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Top 10 Skills You Need To Survive In the Wild

Hiking out into the wild and getting away from the emails, phone calls and text messages of today's society is a great way to relax and recharge. It's also an ideal way for families to spend time together without all of the distractions that everyday life constantly throws your way, while learning about the plants and animals that make up our countryside. However, wandering out in the woods--out of cell phone range--can be dangerous as well, especially if you should get lost. It's important to have a few survival and preparedness skills at your disposal before you venture out into the wilderness.

10 Most Important Survival Skills

1. Planning skills. Just wandering off in the woods may sound romantic, but in reality, it's a recipe for disaster.  Knowing where you are going, even without a GPS device or cell phone, is essential to a safe hike in the wilderness. It's also a good idea to leave your planned itinerary with someone back home and let them know when to expect you to return. Spontaneity has no place in survival training; good planning is a much better skill.

2.   Secure your possessions. Whether it’s security from animals, weather, or other human beings, it’s important to secure your belongings. Never leave anything you own unattended for a period of time. In the wild, you have to anticipate anything. A wind storm could blow away your possessions in the blink of an eye or a bear could get into your food supply for the week. Take precaution at all times. Your supplies are what you need to survive and they absolutely cannot become compromised.

3.   Shelter making. You can live for almost a month without food. You can live for days in the wild without water. But, in harsh weather conditions, a matter of hours without a proper shelter can spell disaster! It's essential to know how to find and/or build a shelter quickly and efficiently if you find yourself stranded in the wilderness.

4.  Foraging for safe food. A knowledge of nature and what plants, animals and insects are edible is another important survival skill. Some plants, like oleander and some types of mushrooms, may look attractive but can actually be deadly. Other plants may have edible fruit, but toxic leaves. Anyone serious about preparedness needs to study the natural food sources in their region.

5. Purifying water. Standard survival procedure says to assume that all water you find in the wild is contaminated. New hiking gear like pocket purifying pens make cleansing drinking water easy, but it's wise to know how to filter and boil your drinking water without such a device, just in case you lose it or forget to bring it with you. Remember, redundancy is your friend!

6. Finding water. Speaking of water: would you know how to find water if you were lost in the woods? Not every hike has a convenient lake or stream nearby. Would you know to look for condensation and dew on plants in the morning or find water that has pooled in concave rocks?

7. First aid. In most cases, if we get a “boo-boo”, we simply slap a Band-Aid on it and head off about our business. This works in the city, where soap and sanitizers are readily available, but in the wilderness, even a small cut can be life threatening if infection sets in. Knowing basic first aid skills can literally be the difference between life and death.


8. Navigation and compass skills. No one should venture into the woods without a compass. Even the most carefully planned hike can go awry in stormy weather or a dark forest. And, you shouldn't count on being able to get mobile phone reception. Most wilderness areas are out-of-reach of cell phone towers. In addition to knowing how to use a compass, it's wise to learn how to navigate using the sun, moon and stars.

9. Fire making. You can't always depend on having dry matches or a cigarette lighter handy. Knowing how to make a fire without matches or a lighter can help you boil water, keep you warm and cook your food. Depending on your location and situation, a simple fire could save your life, so make sure you know how to get one started when you need it.

10. Thinking clearly. Perhaps the most important survival skill of all is being able to keep a clear head in an emergency situation. Staying calm, even if you are lost in the woods, dramatically increases your odds of making it back home safely.

About the Author
At Survival Life our mission is to provide a vast array of knowledge, tactics, and skills in the survival and preparedness fields, to any and all who wish to become more prepared for whatever may come. We will take a logical and no nonsense approach to survival without bias in hopes of dispelling the myth that anyone who prepares themselves is crazy or paranoid. Click
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