American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Priorities: The Colossal Blizzard

"The Storm of the Century" they called it...

"The Colossal Blizzard" was the name The Weather Channel gave it.

What we really experienced was blowing winds, lots of snow, and drifts of several feet. It closed the roads and left people homebound without power.

In this situation, being stuck outdoors could be a death sentence. The gear I carry in my pockets or my car wouldn't be much help unless I got extremely lucky.

Shelter would be the first priority (assuming you were uninjured) and finding a solid shelter would be essential. The space blanket I have would have been torn to shreds by the wind before I could even get it pitched. I'd have to find a cave, a large hollow tree, or even an abandoned car if I was going to last more than an hour or so. There wasn't enough snow on the ground to dig into either so snow trenches, quinzes, and the like were out of the question.

The other difficulty with shelter selection was the change in direction of the wind and drifting from hour to hour. It was blowing one way early in the storm and shifted to the opposite direction later on so a shelter that was facing away from the wind early would be facing directly into it and the snow later on.

If I were lucky enough to get out of the wind, the next thing I'd need is heat. Without the wind it was still in the 20's or 'teens. I don't want a fire inside a car and finding enough usable fuel, kindling, and tinder in that storm would have been very difficult.

Even if I could build a fire, the shifting winds would have been problematic as they would blow flames and sparks into the shelter later in the night potentially burning down your shelter.

You can see how difficult this particular scenario would have been. My first two priorities, shelter and fire, would both require a great deal of luck just to pull off in the first place.

Fortunately, if I were trapped, I'd more than likely be in my car. I have food, water, heat, blankets, etc. in the back because I can. I'd be out of the wind and even though I'd more than likely be miserable, I would dramatically improve my odds of making it through the night.

So, that'd be Man 0 - Wild 1 if left to what I carry with me...

Thanks for reading,



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