NATO MUltimedia

How to survive in the winter wilderness – with NATO’s battlegroup Estonia

Publication date
Filming date

What would you need to do to survive in the winter wilderness? Here are some top tips provided by UK troops from NATO’s battlegroup in Estonia.


If you find yourself stranded in the winter wilderness, how do you survive? This is an eventuality the UK troops that make up part of NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Estonia – with the United Kingdom as framework nation – train for on the Cold Weather Operator’s Course, which takes place every year in Estonia.
This NATO battlegroup also includes contributions from other NATO Allies, including Denmark, France and Iceland.
As part of the course, the soldiers must spend two nights in the Estonian forest learning how to build camps, make fires and find food and water. The course helps the soldiers adjust to different climates and terrains and makes sure they’re ready to operate in cold winter conditions.
Here, chief instructor Colour Sergeant Sykes of the UK Royal Marines gives his top tips for anyone thinking of heading out into the winter wilderness.


This is the international version of an edited video. Please refer to the master or master with subtitles versions for the full transcript.
Wilderness by Heber and Suffrin
Metaforce by Yefymov American
Usage rights
This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes. This video includes Getty Images’ and its third parties’ and third-party contributors’ copyrighted material licensed by NATO, which cannot be used as part of a new production without Getty Images’ consent. For any use, please contact Getty Images: [email protected]