Not everyone needs to be a survival expert, but every person should at least learn a handful of basic survival skills.
There are some things in life that everyone just needs to know; from things as simple as changing a flat tire to things a little more complicated such as managing finances.
Well, learning basic wilderness survival skills is just one of those basic life skills that every person would be wise to learn, and for more reasons than one.
In fact, there are several survival skills that you would be wise to learn about, including the ones that we are about to cover here today.
Here are the top survival skills that every person should master:
FINDING CLEAN WATER
Knowing how to find water to drink and for personal hygiene purposes in the wilderness is absolutely crucial for hopefully obvious reasons.
The good news is that finding water may not be as difficult as you first suspect. For example, if you dig far enough into the ground (especially in a moist area) you should find water that you can then filter before drinking.
Alternatively, if you always keep heading downhill deep into valleys, you should find a running stream of water such as a creek. You can also attach socks or bandanas around your ankles and walk around a field with the morning dew too.
CREATE CLEAN WATER
Besides finding clean water to drink, you should also learn how to generate it in other ways. And yes, you read that right.
For example, if you have a plastic bag or sheet of some kind, you can collect water using transpiration. Either wrap the bag around some green vegetation and come back to it twenty-four hours later; or dig a hole, cover it with the sheeting, and then weigh it down with a rock in the middle of it to allow water to drip into your tarp.
LOCATE A GOOD CAMPSITE
Not all outside locations are a good place to set up camp for the night. Here’s a good rule to follow: be high and dry. On a hill, or at least on the side of a hill, will always be better than downhill to reduce the risk of flooding.
You also want to stay dry, so choose a place that has plenty of trees and branches for cover.
A shelter is not designed only to keep you warm as some people think. But it is designed to help shield you from the elements, such as wind and rain. The best shelters, therefore, are sturdy and well insulated.
At the very least, you should know how to build a simple lean-to shelter. Lean multiple poles against a horizontal pole between two trees, make bedding out of leaves to keep you well insulated from the ground, and then stick more leaves in the holes in your shelter as well. Moss is also good for insulation too.
START A FIRE WITHOUT FIRE STARTING MATERIALS
This is a skill that is admittedly more difficult to learn, but one that you should. For example, you can connect the negative and positive terminals of a battery with steel wool or a gum wrapper to create a fire.
You can also polish the bottom of a soda or beer can with chocolate and then hold it up against the sun to reflect the sunlight down onto your kindling.
Navigation is easily one of the most overlooked survival skills out there. Remember that the whole point of wilderness survival is to avoid living out in the wilderness. Rather, it’s to stay alive while you seek to get out as fast as you possibly can.
One of the best navigational tips is to always head downhill until you find a stream, and then to follow that stream until it leads to a river, and then follow that river until you find civilization. It may take a while for you to find civilization this way, but eventually, you will.
CREATING A SIGNAL
If you’re not able to move due to an injury, creating a signal to bring help to you would be the only thing you could do to stay alive.
The easiest kind of signal to make is this: create a fire and then throw green vegetation over it for fuel. This will create thick and white smoke that is very visible and sure to gain attention.