Wilderness Survival

Learning wilderness survival skills can help if you get lost in the woods, if you incur an injury while hiking or if you run out of food. Some skills might even help when you are not in the wilderness and could potentially save your life or the life of someone else. Generally, you should also receive an education outside of school and textbooks and gain life experiences, something you cannot learn from another person.

Camping Survival

Photo courtesy of mikepetrucci

One of the most basic and important things to know when camping is how to build a fire. This tends to be quite difficult if the wood is damp or wet, so lighter fluid, a lighter, magnesium starter, paper and small twigs or brush are helpful in this situation. The lighter and magnesium fire starter are two items you should pack on every trip into the wilderness to ensure you can always light a fire, which provides warmth, protection and the ability to cook.

The next thing you should do when camping is familiarize yourself with the area. During the daytime and with at least one other person, walk around, find and create markers and find items from which you can build a shelter. Another wilderness survival skill you should learn is to pay attention to cliffs, waterways and steep mountains or hills, as well as any wildlife, especially if you decide to go walking around after the sun sets.

Wilderness Shelters

Most people do not plan to ever build a shelter in the wilderness, let alone stay in one, unless they intend to go camping, and even then, a tent is about as complex as a shelter gets. However, it does not hurt to prepare for the unexpected, like a bear or storm destroying your tent, getting stranded in the wilderness or incurring an injury while exploring the outdoors. In any of these instances, you need to remain dry, warm and safe, all of which a shelter provides.

To create a shelter as a means of wilderness survival, start by looking for a high rock, such as a ledge, so you can use it as a roof and build around it. Next, collect a pile of brush and put it against the rock so it stays up and forms walls. If thick greens or leaves are available, gather as much as you can and pile it up to create a bed and possibly a blanket.

Wilderness Camps

To learn wilderness survival skills and practice them enough to actually use them in an emergency, you might consider going to a camp that teaches you these skills. Such a camp teaches tracking skills, awareness and, of course, survival in the woods for adults, children or families. You can start at a beginner level and go for just a weekend, then move up when you feel ready and extend the length of your outdoor excursion. Some camps offer training for survival in the winter wilderness, which differs from typical wilderness skills because the elements are more severe and time becomes more of a factor. Additionally, camping classes teach you about plants and food in regard to what you can and cannot eat, along with first aid techniques beyond band-aids and gauze pads.

If you enjoy the outdoors or are considering camping for the first time, you should think about attending a camp that teaches you wilderness survival skills. Not only can these skills make you more prepared for camping and enhance the quality of your trip, they can also save your life in the event of an emergency. Therefore, next time you want to enjoy the outdoors or take your kids camping, think first about the importance of your life and if you want to take a risk that could hinder its quality.

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