Outdoor Survival - What it Takes
By Steven Gillman
Many think that outdoor
survival is all about skills and knowledge. Some understand that the
will to survive is just as crucial. But having the right priorities
is also an important element. Here they are, in the order of
1. Get Your Attitude Right
Read many stories of outdoor survival, and you'll
quickly notice that many people are alive who should have died.
Maybe after a plane crash they wander into the wilderness where they
can't be easily found by searchers, or they almost freeze to death
even though there are plants that could be used to keep them warm.
Why do they survive? Their will to survive.
It's a great start, responsible for survival in
the most terrible situations. But another part of proper attitude is
the real belief that survival is possible and likely. You can create
this by thinking of your favorite stories of survival against
impossible odds, and by focusing always on the things you can do.
Don't ignore a problem, but don't think about it for a minute
without also deciding what you can do to solve it.
2. Stay Warm Or Cool
Hypothermia is the primary killer in outdoor
survival situations. It is simply the lowering of your core body
temperature. Stay warm. This means staying dry, having enough
insulation, and staying out of the wind if you can. You might sleep
during the day and travel in the cold of the night in some
environments, and thus stay warmer. Stuff dried grass between layers
of clothing for more insulation. Make a fire when possible.
Hot environments can kill as well. In that case,
you might want to travel at night or early in the morning, and sleep
in the shade during the heat of the day. Fashion an umbrella of any
materials available, to shade yourself while walking. If water isn't
drinkable, it can still be used to cool you. Soak your clothing in
it - wet handkerchief around your neck will cool down quite a bit.
3. Stay Hydrated
Water is almost always a higher priority than
food. A few days without water in a survival situation and you may
be dead. You should immediately locate a water supply, and find a
way to purify the water. Reduce your need as well. Stay in the shade
more, breath through your nose instead of your mouth, and if water
is really short, use it only for drinking, not washing yourself.
4. Avoid Injury
You may like the "Man Against Wild" television
program. I even learn something from it now and then. However, the
host likes to show off his skills and daring more than his thinking.
Enjoy the show, but when you are in a survival situation, don't jump
off a cliff into water or climb down a water fall to save a bit of
bush-whacking (he did both in recent episodes). Just avoid
obstacles, move slower on dangerous terrain, and generally try your
best to avoid injuries.
5. Be Found
In most outdoor survival situations your goal will
be to be found. If you think people are looking for you, stay where
you are, and have a signal fire ready to light, to help searchers
locate you once they are near. If you have to try to get out on your
own (perhaps nobody knows where you are), leave a note specifying
your plans. Then mark your trail as you travel.
6. Find Food
From physiological perspective, food is a low
priority in most survival situations. Most of those lost in the
wilderness, whether hikers, boaters or plane wreck survivors, are
rescued or dead from other causes long before starvation is a
problem. But having something to eat can help you maintain strength,
warmth, and a sense of comfort, so once the other priorities are
addressed, it's time to think about food.
Food can be rationed severely when necessary,
unlike water (many have died of dehydration with water still in
their canteens). Of course, you can also look for more food. Mammals
and birds are almost all edible if you have the means to cook them.
You may also want to learn to identify a few wild edible plants if
you think you could someday be in an outdoor survival situation.
Copyright Steve Gillman. To get the ebook "Ultralight Backpacking
Secrets (And Wilderness Survival Tips)" for FREE, as well as photos,
gear recommendations, and a new wilderness survival section, visit:
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Gillman
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