4 Essential Skills for Surviving Outdoors

man in the wilderness

Have you ever found yourself in a real-life survival scenario? If so, you know that relying on your phone to get home safely isn’t always an option.

In these situations, the number one thing to do is adopt the right mentality. Being in decent shape and having useful gear helps, but your mental state is the key factor. If you have the attitude of a quitter, difficult decisions will take a toll on you.

Of course, knowing the right survival skills will do wonders for your confidence. Here are the four key skills for surviving outdoors.

1. Finding a Campsite

When it comes to potential campsites, you want a place that’s high and dry. Steer clear of valleys and trails where water could flow toward you. This protects you from flash floods, which only need a few minutes to engulf an area.

You should also stay away from natural dangers such as falling rocks and insect nests. Try to build your camping place in an area close to dry wood and running water. Finally, look for rocky formations that can protect you from the elements.

2. Navigating by Day

To survive in the wilderness, you’ll need to know where you are. Without a map or compass, your best bet is to rely on the sun. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west anywhere in the world, so use that to get a general bearing.

You can use an analog watch to find north and south. Note the hour hand on the watch and point it at the sun. Then, imagine a line that runs halfway between noon and the hour hand. This is the line running from north to south.

3. Finding Water

In the wilderness, you can come across two types of water. One’s already purified, and the other may kill you. If you’re forced to use the latter type, you can still boil it, which is an effective method of killing pathogens.

The most reliable sources of clean water are rain, dew, and snow. You can soak up dew by using bandannas or similar materials. It’s also possible to squeeze water from vines and thistles. If you see a maple tree, cut a hole in the bark for water access.

4. Using a Signal Mirror

If you suffer a serious injury in the wild, you may need to wait for rescuers. You can make their job easier by using a signal mirror. If someone’s looking for you, they’ll be able to notice a flash from a signal mirror many miles away.

You can buy a signal mirror or make your own from a reflective surface. To aim it, make a peace sign, place your target between your fingers, and keep flashing the reflection. Once rescuers find you, you may want to look into personal injury loans.

More Tips for Surviving Outdoors

As you can see, surviving outdoors isn’t as scary as it may seem. One final tip: plan for the worst-case scenario. That way, everything that actually happens will seem a lot easier. Plus, you’re more likely to prepare for any situation.

Interested in making sure your camping trip will go as planned? Want to know more about skills such as hunting and foraging? Keep checking out our Life section!