You honestly never know what will happen 24 hours from now. Although we all prep and prepare for things, the truth is you never know what will happen next. You could be driving to visit friends and get stuck on the side of the road for days.
That's why everyone needs these basic survival skills. Which one's do you still need to learn?
Survival Skill #1
Finding a Suitable Campsite
When looking for the best place to camp you need to think "high and dry". You should always avoid valleys and paths like river beds even if they are dried up. This is because water may flow toward you should a sudden rain storm come on. There is a reason they call them flash floods! Flash floods can deluge a low-lying area in just a few minutes.
Make sure you choose a campsite that is free from natural dangers like insect nests and widow-makers or large dead branches that may crash down in the middle of the night. You should also look for potential falling rocks and boulders.
When finding a suitable campsite you really want to be close to resources like running water, a good supply of dry wood to use for your shelter and to build a fire. You also want rocky walls or formations that can shield you from the elements.
Survival Skill #2
Know How to Build a Shelter
Hypothermia is the number one outdoor killer in cold weather.
That means that having the skills to build a well-insulated shelter. If in a situation where you are stuck in the forrest this should be your top priority because as you know in any prolonged survival situation you need to have a place to sleep and shelter during poor weather.
You can make a simple lean-to by finding a downed tree resting at an angle or you can set a large branch securely against a standing tree, and stack smaller branches close together on one side.
Then you need to layer debris such as leaves and moss across the angled wall.
Lastly, to insulate yourself from the cold ground you need to use about four to six inches of debris to lay on. Never lay on the ground because it will draw heat from your warm body and actually make you colder.
Survival Skill #3
Starting a Fire With a Battery
Honestly, any battery will do when it comes to this skill because you are simply short-circuiting the battery. Just connect the negative and positive terminals with a piece of wire, foil, a gum wrapper, or a piece of steel wool to create a spark to ignite your tinder bundle.
Then make sure you have various sizes of firewood ready to keep the fire going.
Survival Skill #4
Know How to Build a Fire
To build a fire you need a few things: tinder or a bundle of dry, fibrous material (cotton balls covered in Vaseline or lip balm are an excellent choice) and wood in that is atleast three sizes. To figure out the best sizes think: toothpick, Q-tip, and pencil.
Then use a base about like a forearm-sized log to act as a windscreen for your tinder bundle.
When the tinder is lit, you should stack the smaller kindling against the larger log, sort of like a lean-to. This will to allow oxygen to pass through and feed the flames thus growing them.
As the fire starts to grow, slowly add larger kindling to help feed the flames until the fire is hot enough for bigger logs and you feel that you are getting a good deal of warmth from it.
Survival Skill #5
Finding clean water
There are only two types of water in the wild: potable water that’s already purified, and water that can basically kill you if you drink it.
How do you know what this questionable water is? Just know that essentially anything that’s been on the ground for the long-term (think puddles and streams) your best option is boiling water, which will be 100 percent effective in killing those pathogens that can kill you.
But sometimes boiling isn't an option because you don't have a pot. In that case rain, snow, and dew are reliable sources of clean water you can collect pretty easy. With a couple of bandanas you can easily collect up to two gallons of water in an hour by soaking up dew that's in the air and ringing out the bandanas either right into your mouth or into a storage container.
You can also squeeze out the water from vines, thistles, and some cacti. If you are lucky to find maple trees around then cut a hole in the bark and let the watery syrup flow! It's like nature’s energy drink!
Looking for more lesson in survival? Visit part two of our lesson now.