What To Do if You’re Caught in an Avalanche
You decide to embark on your next snowy mountain adventure. There are risks for every activity in nature, including an avalanche. What should you do if you’re caught in an avalanche? Continue reading to learn more!
Bring Appropriate Gear
During your winter hike, wear a helmet, goggles, thermal base layers, and sturdy boots. Your head is one of the most important parts of your body to protect.
Avalanches are strong forces of nature. If you happen to get stuck in an avalanche, position yourself so that the pressure hits your lower body rather than your head. If you endure any injury to your head, you risk falling unconscious.
Wear base layers and long johns thermal underwear whenever embarking on a cold-weather adventure. Warm layers protect your skin and help regulate your body temperature as you move through frigid temperatures. With the proper gear, you can further protect yourself in the cold.
Move to the Side
Don’t try to outrun an avalanche. As you see the snow cascading down the mountain, you need to avoid getting stuck in the middle of the path. Moving perpendicular to the avalanche is the safest way to ensure you aren’t buried deep within the snow.
Swim With the Current
When you think of snow, you don’t think of swimming. Interestingly, swimming with the current will help you find safety during an avalanche.
Think of being caught in an avalanche as if you’re caught in the current of a river. Do everything you can to get out of the way first. If that fails, swim with the current. This method prevents you from becoming stuck in a mound of snow.
Grab Something Sturdy and Strong
If you’ve tried everything or the avalanche moved too quickly for you to respond, grab something that can withstand the force of the charging snow. Hold on tight to a sturdy item that won’t budge from the avalanche rushing down the mountain. Your best bet is to grab onto a tree, then wave your arm in the air so others can find you once the snow settles.
Make Room To Breathe
Another thing to do if you’re caught in an avalanche is to give yourself room to breathe. Turn your back to the rush of the snow. Then, create a pocket of air by covering your nose and mouth with your hands. Afterward, create a larger pocket of air by digging out snow in front of your face.
Quick reflexes will help you survive. Be aware of your surroundings and remember this advice to prepare in case you’re ever caught in an avalanche.