be stuck out in a cold, remote forest as the sun begins to set. Fire and shelter are
top considerations. I carry a small bag filled with my fire starting kit. In the bag are waterproof matches, a butane lighter, and plenty of tinder (cotton balls mixed with petroleum jelly). I also pack a silicone-treated nylon tarp for making an emergency lean-to shelter, a small hand saw, and some 550 parachute cord. I also carry a plastic bottle with a water-purifying system
for gathering clean drinking water. This whole winter survival backpack doesn’t weigh much at all, maybe ten pounds, but will get a person safely through the coldest night if they keep their wits about them.
The next thing to consider is how to effectively navigate in deep snow and icy conditions. I carry a compass, a GPS unit, a cell phone, and a physical map of the area so I can see where I am, and where I’m going, and call for help if needed. Be certain to have a good grasp of how to use that compass and map, because when cell
Snowmobiles offer both rapid and reliable transportation in remote areas.

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