The woods make a good adventure site and ground for many campers. However, in the same spirit of adventure, it is possible to get lost in the woods, for one reason or the other. For the unprepared, this possibility can be one of their worst nightmares, especially if they are not well prepared to survive. This survival guide however, contains survival techniques to help you survive the woods, just in case you find yourself in the situation. If you’re lost in the woods, or you are simply taking a hike in the woods, you can survive by applying the following techniques to survive.
1. Build a Fire
While lost in the woods, building a fire is a very important to avoid freezing, especially in the night cold. To create a fire in the woods, it’s always important to collect enough dry firewood or pack some coal in the camping bag. Whatever the woods in which you’re living, there will always be some dry wood to provide you with the required firewood. The dried barks, dried leave and fallen planks can be another good source of wood for the fire, among others. Another important point to note about the woods fire is the location. Generally, where you pitch the woods fire should be protected from the extremes of the wood winds for a longer lasting fire. Fire is also helpful for boiling water, cooking food, and warding off predators.
2. Build or Find Shelter
The woods also present a challenge of the wild without permanent residential structures. This exposes the individual to the environmental elements, which may cause diseases such as hypothermia or heatstroke, depending on the prevailing weather conditions. In terms of shelter, the woods generally have plenty of features that can be used for shelter. The more common ready made natural shelters in the woods include fallen and leaning trees. However, if these features are not forthcoming, constructing a temporary shelter in the woods can suffice. For more on survival shelters, check out our article: Survival Shelter – 3 Different Structures to Survive the Night. Alternatively, caves located in the woods can also serve as a good source of shelter. However, most of them tend to be home to dangerous wild animals like snakes and bears, hence the need for careful observation before setting base.
3. Locate Water and Food
Locating food and water are essential survival techniques. Water is pretty easy to find in the woods, through the numerous flowing streams and rivers. However, a challenge that follows this water is the accumulated bacteria and other waterborne vectors. The stream water can be improved through heating in a handy pot. Water can also be collected from falling rain. For the food, it’s always important not to discriminate over what you eat. The rivers can be a good source of fish for nutrition purposes. In the woods it’s also possible to eat grass hoppers, a berries and bugs, among other insects to stay alive. If you don’t know what berries you are looking at, don’t touch them, as eating the wrong ones can cause fatal poisoning. The same goes with insects, eating toxic insects can cause major sickness or death. Trapping small mammals is also a great passive way to obtain protein in the woods.
4. Get Rescued
Getting rescued in the woods is quite a dream for anyone who is lost, and it may very well be your number one priority. Sometimes this may not just be forthcoming but with the application of a few survival techniques, it can be achieved. When lost in the woods, always hang a brightly colored piece of cloth on a tree to attract attention. You can also use modern technology like mobile phones to seek for help. Lighting a smoky fire can also play an important role in the rescue mission, among other creative means. A great way to be rescued is to fire off a flare gun or a smoke signal while a search party or air craft is searching nearby. Overall, you need to bring attention to yourself, and signal for rescue each at every opportunity.
Generally, whenever you’re lost in the woods, learn to focus on your priorities as that could be the only ticket to survival. When lost in the woods, keep positive. Having positive morale and the will to live is very important to surviving. It’s a great idea to study up on survival techniques before you ever find yourself in such a situation.
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