Staff Sgt. Seth Reab, an Arctic Survival School instructor, looks over the horizon while standing outside of the Air Force Arctic Survival School training area near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

That’s why the US military has courses designed to teach its people how to survive in arctic temperatures.

Here are a few tips from the Winter Survival Course handbook and some items the Marine Corps consider essential to combating the cold.

Here’s what the Marines say to take with you if you venture deep into the cold (somewhere other than New York) this winter.

Key Items:

Water/Food: At least a few gallons of water is advisable in harsh conditions.

Fire-starting material: Flint, matches, or a lighter.

550 Cord: This gets its name from the weight it can bear. Good for making shelters, trapping animals, and treating wounds.


A metal container: For boiling water. It’s not safe to eat mass amounts of snow off the ground. Must be a non-petrol carrying container. Kill two birds with one stone and carry a can of beans.

Tape: Electrical or gorilla duct tape has near-infinite uses.

A knife and/or multipurpose tool: Some of these actually contain a flint.

First Aid kit


A mirror: For signaling. In a pinch, a makeup mirror will suffice.

Pocket sewing kit

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