You may never know when disaster is going to hit you. One minute you are safe and sound and the next minute, you and everyone you love are in danger. It’s better to be safe than sorry – and while the disaster may not always be prevented, you may prevent yourself from suffering because of it. It will all depend on how well you prepare before that particular situation – and if you are thorough, you might actually get out of it alive.
1. Learn How to Use a Map and a Compass
There are many scenarios that would send you into survival mode very quickly. Indeed, you may not be Bear Grills being thrown in the middle of a tropical forest – but you may still get lost in the woods looking for your dog that ran away. And when you are lost, you don’t realize whether you are getting out of the woods or going further into them.
Common sense would tell you to go north – or wherever the margin of the forest is. However, if you have no idea how to use a map or a compass, you might not be able to actually achieve this. You’d go one way just to realize that you accidentally changed direction by a few inches.
2. Have a Bug-Out Bag
You don’t need to get a zombie-apocalypse bug-out bag, nor do you have to add the fanciest artillery there; just the things that are necessary for survival. Get a rainproof bag where you can add underwear, socks, extra pants, and extra shirts. You may also want to pack some water, dried food, and meal bars – as thirst and hunger are usually the first things that take you down in a survival situation.
You may want to pack in extras such as a portable water filter and definitely a knife. That knife can be your lifesaver in many situations since you can use it for anything from cooking your food to preparing your shelter. There are many guides that will tell you exactly how to pack a bug out bag.
3. Have a Way to Light a Fire
You may have a lighter that you are always carrying with you or you may know how to create a fire using two pebbles you found down the road. Either way, in a dire situation, it is common sense that you should know how to light a fire. Fire is crucial for warmth, food, protection – and it is just as important as water and food.
You might want to invest in a Zippo lighter, as they are more durable and reliable in an emergency situation. Matches are useless when they get wet, and a common lighter may run out faster than you thought it would.
4. Learn How to Defend Yourself
Now, this will depend on who or what you are planning to defend yourself against. If it’s only people that you are afraid of, you might want to get some self-defense lessons. However, in the event that things don’t turn out as predicted, you might want to have plan B on you: a weapon.
While a knife, such as an EDC knife, might prove useful as a weapon, it is actually only designed for close range. So, if a bear attacks you, you’ll only be able to injure it after it comes close enough to give you a heart attack.
In this case, you might actually want to invest in a gun – as it is good for both long range and medium range. However, to be able to protect yourself, you might want to make some prior preparation with your gun – in the sense that you need to learn how to use it. Go to the range and practice your aim. The more you prepare, the less likely you will be to miss your target.
It may seem like a drag, but you can enhance your “protective layer.” If you also add a good-quality gun along with the skill, then you will have nothing to be afraid of.
5. Learn About the Wildlife Behavior
Let’s say that you have decided to go on a camping trip with your family, and you are planning to be away for a whole long weekend. However, considering that you made no previous planning, you landed into the middle of a wolf zone. Now, if you have a gun on you, you might be able to scare or kill them off – but if you don’t, then you might be in trouble.
Study the wildlife beforehand. Knowledge has always been power – so, if you learn the type of animals that generally prowl the area, you might be able to find a better spot to camp in. The same thing goes if the area is prone to natural disasters.
6. Learn How to Trap, Fish, and Find Food
If you know how to make a trap, catch some fish, or recognize edible plants (berries, mushrooms, etc.), then you won’t ever go hungry. It is common sense that you should not step out in a survival zone without at least a way to procure yourself food.
7. Have Warm Clothes on You
No matter how warm it is during the day, the chances are that during the evening it will be very cold – even during the summer. Make sure that you have at least a change of thick clothing and enough socks. Merino wool is generally ideal in these types of situations, so you should never leave these socks at home.
Even if you have a tent and a good sleeping bag, you should bear in mind that these will keep the temperature – not make you warm. If you go to sleep feeling cold, you will feel that way throughout the night. This is why you need to warm yourself with proper clothes prior to going to sleep.
It may not be Ultimate Survival – but it’s survival, nonetheless. Being prepared is what might save you in such a situation – and sometimes, it might be so common-sense that you never actually gave it a second thought. Trust the experts when they tell you these are some things you might not want to forget to do.