Monday, February 13, 2012

Wilderness Survival - What You Need to Know

Wilderness survival skills are a must if you are planning an adventure into the woods and mountains. Being prepared is the best means of survival. By practicing the necessary skills beforehand, not only will the enjoyment of the adventure be enhanced, but so will your safety.

Basically there are eight skills that must be perfected for wilderness survival.
Learning to build a shelter in the right place. You will need dry land, firewood and visibility to others in the event that you are lost. Choosing an area that has the necessary materials to build that shelter and possibly provide some nourishment is also important. Protection from the wind and the elements will aid in your comfort.

Building a fire may sound basic but it's different for wilderness survival. Find a safe place to build your fireplace and gather the supplies necessary. You'll need tinder to start and other materials to get it growing. Start gradually with smaller pieces of wood and build to larger pieces as the fire takes hold. An area that is protected from the wind and one that is free of debris that would feed the fire are also necessary.
Finding water needs to be way up on your list of priorities. Since our bodies are made primarily of water and we lose almost one gallon a day, it is necessary to keep hydrated. Frequent drinking and rest will aid in preventing dehydration. Some fruits and vegetables will also aid in this area. Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration include thirst, weakness, confusion and loss of appetite. It is best to avoid the possibility than to try to resolve it after the fact.

The ability to find survival food is vital. Most terrains abound in natural foods unless you are lost in an arid desert. Initially it is best to start out with plants which provide the necessary carbohydrates. Progress to insects, fish and animals to ensure adequate protein and fat intake. Learn about these plants before your adventure to ensure wilderness survival.

Sending an SOS hopefully will not be necessary. However should it become necessary for survival it will help to know how to send audio and visual signals seeking help. SOS is three short, three long and three short sounds or lights. Flashlights, strobe lights or mirrors also work.

Learn to use the wind, moon, sun and stars to navigate. Learning plant growth will also help with wilderness survival.

Learning basic first aid that is suited to wilderness survival is very important and may well save a life. Learning to prioritize the need of the victim is first. It is advisable to take a first aid course if at all possible.

You may not be a weather person, but learning to predict the weather will make your adventure much safer. Changes in wind pressure can be detected by changes in plant life. Learning the difference in cloud formations will teach you when it is necessary to take shelter. Some clouds are predictors of great weather and other will alert you to rain or sever storms.

An adventure in the wilderness will be just that, an adventure. Wilderness survival will depend on your own knowledge base.

Copyright Aaron Aberson. For more on wilderness survival, and to get the free version of the book "Ultralight Backpacking Secrets," visit
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