Survival Skills

Survival Skills

Survival skills just for​ backpacking? Why not? for​ ultralight backpackers like myself, skills replace gear, and​ therefore weight. if​ you spend any time in​ the​ wilderness, it​ also just feels good to​ know you can deal with whatever comes up.

Survival means staying warm and​ dry, hydrated, uninjured, and​ finding your way out of​ the​ wilderness. of​ course, eating is​ nice too, but not crucial if​ the​ situation is​ just for​ a​ few days. Here are some survival skills you can learn easily.

Easy Survival Skills

1. Put dried moss or​ milkweed fuzz in​ your pocket as​ you walk, so you'll have dry tinder to​ start a​ fire, just in​ case it's raining later. Cattail fuzz works well too, and​ you can experiment with different materials.

2. if​ it​ looks and​ tastes like a​ blueberry, strawberry, or​ raspberry - it​ is. There is​ no berry in​ North America that looks like a​ blueberry, strawberry, or​ raspberry, and​ can hurt you from one taste. Take a​ taste, and​ just spit it​ out completely if​ it​ doesn't taste right.

3. Make a​ pile of​ dry leaves and​ dead grass to​ keep warm in​ an​ emergency. I have slept warmly without a​ blanket, in​ below-freezing weather, in​ a​ pile of​ dry grass.

4. Put a​ stick upright in​ the​ ground, and​ mark the​ tip of​ the​ shadow. Mark it​ again fifteen minutes later. Scratch a​ line between the​ first and​ second marks, and​ it​ will be pointing east. Techniques like this can save you when your compass is​ lost.

5. Clouds form in​ the​ Rocky Mountains just before the​ afternoon storms in​ summer. Hikers are regularly killed by lightning in​ Colorado. Birds often fly lower before storms. Learning to​ read the​ sky and​ the​ behavior of​ animals can keep you out of​ trouble.

6. the​ biggest wilderness killer is​ hypothermia, and​ getting wet is​ the​ biggest cause. Get in​ the​ habit of​ watching for​ ledges or​ large fir trees to​ stand under when you think that rain may be coming. Learning to​ stay dry is​ one of​ the​ more important survival skills.

7. to​ stay warmer, sleep with your head slightly downhill. it​ takes some getting used to, but it​ works.

8. Get in​ the​ habit of​ filling water bottles every chance you get, and​ you won't have such a​ hard time with any long dry stretches of​ trail. Drink up the​ last of​ your water right before you fill the​ bottles too.

9. Break a​ "blister" on the​ trunk of​ a​ small spruce or​ fir tree, and​ you can use the​ sap that oozes out as​ an​ good antiseptic dressing for​ small cuts. it​ also can be used to​ start a​ fire, and​ will burn when wet.

10. Bark from a​ white birch tree will usually light even when wet. in​ a​ jam, you can also use it​ as​ a​ paper substitute if​ you need to​ leave a​ note in​ an​ emergency.

The above are just a​ few tips and​ techniques you can easily learn. There are many more, and​ they can make backpacking not only safer, but more interesting. Why not practice one or​ two of​ these survival skills?

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