Surviving in the wild is not child's play. You need to pull up all your wits to make it through each day, considering you get stranded for days together. It's an unlikely scenario. Even if it happens, when Aron Ralston, Joe Simpson, Mauro Prosperi, Yossi Ghinsberg, Colby Coombs could do it, so could you.
What do all these men have in common? Well, they all got marooned in the backyard of nature's harshest terrain. They all stared at death and said, "Rain Check!" and survived to tell their dreadful tales. What will you do in such a situation? How badly do you want to make it back? The following tips will help you retain your sanity in the madness of the wild.
Do some research before heading off to the far reaches of the earth. Dig out information about the flora and fauna of the place you are about to visit. Assess the route you are going to take, and also make note of the landmarks in that area.
If you get lost while exploring the outdoors, people should be aware that you have gone missing in order to rescue you. Needless to say, solitary exploration in the wild is not just dangerous, but also foolhardy. By just informing someone, you can actually save your own life.
Carry Basic Survival Gear
Suppose you are admiring the nature around you and then you see a rare bird on a tree, it's obvious that you will take time to click its pics. Next, you find your group missing and can't figure out the direction. It can happen with us. So, always be ready with a survival kit.
When lost, try moving to low lying areas. If there is water, you are sure to find it in low lying lands, as water always flows from higher to lower levels. A swarm of insects can indicate presence of water nearby. While resting, listen for sounds of a river or stream. In the quiet wilderness, the sound of flowing water can be heard from a distance.
If you cannot find surface water (when you gravely need water), look into rock gaps. Rainwater often collects in gaps between rocks. Muddy areas may have groundwater available under the surface. Dig a pit i.e. one foot in depth and diameter each, and wait. Water will collect in the pit. This water may be muddy. So, strain it with a cloth before drinking it.
Avoid drinking stagnant water as it might be infested with harmful bacteria. Water flowing from rivers and streams are generally safe for drinking. Plants can also be good source of water. Drinking sap of birch and maple trees can help you meet the water requirements.This sap is also a useful source of carbohydrates.
Collect some dry twigs and leaves and light a fire. During the day, you can also use the lens of a magnifying glass to converge the sunrays on a heap of dried twigs or leaves.
When you urgently need fire and none of the amenities of the civilized world are available with you, get 2 pieces of dry wood. Sharpen the tip of one piece and use it to drill in the other. Put dry grass into the pit and rub it with the pointed piece of wood. As soon as sparks are produced, turn the wide piece of wood over a pile of dry grass and twigs.
While moving around in the jungle, make sure that you make enough noise. This way, no animal will get surprised by you and attack you in its defense. Stay away from the young ones of any animal, even if the babies look abandoned to you. Always be on the lookout of wildlife encounter by keeping your eyes open and your ears on the ground.
If the area where you want to take rest is damp and wet, build yourself a log bed. Put branches on top of each other in a crisscross pattern to make a solid and dry foundation for a lean-to, or use it as an open bed pad. Whatever material you use for making the shelter, check that it is free of insects or other poisonous animals.
If there is a faintest possibility for you to get back to the civilization, work in that direction without further delay. Otherwise, wait out for help to arrive. Make yourself conspicuous by marking out your location that is visible from above.
Most importantly, do not hit the panic button because your survival depends on your ability to think straight in stressful situations. So next time you are out in the woods, be safe!