Amazon Rainforest Survival Guide

Amazon Rainforest Survival GuideThe Amazon rainforest has been home to groups of native peoples for centuries, but to the outsider, it can be a dangerous and deadly environment. The rainforest is a much different ecosystem than many people are familiar with, and unfamiliarity can lead to major mistakes. If you are lost in the Amazon rainforest, there are steps you can take to put yourself in a better position to survive. (Pictured: Edible palm weevil larvae from the Amazon)


Difficulty: Challenging

Step 1
Find a source of drinking water. Despite receiving rain almost daily, many parties lost in the Amazon wilderness emerge dehydrated. If you are near a river or stream, keep near--the water might make you sick, but it will keep you alive.
Step 2
Build a shelter. Unlike most parts of the world, sleeping on the bare ground is not an option. The more separation you put between you and the floor--complete with exotic mites and fire ants--the better. If you don't have a tent, your best bet is to use sapling branches and forest floor ferns to thatch a sleeping pad. Use palm fronds on the top, and cover with a blanket or spare clothing, if possible.
Step 3
Follow the river. Unlike other survival scenarios, manhunts in the Amazon are rarely successful, meaning it is up to you to rescue yourself. The rule of the Amazon is that all rivers and streams will, eventually, lead to civilization. These are the highways of the Amazon and are your only way of navigating out safely.
Step 4
Starting a fire in the Amazon is incredibly difficult because of the moisture, but if you need to cook your food, find a dead tree or plant, scrape off slivers of the stem or trunk and use it as tinder.
Step 5
Find food. This is actually the least of your worries, since your body will go a long way on little food in a warm, wet environment. The river abounds with food if you have the tools to fish, otherwise search inside and under rotting plants and trees for Suri worms (pictured at top). These large grubs are nutritious and can be eaten raw.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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