Surviving in the Wilderness

These Survival tips could save your life if you should become lost in unfamiliar territory, either on your own or in a group. Before undertaking any camping expedition take the time to prepare yourself with a basic knowledge of different survival techniques. Pack emergency medical and fire starting equipment and carry them with you at all times.

Positive Mental Attitude

The way that you mentally deal with the situation can greatly determine your survival chances. Draw upon your faith and will to survive.

  • Compassion. Be kind and gentle with group members who have given up hope. Inspire them with a positive attitude and never ridicule them.
  • Panic. If you, or one of the group enters into a state of panic then make sure to STOP!
    • Sit down
    • Think
    • Observe
    • Plan

Panic can cause people to perform in irrational and dangerous ways. Follow the above steps to restore the calm and clear thinking which is essential for survival.

  • Fear. These common survival fears should be confronted and talked about as a group. If you are alone, try to control and rationalize your fears.
    • Death
    • Darkness
    • Loneliness
    • Wild Animals
    • Ridicule
  • Stress. Identify and take action against these common major wilderness stress factors
    • Pain
    • Boredom
    • Terrain
    • Weather
    • Health
    • Sleep Deprivation

 Wilderness First Aid

Before embarking on any camping trip put together and carry at all times a well-equipped first aid kit and learn basic resuscitation and emergency procedures.

In the event of an emergency

    • Keep calm– both you and the patient
    • CPR– If there are no vital signs perform CPR 
    • Bleeding– apply direct pressure and elevate the wounded area.
    • Snake Bites– try to identify the specie, generally snakes with opal eyes are venomous

Shelter

Before setting out, learn how to construct a simple emergency structure that can protect you from the elements and from animals. Make use of

  • Branches
  • Trees
  • Caves
  • Rocks, or whatever you have available.

Fire

Always pack emergency fire lighting equipment, and also learn how to start a fire without these -see “ Need fire? No matches? No problem.”

  • Fire can provide
    • Heat
    • Light
    • Comfort
    • Protection- from animals
    • Cooking method.
    • Smoke- adding damp or green wood to a fire produces smoke which could attract attention from a potential rescuer.

Water

Water is essential to survival. Carry a water recipient at all times and learn where the best places to obtain water are and how to purify it for safe drinking- see “5 ways to make safer drinking water”.

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