J.D. Hoessle wrote:
>Having *once* been in a white-out, my technique was to find a conifer
>(with very little snow next to the trunk), dig into the needles as far
>as I could, pull *EVERYTHING* I had around me and wait it out. I had
>the good ol' SVEA stove (Heavy by today's standards) and it was enough
>to keep me somewhat warm.
>Fortunately, I was out of there and found my way within 48 hours.
This sounds like a good situation for the survival bag/Palmer Furnace
combination. Not well known here, but relatively common in parts of the UK.
I always have one tucked in a corner of my pack or daybag somewhere, just
in case. The following is quoted from Andy Woodward, who used to be a
frequent contributor to several groups I belong to, including rec.
motorcycles and the Primitive Skills Group (this quote is surprisingly
readable; Andy was well known for frequent typos). Haven't heard from him
since he finished a contract job and lost his university e-mail a couple of
years ago. Anyway, the only improvement I can think of to Andy's
description is the addition of a bit of foam or something to sit/crouch on
to reduce heat loss to the cold ground/snow.
>The Get Out of Hell Free trick is to put a longlife candle under the
>trashbag with you. This is called a Palmer Furnace after a Dr
>Palmer, a caver who invented the idea for warming up hypothermic
>cavers. You would not beleive how effective it is. It is quite literally a
>Heres something I posted to a motorcycle gruop years ago.
>Where was I. Oh yes. Palmer Furnaces.
>Useful things for winter bikers, Palmer Furnaces (forgotten who
>Palmer was - some caver I think). You are dying of hypothermia 3
>hours away from home. You whip out your Palmer Furnace, and
>half an hour later you have to ride again to cool off. What are
>Take a Survival Bag. [For IgnorantYanks(tm), these are big >6ftx>3ft
>plastic bags sold for winter mountaineers as emergency shelters to
>save their lives if benighted in a white out.]. Cut a 3 inch radius
>hole in one corner of the foot of the bag. Sit down and put the bag
>over you upside down [with the opening of the bag at the bottom and
>your newly cut chimney hole at the top. Light up your Long-Life
>candle [or tub of petroleum jelly with wick stuck in] as a heat
>source. Make sure there is a little gap at the bottom of the bag for
>the air to get in and the little chimney hole is open to ensure a good
>airflow so you dont die of CO poisoning....... Alternatively cut the
>chimney hole just large enough to stick your head out of. This
>reduces the possibility of CO poisoning but reduces the efficiency
>cos you lose heat thru your head.
>NEVER EVER sleep inside one of these with the candle lit!!!!! With
>your head inside, you may poison yourself, with it outside, you may
>burn yourself down......You'll wake from the cold when it's time fro
>another charge of heat.....
>Alternatively to the survival bag, you could use a poncho, or a large
>binbag (with your head out cos there's no room inside.....) or a
>space blanket wrapped round widthways like a cape.
>I tried this out for the first time years ago by going out with a
>survival bag and sitting in a T-shirt in -5C with a 40mph wind. And
>hour later, I gave up in boredom.......
>Clear survival bags are also useful for solar heating. If the sun is
>out, the temperature inside can be 80F while the outside
>temperature is freezing! So then you dont need any extra heat
>Postscri[pt - I bet hte new reflective Space Bags are superb for this.