Do you love hiking, hunting at night or tent camping, or generally being outdoors? Whenever you plan to go for the activities, it is advisable that you be armed with some survival skills. Today, it is a bit rare to hear cases of people stranded in the jungle thanks to mobile phones, advanced GPS systems, and data roaming.
However, we know of cases of phones losing signals or breaking down or even getting lost during times of emergency. Once in a while disaster strike. Remember the recent case of the boys in Thailand who were trapped in a cave for days? That’s why knowing one or two survival skills could help mitigate an awful situation.
You may begin by understanding the rule of 3s. It states that a normal human being can do without oxygen for three minutes, without shelter for three hours depending on the weather, survive without water for three days and without eating for three weeks. This may help you prioritize your needs should you find yourself in an emergency.
This article samples out essential survival skills you should know. Enjoy and Learn.
1. Finding and Purifying Water.
Water is an essential factor for human survival. Many lost persons die as a result of dehydration or from drinking untreated water containing harmful pathogens. The possible sources of water in a wilderness setting could be streams or rivers and springs. In case you find yourself in a winter survival situation, the causes could be rain, snow or dew.
Some vines also contain water that can be wrung out. Modern methods of water treatment like chemical treatments such as iodine could be employed in case you have access to them. In their absence, boiling the water is the best water treatment method known. Herbal treatment can also help treat water from viruses and bacteria (1).
2. Starting Fire
This is more crucial for those who go hunting at night. If you are trapped in the jungle for hours, then you will need fire. Fire helps to scare away animals, provide warmth, prepare food, kill bacteria on wounds, and the smoke and light can be used to send signals for help. It is advisable to carry a lighter when going outdoors for adventures.
In case you have no source of lighting then you can try rubbing two sticks. This called causing a fire by friction. Friction fire-making methods include bow drill, hand drill, fire plow, and fire saw. Dry grass and sticks will help start the fire faster. The fibers should also be smaller at the start then you can add bigger once the fire is lit. Dead branches and grass and birch barks will help keep the fire going for longer. Concentrating the sun rays on some dry grass could also prove helpful in starting a fire (2).
Food is lower on the priority list going by the rule of 3s. However, it is still a basic need in our lives. Luckily, most natural environments consist of a variety of both plants and animals that can cater to our hunger. The types of items that can serve as food include wild plants and fruits, insects, small wild game and fish in case you find yourself next to a water body (3).
However, it is crucial that you identify a plant before eating it because some plants can be poisonous. The various methods of obtaining these foods include
- Hunting– which is done using a weapon probably a sharpened stick.
- Trapping– this is achieved by making small survival traps from things on you or in your surroundings.
- Fishing– this can also be done using a sharpened stick. If you can get anything that can be used as a hook, then that would be easier because all you will have to do is to set up a fishing line. You should also take caution cause the presence of fish in a place attracts large predators.
- Foraging– this easiest as long as you are keen enough not to take a poisonous plant
Shelter helps to protect yourself against elements like cold winds, direct sunlight, rain, thick fog or even snow. The type of housing you build will depend on the environment. The shelter one can make include:
- Lean- To– which is among the easiest to build. It consists of leaning your building materials against existing structures in your surrounding for example trees. You can also create a three-sided structure from where your building materials can lean on.
- The Round Lodge – This is commonly known as a wigwam or teepee. It is almost similar to the Lean-to structure only that it is more prominent. Other structures that can offer shelter include a snow cave, Igloo, and Ramada.
It is advisable to build a base frame to keep you above the ground. This protects you against flooding and small crawling animals. And for you who love tent camping, you should take caution not erect your structure near water bodies to avoid animals coming to drink water (4).
5. First Aid
During emergencies, injuries are prevalent, and you should be in a position to dress them accordingly. A simple scrape or cut may result in a bigger problem. Knowing the necessary First-aid skills may help prevent minor injuries from worsening.
When going out, it is essential to bring with you first aid kits. When dressing a wound, make sure you close the wound and bandage it reasonably. In case of broken limbs, you may have to tie some steady branches around the fractured leg with some rope or piece of clothing. It is not advisable to try to reset the limb unless you are a trained doctor (5).
The above survival skills all some up to one significant ability which that you be prepared for survival. Going for an outdoor adventure with nothing but your phone is a risky undertaking. Nature is full of surprises. You should take time to pack the needed gear in anticipation of trouble along the way. If you dislike carrying lots of material.
It is wise that you bring an excellent lightweight daypack which can be of use in most of the outdoor emergencies. Always remember that it is better having the survival skills and not need them compared to requiring the survival skills and not have them.
Melanie Campbell, the outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, has been enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!
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