About Wilderness Survival

About Wilderness SurvivalThere is a fine line between outdoor recreation and wilderness survival. A plane crash, capsized boat, severe weather or poor navigation can turn a relaxing day into a fight for survival.

Wilderness Survival Conditions

Survival conditions can be classified according to climate and terrain. These include desert, tropical, cold weather and sea survival. Each of these environments requires certain common skills and specific area knowledge.


Survival situations can be further differentiated by the amount of time needed to successfully survive. Short-term survival situations last only a few days or less and basic outdoor skills are usually sufficient. Long-term survival situations last longer than a few days and require a greater level of skill to survive.


To survive in the wilderness you must address the body's need for water, food and protection from the environment. Mental health and medical issues must also be addressed.

Desired Outcome

The ultimate goal of wilderness survival is to exit the survival situation, either by personally returning to safety or being found by rescuers.

Famous Survival Stories

World War I Ace and Medal of Honor winner Captain Eddie Rickenbacker survived 24 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean in 1942. Captain William Bligh of H.M.S. Bounty fame navigated over 3,600 miles over the course of 47 days in a 23-foot launch after the mutiny on his ship. Alexander Selkirk was marooned on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean for four years in the early 18th century.


Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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