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Wilderness Skills For Survival

  • Posted on Oct 4, 2017

When the time comes that you find yourself faced with the immediate prospect of having to literally fend for yourself in the wild you are going to need to know some basic skills.

Having wilderness skills up your sleeve can give you the all important advantage in surviving against all odds. Whether you’re in a disaster zone or stuck in the middle of nowhere, miles from civilization – or simply getting organized with your doomsday prep – knowing survival skills can come in particularly useful, especially when you’re living off-grid.

Just remember, before electricity, indoor plumbing and advanced communication systems, such as wifi, people still survived. So, how difficult can it be?

Find Shelter

Now, this is where a survivalist camper will come in handy. If you’ve planned in advance for being in the remote wilderness or you’ve done some Dday prep, then you’ll already have a trailer kitted out with everything you need to survive. And more importantly, you’ll already have your shelter.

But what if you don’t? Well, the first thing to do is try to find something you can use as building materials? If you’re in the wilderness, wood, particularly bamboo, can be a fantastic resource for creating a shelter. Bamboo, in particular, is flexible and strong, so it’s easy to work with.

In a disaster zone, you may find you have more materials to hand, such as metal; for example, perhaps there’s part of a roof that’s been blown off during a hurricane. Whatever you can find that you might be able to use, take it if it’s safe to do so.

Make sure that when you’re building your shelter or setting up your camp, it’s not situated in a danger zone, such as too close to a stream or river that could flood, or in tidal areas where the coastal waters could rise.

Find Water

Since you can only survive for three days without water, then finding a fresh source of H2O is going to be one of your main priorities. But how do you find it? One way to locate a source of fresh water is to look for animals. Animals, just like us humans, can’t survive without water. So, when you find animals, you can almost guarantee that a water supply won’t be too far away.

Streams, rivers and lakes can all be good sources of water but you will also need to remember that there could be bacteria that might be harmful to you. With any source of water that you find, it’s a good idea to boil it up first before you consume it, just to make sure any lurking bacteria is killed off.

If you’re in areas of flooding, without fresh water, the polluted or dirty water can be sterilized by straining it through a tough, closely woven fabric. Boiling up rocks and putting them inside your strainer with the water can also help to kill any bacteria. After you’ve strained the water, boil it up to give it a second round of bacteria blasting.

Desert Storm

Let’s say you’re in the desert or perhaps the once lush lands have dried up and turned to sand. So how do you protect yourself when a sand storm hits? The whipping sand could suffocate you so there’s a real risk to your life if you’re ever caught in one.

The first thing to do is to use some cotton clothing, such as a t-shirt, and wrap it around your nose and mouth to prevent the dust particles from entering your airways. With your airways covered, keep as low to the ground as possible, as the more deadly particles of sand will be blown off the ground and up into the top of the storm. The best thing to do is to stay low and wait it out, as you’re unlikely to be able to see where you’re going and you could easily become disoriented.

Wild Winter

When you’re in icy cold conditions, it can be difficult to stay warm. And if there’s snow it can be even worse. Keeping yourself warm and dry will be your main priority, as it doesn’t take long for frostbite to take hold.

For those of you with survivalist camps, you’ll be able to protect yourself from the conditions to an extent, with the main thing being that you’ll be sheltered from blizzards and icy cold winds.

If you’re not so lucky to have a camper or a trailer, then you’re going to need to hunt for shelter in trees or, simply somewhere you can hunker down. If there’s deep snow, the best thing to do is to dig yourself a snow hole. Snow can be one of the best protectors against itself, as it can be packed tightly to create an insulated shelter (think, igloos). But digging a snow hole can give you immense protection from the cold, so you can wait the storm out in relative safety. Building an igloo, or snow hut, could be a good idea if you’re planning on being out there for several days or even months.

Edible Plants

No matter where in the world you happen to be, you will always find some type of plant that you can eat. But here in North America, there are a number of edible plants that should be easy to find in the event of an emergency.

Some of the most popular edible plants are ones that we are used to seeing in supermarkets, such as the various berries that are available, which can make spotting them in the wild even easier. Blackberries and blueberries can be found in many wild places, regardless of climate. Strawberries and raspberries are other berries to look out for, but be wary of bright red berries if you don’t know what they are, as many red berries can be poisonous.

Cattails are another edible plant that you might already be familiar with. You can eat the tips and the white part at the bottom of the stalk. Sometimes the pollen from cattails can be used to make flour.

Most people probably won’t be aware that you can actually eat an entire dandelion, including the flower petals. With the leaves and stalk, you might want to boil them before eating them and they can also make a good cup of tea.

You’ll find clover pretty much everywhere, and this can also be used to make tea. It’s best not to eat it raw but you can grind up dried clover and clover seeds to make flour. It’s just lucky you found them!

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- Pat and Ernie , Sparks Nevada

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