Be it an avid outdoor enthusiast or simply someone looking for peace of mind should anything arise, these top survival tips are essential.
Focus on your three most basic needs – water, shelter and warmth. An individual can only survive up to three days without access to drinking water.
Find a clean source of water and ensure there is an efficient method for purifying it, since wet skin releases heat more rapidly than dry.
1. Know Your Limits
An essential survival skill lies in understanding your limits. In an emergency situation, stress hormones released by your amygdala will release into your system to trigger fight or flight response that depletes energy reserves quickly. Stay calm by taking an objective view and evaluating each situation independently.
Once you understand your limits, the next step should be finding solutions to overcome them. Take an inventory of all available resources and prioritize them according to what’s most essential; such as finding freshwater sources (preferably clean), shelter and creating fire for warmth; as well as searching for food through foraging roots, flowers or fungus – using signaling methods (whistles/mirrors); creating traps to hunt small animals – building traps yourself or building them for hunting small animals in traps built specifically by you; practicing basic first aid knowledge will ensure you know how best to help yourself or others should an emergency arises!
2. Know How to Build a Fire
Fire can meet many survival needs, from cooking food and providing warmth, to signalling for help if necessary. Proper construction of fire can ensure its safety and effectiveness; in emergency situations it should even serve as a signal.
To build a fire safely, it is best to choose an area free from dead grass and organic matter, with flat and undisturbed ground that’s protected from wind. Furthermore, widowmakers – snags or branches that hang down over your fire – should be avoided at all costs, while you should monitor it at all times; even one spark could spark an out-of-control fire!
As well, it is equally essential to learn how to access and purify water effectively. This can be achieved using either a water filter, iodine tablets or boiling it over an open fire.
4. Know How to Stay Warm
As temperatures decrease, accessing warmth becomes an essential survival skill. Shelter can be one way to stay warm, but knowing how to generate heat on your own is also crucial.
Find a source of clean water as soon as possible – this will be essential in avoiding dehydration in any survival scenario. Various options exist such as water filters or even boiling the water before drinking to make it safer to drink.
Once you have access to water, it is time to construct a shelter and create a fire for warmth. In addition, use any available materials as insulation in order to keep warm air confined against your body and create an insulating blanket of warm air within.
5. Know How to Self-Defense
Violence is always present, but it doesn’t have to be your reality. No matter your strength, size or previous training experience, there are self-defense techniques you can learn that will enable you to get away from an attacker and escape.
Preventive self-defense actually begins well before an incident arises: be mindful of your surroundings, limit distractions like phone use and headphones, walk and park only in well-lit areas, keep keys laced between middle and ring fingers for safe keeping, don’t make yourself an easy target by not talking back or wearing expensive clothing and establish boundaries for yourself by not engaging an attacker directly.
As Sun Tzu states in his classic work The Art of War: “The ultimate aim of war should be subjugation without fighting; however, knowing how to defend oneself when necessary is equally essential.”