A Few Survival Tips

Hey, guys…it’s Heath today.  Cindy went to visit a friend for the day and I’m stuck in the house waiting on the carpet cleaners to get here.  After years of tracking in dirt from the outdoors, we decided to invest some money into getting the floors cleaned.  I’m sure the clean floors won’t last for long, but at least they’ll make Cindy happy for a couple of days.  🙂

Back to the blog on hand…I want to talk a little bit about some survival tips everyone should know in case you veer off trail and get lost out in the woods.  You’re probably thinking that would never happen to you, but it can happen to even the most experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.  It’s better to be safe than sorry, isn’t it?

Tip #1:  Always carry a compass, a knife, and some food on your person.  Yeah, it’s easier to keep it all stashed in your pack, but what if you’re rummaging through your pack when a boulder comes falling down from the side of the mountain, you jump to get out of the way, and it knocks your pack off the side?  Wouldn’t you rather have these 3 necessities in your pocket, even if you decide to hike down to find your pack?  I would!

Tip #2:  If you do get lost, stay where you are instead of moving around!  Your mental condition is probably not the best if you’re lost, and you could spend days walking in circles, getting yourself even more lost because you can’t focus on landmarks or the direction you’re going in.  Search and rescue crews always talk about how difficult it is to find someone lost in the wilderness because they keep moving around, usually one or two steps in front of the people searching for them.  You also don’t want to use up all of your energy, which is what will happen if you are frantically wandering around trying to find your way.

Tip #3:  If you find yourself lost in the wilderness, it is very important to locate a water source that you can drink from.  You should definitely carry drinking water with you whenever you go hiking or camping, but accidents happen, so you should be aware of how to find water if necessary.  Stand still for at least 5 minutes and listen for running water from a river or stream.  These are the safest places to drink water from because the water moves constantly, preventing algae and bacteria from settling in.  Look for several sets of animal tracks together.  This usually means the animals are converging at a watering hole which would be very close by the tracks.  Pay attention to the presence of insects.  Because a lot of insects lay their larvae in pools of water, if you notice an increased amount of insects, you are probably very close to a water source.

Tip #4:  Learn how to build and start a fire.  It’s important, especially in the cold winter months, to know how to generate heat if you get lost in the woods.  I would focus on learning a method that does not use any man-made tools because you never know if you’ll actually have them on hand when you truly need them.  There are plenty of ways to learn more about building fires, just search online.

Alright the carpet cleaners just got here and I need to take the dogs out of the house while they’re working, so I’m going to end this for now.  I just want newer outdoor enthusiasts who are reading this to realize that no one is invincible and that it is best to always be prepared for any type of situation. 

Get outdoors and enjoy!

Heath