Basic Wilderness Survival Skills

Basic Wilderness Survival SkillsBasic survival skills can suffice for survival situations that last only a few days in most temperate environments. These are skills often developed in the course of other outdoor pursuits.

First Aid

Proper hygiene and appropriate treatment of minor injuries preserves mobility and functionality of body parts. First aid skills should include the treatment of shock, minor wounds and burns, bleeding, heat injuries, hypothermia, and dehydration.

Water Management

The body loses water through normal metabolism, respiration, digestion and sweating. Water in the body can be conserved through judicious use of energy, but water losses will still need to be replenished to prevent dehydration. Diarrhea rapidly accelerates water loss and is especially dangerous.


Even if you lack a map and compass, an understanding of terrain and direction can aid you out of the wilderness. Principles of movement such as conserving elevation, following waterways and avoiding treacherous obstacles can help you find a solace.


It might be necessary to help would-be rescuers find you. Using a signal mirror, staying visible and increasing your profile brings a much quicker salvation.

Basic Knots

Learn to tie the overhand, square, clove hitch, bowline, figure-8 and other simple knots. And know when to apply each.

Simple Shelters

Shelters provide quick protection from the weather and environment without extensive resource gathering and fabrication. Your clothing is the primary level of protection.

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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