How to Survive in the Wilderness: Three Essential Tips

Survive in the Wilderness

If you enjoy survival backpacking and living off the land, you’ll need to know a thing or two about staying safe in the wilderness. Today, we’ll be looking at some skills you’ll need to camp in the wild safely with minimal resources.

Read on for more information.

Three Tips for Surviving in the Wilderness

Build an Insulated or Shaded Shelter

An insulated shelter is the best way to protect against hypothermia and the elements.

Ideally, the shelter should be small enough to accommodate your body lying down. However, it shouldn’t be too big; you will use body heat as your primary source of warmth. Try to use available resources in the surrounding area like fallen trees or strong branches to construct the framework, stacking sticks close together to make the sides. Then, cover the sides with natural materials like bark, pine needles, moss, and leaves to provide insulation. Use the same materials to insulate the ground as well.

If you need protection from the sun, your shelter may be quite different. For instance, you should dig a few inches into the soil to find cooler ground, using tree limbs and sticks to create a shelter over the exposed soil. Use bark, leaves, sleeping bag, or similar materials to cover one side and let air flow through the shelter.

Find Clean Water

Clean and uncontaminated water is necessary for your survival. You can find clean water from various sources.

  1. Rain: Collect rain in a container. It will be uncontaminated and safe to drink.
  2. Snow: Melt snow over a fire (more on that in a moment) or wait until the sun melts the snow instead. You can also chop up ice and hang it in a water bag in the sunlight. Use your body heat if there is no sun.

You may also want to dig for water, soak up the dew from plants and grass (using a cloth or piece of clothing, then squeezing into a container), or tie a plastic bag around plants to collect their sweat over time. Remember to boil the water first to kill any harmful bacteria before drinking.

Build and Light a Fire

As well as finding water and building a shelter, you also need to know how to build a fire.

Start by gathering pine needles, milkweed, dry leaves, and dry grass for tinder. Then, find small sticks for kindling. Once you have them, locate bigger pieces of wood that’ll provide more fuel.

Use the large pieces of wood as a wind block, then create a nest using your tinder. The smaller kindling should form a tipi around the nest, allowing oxygen into the fire. Next, use a match or magnesium fire starter to ignite the tinder. Use steady, long breaths to spread the flames properly. Once the kindling catches fire, start adding larger logs to the fire.

Final Thoughts

These are just three ways to help survive in the wilderness. However, there are numerous other things you should learn to increase your chances of getting home safely. For instance, you may want to learn basic first aid and how to tie certain knots. In addition, a working knowledge of which foods are safe to forage would be useful as well. Good luck, explorers!