Canadian Army reserve soldiers tested their ability to survive and operate in cold weather this weekend in Souris, P.E.I.

About 20 military personnel from the 1 Squadron, 36 Signal Regiment spent the night in improvised shelters they built in a wooded area.

The soldiers, who mostly work in communications support and signaling, performed nighttime navigation training using GPS, maps and compasses.

All the snow on the Island this weekend made for an ideal environment for training, said Capt. Jennifer Arsenault, the squadron's second in command.

Improvised shelters - soldier winter training P.E.I.

Soldiers stayed overnight in improvised shelters. (36 Signal Regiment)

"If we ever did have a situation here in P.E.I. where even more severe storms than last year and we needed to support the local authorities in any way shape or form we have to be able to look after ourselves first in order to be able to look after anybody else," said Arsenault.

The soldiers towed all of their kit and supplies in toboggans while snowshoeing to their overnight location.

"So we have our rucksack with probably 30 to 40 pounds in it and then we're pulling a toboggan as well with quite a bit of weight in it," said Arsenault.

"So even just moving around in the winter with a lot of snow is a challenge in of itself."