HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 14 - SURVIVAL


Obviously, if you’re lost and it’s cold enough that you’re standing in snow, you’re in a dangerous situation. You’ll need to build a shelter as quickly as possible that will help keep you warm and dry until you’re rescued. Fingers crossed that happens sooner than later—surviving in cold weather is no piece of cake.

If you’re in deep snow, find a sturdy coniferous tree (pine, spruce—the cone-growing type with needles) and remove any snow from around the base. The branches at snow level will form a natural roof and can be thatched together with other branches to create a full cover.

If there aren’t any trees around, build a snow cave by digging a hole out of a snowdrift and carefully punching a couple of holes in the roof for ventilation. Try to arch the inside of the roof to keep the melting snow from dripping on you (like a makeshift igloo). Construct a sleeping ledge that’s slightly above the floor and cover it with any brush or tree boughs that you can find nearby. Place a blaze orange marker on the shelter roof so that a search party will be able to spot you. Once you’re in, cover the entrance with branches to keep the wind and snow from blowing in.

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