Whether you venture off into the wilderness for fun or you happen to find yourself stuck there, you need to know how to survive. Most people, though, are pretty clueless as soon as they leave the comfort of their well-equipped suburban homes. Don’t be left out in the cold when it comes to wilderness survival. Instead, be ready for anything.
1. Know How To Navigate The Wilderness
Either by the use of a compass or by following the sun, you need to know which direction you’re traveling in and how to reach your intended destination.
2. Wear The Right Clothing
If you’re going into the wilderness for fun, be prepared for anything, including getting stuck there, by wearing layers of clothing that will keep you warm enough, but that you can remove as the day warms up. You also want to always have dry clothes available.
3. Bring Food And Water
For a day or weekend in the woods, pack plenty of easy to carry, healthy food. Be practical about it, by being able to consume anything you bring as-is, without cooking or cleaning it. Plan on toting an extra day of water, too, just in case.
4. Know How To Find Food And Water
In case you run out of food and water or something happens to your supply, you must be able to acquire necessary nutrients and hydration from the environment.
5. Be Stealthy Around Wild Animals
While a bear and her cubs may be an awesome sight to behold, you don’t want to get too close, ever. Even small, seemingly harmless wild animals can cause trouble for you, so avoid them all completely. Also, don’t leave a trail of food scents for them to follow and secure all food sources when you sleep.
6. Learn How To Build A Shelter
If you’re bringing a tent, be sure you know how to pitch it properly, but if not, know how to build a basic shelter from dead wood, branches and leaves.
7. Have A Knife That Multi-Tasks For You
The one thing you simply must have out in the wilderness is a knife that can serve many purposes. Invest in a high-quality, durable Swiss Army type of knife before heading out.
8. Be Able To Make Fire
While you’ll likely have matches or a lighter on hand, if they are lost or become inoperable, you need to know the basics of building a fire from scratch.
9. Keep Moving In The Cold
If you’re stuck in the wilderness and the temperature drops, keep moving at all costs. If there are two or more of you, nap in shifts, with someone always on watch and ready to wake the others and get them moving. Frostbite can be deadly and it sets in faster than most people realize.
10. Be Prepared To Do Whatever It Takes
To survive in the wilderness, you can’t be picky about what you eat or choosy about your sleeping conditions: This is no five-star hotel. Be prepared to kill something to eat, suck the water out of mud and push yourself beyond any previously established limits.
Wilderness survival, unfortunately, isn’t taught in high school, although it should be. You really never know what could happen next and if you get stuck in the wilderness without those essential skills, you’re really up the creek! Brush up on your survival skills, even if you don’t plan on camping out any time soon – you never know when you might need them.