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Wilderness Survival skill 101: How to Survive in the Wild

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Want to know wilderness survival skill? Then you need this guide! Inside you’ll find 25+ actionable techniques to help you survive in the wild without difficult situation.

I’ve been in various ‘tricky’ situations personally, and I constantly found my way out. Do you know why? Because I shared with you some basic wilderness survival tips that I have learned all my life. Today, I’m going to share some of those skills and advice to you guys. Believe me once I say this, these tips and tricks can help to save your life one day.

Know Survival skill For Wilderness Preparedness:

At first, learn about regulations for the area(s) you are planning to visit. Including campfire guidelines, dog and pet regulations , and wildlife guidelines and instructions. take it to mind Some areas/locations require reservations or permits or may have other restrictions. First check with a park ranger. Find out in advance about any other regulations and See current information and current maps of the area(s).

Plan to go into the wilderness:

Many people die each year in the United States while hiking, camping and exploring. Discuss with a responsible person where you are going and when you are planning to return. Stick to your plan. If you can’t return, make sure this person knows who to contact to begin search and rescue. Collect plenty of information about the area you are planning to visit. You need to prepare for the worst possible conditions you could expect to encounter. Pack gear and clothing, for the worst possible conditions.

Pack The 18 Essentials:
  • Lightweight tent, plus extra poles and stakes
  • Ground cloth or traps
  • Sleeping bag, and pillow
  • Extra clothing
  • Extra food
  • Water and a means to disinfect it
  • Emergency shelter (such as a space blanket)
  • Map and compass
  • First aid kit
  • flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries
  • Fire-starting materials (matches, lighter, and a candle)
  • Sun protection (such as sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • A knife and spork
  • Water filter and large water jug and a bucket
  • Cooking utensils
  • A small stove with propane or other fuel
  • Assorted plastic bags
  • Signal mirror and whistle

With the 18  essentials, you can safely spend a night out in the wilderness even if you didn’t intend to when you left home.

Survival skill: Finding And Purifying Water:

water

Why Water Is Essential for Survival?

In extreme conditions, a human can live for 3 days without water. The human body is 60% H2O. Water is needed, directly or indirectly, for every physical and the chemical processes occurring in your body. Water is essential to life, No one can survive for more than a few days without it. It is essential for every physical and chemical process that takes place in your body and It is essential for every physical and chemical process that takes place in your body.

Delivery service: We know that water carries oxygen, nutrients and other essential things throughout the body.

Waste remover: The kidneys use water to flush out toxins and waste matter via urine.

Coolant: Water regulates your body temperature.

Breathing aid: Lungs use water to moisturize the breathing air so that it does not disturb sensitive pulmonary linings.

Dehydration Causes, Symptoms and Tips to Stay Hydrated:

Dehydration occurs when our body loses more water then it takes in. We know that dehydration occurs when you fail to replace the water your body loses. It’s vital to recognize the symptoms early. Dehydration can be caused by high and low temperatures, fitness levels, injury,  humidity, exercise, and sickness.

Below Are Some Common Signs Of Dehydration:

  • Extreme Thirst
  • Inexplicable light-headedness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dry mouth and throat 
  • Raspy or hoarse speech 
  • Fatigue
  • Prolonged stress
  • Eye irritation and blurred vision may increase
  • Sunken eyes
  • Infrequent urination 
  • Low urine output 
  • Reduced stamina
  • Reduced physical strength and speed
  • Muscular weakness 
  • Constipation

14 Proven Rules for Preventing Dehydration:

Here are some simple 14 tips and tricks to help prevent dehydration.

  1. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink.
  2. Drink water often, in small sips instead of big gulps.
  3. Make sure water is easily accessible during the day and night.
  4. Don’t skip meals – a lot of water comes from our food.
  5. Avoid eating protein-rich food as it requires more water to digest.
  6. Be aware of how much fluid you are losing as a result of sweating.
  7. You lose a lot of fluid by vomiting, high fever, or diarrhea, so make sure you drink plenty of fluid following an illness. 
  8. Drink enough water so that your urine is colorless or pale yellow.
  9. Under normal circumstances, you will need at least three liters of water a day – with high temperatures and physical exertion.
  10. Always check other people in your group for signs of dehydration
  11. Avoid Diuretic Agents – Remember that if you’re dehydrated, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are a bad idea.
  12. Avoid Overexerting Yourself
  13. Maintain Normal Body Temperature – Try to keep the body as cool as you can.
  14. Stick to Carbohydrates – If you’re out in the wilderness with little water, try to avoid foods that are rich protein and fat. These macronutrients need more extra water to digest and break down.

How To Find Water In The Wilderness:

Finding water is a vital step to survival situations. Collecting water as it falls is the safest and easiest way of getting water in a difficult survival situation. You can collect water from the tree, such as a tarpaulin, poncho, or flysheet can be used to catch rainwater. Seek out streams, lakes, snow or puddles. If no water is immediately available, dig a deep hole and allow water to collect on it.

water collection

Rain: Collect, store and drink.

Snow: You can collect water from the snow. Instead of eating the snow, melt it first. We can do this easily over a fire or with a camp stove. If those aren’t options, use the sun. If there’s no sun, use your body’s heat.

Dew: In ancient times, water collecting from dew was a very popular method just Using a cloth or piece of clothing soak up the dew and then squeeze it into a container. it can be a very effective method of collecting water. 

Plant Moisture Bag: Just like humans, plants sweat. Wrap a plastic bag around the leafy branch of a tree and water will be collected over time.

Basic Tips:

  • Carry sufficient water (always more than you think).
  • Have the means to filter and disinfect untreated water.
  • Plan your route around water sources.
  • Remember, if you are in a hot country, are unwell, or injured, having enough water will be even more important.

Warning!! Don’t Drink These:

Seawater – Seawater is packed with so much salt that you will most likely vomit from drinking a few tablespoons of the stuff. Seawater will not quench your thirst not will the body be able to split the salt content from the water because it’s only useful for cooling down the skin and absolutely nothing else.

Animal blood –  However, if you are in a survival situation and are already dehydrated, animal blood is as bad as sea water precisely because it contains salt. There is also the risk of contracting pathogens like parasites (e.g. flatworms) and bacteria from drinking animal blood.

Human urine – I know that the world of survival training is divided when it comes to drinking urine.it doesn’t pose the same risk as animal blood or contaminated water. If you drink urine, the water that comes into the body again will only be expelled in a thicker and more toxic form and it will increase your body’s dehydration levels too much.

How To Purify Water In The Wild:

Different sources of water may look transparent such as lakes or rivers but may be contaminated by harmful bacteria, parasites, and harmful viruses. Always filter and disinfect water before drinking it. If you want to start with a fire and have a fireproof container, But the best way to safely and Purify the water is to boil to drink.

boiling water

Boiling water: is the most effective way to purify it. First, remove dirt and debris by filtering the water through a piece of cloth, such as a cotton T-shirt. Then have to boil it for at least 60 seconds. Once it has cooled, it’s safe to drink.

Mini portable water filters: Mini portable water filters are specially designed for filter and purify water. They pump contaminated water through microfilters and contain special chemicals that purify it.

Pressure filters: Pressure filters are sometimes incorporated into drinking bottles to purify water. The water flows through filters that remove sediment and organic contaminants, and a special chemical kills water-borne bacteria and viruses.

Purification tablets: Purification tablets typically contain chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or iodine. These chemicals deactivate bacteria, viruses, and parasites, rendering them harmless and making the water safe to drink. Always follow the instructions on the packet.

Here is a good infographic  from Black Point Outdoor that shows  various ways you can purify water:

Summary:
  • Look for signs of water
  • Know how to purify and filter water
  • Drink 4-6 liters/per day minimum

How To Build A Fire For Survival

We know how important the ability to create fire is for basic survival skills. Generally, fire can protect us from hot, dry, and wild animals. Fire can also be used to boil water, so it’s safe to drink and to cook food. We can use the smoke of a fire to signal for help, too. Fire is useful in all survival and can be a life-saver in many of them.

fire building in wild

Fire gives us 3 critical survival elements:

  • Heat
  • Light
  • Smoke

The heat: Fire heat can keep us from dying of hypothermia. It warms our bodies and dries wet clothes. Heat is also essential to kill parasites and bacteria in raw meat.

Light from a fire: It can be used for signaling at night, as can the smoke from a fire during the day. The light of the fire illuminates the darkness which can be protected from wild animals.

Smoke from a fire: Fire smoke is an ancient method of preserving food, smoke from a fire can also be used to smoke raw meats. Smoke also can help protect you from the biggest killer of them all, the mosquito.

What Can We Do With A Fire?

  • Cooking
  • Providing heat
  • Killing bacteria in water
  • Signaling distress
  • Sterilizing metal items
  • Repelling insects
  • Providing light
  • Drying clothes
  • Providing security lighting
  • Repelling predators

How To Build A Fire In The Wilderness:

Building a fire is the most important task and it’s essential when dealing with survival in the wilderness. The most common mistakes made by those attempting to build a fire are: selecting poor tinder and too large pieces of fuel, failing to shield precious matches from the wind and smothering the flames. The four most important factors when starting a fire are tinder – fuel – oxygen – spark. 

Can you build a fire….without matches?

Probably not. Building a fire is not difficult. Starting a fire can be, depending on whether. If the wind is blowing, it is raining, or there’s snow on the ground, starting a fire can be challenging. Learn more about how to build a campfire.

The essential element to build a fire:

  • Windproof and waterproof matches
  • Wood matches you coat with wax
  • Magnesium blocks
  • Emergency fuel tablets
  • Sterno
  • Flint and steel kits
  • Fire sticks
  • Butane lighter

Summary:

  • Every fire needs air, fuel, and ignition
  • Learn to build a basic log cabin or teepee
  • Cook food on coals, boil water on the flame

Finding Food For Outdoor Survival:

wilderness editable plants

The Importance Of Food:

Your body needs food for energy. It provides you with heat and energy and helps you recover from work, injury, or sickness. Normally, you can survive for weeks without food, but you will get hungry and weaker day by day.

In a short-term survival situation, obtaining food is not a high priority, but it is always a good idea to pack some basic emergency rations. You will use approximately 70 calories per hour just breathing, and up to 5,500 calories per day if working hard.

 

I recommend that these foods usually do not require cooking but provide high energy. They include

  • Protein bars
  • Fruit bars
  • Ready-to-eat canned foods, including meats, vegetables and fruits
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Crackers
  • Dry cereal
  • Non-perishable pasteurized mil
  • Canned juices
  • Vitamins

Finding Edible Plants:

Did you know that there are many edible plants in many parts of the world that you have never thought of Edible plants are probably the most convenient food source you can ever find in the wilderness. it might be the easiest way to get food into your body. It’s important to know which plants are safe and which aren’t. we know that some of the plants are extremely toxic Because of that, probably you can die.

Fishing :  fishing requires little effort once the lines or traps have been set, and it will work for you around the clock and you can collect fish as per your requirement. Fish is high in protein and relatively simple to prepare and cook.

Insects, reptiles, and amphibians:
Insects, reptiles, and amphibians may also be available. Remember, however, that many are poisonous, although they can be used as bait for fish and mammals. Here is a list of plants that are edible and safely to eat. Know the area you will be in and where to look for edible plants. Here is another great guide.

A SurvivalistYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan

Survival Tips For Eating:

  • Always start the day with a good breakfast – it’s like filling up your own fuel tank at the start of a trip.
  • Pack a variety of food and snacks for the day that can replace the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that your body is using.
  • If you work hard physically, you need to eat more to compensate..
  • If you feel your energy levels dropping do something about it straight away – stop for a break and have a snack such as some chocolate or a protein bar with a drink of water.
  • Always pack enough food to last you an extra day – just in case things don’t go to plan.
  • If you have a limited supply of water, eat little and often as digestion requires water.
  • storing and cooking perishable foods.
Basics of food preservation:

You need to eat to stay alive. In a disruptive event, food will be scarce. This is why you need to stock up on food to prepare for this scenario. While there is a way to keep meat longer (through drying and salting them), most of these methods are more applicable to fruits and vegetables.

Summary!
  • Ration what you have
  • Learn to obtain local plants and animals
  • Understand how to prepare foraged food

How To Find A Good Campsite Location:

Remember that when setting up your outdoor camp you should always take into account the four principles of survival: location, protection, water, and food. Make sure your site is safe and will protect you from the elements and that you’re able to signal for rescue. Try to be close to a water source, materials needed for making a shelter, and fuel for a fire. In rescue situations, choose a location that can easily be seen by your location aids.

camping tips

Wilderness First Aid:

Some issues that you could come across are burns, scrapes, punctures, fractures, sprains, dehydration and stings. Safety is key on any expedition. Before you set off on the journey make sure you have basic first aid and all the essential medications and equipment you need. Check the seals on sterile dressings; if they’re not intact, they’re not sterile. Note: replace any kit as soon as you use it. Read more 

Basic First Aid Kit:

Tick extractor tool: Use to remove ticks safely
Safety pins: Use to secure bandages.
Antiseptic cream: Use on minor cuts to prevent infection.
Anti-diarrhoea medicine: Use to treat sudden diarrhoea and prevent dehydration. Always follow the instructions on the packet
Antiseptic gel or wipes: Clean your hands before touching cuts and grazes to prevent infection
Medical tape: Use to secure gauze or sterile dressings when covering cuts, grazes, or burns.
disposable gloves Wear gloves: when treating animal bites.
Tweezers: Useful for removing splinters
Aloe vera: Use on burns to reduce inflammation.
Plasters: Take fabric, waterproof, hypoallergenic, and blister plasters.

How To Build A Shelter In The Outdoor:

I want to say that The most serious reason for any survival situation is: lack of preparation. If you unexpectedly need to build a shelter in the wilderness, your experience and your understanding of the environment may be the only best way. You must make sure your shelter is waterproof and dry, otherwise it will be dangerous. A small shelter protected from wind and snow and contains a fire is extremely important in wilderness survival.

Before building your shelter, make sure that the surrounding area is well-suited for creating a good fire, has good water sources, and can provide the materials needed to shelter from the wind.

Wilderness Shelters May Include:

We can use natural shelters such as caves and overhanging cliffs. When exploring a possible shelter, tie a string piece to the outside of the cave to make sure you are able to find your way. Keep in mind that these caves may already be occupied so be careful about this. I suggest If you do use a cave for shelter, Near the mouth of the cave builds your fire to prevent animals from entering.

Expand the natural pit under a fallen tree and line it with bark or tree boughs which can be confirmed for your safety.

build a rock protection in the shape of a U, protecting the roof with driftwood and a tarp or even seaweed for protection.

Grasses or bark is effective to shelter you from wind, rain and snow.

Summary!

  • Learn to build shelters
  • Use the tools you have in your BOB
  • Supplement found materials with your gear

Wilderness Navigation:

In a survival situation, navigation skills vital for any wilderness trip. The compass is an important tool to carry with you. If you don’t have one you can create one or use the sun/stars to navigate you way out.

It’s important to know how to navigate if you really want to get out of the wilderness. There are different aspects to take into consideration when navigating during the day and night.

navigator

Methods of Navigating in a Survival Situation:

  • Using a Compass
  • Magnetic Declination
  • Using the Moon
  • Solar Navigation
  • Using the Sun and Shadows
  • Using the Stars
  • Using Moss on a Tree
  • Using a Wristwatch

There are three common methods of navigation:

MAP: Map reading is a common method used, Maps and aerial photos may be used when landmarks are clear.

Compass: A compass is an essential tool in wilderness survival and you can track your route perfectly though it. Using a compass in conjunction with maps in areas without good landmarks.

Dead Reckoning(DR): Dead Reckoning is a method used to determine one’s estimated present and future position.Navigation by dead reckoning is common in areas where landmarks are nonexistent or inadequate. This method is measured by distance and direction from a starting point. DR is a method that will help keep you focused on navigation. Here you can see the technique on Dead Reckoning with an illustration.

Learn multiple techniques for wilderness navigation, so you can track confusing backcountry locations.

Dressing For Survival:

irstly, you should choose the right fabrics and clothing for the environment you are travelling in. Wearing layers helps you to control your body temperature in cold weather situations. Too much clothing can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke; too little can lead to hypothermia. Adjust your clothing to maintain a comfortable temperature for the activity you are doing.

Warm Weather:

It is vital to stay cool to avoid heat exhaustion. Choose breathable fabrics and protect your skin from sunlight.

Basic Warm-Weather Clothing Checklist:
  • T-shirt or lightweight short-sleeved shirt
  • Hiking shorts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Long-sleeved shirt (lightweight)
  • Long pants (lightweight)
  • Sweater or warm jacket
  • rimmed hat
  • Bandannas
  • Rain gear
  • Appropriate hiking footwear
Cold Weather:

Wear a lightweight base layer, several warm, insulating layers, and a windproof and waterproof outer shell.

Basic Cold-Weather Clothing Checklist
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long pants (fleece, wool, or synthetic blend)
  • Sweater (fleece or wool)
  • Long underwear (polypropylene)
  • Socks (wool or synthetic blend)
  • Warm hooded parka or jacket
  • Stocking hat (fleece or wool)
  • Mittens or gloves with water-resistant shells
  • Wool scarf
  • Rain gear
  • Appropriate cold/wet weather footwear
  • A waterproof  jacket will help you to stay warm.
  • Sunglasses, sunblock, and lip balm are essential in cold weather, too.
Wet Weather:

The best fabrics to wear are waterproof, breathable, and help prevent sweating – such as Gore-Tex

  • The waterproof jacket allows the sweat to stay away from the rain.
  • Waterproof trousers keep your legs dry in wet conditions.

Knot Tying:

How can you avoid tying yourself in knots on your camping trip?  You can save yourself a lot of trouble by using these basic knots for camping, survival and backpacking. Before you set off on a trip, learn the best knots for particular tasks, such as attaching a line to a tree, and practice tying them. Usually, a correctly tied knot unties easily, so you can re-use the same cordage many times. Here you will learn how to build Survival Knots and rescue knots.

knot trying

Forecasting The Weather:

In a survival situation, forecast weather knowledge vital for any wilderness situation. forecast weather will give you enough time to take appropriate action.Clouds will give you a good cue to what the weather will be doing.

Check the weather before you leave. You need to make sure your equipment is suitable for the weather. Looking at the clouds can help you to read the weather when you are on the move, with no access to forecasts. Knowing how to recognize a storm cloud will give you warning to seek shelter or put on rainproof layers. If low cloud impairs visibility, trust your compass to navigate.

Weather Risks: Heavy rain – In heavy rain, the ground may become slippery. Seek shelter or waterproof and carefully move to a safe place.

Weather Risks:  Fog – A cloud at ground level, fog reduces visibility. If you can’t see where you’re going, stop walking and take shelter.

Weather Risks: Lightning – Following are some general tips for thunderstorms, so avoid high, exposed places and never shelter under a tree.

Survival Signal:

signaling for help is one of the unsung heroes in the world of survival, A few helpful signals are fire, smoke, a mirror, whistle, or a flashlight.

Build A Signal Fire:

Imagine you are lost and you need to call for help, but your phone is out of battery, or your backpack, with your emergency

equipment inside, has been washed away. Don’t panic. A fire is an effective way of signalling – Clouds of white smoke can be seen during the day and flame is seen at night. A signal fire requires materials and hard work.for white smoke, use green vegetation. at night, use dry wood for flames and light.

How To Survive Wild Animal Attacks:

When outdoors, you might meet wild animals. Try to avoid contact with animals, but some especially bear, might come closer looking for food Which can be dangerous for you. If animals are provoked, cornered, or surprised, they may attack to defend themselves, especially if they have young. In this situation, Only hunting gadgets can help you to survive [if you have a gun].

Bears – When walking in bear country,equip yourself with bear spray and bells (see the panel on. Aim bear spray at the eyes and nose. Do not spray on yourself.

Bear Bell – shake bells, or anything that makes “human noise”.

Elephants – Elephants run faster than you, and will charge if threatened. Keep away, especially if they have young.

Snakes – If you are in snake country, you must always be alert from the snake. use a stick to tap the ground because Most snakes will avoid you and slither away.

How To Cook A Fish In Wild:

Fish are easier to prepare and cook than other animals, if they are available it should be the first option for food. Fish must be cooked to kill any parasites and bacteria. Never eat a fish that does not look healthy – you can use it as bait instead.

cook fish

There are some things to keep in mind when preparing food outside.

  • We know that food cooking can attract wild animals and insects, so cook away from your shelter site.
  • Ensure your hands are cleaned before and after preparing and eating.
  • Clean your pocketknife blade using alcohol wipes from your first aid kit before using it on any food Take no chances, overcook rather than undercook any food.
  • Eat food straight after cooking it, and ideally downwind of your shelter site.
  • In a survival situation there are no such things as leftover scraps of food. 
  • Eat everything – it is fuel your body needs.

Importance Of Survival Knife:

A survival knife is an indispensable tool for making a fire, helping with first aid, splitting wood or cutting saplings for a shelter, making tools and/or weapons, hunting, and self-defense.

A survival knife can be used for many purposes such as:
  • Collect tinder
  • Cutting fruit
  • Defense and hunting
  • Fire making
  • Shelter building
  • Food prep
  • Digging
  • Cutting rope
  • Sharpening a stick and many other things

Why You Need A Flashlight?

Although the campfire and stars might provide you the right amount of light, you still should keep a flashlight to help you. It’s a critical tool especially at night to illuminate unfamiliar surroundings as well as signaling for help.

If you find yourself unable to return back to a campsite before dark, a good flashlight will illuminate your path. In extreme circumstances, you could even use a flashlight to signal for help.

  • See in the dark
  • Track your way through the woods
  • Find lost objects
  • Send signals to lost friends or family

About 45% of campers purchase flashlights for their trips.

Mental Attitude:

Mental attitude is essential for survival. Try and stay clam, take some deep breaths, assess the situation, believe in yourself, and get to work,

Staying warm in winter:

You can create a fire bed to keep you warm and provide a good sleep on a cold night. Here you will find 20+ winter camping tips for keeping your bed warm in cold weather.

Basic hunting skills:

In a survival situation, Basic Hunting Skills is an essential part. You need to know first, what you are hunting? where they like to travel, how they travel.

Conclusion:

These are our ultimate wilderness survival skill tips. I hope the above survival tips help you survive in any difficult wilderness situation. What if there is something we couldn’t include or something you would like to add? Let us know in the comments! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your adventurers.

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