A lot of things can go wrong when stranded in the wilderness.
Here are five necessary skills to survive if in case of a wilderness emergency.
Best laid plans can go awry in countless ways, especially outside the confines of urban centers.
Towns can be evacuated due to natural disasters, cars can break down at inopportune times, and hiking trips can leave people lost in the middle of nowhere.
If you find yourself lost in the wild for an extended amount of time, learning five key skills can help you survive.
The primary thing to remember is the survival rule of three: You can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in a harsh climate, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
Assuming breathable air is accessible, the first skill is finding shelter.
If a tent or tarp are unavailable, look for natural spots such as caves or hollow tree trunks.
The next option would be to build a lean-to shelter with tree branches and foliage.
If possible try to set up shelter near a water source like a river or stream.
Next, finding and purifying water is a foundational skill.
If you’re near mountains or hills, water might pool in the valleys.
Animals can also help steer you in the right direction; insects tend to nest near water, and birds fly faster toward water than away from it (they’re weighted down after drinking).
If you’re in a rainy area, water pools in large leaves and cup-shaped flowers like tulips.
You can also get potable water with a solar still.
Put a plastic sheet over a container, and put a smaller cup in the middle of it.
Place a weight on the sheet about the cup, then put apparatus under the sun.
Purified water will condense, and run into the cup.
Also, you can melt snow and ice, but don’t drink it cold because it will lower your core temperature.
Next, finding food is the next essential skill.
Edible greens like dandelion, asparagus, sunflower, and leek can be found in the wild.
Nuts and wild onions can be eaten off of trees as well.
Mushrooms, fungi, and berries are also edible, but some are poisonous, so being able to identify the different types is important.
Hunting, trapping, and fishing are also viable options if you have the necessary tools.
Another essential skill is starting a fire.
Starting friction-based fires with wood is possible, but difficult.
You’ll need a tinder made of grass, leaves, and bark.
The wood used to ignite the tinder must be dry.
If you have a lens (such as eyeglasses), you can easily start a fire in an area with direct sunlight.
The final basic skill needed to survive in the wilderness is navigation.
Assuming a compass isn’t on hand, rivers and cleared paths often lead to civilization.
Avoid traveling at night, but learning to read the stars can help you orient yourself.
Use higher ground to get the lay of the land, but civilization and other people will likely be found in valleys.
Obviously, the more equipment you have, the more options are at your disposal.
But if you’re stranded with next to nothing, these five skills will help you stay alive.