Although winter promises a lot of fun activities such as skiing and snowboarding, they also come with the risk of being lost and stranded. Even if you’re not into any of these sports, your car might break down in the middle of nowhere during a rough winter. And winter brings wind, snow, and rain along with it. Thus, it’s best to know how to protect yourself from these elements of nature. This means that like fire, water, and food, you’re going to need a place as a shelter too. If you’re well-equipped beforehand, you might have a tent with you for warmth and comfort. If you don’t, you can protect yourself by building a snow cave, tree pit, or quinzhee. In either case, you need to be prepared with tools and accessories that would help you fight against Mother Nature’s forces and build winter survival shelter. This article takes a look at some of the gear that you might need to build such a winter survival shelter if an ugly situation rears its head.
You might be also interested in: Top 10 Essentials for a Winter Survival Kit
1. Aqua Quest Defender Tarp
Product Description: Tarps can be greatly useful if you’re stuck in frigid temperatures. Attach them to trees, and you have a roof over your head. They are made from thick fiber, which makes them suitable for use as a warm blanket, preserving the valuable heat in your body and preventing hypothermia. The Aqua Quest Defender tarp is durable, versatile, and portable, making it suitable for usage in risky survival conditions.
Product Design & Quality: Made of 70D Nylon and TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane), and coated with DWR (Durable Water Repellant), the tarp comes in 3 sizes – medium, square and large.
- Compact and convenient to pack.
- The tarp with 19 to 24 webbing loops, including 1 at the center.
- It comes in 2 colors – Camo or Olive Drab.
2. Tough-Grid 750lb Paracord to bild Winter Survival Shelter
Product Description: If you’ve got a tarp, you’ll also need some paracord to secure them with tree branches. But that’s not all paracord is good for. Other than shelters, paracord can also be used for making simple tools, first aid, or even tie boughs to your legs to create makeshift snowshoes.
Super strong and super light, this paracord from Tough Grif can support up to 750lbs and is recommended by hundreds of US military veterans.
Product Design & Quality: Purely made in America, this paracord consists of 100% nylon and is triple-stranded.
- Supports up to 750lbs.
- Comes in 6 different lengths – 50, 100, 150, 200, 500 and 1000 feet.
- Tough but flexible.
3. Tact Bivvy 2.0 Emergency Sleeping Bag to biuld Winter Survival Shelter
Product Description: Tents might be ideal for winter survival shelter, but they are heavy and bulky to carry. This means that if you’re traveling solo or did not anticipate the hazard, you would need something lightweight to fall back on.
Bivvy sacks are lightweight waterproof sleeping bags that can protect you from rain and snow without having to carry a tent everywhere. The Tact Bivvy Compact Sleeping Bag can easily fit into a tiny sack that comes with it, making it easily portable wherever you go.
Product Design & Quality: It is made of reflective polyester film and weighs only 4.8 ounces. It comes in a durable nylon stuff sack that can fit within the palm of your hand.
- Reflects 90% of body heat to you.
- The drawstring of the sack is a tinder cord, which can be used to start a fire.
- The drawstring also contains a whistle that can be used for emergencies.
4. Black Diamond Snow Saw Pro
Product Description: Snow saws can be pretty handy for building a shelter if the snow is frozen over. Much like how Inuits build igloos, you can use a snow saw to cut off hardened blocks of snow to protect yourself from the winter.
The Black Diamond Snow Saw is great for making clean cuts off frozen snow and can be folded, which makes it easy to pack when traveling.
Product Design & Quality: This snow saw is made of aluminum and has a 35cm stainless steel blade attached to it, making it sharp and reliable.
- Folding design.
- 35cm serrated stainless steel blade.
- 3 interchangeable connection pegs.
5. SOG Machete with Sheath
Product Description: A good substitute for a snow saw can be a machete, which has other uses than just cutting off blocks of snow. If you’re stranded on a location suitable to build a tree pit, you can use machetes to cut off branches to cover the pit and keep it insulated.
Compact and balanced, the SOG Machete is a reliable and safe tool that can make a difference when it comes to survival.
Product Design & Quality: The machete has a 10-inch stainless steel blade with a rubber handle. The back of the blade also works as a saw, giving it its versatility.
- 10-inch straight steel blade.
- The back of the blade works as a saw.
- Comes with a black tanto blade on its handle.
- Comes with a nylon sheath.
6. Birdrock Home Folding Emergency Camping Shovel
Product Description: Whether you’re going for a skiing trip or driving your car in heavy snow, it’s always best to keep a snow shovel prepared. Besides helping to dig out your vehicle if it’s stuck, it could be used to dig out snow caves or clear out loose snow from within the shelter.
And this foldable snow shovel from Birdrock Home easily fits in your vehicle and is light enough to be carried on your backpack as well.
Product Design & Quality: The shovel has a lightweight aluminum construction that can maneuver snow or dirt easily. It also has a rubber handle which provides extra friction, making your grip stronger.
- Aluminum construction.
- Rubber, textured handle.
7. Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan
Product Description: If you’re planning on making a quinzhee or an igloo, you’re going to need several snow blocks which would be heavy to carry by hand and cost you valuable energy. A snow sled or toboggan can be used to drag heavy gear and snow blocks, reducing your loss in energy and heat.
The Downhill Xtreme toboggan has an aerodynamic shape and a robust structure, making it suitable in the wilderness for carrying heavy blocks of ice and survival gear.
Product Design & Quality: The sled is constructed with slick-coated plastic and treated with the Slippery Racer IceVex treatment, which allows it to withstand the coldest of temperatures.
- Aerodynamic shape.
- 48 inches in length.
- Pull-rope included.
8. Snow Claw Backcountry Snow Shovel
Product Description: Snow shovels have been mentioned earlier, but the Snow Claw Snow Shovel is a bit different. It may not look like much, but other than its prime purpose as a snow shovel – it can also be used as a snow anchor or a seat to keep insulate yourself from the ground.
With its high versatility and varying edges for soft and hard snow, the Snow Claw snow shovel is a true all-rounder.
Product Design & Quality: The shovel has a lightweight construction made from high impact copolymer that lends it its durability, portability, and flexibility.
- 2-sided handles.
- Crack-resistant up to -20°F.
9. AceCamp Portable Foam Sleeping Pad to biuld Winter Survival Shelter
Product Description: Heat management is vital if you get stranded outside during the winter. Therefore you need to conserve your body heat. A cell foam pad can work as a place to sit or lay upon inside your shelter without losing hit to the ground.
This cell foam pad from AceCamp is lightweight and waterproof, making it easily portable to prepare yourself for emergencies.
Product Design & Quality: The cell foam pad is accordion-shaped with a 12-panel foldable design. It is made of convoluted polyethylene, which is both comfortable and insulating.
- 1.8 feet wide when folded, and 6.1 feet when opened.
10. UCO 9-Hour White Candles
Product Description: Having created your shelter, you also need to protect it. Besides, night falls early during winter. A long-burning candle not only generates enough heat inside a snow shelter to keep you warm but also provides light to ward off predators and boost your morale when it gets dark.
Short and compact, these UCO candles can burn for long hours and last you through the night.
Product Design & Quality: Consisting of a specialized wax formula and fine-tuned cotton wick, these 3.5-inch candles can survive 9 hours inside your snow shelter.
- Burn time of 9 hours.
- High-melt temperature.
- Comes in 3 packages – 3-packs, 9-packs, and 20-packs.
In conclusion, though being stranded in winter is not desirable, it never hurts to be prepared. Anticipating risks and being well-equipped increases your chances of survival, where every little thing can either make it or break it. For a winter survival shelter, your goal would be to stay warm and conserve as much heat as possible. Having the proper tools and equipment to build yourself a winter survival shelter can, quite literally, save your life.