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Emergency Bivouacs

Choose a sheltered spot out of the wind or if necessary build a wind-break out of the rocks.

  • Put on your spare clothing with dry clothes next to your skin. Use your rucksack or rope to sit on. A groundsheet, plastic mat, or a thick bag will protect you against the wind and rain and it is a good idea always to carry one of these in your rucksack. Do not use the thin polythene bags that can be bought in most stores for covering clothing or storing blankets.
  • If it is very cold, try to stay awake and keep warm by frequently exercising arms and legs. make sure that none of your clothing is restricting circulation, particularly at extremities. Slacken your boot laces.

Bivouacs on Snow

Snow shelters can provide protection against the weather and much information is now available on their construction. The making of snow shelters can be time consuming and if possible a good allowance of time for construction should be made.

  • A useful method is to dig or cut a cave into a slope, keeping the entrance small and hollowing the cave out inside with an arched roof. A shelter of this kind will give complete protection from the wind and, once inside, bodily warmth will soon raise the temperature above freezing point.
  • If on level snow, excavate a hole 2 ft deep and then use your ice axe to scrape the snow into a compact wall or walls for a wind break. Ice axes and ground sheets can then be used to form a cover or lean-to shelter.


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Published on: 2005-05-16 (1323 reads)

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