It happens more often than we expect. A nice backpacking or camping adventure could turn suddenly into a desperate survival situation. Without a number of basic survival skills, coming on the other side victorious could be a dream.
These survival skills are not limited to preppers. Even ordinary people could find it difficult to make it out of a disaster without these survival skills. Imagine you are on a poorly traveled interstate express road and your car suddenly breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Would you know what to do?
This is what makes it vital for everyone to master a few survival skills. It could save your life because you can stay safe until help comes. Here is a descriptive list of 9 basic survival skills everyone should know how to do:
Learn These Basic Survival Skills
1. Sending a Survival Signal
Even if you are perfect for survival, you will ultimately need someone to rescue you from your quagmire. It is important to know how to send out a survival signal so that rescuers can find you. You must also send it in a manner that rescuers will understand that it is a distress signal.
Traditionally, it has been in the form of three of anything. For instance, you can see an aircraft overhead. Send out a signal by starting a triangle of three fires. The pilot and passengers of the aircraft will immediately realize you are calling for help. The same goes for whistling. Do it three times. It is thus good to travel with a whistle. If you do not have a whistle, you can improvise one with an acorn.
2. Sourcing For and Purifying Water
You cannot make it alive without water. Even if you are able to single rescuers, you might succumb to dehydration if you do not get drinking water. The situation is even worse if you find yourself stranded in a very hot place.
Sourcing for water is the first step. You can collect rainwater. But there are many other ways. Find them out by researching. Filter the water you obtain with a piece of cloth to remove the sediments. You can them make a fire to boil the water to kill bacteria and other germs that could be in the water.
3. Starting and Tending To a Fire
The two most dangerous conditions that could threaten your survival are dehydration and hypothermia. Besides learning how to find and purify water, you need to know how to start and tend to a fire. You must know how to start a fire without using lighters, Ferro rods or matches.
The easiest way to go about it is by the use sticks. The commonest ways to start a fire using sticks is to Bow Drill, Hand Drill, and Fire Plow. You need to learn and hone these fire starting skills early to be safe in the future. When it comes to tending to the fire, you need to find dry material for kindling and tinder.
4. Sourcing For Food
We have always heard news of people who have survived in the wilderness for weeks, even a month without food. By the time they were found, they were barely able to function. We have also heard reports of persons who have managed to survive in the wilderness. By the time they were found, they were as strong as you could imagine.
Such people knew how to source for food in the wilderness. The best source of food would be edible plants. This requires that you know which plants and herbs bear edible fruits. This is because certain plants can be very toxic. In rear cases, you can hunt or fish to find food. Only by eating will you have enough energy perform the other survival skills.
5. Develop the Survival Mental Attitude
Many people may not realize that having a survival mentality is a good skill to learn. It is understandable if people panic and become wrestles when a disaster strikes. Such mentality could land you in trouble. You will be unable to make any rational decisions to increase your chances of survival.
You must learn to control your breathing and to stay calm. You also need to cultivate self-composure and self-confidence. In other words, you must believe in yourself that you have what it takes to survive. Only by being calm can you access the situation to make rational decisions. Speak to experienced survivors. Let them teach you on how to develop a survival mental attitude.
6. How to Perform DIY First Aid
Injury can lessen your chances of survival. Not always will you have someone with your to perform the First Aid on you. It is therefore important that you learn how to perform it on yourself also. The common injuries you must learn how to treat via First Aid include:
• Minor Cuts:
If associated with minimal bleeding, treat a minor cut by simply directing pressure to the area. Hold it at the spot with your thumb for a little while until the bleeding curtails.
• Low Degree Burns:
The first thing is to be careful not to experience a nasty, painful burn. In the case of an accident, treat it via four methods. You can cool it down with water, cover it with dressing, stay hydrated or use a painkiller such as ibuprofen.
Also known as athletic injuries, sprains can happen as a result of the poor terrains you might have to walk on. There are a few things in the environment you may use to treat sprains. You can use the rice method. The method includes rest, ice/cool, compress, and elevate. You can use ice to cool it down. You can compress it by wrapping it in t-shirt sleeve. Elevation will improve blood flow and therefore help with pain relief.
• Dislocations and Fractures:
You should not allow a dislocation to last long before returning the bones to their socket. In case of a dislocated shoulder joint, simply roll on the ground a couple of times to against a hard surface. In case of fractures, use a couple of sticks and shoelaces to create some sort of a splint. Simply stabilize the fractured bone with the sticks. Tie them together with shoelaces to hold the brace in place.
7. Building a Shelter
Surviving in the wild means you are away from the comfort of your home. Thus you will be exposed to elements as well as wild animals that might want to harm you. If you did not carry a tent, then you will need to build one. You can use materials such as standing trees, tree branches, leaves as well as vegetation.
The best place to site your shelter should be flat, well-drained, dry and close to (not right next to) a body of water. Stay away from valleys and paths on the course-way of surface runoff. Build a shelter that is well-insulated. This will protect you from hypothermia due to extremely low temperatures.
8. Develop Navigation Skills
Sometimes rescue may not come even after sending a survival signal. In that case, you may need to find your way home. As long as you know the direction of any civilization, you can find help. You will need to develop some navigation skills. You must know how to navigate without GPS, compass or map.
Learn how to find direction by using the sunlight. Push a long stick into the ground in an open area. Put a mark where the shadow of the tip of the stick is cast. After a few hours, check the place of the shadow. Draw a line from the tip of the stick’s shadow. Since the sun always moves from east to west. The direction of the shadow should give you an idea where east and west are. You can then deduce where north and south are.
9. Know How to Tie Knots
Tying a knot is a skill you must learn. There is a lot of tying when it comes to surviving. Besides, there are numerous types of knots to tie. Each has its own application. You have to learn and hone the knot tying skills. You will need the skill of repairing something, building something and holding something up.
There are tens or even hundreds of survival skills you need in the wilderness. You can also master them. However, these 9 basic survival skills are the one every one person needs to know how to do. We say ‘everyone’ because disasters do not choose who strike. Besides, you cannot choose to suffer the wrath of a disaster. So, everyone needs to master these skills early enough.