How to Learn Wilderness Survival

How to Learn Wilderness SurvivalYou can't plan emergencies in advance, but you can prepare for them. One of the most effective ways of making sure you'll come back from your next outdoor adventure is taking the time to learn basic wilderness survival techniques. Once you've learned the techniques, you can then put them to use by assembling a wilderness survival kit and making sure you're well prepared with both gear and knowledge the next time you venture out.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Find a teacher. Learning from a real person---either an experienced outdoors person or a professional survival teacher---is best, but if none are available you can turn to Internet resources, books and DVD or video lessons.
Step 2
Be ready to get outside your comfort zone. This may include getting hot, cold, muddy or wet, and coming face-to-face with simulations of difficult situations. Some wilderness schools also expect you to spend a night or two outdoors practicing what you've learned before you graduate.
Step 3
Be aware of your own learning style. Some people learn best by listening, watching, saying, writing, or doing. Make sure you have a chance to practice with your teacher in whatever way is best for you. This might mean taking notes, practicing a technique at the same time as your teacher so you can mimic him or simply keeping still and listening.
Step 4
Reinforce what you've learned by practicing over and over whenever possible. Practice season-specific or sport-specific skills, like crevasse rescue, before resuming seasonal activities or specific sports after a long time off. Repetition is the key to confidence, which will help you to deal with emergencies calmly and effectively.
Step 5
Stay open to the idea that there's more than one way of performing many different wilderness skills. Make every effort possible to learn from more than one teacher so that you will have a wide understanding of what works---and what doesn't---to draw on.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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