Wilderness Survival

Wilderness Survival
Whether you are in an off-road vehicle, on foot or on a bike, if you are in the wilderness, you need a well-stocked pack with emergency supplies and the know-how to get through any situation nature may throw at you. Here are some tips to help ensure that you make it back from wherever you may wander.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Be prepared. Read a Boy Scout handbook or survival guide prior to your outing, and take it with you if at all possible. It will contain an explanation of Morse code and tips for building emergency shelters, tying knots, signaling for help and a myriad of other things that are not normally thought of until it is too late. Such resources are inexpensive and easy to find, and should be a priority for any outdoorsman.
Step 2
Pack a survival kit. A common backpack can hold just about everything a person needs in the outdoors. Items to include are water, snacks like fruit or granola bars, a flashlight, matches or a lighter, gloves and beanie, a fixed-blade knife and multi-tool, rope, a blanket, pain medicine, a first-aid kit, a small mirror for signaling, a compass, a whistle and a cell phone or two-way handheld CB radio. A small tent is great as well, if it fits into the pack.
Step 3
Carry a map of the area you plan to visit. A map is an invaluable tool if you get lost, and can mean the difference between life and death. Coupled with the compass you packed in the emergency kit, a detailed map will lead you to water, populated areas or ranger stations. Keep the map where it will stay dry, and make sure it is relatively current.
Step 4
Never over-exert yourself. If you find yourself lost in unfamiliar terrain, do not panic or break into a run; you may need the energy later on to find a dry spot for the night or to locate water. While walking to find help or shelter, take frequent breaks and remain hydrated; it will not do you any good to become so tired that you cannot go on. Moving fast across uneven terrain also risks a broken ankle or other injury.
Step 5
Know how to build a fire. There is more to building a safe, effective fire than gathering dead stuff and lighting it. Clear out an area and pack stones in a reasonably high circle, out in the open if possible. Not only does this keep trees overhead from catching fire from the embers, but it is more likely you will be seen if you are not around any visual obstructions.

Article Written By Derek Odom

Derek Odom has been an avid off-road trail enthusiast for over 10 years. Coupled with his love for four-wheel drive trails and safety is a love for camping and the outdoors. Through the years, he has acquired great knowledge of outdoor activities and enjoys sharing that information with interested readers.

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