Survival Tip from TV Host and Survival Expert Les Stroud: Winter
Monday, 15 December 2008 18:22
"Ice fishing is one of those activities where you either ‘get it’ or you don’t. If you don’t get it then you think we’re all nuts for sitting on the middle of a frozen lake for hours at a time. If you get it…’nuff said…we know.
I love walking a few hundred yards from our cottage and chopping a hole in the ice for my family to enjoy some winter fishing. It’s a pretty safe situation. But many an angler has gone to the extreme, of ice fishing miles away from safety by snow machine. And why not, it’s exciting. But to head out into the winter wilderness unprepared for emergencies is just foolish. I always say there are two kinds of survival kits; your pocket kit and you survival pouch. Keeping survival items in your pockets is the absolute best way to ensure your safety and our winter gear offers us plenty of pockets to fill. Simply put; you don’t leave your pockets behind anywhere. Let’s keep things light and small so you don’t feel like you are becoming a gear geek. You can fill up your survival pouch with many things beyond the following pocket list:
In your pockets (or hanging from your belt) you should have:
A full robust butane lighter (the kind that is like a small torch) Strike anywhere matches in a waterproof container – with a striker inside A magnesium flint stick (and for goodness sakes – actually learn how to use it – it is not as straightforward as you might think) Small flashlight (yes – with batteries) One of those foldable metal cups (you can boil or heat water in it) One or two large plastic orange garbage bags High energy power bar or two (food) A multi-tool or ‘Swiss’ style army knife (with a saw blade) A robust (sharp) belt knife A whistle (on a rope around your neck) Some small pocket warmers 25 to 50 feet of parachute cord or ¼ inch rope A compass
I know we’re all in love with those super warm one-piece snowmobile suits but I gotta say; they’re absolutely the worst when it comes to a survival ordeal. Once you start surviving in the winter woods, should you be lost or stranded, those suits make you so hot you need to disrobe but you don’t have layers enough to do so. If I could, I would convince everyone to find snowmobiling clothes that you can actually layer. Strip down when your hot and dress up when your not. And use those pockets!"