How to survive wilderness?
Most of us have the dream of having a time alone in the woods, away from all that busy city life. We really need that running water sound to be our background music, while tracking among leaves and rare plants, wondering if we are granted a glimpse of heaven. However, many of us prefer crashing on our couch with a bowl of homemade chips, watching all these through our TV when it comes to our free time. (In HDR quality of course. We do not want it to be fake! )
Being in nature is more than just picturesque views. Nature could be the most cruel beautiful thing in the universe! The sun is not always shining, the earth is not always flat, and not everything happens according to our plans. We might get injured or lost. Surviving wilderness does not seem to be our kind of steam to blow off!
If you are one of us, or a person who has been on a few nature trips but is afraid to take the next steps to become an outdoors person on your own, you should know nature survival is easier than you think. All you have to do is to keep calm and take some steps! Then, you will enjoy testing your human power against nature!
Before packing your bags:
Right after making your decision to have this adventure, you will need:
You may not be surprised if we tell you your plans will change to some extent anyway. However being over planned is always better than being under planned! If you think you can enjoy the woods with no clear purpose to see where it gets you, well, it will probably get you to “bad trip land”. Not a good place though! If you want to avoid there, you have to start writing your scheme from scratch! Just write down your destination, your adventure’s duration, your meals, activities, etc.
While packing your bags:
Lots of outdoor experts tell you only through shelter, food, water and fire you could survive wilderness. It might make you think these are the basic needs, which could be made or found fast. However, in reality it takes a lot to prepare these 4 elements. Plus, these never support your full chance of surviving the woods. So, the more prepared you are, the more exciting and enjoyable adventure you will gain! That is why you would better have these with you:
- The lighter: Saves time and energy for you if you want to start a fire! ( If you are a smoker, better to quit it in nature. These two do not really go together!)
- Cell phone: Most areas are signal problem free these days. Howbeit, this is not cell phone’s only application. Smartphones can provide you with compass, music and many nature guiding applications if you do not forget your extra battery! ( Bringing one is much more facile than finding electricity in wilderness!)
- Hydration bag: It can be so handy if you do not find water. You have a variety of choice about hydration bags, but we strongly recommend you to choose no more than 10 liters. You do not want your water storage to slow your survival down!
- Folding knife: A small sharp knife, which folds to have the maximum safety, is a great gear to bring on your adventure. You could defend yourself, cut stuff, prepare food and shave wood in case!
- A cooking pot: The water we find in nature saves our lives… if only it is boiled! If you wish to consume the water from lakes, rivers or ponds without boiling it, you would better know you are putting your life at a great risk! If you wish to find water somewhere along the nature, prepare its boiling pot first, because it is not something you can make with bare hands!
- Sleeping bag: Having a shelter is good; having a shelter, a warm bed to sleep and not get wet is the best! You do not deserve to have a bad night’s sleep after an exhausting journey. So, treat yourself with a sleeping bag!
After packing your bags:
Welcome to wilderness! Now it is time to learn all about the most crucial elements you need on this very adventurous journey!
- Water: Aside from your water storage, you may need drinking, cooking or washing water. There are some strategies for finding water in nature:
Go for the ones you see:
There are water sources in nature that we can find by a little tracking. Close your eyes in the woods and try to hear the sound of flowing water in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. Boil these waters before usage, due to the bacteria friendly environment!
Use the gift of nature:
Rain can save you if you do not have any earth source near you! Be fast and put every container you have or find in order to save those lively drops!
Most of the time, you have to make your own shelter. It does not have to be one of those dreamy tree houses or a big tent. Make a shelter big enough for you to fit while lying down, because it will preserve your body heat in this size. The bigger the shelter is; the more it wastes your only source of warmth!
You can make two kinds of shelters:
This is the most facile shelter you can make by hand. It is enough to find a fallen tree, and some branches. Rest branches against the tree to make it secure and warm from every side.
If you are hot and you need a cool shelter, you should make a shade. So, if you are in a desert make sure to build your shelter on soil depression. You can always consider digging the soil to get into cooler parts of earth as an option as well!
If your plans are unchanged, you can use your matches or lighter to light your fire. If not, you should go through some extra levels: use magnesium filings and the back of your knife. If they spark, you can light the fire!
Finding food in wilderness is the easiest part. Always look for veggies and fruits. Berries are great sources of energy for survival. If you have the knowledge to hunt, and if hunting is not restricted in the area you are surfing, you can have some meat as well!