Many people’s worst fear is finding themselves out in the middle of the wilderness without their modern amenities.
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There are a number of reasons this could happen. Maybe you went on a trip and got lost, or maybe you have landed your boat or small plane in the middle of nowhere.
However, there are only few ways you’ll survive from short & medium term perspective. Therefore continue reading for the top 10 survival skills you must have to make it on your own.
Remember! The Stuff Below May Significantly Increase Your Chances of Survival Once You Get Stranded in Woods or Wilderness!!!
1. Obtaining & Purifying Water
If you’re in the wild, finding water shouldn’t be too difficult for you. Just about every forest has at least one waterway, after all.
Here are 2 simple tips for you how to make looking for it more easily:
- Just listen – Sit perfectly still and listen for the sound of running water.
- Look around – Another good idea is to find a vantage point either high up on a hill or by climbing a tree and have a observe the landscape around you properly.
Once you’ve found it, there are a handful of ways to purify it:
- Boil it – The first is to expose it to fire, bring it to a boil and drink it when it cools down. To do this, of course, you’ll want to make sure there are no solid in the water that won’t be handled by the heat.
- Filter it – To get rid of all manner of solids, create your own filter. You can do this by wrapping bark into a cone and filling it with rocks and sand. If you have charcoal from a fire, this is especially helpful for drawing out bacteria. Pass water through your makeshift filter and boil what comes out the other end.
Keep in mind:
It is best to use water purification tablets on any questionable liquids you will find outside as getting sick while alone and in a survival situation may equal death!
2. Setting up a Fire
There are a number of methods for starting useful flames in the wilderness. If you have glasses, for example, you can use them as a lens to magnify the sun’s heat on a given point.
If you were smart enough to purchase a key-chain maid of flint or have a battery handy, you can smack these objects against rock in order to cause a spark.
Extra details: Just check out this article that covers 10 easiest and alternative methods – Ways How to Start an Outdoor Fire Without Matches or Lighter.
Primitive Hand Bow Drill Technique
Look for these features!
How to Choose the Best Survival Knife
Firstly, you need to learn how to create most effective camp fire pit. Do not forget to surround it with rocks or dig out a shallow hole to protect it from harsh winds and prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.
Once you have prepared proper spot, you need to follow these 6 steps for setting up your hand drill:
- find a stick that forms a bow.
- Next, tie your shoelace from one end to the other so.
- You’ll need a longer, broad piece of wood to put on the ground and you’ll want to make a hole in it (this can easily be done with a sharp stone).
- In between the earth and this flat wood, place tinder. This is any kind of local fauna that is dry, fibrous and which will hold a flame.
- Find a third stick that can fit in the hole, but not well enough that it goes through.
- Lastly, get a rock fitting on top of it.
When you put these three elements together, you’ll have the “drill” standing on the flat one propped up by the hole. Wrap your shoelaces around the bow and then palm a stone with your left hand and place it atop the third stick. It should almost look as though you’re getting ready to play the upright bass.
Now, pull and push your bow back and forth slowly at first and then picking up speed. The friction will cause intense heat which will eventually light the tinder. As soon as you start seeing smoke, stop and begin lightly blowing on it to give it oxygen. Now slowly begin feeding the flames more tinder and wood until you have a larger flames going.
See instructions to very effective Dakota fire pit:
3. Building Proper & Safe Shelter
It is extremely important to seek one out before nightfall as this will cause the temperature to drop significantly. Here are most common things you should look for to create temporary shelter:
- Seek out cave – One easy choice is finding a cave, though you’ll want to investigate it thoroughly to be sure it’s not housing bear, snakes or other animals that could create problems.
- Fallen tree – If you’re in the wilderness, one easy option is to find a downed tree. If it is at an angle and still has a lot of its foliage attached, you can lay in the crevice created by the space between the trunk and the ground. Add to this makeshift shelter by gathering more sticks in order to avoid leakage of heat and rain.
A good way to insulate your body warmth and fight off the cold is to pack the inside of your jacket and even pants with all matter of foliage. This will keep your body heat from escaping and help to maintain your warmth!
4. Basic & Advanced First Aid
If you get hurt in the wild, first aid needs to be a priority. The most basic of injuries can be worsened by a number of things outdoors, meaning you must tend to it quickly.
A) Treating Cuts
These for example must be seen to immediately as they could easily become infected without antiseptic and proper bandages around.
- Use the fire you now know how to make to boil water.
- Hold the cut over it to let the steam clean out bacteria.
- When it’s no longer too hot, you’ll also want to wash your injury with this water, careful not to let other unclean things touch it.
- If you have clean clothing, wrap the cut in it to help the healing process.
B) Broken Bones
Should you break a bone in the wild, all you can really do is try to ease the pain so you’re not slowed down. The easiest method of doing this is with a splint.
- If your femur was broken, for example, you’d want to find a number of sticks that were about as long as the bone.
- It’s very important that these are strong.
- Then, either using clothing or a combination of foliage, ties the stick firm around your femur.
The idea is that you’re creating a support system that will help take all of the pressure off the broken bone.
5. Identification of Animal Tracks & Signs
This could be anything from a puma to a bear. Not only should you go the opposite direction of those tracks, you should vacate the entire area. Apex predators have a tremendous sense of smell and your scent will definitely peak their interest.
Smaller tracks are potentially food sources. Note that these can often appear much larger than they are thanks to the drag that occurs when a creature picks up the foot and moves it forward. So look for the initial imprint and judge from there.
6. Trap Building
If you’re hunting for some nutritious meat, the simplest trap is to simply wait by your prey’s food source.
- Stick & box – Everyone’s seen the old fashioned method of propping up a box with a stick and pulling it out when prey comes near. Chances are this won’t be an option in the wild.
- Simple snare – Instead, lay a snare on the ground by a food source. You can create one with your shoe laces, tall grass, reeds, etc. When your prey has its foot inside it, snap it shut and hold on tight.
Attention: Have a rock on hand so you can quickly end the hunt.
7. Fishing, Hunting & Butchering Skills
Hunting is difficult on land if all you have is your surroundings, so your best bet is laying traps. Fishing is possible, but will take a lot of patience:
- Low water level – One method is to find bottlenecks in a stream and force passing fish into shallow depths where they’re no longer able to swim effectively.
- Throwing on land – Scoop them up onto land and the kill is yours.
Butchering dead animals is never easy if you are not accustomed to it:
- Opening cut – You’ll need to form an incision in the belly and peel the skin away.
- Cleaning – Remove the guts as soon as possible as they will tamper with the flavor.
- Get rid of blood – Then hang the meat as best you can to drain out all the blood.
8. Growing Your Own Food
Depending on where you’re stranded, growing your food may become a necessity.
- Gather seeds – All you can do is to collect these from edible local plants.
- Enough sunlight – You can bury them where they’ll get ample light.
- Water them – Then help them along their natural process by watering them.
Extra advice! You can even fertilize them with your own organic waste or by creating a compost heap from all the plants and animal parts you don’t eat!
9. Food Preservation
In the wild, the only way you’ll be preserving food is by burying it or drying it.
If it’s snowing where you are, you obviously have a much better chance of preserving it.
Otherwise, this process could turn into an easy way to make it spoil quicker or get found by predators.
Remember that the food you find or grow outdoors is going to spoil much quicker than the majority of the kinds you’re used to as they lack preservatives.
You should already have one of these:
Top Emergency and Survival Kits: Are You Prepared?
10. Weather Forecasting
Knowing what the weather has in store for you can make all the difference when you are out in the wild.
- Look for west – Remember that weather comes from the West. If you’re having trouble figuring out which way that is, recall that the sun rises in the East and moss only grows on the North side of a tree.
- Watch clouds – Cirrus clouds, the kind that are often thin and wispy but amassed together over large swaths of sky, are usually a sign the weather will be changing within 24 hours. Obviously dark ones mean a storm. The dyer the air gets, the more likely it is to storm.
Keep these 10 crafts in mind and you’ll have less to worry about in a critical situation. Just remember to stay calm and leave signs for a rescue party.
For your interest:
Here is another great article with the best outdoor survival skills you should know. Just check them out right here.
With regards to water purification, do you have any opinion on the LifeStraw product? I have read about it before but never seen it in real life.
It appears like a very useful little tool to have in case of emergencies, and there are some pretty impressive videos showing people taking (what appears to me) muddy and gross water, using the LifeStraw to filter it, and ultimately consuming the water.
To be honest, I have never tried this product before, so I can not be objective but from what I have seen and read about it, it looks like a really good stuff that you could keep on yourself.
It is amazing to me how much difference it can make even to just simply rinse out a wound. A couple years ago my son and I both sliced our legs on the same log while walking through the woods. Wanting to be a tough teenager, Sean (my son) neglected to rinse his leg in the river while I at least tried to get the dirt and grime out. Fast forward a few weeks, Sean wound up having a mild form of sepsis from the wound and needed a round of antibiotics to clear out his issues! Luckily everything was OK in the end, but it is alarming to know it all could have most likely been prevented with a simple rinse.
You are so right Leonard! Always try to clean even minor wounds while in the wilderness. You can avoid really bad consequences later!
Growing up in the United States it is easy for me to forget that the majority of the food I buy in the grocery store is packed with preservatives. Once I venture into the wilderness on a camping/hunting trip, even simple tactics like drying out food after I shoot it do wonders to ensure that my meat does not spoil before I get it home. To any newbies out there, butchering might be a little intimidating at first but I promise after a couple tries you will get the hang of it!
Sure for butchering, only the practice will help you to overcome any psychological issues you may have with it!
Winter is among my favorite times to go hiking simply because of all the neat animal prints one can find in the snow. During the warmer months it can be difficult to identify the types of animals occupying a certain area, but when you can judge from the footprints it becomes relatively straightforward to make sense of the animals in the region.
That is really good point. It is much easier to track and identify animals in snowy land than in one without it!
Simple snare traps work wonders in the wilderness, but if you are against animal cruelty please be ready to kill your capture quickly!
We had a coyote problem on the farm some years ago and sitting by the bedroom window with a .22 wasn’t working. Somehow we got the idea to set a snare trap with meat in the area, and wound up catching a coyote by his right hind leg. The problem was the animal became so startled once trapped that is scrambled around and actually broke its leg trying to become free, and since we were not prepared to dispose of the poor coyote quickly it most likely suffered during its last few minutes as I had to run inside to grab a tool to finish it off.
This is sad truth about snares. They should be used only during critical and emergency situations as animals go through a lot of pain and stress before they pass away.
The order that these are in is the exact order of importance to human life. The author did a very good job, thank you for posting this!
And I thank you for these kind words ed.
Creating fire from virtually nothing is a skill that makes you feel good about yourself and lets you know that you will be able to survive a little longer until help arrives. Fire does so much for moral when you are stranded somewhere.
The moral support is one of the best advantages of being able to create fire.