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Lost in the snow: How to survive

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A family lost in the snow in Nevada have been found safe. The survival of James Glantin, Christina McIntee, and 4 children was due to following some basic safety rules. Most rules can also apply to being lost in our Arizona desert.

1. Glantin and McIntee told someone where they were going and when they would be back. This increases the time prior to beginning a search, and gives a general area to start.

2. They took plenty of water with them. People who try to eat snow to replace the need for water increase the chances of freezing because it lowers their body temperature. Last summer, near Tucson, a young lady died from the heat while on a short hike. The family had not taken any water with them.

3. They took food with them.

4. They stayed with the car. Because cars are larger, this makes it easier to locate them by plane and binoculars.It also offered a place to stay warmer.

5. They stayed together. Staying together adds warmth in freezing conditions. In an Alaskan storm, the natives dug holes in the ground, everyone including dogs got in, and they covered the whole thing with blankets.

6. They took their cell phones to call out in an emergency. Even though it was in an area where cell phone service is spotty, and they could not be heard, the cellphone forensic team could check where calls had come from and find the area. Also, "pings" could be traced even though transmission prevented calls.

7. They took matches or something to start a fire. The fire kept them warm and worked as a beacon.

8. He knew a trick passed down from the pioneers from before we had electric blankets to warm the bed. He heated rocks by the fire. Rocks maintain heat for a long time, and can be put next to the person. One word of caution: Rocks can explode from heat. It is best to heat rocks at the outside of the fire, slowly building the heat.

Remember and teach these rules of safety for traveling or hiking in the wilderness.

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