Stranded In The Middle Of Nowhere: Hot Or Cold

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posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 02:10 PM
This topic is from Dr_Strangecraft's thread on Survival Skills (Busted).
I have given only a little thought to this scenario and would love to hear what others in a similar situation would do. Before beginning I'd like to set up two generic scenarios; one for extreme hot weather and one for extreme cold.
Scenario One:
Driving down a desert highway in temps of one hundred degrees or higher on a road with little to no traffic. You aren't getting any cell signal and there wont be any exits or services for at least fifty miles. Not such a far fetched scenario... your car comes to a halt for number of reasons that the average person could not remedy: maybe a blown head gasket? More than one flat tire? Empty radiator? Total electrical system failure?
Scenario Two:
Driving down the same road but instead it has snowed or is snowing or about to snow. Maybe it's icey and throw in some arctic wind.
What would you do, and how would you do it? What if your kids are with you? Could an elderly couple handle the same suggestions as say a twenty something individual?
Basicly you are stuck (at least the car is) and the weather is a huge factor and you can't expect rescue for at least a few days. No What?
1. How could you attract attention (rescue)
2. Stay alive in extreme weather
3. Rescue yourself

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 06:27 PM
I am no expert but i do have an interest... so here it goes...

First thing first... Always stay with your car, much better chance of being spotted by a search party/plane or passer by...

Extreme Hot

First priority is shelter... i would use a tarp or blanket and attach it to the roof of my vehicle and then tie it to some branches for basic shelter/shade...

Next would be to check the water supply’s (when travelling in extreme hot areas you should always carry enough for a few days) maybe try and set up a solar still... keep an eye on wildlife, certain plants and animals can indicate that there is water nearby. Also, if you have any containers, leave them out (a sudden tropical storm overnight could help replenish your supply)

Then build a fire for warmth... Often places of extreme heat are very cold at night... its also good for morale and helps keep spirits up (an often overlooked part of survival is a positive mental attitude)

Try to rest during the middle of the day (to conserve water and energy)

Extreme cold

Again shelter is first priority same as above but this time place plenty of insulation between yourself and the ground (spruce would act as a good makeshift insulator)

Also, enclose the sides of your shelter and put plenty of insulation between yourself and the vehicle. If you do not have sufficient winter clothes then insulate the ones you do have by stuffing paper or spruce into your clothes when you sleep. Try to keep your feet and hands dry and warm... keep your head covered to minimise heat loss.

Build a fire at the front of your shelter using long logs laid out horizontal to your shelter to maximise heat distribution (you can also build a deflector behind the fire, out of the same logs, with some cord)... keep plenty spare to add during the night if needed... but do not build a roaring tall fire... It will generate to much heat and burn to quickly... the aim is to get a steady warmth for long periods. If the fire is to hot you may break into a sweat during the night... you will then become wet and run the risk of hypothermia.

For water DO NOT EAT SNOW... It will make your core temperature drop. Instead you can melt snow over your fire for water... if you do not have any pan’s to melt the snow then build a large snowball compacted tightly(about the size of a large grapefruit) and place on a stick near the fire. Allow this to drip into an improvised container (empty plastic first aid box, hubcap from vehicle etc...)

For both scenarios...

Set some snares away from your shelter and forage for berries (as long as you know what to look for)

Build a signal fire with lots of fast burning kindling and plenty of small dead twigs... place some larger dead sticks on top and finally add plenty of green leaves and sticks to give off plenty of smoke.

Finally do not despair... always try to remain positive... and good luck

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 12:18 AM
I've heard about situations of people being stranded on snowy/icey roads who died waiting for help to arrive. Typically this happens on roads that aren't plowed or maintained during winter months.
I guess I'll tackle the cold scenario first:
One thing I keep on hand that not many people have mentioned is a refill bottle of powdered chalk. It's original use is for snap lines (in carpentry). The snap line is in a chalk box and you stretch it out and snap it on wood and it makes a straight line for cutting. Anywho, this chalk comes in bright red or blue and you can pour it onto snow to make great big words and other markings to draw attention from say a plane.
What about fashioning snow shoes out of floor mats from the car? Duct tape them onto your feet for walking over deeper snow and/or ice.
The visor over head usually has a mirror and would also be good for drawing attention.
A coffee can with a three wick candle and a lighter in it would make for warmth. A cheap box of tin foil would be good to have on hand. I'd wrap foil around my feet and hands if need be.
Keep food bars (at least a couple of them) that have some type of nuts in them for protein.
It's my understanding that you can use the lense from shake up flashlights as a magnifying lense and that some part is also magnetic (and thus useful as a compas??) This last part I've never tried but I'd like to check that out. What else?

posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 12:58 PM
Would it be prudent to set a spare tire on fire to attract attention? (In either hot or cold scenarios)

posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 01:36 PM
The thing that sticks in my mind is that vehicles are known for being poorly insulated. Because of this they conduct heat both into and out of themselves at enormous rates. Accordingly they are either hot when you need them to be cold or cold when you need them to be hot. I suppose you could use the greenhouse effect on a bright sunshiny cold day to your advantage but snow insulates and I believe that for night time I'd exploit that. Maybe if you're able to see to it that the passenger compartment is buried in a generous layer of snow it would work. Otherwise I'd see the car as shade rather than shelter in the heat and either a windbreak or greenhouse in the cold. I think I'd be watching my surroundings for signs of anything in the form of shelter, food and water that would improve my chances. I would not be fanatical about staying with the car but it would be prudent for someone with little or no experience to stay. I would not wander aimlessly and I'd leave a note.

I wouldn,t count on burning the spare tire actually bringing help but who knows. I hit a stump and sunk a small boat one dark night and was able to attract help with my mini-mag light that I'm never without. Hey,, maybe I can do a commercial. ;-)

posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 02:07 PM
I guess the thing to remember about burning a tire would be to not burn it too early. How long after being stranded can someone expect to be looked for?
HEET is very flammable, right? Can it be set on fire with a magnifying glass from something like a swiss army knife?

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