Winter survival lessons


Published Mar 10, 2013 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

Robert Speik’s In My View comments about your winter survival piece didn’t go far enough.

Staying alive overnight, in the snow, is an important skill for locals to have. By publishing fluff pieces like your survival series, you missed an opportunity to present really useful information. And it may give your readers a false sense of empowerment so they don’t feel the need to make the effort to learn real skills.

Reading the snow shelter topic, I thought, “All that’s missing is putting the cross on top so they can find the bodies.” Look at the entrance tunnel; five snow blocks per section. If a single person tried to create that igloo, they’d be drenched with sweat, in the cold and dark, before they were finished.

For sure, making an igloo is a fun ALL DAY (short winter days) project for two or more people. But in survival mode, there are better, easier shelter options and more practical gear to bring along. You could have used the space to present effective skills and encouraged an exercise of spending a backyard overnight with warm clothes, food and shelter nearby as backup.

Perhaps as a follow up, you could have one of your staff — maybe the one who wrote the article — ski out half a mile in the snow and spend the night using the equipment presented. You could even take him out blindfolded, then somehow disorient him, so he can find his way back with just that keychain compass.

Paul Chance

Bend