Today, we are so used to being able to do anything that we need to at the touch of a button.
What happens when you’re lost, stranded, or injured?
What happens when you need help with no modern technology at hand?
Do you have the basic skills that are necessary to stay alive long enough to get to safety in the wilderness?
One big problem with survival tips is that many people still believe a lot of the myths that could actually get them killed.
Below, you are going to find our list of what we consider to be the top wilderness survival tips.
1. Keeping Calm
Attitude is everything in a survival situation. You must be able to keep calm and take stock of your resources and immediate survival needs. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you don’t allow it to take over.
2. Shelter Building
If you have prepared for going into the wilderness then hopefully you’ve packed a tarp or something that can be used as shelter. If not, you’ll need the knowledge to build something from your available resources. A lean-to is insufficient on its own, so add sides and insulation by filling gaps between logs and sticks with smaller twigs, pine needles, and leaves.
3. Water Collection
Finding water is another top survival priority. Be careful of any standing water such as lakes or puddles, as these can be full of pathogens and bacteria. A running stream or river is best, but even this water should be purified before drinking.
4. Fire Building
Start small and gradually build your fire up. Begin with a small tinder bundle made from materials such as dry grass, small twigs, or pine needles.
Once you have your fire started, you need to make sure that the oxygen can flow. Stack your fuel in a teepee shape around your burning tinder. Add smaller branches and logs first and get them burning well before you add thicker, longer-burning logs.
Navigation is an important skill to have. A compass is handy, but without one, you will need other ways of finding your way. Luckily, there are many ways of achieving this. Remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Find the North Star using the Big Dipper constellation — the North Star is at the end of the Dipper’s handle.
6. Catching Small Game
To save on the energy used to hunt larger animals, focus on rabbits, squirrels, and fish for meat instead. Learn to make a snare to catch them, or make a spear out of sharpened sticks.
7. Learn to Create Smoke Signals
To simply make a campfire as you normally would is just not enough. You need to be able to create plenty of smoke to attract the attention of rescuers. Use materials such as pine and spruce leaves to create thick, heavy smoke. Camp on high ground to be more easily seen.
8. Char Cloth
Take piece of cloth, cut it into smaller squares and place it inside a metal container with a cover. Place the container in a fire for a couple of minutes. When the cloth is dark from having been burned but is still intact, you have successfully made a char cloth. This can then be used to catch a spark and easily get a fire started.
9. Treating Blisters
Blisters are never good at the best of times let alone in the wilderness. They can be painful and slow you down as you travel. Prevent blisters by covering your toes in duct tape, reducing friction as you walk.
You need to have an understanding of which plants are edible and which can make you sick or potentially kill you. We recommend getting your hands on a couple of dependable foraging books for your location. Even when you learn about these plants, never eat a plant if you’re in doubt.
11. Knot Tying
If you never learn another knot, you should at least take the time to learn the bowline knot. The bowline is a true multi-purpose knot.
12. Don’t Do Your Traveling at Night
Traveling at night is downright dangerous. Most predatory animals are nocturnal, which means they will see you long before you see them.
There are dangers in the terrain that you may not see at night, too. You can fall off a cliff or into a pit if you can’t see where you are going.
13. Insulate Yourself From the Ground
It is never a good idea to sleep directly on the ground. You will keep yourself warmer and drier by creating a barrier between yourself and the ground beneath.
Make a hammock out of a tarp or sturdy poncho, or raise your sleeping area off the ground using logs.
14. Never Eat Snow
Eating snow to remain hydrated is one of those myths circulating that could potentially get you killed. It sounds like a good way of getting fluids but you should always melt snow and drink it as water instead of eating it.
15. Wear a Paracord Bracelet
16. Weather Prediction
It is much better if you can plan your hike after predicting what the weather has in store for you. A halo around the sun or moon indicates oncoming rain within 36 hours.
17. Waterproof Your Matches
Simply put, if your matches get wet, they won’t work when you need them as their chemical composition changes. There are multiple ways of making your matches waterproof so pick an option best suited for you.
18. Invest in a Good Backpack
Tactical packs are made of durable, weather-resistant material that will protect your supplies and keep them well organized. A good backpack should be lightweight, which will save energy.
19. Learn to Make a Water Filter
Any water that you find in the wild should be filtered to remove any dirt, debris, and other contaminants. You can use an empty bottle or container to make a simple filter by poking small holes into it with your knife or a sharpened stick.
Fill the bottle up to two inches with a layer of coarse gravel, a layer of coarse sand, some ground charcoal from your fire, and a layer of fine sand. Pour your water in, and as it travels through each layer, impurities will be filtered out.
20. Carry Two Signal Mirrors in Your Kit
Signal mirrors are great if you run into danger and need to signal for a rescue. Sometimes one signal mirror isn’t enough but two can be used much more effectively. Use the second mirror to reflect light off the first to ensure you are seen from above.