Are You Ready For a BREAKDOWN? Desert & Winter Survival

By | 2017-01-08T17:30:49+00:00 January 8th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Your automobile breaks down and leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Now what? Are you ready for a breakdown in extreme climate or a dangerous area? You should be prepared. Be ready for any survival scenario with ZombiBox. It’s not just for the zombie apocalypse. It’s for any survival scenario. Many of us go about our daily lives without an immediate need for survival skills or gear, and maybe you think you’ll never face a situation that will require anything more than a call to 9-1-1 or your roadside assistance, but the truth is you can find yourself in a survival situation easier than most people think. Every year thousands of people find themselves broken down while traveling. This may seem like no big deal, but what if you are on back roads where you have no cell service? What if you are traveling through the desert? What if it is the height of winter? Would you know what to do? Would you have at least the most basic items to help you maximize your chances at survival?

Breakdown: Winter Survival

Extreme cold/winter and it may be the one more people are likely to be faced with as they travel to see relatives during the holidays. We’ve all seen or read horror stories of families traveling for the holidays that break down on some seldom traveled country road, and even if the roads are better traveled, winter conditions can quickly shut them down and even hide your tracks and vehicle from view if you happen to lose control and end up off the road. The gas in your car won’t last forever, and staying in it may not be an option if you need to find your way to a more likely rescue point. Your number one priority is going to be keeping warm. The cold can kill you and it can kill you more quickly than you realize, especially if you can’t also stay dry. Cold and wet is a deadly combination. You are going to need to wear layers, but you still need to be able to move freely. You’re going to want to make some sort of pack to carry whatever you can use. Look for anything that is dry and can be used to help start a fire. Old newspapers, cardboard, whatever you can find will help because the wood you are likely to find in this scenario is almost certain to be at least damp but with enough kindling you can still get a fire going.  Since staying warm is going to be your top priority, it will be a huge advantage if you have a reliable lighter or fire starter. You can keep these in your vehicle, in a first aid kit, your purse or even your pocket so there is almost no excuse not to have at least this basic survival tool.

Breakdown: Desert Survival

There are several large desert regions in the U.S., all in the western portion of the country and the conditions can vary wildly between the seasons and temperatures can drop 30 degrees or more between night and day. If you find yourself stranded in this area of the country you are likely now in an extreme survival situation. Water is going to be your number one priority. Did you prepare by keeping a few gallons in your vehicle? Do you know the most likely sources of water in a desert? Do you have the tools to make accessing the limited water easier? Remember the more you exert yourself the more quickly you will face dehydration. Sources of water in the desert include dry riverbeds and cacti. This is where having at least a knife can be life saver. You can use the blade to dig a whole into the river bed to see if there is still any water lurking beneath the surface (more likely when the ground is damp) and to cut off sections of a cactus and more safely remove the needles. If you also have a tarp, poncho, or other decent size piece of plastic in your survival gear you can make yourself a solar still to collect water in any container you may have or can scavenge from your surroundings.

In order to maximize your survival in a desert situation and to have the best chance of surviving 1) Travel at night and rest in shade during the day. Be aware that most desert predators are nocturnal and can include scorpions, snakes, and even mountain lions. Which makes having something you can use as a weapon a huge plus. 2) Some cacti have fruit, most of which is edible. This will provide both moisture and some calories. 3) If you don’t have a chance at rescue where you are and you have to walk, walk in the same direction. Use the sun to help orient east to west and distant landmarks, both in front of you and behind you to avoid walking in circles. This is where having a signaling mirror can greatly increase your odds of rescue as you attempt to walk towards civilization. 4) IF you have a phone, do not kill your battery if you don’t have service. Turn it off and check for service periodically. 5) Gather some dry brush, sticks, etc as you walk so you have something for a small fire. It can still get cold at night in the desert. Having a reliable lighter or fire starter here can be a life saver. 6) Find shelter if possible in the day. You want to get out of the sun in the day as much as possible. Finding any source of shade or being able to set up a small shelter of your own can slow dehydration and also reduce risk of death from exposure, heat stroke, and so on. Be aware of your surroundings though, scorpions are common in the American Southwest.

Skills/tools that will greatly improve your chances are 1) A knife/small hatchet. Not only can you use this to trim twigs and branches for firewood, but you can also use them to try and hunt and kill small game for food. You can cut larger branches to construct a lean-to shelter, and help fight off any predators you may encounter. (it isn’t ideal to fight off large predators with only a knife, but it is better than your bare hands and we are talking about maximizing your odds here). 2) A small shovel could aid in digging a snow tunnel style shelter, make it easier to collect snow to melt for drinking water (eating snow is not optimal, you should collect and melt snow to avoid dehydration). 3) Paracord is another must-have survival tool that can have multiple uses. You can use it to help secure branches for a shelter, you can use it to construct some makeshift snow shoes (this will make travel in snow easier and help you conserve your energy stores in case food is hard to come by), it can be used to help make snares to catch small game such as rabbits and squirrels, and to hang any supplies you can carry from your shoulders or in a tree when you are resting to keep them high and dry and away from predators. 4) A signaling mirror or other reflective material. Not only can you use it to signal for help, but it can also be used to focus the sun to ignite kindling or to melt snow for drinking water. 5) If you have to travel to rescue and you can’t follow a road for any reason, find a stream or river and follow it down stream. This will almost always lead you towards other people and rescue.

By no means is this a complete or exhaustive list, and there are other important skills you can learn that will help, but these skills and tools will increase your odds at surviving a breakdown in extreme conditions and that is what you want, the best odds at making it back home alive!

Always carry a survival kit inside your vehicle. You should have your survival kit with you on any trip just in case. Do not to panic if you do breakdown. Panic will get you killed. Stay calm. Think about what you need to do, and act on it. Keeping your wits about you and having the proper tools will help you survive even in extreme conditions.

ZombiBox is about surviving any disaster scenario, to do that you need to prepare ahead of time. We help you do that by providing you with the survival gear and tools you need to survive any scenario.

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