The rain and snow may seem like nuisances when you’re out in the wild, but a true survivalist knows how to use all elements to their advantage. We’ve put together a list of ways to use rain and snow in the wild to your advantage and even to help you survive.
Drinking water. This one might be the most well-known blessing in disguise of rain and snow, but it’s definitely worth talking about. This is especially helpful in dry climates or if you’re near an ocean. The great thing is that rainwater is already ready to drink, as long as you’re able to gather it in a clean container in the wide open, meaning there’s no contamination from anything overhead, such as trees or rocks. If any of these factors are a reality for you and there’s no way to escape to a clear area, you can either disinfect the water or allow some time for the rain to wash away any droppings or other potential dangers from the trees or boulders above. When it comes to snow or ice, just use some heat to melt it into water. Boiling it down is your best bet because it kills two birds with one stone - it’ll melt it while simultaneously purifying it.
Bathing. You can view a rain shower as your own personal shower. Grab a bar of soap and your birthday suit, and head out to your free shower. If it’s warm, even better. However, if it’s cold out or the rain is especially chilly, choose a spot next to a fire (use a cone-shaped fire lay to keep it going even in the rain) in order to stay warm. When it comes to the snow, this can be a little trickier. You can always boil down some water and use it to wash up, but taking a full shower in the snow may not be your best idea.
Cleaning gear. Just like you can shower in the rain and snow, you can also easily wash all of your dishes and gear in the rain. Grab a container or create a basin by digging a shallow hole and laying a tarp or trash bag down, fill it with rain (or melted snow), and get to work. The only other thing you need is some sort of soap, but sometimes even rinsing without soap will do the trick. The goal isn’t to get everything perfectly spotless, but to keep things clear of food, mud, and debris, and to keep things looking good.
Firestarter. Uhh… what? That’s right. You can start a fire with ice by molding it into a lens. The ice has to be crystal clear in order to make a lens, so your best bet is to find some from a lake or pond. Use a knife to shape it, and use your body heat to put the finishing smooth touches on it. Grab some tinder (make sure it’s completely dry) and use the sun and your homemade lens to create a fire. This technique should be practiced a few times at home before you try it out in the wild, but it’s a fun one, so get to practicing!
Shelter. This can’t be done with rain, but you bet it can be done with snow! If the weather gets really bad and you need to seek shelter, you can create a cave or burrow in the snow to stay safe. Just harness your inner Eskimo and create a small hole in the snow. Trying to create a full igloo or structure can exhaust you and take too much time, so don’t try these if you’re in a survival situation - maybe just use them for fun when you don’t risk catching hypothermia or passing out from exhaustion.
So there you have it, folks. Rain and snow aren’t so bad when you’re out in the wild - they can even save your life and make things easier on you.
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