Winter is one of the harshest times in URW, just like in real life. Here we'll teach you how to get through it in one (perhaps a bit frostbitten) piece.
Preparing for WinterEdit
Of course, the first thing you have to do to get through winter is to prepare for it. The most important things are: shelter, warm clothing, wood, and lots and lots of Food ™. If you started in spring/summer you're in luck - there's a lot of time to get prepared. Lay down some trap-fences and get your hands on some crops for planting. Nets also help. Smoke or dry your meat to preserve it as salting doesn't last quite as long. You could also use hides from your prey to make some warm fur clothes.
Here's a rough guideline for how much you should have by winter:
- Warm clothing, so that the 'Warmth' tab on your Armor page is completely green
- A few domestic animals (om nom)
- Indoor shelter of some kind (cabin, cave, walled-up sauna etc)
- A constructed fireplace in said area. THIS IS A MUST!
- A cellar, containing:
- Around 100+ lbs of meat, preferably dried (100+ lbs after drying/smoking, not before)
- Some way of getting even more food (trap fences and nets are very popular)
- A set of skis
It goes without saying that winter's not exactly a nice time. Here are the biggest threats in winter:
You can't grow crops in the winter, and there will be fewer animals around for you to hunt and trap. Luckily, some rivers and lakes will still have fish. Rapids won't freeze over, but rivers and lakes will. To fish in them, use your Survival skill to cut a hole in the ice and fish to your heart's content.
The best way to deal with this problem is to make sure you'll never be in a starvation situation. Being prepared pays off! Usually in autumn, there should be a huge number of animals, fish, and crops to grab. Use them! Preserve all the meat you can get your hands on and harvest all your vegetables. To get through winter unscathed, an elk (or two) and a bear (or three) will definitely be enough. You could also buy some domesticated animals (cows, pigs, reindeer or sheep) and use them as a 'walking larder'.
Allow me to state the obvious here: winter is cold. For most of winter, the temperature will be below freezing. Frostbite will be common here, so wrap up warm. While frostbite tends to clear up in a few weeks, severe or questionable frostbite may take months.
When you travel around, you'll start to get messages about how cold you are. In order of warmest to coldest, they are:
Sweating A Lot > Sweaty > Hot > Warm > Rather warm > Cool > Cold > Bitterly cold > Freezing
If you receive the 'Cold' message, stop what you're doing and build a fire. Stay next to it until you are at least 'Hot' (use the minus key to wait or hold the . key if you are time conscious). That way you'll prevent frostbite. The warmer your clothing is, the faster you'll warm up, and, the longer you'll stay warm.
This is where building a fireplace pays off. When a normal outdoor fire burns down, the embers are basically useless. But if a fire burns down in a fireplace, it will still warm you. This means that you have to burn less wood to stay warm for longer! Yes, it takes 35 stones to build, but that's not an excuse. Don't have a house? Build three sections of wall and 2 sections of floor, then build a fireplace on one of them. Fireplaces are an absolute must! By the way, around 700 firewood will be enough for the winter. Feel free to chop more.
The cold does have good side effects. Raw meat dumped outside will last practically forever provided the temperature stays below 0 degrees. Also, it's very dry in winter, so meat can be dried. Game tracks show more clearly everywhere.
Lastly, you can 'drink' the snow on the ground, so you don't have to run to a water source for hydration. This means that travelling vast distances is much easier as water is no longer an issue. (As of version 3.16, you cannot use snow to fill the thirst meter. The ability to melt snow for drinking is said to be coming in later versions.)
Yes, boredom. Just like in real life, URW's winter is cold, long, and boring. More than one character has died as a result of boredom. When you're bored you start to take stupid risks in order to find something to do. Try to find things to do.
- Chop firewood .
Just in case you didn't have enough (or don't think you do...)
- Expand your house.
Winter is actually a popular time for doing so, due to a neat little exploit. It's also a good time to expand your fields.
- Train your skills
Nearly any skill that requires repetition and does not require a live target can be trained without leaving your house. Shooting arrows at the stove, crafting, etc. Physician is also a good one. Run outside naked, get some frostbite, come back in and heal them all you crazy masochist. Of course, you could train other menial skills like Weatherlore.
- Make a huge armory...
- ... so that you can go on a crazy Njerpez raid!
Njerpez hunting in winter is fun! (and the author's favorite winter pastime). You see, if you have a set of skis, you'll be travelling at 100%+ speed while the Njerpez have to trudge through the snow. With a bunch of dogs, good armor and a good weapon, you'll be unstoppable!
- Go exploring.
Uncover the vast wilderness. Run around, looking for more villages, maybe build another cabin. It's a good time to explore the world - just move around hunting small game, stopping every now and then to tan the skins. Try exploring with a bull in tow, when said bull is carrying an extra water flask, emergency herbs, bandages and lots of food for you. Maybe some furs and trade goods... Just make sure to tie Mr bull to the nearest tree before you chase off on a hunt, or you'll probably shoot it full of arrows!
- Go spelunking.
Cave exploring, basically. This actually carries a little risk, as bears like to sleep in caves.
- Do not let your boredom let you take large risks.
While going through the worst part of winter boredom, if you end up getting bored of creating weapons, arrows, javelins, etc. and any other task stated above. If you value your character and want to get through winter, don't go looking for fights or taking large risks as you may forget an article of clothing that you require and you may freeze to death. Also carrying too much and getting stranded can force you to leave certain items in the wilderness that you may want to keep, such as heavy armour, iron, leather, etc.