Urban life has its difficulties. That’s exactly why camping and hiking in the wilderness is such a wonderful escape. No phone calls, no emails, just you and maybe your camping buddies, out in the open but isolated from modern-day life. Incredibly empowering.

However, that feeling of freedom stems from the fact that in that out in the wilderness, there is no safety net. You may have every one of the top 5 best throwing knives in 2022. Still, the only things keeping you safe are your instincts.

That’s why, to safely seek solace in nature, you need to be prepared for the fact that anything could happen.

So before you venture out into the great unknown, ask yourself, do you know how to survive in nature? Alone? What would you do if something unexpected happened and you were separated from your group?

It’s not ideal and hopefully could be avoided, but don’t worry. With the right preparation, you should be able to keep yourself safe and navigate your way back to the familiar.

Here’s what you need to know:

Before

Being prepared to handle an emergency will save your life, but putting yourself in a situation where it all comes down to you is not advisable. Never go out of range of phone signals without informing someone of your plans. Let them know when you intend to be back and what to do if you’re not.

If something goes wrong, you’ll be able to hold on to the hope that someone is looking for you instead of having to make it out. If you’re stocking up on tools, see if you can get your hands on a drone for travel & adventure. It always helps to have access to the view from above.

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Survival Mode and Panic Mode Do Not Mix

Staying calm is the most important element of survival. So take a deep breath and take heed of your mental state. Remind yourself that you know how to handle the situation. Too much adrenaline will drown out your instincts. Once your mind and body are at ease, get organized.

Make a Plan

Assess your immediate surroundings. Are you in danger? Figure out if it’s early enough in the day for you to keep moving or if you should set up camp for the night. If you have any sort of transport, like an all-terrain electric skateboard or a mountain bike, and you know where your group might be, use it. But in the case of the former, conserve battery life.

If you think there might be incoming predators, see what you have for self-defense.

Take Stock of Your Resources

When you’re more oriented, go through everything you have on you. Make sure any gear that you have is still working. If you have food or water, figure out how long it will last. Think about how you could use what you have, if not for the intended purpose. If you have a long-range scope, use it to look around for threats.

Create a List of Your First Priorities

Ask yourself what’s most urgent. This may be things like water, treating an injury, or finding shelter. Keep the list as short as possible so you can stay focused.

Avoid Feeling Hopeless

Keep reminding yourself that this situation is temporary. A hopeless mindset will affect your body.

Protect Yourself from the Elements

Not all threats are visible. You might be at risk of hypothermia at night and heatstroke during the day. You’ll need shelter.

At Night

This shelter will essentially be a crawlspace for you to sleep in. Here’s how to get it right:

Under These Circumstances, Size Matters

The smaller, the better. Don’t leave space for anything other than your body and your things. Your best bet at avoiding hypothermia is by conserving your body heat.

Create a Simple Framework

Use tree branches to create something just hefty enough. Stack sticks along the sides as close together as you can. Then use twigs or foliage to fill in the gaps as much as possible. Don’t make it too tall because it will affect the structural integrity and require more materials. A good idea would be to lean it against a sturdy tree.

Insulate It

Gather leaves, pines, and bark to cover your makeshift shelter. This will trap heat and make it harder for passing predators to sniff you out. It’s not wise to try and stay awake all night because to survive; you need your rest. While you’re asleep, this little pile of sticks will be your only defense. Build it well.

During the Day

When the sun is out, it’ll feel like you need to make the most of your daylight hours. Remember to listen to your body and limit yourself. Build a daytime shelter as well.

Dig

If you dig even a little into the ground, you’ll create a cooler surface upon which to create your shelter.

Construct Your Framework

Unlike your nighttime shelter, make this shelter tall enough for you to sit up straight. It needs to be sturdy enough to support a roof of leaves and branches to stop the sun from hitting you, but you won’t need to create solid walling on the sides. Thicker sticks will work better, so if you have them, use throwing axes or tomahawks to cut some.

Create Ventilation

Breathability is important. Creating a stuffy, badly ventilated shelter will cause you to sweat out water you don’t have. Before you start, get a sense of the wind direction and ensure it enters your hut.

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Drinkable Water

Water is your most important resource. The human body needs over three liters a day. The odds of having access to that much are not high. So for starters, ration any water that you do have. Even if you have a good amount, start working on collecting water as soon as you have your shelter sorted.

Here are a few natural sources of water:

Precipitation

Precipitation is water in any form that falls from the sky. If you have access to a container that could hold water, put it out and try to gather it. This is one of the sources of clean, uncontaminated water.

Snow or Hail

Digesting and absorbing nutrients from frozen water will burn many calories in your body. If you’ve gathered some, do not eat it while it’s solid. Wait for it to melt, and then drink it.

Rain

Rainwater should be fine to drink immediately. However, it would be wiser to store it. Since you cannot know when you’ll next experience rainfall, make sure you don’t drink it immediately. If you don’t have a container that you can use for storage, try to create one out of what you have. A water bottle, especially a full one, will be amongst your most precious resources.

Dew

Dew is the natural moisture that collects on plants and vegetation. To gather it, use a clean cloth (clothing will work) to soak it up and squeeze it into a container. Although it may be tempting, do not lick it directly off the leaves.

Your immune system is likely working in overdrive already. Ingesting unnecessary dirt will not be helpful.

Fire Fire Fire!

Fire is important because it’ll ward off predators and give any search parties an indication of where you are. Additionally, you’ll have an excellent heat source, and you’ll be able to boil and clean water. If you can use your spotting scopes for hunting down a meal, cooking it before eating it will be a hundred times safer than eating it raw.

Once you have shelter, water, and fire, focus on conserving all of your resources and trying to create signals for anyone looking for you. Even if you ventured out on your own, a search party would likely be sent out for you when you don’t return.

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If you love the outdoors and you love being prepared, check out Outdoor Trends for reviewed and rated products that support all your wild adventures. They can help you find the buyer’s guide to hardtail mountain bikes, top gas grills on Amazon, and the best budget fish finder for kayaks.

About The Author

The author is an outdoors enthusiast and frequent hiker who blogs frequently about their adventures.

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