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Alone in the Wilderness: A Survival Guide

Alone in the Wilderness: A Survival Guide

Posted by Ryan Skidmore on

Whenever you hit the trails you are in the position of possibly finding yourself in a survival mode.

There are many skills and tools you need at your disposal to help you to navigate a survival situation in a safe and effective way.

Here are a few of the most important things you need to keep in mind in case you find yourself in survival mode.

Consult the Locals

Before you head out into the wilderness alone, you need to consult with the people and hiking experts who live in the surrounding areas. Get their advice on where to go, when to go, and where not to go.

It’s also important to let someone know where you plan to hike or camp and for how long. Most popular hiking locations near a wilderness area will have a volunteer search and rescue team available if you do get injured or lost.

If you tell a local person where you plan to go, they will have a much better chance at finding you.

Take Supplies

Before you go, be sure to take enough food, water, and basic survival supplies—rope, a knife, small shovel, a tarp, flares, a compass, etc.— with you. Be careful to ration food and water as you go. 

Be Proactive and Positive

If you do find yourself lost and in survival mode, the most important thing you can do when you are in a survival situation is to get to work and stay positive.

When you find yourself in an emergency in the wilderness, it can be easy to give into negative feelings. Be careful to stay calm and as positive as possible. Think through your options. And make it a point to consistently evaluate your emotional state.

If you find that you’re having trouble calming yourself down, take a moment to breathe deeply before evaluating the situation and referring to your personal survival guide. 

This can put you in a better emotional state and allow you to move forward with a positive attitude.

Make a Plan and Set Priorities

This survival guide wouldn’t be much good if it didn’t give you the tools you need to make a plan for your survival. 

The first thing you need to do when you are in a survival situation is to take stock and start planning. Your plan should be thorough and include figuring out the lay of the land and identifying any available resources. 

When thinking about resources, don’t just think about food and water. You also want to consider how you can use what is around you to create a shelter or start a fire. It can also help to get a handle on your location.

Getting familiar with the positioning of stars can help you to figure out where you are and what direction you are traveling in. 

Take a minute to make a list that can guide you through the survival experience. Then prioritize your list based on what you need most. With that list to guide you, you can start working on the other steps of this survival guide.

Find Shelter

In a survival situation, it is always a good idea to find shelter and make that a primary priority. People generally think of shelter as protection from the cold, but the right shelter can also protect you from sweltering heat if you need it to. 

Determining the kind of shelter you need is an important part of the survival process outlined in this survival guide.

You may find that you need to create a shelter for yourself. If this is the case, look at the area around you to see what materials you have available. 

You should also look at what you have packed to help you create shelter. Once you have a good understanding of your supplies you can create a fort or lean-to that can provide you with protection from the elements.

Gather Clean Water

Having clean water is one of the most important things you need if you want to make it through a survival situation safely. Clean water is what will allow you to stay hydrated and have at least some energy to take care of your other tasks. That’s why it is essential that you find a source of clean water as soon as possible.

There are many places that you can use to find clean water. One option is getting water from the plants around you. 

You can also sometimes find water by digging a deep enough hole or gathering rain or dew. 

If you can’t find a clean water source you need to set up a fire and find a way to boil water so you can clean it and make it safe to drink. 

With the skills you gain from your survival guide, you can start determining the best way to get access to fresh clean water.

Make a Fire

Starting a fire is really important to your ability to thrive in a survival situation. Any survival guide worth its salt will give you the information you need to start a fire. 

If you were prepared for your survival experience, you may already have matches and even a fire starter on you.

If you are in an emergency situation or want a higher level of difficulty, this may not be the case.

If you don’t have easy to use tools for starting a fire, you may need to resort to using flint and steel to get the fire started. Or you can even use a friction with a stick and a larger piece of wood. 

No matter what method you choose for starting the fire, make sure you have tinder and small bits of bark and sticks for when the fire is first starting. Then you will want to move on to larger pieces of wood once the fire is going. 

Make sure that you collect enough wood to keep the fire going throughout the night and stay close so you can tend to it and keep the flame alive.

Create a Safe Place to Sleep

While you already have a shelter, it is important that you also create a safe place to sleep. If you are in a forest, it is important that the sleeping area you choose is above the floor of the forest. 

One option is to create a hammock so that you can safely sleep above the ground. This is because on the ground level you are more easily accessed by animals and pests, and that could land you in trouble.

To make a hammock you need either one tree with large enough branches to spread between or two trees that are near one another. 

You need to use durable materials that will be able to hold your weight throughout the night, and if it looks like there might be rain, it helps to have additional coverage over the top of you.

Find Nutrient Dense Food

It’s important that you have the nutrients and calories you need to have energy and complete the tasks you have until you are out of the survival situation. 

Any survival guide should tell you how to locate nutrient dense food that can help you to survive. If you have water nearby, one option is to fish. 

Since you won’t have a fishing pole with you, you may want to create a spear or a net you can use. Another option is to create a trap that you can use to catch small animals. 

It also helps to look for edible plants in the area. An important rule of thumb is to never eat anything you aren’t absolutely certain about.

Stay Warm or Cool

Controlling your temperature is another important element that needs to be discussed in this survival guide. If you get too hot or too cold, it will be difficult to function and you may find yourself in a dangerous situation. 

Some of the worst parts of survival situations come from extreme heat or cold resulting in heat stroke or hypothermia. 

If you experience heat stroke it is important to make sure that you get in a shady area and that you have enough water. 

If you suspect hypothermia, it is important to get warm. If your clothes are wet at all, this may mean changing out of them so you and your clothing can dry by the fire. Keeping moving can also help you to get some warmth back into your body.

Whether you have planned a survival trip or are facing an emergency while out in the wild, you can face a lot of issues on the trail.

With the right preparation and care, you can make sure to emerge safely and intact.

These are just a few tools designed to help you overcome any outdoor adventure.

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