When out on a cold weather survival adventure in a wilderness area we need to be more cognizant than usual of the weather. Unlike being in an urban area where we can go into a commercial building or home when we are inadequately prepared for outside conditions, escape from the elements become much more difficult in a wilderness survival situation. Factor such as temperature, rain, freezing rain, and snow will determine your survival shelter requirements. During cold weather survival, your first shelter consideration is the clothing you wear against your skin. Your body loses heat through a process of conduction, convection, and radiation to the air. (For more details read the article “Cold Weather Survival“)
Your body tries to regulate its temperature through perspiration (sweating) on your skin. However, if you get wet from rain, snow, or even overexertion, you run the risk of too much heat loss from water evaporation cooling. In low temperatures, this can quickly transfer the heat from your body to the outside air causing hypothermia within minutes. Wearing an outdoor clothing system that allows you to adjust the amount of heat loss needed and that either protects you from getting wet or that does not allow for water evaporation should be incorporated into your planning to avoid a cold weather wilderness survival situation.
A multi-layer outdoor clothing system that includes a base layer that wicks moisture away from your skin, middle insulation layer, and an outer shell that protects from rain or snow works best. By having layers, during your cold-weather survival adventure, you can add or remove one or two layers to adjust your current situation.
If you have a favorite base, middle, outer layer brand or material leave a comment and let others know about it. Also, let us know where and how it worked for you and your thoughts on clothing as part of your survival shelter.
To learn more about the bare necessities of wilderness survival check out Essential Wilderness Survival Course that our survival school offers.