Wilderness survival tips
Aug 8, 2012, 9:51 a.m.
Even in "civilized" areas, you can find yourself suddenly lost, or for any number of reasons stuck in that remote wilderness for longer than you planned. If you are caught in such a situation, it is reasonably wise to prepare in advance by studying up on some basic survival tips for the wilderness.
Once you are close to or at the age of retirement, you may still have a yen for adventure and travel. This may be as near as the closest State Park or to distant parts of the uninhabited world that still exist. It would seem obvious that if your destination is exotic or remote, you would already know many tips for getting along safely in the wilderness. However, many older adults just want to enjoy some alone time or time with a partner or friend in a nice, convenient area like a National or State Park.
You may have fully stocked disaster survival kits at home and smaller packs for day hiking or camping. The home disaster survival kit is important. Just one look at the news of recent months shows how an unexpected storm disaster, fire or flooding can impact whole neighborhoods. People have mere minutes to decide what to take and get out of their homes to another safer location.
For campers, it is definitely wise to take along a smaller version of an emergency kit. First aid kits are only the beginning. You may need the bandages, lotions and supplies in a small first aid kit, but you also may need bigger tools, such as a knife, saw or signal light or mirror. Here are some basic tips about how you should prepare before you go into the wilderness areas.
Things You Need
- A compass
- A light or mirror for signaling
- Matches or a lighter
- Cell phone
- Batteries (keep in zipped baggie)
- Food -- some basic snacks
- Water -- never go in the wild without bottled water
- Emergency guidebook -- can really help you
- Portable radio
- Knife and perhaps a small folding saw. The Swiss Army knives have many tools in one piece.
Things to Remember
- Stay calm -- Don't Panic. If you get lost, off the trail or are caught in a wilderness area away from the rest of your party, take a moment and a big breath to gather your senses.
- Listen for clues -- Do you hear anyone nearby or sounds that might indicate a highway, river or living area?
- Look around where you are. Make a map in a small notebook that you have in your emergency kit. Look for landmarks.
- Stay put and see if someone will come searching for you. If you move around, it makes it harder to find you. If you are out in the winter, find a clear area where you can trample out an S.O.S. in the snow. Build a signal fire with the matches you have with you.
- Find shelter. This is very important. You need shelter from wind, rain, snow and animals.
- Find food. Many items in the wild are edible; do not eat anything you do not know for sure is edible.
Being prepared before you venture out into the wilderness is essential. Keep a kit in your car. If you get stranded, stay by the vehicle; it is more likely to be located. If you need to, you can use parts of the car as needed. For example, cut up the seat covers for a warm blanket or to wrap your feet in cold weather. Parts can be replaced; you cannot. Enjoy your outdoors adventure; but be prepared to survive.
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