Fundamental Wilderness Suvival Tips
Often, after a long week, people joke to their friends that they’re going to run away into the wilderness and never look back. Some people even do just that, spending their weekends hiking and camping, or restructuring their lives entirely so that they can live, work, and play in the wildest parts of the world.
It’s no wonder that the un-settled areas of our planet are often what we picture when we think about “getting away”; more research has been done into the calming effects of nature on the human mental and physical systems than almost any other natural method of stress relief. As it turns out, leaving behind our own creations, and stepping into a place we do not control, can save our lives – literally.
But nature isn’t always the idyllic wonderland full of cozy fishing holes and butterfly fields. In fact, going into the wilderness with those images in mind can quickly turn a stress-relieving vacation into a deadly nightmare. Just as the urban world is full of perils and pitfalls that humans must watch out for, so too does nature present unique challenges and dangers that travelers need to be able to face head on.
The worst thing you can do is to find yourself in the wilderness, with no survival skills, in the middle of a true emergency.
By emergency, we’re not talking about running out of survival toilet paper. “Emergency” means a real, life-threatening situation that will require you to stay levelheaded and focused. We’ll look at three main categories of emergencies that can happen in the wild, and the types of skills you’ll need to address them.
First, we’ll discuss general wilderness survival skills, things you will need to know if you get lost or stranded away from civilization, and need to protect yourself. This will include finding and storing food, identifying fresh water, creating or finding a shelter, and protecting that shelter adequately.
Next, we’ll examine the emergency medical survival techniques and tools that you can use if you get wounded in the wilderness. Of course, the best course of action any time there is a medical emergency is to seek out a town or city with professional medical services; but in the event that you won’t make it that far, or need medical attention immediately, these things can help save your life. They include identifying the most common illness and injuries that happen in the wild; treating wounds and injuries; common items in your pack, as well as things you can forage from nature, to use as first aid; and information on how you can get more training in wilderness first aid.
Finally, we’ll look at how to act when you come into contact with a wild animal. We’ll discuss how to recognize typical animal behavior, so that you can tell when an animal is acting aggressively; what types of illnesses and diseases wild animals can carry, and how to identify some of the signs that an animal may be a carrier; and how to treat animal bites in the instance that unwelcome contact couldn’t be avoided.
By studying the information in this book, and applying some practical common sense to any outing you go on, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors with the confidence to take care of yourself, or your fellow travelers, should the need ever arise.