Survival tips

Organize your survival pack efficiently.

When arranging the stuff in your rucksack, follow these principles: • My next tip maybe common sense to some, but figured it’s still worth noting: for better maintenance of keeping balance, it’s best to keep heavier things on top and the lighter items at the bottom. What this will do is help you with stability while you are on the move. • Make sure the backpack is positioned to be on your upper back always. This will allow you to walk freely without your rucksack getting in the way of your legs. • Don’t forget to tighten those straps to prevent stuff from falling off. The wilderness can be full of snags, thanks to branches and bushes. Read more here: creating a bug out bag

Sleep on elevated surfaces.

Sleeping on the ground will cause you to lose body heat faster, making it more likely for you to get cold. Sleeping on a poncho or a really thin blanket isn’t going to help this either. The best way to do this is to stack up leaves or logs to make a padded bed. Alternatively, you can bring a hammock with you and just set it up when you sleep.

Save energy on chopping wood.

Don’t bother using an axe. Just place the wood pieces diagonally between the ground and a tree. Give the pieces of wood a good kick (inspect the wood before doing this and assess the right balance between force and strength to avoid breaking ankle/leg). The last thing you want to do is have a broken leg, so do be careful with how you proceed with this tip. Another alternative is to use an axe but since the objective is to build fires anyway, it doesn’t need to be perfectly chopped. However, if the wood material will be used for shelter building or creating other necessary pillars, using tools are a good idea. In fact, we put together a resource on how to make a survival shelter, given the popularity of this topic.

Process food away from the camp.

Remember that when you process food you catch (i.e. trapped animals or caught fish); you’re likely to leave stuff behind such as blood, bones, inedible parts, etc. If you process your food near you’re going to attract wild animals. They’ll be sniffing around the camp and around you, which could be dangerous. The same survival tips apply to disposing food remains.

Know what to do with animal entrails and feces.

When it comes to stuff that animals leave behind, make sure you don’t dispose of the ones that you can use as fishing bait, repellents, etc. Some of these include: • Using bones to make tools/weapons • Using urine of female dead animals to attract other animals for food • Using pelts and skins to make small pouches, etc. Don’t just throw these things away. Figure out if there’s some way you can repurpose the excess parts after you capture your game.

Always carry with your water purifying tablets.

You can’t always depend on a fire source to be able to boil water, such as when it gets rainy and the ground and everything else is too damp to ignite. Also, you can’t always start a fire when you’re injured. In these instances, it’s better to pop a tablet into a container so you get the much needed water instantly.

DO NOT use unclean water to wash wounds.

While this sounds like common sense, a lot of people will make the mistake of using water in rivers to clean their wounds without treating them first. Bodies of water, as clear as they may seem, will have bacteria from all sorts of matter, including animal faeces. If your hand has any cuts or lacerations, don’t ever dip them into the water.

Bring a poncho.

These seemingly simple disposable raincoats actually have so many uses in the outdoors. Obviously, it’s best used as a raincoat, but here are some other things you can do: • Use it as a makeshift shelter. It’s big enough to fit one person. • Use it to desalinate seawater. Just boil seawater underneath a tented poncho to catch the vapour and produce the water through condensation. This will separate the salt from the water, making it drinkable. • Use it to collect rainwater.

Carry glow sticks with you!

These aren’t just for rave parties. Glow sticks make it easy for you to be spotted at night (i.e. by rescue groups). When needed, activate one of the sticks and tie them with a paracord outside your backpack, allowing it to hang freely. You will be very easy to spot even in pitch black darkness with these glow sticks.

Add aluminium sheets to your survival shelters.

The aluminium blankets or sheets added to your shelter will significantly increase your shelter’s heat retention capacity. Aluminium facing outward of the shelter can also reflect sunlight, allowing you to stay cooler under the shelter. Among the survivalist community, these are referred to as “super shelters,” and rightfully so.