Outdoor survival is an essential skill for every outdoorsman. It is useful when you encounter wildlife or a change in the weather, or if your equipment breaks down.
In a wilderness situation, finding water, creating shelter using otf knives, and lighting a fire to provide warmth are the three most important actions. First aid and a positive mental attitude are the next most important skills for survival.
Water is a vital part of outdoor survival. Whether you’re hiking through a forest preserve that turns into a blizzard or sailing on an ocean that eventually becomes a shipwreck, the ability to access clean, safe drinking water can make the difference between life and death. Fortunately, there are numerous methods of collecting and storing water that can be used in an emergency situation.
Rain collection is a common practice. The best way to do this is by placing multiple containers — such as barrels or buckets — in areas where rainfall is common. You can also use waterproof tarps to collect water from the sky. The water collected in this way can be used to disinfect camping equipment, clothing and other supplies.
Other natural water sources are rivers, lakes, and ponds. They may not be the best, as they can contain bacteria like cryptosporidium or giardia. To avoid these bacteria, you must boil your water before consuming it.
Foraged fruits, vegetables and roots can be used to make drinking water. It’s possible to find these items and eat them to get water when you’re stuck, but it isn’t the best option.
Water is a vital part of outdoors survival, and you should always remember the Rule of Three: water, shelter and food. In the wilderness, you can only survive a few days with no water. It is therefore important to learn how to find a source of water and how to safely store it. These skills will give you peace of mind that you can get the water you need if you are in a wilderness situation.
When you’re trapped in the wilderness, shelter is one of the most important survival techniques. You can increase your chances of survival by learning how to build a teepee or basic cabin, or even a small snow cave.
When making a shelter, the location of the site is critical. Choose a site away from hazards such as standing or fallen water, branches or insect nests, and that is sheltered against the wind. It should be easy to locate building materials, and near drinking water.
The first thing to do when building a shelter, is to lay a solid foundation. This will be the base of the shelter, and it will support the structure. It will also prevent rainwater from collecting in the shelter. It should be made from sticks, preferably spruce to ensure that it is waterproof and provides insulation against the cold.
Once the foundation has been laid, it is time to build the walls. The lean-to is the most common shelter, but you can build a teepee and a simple hut. The walls should be insulated with dry debris such as dead leaves, pine needles or grasses to trap your body heat.
A solid door will also be needed. It may seem insignificant, but it will keep the wind, rain, and snow out, keeping your body warmth inside your shelter. It will also make it much easier to enter and leave your shelter. If possible, the door should be constructed from spruce branches to add strength and insulation. You can use a space-blanket to keep your body warm and avoid moisture. This technique is especially effective in cold environments. Remember that people die when they lose their body heat outdoors, and not from dehydration.
It is important to know how to use fire. You can use it to cook food, purify your water, or signal for help if you need it. It can also keep flying insects, dangerous animals and other dangers at bay. Fire can even be used to heat and sterilize medical supplies. It is important to learn how to build a fire before an emergency occurs.
You will need kindling and tinder to start a fire. The tinder should be fine and dry, such as grass or shredded bark. To light the tinder, you can use a flint or match to create sparks. You can add larger wood pieces to the fire. When you first start making sparks, it is a good idea for the fire to be protected from the wind.
Once the tinder has started to glow, it is time to add some fuel to the fire. You can use small branches, sticks, or logs. Choose a location that is dry and avoid placing it too close to the shelter. This could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or even catch your tent on fire.
The heat from the fire can help regulate your body’s temperature. Without the proper body heat, hypothermia can set in in as little as a few hours. If this occurs, your chances of surviving will drastically decrease. To prevent this, it’s important to stay warm all night and keep the fire going. In addition, the light from a fire will allow you to continue working after the sun goes down and will help to deter nocturnal predators.
Many survival experts advise telling friends or family members when and where you will be going, which may help them find you if necessary. It also pays to have some basic signals ready for emergencies in the wilderness.
Some visual signals are more powerful than others. A brightly colored object, such as a flag, will stand out and attract attention. A fire or a flashlight can be used to create an audible signal from a distance. A flashlight with red LEDs is particularly effective because they are very different from natural light. Fire signals can be more easily identified than other visual indicators. A smokey fire with organic material on top during the daytime is a highly visible sign that could attract planes or people’s attention. Three fires in a triangular formation is an internationally recognized distress signal.
Mirrors and smoking are other types of visual signs. Signal mirrors are small reflectors that can be used for sending sunlight to rescuers at sea or on the ground. You can buy it at outdoor or preparedness shops. It is often designed with an aiming hole in the middle. It can also be relayed Morse Code, making it an excellent multipurpose survival tool.
A whistle is a simple and effective sound-based signal for outdoors survival. It is less strenuous than yelling, and it can cut through background noises. You can purchase emergency whistles in most outdoor and preparedness store, and certain survival tools have a whistle built in. Apps can also turn your smartphone into an emergency whistle. A whistle can be easily heard from a distance of up to a half mile, making it an essential part of any outdoor survival kit.
Finding food is usually the top priority in a survival scenario. This is important not only for nutritional needs but also for the psychological boost a person gets from the feeling of security that a cooked meal provides.
In a survival situation the wilderness provides a variety of edible creatures and plants to the survivalist. Wild foods include edible mushrooms, edible fruits, edible roots, edible cacti, and edible berries. Trapping and hunting animals can also provide high-calorie proteins.
In a survival situation, food is usually the most important thing to have because it can provide energy without exertion. However, the wilderness can be a dangerous place where an unplanned wildlife encounter, a malfunctioning piece of equipment or unexpected weather on the trail could create a life-or-death situation.
A person should practice their emergency survival skills before an emergency occurs. Practicing the hard skills such as building a shelter, finding water and making fire can improve the chances of survival in an outdoor emergency. Survival in the wilderness also requires a positive mental attitude and a strong will.