by Canis Lupis
A true life saving winter survival method I wish to share.
|Winter can be deadly if you are unprepared. Imagine you are lost in the forest and need shelter. The snow is deep and the temperature is plummeting only to worsen as it grows darker.
Find a snowdrift...dig down and forward at the same time for about 2 feet.. Dig upwards and inwards at an angle from there about 2 feet.
Dig straight in from there and begin widening the hole. The idea to this point is to have a lower doorway to your shelter than sleeping level.
Once you get inside about 5 feet with about a 5 ft wide hole, start shaping the sides and roof into a dome. On one side (your choice) do not dig all the snow out but make a platform instead for a bed.
Your shelter should have a small opening big enough for you to crawl in that is about 2 ft x 2 ft....your inside living space should be about 5x6 or so, with a domed ceiling and a platform of snow big enough to lie on that is above the floor/entry level by about 2 ft.
I will explain the reasons now:
You want to use a snowdrift to avoid having to pile snow yourself but it can be done using a fallen tree or leaning tree if necessary. Be careful not to work up a sweat and take off some clothing to prevent this if you have to. Remember, Clothing OFF when working, Clothing ON when resting. Avoid SWEAT.
The entry has to be small enough to keep out a lot of the wind. Adding a snow wall built about 2 feet in front of it is also a good idea as it will reflect heat back inside your shelter and cut wind as well.
The reason your sleeping area is higher than your floor area is that cold air sinks as warm air rises. You want the cold air down and away from you and the warm air up near you.
Doming the celling will help any meltwater from dripping down on you which is as dangerous as sweat. You can even make a little trench on the exterior wall of your sleeping platform for drips to gather in away from you.
Pile some boughs that you have knocked the snow off of onto the sleeping area to keep your body off the snow as well.
IF you can make a fire in the entryway of your shelter remember that smoke needs a place to go so directly above it make a hole about 6 inches wide all the way to the outside.