Far more often than we imagine, people end up dead when they get caught unprepared in a cold-weather, wilderness situation. While it may sound harsh, even cruel, many of these deaths are self-imposed. Why people believe they can drive into a winter wonderland without taking the proper precautions borders on insanity. Taking children along for the ride borders on criminal, in my opinion.
Such as the case when a family of three (2 adults and one 10-year-old boy) went into the Arizona back-country and got stuck, miles from help, with no means of communication to the outside world. The group had gotten off-track while trying to navigate their way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (which is closed in winter, btw), and their GPS led them onto roads that are not used during the off-season. Deep snow stopped their progress, and they were stuck there.
The wife set off to get help dressed in a knit hat, parka, and hiking boots. None of these was actual winter gear. She walked for miles, one shoe filled with snow (thus leading to some frostbite on that foot), and may have collapsed from exhaustion had she not found an abandoned cabin. In the meantime, her husband had trekked off in a different direction, found cell phone reception, and rescuers were dispatched to his and the son’s location. It would take more hours before the woman was found and evacuated.
This is certainly a story of survival, and everyone is happy they got out alive, but there are lessons to be learned from this story, too.
Even if you are not going to wear your cold-weather gear, at least have it with you in the vehicle. This includes a good pair of high-topped hiking boots that will not allow snow or water to get inside the boots. Cold-weather hats, with ear flaps, ugly as they are, can keep your ears from falling off. Gloves, a wool scarf and insulated socks are just some of the items that you should have in the vehicle…and this means for everyone – including the kids.
Food and water, flares and blankets are also very good ideas.
Cold-weather kills. It is that simple. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has concluded that more people die from cold-weather issues than from hot-weather issues.
That, right there, might be the most important lesson to take from all of this.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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