Wilderness Survival Techniques

Wilderness Survival Techniques
When venturing into the wilderness to hike, fish or camp, it is possible to get lost. As soon as you realize you are off course, try to stay calm and avoid panic. By keeping your emotions under control, you will save physical energy and also be able to methodically meet all of your physical needs while planning the best way to get back home.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Find fresh water. One of the most important things to avoid in the wilderness is dehydration. Think about how much water you have packed and how long it will last. Try to find a source of fresh water. Running streams and clear lakes are the best sources, but even stagnant water will do in a pinch. Remember to boil water for several minutes before using.
Step 2
Build or find shelter. You need to protect yourself from the elements of nature if it is very hot, cold or rainy. If you packed a tent or tarp, that would make an ideal shelter. Another option is to stack fallen wood against the direction of the wind or to simply find a well-shaded area on a hot and sunny day.
Step 3
Build a fire. Fire will keep you warm, enable you to boil water and keep wild animals away. First clear an area of dry brush and other flammable objects. Make a small pile of dry grass, weeds or very small kindling. If you do not have matches or a lighter with you, improvise wherever possible. A magnifying glass, the glass from a flashlight or your eyeglasses can ignite a pile of dry grasses if you are patient. Once you get the grass to ignite, add small and then larger sticks to the pile.
Step 4
Find food. If you are near a stream, lake or pond, try to catch fish. If you are familiar with edible flowers and plants, try to locate some. If you are not familiar with edible and inedible plants, don't take the chance that you may eat something poisonous. Catch small rodents to cook and eat if necessary. Ration any food that you brought with you or that you catch.
Step 5
Consider how you will find your way out of the wilderness. If you find a running stream, you may be able to follow it to civilization. If you notice airplanes overhead, building some type of flare or help signal may alert rescuers. If you brought a compass, use it to avoid walking in circles or getting too disoriented.

Tips & Warnings

 
Always let someone know where you are planning to hike or fish. If you do not return as planned, that person will at least have a starting point for a search. Carry enough provisions with you to last for a couple of days when going into the wilderness.
 
Always let someone know where you are planning to hike or fish. If you do not return as planned, that person will at least have a starting point for a search.
 
Carry enough provisions with you to last for a couple of days when going into the wilderness.
 
Unless you are excellent at identifying plants, never eat anything resembling a wild parsnip or carrot. Hemlock plants are very poisonous and are often misidentified as wild carrots.

Article Written By Michelle Kulas

Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.

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