If you are an outdoorsman, or you have plans to become one soon, being armed with the right outdoor survival skills and knowledge is always a must. Failure to do so might make you encounter some challenges or worse.
However, there are instances when even the most skilled outdoorsman may find himself lost in the dark jungles of the forest. When you find yourself in this situation, there are several mistakes that you have to avoid at all costs:
Miscalculating the Risks
Many of the wilderness survival situations you have probably seen or heard off started off rather innocently. It could be just a simple planned father and son hunting trip, a day hike on the familiar trail, or a fishing trip with friends. All of a sudden, things went awry and you have to deal with a life and death scenario. One thing you can do is to plan for the unexpected. Take time to discuss all contingencies prior to embarking on your trip. The moment you leave, everything is already too late. As the old military saying goes, failing to plan is equivalent to planning to fail.
The motto of Boy Scouts is to be prepared. Sadly, many people who are faced with a wilderness survival situation have limited or poor knowledge on how they can survive and they are often completely unprepared. There are 5 keys to outdoor survival, and these include the knowledge on building a shelter, signaling for help, knowing what to eat and how to find it, knowing how to create and maintain fire, and knowing how to locate and prepare water safe for drinking.
It is a twofold mistake which can put your own life in peril when you are in an outdoor survival situation. First fold of the mistake is not taking the right shelter, with the second fold of which is lack of enough knowledge for building a shelter using the tools available in nature. If you have heard of people or someone who perished in the forest, there is one word that you are going to encounter, and that is exposure. It doesn’t matter if it is heat stroke or hypothermia, what matters here there is that you either didn’t have a shelter or you are not knowledgeable about building an ideal shelter that will shield you away from the different elements. Take note that the first survival rule is to stay dry.
A person who ventures into the forest without a compass, GPS, and a compass is tiptoeing with disaster. Those who have spent a considerable amount of time out in the great woods are aware that in a matter of seconds, the most skilled outdoorsman could get lost amidst thick bushes and trees and start the walk towards to wrong direction. The secret to proper navigation is having a good backup method for finding your way back to safety. Don’t just depend on your GPS alone. It is also beneficial if you have enough understanding of the cardinal directions with the use of the stars and sun if you ever find yourself in a situation in which there is no prior preparation, such as a boat wreck or plane crash.
Wearing the Wrong Clothes
The general rule is to dress one more layer warmer compared to what you require. You could take off some stuff then wrap this around the waist, put it in your pocket, or place inside your backpack when you feel hot. However, the moment you leave a certain clothing item behind, nothing is worse than getting cold just because you forgot your favorite jacket in your closet. Look for and wear clothing items which can maintain their warmth long after they have already become wet. You must also have shell pants and jacket for snow and rain. Take note that many instances of hypothermia take place in temperatures of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not Knowing How to Find and Get Potable Water
Everyone knows that a human body will not be able to last long with no water. But, during an outdoor survival situation, you have to check if the water you found will make you sick. Different waterborne organisms like giardia and cryptosporidium could cause severe vomiting and diarrhea which can increase dehydration and reduce your ability of doing your other efforts for survival like finding food, building a shelter, and sending signals for help.
Meanwhile, dehydration can get you killed in just a few days. With no good supply of clean drinking, your body could become dehydrated rather quickly. With dehydration, you can lose energy, have poor judgment, and soon, you are going to lose your willingness to survive. Be ready by knowing the right techniques for purifying wafer and methods on how to catch dew or rain water.
No Clue in Producing Fire
This is just a single word but fire has a lot of meanings as far as outdoor survival is concerned. First, it means warmth because fire will keep you as well as your companions warm during the worst outdoor conditions. Fire is also protection which could keep you away from predators, as a long and burning stick can scare away different animals. Fire also serves as a signal because a glowing fire could be seen even several miles away during nighttime while the smoke is visible at daytime. Hot fire is also a purifier you can use for boiling water to ensure that the water you drink will stay safe. See to it you have several fire making techniques when you travel in the great outdoors and learn the method of making fire the traditional way using two sticks.
No Signal Plan
The ability to signal for help is an important trait to survive in the wild. A quick drop by in an outdoor shop and you will discover there is an entire section meant for such devices alone. Signal mirrors and whistles are the most common ones although you also have to consider how to use high beam.