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Sub-Artic Survival Trench

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  • Sub-Artic Survival Trench

    In cold snowy regions the survival trench is a hasty shelter that will protect the user from wind chill and preserve body heat. I built one to gain experience and to see how fast one could be constructed. The job breaks down as follows:
    #1-Locate a proper site. The site should have a deep bank of firm, wind-packed snow and also have evergreen trees nearby for materials.
    #2-Cut and transport a large amount of evergreen tree limbs to site.
    #3-Cut boughs from half the limbs, keep bare limbs for roof supports.
    #4- Dig trench about 2.5 feet deep, 2.5 feet wide and 6.5 feet long. Place snow on windward side of trench.
    #5 -Line bottom of trench with 1 foot or more of evergreen boughs to keep body from contacting frozen ground.
    #6- Place limbs for roof support and cover with remaining evergreen limbs. A tarp may be placed over the roof and weighted so that it does not blow away.
    #7 dig a small opening into one end of trench, crawl inside and close the opening with snow or grear.
    I experimented with a number of tools; virtually any saw or hatchet would cut the 1-2" thick limbs I gathered and a small knife would strip off the boughs. I layed the cut limbs together and tied them together then dragged them some 200 yards to the trench site.
    At the site I used several tools to dig snow, a hatchet, a german mess kit and a broken shovel, the mess kit was the hardest to dig with. During digging my fleece mittens (Wal-Mart, $3) were my most valuable tool. When they became soaked with ice cold water I would just wring them dry and they were quite warm again!
    Construction of the shelter took about 90 minutes.Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by kenno; 10-14-2008, 01:49 PM.
    The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.

  • #2
    Great how to! Thanks for the post, hope to see more of these from you guys, the pics are the icing on the cake. Good job

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    • #3
      excellent! thanks. I appreciate the pictures.
      "Be Excellent to Each Other"


      • #4
        I hope the pics opened-up for you, they will not open-up for me!
        The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.


        • #5
          Great how too. The only problem I have is, "...and also have evergreen trees nearby." It is hard enough to find a tree in Wyoming, let alone an evergreen. I guess I will just have to use the pelts of my latest kill.