The Vikings were a seafaring people from Scandinavia who lived during the medieval period, from the 8th to the 11th century. They were known for their fierce warriors, exploration, and trade, but also for their ability to survive in harsh environments. The cold winters of Scandinavia and the North Atlantic were a constant challenge for the Vikings, but they developed various strategies to adapt and thrive. In this blog post, we will explore how the Vikings survived and adapted to the cold.
Clothing and Shelter
One of the most important aspects of surviving the cold was proper clothing and shelter. The Vikings wore woolen garments made from sheep's wool, which was abundant in Scandinavia. Wool was an excellent insulator, and Vikings would layer their clothing to trap heat close to their bodies. They also wore leather boots and fur hats to protect their extremities from the cold.
For shelter, the Vikings built longhouses, which were communal living structures made from wood and turf. These longhouses were often shared by several families and had a central hearth for warmth. They were also well-insulated, with thick walls and roofs made from turf and sod.
Food and Agriculture
Another crucial aspect of survival in the cold was food and agriculture. The Vikings were skilled farmers and fishermen, and they developed techniques to grow crops and catch fish in even the harshest of winters.
One of their strategies was to store food for the winter months. They would dry and salt fish, preserve meat with smoke, and store grains in underground pits. The Vikings also practiced ice fishing, cutting holes in frozen lakes and rivers to catch fish. They would also hunt game such as reindeer, moose, and wild boar in the winter.
Adapting to the Environment
The Vikings were also skilled at adapting to the environment around them. They would make use of the resources available to them, such as ice and snow. For example, they would build sleds to transport goods and people over the snow, and they used skis for transportation and hunting.
The Vikings also developed a technique called "banking," where they would build snow walls to protect themselves from the wind. They would also dig out caves in the snow for shelter and warmth.
The Vikings were a resilient people who were able to survive and adapt to the cold winters of Scandinavia and the North Atlantic. Through proper clothing and shelter, food and agriculture, and adapting to the environment, they were able to thrive in even the harshest of conditions. Their ability to survive and adapt is a testament to their ingenuity and resourcefulness.
- "Surviving the Viking Winter." The Jorvik Viking Centre, www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/about-us/blog/surviving-the-viking-winter/. Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.
- "Vikings in Winter." Visit Norway, www.visitnorway.com/things-to-do/culture-history/vikings-in-norway/vikings-in-winter/. Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.
- "How Did the Vikings Survive in Scandinavia?" Scandinavian Tours, www.scandinaviantours.org/blog/how-did-the-vikings-survive-in-scandinavia. Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.
- "Viking Life." BBC Bitesize, www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z6srdxs/revision/1. Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.