There are but a few extreme conditions on this earth that are as punishing or worse than the extreme cold. Ice and snow bring hypothermia, frostbite, isolation from help and natural food sources, extreme discomfort, and in certain cases, death. Thankfully, human innovation has taught us how to survive such conditions. So with that in mind, here are some of the most crucial tips for surviving the extreme cold.
Breathing, Conditioning, and Preparation
The body can be trained to withstand extreme cold. This has been proven by 59-year-old Wim Hof, a man who’s known for his legendary feats involving extreme ice endurance. Also known as The Iceman, Hof has completed a marathon in the Arctic at minus 27 degrees Celsius wearing only shorts, a feat which he completed thanks to the Wim Hof Method. This involves slowly, but progressively switching the hot water in your shower to cold for 10 days, after which you must stay in the cold shower for two minutes per day. Take 30 deep and full breaths and exhale in short spurts during this cold shower, and at the 30th and final breath, exhale completely and hold your breath. Whilst still holding your breath, do as many push-ups as you can safely do. Hof says that doing this routine for 10 weeks straight can give you the same superhuman endurance he has. While we don’t advise going out on the ice half naked like The Iceman, using his methods to develop endurance has been proven to be highly effective in preparing both mind and body for the extreme cold. If your next trip is in cold conditions this could be useful.
Combine Moisture-Wicking and Insulating Layers of Clothing
In an article by the BBC they point out how you should resist the temptation to wear tight layers of wool, and instead opt for loose layers that won’t curtail blood circulation to the skin, allowing insulating air to keep you warm inside your clothes. Avoid moisture getting trapped in between layers by opting for moisture-wicking inner clothes. In the cold, the right clothing choices can save lives.
Think Worse Case Scenario
The worst thing that can happen is being isolated in the wild with no help for miles around. The best option for shelter is to find some sort of structure or to stay in your vehicle where you can stay warm. Lacking those conveniences, Back Country Survival can teach you how to properly dig a snow hole, which you and your companions can use to survive for several days. It’s not as simple as it sounds – it will need to be situated where the snow accumulates the least, and there needs to be proper ventilation to avoid the potentially lethal build up of carbon monoxide when cooking food or melting snow to drink. While it may seem extreme, these methods are necessary for surviving the most extreme conditions.
Use Your Skills to Conquer Your Fears Apart from surviving an emergency scenario, these tips can also help you through planned outdoor adventures, which are becoming more and more popular with package trips to extreme locations. Out of the many adventure trips offered currently, the most dangerous and sought-after remains Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain peak. For this, you’ll need not just your survival skills, but a sizeable bank account as well. In an article by Lottoland on dream bucket lists, it details how a trip up Everest can cost up to $75,500 (£58,000) per person. This includes all the provisions that you’ll be needing for your journey and the fees for the Sherpa or guide who will show you the way. Combined with the guidance of your Sherpa, your own survival skills could lessen the chances of you getting into trouble on the mountain. A quick side-note, the rules have changed recently, which means that you will need to have climbed a 7,000 metre peak before even attempting Everest.