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There are 6 basic survival skills you need to be able to learn before any type of emergency or disaster strikes.
More than any other skill, your mindset and determination determines how successful you will be in a survival situation. If you have the desire to live, then this will determine if you will live or die.
There are 3 rules a human can do and survive. For example, you could survive 3 minutes without air. Or go on 3 hours without shelter. In more serious cases, a human can go 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. Keep these rules in mind so you can prioritize your basic survival skills. You need Shelter, water, and then food. In that order.
Surviving outside in the wilderness will need everyone in that situation to deal with it calmly. And without panic. When you systematically assess, plan, and execute your basic survival skills, you will help keep your mind and body actively engaged in dealing with your situation. This will greatly aid in avoiding panic and other negative states of mind. By upholding a positive mindset, your chances of survival are greatly improved!
Number 2: Shelter
Did you know that people stuck in survival situations usually die of hypothermia, which could be easily avoided by using basic survival skills. If you can build a shelter then you will be safer than others that don’t know how to. You have to prevent or minimize heat loss, or if in a desert environment, to minimize water loss.
Below are some tips on how to think about when planning or building a shelter.
– Location (away from hazards, near materials)
– Insulation (from ground, rain, wind, air)
– Heat Source (body heat or fire-heated)
– Personal or Group Shelter
Keep in mind there are many shelters you can choose to use. Just know that the debris hut is the most easiest and most practical to build in almost any environment. Make sure you learn how to construct a debris hut.
We are composed of 78% water. Water should be on top of your list. You can’t survive over 3 days without water. People have died due to dehydration, or poisoned due to untreated water. Also, make sure you boil your water, or use filter systems to eliminate water-born pathogens or minerals and metals which are found in waters downstream from industrial and agricultural operations. The best sources for clean drinking water in a wilderness setting are springs, head-water streams, and collecting morning dew. Iodine is also a water cleaner. These can be efficient and effective solutions if you have access to these items in a survival situation.
A herbal treatment is another method in which water may be purified from viruses and bacteria. Did you know that Grapefruit seed extract can act as a water purifier?
The most widely used and proven method for safely purifying water is boiling. Bringing water to a boil and allowing it to continue to boil for 2-3 minutes will kill bacteria and viruses.
By maintaining a level attitude, creating a shelter, and obtaining clean water, a person can successfully survive for many weeks.
Fire is the most useful basic survival skill tool. It can help your body keep warm, or to keep your clothes dry and most importantly cook your food. Fire is not really necessary to your survival, but , it is your psychological support in your survival situation where you create a sense of security and safety.
When you are in the wilderness, you should carry multiple fire-starting tools, such as a lighter, matches, flint and steel. You should practice fire starting in different weather conditions within different habitats. Good fire-making skills would be considered very valuable to your survival.
Food is considered the last of the skill priorities you need to know. We can survive longer without food, rather than shelter and water. In most natural environments you will find a variety of items that will meet our nutritional needs. Wild plants usually provide us with ready available foods, however insects from those plants could support our dietary needs in any survival situation.
Some plants which are abundant throughout North America:
Cattail: known as the “supermarket of the swamp”, the roots, shoots, and pollen heads can be eaten
Conifers: the inner bark, known as the cambium, is full of sugars, starches and calories, and can be eaten on most evergreen, cone-bearing trees [except for Yew, which is poisonous]
Grasses: the juices from the leaves can provide nutrition, and the root corm can be roasted and eaten
Oaks: all acorns can be leached of their bitter tannic acids, and then eaten, providing an excellent source of protein, fats, and calories
Make sure you identify the plants you plan on consuming . Many plants can be difficult to identify and some edible plants have poisonous look-a-likes. If you cannot identify the plant, do not eat it.
The more you know about nature, the better you will be able to survive in the outdoors. To be great at surviving in the wilderness, you need to go beyond your basic survival skills, and learning more about nature skills. For example, wildlife tracking skills could allow you to find locate wild game for food, and knowing how to use herbal medicine will help you heal illnesses with wild plants. A basic knowledge of the natural sciences can be helpful and enriching.
A great place to start is by purchasing the relevant plant and animal field guides for your region. These resources can help you begin to identify species and understand how they relate.
Now, with these six keys to basic survival skills, you are well on your way to surviving the outdoors