Do you have outdoor survival skills? Will you survive a life-threatening emergency in the wilderness? Do you know how to use the proper survival tools? Or will you perish? Read on to learn simple tips that will not only keep you safe, but will help you thrive in a life-or-death emergency. This may be one of the most important posts you ever read.
Basic Preparation Will Save Your Ass
When you decide to have an outdoor adventure, you need to be prepared in case something goes wrong. Knowing basic survival techniques will help you avoid dangerous situations and stay safe in all conditions. That should be your goal when you start planning any kind of outdoor activity.
Even just a basic amount of preparation can save your ass.
Make sure that you build up your survivalist skills before you have any crazy hiking or camping experiences. That way you can have a fun and safe trip, and you won’t have to worry about what to do in different situations.
Outdoor Survival Skills - What To Do
Table of Contents
1) Keep Up a Great Attitude
As you start learning about survival skills, there are some things to keep in mind.
It can be a little overwhelming to think of all the things that could go wrong, so instead focus on learning the basics and building up from there. The most important part is to keep a good attitude: that can keep you going when it seems like nothing is going right, and a good attitude can give you the strength to survive in a problem situation.
First of all, remember the rule of threes: people can live for three minutes without air, three hours without a regulated body temperature, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
That way you know what’s most important: make sure you have air and shelter before you panic about running out of food! If you ever get into a difficult wilderness situation, stop and remember SPEAR: stop, plan, execute, assess, and reevaluate.
It’s easy to panic and stop focusing on how to fix the situation, but instead you want to follow a series of steps so you can take action and get safe.
2) Act Fast to Get Shelter
The first priority in an emergency situation is to get shelter, because you can get hypothermia in even mild weather conditions. You have to act fast to stop heat loss, or water loss, depending on the conditions in your environment.
Think about where your shelter should be, how to insulate it, what the heat source would be, and if it would be an individual shelter or one for your group. Once you’ve figured out these details, act so you can keep your body temperature stable and safe.
There are plenty of different shelters that you can make, or you can look at natural shelters including caves, hollow areas, and overhangs.
Learn to crease basic huts made from fallen logs and trees, as well as snow shelters.
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3) Find Some Water
Next, you need to find a safe and healthy source of water.
The best ways to find clean water in a wilderness setting are using a spring, going to a head-water stream, or collecting morning dew. Make sure to treat this water, since you can get sick from water-borne bacteria: use a filter, a chemical such as iodine, or even boiling temperatures.
Using any of these techniques can make water safe to drink, and then it’ll be easy to survive for weeks without help!
4) Build a Fire
After you take care of these immediate needs, try to build a fire.
Fire can be a useful tool, and it’s one of the best skills to have. That's because it can keep you warm, dry your clothes, boil and purify water, and cook food. It will even make you feel more safe, which helps you keep a good attitude.
If you know you’re heading out to the wilderness, make sure to bring several ways to start a fire: maybe matches, a lighter, flint, or more. That way you’ll always be prepared in case there is an emergency situation.
- Related: How To Stay Warm In A Tent (6 Cozy Camping Tips)
- Related: How To Keep Your Hands Warm While Hiking In Winter
- Related: How To Keep Your Feet Warm When Hiking In Winter
5) Find Some Food
The next priority is food, which you’ll need within about three weeks to stay alive. Thankfully, there are tons of different types of food out in the woods, as long as you know where to look.
Take a look for cattails, conifers (particularly the inside bark), grasses, oaks (after you soak the acorns), and of course berries that you can recognize. While these won’t sustain you as well as wild animals, they can help in a pinch.
However, do not eat anything that you cannot recognize: that’s the fastest way to get sick from a poisonous lookalike plant.
In general, do not spend so much time worrying about food. It is far more important to get your basic needs met, particularly those involving water and shelter, and to worry about food later.
5) Develop Naturalist Skills
Continue to build your skills by learning about nature.
Focus on learning about different plants, how to catch prey, what kinds of plants help with illness, and even more. You can start building this knowledge with local plant and animal field guides for your region. You might be surprised at the types of skills you can learn.
There are ways to build your animal tracking skills so you can find animals in the woods, herbal medicine classes so you can learn the best plants to use as treatments, and of course classes on finding the best foods out in the wild.
Your Next Step
Take advantage of these learning opportunities now, before you find yourself in a survival situation. As you build your survival knowledge, make sure you take time to remember how safe the outdoors can be.
It’s great to prepare for all kinds of scenarios, but if you plan carefully and use common sense, you should be able to avoid most bad situations. Don’t hike in awful weather, don’t eat strange plants you can’t recognize, and don’t tease wild animals.
Put together, these basic ideas will help you thrive when you're out of food, out of time, and your next breath may be your last.