How to survive the Alaskan wilderness

09th June, 2017

“If you find yourself lost in Alaska, be it in the Wrangell Mountains or the dense forests at the south of Glacier Bay, there are four main things you need to focus on: shelter, water, fire and food,” says writer Dawn Stephens-Borg.

Dawn has recently put together a travel piece for ROL Cruise about Alaska and as part of her research took to the water to understand how to cope in cold water. As part of her piece, Dawn references Dr Mark Harper, expert and contributor to the Outdoor Swimming Society. “While taking a dip in icy water may not be the first thing on your mind when you’re stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, you may encounter situations in which you need to get into the water,” says Dawn. “Whether this means crossing rivers or tackling lakes, Alaska’s waters are pretty cold, so you need to be prepared.”

To prepare for a dip in the glacial waters Mark advised, “adaptation to the cold” and “importance of warming up properly.” Dawn’s piece explains how difficult the landscape is to navigate and how rivers in Alaska can vary dramatically over the summer, sometimes even within the day. “Glacial melt and river flow can change rapidly, drastically altering the water level and safety of river travel.”

To read more about the Alaskan wilderness read Dawn’s piece here. To learn more about cold water swimming, read the OSS Cold Water features in our survive section here.