Ever considered how tough it might be to survive in a winter log cabin? How hearty would you have to be, and what would you need to survive, either in an emergency or for an extended period of time?
Certain things matter most and can quickly become the difference between surviving and thriving in winter, or not.
What You Wear
Obviously the type of clothing you wear in colder temperatures matters. Dressing in layers and wearing the right materials is the best strategy for staying warm for longer periods of time.
Start with thin, form-fitting layers at the top and bottom, to help keep your body warm and dry. A hooded undershirt made from Merino wool or cotton and thermal underwear are excellent choices. This controls moisture when you sweat and helps regulate your core body temperature.
Next comes outer layers that add extra insulation between you and the elements. If you’re spending time outdoors, your “snowsuit” is also ideally water-repellant, in case you’re trudging through snow or freezing rain.
Finally, protect your extremities – head, hands, and feet. These are the places where body heat escapes first. Insulated boots, gloves, and hats keep your entire body warmer for longer periods of time, if well-protected.
What You Have
Your log cabin should be equipped with basic essentials to survive colder temperatures. A portable generator provides temporary power during outages or when camping outdoors. A portable camping stove, a rechargeable lantern, and a satellite communication device are other handy essentials worth bringing to your winter log cabin.
If you lost power during a winter storm, having an adequate amount of drinking water on hand is also crucial. Staying hydrated is especially important during winter, since it helps prevent frostbite and hypothermia in the cold.
If you ran out of fresh drinking water, you could even melt snow in a pot on the stove, or use your body heat to melt it by filling a water bottle with snow and placing the bottle in your jacket.
What You Do
One essential element to surviving winter conditions in a log cabin involves having the right attitude. A hearty disposition and a can-do attitude helps you cope with extreme conditions. Section Hiker lists five essential skills for surviving winter in the wilderness. Knowing how to build a fire, administer first aid, and seek help if necessary are things you’d want to learn before you decide to spend the winter in a log cabin, far from civilization.
In particular, knowing how to build a fire could save your life, if you’re stuck outside, far from shelter. You can use specific flint and steel kits or firestarters like Vaseline coated cotton balls or egg carton squares dipped in wax to build fires when it’s cold and wet.
Being prepared is one thing, but trusting your instincts and judgment not only improves your ability to deal with challenges in a crisis, but helps you survive (and thrive) in a winter log cabin.