If you're to believe the weather reports and the Polar Vortex chaos kicking off in America at the moment, the winter apocalypse is imminent. Which means that it's time to start preparing for your snow days.

The first skill that should be on everyone's list should be how to use an axe like a lumberjack.

Whether you're stocking up fire wood ahead of the deep freeze or chopping your way out of your frozen house, here's what you need to know, according to outdoor-loving tree surgeon Chris Pratt...

Axe skills

Any tree surgeon worth his timber knows how to chop a log. “Don’t swing the axe over your shoulder, as it pulls you off balance,” says Pratt. “Raise the axe directly up instead. If you're right-handed, put your left hand at the bottom of the axe and slide your right hand down as you chop.” This is also helpful for maiming zombies.

Get on course

Knowing every word of Monty Python’s Lumberjack Song doesn’t mean you’ll make a good tree surgeon. “Sign up for a course at college to learn all the right skills,” says Pratt. “You’ll learn everything from climbing to sawing.”

Muscle up

If your arms are like twigs, Britain’s trees will laugh in your face. “You don’t need to be a great scientist, but you need decent physical strength to lift objects and pull up your bodyweight,” says Pratt. “I work my arms, shoulders and back in the gym.” Deadlifts, shoulder presses and chin-ups will get you cut.