Gazing over their subordinates, reminiscing about being in the younger cadets’ situation, are the senior cadets. Now veterans of the unpredictable nature of these survival exercises, they are both better prepared and well accustomed than their green comrades. Despite their advantages, they still have to conceal the shivers racketing their bodies from deep within the combat boots acquired from military surplus stores and through the olive drab fatigues to keep the moral of the younger cadets from becoming hopeless. The snow compacts under the force of boots designed with withstand extreme force; the crunch of the trampled snow attempts to drone out the merciless wind yet does not succeed.
Within yards of the fire and those gathering around it, though they might have been kilometers away to the frozen feet of all the cadets are the beginnings of small shelters that shall become the homes of the cadets for the weekend. Although nothing more than half a tent with branches covering the exposed sides, the durable fabric and foliage mixture are absolutely crucial for survival no matter how cold its occupants will be under its cover. The winter landscape possesses a beauty that has no equals yet its beauty is a double edged sword.