Seventy-five Canadian soldiers will be learning to survive in an arctic environment in the Bathurst area for the next 10 days.

Members of 4 Engineer Support Regiment are taking part in a "Basic Winter Warfare" course on Crown Land west of Bathurst off Rio Grande Road.

"It's kind of like basic training, but to go and do it in an arctic environment," Lt. Daniel Doucet, course officer, said in an interview with Information Morning Moncton on Wednesday.

The training will include how to construct a 10-man tent and how to build an "improvised shelter."

"They travel in troops with a sled filled with equipment they need to survive including stoves and lanterns," Doucet said. 

military winter exercise

Soldiers taking part in the training near Bathurst will be carrying weapons, but the military says no live or blank ammunition will be used. (Master Cpl. Dan Pop/Canadian Army Public Affairs)

"They'll learn snaring, how to construct snow defences — basically walls made out of snow with trees."

The Bathurst exercise is being used to prepare the soldiers for an upcoming exercise in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Doucet completed the same training in Happy Valley-Goose Bay last year and says with the wind chill, the temperatures dipped to –50 C. 

He says building a shelter of snow and spending the night outside was the most memorable part of his training.

"If your shelter is bad you're basically sleeping under the stars," said Doucet.

"My shelter worked out pretty good — we pushed through and slept outside."

The soldiers will have weapons, but no ammunition during their training.

Doucet says they will be learning weapon maintenance in an arctic environment.

"You can't bring them in and out from the warm and the cold since they condensate and then they freeze up."

He says Bathurst was chosen for the exercise because the area has the highest probability of having snow on the ground at this time of the year.