My 5 Tips for Surviving the Wilderness
In addition to reading and watching some of my favorite TV shows, my greatest and most useful hobby is wilderness survival. Here are a few of my best tips for staying alive and healthy in the wilderness!
First, know your wilderness and pack accordingly. You are not going to pack the same stuff for a desert expedition as you will for a trip to the mountains. Make sure you research your surroundings and pack to the climate. At one time I brought no warm clothing for a desert expedition; little did I know how cold the desert gets at night! Do a LOT of research, and figure out the things you might not think of until they happen… Like getting cold in the desert! Who knew, right?
Next, make sure that you pack far more lightly than you think you will need. You would be amazed at how heavy your pack will seem after you’ve hiked for a few miles; a good guide is to keep the pack at 1/4 of your weight AT MAX. You will hike yourself into exhaustion if you don’t follow that guide. Use dehydrated food, only carry as much water as you need… That weight adds up!
The first two have dealt with INTENTIONALLY going into the wilderness… What happens when you just end up there by accident? Here are a few tips for that:
First, build a fire. Even if it is a bit hot, building a fire will scare animals away, give you a place to cook food, and give you a sense of security. I cannot give you the full pitch on how to build a fire here, but visit Grey Wolf Survival’s website for a complete guide to fire making in the wilderness.
Next, do NOT eat anything you find out in the wilderness unless it is an animal. Sorry, vegetarians. Even if a plant looks safe or seems like something you would eat at home, do not test it. Many poisonous plants look like other safe plants, so do NOT take the risk of trying any plants out in the woods. You don’t want to end up sick. Animals are almost always safe to eat IF you cook them completely. Go with meat for a while; you are MUCH less likely to get sick.
Lastly, make sure that you build a shelter that is your home. Psychologically you will become panicked when you’re lost in the woods, and building a shelter helps give you a sense of calm and balance. When you have a home to return to, you will not panic as much as you would if you had no place to go. Build yourself a shelter from the elements, make a place to call your home, and you will get a sense of calm and the will to survive and make it out. Follow these steps, and you will have no problem making it in the wilderness!