5 Steps to Prepare to Survive in the Wild by Tiffany Clough

The internet is full of guides on how to stock up in the event of a disaster confining you to your home. There are countless guides telling you how to stock up on cans, what tools to have nearby, how to protect your home from potential danger and so on. The only problem is that most survivalist guides tend to focus more on the event in which you are at home and continue to bunk up in your home when the event of a disastrous time hits. But what should you do if staying at home isn’t a possibility, actually, when those hard times hit? What if the event catches you in the wild, or you have to flee your home and other urban areas to head out to the safety of a forest or the mountains?
For the purpose of covering all our bases, we decided to put together this guide to act as a counterpart to the wealth of information on how to disaster-proof your home. Today we will share with you the tips we would advise anyone to follow in order to be prepared for anything, including the possibility of having to head out into an environment where home comforts aren’t really an imaginable option.

1. Have 2 sets of ‘essential’ items ready

You may find often times lists of essential items every survival expert will advise you to have with you for emergency times. All survivalist sources tend to be abundant in this type of lists and advice, but you should learnt to properly differentiate between them. In all honesty, the list of what you need for staying at home is completely different than the list of items you’ll need for heading out into the wild.
Furthermore, for the outdoors scenario you should think about 2 separate checklists to prepare. One is for the items you should have in your car to be ready to go if the time comes, and the other one is for smaller items to have on your person at all times. If you have a family, then the list of small items (from pocket knife to compass and water purification straw) should contain the entire set for each family member, just in case you get separated. This is a good example of an items list for survival preparedness to have on your person.
For your car, assuming you have one (and we recommend you to have a bulky, sturdy one which can handle rough terrains), you need a separate list of essentials, including a sleeping bag, maps, a rifle (or gun), ammo, different tools needed to cut wood and build a shelter (handsaw, cable, rope) and so on. Just make sure you stock up on both types of items needed out there, and don’t just focus on large items and neglect the small pocket essentials or vice versa.  

2. Try to train yourself to be better with maps, or car repairs etc.

This next step is simple: the maps you’ve stored in your car won’t actually do you any good if you’re not good (and fast) at reading them and using them on the go. Whether you need to create a good road plan for travelling in your car or by foot, you need to be experienced in map reading before you actually come to depend on it. Otherwise, you will over or underestimate distances and may end up making some unfortunate strategic mistakes.

3. Get better at hunting and learn more about wildlife

The other thing you should learn and practice in advance is hunting, for obvious reasons. Don’t just focus on traditional hunting, using a rifle, but make sure you have other options as well, and also the dexterity and experience of wielding them. Whether it’s a crossbow or simply using whatever knife and rock you have in your hand, you should always be able to acquire food. Also look into what types of edible plants live in the wild area nearest to you, and learn to process them, or the ones you should stay away from (poisonous mushrooms, for example).

4. Have a plan (and a plan B as well, if possible)

Since we mentioned earlier how important map reading skills are when devising a sound plan, we should also mention that having a plan is rather essential. We can’t advise you about it since it would depend on the circumstances, but remember this: don’t waste time panicking and being upset over whatever happened. Is the best option you have staying in the wild for a few weeks? Is your best option reaching another area, a few days away? Whatever the best option is, figure it out fast and start working towards it. Also have a plan B, just in case the first one turns out to be not such a good idea.

5. Increase your adaptability to temperature changes

This last step of preparing for surviving in the wild for a while refers to the clothes you plan on taking with you. In order to avoid sickness and extreme discomfort, you need to avoid too many changes in your body temperature. Think of the list of clothes and items to take with you with that in mind: think layers for extra heat, a little at a time, as well as protecting yourself from intense sun exposure. Also take with you a rain mac (or poncho), which can be used for its intended purpose, as well as double up as a curtain to hang up over your shelter in case of too much sun and heat.

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