Taking a journey to the Great Outdoors is all about fun. Whether your idea of fun involves relaxing and enjoying Nature’s sights and sounds, or if you prefer difficult hikes through treacherous trails, the Great outdoors have you covered. But there are considerations to take into account when you’re out there. Namely, the fact that you’re in the wild, and that means wild things can happen. But when the wilderness goes down, all is not lost. At least, not if you know how to survive. And that’s what we’re talking about today; check out our guide to the five crazy things that can happen in the Great Outdoors, and how to survive them.
1. Insect Stings: Bees, wasps, and hornets may not equal bears and cougars in terms of menace and size, but they can be perhaps just as deadly. After all, it’s easy to see a bear coming, but bees are clandestine; buzzing in quietly to deliver their payload. Anyone with an allergic reaction is in trouble, because anaphylactic shock is no joke. It is, in fact, terrifying. So what do you do? Well, you travel prepared. Stay in a group, or pairs at least, and come armed with Epipens, the life-saving shot which can work to counter the insect’s venom. Remember in the Great Outdoors especially, an ounce of prevention is work a pound of cure.
2. Animal Attacks: When you’re on Mother Nature’s turf, you have to deal with her tenants. That means everything from little squirrels to the mightiest grizzly bears could cross your path. The squirrels may not be too bad, but grizzlies, mountain lions, and even fishercats can be deadly trouble. So what to do? Well, that depends on the animal in question. In general, fighting back and being as loud as possible is the best discouragement. Animals who are hunting for food often choose prey that isn’t particularly feisty. But a bear defending her cubs will fight you regardless. In that case, playing dead may be your best tactic. If you’re not a threat, she’ll move on. Playing dead against a cougar isn’t going to work though. Fight that cat! Better yet, keep some animal mace with you. That stuff is concentrated and incapacitating.
3. Natural Disaster: Perhaps the very definition of “wild,” natural disasters can strike without warning. And your response to each will depend largely on geography and the type of disaster you’re facing. If an earthquake were to strike, moving to an open field devoid of trees and falling rocks is your best bet. In a lightning storm, you want to do the opposite, stay low and hidden. Hurricane or flash flood? Head for high ground, avoid falling trees, and hunker down. And in heavy rains, watch for mudslides. Of course, in case of forest fire, get out as fast as possible. There’s no defense for that.
4. Serious Injury: As wonderful as the Great Outdoors are, trouble still abounds. Uneven terrain and hidden obstacles, not to mention the occasional ravine can lead to some nasty, even life-threatening injuries. How can you survive? First aid. A well-prepared kit and the knowledge to put it to use can turn a grievous injury into a painful inconvenience. Be sure to have large bandages, antiseptics, tourniquets, and even crutches available!
5. Getting Lost: It happens to even the best outdoorsman. You walk around, moving effortlessly through the brush and over hills, being sure to remember your way back. But then you realize that everything is looking very similar, it’s almost dark, and you don’t know where you are anymore. But you can survive. Bring a compass, be aware of your direction of travel, and bring a map, if possible. But even without a map, the compass can save your bacon. And always have plenty of water. You can make it without food for a bit, but without water, you’re in trouble.