You can’t find your way out of the forest alone and night is fast approaching. You see no way of finding your way, and this causes your stress hormones to rise. You are thirsty and hungry and your body starts breaking down, you may even start hallucinating and now you are at the mercy of nature. Here are our tips for survival in forest.
If you don’t want that happening to you then you need to learn survival techniques in the forest and we are here to teach you those so you may have the material necessary for your survival in the harsh environment that is the wild.
Here are five forest survival techniques that will help meet your most important needs, including shelter, food, water, and warmth.
1: Calculate the remaining time until sunset
When you get lost in the woods, it is important to be smart and resourceful. For example, if you are figuring out the time of sunset, it would be a good idea if you started building a shelter for the night. There is a simple technique for calculating how much time you have left before dawn. To do this, you need both your hands and a clear view. Here is the procedure to be followed:
- Stand in front of the sun
- Place your palm in front of you with your fingers closed, your little finger on the horizon
- Put your hands on top of each other until you reach the sun
- Calculate the number of hands and fingers used between the horizon and the sun (1 finger = 15 minutes).
2: light a fire
If you don’t have matches or a lighter handy, then here are two old fashioned ways to light a fire:
- By rubbing with a fire hanger: This technique uses a shoelace, rope, or other thread with a slightly curved twig or branch, then wrapped around a drill and quickly twisted on a wooden board with a notch. The great advantage of the bow is that it maintains constant pressure and speed to create embers. This method can be a little tricky to perform.
- Percussion: The technique consists of tilting the sharpness of the luster of hard stones and the blade of a survival knife, which creates sparks.
Do not forget to have fuel ready for lighting the fire, such as dry grass, dried tree bark, tinder or resin, etc.
3: Build a shelter
A shelter protects you from bad weather: cold, rain, hail, snow, etc. How can you build a shelter that meets the conditions of the forest weather?
The type of accommodation you choose will primarily depend on your strength and the resources available. For example, if you’re building a makeshift “tent” under a tree, that’s enough. Find a well-located conifer and overturn the tree without cutting it off above the ground. Then put lots of branches against it so that it resembles a tent. Now all you have to do is make a cozy little bed out of grass, leaves, pine needles, etc. But please note the following:
- Choose a preferred height on the slope
- Avoid sitting at the end of a valley or too close to a watercourse or you will get wet
- To sleep well and avoid back pain, use a flat, straight and rootless floor.
- The front door of your shelter should be facing the prevailing winds to avoid drafts.
4: Purify water
Water is a crucial factor for forest survival. The human body consists of almost 70% water. No wonder dehydration plays an important role in health. If you are dehydrated and without food for long your mind will start playing tricks on you. It often happens that people start seeing stairs in the woods and it is often chalked as urban myth but more often than not it is the result of severe malnutrition.
Rainwater is easiest as it does not need to be filtered if it is collected in a clean container. However, it is imperative to filter water from a stream, lake, or similar source.
Here are three methods of water filtration you can use:
- Boiling water in a container. This is the safest cleaning method to remove all bacteria.
- Making a carbon filter also purifies water, but not 100%.
- By combining both methods, you get completely clean drinking water.
5: Identify an edible fruit or vegetable
If you know absolutely nothing about fruits or wild edible plants and you want to survive in the forest, this is the stopgap but this method is tedious and dangerous to feed you.
Here are the steps:
- Find a plant that you think is edible
- First, put the meat or juice on your skin to see if you notice any irritation
- If nothing happens after a few minutes, repeat this step on your lips
- Still not feeling anything? Crunch a small piece by chewing gently for 30 seconds without swallowing
- If all is well, you can eat a small amount and wait some time before eating it all.
Note: even if you follow this method to the latter, some plants can be fatal. The technique is not infallible. If you don’t want to take any chances, only eat the edible plants that you know about.
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