Recently Jericoh101 and I picked up a survival RPG by the name of Outward. 1 hour into the game I was hit with the realization that MY BUSHCRAFT was horrid. As a kid that grew up in the country I’ve always known how to survive in the wild, but a simple game like Outward really put my survival skills to the test. From keeping up with thirst and hunger, plus always sleeping when you lose health, I noticed a considerable dip in my knowledge. So, I sat and compiled the most important survival tips and they are as followed.
I hope these tips help and be on the lookout for an Outward article Jericho and I have quite a bit to say about it. Let’s start with the simplest rule. Always Be Prepared. It’s that simple. Headed into Death Valley to check out the super bloom? Make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of water. Same with back country skiing. Warm clothes, extra layers, avalanche beacon, and plenty of water. Common sense is key. But say that the elephant dung does hit the fan?
The times that you’re going to find yourself most exposed are when you’re taken by surprise, so the key is to be ready for a reasonable amount of anything. Before this happens, get a backpack, throw some emergency stuff in it, and leave it in the trunk of your car. Several big bottles of water, a phone charger, lighter, candles, multi-tool, roadside flares, a jacket, small shovel, high-calorie trail bars that won’t expire for a long time, cash, and one of those silver reflective blankets that folds up into a tiny little square. Buy a basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic, various pills, and burn cream, throw that in there, too, along with a few days’ worth of any medication that you can’t miss.
If you do find yourself stranded in the wilderness perhaps, that’s okay, here a few tips to make sure you stay safe. Seek or make shelter is one of your top priorities. If it’s hot, stay in the shade if you can. If not, create a basic lean-to with branches. Pile fresh, green, leafy boughs to help keep wind and water off of you. Don’t make it too big—you want to be able to snuggle in and conserve body heat. Build a fire as fast as you can. If you’re going to be out overnight, a fire will keep you warm and act as a signal. Gather as much wood as you think you’ll need to make it through the evening, put it in a pile, and then get four more piles of the same size.
Now you may have enough for one night. Clear a space of any incendiary items like pine needles and dry leaves, and if you can make a ring of dirt or stones around your soon-to-be-blaze. Try to pick an area where it will be seen from far away, so it acts as a beacon, too. There are several ways to get a fire going without matches or a lighter. Always invest in a good ole flint and steel. But just in case, I always recommend a quick watch of a YouTube tutorial showing how to make fire even without a flint and steel. The next important item; Water.
You can only survive three or four days without water. If you find yourself running out, try to locate a nearby fast-running stream. The faster the water is moving, the less the sediment, and lower the potential of getting sick. But remember, drinking water like this can lead to all manner of unpleasant sicknesses, so if possible, boil it over your fire for at least three minutes.If there’s no fresh water and you’re on a hillside, walk downhill. If it’s an arid region, some cacti will yield drinkable water when broken open. You can try capturing dew overnight with broad leaves, or, in a real pinch, boil and drink your own urine. Remember, however, that every time you urinate and then take it back in, the amount of waste vs. the amount of water is increasing, and it becomes less and less safe to consume.Up next is food, the body always needs fuel.
You’ll make it two weeks without eating, so worry about water first. That said, being hungry sucks, and eventually you’re going to have to do something about it. Since you’re probably not skilled at making a snare for small animals, you can eat insects or embrace vegetarianism. For the bugs, look for crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, worms, and grubs. Ideally, you’ll roast these in leaves by your fire to make the proteins more digestible and kill any bacteria, as well as lowering the yuck factor. I do hope this quick survival guide proves to be helpful. Stay safe out there everybody!