How to Survive in the Wilderness

How to Survive in the Wilderness
Surviving in the wilderness when circumstances bring about an emergency situation depends on a number of things. Being able to start a fire for warmth and cooking, and as a signal, is important as is being able to find or make a shelter. Locating suitable water to drink is also vital to surviving in the wilderness. Being prepared just in case an emergency does arise will go a long ways toward assuring that you will return from your adventure alive.


Difficulty: Challenging

How to Survive in the Wilderness

Step 1
Search for dry wood to start a fire. Check along the bottoms of dense fir trees for a supply of such wood as the lack of sunlight and branches above make this wood ideal for a fire. Find smaller twigs, dried grass, inner tree bark, or dead leaves to use as tinder to start a fire. With this as the center of your fire light it with a match or lighter and slowly add small sticks and twigs until the fire grows in size and strength. At this point you can put larger wood on the fire in the form of a teepee. Keep the fire going as long as possible but be sure to keep it contained. The fire can be used as a signal to planes and search parties, visible at night and during the day because of its smoke. Build the fire where it will be clearly seen, in places like the shore of a lake or in an open clearing.
Step 2
Make a shelter that is large enough for you to fit in or under. Dig out the ground if it is soft enough and then line it with leaves, branches, or grass to insulate yourself from the ground. Find a pair of large sticks that are shaped like a "V" and drive them into the ground. Place another long stick in the notches and then lay branches over the frame to form a shelter that can offer some protection from the elements.
Step 3
Boil any water so that it can be used safely. Finding water in the wilderness is not difficult in most instances but even clear mountain lakes can contain microscopic organisms capable of causing diseases such as giardia. Boiling water in a container for as short a period of time as one minute should make it safe to use. If water is not obviously available then you should look at the base of hills for small brooks or streams. Following an animal trail may bring you to a water source and digging a hole and lining it with plastic can catch rainwater.
Step 4
Prepare a survival kit before going into the wilderness. Make sure it contains such items as waterproof matches, a knife, a compass, and a map of the region you will be in. A small mirror that can be used to signal for help can be a lifesaver. Flashlights with new batteries, a length of rope or nylon cord, and a basic first aid kit are necessary for a survival kit to be complete. Pack fish hooks with fishing line, a small tarp, a whistle, toilet paper, and a canteen filled with water to be even more prepared.
Step 5
Stay where you are once you realize that you have become lost. Improve your chances of being found in case trouble arises by letting people know where you are going to be going beforehand and how long you expect to be there. By staying where you are you will probably be in the general area that searchers will be looking in.

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