Getting lost in the woods is a real possibility for anyone. Whether you went off trail to find a waterfall or were simply looking for a spot to camp, it can happen.
If you’re ever lost in the woods, it’s vital to keep your cool until help arrives. Panic and stress will only add to your injuries and prolong the length of time you’ll be trapped in the wilderness.
Finding a Water Source
Whether you’re in the woods for a day hike or you are stranded in the wild, water is one of the most important elements of survival. Without it, your body’s functions will go haywire and you may die.
To find a water source, search for signs that indicate that it is nearby. This could include animal tracks, vegetation, and swarming insects.
Another clue is animal feces, which can often point you in the direction of a stream or other water source. But be careful: if you spot a trail with feces and you don’t see any water at the end, you’re not going in the right direction.
Also, be on the lookout for canyons, ravines, and dry riverbeds, as well as irregular depressions in the landscape. These are good places to look for running water, since the faster it flows, the better the chance that it will be clean.
Building a Shelter
One of the most important skills to have for survival is knowing how to build a shelter in the woods. This can save your life if you become stranded in the wilderness without water or food.
A shelter can protect you from the elements, keep you warm and provide a safe place to sleep. It also acts as a refuge from predators and other animals that may try to kill you.
Ideally, your shelter should be built near natural construction materials such as sticks or rocks. This will minimize wind exposure and help reflect the warmth of a fire back into your shelter.
Depending on your location and needs, your shelter can be as simple as a lean-to or as complex as an A-frame. The key is to choose a shelter site where you can get plenty of time to construct it, so that your preparation doesn’t interfere with your ability to complete other necessary tasks.
One of the most important aspects of survival in the woods is staying warm. Without warmth, hypothermia and frostbite can set in very quickly and wreck a plan to survive.
There are several different ways to keep yourself warm in the woods. First, you want to dress correctly for cold weather conditions. Wear long underwear, insulated socks and gloves, and a windproof and waterproof shell.
Another way to stay warm is to build a shelter out of fallen trees and bushes. This can be a quick, sturdy and effective shelter in the woods.
To do this, you need to find a large tree or rock overhang and pile up some branches against it as a wall. Then, fill in the gaps with smaller branches and debris.
This will keep you a lot warmer than sitting on the ground or any other natural surface, which will actually suck the heat from your body via thermal conduction. So, if you can’t get a fire going, a fallen debris shelter may be your best option to survive in the woods.
Whether you’re out in the woods or in your backyard, preventing predators is an important part of survival. A recent study found that preventing carnivore attacks with non-lethal methods (like electric fencing, night enclosures and shock collars) is consistently more effective than lethal controls.
Predators aren’t bad guys – they’re animals that need to survive. They need to be able to hunt, clean up the carcasses of their prey and get the energy they need.
If your flock is prone to predation, make sure their enclosures are predator-proof. This includes removing any food sources that could attract wild predators, such as fruit trees, bird feeders or garbage.
Another way to protect your flock from predators is to keep them away from high-traffic areas, such as yards and front porches. Keeping sick and injured livestock in separate areas also helps prevent predatory attacks.