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#55568 - 12/09/05 08:24 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I think candles will see you through. I was in the Air Force in North Dakota back in the 70s, and we had a winter kit similar to yours. The theory was that you'd stay in the car, light a candle with a leeward window open a crack (the wind blows from the same direction all winter in North Dakota), and cover up in the blankets/sleeping bag/whatever and wait for the snowplows to bury you further. No! No! I mean come by and discover you.

Getting out of a stuck car in a blizzard was strongly discouraged. While I was in North Dakota, someone died every winter trying to walk somewhere in a blizzard that they'd walked all their lives (and probably in other blizzards). Leave the flashers on, light a candle, curse the darkness, and cover up.

#55569 - 12/10/05 01:42 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
jshannon Offline

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 587
Loc: North Texas
Watch this on the discovery channel. Times in Central time. They shouldn't be alive!

DSC Thursday, December 15 6:00 PM Lost in the Snow
DSC Friday, December 16 8:00 PM Lost in the Snow
DSC Saturday, December 17 12:00 AM Lost in the Snow

#55572 - 12/11/05 06:59 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Snopes discusses that story here. It seems unlikely to be true.
Quality is addictive.

#55573 - 12/11/05 08:34 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
DBAGuy Offline
dedicated member

Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 165
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
I would first ask "WHY are you stuck?"

Maybe you don't have TV or a radio? Do you ignore winter storm warnings?

Last year a woman died in her car about 1 mile from where I live. In the mean time, we had hunkered down and bought more than enough food and wine ... er ... dog food several days before it hit.

She didn't have to die. She CHOSE to go out.

#55574 - 12/11/05 09:35 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
DBA, what part of Colorado are you in?

Here in Vermont, if you break down on the Interstate in the middle of the night, it might be an hour before you see another person. A few hours before someone stops. It happened to me, my universal belt snapped on I89 between Burlington and Montpelier- those are the largest population center and the state capital, respectively.

I don't imagine it's any different on rural interstates anywhere in the US. Now put it on a back road with a tenth the traffic. It doesn't have to be a mechanical failure, a little bit of ice can do it. I've had to dig my car out more than few times due to hidden ice, it can happen to anyone.

As for the urban myth in question, it was an avalanche. You can't really avoid a slide, they happen. And all the good places in the mountains are potential places where they will happen. If you live in mountains, you probably need to just accept that they could happen.

Edited by ironraven (12/11/05 09:37 PM)

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#55575 - 12/11/05 10:04 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
DBAGuy Offline
dedicated member

Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 165
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
I live on the outsides of Colorado Springs. It is understood that you have to take certain precautions, however this woman died going for cigarettes.

My point is not that problems never occur, but that being caught in a winter storm could mean you're not taking weather reports very seriously.

#55576 - 12/12/05 05:54 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
Hey... Mythbusters... you listening?

Is it safe to assume that the myth you would want them to bust is the cornflakes myth and not the 60 bottles of beer myth? <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

#55577 - 12/16/05 04:59 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 910
You could add:

old cell phone and charger cord --for 911 calls
toe warmer/ hand warmer chemical heat packs
Car tools -- fire extinguisher/ jumper cables, etc.
coffee can for melting water


#55578 - 12/17/05 01:28 AM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
widget Offline

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I take a tent and sleeping bag along when I drive through areas of potential high snowfall. I had 2 trips last winter that I made ok but was sure glad I was carrying some backup shelter and warmth!
Don't forget a shovel, tire chains and some road flares are good to have for marking or firestarting if necessary.
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

#55579 - 12/17/05 02:48 AM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 736
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
I checked out a book called Winter Wise by Montague Alford. Here are some notes from the vehicle guide section of the book. I don't have a car but I thought I would share it with you and see what you think:

- Do not carry your sleeping bag in the trunk, where the vehicle is coldest and where you could not get at it if the trunk were damaged and jammed.

- Any non-running vehicle is a heat sink and offers no insulation from the cold. So you have to build a snow shelter like a snow trench or a snowhouse (adequately ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning... learn and practice how to build one) or have a tent...

- You need an Insulated pad under your sleeping bag to prevent heat loss through conduction. Not a self-infating pad but one or two closed-cell mats. A foam pad made of evazote. Vehicle seats and cushions offer good insulating pads for the inside of a snow shelter.

- In an emergency, black pepper is an effective radiator sealant.

Some items from the vehicle kit list:

- Axe and file
- Flashlight (headlamp!) equipped with alkaline batteries because they perform better at low temperatures.
- Tarpaulin (of sufficient size to cover engine hood and reach to ground on both sides)
- Spare fan belt
- Spare fuses
- Large orange garbage bags (you can fill one with snow and use as a door to a snow shelter)
- Thermos kept topped-up with a hot sweet drink
- First aid kit which should include a cushioned mask such as an Airway SealEasy, used for sanitary purposes when administering CPR
- Extension cord (electrical, heavy duty)
- Emergency heater (gasoline camp stove or the alternative already mentionned: roll of toilet paper soaked with kerosene or diesel inside a coffee can
- Ban ice (methyl-hydrate)
- Anti-freeze
- Window scraper
- At least two 4x4x12 inches wooden blocks.
- your PSK (the author carries a homemade candle stove with two nested cans and tea candles to melt snow and carries a swizzle-stick to stir snow and a plastic drinking tube to drink warm liquids from the candle stove without the need to remove the container from the stove base and also can serve as a fire coaxer (the tube lets you use a safer technique than placing your nose, and your parka ruff, within a few centimetres of glowing coals.)

etc. (I left out other more obvious items)

Good luck

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