How To Survive In The Wilderness
There may come a time when you will have to know how to survive in the wilderness. Whether the mitigating circumstance is a “Red Dawn” invasion moment, a natural catastrophe, or a particularly bad divorce, knowing how to survive in the wilderness can prove to be a valuable attribute.
Surviving in the wilderness is ingrained in our DNA, dating back to pre-insurance caveman days. Our ancestors survived in the wilderness living in caves and feasting on wild mastodon rotisseries.
Modern-day wilderness survivalists can learn a thing or two from our grunt-lingual pioneers of the wilderness. Follow a few basic guidelines and surviving in the wilderness will be second nature.
1. You need shelter. Who doesn’t like a “roof” over their head? Weather patterns and climate variations dictate finding a “pad” to call home and serve as a protection from the elements. Caves are solid (and apparently historically popular) but fairly hard to come by. An evergreen lean-to is a good temporary solution, but only until more comfy digs can be arranged. Depending upon your degree of planning, (if surviving in the wilderness was an optional decision) you might be lucky enough to possess a chainsaw or axe, in which case you could make a pretty sweet cabin. More than likely, in instances in which you just find yourself lost because you can’t read a compass, or you’re the fortunate survivor of a small-engine plane crash well off course from your filed flight plan, you’re going to have to make do with whatever is available. Rocky overhangs, felled piles of timber, a scooped out igloo in knee-deep snow, a deluxe Swiss Family Robinson tree-house complete with running water and a multi-level layout complete with skylights and running water are all viable shelter options. If you’re going to survive in the wilderness, you need to be able to adapt to your surroundings at any given moment. And you need shelter from the elements, whatever they may be.
2. You need fire. This should probably be number one on the priority list as the human race started populating faster than rabbits after this slick invention. From the very first spark of dancing flame, our kind has been plopping down an animal skin rug in front of the embers and ensuring our continued existence after a fresh crispy-skinned evening meal. Whether you are surviving in the wilderness because of some un-medicated illness, unfortunate circumstance, or life-changing epiphany, you’re going to need fire.
Assuming there’s not a butane factory nearby than can ship overnight delivery, practice the art of combustion via friction. Remember Tom Hanks’ character in “Castaway”? Fire pretty much made the difference. Don’t worry if you don’t have a wayward pair of figure skates at your disposal. That particular situation isn’t really going to be the norm in a wilderness survival situation. Find some easily flammable material and heat it up. If you’re blessed with thick spectacles, you’ve easily got this. If not, start scraping away at the wood. We’re lucky in that we no longer have to “stumble upon” fire in our modern world. We already know about it and that there are multiple ways to bring it to life.
3. Kill stuff. Barring a complete nuclear holocaust (in which case you’re probably not going to be alive) there’s ample things moving around in your chosen wilderness area that are capable of being killed and eaten. (Quick note: besides the entertainment and warming value of the fire you’ve just created, instinct also tells us that char-broiled field mice taste more like chicken than just gnawing off its raw flesh.) Vegetarians and whatever may remain of PETA during a wilderness survival situation may vehemently disagree. But suppose you’re lucky enough to be surviving in a climate that will produce a hearty tomato bush once a year. You’ll still be forced to kill a few vegetables (technically fruits) to be able to eat. As essential as breathing air, we need food.
Surviving in the wilderness may not be as simple as building a house, filling it with ambiance, and feasting on rodents. But, you never know when knowing how to survive in the wilderness may come in handy.