You need to know some essential outdoor survival tips when you’re planning a trip to the wilderness, even if it’s a simple camping trip to the local campground or a long hike through rugged terrain.
All it takes is a wrong move, a wrong turn on the trail, a broken ankle, or lots of other possibilities, and you could be spending a rough night in the woods. If you ever find yourself in any survival situation, being prepared with essential outdoor survival tips will help keep your fear at bay.
First Of All, Stay Calm
Controlling your attitude is vital. Stay calm and take stock of your immediate survival needs and resources. It’s OK to be a little afraid, but don’t allow yourself to surrender to it. Determination is survival.
Don’t panic. If you focus on maintaining a positive and proactive attitude, you are more likely to survive a difficult situation.
- Develop a plan
- List the resources you have.
- Identify the critical tasks required for survival like shelter, water, and warmth.
- A Strong Will
Building A Shelter
Hypothermia is the leading outdoor killer in cold weather, which means building a well-insulated shelter should be your top priority in an extended survival situation. Find a downed tree leaning at an angle to make a simple lean-to, or set a large branch against a standing tree securely and stack smaller tree branches close together on one side—layer debris, like moss and leaves, across the angled tree or wall. Finally, protect yourself from the cold ground, which will draw heat from your warm body–by layering five to six inches of debris.
Building Your Fire
Fire building in terms of four essential ingredients:
- Dry tinder bundles, fibrous material like cotton balls covered in lip balm or vaseline are an excellent choice and wood in three sizes— pencil, toothpick, and Q-tip.
- As a base, use a forearm-sized log and windscreen for your fuel.
- Stack the smaller kindling against the more extensive wood log when the tinder wood is lit to allow oxygen to pass by and fuel the fires.
- Add more of the larger sticks as the fire’s flame grows until the fire is hot enough for big wood logs.
To attract rescuers’ attention, the smoke from your campfire is not enough. Make a smoke signal with materials like pine and spruce leaves to create heavy and thick smoke.
Finding water should be your second highest survival priority. Be careful of standing water such as puddles or lakes, full of bacteria and pathogens.
A river or running stream is best, but before drinking that water should be purified. Boil the water or make a water filter.
You must filter the water in the wild before drinking to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants. Use an empty bottle or container and a sharpened stick poke small holes into it with a knife or a sharpened stick.
Fill the bottle up to a few inches with a coarse gravel layer, some charcoal from your fire, a layer of coarse sand, and a layer of fine sand. Pour the water in, and as it moves through each layer, it will filter out the impurities.
Learning to navigate is essential. A compass is beneficial, but there are other skills you can use to find your way.
Find the North using the Big Dipper constellation, and the North Star is at the end of the Dipper’s handle. Also, remember the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Catch Small Food
It takes lots of energy and power to hunt large animals; focusing on fish, rabbits, and squirrels for meat is excellent. Learn to make a trap to catch them, or build a spear from sharpened sticks.
Fishing is the handiest way to find food if you’re near a water source. You will catch more fish if you place your bait into the wind while fishing as fish swims toward the wind. That will ensure the bait lands in front of the fish rather than behind.
Don’t Travel At Night
Walking through the wilderness in the night and dark time is risky and dangerous. Most predators are nocturnal, which means they will see you long before you do.
There are dangers in your way that you may not see at night, too. You can fall into a pit or off a cliff if you can’t know where you are going.
All these survival skills are the tools you need to survive. The primary key is having a positive attitude and using the time you have to the best support. Stay alert, take breaks, and don’t wear yourself out for opportunities to get help. Your survival skills will help you stay alive, so be sure to practice and use them to your best ability.