Surviving in the wilderness is not something many of us will ever have to experience. Most hiking and outdoor adventures go exactly as planned. You hike into the wilderness, explore and proceed out without incident. However, there are times in exploring the great outdoors that your adventure goes awry and there are some mistakes you should be aware of so that you can avoid them.
Without a shelter of some type you are exposed to all of natures elements; the dangers of weather and critters. Staying dry is the first rule in survival and this is hard to manage without a shelter or the know how to create a shelter out of the tools that surround you in nature. Exposure to the elements be it sun, snow or rain are all very dangerous. Don’t make this mistake. When backpacking, hunting or on any outdoor adventure no matter how short the trip is meant to be pack a light tarp; this small piece of equipment could very well save your life.
Don’t ever go on any outdoor travels without proper navigation tools. A map of the area and a compass are tools that cannot fail you when navigating unfamiliar territory. Experienced or not any one can get turned around in the thick of the forest. When it comes to navigation have a back up method that leads you to safety. A GPS is good for some situations but if the battery fails or the signal is lost you will need a fall back. This is why a map and compass are always good tools to have in your backpack.
Carry with you a flint and some waterproof matches. Fire represents life in the wilderness. Maintaining a fire is important for heat and for food and water preparations. Knowing how to create a fire as well as hunt for food, signal for help and prepare water are all important survival skills to have. Don’t make the mistake of relying on others in your party’s knowledge of the outdoors; you never know what will happen when forced to be in survival mode.
No matter how many people are with you make sure someone that is not with you knows where you are going and what your plans are. This way if you don’t arrive back when you were supposed to someone knows to alert the authorities. Simple father son fishing trips can go wrong at the drop of a hat so be prepared by always having a contact person that knows where you were headed and what your plans are.
Dress appropriately. Your clothing choice should always include an extra layer that can be taken off and stored in a back pack. The day might start out beautiful and shorts and a t-shirt might be appropriate but if you find yourself lost and out after the sun has set you will appreciate the extra clothing. Once you have caught a chill it is almost impossible to warm up when you are in survival mode.
Always carry a water filtration system or water purification tablets in your backpack. Water is even more important than food in survival efforts. Dehydration will make you weak, unpurified water can make you sick leading to faster dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. Water purification tablets make even the most disgusting water drinkable. Also, creating a fire and boiling water will help as well. If possible boil the water you wish to drink and then add a water purification tablet or run it through a filtration system.
Last but not least an outdoor adventure should never be gone on without having a knife on you. A pocket knife is an essential tool but even better prepared outdoorsman will carry a fixed blade knife in a sheath on them. A solid, full tang knife can be used to kill food, cut brush for a fire, skin fish, and help create a more stable shelter and so much more. A quality knife is essential; not carrying one is a huge mistake when it comes to surviving in the wilderness.
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