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Category: Arctic Survival

The Best Clothing For Digging Out Snow Shelters

The Best Clothing For Digging Out Snow Shelters

Snow shelters take different forms but have many commonalities. Digging them out can be warm work as well as creating problems with moisture in your clothing. I have found over the years, utilising some well chosen items of clothing for digging snow shelters can make all the difference between being damp and chilly afterwards or being warm and comfortable…

As Thick As A Capercaillie: How To Build A Long Log Fire

As Thick As A Capercaillie: How To Build A Long Log Fire

I have in the past written about the value of a long-log fire in the context of articles detailing the building of a lean-to shelter and later, the renovation of a previously used shelter. This has prompted readers to ask questions about the long-log fire itself, how it should be built, how it should be established. First Things First Get the right firewood. When I worked with Lars Fält he used to say there was an old saying that, “logs…

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An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

When snow falls in the forest, you have multiple winter shelter designs to choose from. One of the classic northern forest shelters is a lean-to with a raised bed and a large long-log fire in front to keep you warm through the coldest of nights. I’ve written about the classic northern forest lean-to shelter design before, along with my experience of using it to sleep out at minus 20 to minus 30 celsius. It’s a remarkable way to spend the…

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How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

Because they’re frozen, extreme cold environments are practically deserts. In this video and the associated article I share a couple of really effective methods of generating water in a frozen environment. Unless you have a specialist tool to cut through ice, getting at the water underneath the ice is extremely difficult. There is plenty of water present though, in the form of snow and the key to accessing it is…

Arctic Lean-To Revisited

Arctic Lean-To Revisited

Lean-to shelters have become one of the touchstones of bushcraft, particularly northern forest bushcraft. They are often held up as superb survival shelter – in combination with a long log fire – ideal for surviving cold conditions with limited or no sleeping equipment. This combination is indeed very effective in keeping you warm through the night. It is entirely possible to comfortably sleep outside in ambient temperatures significantly lower than inside a domestic freezer. It’s worth bearing in mind, however,…

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Surviving A Winter’s Night in the Northern Forest: How To Build An Arctic Lean-To

Surviving A Winter’s Night in the Northern Forest: How To Build An Arctic Lean-To

A lean-to is a classic shelter of the northern forests. It is an open-fronted shelter that depends upon fire to keep the occupant warm. This type of shelter has the advantage of a relatively simple construction method requiring few tools. As long as you have access to plenty of firewood, a lean-to will keep you protected from the cold in otherwise lethal temperatures. There are, however, a few tricks to getting it right first time. The Value Of A Lean-To…

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How to Dress for Cold Weather: COLD or COLDER…

How to Dress for Cold Weather: COLD or COLDER…

Cold weather clothing makes winter activities and travel possible. Dressing correctly for cold weather makes you comfortable and is your primary defence against hypothermia and cold injuries. In addition to acquiring and wearing appropriate cold weather clothing, it is necessary to properly manage and care for your clothing. Managing your winter clothing is an essential skill.  Even the best outdoor clothing requires management.  You are the one who must adjust your clothing by, for example, taking off or putting on layers,…

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Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone

Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone

The human body’s mechanisms for staying cool on an extremely hot day are powerful. The human body’s mechanisms for staying warm on a very cold day aren’t nearly as effective. An understanding of how your body is affected by cold will make you more capable in cold environments and help you avoid cold-injuries…