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Wind chill is a serious danger in any survival situation, especially if you’re wet from rain, snow, or sweat. Even a slight breeze can cut through your breathable clothing or slip through gaps in outerwear, leading to a cooling effect that can cause your core temperature to plummet. This is why many weather forecasts now list both the actual temperature and a relative “feels like” temperature based on wind speed and other environmental factors. So, when you’re trying to survive in a windswept area, finding shelter is priority number one.
Cairngorms National Park is a 1,700-square-mile region in northeast Scotland, and a popular destination for skiing and winter sports. Weather on the park’s mountain summits can be harsh, as demonstrated by the following BBC Travel Show video clip. In this video, host Joanne Whalley ventures up a frigid slope with some experienced guides, and learns how to build a snow cave shelter.
The dugout snow cave provides an effective way to get out of the cold wind, even though there are no trees or rocks to take refuge behind. Guides dig into the snow bank from three entry points, using a long saw and shovels to speed the process. The three caves are then connected to form a spacious winter shelter big enough for the entire team, and the entry points are blocked off using large chunks of snow.
For another take on how to get out of the cold during a blizzard, check out Survival Russia’s WWII bunker snow shelter.