I got to thinking after writing the previous article called
If you want to read it too click "Tree Well" above.
I realized that a Tree Well even though they are very dangerous for skiers, snowboarders, sledders and snowshoers, that they also might be useful at times in an emergency as a shelter away from the wind in a storm.
If the tree well is deeper than about 5 to 6 feet I wouldn't recommend using it at all unless you have ropes to lower yourself down further. And even then below about 7 to 10 feet deep tree wells could be very problematic.
However, a tree well that isn't any deeper than you are tall might be a natural shelter and one might even be able with a small camping shovel or ski or snowshoe to carve out a place at the base or near the base to sleep away from the wind which can take away all your body heat and kill you quite easily in a snowstorm or just high winds when it is below freezing outside. Also, inside a snow cave type of environment all one needs to stay warm in addition to a waterproof ground cloth and a warm sleeping bag is a candle. A candle can bring up the temperature inside a snow cave kind of environment to the mid 40s Fahrenheit up to 50 degrees. However, above this the snow will start to melt and give you problems unless you need water to drink from the drips which I suppose you could gather if you were resourceful and the snow was clean enough where you were. But it is a way to survive a bad situation with just a plastic ground cloth, a sleeping bag and a lighted candle for warmth.
If you are out in the open and in someplace remote one can also survive even in a snowstorm or rain by placing fallen trees or logs more than 1 foot in diameter whose cores are still dry enough to burn and by getting a fire going and then covering the two 1 foot tree logs by placing them about 8 inches apart from each other with another piece of 1 foot or more wood on top protecting the fire from rain or snow getting into it and putting it out. This keeps the rain or snow out of the fire so it can coal into the three pieces of wood and keep you alive all night thereby. But one usually needs at least a tarp or large sheet of plastic to suspend to keep the rain or snow off of oneself. I suppose this could also be done by using branches woven about 4 to 5 feet above oneself and the fire. This is a survival and camping technique that has been used in the wilds in Alaska, Canada and Siberia and other cold places for centuries.
Beyond Fossil Fuels
Articles in this series examine innovative attempts to reduce the world’s dependence on coal, oil and other carbon-intensive fuels, and the challenges faced.