How to Train for Wilderness Survival

How to Train for Wilderness SurvivalHikers, hunters, anglers and others who spend time in the outdoors should be prepared and familiar with basic methods and techniques for survival. To train for a survival situation involves making the most of what you have, how to signal for help or attract attention and other basics of staying alive. Practice is essential so that the basic skills needed for survival are understood as this can make the difference between life and death in a survival situation.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

How to Train for Wilderness Survival

Things You’ll Need:
  • Maps
  • Water purification tablets
  • Matches
  • Magnesium striker
  • Magnifying glass
  • Knife
  • Wire
  • Cord
  • Fishhook
  • String
  • Fishing net
  • Whistle
  • Mirror
Step 1
Purchase detailed maps of the area in which you will be hunting, fishing or traveling. Familiarize yourself with the basic landscape so you can gain an overall perspective of the terrain including water features such as rivers, ponds, lakes or streams.
Step 2
Pack water purification tablets or drops for making water safe to drink. Obtain water by following gullies or depressions between higher peaks. Dig a hole for water in areas such as dry creek beds. Allow the hole to fill with water, add purification drops, tablets or boil and then drink.
Step 3
Gather tinder, kindling and larger pieces of wood for a fire. Form a tee-pee shape with dry tinder on the bottom with progressively larger pieces of wood on top. Start the fire using various methods including a match, magnesium striker and magnifying glass.
Step 4
Find natural shelter or construct your own to protect yourself from wind, sun and rain. Look for over hangs and caves that can be quickly and easily cleared for use. Construct a simple lean-to using a survival knife to cut limbs and cover it with boughs of evergreen or large leafy branches.
Step 5
Gather berries and plants you are familiar with for food. Construct snares by forming a loop with wire or cord and set it along small animal trails. Fish with a string, hook and bait or net fish from streams, ponds, lakes and the ocean.
Step 6
Pack a whistle and blow three times to attract attention. Build a fire and add green leaves and evergreen boughs to create thick smoke. Signal ground searches, planes and boats with a signal mirror or polished knife blade. Angle the mirror or blade so that it reflects the sun toward the rescuer.

Tips & Warnings

Familiarize yourself with basic first aid so that you can adequately handle most injuries in a survival situation.
Purchase or assemble a basic survival kit that you will actually carry. If it is too bulky or large and will not be carried it is useless to you. Learn how to use every part, including the container that it is packed in, for survival.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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