Living through this pandemic has shown many of us that we want to be able to take care of ourselves in a crisis. Being familiar with the basics of survival is not only handy in an emergency situation, but also boosts your confidence. Here are a few basic survival skills you can practice this summer, while on a hike, camping trip, or just in your backyard.
Your ability to build a fire is the first step in survival. Fires not only provide heat and warmth, but also provide a means for cooking food, and ward off wild animals.
Being this valuable to survival, you should know at least three ways to start a fire. Make it a goal to be able to consistently start fires in various conditions. You should practice creating fire by using both modern and primitive methods- you don’t want to always rely on fire starters.
Water and Food Gathering
Practice how to locate a stream and extract water from plants. It’s also crucial to know how to purify water either by boiling or by using purifying tools and tablets. Start by familiarizing yourself with the available streams and water sources near your favorite trails.
Aside from water, you should also learn how to forage and gather. Take time to familiarize yourself with edible plants and how to tell what is edible apart from what is poisonous.
Bushcraft and Woodworking
These skills range from building basic shelter from materials available in the forest to using an ax to split wood. It’s also important to learn how to craft tools out of sticks and stones since a crisis can leave you without basic utensils like spoons and cups.
According to studies, aside from exposure and food poisoning, many are seriously hurt or die from infection and excessive bleeding while on excursions. First aid skills are a no-brainer. Since accredited training classes with the Red Cross or other organizations might be limited at this time, search for online courses and resources.
Question: If you don’t have Google Maps or a GPS, would you know your way around?
We’re not dismissing the fact that these tools are great for staying on track. However, you can’t count on them all the time (read: dead batteries, no signal, no internet), especially when in the backcountry. Practice navigation with just a map and compass, then move on to compass only. If you’re really feeling it, you can learn to navigate by the sun and stars, which is incredibly challenging but a great way to pass the summer :)
What do you do to enrich your survival skills? Share with us in the comment section below.