There are many survival techniques, but there are five essential survival skills that every outdoor enthusiast should know and fully appreciate. This is a summary of the essential items and requirements for each category. Your brain is the most crucial element of survival. Do not panic, practice the five critical survival skills, and DO NOT PANIC.

Essential Survival Skill 1 – Fire

Fire is an essential survival technique! Fire is a great survival tool. It can purify water and cook food. Fire can help keep predators away and be a friend and companion. It is an essential survival tool. Every person who ventures out into the wild should always have at least two fire-starting methods with them—one on their person and one with their gear. One large fire will not provide enough heat, so it is better to have several small fires. Gather as much as possible if you are still determining how much firewood you will use. You can save fuel by creating a star fire. The fire is lit at the point where large logs intersect the fire. Push inward when more power is required. To reflect heat from the survival fire, place a space blanket between your shelter’s back and the shelter’s back. You can learn how to make fire confidently by watching our Fire Mastery video course and Ignite eBooks.

Essential Survival Skill 2 – Shelter

The shelter is a survival strategy that protects your body from excessive exposure to the sun, wind, rain, snow, and cold. Anything that lowers or raises your body temperature is a threat. The first line of protection is clothing. Make sure you have the right clothes to suit the environment. Always wear a hat. Keep the layer closest to you dry as much as possible. Layers trap air and keep you warmer than one heavy garment. If you don’t have one, save energy by building one. If you cannot find your campsite, practice making a lean-to shelter. Be sure to create one before you can build one. You can use a space blanket to prevent dampness and insulate your ceiling. You can also wrap yourself in a squatting or sitting position to increase your core heat. This article by Laura Gunion, a former Immersion instructor, explains how to create a survival shelter.

Essential Survival Skill 3 – Signaling

Signaling is a unique survival technique that allows you to signal any rescuers you need. You can find help using fire, flashing lights, bright color markers, and flags. Flags, mirrors, and whistles. A triangular-shaped signal is a known distress signal. To prevent your surroundings from being ignited, bank your signal fires. Only use regular signal mirrors if you can see people or a plane in the distance. To attract attention from others in the vicinity, use an emergency strobe lamp at night. Light a smoky flame with organic material to draw attention and place it over the fire at night. In an open field, lay out ground messages for air signals. You can use rocks, logs, or colored clothes to see what is behind the background. Most search and rescue teams’ primary method of sighting is by aircraft.

Essential Survival Skill 4 – Food & Water

Water and food are essential for your survival. Don’t ration your water intake, but your sweat. Water is necessary for your body to function. You can survive up to three days without it. Do not eat plants that you don’t know. Never drink urine. Always assume you will need more food and water when planning your trip. Always have some candy and energy bars in your bag, just in case. Boil water for 10 minutes, plus 1 minute for every 1000 feet above sea level. To remove large particles, strain the water through a handkerchief. Drink only during the incredible hours of the evening. Please don’t wait until you run out of water before you get it. Use poly zip bags to store and collect water. It would be best if you never ate wild berries you don’t know the name of. By putting rainwater on your space blanket, you can capture it. 

Essential Survival Skills 5: First Aid

First aid is more than just a survival technique. It is also the primary way you will survive. Do not panic. Stay calm and take care of yourself. STOP is Sit, Think, and Observe. This is the smartest thing you can do if you find yourself lost or stranded. It is essential to maintain your brain functioning rationally. This is the first aid for survival. Please make a list of your medical needs and keep it with you. You will only need to dress for minor cuts and bruises. Personal medication is not required in most survival situations. Make sure you know what you have and how to use it. Don’t overpack. Only take what you need. Insulate yourself with a space blanket to prevent hypothermia. To help you remember the reasons to be calm and to survive, focus on being found.

Want to learn more? Wilderness Awareness School offers many weekend workshops that are focused on survival. They offer Wilderness Survival Basics, provided in both the spring and fall of each year. For nine months of transformational learning, The Immersion in Wilderness Awareness School is for you.

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