Frostfall encourages immersive behavior by rewarding you for your resourcefulness and preparation. To keep your exposure low, you must stay warm, and stay dry. How do you do that?
The Survival Skills power allows you to use your cunning and experience to perform various tasks related to cold weather survival.
To use Survival Skills, select the spell from the Powers section of your spell list. To use the ability...
Press your Powers key (Z by default).
This should open a menu where you can choose from the following options:
You begin to get cold; you're soaked to the skin; or the sun goes down, and a storm begins to roar through the mountain pass. Just a normal day in Skyrim! Sounds like a good time to make camp. Making an effective campsite is simple.
Step 1: Look for Wood
Use Survival Skills, Harvest Wood to search the nearby area for firewood. You will need a Woodcutter's Axe to do this.
If you don't have one, you can look for deadwood instead. It takes more deadwood (15) to make a campfire than firewood (6).
If you have ruined books in your inventory, you can make a campfire from 10 ruined books.
TIP: You won't be able to search for wood if you are "Freezing to Death". Don't wait until its too late!
Step 2: Build a Campfire
Once you've gathered enough wood (6 firewood, 15 deadwood, or 10 ruined books), use Survival Skills, Build Campfire, and select where your campfire should be built. Just move and look around, and the blue placement cursor will follow you. Press your activate key (E by default) to place the campfire.
Once the campfire has been placed, click it again to select the fuel you will use. It will light automatically.
If Campfire Lighting Mode is set to Manual, your campfire will need to be lit. "Bash" it with a torch, or use a flame spell, shout, or staff. The Hardcore preset sets this setting to Manual.
TIP: To bash with a torch, hold the right mouse button, and while held, click the left mouse button. You will swing your torch.
TIP: Campfires, and other camping supplies, cannot be placed inside most buildings or near cities and towns. If you can't place something there, the placement marker will turn red.
TIP: Campfires can be put out by using a frost spell, shout, or staff, as well as Fus Ro Dah.
TIP: You can now light any unlit campfire you come across in Skyrim. This includes Giant campfires.
Step 3: Find or Build Shelter
As soon as your campfire is lit, you will immediately start to get warm and dry. If the weather is clear, a campfire may be all you need!
If it's snowing or raining, however, a campfire won't do you much good while you remain exposed to the elements. A suitable shelter is necessary!
Tents can be used to take shelter nearly anywhere. They can be crafted at any Tanning Rack. Which kind of tent you should use depends on the climate you'll be traveling in.
If it's raining, leather tents are ideal because they are waterproof. They are not as good at trapping heat as fur tents, however. These tents are ideal for the warmer southern Holds. Combined with a campfire, you will dry off completely in a rainstorm.
If it's snowing, fur tents are best because they trap heat so well. Unfortunately, they leak in the rain, so aren't as good as leather tents when traveling in the south. Combined with a campfire, you will get completely warm, even in a snowstorm.
Mages can acquire the Conjure Shelter spells, which protect against rain and cold equally well, along with providing a few other creature comforts.
If you don't have a tent, you can take shelter under awnings, caves, rock outcroppings, or anything else that covers your head. If an inn is nearby, it might be worth paying it a visit. Taking shelter under something is equivalent to being in a leather tent; you can get completely dry, but when traveling in the north, how warm you can get will be limited. Being inside a building, like an inn, can warm you up and dry you off completely.
To place a tent, just drop it; you will be prompted to place the tent. Place the tent just like you placed the campfire, and press Activate to place it.
TIP: You can make your own Tanning Rack with 3 firewood by using Survival Skills, Craft Item.
TIP: Your tent will glow when close enough to your campfire for you to be warmed by it while inside.
Once your tent has been placed, click the bed roll. You can choose to Sit or Lay Down. Sitting in a tent allows you to warm up and dry off quickly in real time; Sleep brings up the default Sleep menu. Sleeping will also warm and dry you.
If near a campfire, or the weather is warm enough, you will remove your helm, boots, and gloves when sitting inside your tent; your gear will be placed near your bedroll. You will also take off your weapons, shield, backpack, and quiver no matter what the weather is like. Everything will be automatically re-equipped as soon as you get back up.
If an enemy approaches while you sit in your tent, your will immediately leap out, geared up and ready for battle.
Step 4: Other Camp Activities
Once the campfire and shelter are taken care of, there are several other things you can do while you're camped.
Cooking pots (craftable at a Forge) can let you cook hot meals over your campfire. Some foods, like soup, improve your Exposure Resistance.
Tanning Racks (craftable via Survival Skills, Craft Item) can be useful for breaking down animal hides, making a new tent, or crafting a backpack to help you haul your camping gear in.
Mortar and Pestle (bought at any apothecary) can be used anywhere to use Alchemy.
Enchanting Supplies (craftable via Survival Skills, Craft Item) allow you to perform Enchanting, for the cost of one Bone Meal.
When you're ready to move on, just select your placed campsite items, and select "Pack" to return them to your inventory.
Most campsite items, like tents and cooking pots, will remain where you placed them forever if you don't pick them up, so you can come back to them later. Campfires will disappear after 48 hours.
While View Status gives you an overview of all of the crunchy data that makes Frostfall tick (exposure, wetness, Exposure Protection, etc), if you want to get some quick, helpful suggestions on how to improve, take a look at your Rank. Is your rank a pretty tough animal? Good! If not, click "Rank Info", and select "Show Tips" to let Frostfall provide you with advice for improving your condition that is custom-tailored to you.