5 Survival Skills for the Outdoor Enthusiast
The wilderness is beautiful. Something about it attracts us, making us yearn for its presence. Despite modern comforts, many of us, some of us cannot help but feel compelled to seek it out. As refreshing as it may be to get out of society for brief periods of time, it can also be dangerous. If you got lost without supplies, would you know how to survive?
Skill 1: Locate and Purify Water
Survival firstly requires water. Use your senses to find it: Listen for the sound of running water, or study the environment around you. Animals and insects will flock to water, so follow them.
When you have found the water, however, you must purify it to avoid getting sick from the bacteria. The best way to do this is through 20 minutes of boiling.
Skill 2: Starting a Fire
Boiling water will require fire, which will also keep you warm, cook food, and serve as a deterrent from wild animals who may otherwise wish to bother you.
Start by creating your tinder nest with anything that will ignite easily. Dried leaves and grass, bark, or even paper scraps that you may have on hand all work well.
Make a notch into a board to hold your drill, with bark sitting underneath it. Place your spindle in the notch and spin with pressure until friction creates an ember. Gently tap the board until the ember falls onto the bark, which you will place in the tinder and grow into a fire.
Skill 3: Building a Shelter
With water attained and boiled with your fire, it is time to build a shelter. Start with an area that is mostly cleared from obstacles and is relatively flat. Avoid ditches, which will collect rain.
Find a rock or tree to create one wall of your shelter. Gather wood and lean the largest piece against the object to the ground, using smaller pieces to support it. Then, start to fill in the foundation with smaller pieces of wood that will fill in gaps between them. Then, make it waterproof—layer snow or leaves atop the sticks to seal it.
Skill 4: Finding Food
In a pinch when you need food, insects are readily and abundantly available, albeit bland. All you have to do is lift up a rock or log and look underneath. Keep in mind to avoid stinging or biting insects, as well as any that are hairy, colorful, or smell bad. Remove wings and legs and cook before eating to kill parasites.
Skill 5: Navigation
You can still navigate without manmade supplies, using the world around you, such as the sun. In a clear area, place a stick into the ground and place a rock at the tip of the shadow. This represents west. Now, wait 30 minutes and mark the shadow again, marking east.
Stand with the western mark to your left and eastern mark to your right, you will now be facing north.
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