An excerpt from The Ultimate Winter Survival Handbook
There’s a good reason why animals hibernate. Winter is a lean season. For both man and beast, the colder air creates a huge drain on a body’s energy reserves. If you didn’t have incoming calories or a massive fat reserve, you wouldn’t make it through this season. This makes food procurement a much higher priority in a winter emergency than in a summer emergency. Adding insult to injury, food gathering is often at its hardest in the winter. Fortunately, there are a few high calorie critters that aren’t sleeping through the winter. Though they are less active, especially in bad weather, you can still find them out in the colder months (if you’re lucky). Don’t starve to death on lean rabbit meat, when there are some fattier animals that can give you the calories to survive.
- Beaver – 3 ounces of beaver meat have 180 calories, half your daily iron, and many B Vitamins.
- Opossum – 3 ounces of ‘possum meat contains 188 calories, with lots of iron and riboflavin.
- Canada Goose – 3 ounces skinless meat contains 201 calories, leave the skin on for even more.
- Raccoon – A 3 ounce meat serving has 217 calories, with loads of iron, thiamin and B12
These tips, and many more survival tips, are in MacWelch’s books: Prepare For Anything, The Hunting and Gathering Survival Manual, How To Survive Anything, and available now, Tim’s latest release, The Ultimate Winter Survival Handbook.
Follow him on Twitter @timmacwelch
And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine
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