What Can Winter Camping Teach Us About Winter Survival?

Leon Pantenburg of SurvivalCommonSense.com joined me on DestinySurvival Radio yesterday to talk about a chilling subject–winter camping. Believe it or not, Leon does it for fun.

He had plenty of insights to share. That’s because his background includes many years of backpacking, canoeing and wilderness camping. Being involved with a Boy Scout troop gets him outdoors plenty as well, including during winter months.

Are there lessons from winter camping we can apply to our survival in everyday situations? What if the power goes out and we’re stuck in the house for days at a time? What if you’re traveling and get stranded? How well would you be prepared for winter conditions?

Camping in winter presents different challenges than camping in warmer weather. Leon has done both and knows from experience that winter camping puts survival skills and gear to the test.

When it comes to winter survival, Leon says clothing is your first line of defense. He discussed different fabrics and the best way to layer clothing. The right sleeping bag insulation is important, too.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cotton, polypropylene and wool fabrics? It’s critical to preserve warmth, so you should know what to wear and when. Military surplus stores are a good source for wool clothing.

Food should be high in calories, include fiber and be nutritious. While you need something to give you energy, stay away from processed sugar.

Should you take along MRE’s and dehydrated food pouches? Leon had thoughts on each.

Having a variety of foods keeps appetite fatigue or diet monotony at bay. But in an emergency situation, food is fuel, and taste is secondary.

Fishing gear isn’t in Leon’s survival kits. In a nutshell, it comes down to return on investment of energy and time.

You can find more about food for survival on Leon’s site. Go to the Off Grid Cooking section or explore the site to find tips and recipes.

What if you get lost? How can you determine direction when it’s cloudy, as it often is in winter? Will looking for moss on trees help? Did you observe important landmarks?

Rather than expend a lot of energy and end up going in circles, it’s best to stay put. Statistically, you’ll be found within 24-48 hours.

By the way, did you think to leave a note to let others know when and where you were going? Leon summarized what to include in such a note.

There’s no substitute for a map and compass. Leon gave several good reasons why it’s a bad idea to depend on a GPS unit as your sole means of navigation.

A good four season tent is Leon’s recommendation for winter camping shelter. You don’t want too big of a tent, and it should be well insulated.

There’s no one perfect ignition sistem for fire starting. Several work. A problem in winter is finding dry wood.

When it comes to water, it’s necessary to keep it from freezing. Otherwise you’ll have to melt snow. Having a good water purifier that doesn’t require heat is a must.

As usual, I can only share highlights here.Catch my full interview with Leon Pantenburg on DestinySurvival Radio for January 5, 2012. Visit his site at SurvivalCommonSense.com.

Do you have tips for winter camping? What about winter survival at home? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

2 thoughts on “What Can Winter Camping Teach Us About Winter Survival?”

    1. Winter camping wouldn’t be my choice either, but there may be times when it’s necessary to camp out at home when power’s out, etc. So it’s good to know how winter campers manage.

Comments are closed.