Stay alive solo in the winter with pre-conditions

kr1

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Is it possible to survive in the winter, say for 2 months, solo without a base camp, moving every night or two without external support?

How would you do this or is it even possible? Consider the dead of winter in the northeast so there is snow up to 4 feet deep and temps as low as 30 below zero. All valid winter conditions in New England.

I have serious doubts that it would be possible but maybe. What say you others? Remember you are moving. Lets assume 2 to 5 miles every second day. You have to find food with enough energy to allow you to do this and put up and take down your shelter during each move or if it is more to your likening make shelters with available materials. Whatever you do has to be either carried on you or made with what is carried on you.

Let the games begin.

Keith
 
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I don't think I would last. But in New England I don't think you can travel 5 miles without running across someones residence.
 
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I have a relative who was in the Norwegian Army stationed on the Russian border. That's WAY north. They learned to survive so it can be done.
 
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i think that food would be the most difficult part of that scenario.

it could be done. it would be hard, but its possible, people have done it as cited above.
 
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i think it's possible - you'd have to be good at hunting, trapping and ice-fishing and maybe need some luck depending on the time of year. the people to learn from are probably the Conovers:

http://www.northwoodsways.com/media/weird.html

The Conovers have "been there, done that":

"two-month snowshoe trek they undertook across 350 miles of northern Quebec's frozen Ungava Peninsula, pulling homemade sledges, living on boiled ptarmigan and their own body fat, and rolling into Kuujjuaq starving and seeing double, with a quarter-cup of oatmeal and 16 raisins between them"
 
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Not only it can be done but it wouldn't even be all that difficult, given the right equipment. The most important part, depending on perspective, is clothing. With good cold weather clothing, the need for any other shelter decreases very dramatically, up to the point that you can simply sit down under a tree and sleep with no worries on the warmer nights. 2 to 5 miles of movement in a day would be little, in two days it's close to nothing. The food issue is made much easier if you can take some with you. If for some reason you can't carry any food with you, then it's going to be rough, hunting what you can find (from bears trying to hibernate to the ever popular willow grouse) and stuffing your face with conifer needles (don't taste fantastic, but will keep a man alive a lot longer than eating air, and they're available almost everywhere). On the other hand, if you can expect to be stuck out there for 2 months without any contact with any human dwellings, you're probably in a very strange place indeed, and should have been able to foresee and prepare for that situation. It's not like we just routinely wake up to find we've been transported overnight smack in the middle of everyone's favourite Siberian tundra. :D

Yeah, and one more thing. For god's sake bring a pair of skis or snowshoes at least, preferably both. Otherwise, it's not going to be fun at all.
 
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I don't see a problem. Provided you didn't deal yourself an accident or get some kind of lurgy game on. The shelter you take for the worst day will do for two days, a weekend, a week, a month, or two months. Main problem is just going to be food. If you only need to average between 2-5 miles every couple of days you could drag an amazing amount of kit with a bergan and a sled or pulk to solve that. In fact, you'd probably eat a lot better than many expeditions in which hunting and fishing is not an option and you get sick of the taste of winding suet into every meal. Factors like vitamin deficiency through rabbit starvation are a non-issue in such a short length of time.
 
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interesting scenario, but even the mountain men would cabin up for the winter, the fact that clothing may build up ice from perspiration and become heavier and less effective insulation is an issue unless it can be dried. this happens in the intermediate term. mors kochanski writes about this in one of his little booklets on survival, he talks about the need to dry clothing in a winter environment, and how the open fire vs fireplace vs wood stove eficiencies are why the old trappers cabins were equiped with a wood burning stove it gave off far more heat per wood consumed than the others.

alex
 
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the alaska survival video i saw they built Snow huts. Similar to debris huts. They cleared a body sized patch of snow to reveal the ground then piled pine branches into it and then piled snow on top. They kept piling more snow on and then packed it down. They then pulled out enough branches so they could fit in it. This gave them great shelter with the remaining pine branches as a bed. Pretty neat!!!
Then they made a door out of snow and shelter was complete. They claimed that at -50 the shelter was in high 30s with a live body in it.

They started fires using two rocks for sparks and they used this stuff that they found in the trees that was super fluffy from abandoned birds nests. And also your basic methods.

Water not an issue with all the snow I guess.

They trapped food.

Now i would die out there. I just dont have skill level. But i think its doable.
 
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I think the hole idea stands on what you get to take with you. If you get a sled and snow shoes you would be able to carry a lot of food and clothing. you could even leave ½ behind and then go back for the other ½ every day, carrying twice as much.
On the other hand if you get a knife and a pair of speedoes, I'd be a goner in no time;)
 
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Humans have survived the harshest environments on earth for thousands of years.The steppes of Russia,the Arctic,the Antarctic,with a lot less gear than anyone of us could raise.They were just tough and tenacious enough to survive.I think a mindset along those lines would be the #1 piece of gear for an adventure like that.back that up with all the knowledge you could absorb about your environment your entering.
Next would be a good rifle/carbine,3 knives.Large,medium and a small,snowshoes,CC skis,multi-layered wool clothing and skins for outerwear/shelter liners,plenty of flints and strikers,a good sturdy sled,shades,A few big candles.I sure there's something I'm forgetting but I feel that that would give someone a good start.
 
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I have a relative who was in the Norwegian Army stationed on the Russian border. That's WAY north. They learned to survive so it can be done.

If we Norwegians get some food once in a while we are pretty comfy in the cold:D

If one could hunt food would be relatively easy to get, but it would be low in carbs and high in protein and fat.
After killing a larger animal it would make sense to stay in one place for a couple of days.

Skis (better) or snowshoes and preferably a pulk (sled pulled after you) would make it a lot more comfy.

Me pulling a pulk with my daughter in the mountains:

IMGP0426.jpg


Sverre
 
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Walking in deep snow is very, very difficult. you would have to have snow shoes or snomobile to be that mobile.

The only way to survive night after night without any shelter is with fire. A really, really big fire. that means a ton of firewood would have to be gathered every night.
 
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earlier this year...
schneejp6.jpg


Next time I will have snowshoes ready. But I had less problems than my dog. He could barely move and got stuck all the time. The snow was "only" about 2 feet deep.
 

kr1

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I might say that groups of humans have survived all over the planet in all types of environments. Doing it solo is another matter entirely. Especially if moving frequently.

I have used a Pulk that I have made and it works great. Allows one to pull heavy loads fairly comfortably. It has issues in mountainous terrain though like the White mountains or the Adirondacks. It can be very unwieldy in heavy tree cover and even dangerous on steep slopes in the mountains. The pulk and snowshoes or skis would be my first choice as a mode of travel but I don't think you could carry 2 months of food. Especially needing around 4000 - 6000 calories a day if even moderately active. I do think some might be underestimating the difficulty involved doing this solo. I have lived for short periods (2 to 4 nights) backpacking in 30F below weather not including the wind chill, solo with meals all I needed to do was put boiling water in and other food edible as is. I might be able to do that indefinitely as long as I had the fuel and the food. Most of that travel was on fairly well packed surfaces but I have also broken trail in some less hospitable terrain off trail so to speak. If you ran out of food, or needed to obtain fuel every day for your fire and every second day you needed to move. I think this would be a very difficult task. It might be doable but I think it could be very difficult. In very flat terrain it would be considerably easier also. Using skis and a pulk and maybe even the wind to help move you as some expeditions have done.

Thanks for the replies and some of the stories guys. I appreciate it.

Keith
 
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Walking in deep snow is very, very difficult. you would have to have snow shoes or snomobile to be that mobile.

The only way to survive night after night without any shelter is with fire. A really, really big fire. that means a ton of firewood would have to be gathered every night.

Snowshoes and skis, my friend, snowshoes and skis. On some days, the snow will be strong enough to ski on, and you can quite possibly cover over a dozen miles without much of a problem. On some days, when the snow is too weak to carry skis, you'll have to go with the snowshoes, which is a hell of a lot slower. On average, though, getting a couple of miles a day should be no problem at all.

The thing about fire isn't true, either. Much more important than fire is proper clothing. No matter how large a fire you've got, without the proper clothing, you're going to end up dead. There are places where you simply cannot possibly make fire due to complete lack of burnable wood: sure, you could bring supplies to last one night, two nights, even a week, but not for two months. Even these places are survivable. Where there is snow, there is shelter - burrow under the snow to protect yourself from the worst of the cold. On bare ground level under the snow, it never gets cold.

Many things in life are harder than they sound. Many are a lot easier than they sound. A lot of the things that should've gone right turn out bad at some point. I can't count how many times I've spent days and weeks out in the winter, outside 'civilization' so to speak, and alone - and I've done it with others still more often - and it's not nearly as hard as one who hasn't tried it could imagine. On the other hand, it could turn out to be a lot harder than one would have imagined, if it's not done right. In a scenario like this, the biggest problem is food. Getting food can be a real pain in the behind in some places. Fortunately, starvation isn't as quick as a lot of urban folks think. I've gone a week with nothing but lukewarm water and conifer needles, and it wasn't that bad. Didn't feel particulary strong and my stomach didn't love the whole deal, but it didn't stop me from moving roughly ten miles a day on average, on skis, and pretending to be fighting. But then again, I'm Finnish. A lot of folks say we're not right in the head. Nor pretty much anywhere else, either. :D Scandinavian countries, Russia, these are fun countries to spend time in if you like snow and cold and winter survival exercises. For you Americans of course, Canada and the Alaskan state is more practical, and certainly cold enough.

There is one rather nasty problem with these scenarios, though. Just random speculation for the purposes of speculation alone aside, you should never get into a situation which requires you to survive arctic winter weather alone for 2 months without any sure source of supplies or solid shelter. That's obvious, of course. But what's the problem? Well, if you do somehow manage to succeed in getting into such a situation, you're either
1) someone who expected it and did nothing to prevent it (in other words, either a very skilled man or a very stupid man)
or
2) someone who didn't expect it, and for that reason someone who has none of the stuff that you need to survive such a situation actually with you (that is to say, a dead man).
 
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