Bugging Out in Winter

Watching Lake K got me thinking about the conditions that might affect my family’s trip if we had to make a hustle and bustle in the winter. The weather conditions in winter require a slightly different planning than our usual summer trips. Without the right mindset, resources and strategy, your travel mistakes can lead to disaster instead of a safer place.

Driving on winter roads is a simple fact of life for millions of people, but it can end badly, especially if you’re not used to it or prepared for it. In the context of some of the lessons presented in the show, I’d like to move on to some basic tips for staying warm and arriving alive when you’re on the run in the winter.

Winter – Plan

In case you haven’t heard: To the Lake is a Netflix series set in Russia. The plot is that some kind of virus emerges and a small group of people leave Moscow, hoping to reach an isolated cabin on a lake belonging to the protagonist’s father. I still have two episodes left, so don’t ruin it for me.

So far, the show has been entertaining and has shown different situations the drafters could find themselves in. As I mentioned earlier, I use conversations like this to think about how I would react in a similar situation. Some examples are better than others, and I’ve racked my brain over some of the choices presented in this series and other films, but it still entertains me. And that’s what motivated writing this article, because I think we can learn from some things.

There is a saying that failure to plan is failure. One of the main reasons it’s so important to have a bug fix plan is that there are a million things you can take into account that you might forget when time or stress gets in the way.

The other thing is that you don’t always have the time to carefully prepare and load your cars. You may have to walk with your clothes on. I hope not, but you can use some of the items below to make sure your car is ready for winter.

Making sure all the basics are covered before you leave home can make the difference between a successful trip and a disaster. What do we have to think about before you leave? It is important to do this now before you have to leave in the middle of the night in bad weather.

Knowing where you are going.

Before you start planning your trip, it’s a good idea to think about your destination when you’re packing. Will you be far or near civilization? Is it likely that there will be snow or ice on the ground where you audition? It goes without saying that your needs are very different when you are surrounded by many other people than when you are hundreds of miles away from everything on the road to Moab.

Can you collect materials to make a fire?

Forest or desert? What kind of accommodation do you have? Will you be camping or staying in a house with functioning utilities? It rains or snows for two weeks and everything you find gets wet or buried? Do you need to carry firewood or at least one hand saw or chainsaw during the week?

If you have a plan to burn wood, do you have redundant methods of making fire? I was camping last January and it was up to 17 degrees, so needless to say everyone spent most of the night close to the fire.

Do you have an accurate weather forecast?

With as many weather applications as we have now, I can’t imagine that no one can get a decent weather forecast for where you’re going. Plan the weather at your destination, not at home. Even a few dozen miles away it can be completely different again.

In addition, it is important to dress for walking, not for driving. If you have to travel on foot, you don’t want to see your kids in pajamas and slippers if possible. For years my daughters have heard me leave the house without being dressed for the weather.

Mapping of alternative waterways

For long distances a little more is needed than for normal traffic. There is one thing, but what if a route is blocked? Roads can become impassable due to weather conditions, accidents or, as in one episode of the series, roadblocks blocking access to the city. What to do if a tree falls on the road?

You may not be able to take the same route because the roads are frozen and you don’t want to slide down the mountain. In some cases, forest roads can be a safe alternative to get to your property. Vehicle usage maps can be downloaded in PDF format and mapped in a program called Avenza. I’ll probably do a full article on how to do this later.

Paper maps and good GPS backup, such as. B. Gaia Maps, are highly recommended. If you want to use Gaia, make sure you have downloaded maps to your device before you leave the pavement. I downloaded my entire state with multiple layers of public land and MVUM.

Are you stalking someone you may not know very well? – Depending on the trip, you may travel with other people. If you’ve never traveled with them before, you probably want to make sure they’re as prepared for the trip as you are.

Vehicle considerations

, always remember to go crazy.

Your vehicle should already be prepared for winter with a basic emergency kit, and we’ve written an entire article about your winter emergency kit. In addition, there are other important considerations in problem solving.

Recovery Equipment – In one scene, the band is trying to pull a car out of the snow and they don’t have the right tow rope. Bad things happen that could have ended much worse. Make sure your car is equipped with a good breakdown kit so you don’t get stuck. A simple tow line would have saved them.

ARB RK12 ARB Weekender Recovery Kit

Repair kit includes: 1 x ARB 8000 kg / 17,500 lb Car Restoration Strap (ARB705LB), 2 x 4.75t type S galvanized 19mm (3⁄4) shackles, 1 x pair of leather gloves. 1 x polyurethane coated cotton canvas recovery bag.

Fuel – Before leaving civilization, do you have enough fuel? I want to make sure I never have less than half a tank of gas. If the location of your bug is hundreds of miles away, you’ll need a map to refuel along the way. You can’t count on opening gas stations.

Climbing into the cockpit of your plane and running the engine to stay warm may be the only thing keeping you alive. If this happens, make sure you have as much fuel as possible.

Maintenance/Details – For older vehicles, I think this is more of an issue. If you service your vehicle regularly, it should be a simple quick check in the driveway. However, if you are planning a more extreme trip where something might break, it is a good idea to use liquids as a backup. One thing that many people forget is the windshield washer fluid. In colder climates, use a device with anti-freeze.

Tyres – Your tyres are adapted to the terrain or expected weather conditions. All-season tires, winter tires or perhaps tire chains should be added to your packing list.

Clothing Considerations

Diapers for all activities – The advantage of driving away in a vehicle, as opposed to walking, is that we usually have a lot more options for carrying extra stuff. One of the characters had to leave in a hurry and didn’t have a winter coat with him. It could have been fatal.

I was camping, as I said, and I had plenty of warm clothes with me, or so I thought. I was wearing four layers and I still wasn’t warm enough, so I went back to the truck and grabbed another device that finally did the trick.

I’ve often been outside with my kids and they leave the house wearing t-shirts and jackets. I have to let them overlap, because they don’t even think about how cold they’ll be when we get there. Provide appropriate layers of clothing for your entire group, depending on the location.

It is also advisable to have a change of clothes on hand, especially in winter, so you can layer them or replace them with wet clothes. Socks and shirts will sweat, and if you don’t have dry clothes, it will be much harder to stay warm. Avoid cotton diapers in the winter. Wool is a much better insulator and will keep you warm even when wet.

Gloves Hats Sunglasses – Often forgotten, but difficult to work with cold hands. Good gloves and hats will keep you warm and make camping easier. Sunglasses can be useful both in the snow and in the sun.

Boots/socks are warm and durable shoes designed to be worn outdoors in windy and rainy conditions. Wool socks are better than cotton socks.

Staying warm by listening in winter

Sleeping Bags – A sleeping bag is probably your last line of defense in a survival situation, so a sleeping bag that is well below the weather forecast is a good idea. I used a military sleeping system, which basically consists of a sleeping bag inside another sleeping bag in a waterproof shell. It kept me warm all night in a temperature of 17 degrees, but I’m glad I had it and not my backpack. Sleeping bag prices vary widely, so look and read reviews. You don’t have to buy a $400 bag to sleep comfortably in the winter.

Extra heater – The extra heater is a popular accessory for listening to calls in the winter or when traveling by car. This is a propane heater that you can carry in your tent to make sleeping much more comfortable. The stove has a number of safety features, such as. B. an automatic shutdown if it capsizes or if it registers low oxygen levels. I haven’t tried it myself, and I think if I were in the cabin, it would be fun. I’m still a little worried about what might ruin the tent quickly if it falls over.

Survival blankets – Simple Mylar survival bags are a cheap but very effective device to consider. If someone is cold, you can put them in one of these bags and their body heat can’t escape. This is an inexpensive option that you can add to other supplies. The best option is the bivouac.

High-calorie foods – Most sushi people I know eat very well, but you need to make sure you eat a lot of high-calorie foods to generate heat and provide energy. In a winter situation, we’re talking hot stew, not salad. Besides, who wants to pass up the chance to use their Scotch?

Communication – Most of us take our cell phones for granted. Do you know if you get service where you go? The traditional pre-communication options are CB, FRS or GMRS radio and finally amateur radio. On the show they have a couple of amateur radios, but apparently they don’t realize that the connection is not private. At one point, a man listens to their plans; in another scene, the soldiers listen on the same channel. The weaknesses of the plot…

Amateur radio is the only option available for the long haul, and you’ll want something that’s suitable when you’re listening. Other radios have a limited range, but still provide a means of contacting someone else in an emergency. To do this, you need to pay more attention to communicating with people outside your group.


There are many ways to start a fire – you can just throw a flint with your attacker, but a lighter is always easier. I have both, and each as a backup. You never know when it will get lost or too wet to use.

First Aid – First aid kits are always needed and cold injuries can include burns, so be prepared.

Recognizing frostbite – Frostbite occurs when the skin freezes. Therefore, it is important to know what they look like and what the symptoms of frostbite are.

Cold temperatures need to be part of your preparedness plans because we can’t pick and choose the circumstances in which to make decisions to save our families. What else did you prepare for your winter audition?

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