Whatever dire situation you find yourself in, there’s always a way out as long as you know some survival skills. Whether you’re lost in the forest, stranded in the desert, floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean, or the dead have risen and walked the earth, improve your chances with these five basic survival skills.
Building a fire
There are many reasons why building a fire should be at the top of your list of survival skills to learn right now. Fire provides light, keeps you warm, and prevents you from freezing to death. It’s used to cook food and purify water. Fire can also signal rescuers, keep wild animals at bay, and inspire you to tell scary stories to young campers. You also need fire to do a Merle Dixon and cauterize a stump.
Always have matches, lighters, or any kind of fire starter with you. If you don’t have them, there’s still a glitter of hope.
You need something to burn. Gather firewood, including tinder and kindling, enough to last you the night. Then go back out and gather the same amount. Seasoned survivalists know this is one thing where going back for seconds is okay.
Find and clear a dry spot around 6 feet away from trees, plants, and your shelter. Create a circle around the spot using big rocks. Place the tinder inside the circle then put the kindling on top in a crisscross pattern. Finish off with the fuelwood. Next, create a tepee-like structure with more kindling.
If you don’t have matches or lighters, spark a fire using a flint and steel. A magnifying glass or a pair of glasses can be used to create fire using the sun. The hand drill is another fire-starting method and perhaps one of the oldest survival skills around.
Building A Shelter
You need shelter to protect you from rain, snow, and wind. Build a temporary shelter using tree branches. A hatchet would come in handy when you need to cut down trees and vines.
A lean-to shelter is done by simply leaning branches on a wall, huge boulder, or fallen tree. A round lodge is a tepee-like shelter made by leaning the branches against each other. Make a bed out of leaves and dried grass if you don’t have a sleeping bag or a thermal blanket.
Finding and Purifying Water
Finding water and purifying it are two of the most important survival skills. Simply put, we can’t survive long without clean water. If you have water with you, ration it. Assume that it’ll take time before you’re rescued or you find help.
There are different ways of finding water aside from scavenging or raiding abandoned homes. In hilly terrain, water gathers where the hills meet. Stay still and listen to the sound of flowing water. Follow that sound.
Be wary of your surroundings. The presence of animals and insects means a water source is nearby. Check leaves for water droplets, especially in the early morning. When there’s no other choice, dig out the damp soil until you find groundwater. Purify it to kill bacteria, germs, and parasites.
It would be ideal to have water purifying tablets with you but if you don’t, there are ways to make dirty water ideal for consumption.
Use a piece of cloth to strain the water and remove large particles. Boil it after.
When it rains, collect as much water as you can using wide-mouthed containers and trenches dug out and covered with a thermal blanket, garbage bags, or other waterproof materials.
Basic First Aid Survival Skills
Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or not, applying first aid must be one of the basic survival skills you should be familiar with.
Don’t expect help to come immediately when you’re stranded or caught in the middle of a disaster. If you or someone with you is hurt, you should know how to treat any injuries.
Familiarize yourself with medicinal herbs as they can help alleviate pain, infection, and other symptoms while you wait for help.
With all the evil going on in the world today, it’s wise to include self-defense as one of the survival skills you should learn immediately. This includes guns and knives. There are classes that teach martial arts and you can also get firearms and bladed weapons training.
While it’s cool to be like Deadpool and have two katanas strapped to your back, chances are you won’t have such weapons while you’re out hiking, on a road trip, or when a meteor strikes the planet.
Go for something simpler — like a folding knife.
These five survival skills are not enough but will definitely help you live another day. You also need to learn survival skills such as fishing, hunting, foraging, and sending signals, among others. Also, you need to be prepared for anything, which makes a survival kit a logical thing to have.
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