What if you were stranded several miles offshore in cold weather?

Food Rationing and Temperature

This may be the only thing you can see for miles.
This may be the only thing you can see for miles.

Although you can survive for several days without food, you'll probably want something to eat. After searching the boat, you discover that you've only got a few packages of beef jerky that you brought along for a snack. Instead of giving in to your pangs of hunger by eating all the jerky at once, you should ration out portions for you and your friend and leave some out to use as bait. Using the dental floss you find in the bathroom, along with some discarded fishing hooks, you can fashion a rudimentary system to catch fish.

Now that you have food and water covered, the remaining concern is the weather. If you have one on board, you should listen to the radio to monitor the weather. With or without a weather report, you should anticipate and plan for the worst. In this area, a daytime temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius) is certainly out of the norm. The average temperature for the month of November in Alpena, Mich., is:

  • High - 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius)
  • Low - 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius)

This means that overnight temperatures could easily be in the 30s. Factor in the wind chill, and the temperature could feel closer to something in the teens. If you don't find a way to keep warm, you'll be at risk for hypothermia. You can use any tarps or canvas you find (remove seat cushion coverings if necessary) to make a big blanket or tent. You and your friend can huddle together under the blanket or in your improvised tent to stay out of the wind and share body heat. If it's particularly windy or it starts to rain, empty out the storage compartment under the bow or huddle up in the bathroom, making sure to take turns going out on deck to look for rescue planes or boats. Have flares handy, so you can signal if someone approaches.

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