When in a survival situation, instincts can be your greatest ally. However, if you want to ensure that you remain alive, the work must also be put in.
Scottish author Ewan Morrison explores this idea in his novel “How to Survive Everything,” which follows fifteen-year-old Haley and her brother Ben as they struggle to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
Know Your Limits
Cultivating the habit of knowing your limits is essential for survival. This includes being aware of how long you can go without food, water and shelter. It also involves knowing how to handle emergency situations such as when power goes out or a natural disaster strikes your area.
Staying prepared will help you weather any emergency situation that arises. It also serves to demonstrate to those around you that you have a plan in place should the worst happen. For instance, tell your family that in case of a major storm, all supplies should be brought along in a duffel bag for safe keeping.
Build a Shelter
Constructing a shelter is an integral component of any wilderness survival plan. Whether you’re trekking through the woods for several weeks or are caught in an emergency situation, having a secure place to crash can mean the difference between life and death.
Three primary types of shelter exist, each designed for a particular purpose. Deciding which type is best suited to your needs and the environment around you requires consideration.
When selecting a site for your shelter, be sure to consider the Five W’s of Survival: wind, widowmakers, wildlife, water and wood. These conditions can make outdoor life unpleasant and hazardous; thus be aware of them before beginning construction on your shelter.
Build a Fire
Fires are an essential survival skill, capable of cooking meals, purifying water and signaling for help in times of danger. But mastering how to build a fire requires practice and can be tricky under duress.
Bud Ahrens, program director for Outward Bound, emphasizes the importance of oxygen, fuel and a sustained ignition source when starting a fire. “These three elements come together to form the perfect storm,” he states.
Build a Water Filter
Access to clean water is essential for survival in any crisis situation, yet it can be challenging to locate during a crisis.
A water filter makes it simpler to locate and purify water. A reliable filter will protect you from hazardous toxins, microorganisms, and pathogens like giardia.
Create your own water filter using inexpensive materials. Common filtering materials include sand, pebbles and charcoal.
If you find yourself in a predicament where you must survive without food for an extended period, knowing how to harvest survival food will be key. Fortunately, there are many wild plants that are both easily harvested and highly nutritious.
One way to identify them is by keeping an eye out for wild berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries. They are available year-round and provide plenty of calories.
It’s worth noting that insects are another excellent source of protein and energy. They’re easy to catch, don’t require a license for hunting, and often come in large numbers.