Let's think about what "The Plains" are exactly. Well according to Wikipedia "Plains" are worded as "In geography, a plain is a flat area."
Hmm well this is very confusing still. Let us look at an example "The Great Plains" in real life. Again taken from Wikipedia "The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairiestates and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts, but not all, of the states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana,Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The region is known for supporting extensive cattle ranching and dry farming.
The Canadian portion of the Plains is known as the Prairies. Some geographers include some territory of northern Mexico in the Plains, but many stop at theRio Grande."
Below is the accompanying photo
Here are some other examples of "Plains" as you can see if this was winter and one was alone in this area for miles and miles and hours upon hours and had no where to shelter as the photos shows, as well as no way to make a fire with the clear lack of trees and the clear lack of animals and food I believe one would be fucked.
Here are some winter examples:
Again as we can see, there is NO shelter, this is NO food and there is NO firewood about for a campfire. Understanding geological features should be easier with these illustrations to show you the vast plains that encompass our main walled city and why yes just hours from it, it is desolate.
Let's take a second to consider a walled city on the plains. Below are some examples to illustrate the point.
These are examples of a major walled city surrounded by low laying plains. I hope this helps to give a better understanding of why it would be a terrible, terrible, terrible idea to wander out into the plains in the dead of winter with no supplies, no landmark, goals' or shelter.
Let's finally take a look at what would happen if you did such a think and laid on the ground in -10 weather for the night.
Again I hope this illustrates the bad time you would have if you attempted such a thing and why an ill-formed party, plan or adventure could take a terrible turn . . .