Winter Survival Shelter
If you were ever in a situation that
you had to stay warm in a wintry snow environment for survival,
you could make a shelter out of a snow cave. A den in the snow confines
the body heat like a blanket or overcoat. It is a snug place, no matter
how the wind may blow. The deer use this technique to keep warm by bury
themselves in drifts, lying a half day or more with just their heads
sticking out. Kind of the same situation of a bear going in
a cave to hibernate where its much warmer.
By making a snow cave you want
to take the cautions of making it safe to be in. There are those that have suffocated
in them for not
being built right, either from a lack of oxygen or being too cold
inside and couldn't survive it.
To begin building one, first, dig a four foot diameter tunnel into the
hill, piling the snow down hill. When you have your tunnel mined about
eight feet horizontally into the snow, start excavating up and out
until you can sit up on the snow that will become your sleeping
platform for your two or several sleeping pads, bags and bivys. Create
a smooth arched chamber for the cave that will allow the melting snow
to run down the sides and not your sleeping bag bivy. Then excavate an
eighteen inch wide trench about eighteen inches below your sleeping
platform out to the doorway for the new cave floor . When you have dug
out the cave interior and moved all the excavated snow out of the way,
go outside and completely close the entrance to your four foot tunnel
with blocks of snow cut from the disturbed consolidated snow you have
depositing down hill. Be careful not to break your shovel by prying too
hard. Wait until the wall consolidates. Try to keep warm by drinking
something hot and then cut a two by two foot pit or larger and a new
eighteen inch tunnel entrance into the trench you created.
This technique will place the sleeping platform just above the top of
the new entrance tunnel. This design will trap the heat from your
bodies and keep the inside temperature at a constant 32 degrees.
Make good steps into your pit, many people have been injured slipping
into the cave pit. Make a cooking area and seats around this outside
pit. Build walls to break the wind that will come down the mountain as
evening cools to air. Create a potty area complete with blue bags.
Other Snow Caves: