Snow shelters

If your group is caught out in snow conditions there are a number of other considerations. As well as protecting the group from the weather, people need to be insulated from the ground. Anything available can be used for this, with closed-cell foam mats, packs or timber and bark all being adequate. Snow shelters are very effective for providing protection from the elements, as snow is a very good insulator, discussed further in Chapter 13.

In an emergency situation, it is preferable to dig or move snow to create the walls of a structure that can accommodate the whole group, with the top covered by timber or skis and fly sheets. The fly sheets can be secured by placing snow on top. Digging into a bank of snow can be a good place to start such a shelter, particularly if the site gives protection from the wind.