Anything can happen in the wilderness, and especially when we least expect it. We have no idea what time of year or even what time of day a possible disaster will strike, but there is one thing you can predict, and that is the environment you will be in.
Remember that you absolutely must have spare, dry clothing in your bag to replace the ones you currently wear. This means, without exception, an extra pair of pants, a jacket (such as a lightweight fleece), and a t-shirt. When the clothes you are wearing get torn or dirty due to some sort of accident, you can use the spare items you keep in your backpack as a simple replacement. Remember that spare clothing can also be used for medical/first aid purposes, such as making tourniquets or attaching splints to broken limbs.
Here, a simple, lightweight fleece jacket is not enough. We’re talking about a warm and durable coat that will serve as your outer layer in cold rain and other inclement weather. The purpose of wearing a thick coat is not to keep you warm (which is why you wear insulation, such as fleece, underneath), but to provide protection from wind and rain.
If your backpack is too small, tie your coat to it. Don’t let this discourage you from taking it. A sturdy jacket is essential in all conditions, but especially in winter. You can use your unused coat as a pillow.
Boots are harder to pack into your bag than the rest of the clothing we’re talking about because they’re bulkier. But just like a coat, if you’re not able to put them in the bag itself, you can at least tie them on the outside instead.
The best types of shoes are sturdy boots or hiking boots that provide the right combination of comfort, support, and adequate traction in wet, adverse conditions. You will be doing a lot of walking, and that means your shoes can and will wear out over time, so you can’t sacrifice quality. Footwear is available from many specialist, tried and tested stores, such as kolba.co.uk.
Also, many people out there would suggest that you include snowshoes in your gear, and in your winter snow survival scenarios, but of course snowshoes will be very bulky. You can include a pair if you want, but alternatively you can just keep a pair of snowshoes in your vehicle and then make your own snowshoes out of sturdy sticks.
An extra pair of socks (or several pairs) are some of the most important items of clothing to have in your survival kit. If you walk around in damp socks long enough, it will cause gangrene/trench foot, which would be disastrous in a survival scenario. Plan on putting at least two extra pairs of socks in your bag. Warm worn or wet socks over a fire.
You can try to keep your hands warm by keeping them in your pockets as you walk, but the easiest way to prevent frostbite on your hands is simply to use gloves. In particular, invest in heavy-duty work or hunting gloves to provide protection, such as when you need to build a shelter. Even a minor injury can quickly become a serious problem if it becomes infected.
When it comes to a hat, often the best option will be one woven from a warm and comfortable material with plenty of insulation. Fleece or wool are excellent examples. However, when you are in a hot environment, a hat that provides protection from the sun is invaluable.
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