Safe Wilderness Travel
Anyone could find themselves in an emergency situation where even the most basic survival knowledge could mean the difference between life and death. A basic understanding of survival techniques should enable anyone to travel through the wilderness with an increased level of confidence and enjoyment.
The best time to practice any wilderness survival skills – starting a fire, shelter building or whatever – is before you need them.
Safety Is Your Responsibility
When going into the wilderness it is your responsibility to have the proper knowledge, experience, and equipment to travel safely. An understanding of the basic concepts of how to survive in the wilderness is important if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation in the wilderness.
The Will to Survive
State of mind is an important factor in survival. Maintain a strong will to survive! From time to time, we hear or read about remarkable wilderness survival stories. A common denominator for most of the survivors in these stories is a strong will to survive.
In a wilderness survival situation you will be confronted with many problems that you need to overcome. There are four basic needs for survival in the wilderness.
Maintaining an ideal body temperature is crucial. Your body operates within a narrow temperature range. In most survival situations, the challenge is to keep you warm, especially at nights.
The human body is 75 per cent water, and you need a constant supply of water to function. The average person can survive for three days without water, but it is best not to wait until you run out of water before you look for more.
As humans we need a certain amount of sleep to remain rational. Without sleep, your mind may hallucinate, making you unable to make conscious decisions to better your situation.
An average adult can survive for weeks without food; therefore, food is rarely a first priority. However, in many survival situations your body burns more calories than normal, requiring you to need extra energy. In addition, food is important for your mental state.
The Basic Rules
Sometimes, when faced with a survival situation, stress can impact the mind and affect decision making. Survival depends on your ability to withstand stress and to take appropriate actions.
Just think STOP:
Sit down and stay put until the fear, anger, and or frustration has gone from the system.
Think through your situation. What do you have that can help you in this situation? Your mind is your greatest survival tool!
Observe your surroundings. Where should you stay? If you told someone where you were going, people may be searching for you. Is there an open area where the searchers would have a better chance of seeing you?
Plan your action. In most cases, the priority should be:
- Find or make a shelter against the weather.
- Build a fire for heat.
- Signal to attract attention.
- Find water.
The Next Step
If after several days of waiting no one comes to your rescue, you may decide that no one is looking for you. In this case, you must attempt to find your own way to safety. Also, of course, this is what you have to do if you know from the beginning that no one will be looking for you.
7 Basic Wilderness Survival Skills
To learn how to survive in the wilderness, it is necessary to develop certain skills. There are at least 7 basic wilderness skills:
- Building a shelter.
- Making a fire.
- Finding water.
- Finding food in the wild.
- Signalling for help.
- Basic wilderness first aid.
Wilderness Survival Training
Practice these skills, because just reading is not enough. When going into the wilderness, it is your responsibility to have the proper knowledge and skills. RAEMS offers an Introduction to Wilderness Survival, and a Wilderness Survival Techniques class for interested groups of six or more, and also will be scheduling general public sessions throughout the year.
Please feel free to contact us for further information.