Experienced outdoorsmen and unskilled novices must know how to survive in a difficult situation. Essential survival skills are helpful whether you’re planning for a camping trip or preparing for an emergency. Here are a few of the critical survival skills you should learn before your next adventure.
Building a Fire From Scratch
The first thing everyone should know is how to build a fire. Starting a fire is one of the most frustrating and challenging things about camping, but it is vital to survival, especially if temperatures are low. You’ll want to find dry twigs and sticks to set up some kindling. Start small, then work your way up to larger branches and logs. Friction is the key to starting a fire, so find any tools you can. When packing, you should bring a lighter or fire starter kit to minimize your difficulty.
Purifying Any Water You Find
Water is critical to human survival. Without it, we don’t last very long, so one of the first survival tactics you’ll need to develop is water purification. There are many methods you can use, depending on the resources at your disposal. If you can, bring a filtration straw or bottle, so you can sidestep a long process. Otherwise, you must resort to boiling and sand-filtration techniques.
Navigating New Terrain When Lost
Getting lost is a very real threat in the wild. If you venture off-trail or have no way back home, you must know how to navigate unfamiliar terrain. Be sure to learn the basics of compass reading and celestial navigation. Use the sun and stars to find your way to higher ground. If all else fails, follow the sound of water, and this will hopefully lead you to civilization.
Accessing Locked Places in an Emergency
In an emergency—camping or otherwise—survival instincts kick in. You may need to utilize a few tactical skills to save someone’s life. If you experience an emergency and cannot break through an AED machine box or a padlocked outhouse, you should learn how to access locked places. Find a set of lockpicking tools for all emergency situations.
Once you know each of these survival skills you should learn, you can weather any storm. With the right tools, experience, and guidance, nothing can keep you from a fun, safe, and exciting time outdoors.