So you’re in decent physical shape, and your smartphone has GPS and an application for everything under the sun. Yet what happens when you’re hurt or stranded and the battery dies without a way to recharge it?
Here are the essential survival skills you will need to know in order to survive the situation.
You’ll need a couple of key skills and abilities for those unpredictable moments of calamity when you find yourself on your own without that digital crutch.
Survival specialist Creek Stewart, author of Build The Perfect Bug-Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Catastrophe Survival Package, has actually invested hundreds of hours training himself in real life survival scenarios and also training others to be experienced in the skills he’s discovered. “It’s not if calamity will certainly strike,” he likes to claim. “But when.”
” You can review numerous books on survival approaches and watch YouTube educational videos all day long,” Stewart says. “However till you venture out into the area on your hands and also knees as well as practice those abilities on your own, all you’ll have is an false sense of security that you actually understand and know what to do in a survival situation.”
There’s no time like the present moment to practice. Bring your most backwoods-savvy buddy along for guidance– and don’t forget to let someone else (pals, family, park rangers) understand precisely where you’re headed before you leave.
Survival Skill #1
Situating a Suitable Campsite
” You want to remain high and dry,” Stewart states. Stay clear of valleys and also areas where water might stream down towards you (flash floods aren’t called that for no reason– they can overwhelm a low-lying campsite within minutes).
Select a campsite devoid of natural threats like insect nests and “widow-makers”– dead branches that might crash down in the middle of the night– as well as falling rocks if you find yourself in a mountainous region.
Ideally, you wish to be close to sources like running water, completely dry wood (from which you can construct your shelter and start, and maintain, a contstant fire) and any other structures that can protect you from the elements.
Survival Skill #2
Building a Shelter
Not surprisingly, hypothermia is the primary killer when you find yourself stranded in cold weather. That implies that a well-insulated shelter must be your leading priority in a long term survival situation.
To make a simple, basic lean-to, locate a downed tree resting at an angle, or lean a large branch firmly on a standing tree, then stack smaller branches close together on one side. Layer debris, like leaves and moss, throughout the tilted wall. Finally, insulate your own body from the cold ground– which will retain your body heat– by layering 4 to 6 inches of particles such as pine boughs or grass to lie on as you rest.
Survival Skill #3
Construct Your Fire
Stewart views fire building in terms of four essential ingredients: tinder package of dry, fibrous product (cotton rounds or q-tips covered in Vaseline or lip balm are an outstanding selection, if you have them in your survival kit) as well as wood in three dimensions– toothpick, Q-tip, and pencil.
Use a forearm-sized log as a base and a windscreen for your tinder. When the tinder is lit, stack the smaller sized kindling against the bigger log, like a lean-to, to permit oxygen to pass through as well as feed the flames.
Add larger kindling as the fire grows, until such time as the he fire is hot enough for you to add bigger logs.
Survival Ability #4
Procuring clean water
” You’ll stumble upon two sorts of water in the wild,” Stewart states. “Drinkable water that’s already purified, as well as water that can kill you.”
When it pertains to questionable water– basically anything that’s found on the ground, like puddles or streams– your ideal option is boiling water, which is one hundred percent effective in eliminating pathogens.
Rain, snow, and dew that you can collect in a number of ways (one of which will be discussed below) are reliable sources of clean water you can collect with ease, and they don’t require boiling to make sure they are safe sources to drink.
With a couple of clothing items, you can gather a fair amount of water in a short period of time by absorbing dew overnight and ringing them out.
You can also extract water from vines, thistles, as well as certain cacti. Are there any sort of maple trees around your location? Cut an opening in the bark as well to allow the watery syrup to drip out for you to collect– nature’s energy beverage.
Survival Ability #5
Collecting Water With a Transpiration Bag
Like human beings, plants “sweat” throughout the day– it’s a process called transpiration. To benefit from this clean, pure source of water, put a clear plastic bag over a leafy branch and make certain that it is securely shut. When you return later on in the day, water will have condensed on the inbside of the bag, all ready to drink, no sterilization required.
Survival Ability #6
Navigating By Day
If you ever find yourself without a a basic map and compass, you can still make use of the skies to find your bearings and ensure that you can navigate your way.
The most obvious method to get a general bearing of your location and direction by day is to look at the sun, which rises approximately from the east, as well as sets roughly in the west throughout the world (depending on your location).
Believe it or not, you can actually use something as simple as an analog watch to determine direction. Just hold the watch flat and direct the hour hand to be pointing at the sun, and draw a straight line that runs between the hour hand and 12 o’clock.
This will show you the line between North and South. If you are in one of the world locations that uses Daylight Savings Time (DST), simply draw the line in between the hour hand and the one o’clock marker on the watch.
Survival Ability #7
Browsing By Night
Here’s how to locate Polaris, also known as the North Star, which is found by first locating the Big Dipper. Locate the Big Dipper, and find the line between the two stars at the outer edge of the constellation’s dipper part. Draw and imaginary line between these two stars and extend it out about 5 times, and you will end up at the North Star.
Face Polaris, and you’re encountering true north. If there is a crescent moon in the sky, attach the horns of the crescent with an imaginary line. Extend this line to the perspective to show a south bearing.
Survival Skill #8
Sending Up a Survival Signal
At times– like when you have a debilitating injury– your only true hope for getting found and rescued is to try and “advertise” your presence so rescuers can find you. 2 methods, if used properly, will guarantee that, if somebody’s looking, they’ll see you.
The first is a signal fire– the first rule is to place it out in the open for maximum exposure. That means hilltops or clearings in a woodland where nothing, like a high cliff face or trees, will disperse the smoke and make it less visible to searchers.
When the fire is lit and burning nice and hot, preferably with a pile of coals already, pile on fresh branches, like want boughs in winter months, to create thick smoke. You’re not concerned about the heat of the fire, it’s the thick smoke that’s extremely visible that you want. You’ve only got about 15 seconds when you see a plane before it’s out of sight, so you have to make it count.
The second way to signal for help is with the use of a mirror to attract attention. A properly used signal mirror can be seen for miles, even at night in the moonlight, much farther than any flashlight.
You do not need a fancy store-bought signal mirror for this method to be effective. Improvise with any kind of reflective surface area you have actually got with you, from rearview mirrors or front lights to a cellular phone screen. Intending the representation is the key, and also it’s easy.
Hold up your reflective surface and place your target– be it aircraft or boat– between your fingers. After that flash the mirror back and forth between your fingers.
Finding yourself in a survival situation where you have no contact with the outside world and have to rely on your own wits and resources is certainly a frightening thing. But with the right mindset and skills…
You can survive…
I am a gym owner, personal trainer, reality based self-defense instructor (Certified Level 2 Krav Maga), and passionate bushwacker, survivalist and prepper. When I’m not working on one of my many projects (which include trying to decipher current world events), I enjoy working on my homestead that sits on 60 lovely wooded acres out in the country in rural Canada, honing my bushcraft and blacksmithing skills, and sitting in my hottub with a glass of good bourbon…