simple snow cave or burrow by digging into the
side of a snowdrift and lining the hole with grass
or brush. Snow caves must be ventilated. If the
snow is not deep enough to support a roof, dig
a trench in a drift and roof it with snow blocks
or other materials.
In wooded country, make a tree-pit shelter if
snow is deep enough. Enlarge the natural pit
around a tree trunk and roof it with any available
P r e v e n t c a r b o n m o n o x i d e p o i s o n i n g by
providing good ventilation in closed shelters in
which a fire is burning.
Do not sleep directly on the snow. Put
insulation under your sleeping bag or body. Lay
a thick bough bed shingle fashion; or use seat
cushions, a parachute canopy, or even an inverted
and inflated life raft if available.
ARCTIC SUMMER. If you stay with the
aircraft, use it for shelter. Cover openings with
netting or parachute cloth to keep insects out. Do
your cooking outside to avoid carbon monoxide
poisoning. Make your fire at a safe distance from
Make a simple outdoor shelter by hanging a
parachute over the wing of the aircraft; anchor
the ends to the ground by weighting them down
with stones. You can quickly improvise a tent by
placing a rope or pole between two trees or stakes
and draping a parachute over it; make the
comers fast with stones or pegs.
Shelter against rain and insects will be
needed. Choose a campsite near water but on
high, dry ground if possible. Stay away from thick
woods, as mosquitoes and flies will make your
life miserable. A good campsite is a ridgetop, the
shore of a cold lake, or a spot that gets an
A fine shelter for drizzly weather and pro-
tection against insects is a tepee made from the
parachute. In it you can cook, eat, sleep, dress,
and make signalsall without going outdoors.
Use 6 panels of parachute for a two-man shelter
and 12 to 14 panels for a three-man paratepee.
This shelter is worth building if you decide to stay
in one spot for some time.
Avoid sleeping on the bare ground. Provide
some sort of insulation under yourself; soft
boughs or an inflated life raft provides excellent
insulation. Pick a bed site on level, well-drained
ground free from rocks and roots. If you have
to sleep on bare ground, dig depressions for your
hips and shoulders and try out the site before you
set up your shelter or spread your bedding.
Build your fire on a platform so that it will
not sink in the snow. A standing spruce tree near
a timberline burns readily even when green. Build
a bird nest of quickly flammable material in
the branches to ensure a quick start. Tramp out
signals in the snow. Fill them in with boughs, sod,
moss, or water colored with fluorescent dye.
In brush country, cut conspicuous patterns in
vegetation. In tundra, dig trenches; turn sod
upside down at the side of the trench to widen
your signal. A parachute tepee stands out in the
forest or on the tundra in summer, especially at
night with a fire inside.
Remember, sound does not carry well through
snow. If the entire party is in a snow cave or
igloo, you may not hear rescue aircraft. Keep
someone on guard as a spotter. Build the spotter
a windbreak but do not roof it.
Signal with smoke by day and bright flame by
night. Add engine oil, rags soaked in oil, or pieces
of rubber (matting or electrical insulation) to the
fire to make black smoke; add green leaves, moss,
or a little water to send up billows of white smoke.
Keep plenty of spare fuel on hand.
Signaling aids, such as flares and smoke
grenades, must be kept dry. Use them only when
friendly aircraft are sighted or heard.
Signal with a flashlight or, if the aircraft
landing lights are intact and you can get the engine
to run, remove the lights and extend them for
signaling; but do not waste the batterysave it
for the radio.
Arrange your ground signals in big geometric
patterns rather than at random-they will attract
more attention that way.
Use the fluorescent dye available in the life raft
or life preserver kit for signaling on water or snow.
Use it carefully; a little goes a long way. Use it
because the fine dye will
penetrate clothing or food. On rivers, throw it out
into the current for a quick spread.
Water is not a serious problem in the Arctic.
An abundant supply of pure water is available
from streams, lakes, ponds, snow, and ice.
Pollution should not be a problem. The Arctic
is an area that is usually too cold for bacterial
growth. Therefore, in the Arctic almost any
source of water can be used.
During the winter, melt snow or ice for
drinking water. Do not eat unmelted snow or