What Should I Know About Wilderness Survival?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Wilderness survival often depends on having the cunning and the will to find a way when things seem hopeless. Surviving in such extreme circumstances, especially without the aid of communication equipment and other modern technology, can be difficult, especially for long periods of time. However, there are many tales of people surviving, despite great odds, because they were able to think their way out of situations.

The tactics taken when in the wilderness depend greatly on the type of wilderness one finds himself or herself in. While many think of the wilderness as a jungle or forest environment, that is not always the case. A wilderness is any vast tract of undeveloped, or sparsely developed, land. In some cases, it is not land at all.

No matter what type of landscape you find yourself in, one of the keys to wilderness survival will be finding water and shelter. If out in the open, the sun can cause sunburn, the most serious of which can lead to infection, and dehydration. Therefore, composing a shelter, or at least finding a suitable covering for the skin, face and head, becomes especially important. If in a forest, the natural canopy will provide some protection. However, if in a desert or stranded at sea, a shelter is of prime importance.


Finding water can also be a difficult task, depending on the environment. If on land, always try to find the lowest point of the surrounding elevation, as that is where water is most likely to be located. This is especially true if you are in a mountainous region. If water is scarce, it is critically important in wilderness survival to find as much as possible and, in the event of rain, collect as much as you can.

While many television shows and stories focus on the acquisition of food when in wilderness survival mode, it is important to remember that food is a secondary concern. Yes, you will need it eventually, but if you spend more energy getting it than it gives you, you are only hurting yourself. Gathering fruits and berries are an important and easy way of finding sustenance. If you are unsure if a berry is good, it is best to leave it alone. If you feel you must eat it, do not swallow it if it tastes bitter. This is often a warning system in nature.

Also, if you believe, you will be missed and someone knows approximately where you are, do your best to stay in that general area. One of the most common mistakes people make in wilderness survival is getting more lost. If someone knows where to look, chances are a rescue mission will begin after a while. It is your job to make an obvious signal. This may be a fire or sign of some other sort.

For those who are going to be spending a lot of time in the wilderness, it may be especially helpful to have some sort of wilderness survival guide. These guides are readily available from many different sources and can help with planning and survival techniques, including pictures of what to avoid and what may be safe to eat and drink from. For those who need help with wilderness survival skills, a wilderness survival guide book can be an excellent resource tool. However, it is important to make sure the book is not too big and bulky and those in the wilderness should find a way to keep it protected from the elements.



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