Winter Travel post-SHTF

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Crow Bar 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #4620

    Crow Bar

    Ok. You live in the great white north.

    Fuel is a valuable commodity and its availability is questionable. The roads may, or more likely not plowed.

    How do you get around? Or do you?

    Snowshoes – These things are great. But! It is a whole lot harder to hike it on non-groomed trails even with snowshoes. Like a serious work out. You could very easily become a heat case. Yes, you read right, a heat case. Like over heating if you are not careful. Even though it is snow outside, and cold, people tend to over dress and they could be overcome by heat exhaustion. We were warned on this during forced marches in the Marines in freezing temps. We would hump for 50minutes, and take 10 minutes to rest, hydrate. You could see the steam and heat coming off fellow Marines. We only had a dusting of snow.

    I just got back from walking the dogs out in the fields after last nights snowstorm. We got 7 to 8inches. Add that to the snow we already had, there might be a foot out there.

    This being the first snowshoe of the year, it was even harder. If you take the same path, every time, you pack down the path. It becomes easier with each time you pass. After a dozen times, if you step off the path you have blazed, it almost feels like stepping off a boat into water.

    I stopped a few times, had to open up the front of my coat, unzip the ¼ zip undershirt I have on, and even remove my wool hat.

    Cross Country Skis – I have used these on several occasions. From what I can tell, post-SHTF, I am going to need real Cross Country Skis and not the ones for groomed trails. Looking into buying a set this year. Yes, you can cover a lot of distance, easier than snowshoes, no doubt. Becoming a heat case is still a concern.

    If I were going for a long distance be it snowshoes or cross country skis, and not just walking the dogs, I would get a water bladder, and wear it next to my base layer to keep it from freezing and warm. 3L at a min.

    Snow Machines – AKA snow mobiles. You can go quite a distance on one tank. Still requires fuel. Some are loud. There is a trail system that runs along our property. I can hear some of them from a long way off. Others, are reasonably quite. Could someone set up an ambush? Sure. Of course the same could be said for anything that leaves a trail in snow or path taken often.

    Another issue is what is under the snow? The local snow machine club comes out every fall to check their trails to ensure there are no fallen trees or other debris that could catch a snow machine ski and injure a rider. Under snow, it is hard to tell if that lump is a tree, a surface bolder (I have 2 of these on my property that would fill the bed of my pickup truck, by mid winter, unless you knew it was there, you would never know that lump of snow was a 1 or 2 ton rock) or just a snow drift.

  • #4622

    Molly Malone

    This is very interesting to read and a lot of food for thought about overheating when exerting yourself outdoors in winter. I lived for a while in Colorado and I regret I didn’t learn to snowshoe or cross-country ski. Snowshoeing sounds like a super-useful skill.

    I know people up north use snowmobiles as a serious means of transportation, not recreation, but I think there must be a lot of risk for crashing into rocks, roots and stumps. And as with every other gasoline-powered vehicle, one day you may no longer be able to obtain gas.

  • #4627

    Crow Bar

    @Molly Malone,

    Is there a REI near you?  Some of them will try to get groups together to do different activities.  Maybe they have snow shoeing you can do?  Or even Cross Country skiing (herein know as XC).  Not only is it fun, but you can learn a lot from what others use for clothing.

    Today, it was warm, in the lower 30s.  So I wore a mil-surplus field coat with a fleece liner, a performance over shirt and a tee, wool hat and gloves.  I was plenty warm, too warm in spots.  I could easily un-zip or un-button each layer to adjust my temp.

    One additional note:  Wind chill.  It can kill.  Be aware of the winds at all times outdoors in the winter.

  • #4638

    James Mitchner

    What’s the average humidity up there in winter, CB?  Here, humidity has a large part in how cold the temps feel.  I have a friend from Minnesota who said he would go out in 10 degrees in a heavy sweater, but in Norfolk where we were home-ported 30 degrees felt cold to him due to the humidity.  Get damp in 50 degree weather with a little breeze and you can get hypothermic very quickly.

  • #4642


    Depends for 90 percent of things after winter I would stay in, if need to get to town I would use loader with plow or.bulls and harness and sleigh, have one I  bought for.hay rides and just in case. Axels can do wheels or skis

    We have  snow mobiles but they don’t carry much even with tow behind. Lots of sledders here but there will be no gas in one year


    Loader is older one it can run on veg oil.


  • #4643


    Historically , even armies at war would very rarely fight in winter , but would rather pick an area to ride it out , sometimes within sight of each other . The reasons were mainly bad supply chain , and difficulty of movement . Something that didn’t change until WW1 . For a person in SHTF , the problems with movement and logistics would be the same as in the past . Just getting around is slow as well as difficult . Lot of people die , trying to walk to the nearest town , when their car breaks down in a winter storm .

  • #4663

    Red Carnation

    Having fuel for a snowmobile may attract too much attention if no one else has fuel, yes?

  • #4674

    Crow Bar

    @James Mitchner,

    Good question.  Dont know off the top of my head.  But you are right, I can feel the difference high humidity vs low.  Generally it seems low as my hands get dry, static electricity increases, increased water intake.

  • #4675

    Crow Bar

    @Red Carnation,

    I believe you are correct.

  • #4724

    John Park

    Great points.  I second the snowshoe remarks.  I dress for weather that is 15-25 degrees warmer than it is, and always bring water.
    Also, get poles if snowshoeing off trail, it’s worth it to avoid tumbling down a slope (I did manage to save 90% of the beer that was in my hand at the time).  I don’t recommend drinking while snowshoeing, but yanno… only human.

  • #4726

    OldMt Woman

    Hypothermia is increased if you don’t keep hydrated.  I’ve done a lot of winter sports/camping/XC skiing, snowshoeing, etc.  Now I’m just living in the woods with livestock and I get as much of the outdoors as I can handle.  {rolling eyes}

    But I’ll tell you the most fun I had …it happened accidentally the first time.  Week at a cabin on a frozen lake in MN.  On the lake with THREE medium-size dogs…I’m on XC skis….and they see something they just have to chase!  Rabbit, I think.  Whoooooooeeeeeee!  Best ever snow-over-flat-ice conditions and we were traveling!  Understand that three leashes plus ski poles made for an eventual tumble. I was howling with laughter as we untangled.  {I was at least 40 yrs younger, mind you, but I still enjoy a good adrenaline rush! }

    We later modified that “dog skiing” sport to TWO dogs, NO ski poles, and one long rope between the dogs.  You could play out some rope for the faster dog and pull back in when they switched lead.  We got good at it.  If they couldn’t be steered from splitting on both sides of a tree  [yes, we did this on ungroomed trails after the lake experience] …well the skier just lets go of the rope and both dogs come to a halt.  We got actual body harness for the dogs, rather than use their neck collars.  It was a blast!

    Never have been able to train the large dogs we’ve had now to actually pull a child’s sled.  But I tie the sled to back of my belt and the dog IS trained to pull me walking.  I hang onto her body harness…ski pole in other hand.  Steeeeep mountain terrain….I need that assist!  Carry the stuff for animal chores in the sled behind me.  This is only when our vehicles aren’t running or the snow plow friend hasn’t arrived yet.  But it would apply to post-stuff-hitting-fan too.

    Actually, due to my weakness, dog and I use the same method all year ’round….including the sled.  Granite gravel is hard on the plastic sleds but …I just buy more at garage sales, thrift stores.  Only way I can reasonably move bales of hay too.

    Mobility is a huge issue for me.  If it’s not motorized or horseback, I’m not going to be participating very much.

    OldMtWoman  …running off to feed those critters that expect payback for their services!

  • #5210

    Crow Bar

    What a difference!

    Yesterday:  Warmed up to the low 20s, sunny, light breeze.  Took the dogs for a walk.  N-3B parka, SmartWool balaclava, wool hat, tee-shirt, jeans, snow pants, NF winter books, REI expedition wool socks, expedition gloves, snow shoes.  I was so warm, my tee shirt was a little damp from sweat!  Took of my hat, gloves and balaclava twice and felt fine, even with the breeze.

    Today, in the 30s, went out to water and feed the livestock in a fleece, wool hat, tee-shirt, jeans, socks and muck boots!

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