Basic Survival Skills You Should Master
It can be very satisfying when you indulge on a camping trip and are surprised at how quickly you can get the fire going and survive at least one night outside. Basic survival skills are a must for anyone, and not just those who enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors. Even if you think you’re a seasoned camper, there are many survival skills you need to know about should emergency situations arise.
Starting a Fire (and Maintaining It)
Fire is imperative for outdoor survival, as it provides both heat and a source for cooking. To plan ahead, always try to pack a lighter and matches with you for any outdoor trip.
To start a fire from scratch, you’ll need to source the driest materials possible, so look for dry branches and dry grass. Create friction to encourage sparks and heat. To maintain your fire, start small and build your fire slowly, being careful not to overdo it.
Cooking on a Fire
If you’re trapped for a longer period of time outdoors, you’re going to need to source food. If you have a weapon packed with you, or if you can fashion one, you can try to find wild game, or else try to catch fish from a source of water.
How to Find and Purify Water
Clean drinking water is an absolute necessity in a survival situation, more so than food. You can survive a lot longer without food than you can without water, so knowing how to source and purify water is a survival must. This can apply to even emergency situations at home, if you’re trapped without water and unable to leave the house.
In regard to sourcing water when outdoors, pay attention to sights and sounds. Listen for sounds of running water, and try to get to a high point to view surroundings. There may even be a water source located on a map. You can purify any found water by boiling it if you can.
There are many great survival articles, equipment and more, including how to purify water, at Ready & Armed.
Building a Shelter
When stuck in the outdoors and battling the elements, shelter is going to make all the difference. You can look for a quick lean-to option by finding a place to build against, such as a wall or tree, and using props and material you already have to use for the structure.
Always try to build your shelter in a place away from other hazards, like open fires, wet or uneven ground and places where the wind can easily catch you.
Being Able to Use a Compass and Map
So much relies on technology these days, especially when it comes to navigation. So what to do if you can’t read a compass or map? Get to grips with a map before you head outdoors, and learn what the points of the compass mean. It’s also a good idea to learn about the positions of the sun (rising in the east and setting in the west) in case you don’t have a compass.
How many of these survival skills do you know? Which do you need to learn? If you feel that you are lacking in certain skills or would like to build your survival practice even more, there’s never a wrong time to learn more.