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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cold-Weather Firemaking Challenge or How to Prevent Hypothermia

Cold-Weather Survival Firemaking Challenge

This is something I do with my students in my winter survival classes and quite frequently in my backyard when the snow is coming down. It is -1 degrees today in Flagstaff so it seemed like a good time to practice. It's one thing to start a survival fire under controlled conditions during a camping trip or when your body is in good shape but quite another when you are dealing with hypothermia and the reduced motor-skills that accompany it. 

1. Place your hands in the snow for 2 minutes then 2) grab your different firemaking tools and try to ignite your tinder. Simple as that. 99% of the time the spark rod is my tool of choice as it requires gross motor skills unlike a lighter or matches and works when wet. Good luck trying to get a lighter going when you're all thumbs. Tinder is in the top pics. For my friends in Phoenix, get a bowl of ice cubes!

 Since the majority of hypothermia cases happen in 50 degree F weather around the world and since most lost dayhikers are injured and hypothermic, it pays to build your skills and accompanying trail gear around the fact that you may have reduced motor-skills.

About Ancient Pathways

Tony Nester is the author of numerous books and DVDs on survival. His school Ancient Pathways is the primary provider of survival training for the Military Special Operations community and he has served as a consultant for the NTSB, Travel Channel, Backpacker Magazine, and the film Into the Wild. When not on the trail, he lives in a passive-solar, strawbale home in northern Arizona. For information on Tony’s books, gear, or bushcraft courses, visit www.apathways.com.
 

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