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How To Survive A Subzero Stranding



If you have service, send text messages to reliable friends to share your plight.

Rescuers in Nevada were able to use cell tower data from the lost woman's phone to narrow the search area.

But Howe cautions against relying on cellphones in the wilderness. While triangulation can help guide a search, the data probably won't provide the lost person's precise location because rural cell towers are so few and far between.

"It's not a five-ounce rescue package at all, period," Howe said. "You're better off with a BIC lighter."

What can I do today to avoid the situation?

The Nevada family was wearing snow clothes — something that travelers should keep on hand.

"It's a really good idea to keep extra clothing and insulation in your trunk. Even on an interstate drive through the northern Midwest, it's entirely possible you could be stranded overnight," Howe said.

He recommends bringing a shovel that's rugged enough to dig out a vehicle, a cigarette lighter and blankets. Pack water, granola bars or other high-protein snacks in the car. A small bottle of lantern fuel also could help start a campfire.

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The family heated rocks in a fire during the day and put them in the car at night, using the rocks' radiant heat to keep themselves warm.  Brilliant.

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