Owner and Head Instructor, Earth Connection
Tim MacWelch is the owner and Head Instructor of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills. Tim founded Earth Connection in 1997, and has continuously been offering outdoor skills classes in Northern Virginia ever since.
Winter Survival - Survival Gear
Wilderness expert Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills discusses winter survival tips including the gear you need to survive.
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Tim MacWelch: Hi! I am Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills near Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is our video clip series on winter survival tips. In this clip, we are going to talk about gear. Now in the previous clips, we have talked about your clothing and shelter items. That's an important part of your gear but there are other things that you should take with you on every trip into the outdoors.
Shelters are most important thing in the winter and we have different products that can help us make a quick, warm shelter. The space bag and the space blanket products are mylar and foil blankets and sleeping bags. One is shaped like a sleeping bag and one is shaped like a blanket. We can use these to reflect quite a bit of our body heat back towards us, so it's not lost to the cold air.
Your next priority is water. If you drink up all your water supply in the outdoors by having a bottle and some purification tablets, we can replenish that water supply. So if we could find a little bit of water running in a creek in the winter time, scoop it up in a collapsible bottle, like this, doesn't take up very much room, but it will hold aquatic water. Each one of these tablets will purify aquatic water with Chlorine Dioxide. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how to process these tablets in the water and how long to let them sit, so that they achieve their maximum effectiveness. These different purification tablets that are there in the market will kill any live forms in the water that would cause us to get sick and therefore sterilize the water. So water is the second priority. The next priority is fire making. You always want to have several different ways to make a fire in the outdoors. Matches and lighters are always a great idea. You can also use flint and steel, magnifying glasses, spark rods and lots of other different fire making items.
Food is another great concern. Take lots of high calorie food with you. The more, the better; the fattier, the better, because the cold winter air will chill your lungs and chill your body core. We need a lot more calories to maintain our normal metabolism in the winter time than we do at warmer times during the year. So we may need 2,000 calories a day in the summer, but we may need 3,000-4,000 calories a day to maintain the same amount of baseline metabolism in the winter time. So the higher fat foods are the best choice. Candy bars, lots of different power bars, snack bars, whatever you can put in your pockets, will help you stay warm and stay alive in the outdoors.
Some other final items, first aid items are also important. Bandages, ointments, dressings, tape, medicines, even some fire making starters in that kit can be very important survival item. Some other gear we might want to consider taking would be that brightly colored bandanna to signal for help, to use as a dressing for a wound, to use as a container to hold stuff, lots of different applications for that. Signal whistles for audible signals for help. This is a Fox 40 whistle. It's an extremely loud, bright colored whistle. You always want to have bright colored survival gear. We don't want white survival gear in the winter time. If we drop it in the snow, we may not find it again.
Other survival gear you might want to take with you would be a metal cup to boil water in, some different ways to make fire, extra food supplies and extra signaling equipment. We hope you have enjoyed this winter survival tips video series. We thank you for watching it and we hope you stay safe in all your outdoor adventures.