Extreme Climate Techniques and Tricks (1 Viewer)

Cornelius Vango

Chaos Magician
Jambo Organizer
Sep 25, 2015
Current Location
Slab City, Ca
So, you've found yourself in the wilderness in an extreme climate. It's EXTREMELY hot, or cold, or rainy, or swampy, or dry... What are some ways that you keep yourself not only alive by meeting your basic needs, but also be comfortable as you can be (besides climbing into the nearest place with climate control)?

I live in the Sonoran Desert currently, and have been living here outdoors for nearly two solid years in a place that is dry, and half the year, it's between 90-125 degrees (sometimes higher). I have a limited supply of solar power, I haul in my own water/pay others to haul it in, and when I run out of that, I filter water from a nearby canal but I am also interested in methods of collecting water from the air/ground/plants.

Some of the methods I use for cooling include evaporative cooling- I use a wet sarong over my head as a personal cooling method, I direct air-flow with my living structure to create a natural fan, and spread the shade structure out over a wide distance to allow the air to cool more before it hits me.

I've also lived out of my van/outdoors in Minnesota, where it gets pretty damn cold!
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!


I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Dec 4, 2014
Current Location
en route
burrow. i burrow quite often, using sandbags both below and above ground. Burrow, i tell you!!! Heed my words!!! And also look to the ant and the scorpion.

Tony Pro

Aug 24, 2015
Current Location
I learned this too late in life; shivering is a good thing! for whatever reason most people try to restrain themselves from shivering and chattering. It's the body doing what it needs to do to hang on to those essential few degrees. Shiver away.

NB it could be a sign of hypothermia so don't go thinking "oh good, I'm shivering"


Jan 6, 2016
Current Location
Marietta, GA
Extreme climates have always fascinated me - whether or not I would travel through them or even live in them I've done some considerations.

Mainly the deserts and arid regions of the world tickle my wanderlust.

IF I was to live out there, I would do as was said above and burrow, at least burrow enough in ground to keep perishables and water storage cool.

There be a few ways to save on water use, mainly by reclaiming as much as possible or using closed systems like hydroponics to cultivate food. And of course, I'd have a vapor lock on a hydroponics garden, because no one just wants to have that all evaporate out.

Anyway just my 0.02. I'm gonna hang around this topic, curious to see where it goes...


Aug 6, 2014
Current Location
Cheyenne WY
Most of my extreme weather experience has been higher altitude winter weather where you have to be outside for 6-7 hours a day moving and doing hard physical labor.I am a firm believer in layering for that.A close fitting base moisture wicking layer or silk works best,then a looser layer of polyprop,then I wear something comfortable like sweat pants a t-shirt and a hoodie.To top it all off a pair of water resistant,wind resistant pants and jacket...usually gortex.Summers in the deserts of Wash. and eastern Oregon and Idaho its usually shorts a loose t-shirt and a baseball cap.I also have a keffiya i can wrap my face and head with.


I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Dec 4, 2014
Current Location
en route
filsons is good shit. better than goretex. if you apply for g.a. in humboldt they give you gift certs for a workwear/outdoor store that sells filsons.


Lurker Admin
Jan 14, 2014
Current Location
Slab City
Stealthiest fire:

dakota-fire-hole-jpg.31960_Extreme Climate Techniques and Tricks_Wilderness Survival_Squat the Planet_9:13 PM

The quickest and safest way to dry you boots is to get rocks that won't explode, boil them until they're hot enough that, when taken out, all of the water on the surface of the rock is nearly immediately evaporated, then shove them in your boots. When they cool down, repeat, but it should only take 3 or 4 rock loads even if they're totally soaked. If you're worried about it being hot enough to damage your boots, stick them in your socks then put your socks in the boots.

I think this could be most useful for @wizehop - mr. melty boots :p

If you're in the northeast, find a water vine, they're everywhere:

5544355194_619d9208c1_b-jpg.31961_Extreme Climate Techniques and Tricks_Wilderness Survival_Squat the Planet_9:13 PM

Chop that motherfucker in half and it'll flow like a faucet. Be warned, they're hard to cut.

Here's another picture:
five_leaf_water_vine-jpg.31962_Extreme Climate Techniques and Tricks_Wilderness Survival_Squat the Planet_9:13 PM

Bamboo will also hold water.

Solar stills suck. Just put a garbage bag over as much of a leafy plant as possible. A plant that won't poke a hole in it. Leave it for a day and you'll have a cup of water or two trapped in the bag.

Oh yeah, and if you find a maple or birch tree, you can cut a small horizontal slit in the trunk, with the stabbing at about a 30 degree upward angle, and it will slowly drip water. Put a leaf or something in the slit so the water runs down it and drips down to the ground. Then put something to collect the water on the ground. Don't do this unless you have to though because it damages the tree.
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Apr 20, 2016
Thankfully when I was "outside" in Montana during the winter, I had my Dozer dog. We would find somewhere with "insulation" (pine needles on the ground, leaves, whatever wasn't just solid ground) and curl up together with a wool blanket. The wool was itchy as hell but it stayed warm even when wet. -30 is no fun.


Sep 13, 2016
Current Location
San Francisco
There is a breathing technique that will lower your body temperature, but it does dehydrate you a bit faster than breathing normally, so there's a trade off.
It's simple.. when you breath in purse your lips like together like whistling. Take in a slow prolonged cooling breath in. When your lungs are full exhale a quick hot breath with mouth open like fogging a mirror with your breath, as rapidly as possible.
I won't bore you with the physics of why it works, but it does work.
Pretty quickly you'll feel cooler and sweat less or not at all. Suddenly you feel little breezes instead of feeling like you're in an oven.

It does however make your mouth dry and you get thirsty sooner / more often. If you are in an urban or semi-environment where water is plentiful then it makes sense. If you're in the middle of nowhere with limited water it's not a good idea.
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Oct 5, 2014
Current Location
East coast
Hand warmers for extreme cold... Last winter some lady kicked me down a care package with about 20 of them, while flying in Austin. I stuck one in my boots, under my beanie, in my gloves, and had a couple in my sleeping bag. They can help you stay moderatley warm when trying to sleep if you put them between your legs and in your armpits. They are awesome to have if you cant feel your toes. I will most likely buy some if i travel this winter. Kind of an old trick, but i feel it should be mentioned.
Mar 30, 2018
Current Location
Cooperstown, Ny
Great article with great tips in the comments. I'll throw in a tip. I always have a couple of long plastic bags that are used in the restaurant industry for covering "speed racks" of food. Commonly referred to as Body Bags by the workers. Anyway, they are thin and long enough to cover your entire body and two rolled tightly together take up no room at all. If it gets really cold you can double them up, get inside, and then start stuffing the inner layer with whatever is available, be it newspaper, leaves, garbage, etc. Just stop by a big hotel or restaurant and ask a worker on a break for info or if they could snag you a couple. ~ peace
Aug 23, 2018
Current Location
Centro America
For extreme cold:
Use plant for insulation. Dead leaves, piles of accumulated pine needles, cattail seeds, moss, cut live plants. Just about anything but wet dirt will do. Make a large pile and burrow into them, or stuff them in your bivy sack or sleeping bag. Make an a frame shelter with sticks and pile 2-4 feet of stuff on allsides(also waterproofs your shelter) then plug the entrance with more.

On the move? tuck your pants into your socks, your shirt into your pants and roll your cuffs back abit. Stuff them with duff material.

For extremeley wet:
You want fire. All the wood is wet. What do?
Most of that wood is only wet on the outside. Shave off the outer layers. or break it into 6-1’ lengths. Place your knife on the narrow end, Take a sturdy branch and hit the top of your knife till the wood splits down the middle. The inside will usually be dry. Standing dead wood works best.

I always carry a small thing of vaseline. spread it on your kindling sticks or a peice of paper and it burns like gasoline when lit. It often gives your fire that little extra kick it needs at the beginning to become self sustaining in wet climes. Tire shavings also work, as does plastic trash in a pinch, though that is fuckin dirty. None of these available? Use pine sap.

Another trick is too look under old trees. You can often find little patches of dry earth. Collect the dry sticks and twigs, and consolodate thr dry dirt or plant material into your sleeping area, you will be warmer because of it. This works better in northern latitudes with old or second growth pine trees. Whose thick and numerous branches deflect rainwater away from the trunk.

Are you in an area with afternoon/nightly raid and storm patterns? Make camp earlier so you have time to collect dry wood and make shelter.

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