Basic Wilderness Survival Skills

Survival skills
Survival skills

Learning basic wilderness survival skills can save your life, and the life of your family, should you ever find yourself in a survival situation. The thing about survival situations is that they are never something you expect to have to contend with. 

They happen when something goes wrong, and at that point, you will have the skills and knowledge you need to survive, or you won't make it. That's why it's so important that you learn about basic wilderness survival skills so that you are prepared in case you need them. You will be making a huge mistake thinking that something like that will never happen to you.

This doesn't mean that you have to become an outdoor expert. What it does mean is that you need to learn how to get drinking water, build shelter, hunt, trap, or forage for food, build a fire, and signal for rescue. While that may seem like a lot of bases to cover, the truth is that the effort it takes to learn about these areas of survival is well worth the skills you will develop.


Most people know that you can only survive for a few days at most without water. What most people don't take into account is that in a survival situation you are likely to need far more water than you usually do. This is why you need to learn how to find and process water to make it safe to drink.

No matter what environment you are in there are resources that you can use to find water. In some environment water is plentiful. If you are trapped in this type of situation, your primary goal should be to build a fire so that you can boil water to make it safe. In environments where water is less plentiful, you will have to rely on alternative methods for finding water. This may include digging into the moist ground and building a capturing rain system.


No matter what type of environment you find yourself trapped in having a proper shelter is a must. In tropical and desert climates you need a shelter to protect you from the sun. A lot of people don't realize that desert environments can also get quite cold at night so that you will need protection from the cold as well. The key to making a good survival shelter is to work as efficiently as possible and to use local materials. You want to make sure that you make a waterproof roof, or you take shelter in an area where the landscape protects you from rainfall. You also need to make sure that you have walls to protect you against the wind, and that you have insulating material to sleep on to keep you from freezing on the cold ground.

Finding Food

While in an ideal situation the human body can survive for long periods of time without food, in a survival situation you will need far more calories than you would in a normal situation. If you don't replace the calories you are burning through then you will begin to wear down and tire. Eventually, you may lose the strength to get up and keep moving, which will kill you in a survival situation. How you acquire food when surviving will depend upon the environment you are trapped in. One important thing you will have to remember is that when you are surviving, you may have to resort to eating foods you normally would turn your nose up at.

Learn How To Make The Ultimate Survival Food

While most people think that hunting for food is the answer the reality is that hunting is a lot harder than most people realize. This is especially true when you are surviving and don't have a rifle or any other hunting gear. Your best way to find food when surviving is to set traps for small game, and also for fish. While it won't be easy, setting snares is something you can learn relatively quickly, and it can save your life.


When it comes to survival fire is a tool that can do so much for you that it needs to be a priority. Fire can cook your food, keep you warm, help you signal for rescue, help you purify water, and keep wild animals at bay. Unfortunately making fire without a lighter and matches is much more challenging than the average person realizes. Simply rubbing two sticks together isn't going to make fire. So if you want to be able to make a fire, you need to learn different techniques and you need to practice them. You should learn how a bow drill works since this is one of the ways to make a fire that is most likely to work in most environments. Ideally, you will simply keep a lighter with you when you are traveling just in case you need fire. You should also consider keeping a book of matches in your wallet.

Signaling For Help

One area of survival that is among the most important is learning to signal for help.

Whether you are trying to walk out or waiting for rescue, setting up multiple methods for signaling for help should be a priority. Always remember that sets of three are the universal sign of distress. This can mean lighting three signal fires or building three large piles of stones or other objects in a clearing. If you have a mirror, you can also use that for signaling purposes.

Surviving Is All About Being Prepared

When most people find themselves in a survival situation, their first move is to panic. They never thought that they would be in this type of situation, and now they have no idea of what to do. It's people like this that are most likely to die. On the other hand, if you have at least basic wilderness survival skills you will have an idea of what to do. You will know that you need a shelter, and how to look for a source of drinking water. The chances are that you won't ever be in a survival situation. But if you are you will be very happy that you prepared ahead of time so that you know what to do to survive.

Featured image: @the.photoguy (insta) Colder Weather (license)

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