Survival Tips for Backpackers
By Steven Gillman
Why survival tips for
backpackers? Certainly backpacking may never become a matter of
wilderness survival for you, especially if you are careful in your
planning. Still, getting lost or twisting an ankle far from any road
is always a possibility. In any case, learning a few new things from
time to time is a great way to make your trips safer and more
interesting. With that in mind, here are a few random survival
tricks and skills based on my own experience.
A Few Survival Tips To Remember
You can make snow-block shelters without tools
when the conditions are right. I have made trench-shelters of 2 x 3
foot snow-blocks with no tools. I stomped rectangles in the
heavily-crusted snow and lifted up the resulting blocks. Stacking
them on either side of a trench in the snow, and then across the top
for a roof, I was able to make a shelter in twenty minutes.
Syrup is made in late winter and early spring from
both maple and birch trees, but it is too much effort to in a
wilderness survival situation. However, you can get a couple hundred
calories per day by just drinking maple or birch sap. Collecting it
can be as easy as snapping off the ends of twigs and putting
something underneath to catch the dripping sap. I've collected a
quart per day for several days from one cut branch.
How about a survival tip that makes for a
delicious meal? Crayfish turn red just like a lobster when they are
boiled, and you get a little chunk of meat from the tail of each.
Lifting rocks to find them is much more efficient than baiting them.
They swim backwards, so reach from behind them to catch them.
Porcupine can be killed with a stick. They will
not die easy, but they are slow, so you'll have plenty of time.
Dress them from their underside, where there are no quills. They
taste good when roasted over a fire. The mountain man tradition was
to never kill them unless it was an emergency, because as long as
they're around, there is easy food for survival situations.
For quick ropes and lashings in the desert, peel
yucca leaves into strips and braid them together, overlapping the
ends. It took thirty minutes for me to make a rope like this that
four of us couldn't break (two on each end).
I have cooked in containers made of birch bark.
There are two methods. One is to drop fire-heated rocks into the
liquid to bring it to a boil. The other is to use the pot directly
over the flame. If the flame doesn't go above the level of the
liquid, the pot birch bark pot won't burn, because the heat is
conducted away quickly by the liquid inside.
Just stuffing your light jacket full of dried
grass can effectively make it into a winter coat. It is even better
(less itchy) if you have another jacket (like your raincoat), so you
can put the grass or leaves between the two. Usually it will be more
efficient to look for ways to modify what you already have than to
try to make survival clothing.
There are hundreds of little tricks that can make
wilderness travel interesting and safer. Even if you aren't
interested in practicing survival techniques, why not at least read
a few survival tips now and then. Someday you may remember something
that can save your life.
Steve Gillman is a long-time advocate of lightweight backpacking.
For more survival tips, photos, gear recommendations and new
Wilderness Survival Guide, visit http://www.The-Ultralight-Site.com/wilderness-survival-guide.html
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Gillman
Like this article? You may also enjoy:
Ultralight Backpacking by Steve Gillman,
Breakfast Recipes by