Thanks for the chapter! I have trapped many of the critters Einar is after; I will be very interested to see how he manages to make muskrat sets that will not stick out like a sore thumb, to any passersby, under those conditions. Maybe I will learn something!
If Einar could find a decent snow bank in a nice out of the way spot in the timber he might have a chance. A candle can bring a snow cave down below freezing, and with a decent amount of top cover and also timber to penetrate, thermal signature would not be a worry. With that shelter and warm clothes, a good sleeping bag, and about 12000 calories a day, he might make it. In his condition, his plan to huddle in a little nest of brush is a nonstarter; he just does not see that yet.
Oh, yes, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be finding that out… Ought to know it already, but he has an occasional tendency to overestimate his abilities when it comes to such things. The snow cave would be good. He'd wear himself out pretty well digging it, but it'd serve him for the entire time he was down there. I've spent many comfortable, quiet (wind free!) nights in snow caves.
As for the muskrat sets sticking out like a sore thumb, yes, he’s going to have to chop holes in the ice and they’d show up to anyone who happened by in close enough proximity, but about the best he can do is to try and place them in areas where it seems unlikely skiers would venture, since that’s who is most likely to be in the area that time of year. Aside from the holes though, not too much should be visible. He’s not going to do platforms, and it’s too icy for floats.