4 Essential Uses for Snow in a Survival Situation

by survivalistknowledge


1. Build a Shelter

Snow and ice are great building materials. In many parts of the world where snow is constant, like in the polar circle, locals created entire cultures based on the notion of living in ice and snow shelters. The Canadian Inuit tribes are a good example. In a survival situation, a person does not have the tools and the time to make a full igloo but they can still dig a hole in the snow and make a makeshift shelter or build one under a tree. There, they will be protected from the wind chill and blizzards, while the space in the snow offers an impressive level of protection from the elements.


2. Drinking water

Snow and ice should never be taken directly in a survival situation because they can dangerously lower the core temperature of a body. But, uses for snow in a survival situation definitely include drinking water. It should be melted using a fire where a small amount of snow can be transformed into drinkable water. If no fire is present, a dark-colored stone can be used as a source of heat that can melt a bit of snow in a metal cup when placed in direct sunlight. If a person is properly clothed and not cold, a bit of snow can be even melted in a plastic bag that is carried between the person’s body and their jacket. The body’s heat will be able to melt small amounts of snow and risk no dropping of the core temperature.


3. Injuries

Snow can help with many injuries that can occur in a survival setup and especially when no first aid kit is available. It can reduce swelling of an injury like a break or a sprain when it is compressed into a cold package and left on the injured part of the body. If the cold compress is used on an injury in the first crucial 72 hours, it will be able to hasten up the healing process substantially.


4. Insulation

When thinking about uses for snow in a survival situation, many tend to forget that it is very effective for insulation. Using about 10 inches of snow is as using fiberglass insulation that is six inches thick. In an emergency, the best use of this property is by building a bed in the snow. In it, a person can find a lot more protection from the elements than by sleeping on the ground, for example.

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