Mother Nature can be terrifying.
So many things can go horribly wrong if you’re unprepared in the wild.
But these survival skills will help you avoid death if you’re stranded in the wilderness.
Despite the best efforts of survivalists, circumstances can quickly become dire when you’re out in the wilderness.
Hiking or camping trips can quickly go off the rails if something unexpected happens.
If your car breaks down in an urban center, you might be inconvenienced by the cost of a tow.
However, a broken-down vehicle during a camping trip in the desert could be deadly.
If you get stranded in the wild for an extended duration, here are five skills that will help you stay alive.
First, familiarize yourself with the Survival Rule of Three, which goes as follows: You can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in a harsh climate, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
If you’re in an area where there are forest fires or volcanic eruptions that spit ash into the air, it’s gravely important to get breathable air fast.
Ash and other particulates can get into your lungs and kill you quickly.
If you don’t have masks handy, find shelter as quickly as possible.
If you don’t have a tent or tarp handy, search for natural spots like caves or hollowed-out tree trunks.
If you can’t find natural shelter, you can build a lean-to shelter with branches and foliage.
Optimally, you want your shelter to be near a water source such as a stream or river.
Next, finding potable water is essential.
If you’re around hills or mountains, water might naturally pool in the valleys.
Animals can also help guide you in the right direction.
Insects have a tendency to nest near water, and birds fly faster toward water than away from it because they’re weighted down after drinking.
If you’re in an area with precipitation, drinkable water will pool in cup-shaped floors and large leaves.
You can also get drinkable water with a solar still.
Place a plastic sheet over a container, and put a smaller cup in the middle of it.
Put a weight on the sheet over the cup, then set the still under the sun.
Purified water will condense, and run into the cup.
You can also purify water by heating up rocks in a campfire and using them to boil water.
Melted snow and ice is also drinkable, but make sure not to drink it cold because it will drop your core temperature, which can be deadly in harsh winter climates.
Furthermore, finding food is the next crucial skill.
Edible plants like asparagus, dandelion, leek, and sunflower can be found in the wild.
Wild onions and nuts can also be eaten off trees.
Hunting, trapping, and fishing are also options with the requisite skills.
The most important thing to understand about hunting is to know the behavior of the animals you’re hunting.
Certain animals are indigenous to particular regions, so that will vary based on location.
But understand when the animals hunt, when they sleep, whether or not they travel in packs, and other behavioral patterns.
Another vital skill is being able to start a fire.
Starting friction-based fires with wood is possible, but not easy.
It requires a tinder made of grass, leaves, and bark.
The wood used to ignite the tinder needs to be very dry.
If you have a lens, like eyeglasses, you can start a fire using direct sunlight with relative ease.
The last basic skill needed to last in the wilderness is navigation.
If you don’t have a compass on hand, rivers and cleared paths often lead to civilization.
Learning to read the stars can help you orient you.
Higher ground will aid you in getting the lay of the land, but civilization will almost assuredly be found in valleys.
Equipment is a key component to survival, but having a wide array of skills is far more important.
That’s what will keep you alive when the SHTF.