We all love camping and exploring nature, but wilderness adventures aren't without their dangers. Even the best-planned plans can be derailed by unexpected circumstances and unpredictable weather. Always be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.
There are also outdoor skills and survival hacks that can come in handy if you need them the most during an emergency. Make sure you learn everything you can now so you’ll be prepared when the time comes.
They're not elaborate James Bond skills or techniques that require expensive equipment. These tips are easy and are accomplished by using common items and materials found in the natural world.
You're in a situation where things aren't ideal and you want to return to safety. Do you know to protect yourself from harm?
These are the top ten survival tips for every outdoor person.
1. Remain calm: Panic doesn't help when you're in a survival situation. If you want to survive a difficult situation, you need to maintain a positive, proactive attitude towards it.
• Make sure you have everything you need.
• Identify the most important tasks required for survival (food, water, shelter, warmth)
• Grit: It's often determination that separates a survivor from an unsuccessful one.
• Feelings are not facts. You may feel hopeless at times, but keep your thoughts on the things that need to be done.
2. Build an insulated shelter: You can use it to keep yourself warm and protected from the elements.
• Build a shelter that’s big enough for your body when lying down, since your body heat will be the main source of warmth.
• Build the frame: To make a simple Lean-To, use available resources, like a fallen tree or a strong branch secured against a standing tree.
• Stack sticks close together on both sides. Use progressively smaller sticks until you've filled in the gaps.
• Insulate the sides with bark, foliage, pine needles, moss, and so on. the thicker the material is, the more protected you'll be. Add insulation to the ground, so that it’s thicker, the better.
3. Build a shade shelter: If you need to protect yourself from the sun, make sure you have a shade shelter.
• Cool: Digging just a couple of inches into the soil can uncover cooler soil.
• Build a lean-to: Use sticks or branches to make a shelter over the exposed ground.
• Let the air circulate: The purpose of this tent is to create shade. Cover one side of yourself with whatever material you can find, such as bark, leaves or a poncho, or an emergency sleeping bag or blankets.
• Stay cool: Lie in the cooler soil under the shade.
4. Collect water: Water is essential for life. It's important to find clean, uncontaminated drinking water.
• Rain: Collect water, store it, and drink it.
• Water: The energy it takes for your body to absorb water from snow is high Instead of eating the ice, melt it first. You can easily cook it over a fire or with a camp stove. If those aren't your options, use the sun instead. To accelerate the process, chop up ice and hang it in a water bag outside in direct sunlight. If there's no sunlight, use your body's natural heat.
5. Purify water: To boil water for a minute is probably the best and safest way of killing off any pathogens.
• Digging for water: Plants can tell us where water sources are nearby. Find plants such as cattails, cottonwood, or willows. Dig a hole until you reach the water. Wait for the water to fill up the hole.
• Think topographically. Water tends to collect in rock outcroppings or depressions. Water from puddles or streams must be boiled before drinking.
6. Collect water: Collect dew from plants and grasses. Squeeze the moisture out of the cloth or piece of clothing by pressing down on it. Water collection using this method is a very effective way of collecting a large amount of water.
• Plant Moisturizer: Just like humans, plant sweat. Tie a plastic bag to a leafy branch of any tree, and over time water will collect.
7. Start a fire: Practice alternative methods of fire starting before you need them.
• Easy: Use lighter fluid or waterproof matches. Keep your matches dry by storing them in a waterproof container.
• Medium: Use a magnesium fire starter. Use a metal file to shave magnesium filings off.
• Advanced: A lighter can be used to create sparks to ignite tinder. Attach the positive and negative posts of your vehicle battery using wires or steel wool. This will cause a spark or ignite the fiber. Align two batteries together, positive side to negative side. Use strands of steel wire to connect the posts to form a spark and ignite the wool. A 9-volt works great.
8. Make a fire: Make sure to gather pine needles, dry leaves, and grass for tinder. You can use milkweed or thistle if you don't have any of these items available.
• Start small: Collect small, dry sticks for starting fires.
• Go bigger: Find larger pieces of firewood for longer burning.
• Use a larger piece of wood to create a wind block. Then use the tinder to start a fire. Create a tipi from smaller pieces of wood so air can get inside. Light the fire and place it under the tent. Breathe slowly and steadily to keep the fire going. Keep adding fuel to the fire until the smaller pieces catch.
9. Tying knots: Everyone who likes to be outdoors should know a variety of different knots. Make sure you have these two things at the ready when it comes to survival.
• A bowline knot: This is an extremely useful knot for attaching something to a rope via loop because the tighter the knot gets, the better. Remember that after you make a loop, the rabbit comes out of its hole, in front of its tree, goes behind its tree, and then goes back into its original hole.
• Double Half Hitch: Used to attach one side of a rope around an item. It's useful for building a shelter. Tie a knot around your object, like an anchor or pole, and follow that with another one in the same direction to create a double knot. Pull tight to make sure it's secure.
10. Making a spear: a simple tool that can help you catch a fish or other small animal.
• Pick up a long, straight stick
• Split the end of the stick to create a forked stick.
• Use a wooden wedge or small rock to separate the fork. Put it into place.
• Use a knife or sharp rock to sharpen each fork.
To make a triple prong spear, add a small stick after placing the wedge and then sharpen it. Lash it into place.
Top Survival Hacks
1. Learn the local plants ahead of time
Regardless of where you are in the country, there are always plants that can be harmful if touched or ingested. Always be careful when eating plants you’re not familiar with, because even a small leaf could cause serious harm. Before heading out on a camping or hiking trip, research the local plant life and buy a small foldable plant identification guide to bring along. Poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy are some of the most common plants to avoid in the United States.
2. Carry duct tape at all times
It’s difficult to predict what will happen when you go into the wilderness, but it's easy to pack duct tape if you know you might need it. Duct tape can be used for almost any purpose, from stopping a leaky canoe to repairing torn tent fabric and fixing a broken backpack strap. If you're going to bring a new roll of duct tape, consider bringing a used one instead. If you want to save even more weight, wrap duct tape around a reusable water bottle several times, and you can remove pieces as needed during your travels.
3. Make sure your backpack is lined with waterproof material.
Even if the forecast seems dry and sunny, conditions may change faster than expected in remote locations. It's important to keep the survival supplies stored in your backpack as dry as possible for as long as the trip lasts. A garbage bag is a good option for a waterproof backpack or pack covers. It's also a good option if you don't want to spend too much money. Empty your backpack, lay out your clothes on top of the garbage bags, and then re-pack everything back into the backpack. It’s that easy.
5. Carry a birthday candle
A reliable fire starter is worth its weight in gold in the wilderness. A campfire can be used to provide comfort and security when you're camping out. A trick candle works just as well as any high-tech alternative. These candles are inexpensive to buy at a grocery store, easy to pack, and light in nature. Even when weather conditions are bad, they can still be used for cooking and heating. Remember, "trick" is the keyword here—they're the ones that can be easily blown out on a cake, and will relight time after time.
6. Keep mosquitoes away — naturally.
Mosquito bites are one of the most common reasons for people to cancel their camping trips. Most name-brand mosquito repelling products contain chemicals that may be harmful to humans. The best way to avoid mosquito bites is by using fragrant herbs, including Sage, Mint, and Thyme. Applying sage oil to your skin can help protect against mosquito bites, and burning some sage in your campfire will keep the mosquitoes away. It’s easy, natural, and healthier than any other mosquito repellent on the market.
7. Learn how to survive quicksand
If you find yourself in quicksand, there are a few things to consider. First, don't panic or make rushed movements; instead, take your time. Remember to breathe deeply and resist the urge to lift your feet out of the water. Second, you need to distribute your weight evenly across the surface. Layout your sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and stuff sack. Roll your body on top of the gear until your legs are completely free. You can now slowly inch your way to safe ground, moving the gear as necessary.
8. Line Sandpaper on the inside of your match container
Finding yourself alone in nature without matches is one of the most frustrating and dangerous situations imaginable. Even if they're weatherproof, matches won't always work. To avoid encountering this issue, line your matchbox with sandpaper in advance so that you don't accidentally strike a match inside. Simply slide a piece of sandpaper into your matchbox, or glue it to its lid. This small hack will provide you with a reliable source of fire in any weather condition.
9. Don't forget to bring your toothpaste
The average camper has toothpaste stored in their overnight bag. It not only keeps your teeth, gums, and breath fresh, but it can also help in many ways besides your mouth. Toothpaste can help relieve skin conditions like insect bites or mild rashes. Toothpaste helps to reduce redness, swellings, and itchiness when applied to the skin. The smell of peppermint will also help keep bugs away from your campsite.
You should always carry at least five items when you go into the wilderness. These five items should be useful for more than one purpose.
1. Electric lighter: A lighter is inexpensive and stays dry to light tinder. It's important to have a backup fire starter.
2. Compass/Cell phone: Though you may not always get a signal when you're out hiking, it's an essential modern survival tool. Always carry an extra battery or an extra charger.
3. Hydration bag: While the hydration bag comes in several sizes, choosing the 10-L allows for the flexibility to vary your water intake, depending on your current needs. What makes this bag different from others is its tough exterior, which protects against abrasive damage and leaks.
4. Lightweight Fold-Up Knife: This inexpensive fold-down knife is lightweight and conveniently unfolds for safety. It's also used for making spears or kindling.
5. Emergency Shelter: Medical Kits and Thermal Bivvy packs down small and is easy to carry. This waterproof thermal sack helps you retain your body heat so that you don't get cold.