Plastic bags can save you from frost bite

by Dan
(Portland, Oregon)

Any sort of plastic bag, can be put on your feet, under your shoes or boots, to prevent water from getting to your feet. Put 1 sock on, cover it with a little bag, then put another sock on, then shoes or boots.

It's a great way to water proof your feet.

My girlfriend and I ( my wife now ) when we were young, had taken a car trip out to the woods, to do "well you know" we had to find a place where nobody else was of course, and ended up on the top of a good sized mountain in Oregon, near Mt hood.

The day was nice and clear, and before we knew it, the clouds had rolled in, and it started to rain. We decided it was time to go, and started up the car, and attempted to back out. "oops" rain + dirt = mud. We were stuck.

After hours of trying various sorts of techniques like shoving wood under the tires, rocking the car back and forth, the rain turned to snow, and it was snowing EXTREMELY hard.

Neither of us was dressed for snow. It was a nice day when we set out. No coats, tennis shows, and Levis pants.

It was getting dark, and things were looking grim.. Miles from the nearest house. Walking out that night, was out of the question. By night fall, the snow was over the tires, we spent the night in that car, with the car running to stay warm..

By next morning, the snow was over the top of the car.. yep, completely covered. I told my girlfriend, we had to walk out. Mom/dad didn't know where we went, we knew they would be worried. But no way for them to know where we were.

In the trunk, I found 4 old less swab tires bags.. We used them on our feet as I said above, but we only had 1 pair of socks. Once done we set out on our way down the mountain, following the road (* not much of one, it was covered in snow, winter wonderland. *) miles later. We began to get tired, cold, and well, out right feeling like we may not make it out of this.

My navy training kicked in, and we were singing cadence just to keep going. 10 miles later, we finally made it to a house, and could call home, and explain what happened.. Little to be said, they were happy we were alive. But mad about our poor judgment.

We found a friend who had a big 4x4 jacked up truck, and went looking for our car.. "it was long gone" covered by another 2 feet of snow, we couldn't see it, or our tracks leading away from it. It was a miracle we made it out alive, nobody would have found us if we had just sat and waited.

Several months later, we found the car. We had driven right past it several times and even almost on top of it. But we never saw it. If it wasn't for those BAGS, I'm sure we wouldn't have made it out of there alive. The bags had protected our one and only mode of transportation.. our feet. And because of that we could push ourselves to safety.

Point -: TRASH in your CAR can SAVE YOUR LIFE. I know, I was there.

Prepare for your wilderness adventure.

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Plastic bags also make good heat tents
by: Fox-fyr

I worked for several years as a wild cave tour guide. One piece of required equipment was a homemade heat tent: aZiploc bag with a plastic trash bag, a candle and a lighter. Hypothermia is always a danger when caving in wet and cool conditions, and on more than one occasion I had to use my heat tent to stay warm. Essentially, you open the plastic bag, tear a small hole in the bottom for your head, pull it over yourself, then sit down, preferably on a pack to insulate you from the cold ground, bring the candle inside the bag, and light it. Make sure the bottom of the bag is as enclosed around you as possible and keep the candle away from the bag to avoid melting it. The heat from the candle warms the air in the bag.
Note that this works best when you are just starting to get cold. It works less well if hypothermia is more advanced.

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