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The Basic Principles of Wilderness Survival

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There is always the possibility of being in an emergency situation while bushwalking or camping. There are some basic principles for wilderness survival that can help you to stay alive.

First, remain calm and positive. This is a big step in the right direction for survival.

The Fundamental Principles

Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or just someone who enjoys hiking and camping, you should know the basic principles of wilderness survival. These simple steps can save your life in an emergency situation.

Being positive and optimistic are two key ingredients to staying alive. Survival rates are also improved by having a positive attitude and refusing give up.


Shelter is fundamental to survival. It can be constructed from leaves, branches, and other naturally occurring materials, or it could be man-made such as a cave.

If you are in an emergency situation, the first thing you need to do is seek shelter. Shelter can be found anywhere, from trees to abandoned buildings to subway stations.


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Water is an essential component of life on Earth. It is present in all three phases (solid, liquid, gas) and ties together the major components of our environment -- air, clouds, lakes, oceans, vegetation, and snowpack.

Water is also an important solvent. It dissolves many types of substances. It helps cells transport and use oxygen as well as other nutrients.


Food is essential for survival. Therefore, it must be stored in a way that keeps it safe for long periods. It is vital to ensure that your body has the right nutrients it needs in order to be strong and healthy.

You can keep a variety of food items in your home to ensure you are able to survive an emergency. These include cookies or crackers (energy bars), canned products, fresh and frozen meat, vegetables, and dehydrated and frozen foods.


It doesn't matter if you are in the woods, or on a boat; knowing how to use both a compass (and a map) is essential for survival. A map indicates the locations of landmarks, while a compass uses Earth’s magnetic fields.

The compass points north because the needle aligns with the horizontal component of the Earth's magnetic field. The compass does not point to North Pole because of the Earth's magnetic field, which is not perfectly straight.


A chemical reaction that releases heat, light and heat from a combustible object with oxygen is known as "fire". This chemical reaction produces flames which can be used for cooking, heating water, and as a light source.

survival kit for backpacking

Although fire is a complicated and dangerous chemical process it can also play an important role in nature. Fires can create habitat patches which allow plants and animals to thrive.

First Aid

A basic knowledge of first aid could mean the difference between life and death for a person who is experiencing an accident or illness. It can be used to keep an individual alive until paramedics arrive.

To help someone, it is important to stay calm and evaluate the situation. Once stabilized, the first aid must commence administering first-aid by checking the breathing and airway.


The ability to deal with fear is crucial for survival. Mental strength is more important than physical strength in an emergency situation. Your brain is your most valuable asset.

When we perceive a threat, our sympathetic nervous system (part of our autonomic nervous system) triggers a biochemical reaction that prepares us for fight or flight. This triggers the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.


What are the essential survival skills?

Basic survival skills include how to make shelter, fire, shelter, hunt, fish, and protect yourself. These skills are important no matter where you live. But they are more crucial when you're traveling alone or in remote places.

Other survival skills include navigation, self-defense and wilderness medicine. These are life-saving skills that must be learned before you venture into the unknown.

These skills are not the only ones you should have. There are many valuable skills that can be useful when you're away from home. For instance, if your plans include hiking through the mountains, then you will need to know some mountaineering methods. If you want camping in the desert, you will need to know how to survive in extreme temperature. There are countless ways to prepare for any situation, so don't hesitate to think outside the box and consider learning new skills.

How to Navigate Without or With a Compass

While a compass won't show you where you are, it will help you locate your way home if you lose track of your direction.

There are three ways to navigate:

  1. By landmarks
  2. By magnetic North (using the compass)
  3. By stars

Landmarks can be objects you recognize as soon as you see them. They can include buildings, trees, rivers, and others. Landmarks provide visual clues to where you live.

Magnetic North is simply the direction in which the Earth's magnetic field points. You'll see that the sun appears as if it is moving across the sky when you look up. However, the earth's magnetic field actually causes the sun to move around the earth. Although it appears that the sun is moving across the sky and around the horizon, it actually does so. The sun is overhead at noon. At midnight, you will see the sun directly below. The earth's magnetic field is constantly changing, so the exact direction of the magnetic North pole changes every day. This means that sometimes you may be off course for quite a while.

Stars are another method for navigating. Stars rise and set above the horizon. These are fixed points that can be used to pinpoint your location relative other locations.

What's the time taken to find help once you are lost?

This depends upon several factors.

  • Where you are
  • What type of terrain do you have?
  • It does not matter if you are able to receive cell phone service
  • If someone has ever seen you
  • Whether you have been injured
  • Whether you are dehydrated
  • No matter if you've been drinking water.
  • It doesn't matter if you have had food recently
  • You should wear appropriate clothing
  • It doesn't matter if you have a compass and a chart.
  • How familiar do you feel with the region?
  • How long have you been lost?
  • How much time you spent looking for help
  • How long does it take people to notice your missing items?
  • You are amazed at how fast they find you and start searching for you
  • How many rescuers attract you?
  • How many rescues were you able to receive?


  • The Dyrt PRO gives 40% campground discounts across the country (thedyrt.com)
  • The downside to this type of shelter is that it does not generally offer 360 degrees of protection and unless you are diligent in your build or have some kind of tarp or trash bags, it will likely not be very resistant to water. (hiconsumption.com)
  • Not only does it kill up to 99.9% of all waterborne bacteria and parasites, but it will filter up to 1,000 liters of water without the use of chemicals. (hiconsumption.com)
  • so you can be 100 percent hands-free, and there's less chance you'll put your torch down and lose it. (nymag.com)

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How To

How to Purify Water in Emergency Situations

In the event of natural disasters, purification of drinking water is an essential activity. Purifying water involves filtering, disinfection and storage. Many people have saved their lives by drinking clean water during times of emergency. It is also a faster way to recover from disasters.

Purified water must be kept out of direct sunlight and stored correctly. Purified water must be kept out of direct sunlight. If you do not have enough containers, use plastic bags or bottles. Keep the water chilled at 4°C (40°F). Avoid freezing because ice crystals may form inside the water.

These steps are important when purifying water:

  1. Boil water until it boils. You can strain the boiling water by placing it through a strainer to remove any impurities.
  2. For every 2 Gallons of water, add one teaspoon of Iodine. Mix well before adding the Iodine.
  3. The water should be kept in an airtight container. Keep the water at room temperature for no longer than three working days.
  4. Label the container with the date and type of water.
  5. Make sure that your water supply is safe!


The Basic Principles of Wilderness Survival