Surviving The Cold: It Can Be Done


A family of six recently found themselves in a life-and-death situation. After their vehicle crashed in a remote area, they spent two days stranded in the Nevada wilderness in freezing temperatures. Just a little bit of training helped two adults and four kids stay alive and survive.

Shea Degan and Terry Barney of 88 Tactical are serious about winter survival.

"It takes three things to have fire,” said Barney. Fuel, oxygen and heat.

Degan and Barney demonstrated for reporter Jacki Ochoa an easy way to start a fire by using a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline. The wax keeps the cotton ball burning, making it easier to get dry kindling to start and sustain a fire.

"You got it. You got it,” said Barney. “Pretty easy, right? Think anybody can do that?"

Next they showed Jacki how to make a shelter by using what’s available. The shelter, called a lean to, is fairly simple to make. This time Barney and Degan used two garbage bags taped together, a plastic drop cloth and a reflective emergency blanket.

With the fire and shelter built, the temperatures got into the 50s.

Terry says with minimal training, anyone could survive cold temperatures.

Being prepared is key, Barney recommends having a minimum of a sleeping bag, extra boots, a coat, hat and gloves kept in the vehicle, just in case.

FEMA has a Web site that also gives some tips for winter survival. Click here.

88 Tactical offers winter survival classes where they teach people how to build fires and make shelters as they taught reporter Jacki Ochoa in the story. Visit their Web site.


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