Emergencies and natural disasters always pose a threat to our safety. What truly counts is how you react to the situation that really determines if you will make it out alive or not. The people on the Discovery Channel or other reality shows make it look easy, but do you believe you have the skills necessary to survive?
Keep reading to learn important wilderness survival skills that everyone should know; whether you are an avid hiker or it’s your very first camping trip. Some of these tips could very well save your life.
When it comes to survival, Lifehacker, suggests that you know your priorities. Along with finding a suitable campsite, you will also want to:
Creek Stewart, a survival expert who wrote Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag: 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit, believes that the most important thing you need to do in a survival situation is to find a good campsite where you can set up a tent or even a tarp shelter. Ideally, your camp site should be elevated and in a dry area.
Avoid paths or valleys where water could flow and possible reach flood depths. Also choose a site that is devoid of bug nests, debris like rocks and branches. Choose a spot that is close to resources like dry wood (useful for building a fire as well as shelter) and running water from a stream, river, or creek.
Ideally, when you go hiking in the wilderness, you have a first aid kit on you, and you know how to use it. Not only that, but it’s recommended that you know what the three most common injuries outdoors are, and how to treat them:
If you do not have a compass, you’ll want to determine which direction you are walking so that you don’t get even more lost. When the sun is creating shadows, you will want to find a 3-foot stick and stick it into the ground standing up. Clear the area surrounding the stick and make sure there is no debris.
Then you’ll make the tip of the stick’s shadow with a stone. Wait for 15 minutes and mark the end of the shadow again. The line that connects the marks are a rough indicator of the east-west line. A line that is perpendicular to the line through the central stick is the north-south line.
If you are going to be in the woods for a while, you might want to know how to use the moon as some kind of celestial compass. Backpacker explains:
“If the crescent moon rises before the sun goes down (a first-quarter moon), its illuminated side will face West. If it rises after midnight (a last-quarter moon), the bright side will face east. (using the north star is easier and more reliable, but try this lunar method if stars are obscured.)”.
On average, if you are physically fit and are walking on flat ground with no obstructions, you can cover 3 miles per hour. It is important to determine the approximate distance you’ve walked, especially if you are in the middle of a dense forest or if you were caught in a whiteout, or maybe you are trying to find the exact location of a familiar landmark or a trail junction.
Sasi Online stresses how crucial water is for your survival in the wilderness, and we couldn’t agree more. It is essential to have clean water, especially if you are in a hot climate and you can dehydrate very quickly. It’s recommended that you always have a LifeStraw or a Mini Water Filtration System on your person so you can drink from most water sources.
Surviving in the wilderness isn’t as glamorous as it may seem on television. There are a lot of risks associated with it, and if you don’t know how to care for yourself and know basic survival skills like these, there is no guarantee that you will be able to make it out okay. We hope that you take these tips seriously and decide to do some research on your own because safety and preparedness should be your main priority.