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TRAPPED IN A TENT?


for you; or B) you’ve been passed mul- tiple times during several days by rescue planes or helicopters and have not been spotted. In this situation, equip at least two adults with skis, water, and supplies and send them for help. ¿


JOSH PIVEN is co-author of the Worst- Case Scenario Survival Handbook series. Visit his Web site at joshpiven.net.


BEFORE YOU GO, review a list of winter camping safety tips at scoutingmagazine.org/snowedin.


WHEN CAUGHT IN a blizzard while camping in snowy backcountry, there are a number of safety precautions to consider. First, be aware of what’s around you. Tree branches and boughs heavy with snow (especially wet snow) can snap easily. One that falls on your tent will, at the very least, damage it; at worst, it can cause injury. And, of course, rapid snowfall means there is an avalanche risk to consider.


 YOUR TENT SHOULD BE PITCHED in an area with some wind protection but minimal danger from falling


branches. Consider a rocky outcropping, but avoid any slope greater than 20 degrees, which presents an avalanche danger. If there’s snow on the ground already, build a “snow wall” a few feet high around the tent as a wind break. Pack the snow under the tent to reduce melting from your body heat.


KEEP THE ROOF OF THE TENT FREE OF SNOW. A winter four- season tent is typically domed with a strong aluminum frame, but even these can bend— and the nylon can rip—if enough heavy snow piles up. Make sure the


interior of the tent has sufficient airflow. With, say, four feet of snow outside, you’ll need to make sure at least the tops of the windows and the skylight are clear. Remember that blizzards mean high winds, so make sure your tent is securely staked.


IF THE SNOW GETS DEEP enough, consider building a snow cave, which will give you a little more room and some added protection from the weather. Don’t stray from your base camp until the snowstorm has passed. Then, call for help, or strap on the snowshoes.


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