Nature survival basics

Climate and weather


1) Arctic (polar). In summer, temperatures reach 65 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 degrees Celsius). The exceptions are glaciers and frozen seas. In winter, the temperature drops to - 70 degrees. F and fluctuates within 32 degrees. F.

2) Subarctic (pre-polar). Summer does not last long, the temperature is about 50 degrees. F, sometimes reaches 100 degrees. F. Winter is colder in the northern hemisphere, maximum temperatures are - 60-80 degrees. F in North America and even lower in Siberia.

The winds. In winter, winds accompanied by low temperatures can quickly cool a person down. Colds are caused by the combined cooling effect of air, temperature and wind, which affects a person more than severe frosts.

Precipitation. Many places in the High North receive less rainfall in the form of snow and rain than in the arid southwestern regions of the United States. Average annual precipitation in the subarctic regions, excluding the seashore, is about 10 inches, in the Arctic - about 5 inches or less.

Landscape. It is characterized by a very high diversity in arctic and sub-arctic zones, including mountain peaks and glaciers, as well as flat valleys. In summer, in both zones, the surface of the earth, the soil varies from hard, uneven to soft, loose. In winter, lakes, rivers, swamps freeze, the snow cover becomes higher and higher as the distance to the north increases.


The secrets to getting around in cold climates are to have adequate clothing, adequate food, rest, and steady movement. But neither food, nor rest, nor even movement will help you survive if you do not have clothing that would protect you from excessive arctic (polar) cold and winds. In the absence of appropriate equipment, the best course of action in polar conditions is to immediately build a shelter, start a fire, and conserve heat and energy. If weather and health permitting, do your best to establish friendships with the local people or try to get to your territory. If the enemy and the hostile population force you to move further, take all necessary measures to survive and use the technique for this. Assess the climatic and physical hazards correctly by identifying what poses the greatest threat at the moment. When in friendly territory, try to stay close to the damaged aircraft or car and sound alarms. The direction of travel should be determined by your location and terrain conditions. In mountains and wooded areas, descend to settlements along the course of rivers. Siberia, where rivers flow northward, is an exception to this rule. More populated areas are located in the southern parts of Siberia and in the European part of Russia. Crossing the terrain across, try to take advantage of its features; Note that the valleys are much colder at night than the foothills or mountain ranges. Stay close to the coast or the banks of large rivers, to areas of likely human habitation. During the arctic winters, your successful travel will depend on four main conditions. It:

- determination of the direction. First of all, you must clearly know the initial coordinates and the final goal of your movement. You can get a very accurate determination of the north direction by hanging a piece of lead (or other weight) on the line, tie the line to a tilted pole. This method can be used everywhere on earth, but it is especially useful in polar conditions, where other methods are almost impossible to apply, and Polaris is very high in the sky. A plumb line, consisting of a pebble or other small heavy object, is suspended by a string by the end of a pole stuck at an angle into the ground.

    1. In the morning, mark the shadow falling from the pole, its end point B. From point A, located on the ground directly under the sinker, draw a semicircle through point B. After lunch, the shadow of the pole will cross it at a point.
    2. Connect points B and C with a straight line. A line drawn from point A through the middle of line BV will indicate exactly the north direction. You can also determine the direction by the constellations. Another method is to direct snowdrifts, which are usually found behind protruding objects, rocks, trees, or other hills. Having determined the basic coordinates on the compass, and hence the coordinates of your movement through the snowdrifts, the angle at which you cross them will serve as a checkpoint for you to maintain direction. Snow on the south side of the mountain ranges looks more grainy than on the north. Factors such as the slope of willows, alders, poplars pointing to the south, and the crown of conifers, which is usually more lush on the south side, can also help in determining the direction. Use these signs to roughly identify the main directions;

- physical reserve of vitality. Synonymous with survival is the saying “save your time”. Even without special equipment, in bad weather, many survived and successfully moved around the Arctic only because of their resilience;

- clothes. It is necessary in sufficient quantity in order to always be dry, it must correspond to the season and local conditions as much as possible;

- food, fuel and shelter. These essentials must be available in sufficient quantity to maintain strength, or you must have the equipment and tools necessary to provide yourself with these items. It is better to provide yourself with food by continuing to move than by remaining passive. Therefore, if you are short on food and there is little game in the area where you are moving, rest assured that the only correct decision is to keep moving. In summer, dense vegetation, rugged terrain, insects, loose soil, swamps and lakes, rivers that cannot be wade can interfere with your movement. In winter, the barriers are loose snow, dangerous river ice, harsh weather conditions, scarcity of food and other traps (for example, sinks into the water, covered with thin ice or snow). Moving around the northern territories, you must:

- avoid any movement during storms;

- be careful when crossing thin ice, correctly distribute your weight, where necessary - crawl;

- wade across rivers when the water level is low. Alternating cold snaps and warming can cause a drop in the water level in rivers by 2-2.5 meters per day. This can happen at any time of the day, depending on the distance to the glacier, temperature and terrain. This should be taken into account when choosing a campsite near the river;

- take into account that in conditions of clean northern air, the correct determination of the distance is very difficult. His underestimation happens much more often than overestimation;

- to avoid movement in conditions of - white silence - when the absence of visible contrasts makes it impossible to correctly determine the nature of the terrain;

- always overcome snow obstacles at right angles. Look for firm ground under your feet by feeling for the snow with a pole or snow hatchet. Distribute your weight with snow boots, skis, sliding; - stop for the night in advance in order to have enough time to build a shelter;

- treat rivers as - boulevards - movement, whether frozen or not. When frozen, they are often clear and not covered with snow, the ice can make it easier for you to get around. The ability to successfully move on a snow-covered area directly depends on the following factors:

- your ability to use snow walking aids and the quality of the devices themselves. If you have some skiing skills and suitable equipment, it is recommended that you walk in this way. In snow-covered terrain, this is the fastest and most energy-saving method of travel. Using snow boots requires more training, and movement in this case will be much slower and more tiring;

- skiing is difficult in deep, loose snow, and ski boots are recommended if you have a choice. The thin crust, in turn, prevents the skis from falling into the snow and such progress on them will be faster. The presence of a strong crust capable of holding a person makes it possible to move along it without any adaptations. But if they are available and at a certain level of dexterity, always choose skis;

- if the snow is loose and deep, make the equipment necessary for movement. Weave snow boots from willow or other green wood using wooden spacers and straps, wire, laces, or parachute ropes. If there is any remnants of a plane crash, make snow boots from acceptable pieces of salvaged property.


Frost can be fatal to humans. Survival in cold conditions requires protection. In the summer, however, shelter may be needed only for protection from insects and the sun. Caves, rocky outcrops, crevices, groups of shrubs, or natural terraces may be suitable natural hiding places. Location selection. Finding the perfect hiding place differs between winter and summer. In winter, the choice depends on the need for protection from wind and cold, as well as the availability of fuel and water nearby. In mountainous areas, the danger of avalanches, rock falls and floods should be taken into account. The location should not be chosen under large trees because their frozen branches, falling, can hit you like a harpoon, which is fraught with fatal outcome. During the summer months, it should be close to fuel and water and, if possible, where there are relatively few insects. To protect yourself from them, it is better to choose hills, slightly blown by the breeze. Preference can be given to forests or areas on the banks of fast rivers. As long as you have to hide, your location should be a good observation point, if necessary, have 1-2 escape routes. Shelter types. They depend on the materials and time available at your location. In the north, a shelter, regardless of its type, should serve the main purpose - to keep the warmth inside the room and the warmth of your body. Based on this, make the shelter small so that neither snow nor wind can penetrate there. Adequate ventilation must also be provided to avoid suffocation. A smoke hole for the outlet of carbon dioxide and smoke should be made at the top of the shelter. Leave a small gap at the entrance for fresh air. In the cold badlands, build a shelter of ice and snow. Building it is often easier than digging it. But whatever option you choose, it would be prudent to provide for compensation in case of danger.

Some types of makeshift shelter are probably easier to build from blocks carved into snow drifts. This shelter is temporary, for extreme conditions. It is difficult to make it in case of icing snow, and without special tools, nothing will work. A building made of snow blocks is a good temporary shelter for two or more people. But building it requires skill and considerable skill. In this type of structure, the stacking of blocks must be strictly calculated, since they are based on three support corners - two at the base, the third on the roof. Reliance on – three angles –, to which you can add the slope angle, is the only – secret – in this kind of buildings. The gaps between the blocks can be filled with triangular pieces of compact snow and lined with fresh loose snow. Snow plays here the role of a solution that strengthens the structure. To build it, you will need tools such as a knife, saw, or hatchet. This method was tested by the Eskimos, who proved that survival requires a knife and no miracle. The canopy is a standard timber structure. For him, you need to choose the right place, make a fire big enough to keep warm. An important factor is the placement of the canopy relative to the wind. The shelter can be improved by building a reflector from green branches, placing it at the entrance behind the fire. From an awning (parachute canopy) you can build a hut. It can be easily constructed and is suitable for shelter in bad weather and for rescuing from insects. In it you can cook dinner, eat, sleep, rest and give signals without going outside. For its construction, you need several poles 12-14 steps long. A fairly passable shelter can be built from willow rods connected in a frame, covered with matter. It should be wide enough to accommodate 1 or more people and their equipment. The open part of this structure must be at right angles to the direction of the wind. To prevent the shelter from being blown by the wind, the edges of the awning should be buried in the snow. A shelter made from broken branches does not retain heat and becomes unusable when it rains. But it will do just fine as a temporary shelter. A stick shelter can be built quickly and easily. Place 2 sticks on a large log and cover them across with branches and foliage. This shelter is unusable as a permanent shelter. The bed must be made in such a way as to avoid the cold coming from the ground. First, dry and insulate this place, make a fire nearby, tamp hot coals into the ground - under the bed -. If the parachute is preserved, cover it with the leaves that were previously laid on this place. A parachute can be useful as a hammock. Make a bed of twigs by sticking them into the ground at an incline about 8 inches apart. Cover them with thin twigs and foliage.


Quenching your thirst in cold regions in winter is a very difficult problem. In trying to conserve fuel for other purposes, the survivor often deprives himself of the ability to drink the water that can be obtained by melting snow or ice. Saving time and energy to crush ice also limits the ability to stock up on water. In the cold northern regions, a person risks thus dangerously dehydrating his body, which happens much faster than in hot desert areas. Water can be obtained by cutting a hole in or melting ice. It should be borne in mind that to obtain the same amount of water, ice thawing takes about 50 percent less fuel and time than snow thawing. You can eat snow in certain amounts to quench your thirst, but in this case, the following precautions must be observed: - Collect the melting snow in your hands in the form of a stick or a ball. Do not eat snow in the natural form in which it lies, as this can lead to dehydration of the body instead of quenching your thirst; - do not eat crushed ice, as fragments of ice can injure your lips and tongue; - in the event that you are hot, cold or tired, eating snow can lead to colds. In summer, water can be obtained from many ponds, lakes or rivers. During warmer months, fresh water is contained in depressions in icebergs or floating glaciers. Melted water also accumulates in small coves. However, all water, regardless of the source of its receipt, must be boiled or treated with chemicals, if available. Untreated river water can be hazardous to your health. The water in ponds, despite its brown color, is usually drinkable. Milky water from glacial rivers can be drunk only after the sediment has been removed. Old sea ice can be recognized by its bluish color. To thaw ice or snow, you can use any surface that attracts the sun's rays - a flat stone, a dark tarp, etc., setting it so that the melted water flows into a container or jar.

Food Availability.

The chances of finding a wide variety of food in the north depend on the season and location. The polar (arctic) expanses, covered with ice in winter, are devoid of plants and animals. But even beyond the Arctic Circle, where mice, fish and larvae are inaccessible, enough food can be found not to starve to death. Storage and preservation. 1) If you manage to kill a large game or small game in large quantities, you must save and preserve some of the meat for future use. During the cold season, freezing fresh meat or fish will help preserve these foods. Freeze them as quickly as possible by spreading them around your hiding place. 2) During the winter months, meat and game should be stored in a cool, dark place. A hole dug in the ground can serve as a refrigerator. The meat can be preserved by hanging it on a tree, where the wind and sun will dry it. To protect it from insects, the meat must be suspended at least 15 feet from the ground. 3) In some places you will need to protect supplies from small animals. This can be done by hanging them about 6 feet from the ground using natural caches. A fish. In Arctic waters, there are many species of poisonous fish, for example, the scorpion fish (skulpin) laying poisonous eggs. Black mussels can be poisonous at certain times of the year and are just as dangerous as strychnine. Also, avoid eating northern shark meat. In coastal currents and rivers, there is a lot of salmon swimming up to throw eggs, but their meat is spoiled during their swimming in the sea, making it unsuitable for eating. The exception is when there are no other products.

1) In the northern parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, coastal waters are rich in various types of marine products. Farpus, trout, white fish and sea pike are found in lakes, ponds, coastal parts of North America and Asia. Many large rivers are rich in grayling and sturgeon. River snails, lysorins (molluscs) are found in abundance in rivers, lakes in northern coniferous forests. These snails are pencil-shaped or ball-shaped.

2) The fish can be caught with a harpoon, killed with a shot from a weapon, caught with nets or hands, stunned with a stone or club. As bait, you can use pieces of insect meat or small fish. Some northern fish bite on many small objects floating in the water. As a false decoy, you can use pieces of cloth, metal, bones.

3) A good net can be made of strong twine or parachute lines. For trout, the squares of the nets should be no more than 2 inches. A net with smaller squares can be used to catch smaller fish. It can be made from flexible willow rods tied with twine.

4) It is easier to catch fish with nets or by stunning it in narrow places of rivers. You can narrow the course of a river by fencing it off one bank with stones, posts, or branches.

5) Fish sometimes spawn in the branches of the river. Fishing there can be especially successful. 6) To catch fish in shallow water at low tide, block the current with crescent-shaped pebbles.

Animals on land.

1) Large animals. Deer, caribou, wild reindeer, musk oxen, moose, mountain sheep, goats, bears are found in the polar and subpolar regions.

2) Small animals. In winter and summer, in the tundra, among other animals, you can find hares, mice, lemings, earthen squirrels and foxes. Ground squirrels and marmots hibernate in winter; in summer there are a lot of them near the sandy embankments of large rivers. Marmots can be found in the mountains near rocks, more often near meadows. Closer to the south, where trees grow, porcupines can often be found, which can be easily shaken off the tree and stunned with a club. These animals feed on bark. Their presence is evidenced by trees with gnawed bark. Pick them up only after you kill them.

3) Recommendations for hunting. In general, it is better to hunt early in the morning and late in the evening, when the animals go in search of food and water. When hunting large animals, use weapons. They are easier to sneak up on and shoot down, which will provide you with ample meat and fuel. Their hide is very useful. In order for the hunt to be successful, you must know some of their habits:

- caribou or moose can be very curious. In order to shoot, they can be attracted close enough by swinging their clothes and slowly moving towards them;

- Moose can be tracked in dense thickets, but they can attack you. In winter, they can be tracked by the clouds of their breath (it looks like smoke from a small fire);

- mountain sheep and goats are very careful and difficult to approach. They can be taken by surprise by moving quickly downwind as they nibble on grass with their heads tilted. They are found in the highlands;

- bears are very cunning and dangerous. The brown bear is extremely dangerous near the den. The polar bear is a tireless, skillful hunter with good eyesight and an extremely developed sense of smell;

- hares often run in circles and return to the same place from which they fled. If the animal is running, whistle, it can stop it. Traps can be useful for catching small animals. Sea creatures. In winter and spring, marine mammals - seals, walruses, polar bears - can be found on glaciers or floating ice floes in the open sea. Like large land animals, sea animals shot down provide you with a large supply of food, fuel (fat) and clothing.

1) You can get close to seals, but you can also track them down. Approach from the leeward side and avoid sudden movements. A good camouflage will help you. Approach only when the seal, judging by the tilt of the head, is asleep. If a bearded seal sees you moving, stop and shoot. The seal can be finished off only if it allows you to approach it within a shot or harpoon range. A bearded seal can be found on floating ice floes. In large numbers, the seal is found where the current breaks the ice, where the ebb and flow are noisy. Don't eat seal liver. It contains a lot of vitamin A, which can make you sick.

2) A walrus comes out of the water to breathe, but it is more difficult to detect it than a seal, since it does not punch a hole in the ice for air. Walruses can be found on floating ice floes, for example, they can even get close to the boat. This is probably one of the most dangerous polar beasts. 3) The polar bear is found almost along the entire northern coast. But he rarely goes on land. Avoid meeting him whenever possible. If you need to shoot a bear to replenish food, do not eat its liver. It is dangerous to your health as it contains high amounts of vitamin A. Never eat uncooked polar bear meat. It is often infected.


1) General remarks. In the North, many birds have specific nesting sites. Ducks, geese, arctic loons, swans nest near ponds in the coastal areas in summer, they are a plentiful source of food for you. Partridges live mainly in the polar and subpolar zones in rocky areas and in areas covered with shrubs. Seabirds can be found on cliffs or small islands along the coast. Their nesting sites can be determined by the direction of their flight to (or from) the nests. Seabirds, like owls and ravens, are good food. In winter, crows, owls, and grouse are the only birds available. White partridges living on the rocks can be easily approached, they move in pairs. Although partridges are difficult to spot due to their protective feather coloration, they are a good food source. They can be knocked out or stunned with stones from a slingshot. Willow partridges can be trapped as they fly in large flocks. They are found in higher elevations among groups of willow trees. All polar birds do not fly for 2-3 weeks in winter during the molt period, they move on land. Fresh eggs are one of the most valuable types of food; they are edible at all stages of embryo development.

2) Bird trap. They can be caught in a variety of ways, using a makeshift net, a baited fish hook, a simple force or by hand, when they move on land or make short flights.

Plant food.

1) Most of the plants in the northern region are edible. The water hemlock is the only serious poisonous plant; you should also not eat buttercups and some types of mushrooms. Water hemlock is one of the most poisonous plants. It can be identified by the places where it grows (always in moist soil) and by the following characteristics: a hollow bulb thickening at the base, elongated pear-shaped roots and a strong unpleasant odor, especially in the root and bulb zone. These plants are especially abundant in swamps, near southern bays and around swampy lakes in river valleys. Hemlock never grows on mountain slopes and on dry soil.

2) Of the most common edible plants, we note: Lichens. Of all the plants in this zone, lichen has the highest value. Some of its varieties contain bitter acid, which can cause nausea and severe internal distress if consumed raw. Soaking and boiling plants in water removes acid from them. Lichens can be powdered by soaking for one night and then drying. If fried over low heat, they become crumbly. Dry lichen can be crushed with a stone, turning it into powder. Then boil until it turns into a jelly-like form. Use it to thicken soup and prepare other plant foods as a condiment. Scar (lichen) consists of thin, skin-like, flat, irregularly shaped discs several inches in diameter. It is black, brown, or grayish. The discs are attached to the rock with a short handle. This lichen variety is loose when wet, tough, brittle when dry. Plants used against scurvy. Scurvy can be prevented by consuming plants and meat raw. Many plants can be found that contain high amounts of vitamin C, including scurvy and spruce. Greens. Many northern plants are good substitutes for leafy vegetables, usually eaten as part of the daily diet.

1) Wild rhubarb.

2) Dandelion. This plant is a potential life saver in the polar regions. Both foliage and roots can be eaten raw, but tastes better after being lightly boiled. Dandelion root can be used as a coffee substitute. To cook them, peel the roots, cut lengthwise, then cut into small pieces. Toast them and rub the toasted pieces with stones. Brew the powder like coffee.

3) Marsh marigolds. This plant is found in swamps and along the banks of streams and appears in early spring. Leaves and stems, especially young plants, are delicious when boiled.

4) Algae. It is a good addition to the fish diet.

5) Willow. These shrubs or small trees are found throughout Alaska. In the tundra, they are only a few inches high. They have young, tender shoots that are edible in spring. In older plants, the shoots are bitter and hard. Willow trees can be identified by clusters of flowers or fruits that develop into pointed caterpillar-like needles that are an inch or more in length. It can be found in almost all habitats and is one of the richest sources of vitamin C.

6) Dwarf fire grass. Young foliage, stems and flowers are edible in the spring, they turn bitter in the summer and die off in the fall. It can be found along streams, rifts, on the shores of lakes and on the alpine and arctic slopes. Stems are 1–2 feet tall, foliage is thick, nearly white, 3 inches long. The flowers are lilac-pink, large and bright, with four petals.

7) Tall fire grass. Young foliage, stems and flowers are edible in spring, but hard and bitter in summer. This plant is found in clearings, forests, hillsides and stream banks and near sea beaches. There is especially a lot of it in the scorched places. It looks like a dwarf fire grass. Grows up to 6 feet, flowers are bright pink.

8) Mother and stepmother. Leaves and flowering shoots are edible in spring and summer. The plant can be found in humid forests and damp tundra. It has thick leaves that are triangular on the outside and grow from 3 to 10 inches in length. The leaves are dark green at the top and fluffy white at the bottom, only rising from the ground in spring. The stem is fleshy, entangled with cobwebs, one foot high, with a bunch of yellow flowers at the top of the stem.

Making a fire choosing a place.

Choose a location that is sheltered from the wind. In forested areas, trees and bushes provide good protection from the wind, but in open areas protection is necessary. A wall of chunks of snow, a crest of a furrow, or a dug hole in a snowdrift can provide wind protection on smooth ice. A round wall of twigs cut and stuck into the snow or the ground can serve as a good shelter in places where there is a lot of willow. A wall of green twigs will provide wind protection in wooded areas. Make the wall five feet high with space for entry. Fuel. Anything that burns is a good fuel, and in the Far North you can find a lot of such material - animal fat, moss, coal seams coming out to the surface, floating logs, grass and birch bark. In some parts of the Arctic, however, the only fuel may be animal fat, which can be burned in metal containers using a wick to ignite the fat. Seal blubber gives a satisfying fire without a container, provided there are gasoline or heating tablets to light it. One square foot of fat can burn for several hours. Eskimos burn seal fat using seal bones as a wick. First they put together a small pyramid of bones, then saturate the rag with fat, set fire to the rag, and put it inside the pyramid. The fire melts the oil out of the lump of fat, it drips onto the burning bones and ignites. An empty tin can can be made into an oven using fat the size of a pound can. First, make many small holes in the jar (including the bottom). Then make a wick out of threads of loose fabric, dry the moss or a piece of seal skin, lay it with the fleecy side up. Soak the wick with oil, light it and place it under the jar, and put the fat on top of the jar. Oil dripping from the fat into the heated air of the jar will burn more strongly than when the fat is placed directly on the wick without the jar. The fuel in the polar regions is usually wood. The driest tree is found in dead but standing trees. On living trees, the branches above the snow are the driest. In the tundra, split the green willow and birch into thin pieces and burn them. Cooking food. Do not fry meat. This cooking method eliminates the fat needed for wellness in the Arctic.


The main problem of survival in the polar regions is keeping warm. The cold leaves no time for trial and unsuccessful experiments. In cold conditions, body heat is given to the external environment. Therefore, clothes in a cold climate serve one purpose - to keep the body warm, not give it the opportunity to leave, block its path to the external environment. By putting on and taking off your regular clothes as needed, you control your body temperature. Insulating clothing closer to the body prevents heat from escaping, and windproof outer clothing prevents cold air from entering and blowing out heat. Some important information about clothes and the consequences of wearing them for you: - tight clothing reduces the air gap and disrupts free blood circulation; - perspiration is dangerous because it reduces the insulating properties of clothing, replacing the air with moisture. The evaporated moisture cools the body. Avoid overheating by removing certain items and unbuttoning the front, neck and wrists; - hands and feet cool faster than other parts of the body and therefore require special attention. Keep your hands as warm as possible at all times. They can be warmed by pressing them against warm parts of the body under the armpits, between the legs, or against the ribs. Legs, since they sweat a lot, are difficult to keep warm. However, you may feel comfortable with boots that allow you to wear two pairs of socks and keep your feet dry. A warm double sock can be done by putting one sock on top of another, placing dry grass, moss, leaves or a plastic bag between them; - you may need to think of something about clothes or shoes, especially if your shoes are too small for a second pair of socks. A piece of cloth and a skein of rope are all you need. Pieces of cloth from a military vehicle seat can be used to craft homemade boots.


Disease carriers - insects, poisonous snakes, plants and animals, as well as the diseases themselves, decrease as you move north and south of the equator. Physical obstacles such as snow and cold are increasing. The main health hazard in the Arctic is freezing. Loss of vision due to snow, carbon monoxide poisoning and sunburn are secondary hazards. Frostbite is a constant danger to anyone who finds themselves in temperatures below the freezing point of water. Frostbite does not cause much pain and you can get frostbite without noticing it. Its signs are necrosis, loss of elasticity and sensitivity of the skin, the appearance of a grayish or whitish tint on the frostbitten area. Heat the frostbitten area with a warm part of your body, do not rub or massage this area. Do not apply snow or ice. Frostbite can cause blistering and flaking in the same way as sunburn. Do not open blisters. Check exposed skin frequently, and if you have a travel companion, watch each other for signs of frostbite. Not keeping an eye out for frostbite means risking gangrene. Insufficient rest and poor nutrition greatly increase the risk of freezing to death. Signs of progressive general freezing are muscle weakness, fatigue, body stiffness, and increased sleepiness. The view becomes cloudy, the person stumbles, falls and loses consciousness. Give the victim something hot to drink. Get him out of shock. Quickly warm up any frozen part of your body by immersing it in warm water, placing a warm hand on the frozen part, or exposing it to warm air. Take special care when handling frostbite parts of the body. Frostbite areas are easily damaged. People with frostbite feet should be treated as if they were bedridden. Snow blindness is caused by the bright light reflected from the snow. It can occur even on foggy or cloudy days. The first sign of snow blindness is an abnormality in detecting changes in ground level, followed by a burning sensation in the eyes. In the future, the eyes begin to hurt even in low light. Prevention of these ailments is the best medicine, but if these symptoms appear, complete darkness is the best remedy. Wear sunglasses at all times. If not, use wood, leather, or other materials with narrow eye slits. Bright light is diminished if the cheeks are covered in soot.

The danger of suffocation from carbon monoxide is a serious problem in the Arctic. The desire of a severely frozen person to warm up and stay warm often prevails over common sense. Rely on your clothes to keep warm, not fire. In temporary shelters, use fires and heaters only for cooking. Fuel of any type, even for half an hour in a poorly ventilated shelter, can produce dangerous amounts of odorless carbon monoxide. Ventilation can be arranged by leaving the shelter roof open and another access for fresh air close to the ground (door not fully open) or by digging a draft tunnel. A tunnel is dug into the floor and opened under the stove. The draft in the oven draws in fresh air from the outside into the tunnel. If you are in cover and feel like you are falling asleep, get out into the fresh air. Move slowly and breathe evenly. Remove the source of carbon monoxide first. If more than one person is sleeping in a closed heated shelter, one of them must be awake to watch for signs of carbon monoxide. Use a tourniquet. When lifting an injured body part or applying a tight bandage to the wound does not help control bleeding (or when blood is leaking heavily from the wound), apply a tourniquet immediately. He should remain even despite the possible loss of an arm or leg due to freezing, since there is no replacement for the lost blood, and losing an arm or a leg is better than losing a life. Wounds that do not require a tourniquet need to be bandaged only as tightly as it stops bleeding, and loosen the bandage once the bleeding stops. Keep the body and injured limbs warm at all times, but do not overheat them. Arctic sunburn is possible on both cloudy and sunny days and should be viewed as a potential hazard. Animal lard, smeared on the skin, will protect you from burns. A mask like the one used to prevent frostbite is also effective. A bristly beard also protects against sunburn. If you get sunburn, keep the affected area greased with animal grease and try to stay in the shade. In the Arctic, as in other areas, careful body care is required. Try to be clean. If you cannot wash yourself, at least try to keep your face, hands, armpits, crotch and legs clean by wiping them with a piece of cloth. Every night before going to bed, take off your shoes, dry your feet, rub and massage them. Make facilities for drying your boots over a fire. Don't sleep in wet socks. Place them under your shirt to keep them dry. Before going to bed, stuff your shoes with dry grass or moss to help dry them faster.

(based on materials of «Энциклопедии безопасности» Громова В.И. и Васильева Г.А., Москва, 1998)

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