Be Aware Of The Most Common Winter Exploration Hazards

For some, the thirst of adventure is not quenched by the frenzy of activity during the warmer parts of the year. Adrenaline junkies and avid outdoor explorers alike don’t confine their trips to late spring, summer, and early fall. No, the winter beckons a special type of exploratory opportunity — one prompted by snow.

Downhill skiing, backcountry skiing, hut-to-hut touring, snowshoeing, ice climbing, heli-skiing, sledding, ice fishing, you name it: we guarantee that many people are out there in the world doing those things as you’re reading this. We applaud these folks for gearing up, embracing the world, and doing what they love despite what the temperature reads.

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Outfitter Satellite embraces the spirit of the explorer, because we understand how special it is to make first tracks, take in breathtaking vistas, and go where no one else (or very few people) have gone before. If you’re familiar with the term “wanderlust,” that’s essentially what we’re going for here.

Because expeditions and remote trips are so gear-intensive, we’re proud to provide an invaluable resource for just about any serious outdoor adventure: satellite phones. Whether you’re working on a cold, remote site this winter and you’ve purchased one of our satellite phones for sale or you just need a satellite phone rental as a reliable line of communication to the outside world, Outfitter Satellite has you covered.

Our online satellite phone store also sells satellite SIM cards, and you can learn more about the nuances of satellite SIM cards here. For more information on Thuraya, Iridium, and Inmarsat phones, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

To help ensure that our readers are safely exploring this winter season, we’re going to identify several major dangers that accompany these trips. Let’s get started.

Considerable Winter Exploration Hazards

Fewer Hours Of Daylight

Before we even begin to cover specific winter navigation hazards, it’s important to note that simply working with few hours of daylight is a distinct hazard in and of itself. Even with a bright headlamp, walking around in the dark is disorienting, not to mention significantly colder. It’s important to plan your trips carefully and make sure that, if the sun goes down, you’re at least on a familiar, well-packed-out trail before you arrive back at camp.

Vegetation Traps, Voids, And Tree Wells

Here and there, you might read a horrifying story of a backcountry (or even in-bounds) skier suffocating to death as a result of accidentally falling into a tree well. As the solid snowpack continues to build around a tall tree, loose snow immediately surrounds it, creating a void that sucks in skiers and snowshoers if they venture too close.

Remember, there is safety in numbers. Hike or ski with a group of people, and never lose sight of each other. This way, someone can help pull you out of a vegetation void.


In terms of common knowledge, avalanches are the most well-known and prevalent natural disaster associated with snowpack. Though people recognize the inherent danger associated with avalanches, what many don’t understand is the sheer speed and force that an avalanche delivers.

Avalanches commonly reach speeds up to 80mph in about five seconds (watch for yourself if you don’t believe how fast they travel), and destroy everything in their path — snapping massive trees in half as if they’re toothpicks. About 90 percent of avalanches are triggered by human movement, so it’s absolutely essential to check avalanche conditions prior to gearing up, adventure with a group who know what they’re doing, and invest in the right gear such as a beacon device to help locate buried bodies.


Exposed skin won’t last very long when subjected to sub-zero temperatures. Usually, the fingers and toes are the parts of the body that are the most likely to be frostbitten since they’re the last parts of the body to receive blood flow.

It’s extremely important to cover up all of your skin when you’re in extremely cold weather. With moderate to severe case of frostbite, medical intervention is required, and people frequently lose ligaments.


A dangerously low drop in body temperature could result in death if not attended to quickly — something that’s a challenge, of course, when you’re out in the remote wilderness. It’s better to avoid any chance of hypothermia altogether, and that comes down to not only wearing warm clothing and staying dry, but wearing the right clothing. Breathable, sweat-wicking inner layers, warm down materials, and moisture-repelling outwear are key to keeping you warm and dry during your adventures.

Carefully drinking hot liquids is also a great way to warm your body from the inside out.

Ice-Related Incidents

Ice is cold, hard, and unforgiving. If you’ve ever seen ice climbers wear helmets, they’re not necessarily there to help protect their head in the event of a fall. They’re there to protect their head from falling icicles and other large ice fragments.

Slip-and-fall accidents also commonly occur on icy surfaces, even with the proper footwear. Breaking a bone out in the wilderness could very well spell a tricky situation when you’re nowhere near a medical center.

Use One Of Our Satellite Phones For Sale To Stay Connected

You never know what could happen when you’re out doing what you love. Exploring during any time of year is fun, but these experiences come with their inherent risks. Communicate with ease by shopping our range of satellite phone equipment today from Outfitter Satellite.