Aside from reading up about useful survival tips, you first need to know the basic survival skills before travelling into the wild. Here are the most basic ones that everyone should know:
Find and Purify Water
Water must always come first in mind when thinking of survival in situations where you are lost. This is because the human body is made up of 60% water which means it must be rehydrated constantly to function properly.
The first sign of dehydration is thirst which indicated by dryness of the mouth. The second warning is a headache which only gets worse the longer one goes without water.
Other signs include:
- Reduced urine
- No sweat or tears
- Rapid heart rate
- Tingly skin
- High temperature body
All of these, if unattended to will eventually lead to death.
If you find yourself in a survival scenario, then you must know that the need to find and/or purify water is dire especially because the increased exposure to harsh conditions will cause you to dehydrate faster. Look for springs, head-water streams, and morning dew to get a clean source of natural water. If you do need to purify water, then the most tried and tested method is to boil it. Continuously boiling water for 2-3 minutes will kill any bacteria or virus in it. In light of this, the next survival skill must also be learned.
This is one of the most useful survival skills there is because of the many functions it can serve in an survival situation. It can keep you warm, dry clothes, boil and purify water, cook food, fend of animals, and give you a sense of security.
Ideally, you must always have fire tools when venturing into the wild. These are tools such as lighters, matches, flint, steel rods, etc. But even with these tools, starting a fire could be difficult if you don’t have the correct knowledge. Weather is a big factor and you must always practice making fire in different climates. When tools aren’t available you can use the traditional friction method which is made easier when using a variation of the method such as bow drills, hand drill, fire plow, and fire saw.
Build a Shelter
Lastly, you have to keep yourself physically safe from the elements. Direct exposure to these, especially to the untrained, can force people into dire situations. People mostly die of hypothermia in the wild which can be avoided by creating a proper shelter. This should be able to help you to prevent heat and/or water loss – depending on where you are lost.
When seeking shelter you must think of the following things:
- Location: It must be in a place where you are near useful material and away from danger.
- Insulation: Make it able to protect you from the rain, wind, and ground.
- Heat: Make sure that it provides enough heat or shade for you.
- Size: It has to fit you and your possible companions.
With these requirements in mind, you don’t necessarily need to build one. You can find a natural one in the form of a cave, hollow stumps, and logs. But if you have no choice, then learn how to construct the different types – debris hut, lean-to, debris tipi, scout pit or snow shelter – in order to know which one to build in a certain situation.
Tip: The debris hut is the most versatile one.
The body needs clean water, shelter, and fire in order to provide his body with its basic needs. Other skills such as finding food and knowledge in nature are useful as well.