Not everybody has the frame of mind to survive outdoors and few will have to, but here are some outdoor survival tips if you find yourself in this situation.
This is one of the best sources of outdoor survival tips packed with useful ideas.
Easier said than done but this is probably the first thing to do. This is no time to panic. Think clearly and be positive.
You need to think about a plan, list the resources you do have and identify the critical actions you need to take, i.e., get shelter, keep warm and find water.
Keep focused on these vital tasks for your outdoor survival.
Make a shelter
Clearly, you need to protect yourself from the cold and the weather.
Bear in mind that you don’t need to build a huge complicated structure. Build a shelter just big enough to fit your body because your body will be the primary source of warmth – don’t waste that warmth. Make a simple lean-to up against the natural resources; a fallen tree or grass bank. Create a framework of sticks, front and sides then add insulation using ferns, moss, leaves, and bark. Insulate the ground inside your shelter too.
Never sleep on the bare floor. You can make a bed of dry leaves to help to keep you warm.
If you find yourself in a hot climate then digging a few inches into the ground can uncover cooler soil or sand. Don’t insulate your shelter all around, you need some air flow. Your shelter needs to shade you from the heat in this case.
Finding a source of clean water is pretty much top of the list for outdoor survival.
Rain is the best source. Find some way to collect rainwater. Large leaves are useful for collecting rains and dew. Remember, dew collects early in the morning. If you have a container, angle a leaf to direct water into it. If you have a waterproof item of clothing, tie it to a branch to collect rainwater. Look for running water but only drink it if it is clean. Drinking from a flowing stream is always safer than drinking from a stagnant pool of water. Boiling the water for 10 minutes will kill parasites and other nasties that could harm you, but you will need a fire and a container.
Always melt snow then drink it. Use your fire, the sun’s rays or your body heat to melt it.
Try digging for water near certain plants like cottonwood and willows.
Light a fire
Making a fire is really important you need to collect dry tinder and make a small bundle. Search for dry pine needles and dry leaves. Find larger pieces of dry wood for when your fire is established. Use something large as a wind block. Make a spark and light the tinder, blowing steadily to encourage flames. Then introduce larger and larger twigs. Making a spark depends on what resources you have. You can use a magnifying glass on a sunny day or a car battery touching wires together or using friction rubbing two pieces of wood together or strike a flint against steel.
Make smoke to attract attention by putting leafy green vegetation on your fire, pine and spruce leaves are best.
Don’t sit warming your hands, you need to collect more wood for later.
Protection and safety
Assuming your outdoor situation is part of some survival exercise then it is likely you will have a knife or even a gun with you. You need to take great care of these deadly survival weapons and keep them safe. Consider using a portable gun safe for all weapons. Make a simple spear to help you to catch fish or game. Select a long straight stick, split the end, separate the forks with a small stone and sharpen each point.
Given the choice, you are better off with a knife than a gun when faced with survival. Because of its many uses, some survival experts name the knife as the most important tool that you can take with you.
Know where you are
You can establish where north is using these tips. Moss grows out of the sunlight so will be found on the north side of a tree or rock. Spider webs are usually found on the south side of trees. If the sun is shining, put a stick in the ground and mark the end of the shadow. Wait a few minutes, then mark the end of the new shadow. The line joining these two points will run east-west.
Keep calm, think, plan and use the plentiful natural resources for your outdoor survival.
Written By Tom Ginevra