You’re out exploring the great outdoors, you take a wrong turn, and suddenly you’re lost. Your phone has no signal, your GSP is malfunctioning and darkness is quickly approaching…
What should you do?
Lets explore some of the key wilderness survival skills that will keep you alive even in the harshest of conditions. You can learn online and don’t need training from a wilderness survival school, but these skills mean nothing unless you actually get out and practice!
#1 – Choose The Right Equipment
The unfortunate people who get lost in the wilderness and die from exposure, lack of food and water or get mauled by animals almost always share one common issue: they didn’t pack the right gear.
Having the best survival gear and being well-prepared is often the difference between life and death. We highly recommend getting quality wilderness survival gear and practicing with it often.
Learn how to choose the right equipment and you’ll not only have a lot more fun while exploring the great outdoors, but you’ll also have a higher chance of survival if things suddenly go wrong.
#2 – Control Your Fear
Even a veteran survivalist can be struck by some initial fear when they realize they’re lost deep in the woods. How you move forward to overcome the situation will determine the how things turn out.
Fear is natural and can be expected. However, chronic fear causes many harmful effects:
- Fear short-circuits your logical and rational thinking processes
- It slows your bodies ability to heal and regenerate
- It lowers your cardiovascular efficiency
- It lowers your energy levels
- It reduces your ability to regulate negative emotions
- Fear often leads to illogical decisions
- It also increases your chance of clinical depression, fatigue, and premature death
You can let the fear crush you. Or, you can collect your thoughts, plan intelligently, execute, and overcome your situation.
#3 – Build A Shelter
It’s very easy to die from exposure if you aren’t able to find or create shelter. Getting snowed on for hours or having the sun beat down on you can drain your morale very quickly.
Building a survival type shelter always begins with choosing the right location. From there you want to determine if it’s a safe and dry and if it’s best to go with high or low ground.
There are several types of shelters that are easy to setup like the lean-to, the fallen tree shelter, the a-frame, a tarp based shelter, etc.
#4 – Find And Purify Water
After you’ve found suitable shelter your next priority must always be water. You can live for over 1 month with no food, but if you have nothing to drink you’ll be death within days.
Finding water is one of the most important survival skills. Not only do you need water to avoid dehydration and death, but finding water also means there will be healthy plants, insects and animals nearby.
Purifying water can have it’s own set of challenges. The main issues with natural water sources are turbidity (the amount of suspended particles within it), parasites, bacteria, toxic chemicals and viruses.
#5 – Identify Wild Edibles (Plants)
Plant based foods are the easiest to obtain. You can find them easily in most environments and they can be eaten without much preparation or effort.
Being able to identify wild plants is important because an edible strain of vegetation may look near identical to a poisonous one. With experience you’ll be able to locate and identify over 50 wild edible plants in most areas.
#6 – Hunt For Food
Plants provide phyto-nutrients, health boosting chemical compounds, vitamins and minerals, but meat provides a much needed source of protein, DHA, fat and energy.
The best hunting and fishing strategy for a survival based situation is always trapping. When you have traps setup that do the hunting for you, you’re free to prioritize other key tasks like improving your shelter or gathering firewood.
#7 – Start A Fire
Firecraft is a primitive wilderness survival skill that dates back thousands of years. It’s one of the most fundamental skills you can learn because fires give warmth, they purify water, they cook food, the keep predators and insects away and can be used for signalling techniques (which we will discuss further down).
There are many aspects to building a fire: choosing the right location, the type of fire you want to build, what materials you’ll use, the method of starting the fire, etc.
#8 – Navigate Back To Safety
An experienced wilderness survivalist doesn’t need a GSP, compass, or any other tool. They can use the environment itself and the signs given by nature to determine their heading.
You can find your direction by using the sun, moon, stars, the north star, the southern cross, the wind, trees, plants etc.
When lost the untrained person will wander aimlessly and usually ends up walking in circles or going way off the intended course. Armed with some basic strategies and techniques you can travel the wilderness with certainty of direction no matter if it’s day or night.
#9 – Signaling Techniques
If you’re stranded in a dense forest and a search helicopter is flying overhead how would you signal them to come rescue you? If you trek through the woods until you reach a large body of water with a boat in the far distance what’s the best way to signal them?
There are various signaling methods one can learn to effectively communicate from a very far distance. Visual signals, SOS signals, signal fires, light reflecting mirrors, laser pointers, whistles and other gadgets are all simple yet effective for signaling. There are even some incredible methods to build primitive signaling and communication devices out of things you’d find in the woods.
#10 – Keep Safe From Dangerous Animals
Did you know the moose is the wild animal responsible for the most animal-related deaths in Canada? You probably thought it was Grizzly or black bears, or mountain lions or wolves, but the female moose is the most dangerous of them all according to government research.
There are plenty of animals in the wild you don’t want to mess with! As we discussed bears, wolves and moose are some of the most common. There’s also wolverines, coyotes, mountain lions, poisonous snakes & spiders, sharks, boar, alligators, buffalo, scorpions, and africanized killer bees.
This Concludes The Top 10 Wilderness Survival Skills List
Click on the links within the article and spend a good amount of time learning and soaking up information. Then next time you head out into the wild, remember to practice all you’ve learned.
Practice makes the master.”
Once you’re able to scout out and locate a suitable campsite, build a decent shelter, acquire a safe source of water you’re already ahead of the game.
Once you can build a fire in any environment, identify and locate wild edibles and set traps and catch fish and small game, you’re going to drastically raise your chances of surviving in the wild.
Mastering the use of signaling techniques and navigation skills are the final primitive wilderness survival skills that will help lead you back to safety.