The wilderness is an unforgiving place. There are so many different ways to die out there. What do you do first? Whether in the woods, in the mountains, or on a deserted island, here are a few essential steps survivalists say to follow.
1. Signal For Rescue.
The sooner you return to civilization, the better. Your best chance of escape is to be rescued, so use your resources to signal any ships or planes that might pass by.
2. Avoid Injury At All Cost.
Your feet are some of your most important and vulnerable tools for survival. Boots will protect you from cutting your feet as you explore the area for the next step to survival.
3. Find Fresh Water.
While a human can survive for 40 days without food, we can’t live more than eight to 10 days without water. If you have to choose between dehydration and unfiltered water, take your chances with the water. But if you can, fresh water is gonna be your best bet. Sources of fresh water include caves, rain, and making your own from salt water. If you’re by the ocean, you can convert salt water to fresh. Fill a can with salt water and then put a second container over the can. This will collect the fresh water that evaporates out of the can. You need at least 1 liter of water per day to survive.
4. Look For Signs Of Life.
Vegetation, birds, and insects can all mean nearby water sources. Roots, vegetables, and cacti can all contain water, and mashing them with a rock will release some liquid. Water flows downhill, so be sure to check low-terrain canyons and mountain bases that could be home to a water source. Morning dew can be collected with a cloth and then wrung out into your mouth. But just make sure you collect it before sunrise or it could evaporate before you get to it.
5. Build A Fire.
You need a dry patch of ground about 4 feet wide. Build a ring of rocks or dig down a few inches. This will keep the fire insulated. Then use paper, dry grass, or pine needles as tinder. Pile loosely in the center and top with kindling. If that kindling’s wet, you’re gonna need a lot more tinder. If you’re lucky enough to have a lighter or matches, ignite the tinder and gently blow on the fire. If you don’t have a lighter or matches, you need to use friction to create an ember. You can also create sparks with a flint and steel. If you need to, you could always use a lens to harness the sun’s light. As the kindling catches, gradually add more. Once you have a nice, healthy flame going, begin to add the firewood.
6. Become Familiar.
Probably the most important lesson to survive in an unfamiliar area is to become familiar with it. Study the terrain, environment, and wildlife of any new area before you enter it. Let people know where you will be and how long you’ll be out there. And bring the necessary gear for that trip and every emergency situation that you can think of.