Top 10 Basic Survival Techniques
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
November 4, 2011
Filed Under Outdoors
Contributed by Korina Rossi, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Whether you prefer hiking, camping, or kayaking, spending time in nature is a soothing way to end a busy week.
However, every year scores of people are lost or shipwrecked, sometimes for months at a time. Learning just a few basic techniques will keep you safe in case of any mishaps.
Here are my top 10 basic survival techniques:
10. Starting a fire
Being able to build a fire will stave off hypothermia, enable you to kill bacteria in your drinking water, and dissuade wild animals from approaching your camp, so make sure you practice making sparks before leaving home. If rubbing two sticks together doesn’t work, try using the lens of your flashlight or the lid of a soda can to focus the sun’s rays on some kindling.
9. Finding water
Locating drinking water is one of the crucial lessons of survival. In general, moving streams of water should be free from bacteria, but try to boil the water for a few minutes as an extra precaution.
Using flares, a mirror, smoke signals, or a whistle are all crackerjack ways of drawing attention to yourself if you’re lost on land or at sea.
7. Discerning direction
Bushmen (and women) never start hiking without knowing precisely which direction is north. In a pinch, you can determine your orientation by using the hands of your wristwatch or examining the moss growing on trees, but it’s probably best just to carry a compass for navigation.
Stories abound of shipwreck survivors who have managed to survive months on the high seas because of their fishing skills. Practice improvising fishing line by separating a rope into individual strands; a hook can be easily jury rigged from a sliver of scrap metal.
5. Creating shelter
Hypothermia and nighttime animal attacks can be avoided by devising a makeshift shelter. Build an A-frame for your shelter with a few sticks, and then make it waterproof by arranging large leaves over it.
4. Tying knots
Forget the macramé, learning to tie effective knots could save your life in the wilderness. With a bit of rope or vine, you can secure the joints of your shelter or fashion a fishing lure. Start by practicing just a few useful knots, like the square knot and the bowline knot.
3. Protect your feet
Hardcore survivalists know that keeping your feet dry will prevent both athlete’s foot and jungle rot, which can dampen your survival odds. Try wearing wool socks, which dry faster than cotton and keep your feet warm.
2. Picking edible plants
Before venturing out into the wild, take a trip to the safer confines of your local bookstore to pick up a guidebook of edible plants.
1. First aid
Tuck your first aid kit in with your gear before heading to the backwoods, and care for any cuts and abrasions as they happen. In the wilderness, bacteria and infections find an easy foothold in even the smallest cuts.