Just Add Water? No, Just Add Snow!

For those of us living in the warm comfort of our homes while the snow falls just outside the chilly window, snow might seem like a mere fun opportunity to build a snowman or have snowball fights, or a nuisance to people who would rather not partake in such things. Since snow can go as quickly as it comes, especially here in the South, it’s very easy to brush it off as just another one of Mother Nature’s ways of briefly showering the earth with her frozen tears. But snow actually is very utilizable, especially for those braving it outdoors.

One beneficial use for snow when you’re camping outdoors is that it can be a form of shelter. If you’re a craftsmen or know someone who is, they should (hopefully) have the wherewithal to pack snow up in the just the right form in order to create an igloo. Now, they don’t have to be perfect, but if you pull it off, igloos can be a great way to protect yourself from the outside world. They are compact and can actually be fairly warm despite it being a dome of ice.

Another use for snow, related to the warm shelter of igloos, is that snow can provide insulation. Snow has up to 95% air content, which is why it is such an excellent way to make sure your body stays warm. If making igloos isn’t your calling, you can always dig a hole or trench and wrap yourself in a sleeping bag to ensure that no heat escapes and you stay as warm as possible.

A third and possibly more unknown way of handling snow is that it can be used to make candy. Some people like to get packs of snow, and then boil honey or syrup to pour onto the snow packs. After freezing, the sweet honey (or syrup) snow treats are supposedly good to eat. I’ve never tried it for myself, but it couldn’t hurt. Could it?

Finally, people have also used snow as a method of washing their dishes. In today’s time, there is probably not much of a reason for anyone in the developed world to do this, but I’m sure this was more prevalent in historic time periods or if anyone is out camping and forgot to bring dish detergent. It could also be a way to save some water if you decide to boil the snow in a pot instead of using water out of the sink.

So, snow can be practical in certain circumstances. Other than it being fun to build snowmen or go sledding, a lot of people who enjoy hiking in the more wintry regions of the world can utilize snow in the place of water or even shelter. It’s kind of fascinating to think about just how much you can actually do with it. It also helps that there tends to be inches upon inches of it, so you’d have an abundance of it. Just make sure you keep track of the outside temperature!

Written by Chris Lewis

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