How to Survive In The Wilderness Without Any Supplies? An Ultimate Guide

By James Barton •  Updated: 07/15/19 •  13 min read

When in the wilderness, you may run out of stock. But this is not a good enough reason to starve or get dehydrated. You still need to survive even when you have no supplies left. That’s why it is essential to sharpen your survival skills to help you establish alternative survival hacks.

Survival means you should have access to the most basic needs that any human being needs to survive. The first things you need to consider are food, shelter, and clothing. To get these, you will need special skills that can be developed over time before your actual trip into the wilderness. And below are proven ways how to survive in the wilderness without supplies.

the Metolius River is a tributary of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon known for its beautiful clear blue waters and wonderful fly fishing

1. Learn How To Control Your Emotions And Set Your Priorities Right

The reason why many people end up having rough experiences in the wilderness when they run out of supplies is that they fail to remain focused. Staying focused and remaining calm helps you to overcome the challenges. You can always think straight to see what needs to be done first.

2. Find Food To Get You Going

survive in the wilderness
Woman is sitting next to the campfire and relaxing while her boyfriend is fishing at the lake

The first thing that will click on your mind when you run out of supplies or energy bars is where to get food. The wildness is an excellent source of any food that you might require. You will only have problems if you do not have the skills to extract the foods from their source.

It is essential to have information about edible herbs and berries that can be of great help in the wilderness. Note that some natural berries you might come across in the wilderness might be poisonous. Having information about them will let you know what to look for, just in case you run out of vegetables and fruits. Also, some trees have edible inner bark, and it’s great for wilderness survival.

In case you are visiting a place with lakes that have fish, then you can also be sure to access proteins for your body. You may need to carry a fishing line and rod to use when need be. Your ability to catch the fish will depend on your fishing skills. Just ensure that your fishing skills are top-notch.

Hunting is also another useful way that you can use to get meat. Learn how to trap wild animals or catch small animals. You may also have to learn how to make a spear to use in the process.

Learn the routes and primary method used by the wild animals to increase your chances of catching them. Also, be sure to have a waterproof container or plastic bag for storage purposes. Also, be sure to keep waterproof matches in your survival gear and remain calm to deal with the situation.

3. Learn How To Start A Fire The Caveman Way

Burning campfire on the beach on my kayak camping trip

The importance of fire in your wilderness stay cannot be underestimated. It will help in staying warm on cold nights. You will also need fire to cook food just in case you have exhausted the ready-to-eat food that you carried.

You might carry matchsticks and fire starters to use during the trip, but then you also need to learn how to start a fire without them just in case you lose them. When you run out of advanced options of starting a fire, the traditional fire starting mechanisms will come in handy. Though it can be quite hectic but can always be of great help to people who love adventures in the wilderness.

You need to develop such a skill over time so that you do not fumble when you are in the wilderness. By the time to go out to the wilderness, you should be perfect at starting a fire without a lighter or matches.

Once you have succeeded in lighting the fire, surround it with stones. You can also throw small rocks into the fire, which can keep you warm after the wood is over. You can also use the small rocks to boil water just in case you also need clean drinking water.

4. Get Water To Use

Man and woman couple using water filter on hiking trail river in Colorado to purify drinking water into bottle

A person can stay longer without food than they can do without water. For this reason, you will need to find a water source as soon as you realize that you are running out of the one you carried. Look for nearby streams and rivers or even springs in the region.

Once you locate a source of water in the region, you need to purify water in case you have purifiers. Always carry different water purifiers so that you can use one just in case you misplace or run out of your preferred choice. Learn how to use all the methods so that you are sure to purify the water at any time.

In case you also run out of water purifiers to use or forget to carry some, you can make use of traditional water purifying methods. Some of the most common conventional methods of purifying water include the use of cloth, clay vessels, boiling, and filtration by use of plant material. Using any of the plans will ensure you get clean water to use.

You can also collect water from rain or collect dew to use just in case it rains.

5. Learn How To Make Signals

There are times when running out of supplies might mean you make signals to alert people who can offer help. For example, when you run out of means to protect yourself in the wilderness, you might need to inform other people to come to your rescue. In such a case, you have to be well informed of the different emergency signaling methods.

Smoke can act as proper signaling when you are in distress. You need to ensure that you maintain the smoke for some time so that you can be sure that a person has spotted it.

If it only lasts for a short time, there are high chances that no one will spot it since you can never be sure that there is a person around. Ensure you find a good location for lighting the fire then make the smoke visible enough over a long distance.

When you use two sticks you don’t just get two warm sticks you can actually make a fire with two sticks, so that fact is very untrue there are many different methods such as a bow drill. You have to use a fire starter.

Loud whistles and screams can also help in this case. Screams and whistles in the wilderness can alert other people that you are in distress; hence, they can rush to offer the help you need.

6. Ensure You Have Excellent Tent Building Skills

A hut made of branches in the forest (view from afar)

When you run out of supplies, you might be forced to move from one part of the wilderness to the other as you search for food and water. This implies that you will need to be building a tent from time to time to maintain your body heat. Your tent building skills should be great if, by any chance, you will succeed in building a shelter wall.

If you do not have a tent, you can always use the branches of a fallen tree, pine needles, or under a sharp rock to come up with a sheltering wall. You will need to locate the best places that can accommodate such a shade. Once you find a survival shelter, you can set up a temporary structure that will accommodate you for a few weeks or days before you get organized. Also, have an emergency blanket, drinkable water, and extra food source as first priority.

7. Know How To Predict Weather Conditions And Take Necessary Measures

Different weather conditions come with different requirements. You will have to learn what weather conditions are approaching your location and make necessary adjustments without a weather forecast system. This will help stay out of harm, which might result from extreme warm weather conditions that require a lot of caution.

In case you anticipate that the weather will be windy, you should know how to put up your tent in a safe place free from the interference of the wind. In case the weather is rainy and cold, you may have to light up a fire to stay warm in the cold. A wet-weather fire will be of great help in such a situation.

Also Read: 15 Tips for Camping in the Rain

8. Learn How To Carry Out First Aid Without The Tools

Man putting bandage on his partner's knee in the jungle

You can also run out of first aid supplies, and this will mean that you learn traditional methods of providing first aid in a survival situation. The fact that you are stuck in the wilderness means that you are in constant interaction with wild animals and insects. By bad luck, you can end up getting a snake or insect bite that may require you to learn the necessary first aid skills to take care of such a situation.

Get a cloth or string to tie around the limb that has the bite. This is important to prevent blood from flowing to other parts of the body. Use water to thoroughly wash the surface of the bite to try and remove the poison.

In case you have access to spirit or alcohol, then you can also use them in place of the normal anti-poison in your first aid kit. Preventing the poison from spreading to other parts of the body will give you some time as you get professional help. Also, learn how to deal with broken bones in survival situations.

9. Learn How To Tell The Direction

Without tools such as a compass direction and map, you may have to develop old ways of telling direction. At one point, you may get lost in the wilderness, and the only way to get out is by telling direction. There are different traditional methods you can use to determine direction.

The first one is by use of the sun. You can monitor the movement of the sun by using the shadow of a stick to determine east and west. After that, you can move in either direction as you look forward to getting out of the wilderness.

Spider webs and moss on the trunk of trees can also be of great help when you need to tell direction. Moss grows on the north side of trees and in case you find them on trees, the side with the thickest moss will be the northern side. Spider webs, on the other hand, appear on the south side of the trees.

The last method you can use to tell direction is by the use of water bodies. It is important to note that animals always breed on the west side of the water bodies. Once you indicate animal breeding, you can be sure that you know the east and west of your location.

10. Learn To Improvise Cooking Tools And Utensils

Evening campfire during a camping trip. Cauldron on a burning fire. The tent is far away. Cozy Hiking evening of travelers by the river.

Surviving without supplies means that you might not have utensils to cook the food you get. A make-shift grill can be of great help in this case. You can use the metals you pick to make a grill that you can use to prepare the fish or meat you have caught when fishing or hunting. You can use a large rock on higher ground for this purpose.

11. Avoid Moving In The Dark

Woodman Man holding gas lamp in forest under stars at night in forest

When you exhaust all the supplies that you had brought with you, you may have to keep moving so that you get out of the wilderness fast. Though it is essential to move, be careful not to move at night. Most predators are nocturnal and move at night in such prey. Moving at night will expose to such animals, and this can result in fatal attacks from the animals.

It is essential to wait until dawn before you commence your movements.

Also Read: Disaster Survival Skills for Any Emergency Situation

12. Learn How To Use Carcasses You Find In The Wilderness

In the wilderness, you are likely to come across animal carcasses. Learn how to take advantage of such things. Animal bones can be used as weapons and are a best bet. These are some of the oldest tools that were used in hunting by the earliest human beings.

In case you come across animal skin, you can use them as insulation from sunshine. You can also use the skin as your bedding or even to make a shelter if it is big enough to be divided. The urine of female animals can be used to attract male preys so that you get more meat to get you going.

13. Know The Medicinal Value Of Most Plants

For anyone with information on the medicinal value of plants, surviving in the wilderness can be quite easy. Almost every plant in the wilderness has a therapeutic value. Having such information can help you treat wounds and bites as you struggle to get out of the wilderness.

For instance, Dock leaves can be used to treat insect bites. In case you have a headache, you can chew Willow barks which contain salicylic acid to help relieve the pain. If you are in a place infested with mosquitoes, you can burn eucalyptus leaves to keep them away.

Though every plant is likely to have medicinal value, be sure that you know the plan well. Also, avoid the poisonous plants that can do you more harm than good.

Wrapping Up

Surviving in the wilderness without any supplies can be challenging. But knowing how to navigate through different situations can make a huge difference. You will need to be creative enough to make use of the resources you come across in the wilderness. As you practice how to survive without some of the most necessities, you will perfect the art. We hope these survival tips will help you in tough situations, What are your thoughts?

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.