hikers stopping by on top of the mountain

Out in the Wild: Survival Improvisations and Tips

When traveling in the wilderness, it’s recommended to pack only 20 percent of your body weight. Short trips mean even lesser bulk. Backpackers and hikers only pack the essentials: light rope or paracord, a stout knife, options to make fire, a pot, water-holding gear, and others.

But what if you left some essentials behind? How can you reproduce what they’re meant to help you with? The following tips can help adventurers survive in the wild with alternative gear.

An Improvised Fire

Prepare the site for your campfire. Note the wind direction and its surroundings as a strong gust of wind can blow fire into a direction you want to avoid. Have a bucket of sand or a thick, non-burning cloth or piece of clothing on standby as a means of extinguishing the fire.

With tools, a piece of coal, flint and steel, mirrors, and matches will do the job. On your own, you’ll need to create a V-shaped notch in a large piece of wood. Put tinder in the notch, find a stick or some other material you can use as a spindle. Rub the spindle up and down as quickly as you can to produce smoke and catch your tinder on fire.

Water and Food Foraging

family hiking in the mountatin

Water and food are among the first supplies survivors forage in the wild. A human body needs sustenance to keep its energy levels up and at least two quarts of water per day. Moving about trying to get out of the wild will exert the body and leave it wanting for water and food.

Fast-moving, fresh streams of water are the best source for this resource in the wild. Avoid still water ponds that could harbor harmful bacteria and disease. Green and healthy plants area also indicators of a nearby water source. Muddy areas, dew, cacti, coconuts, vines, palm trees, and bamboo and snow also yield water. Strain water through a piece of cloth and purify the water to ensure that you won’t contract a disease. Survivalist food means only putting things you identify as safe in your mouth.

Improvised Emergency Stretcher

Injuries may be unavoidable in certain situations. Luckily for adventurers, they can use a number of materials to create splints, slings, and improvised stretchers. Moving a person so injured that they require a stretcher should not be done, but when there’s no other option, adventurers can do it safely.

Paracord is one material that can be used to create a stretcher. Adventurers can use their bulk of paracord to knot together a rope stretcher. Tarp and a jacket paired with two sturdy sticks can create a lifting stretcher. Duct tape could also be used to create a strong, crisscrossing bed between two sturdy poles.

Aside from ensuring your survival, you need to find a way to get out of your location. One way to escape is to attract the attention of rescuers. This can be done through body signals, ground writing, mirrors and flares, and morse code.

Another way is to find your way back to other people or communities. Assess your situation, remember the path you came from or any other close locations. Find shelter in the dark, find a waterway if possible, follow railroad tracks or power lines, avoid going uphill, and follow birds and other migratory signs that can take you to a settlement.


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