Learn Survival Skills
The ability to “learn survival skills” is an ongoing skill that will last you for your entire life. Many of the skills you learn you will never forget. Heck, I still remember many of the things I learned as a Boy Scout back in North Dakota and Minnesota. (I wish I would have saved my BSA manual, Sixth and Seventh editions – the darn things are packed with great information on the art of survival and other great topics.)
There is always more to learn and experience though and that makes even more fun. Here are a couple of videos that found interesting about some of the basics elements of survival skills.
As you “learn survival skills” and your expertise grows the knowledge and abilities you gain are often useful in many other areas. For example, you never know when being able to tie different knots or starting a fire can come in handy.
The possible situations you can encounter and find yourself in are amazing and countless. Although every situation may be different and have its own particular skill necessary for survival, most of them have some common skills that should be mastered.
Being skilled and prepared in these basic skills can give you the edge and help you be a survivor.
Amazing, I don’t see a can of Spam in picture above.
1. Think – Use your noggin
Get found or get the heck out, unless you have others with you who will impede travel (injured, young, etc.) and you can’t leave them alone. You may also dedie to remian where you are if you really believe there’s a chance that someone will come for you. If you’re not real far off of your original course and you have let others know it, then you may want to stay put and let them come and find you.
Sometimes, moving around can make it much more difficult for search parties to find you. However, if you haven’t been missing long there’s a chance they no one has started looking for you yet and if conditions are still good it may be possible for you to retrace your steps.
If you are near a river or creek follow it downstream. People tend to go towards water so going downstream is most often the best option. If you are in the mountain then walk towards lower elevations and then if you find water go downstream. Remember to allow yourself enough time to find a good spot to erect a shelter and if possible to build a fire for the night.
The critical survival skills (after using your brain) that you need to know are: Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food.
Then there’s the “Rule of 3′s” which states that you can survive:
- 3 minutes without oxygen
- 3 hours exposed to extreme elements
- 3 days without water
- 3weeks without food
After breathing, it’s shelter, then water, then food. And you don’t need assault weapons, guerilla assault gear, dozen of ammo belts, and military gear to “survive”. Those are some of those crazy concepts being propagated by nut cases and end-of-the-world doomsayers.
Shelter is always the most important survival skill because without shelter you will be at the mercy of the elements. Freezing to death or heat exhaustions are some of the easiest ways to kick the bucket. Good shelter protects you from the elements, like heat, cold, rain, snow, the sun, and wind. Shelter will also protect you from insects and other potentially dangerous creatures may cause you harm.
Most survival experts create layers of shelter (including clothes). The initial layer of shelter being the clothes you are wearing. Your clothes are of critical must be selected and used wisely depending on the type of weather and terrain you are in. Wearing layers of clothes helps to maximize your ability to adapt to changing conditions because you can put clothes on or take them off depending on the weather.
The outer layer is the shelter you may have to build for yourself. These can be a lean-to or simple hut made out of debris or junk. You are only limited by your creativity, energy and ingenuity. If you are prepared you may have a space blanket or tarp with you, in which case creating a shelter should be relatively easy. Shelter can be a problem unless you have a tent in the trunk. Building a shelter is a lot easier if you have a cutting tool and something to tie the branches together. Make sure you carry a high quality knife or axe and have rope or 550 parachute cord with you.
You can only live three days without water. You can live forever without beer (believe it or not).
It is critical that you know how to conserve your water plus find additional sources immediately. You can live for three weeks without food, but only three days without water.
If you can, boil any water you find so that you kill any disease causing organisms. Even clear looking water can contain them. Filtering or chemically treating water are other options.
Purifying water can be tough to do unless you have a water purifier kit. And boiling water is close to impossible unless you have a metal pot or pan of some type. If you’re fortunate you packed an UltraViolet water purifier. They kill bacteria, etc. that can give you diarrhea. Diarrhea is one of those things you do not want get as the dehydration alone can kill you. Contrary to popluar belielf, iodine or bleach do not kill all the bugs.
Water is a close second to shelter in survival importance due to the threat of becoming dehydrated.
Fire serves multiple purposes such as keeping you warm, cooking food, and purify your water (if you have a pot to boil it in). Fires are also useful for drying your clothes and keeping bugs away.
If anything, fires are great for signaling for help as the smoke can be seen from very long distances.
For starting a fire there are too many options to list in this intro article, however, always have at least two, and preferably three, ways of starting a fire. With waterproof matches or a butane lighter, and a magnesium fire starter or fire steel you should be able to create a fire anytime anywhere no matter how adverse the conditions. Having good tinder like triple cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly stowed in a film container will also allow you to start a good fire. There are many other tinder options that will fit neatly into a small container.
So the lesson here is to learn the survival skill of how to start a fire, practice and become an expert. Your ability to create a fire is perhaps one of the most important skills of an experienced survivor.
Food is last because you can live sometimes for weeks without it (Not that I want to try it – I get grumpy if I don’t eat in six hours). On any outdoor trip you take (or drives out in no-mans-land) make sure to take extra food along. Having extra food with you gives you extra safety insurance (food that contains moisture is even better) in case you get stranded or end up staying out longer than desired.
Okay, okay, we were only naming five to start with, but isn’t signaling important too?
Being able to signal for help lets you to get the attention of people so you can be rescued. There are many ways to signal for help including using fire and smoke, flashlights, bright colored clothes, reflective mirrors, whistles, and even personal locators. Please don’t start a forest fire like some dumb asses do!
If you are in trouble use your ingenuity to signal potential help – it could save your life.
Learn Survival Skills
The expert survival skills you learn through practice and experience will serve you well. You never know when you may need them, but you’ll be glad you know them when the time comes. When the real thing comes along you will be prepared because you were smart enough to learn survival skills.
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