We're heading into the new year and some of us have had a wonderful 2022, but some of us may have stepped in a puddle once in a while that was deeper than we expected, or spilled coffee on our best outfit right before the big board meeting. But, on the extreme side of the fence; there's the universal possibility that some catastrophic disaster may befall us and we have to put our wits to the test. Improvisation is an artform, but preparation will occasionally meet opportunity, as they say. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind in case you find yourself face to face with an intense survival situation.
1. Learn How to Build a Fire -
This is one of the most important survival skills you can have. Not only is it one of nature's gifts to keep you warm, but vital to cooking food or signaling for help. Having a Fire Starting Kit, Ferro Rod, weather-proof tinder or a Plasma Lighter is ideal; but sometimes the only tools you have are your hands. When it's a hands-on approach - you have multiple methods like friction or finding flint rocks to create a spark. If you are fortunate to have the Sun at your back, there is also the magnification method, just like being a rebellious kid at the ant pile. Smoke signals are timeless and need no explanation to the helicopter pilot searching for you during a bad day on the precipice. And, with emergency signals in mind, or no hope for fire available, a signal mirror is another option. Besides a cell phone by your side, there are some great GPS options out there as well, but that's a rabbit hole for another day.
2. Learn How to Purify Water -
When you're in the wilderness, clean water is the most vital of Earth's life-bearing necessities. The average human is estimated to only survive for 3 days (or so) without water, so there's no time to waste when you need to get hydrated. You can purify water using various methods, including boiling, and filtering. If you're prepared with a bit of gear; Drinking Water Germicidal Tablets and Chlorine Dioxide water drops are non-toxic and safe chemical treatments that are also ultra-portable. Some great Bug-Out or camping-style options like water straws, and water filtration bottles are pretty beneficial tools to have in your cache.
3. Gather Food and Supplies Before Heading into the Wilderness -
Ensure you have enough food and water to last you for several days, as well as a first-aid kit and other essential supplies. This lends a nod to preparedness but always expect the unexpected. This is just something to have in mind and with the hopes that when or if SHTF you will be as ready as you can be to deal with any situation.
4. Find Shelter as Soon as Possible -
Once you're in the wilderness, you will likely need to find a safe place to get respite and safety from the elements. For whatever scenario you’re in, this could be a cave, a tree, or another natural structure. If you can't find any natural shelter it’s ideal to have your own supplies from your Bug-Out bag like an Emergency Tent, tarp, paracord, hammock, etc. Learn how to build a Lean-To if you simply have no choice but to hunker down to recharge on the ground. But don’t forget that you may have to build a sleeping situation that’s lifted up in a hammock-style set-up in case there are any lurking threats in the weeds like poisonous critters or toxic plants.
5. Stay Calm and Think Logically -
When you're in a survival situation, it's important to stay calm and think clearly. This simple notion is obvious but so crucial to making better decisions and increasing your chances of survival. You may already be interested in certain types of meditation practices, yoga, or other spiritual means that you prefer to center yourself in times of duress. Try your best to stay positive and focused, think ahead, and just do the best that you can with what you have. Try not to let stress create panic because you also have to remember that it may increase blood pressure, heart rate, and cause your body wasted energy that could be the difference between you making it to the finish line.
6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings -
Pay attention to your environment and stay vigilant at all times. As you think ahead to prepare for any potential Bug Out situation; consider your region and the type of threats you may encounter. It’s ideal to have knowledge about local weather conditions, species of dangerous wildlife, or the terrain you may have to have to contend with if you find yourself in a survival situation. Getting injured could be as simple as rolling your ankle on an awkward rock to literally falling off a cliff. Some basic topography is useful, entomology, if you have allergens and reactions to certain plants, versus which ones you can and cannot eat. Knowing the hot-spots for rattlesnakes in your zone - all the way up where you might run into those pesky Bears that always seem to know when you have Zagnut bar in your pack. Of course, this is all common sense, but these are all valuable nuances to keep in mind. In an Urban Bug Out situation there will be many other metropolitan dangers as well, but that is also something to think about.
7. Travel Light. Travel Right -
When you're in the wilderness in any situation - camping or otherwise, carrying less weight will makes it much easier to stay mobile; but your mileage may vary. Having a pre-determined Bug Out Bag is one thing, and when you’re able to prepare for a camping trip or a long hike where anything can happen - less can be more. Hopefully, the essentials for your pack are sorted and these nuances are simply small ideas that will add up to a huge victory.
8. Don't Take Unnecessary Risks -
When you're in a survival situation, it's important to play it safe. Avoid taking unnecessary risks that could put you in danger. This relates to staying calm and calculated. One wrong move out of impulse or fear could be your last. Cortisol is the body’s hormonal reaction to stress and could be dangerous if your body enters a fight or flight response in times of danger. Also, adrenaline will likely flow and these could potentially become building blocks that lead up to a blood pressure spike, etc. Related to this notion is also staying hydrated; which applies to everything.
9. Be Prepared for the Worst Case Scenario. Just in Case. -
This isn’t a warning or negative thought, because we all hope for the best every day, and keep the goodwill for our families, friends and fellow humans alive. However, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and reality can be pretty scary. A real-world survival situation is exactly that. Whether it’s an accidental occasion during an outing or an unforeseen Geo-Disaster, unfortunately, we all have to ensure that the worst is yet to come while hoping for the best. This all circles back around to being as prepared as you can be for whatever comes your way.
10. Training for the Basics -
If you want to really stay ahead of the pulse sometimes just having a well-stocked Bug-Out bag or Emergency Food Supply cache may not enough. Consider certain types of training or lessons like First Aid training, and how to apply a tourniquet. Find a local establishment to take Self-Defense lessons or weapons training. Learn to fish, hunt, or whatever is relative to your lifestyle and interests. There are even Survivalist schools specifically for the Prepper culture which will teach you invaluable and crucial skills - Not to mention how fun it is to actually know what it takes to live Off-Grid or even just to become a champion at Camping and enjoying life and nature alone or with loved ones.
Until then, Stay Safe and Happy Holidays from all of us at Prepare Today.com!