Wilderness Survival 101
Wilderness survival is an important part of emergency preparedness that you should aim to learn. Especially if you live and work in an urban area and you’re not used to the wilderness environment. Whether you plan to venture into the wild out of choice or find yourself stranded there. Having basic wilderness survival skills will give you the confidence to deal with any unexpected wilderness survival situations that may happen.
Learning Wilderness Survival Skills
The best way to start learning wilderness survival skills is by signing up for a wilderness survival course. These courses are provided by professional survival schools. A survival school will teach you the right way of doing things from the beginning. They usually offer different types of courses, ranging from one day to longer overnight stays where you camp out in the wilderness using survival skills.
There are several ways you can try to find a suitable survival school in your area. For example, you can search online or in local newspapers and magazines. You could also try asking fellow preppers for the names of survival schools that they have used and would recommend.
Wilderness Survival Skills
Wilderness survival involves the use of bushcraft skills that help you to survive in the wilderness by using the resources provided by the natural environment. The art of bushcraft has been used for centuries and involves having the following skills.
- Building Fires
- Shelter Building
- Foraging For Wild Edibles
- Hunting and Trapping Animals
- Water Sourcing
- Water Purification
When you first start learning bushcraft skills you may want to begin by focusing on basic bushcraft skills like.
- Fire Starting
- Tying Knots
- Building Basic Shelters
- Batoning wood
- Carving simple tools
Once you have mastered these basic skills you can then move on to more advanced wilderness survival skills.
What Can I Do If I’m on A budget?
If you’re on a budget and it’s not practical for you to spend money on a wilderness survival skills course. It’s still possible to learn basic wilderness survival skills by carrying out your own research and practicing what you learn.
DIY Wilderness Survival Research
There are plenty of Wilderness Survival and Bushcraft related books available. A simple search online or on Amazon will bring up many results. You can also have a look in our Prepper Resources Section where we have a few suggestions for you.
The prepper community is a great place to start learning about wilderness survival. There are loads of websites and forums online where you can research for free. Some of these specialize in bushcraft whilst others cover a range of survival topics. There’s too many to mention but a good starting place would be the Prepper Website which features daily links to some of the best prepper and survival articles being published.
There are a number of influential survival experts who have raised awareness of the importance of wilderness survival skills. Many of these have documentaries showing on the discovery channel.
You can gain a lot of information and survival tips just from watching these guys do what they do best. For example, I was watching a Bear Grylls documentary the other day about surviving in extremely cold weather scenarios. In this particular episode, Bear demonstrated how peeing into a ziplock bag can then be used to warm hands and prevent frostbite. He also demonstrated how a rucksack could be used as a splint for a broken leg.
Below is a list of some well-known survival experts along with a link to their websites.
A former SAS Trooper, some of Bears achievements include being a chief scout. He has stared in TV survival shows like the one in which he took Barack Obama on a journey to the Alaskan wilderness. He’s also climbed Mount Everest and has his own Survival Academy.
Cody is an internationally recognized professional survival instructor with more than 28 years of hands-on teaching experience. He has consulted for National Geographic Television, PBS, the Travel Channel, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Forest Service, Copley News Service, and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), among others.
Les is an award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman. Which is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada and the Discovery Channel.
Ray Mears is recognized throughout the world as an authority on the subject of Bushcraft and Survival. He has also had various television series, including Tracks, World of Survival, Trips Money Can’t Buy with Ewan McGregor, The Real Heroes of Telemark and more.
Ed is the Guinness World Record-holding first man to walk the Amazon. He was European Adventurer of the Year 2011. He has filmed a number of series for the Discovery Channel. In Marooned with Ed Stafford, Ed was dropped off in remote and inhospitable parts of the planet with nothing to help him survive in each episode.
Wilderness Survival Gear 101
If you attend a wilderness survival course, your instructors will talk you through the wilderness survival gear you will need. If as discussed above you are on a budget and researching and practicing these skills on your own. It’s important to know which gear items you need to help you survive the harsh conditions in the wild.
Having some basic gear and supplies is important for survival during a wilderness trip. Or for when things don’t go to plan and you end up being out there longer than you planned.
A backpack is a vital wilderness survival gear item because you can use it to carry your gear and supplies. The size of your backpack will depend on the number of items that you plan to carry. It will also depend on the length of time you plan to be out in the wilderness.
Practicing packing your kit into your backpack on a regular basis is a good idea so you know what will fit and what you have. Here are some wilderness survival gear suggestions.
Basic Wilderness Gear List
- Climate Suitable Clothing
- Water Purification System
- Spare Water Container
- Tents and other Warmth and Shelter Items
- Weapons and Tools for Cooking
- Multi-Purpose Tools such as Swiss Army Knife
- First-Aid Kit
- Waterproof Matches
- Insect Repellents
- Compass, Maps, and GPRS
- Bushcraft Knife
- Tomahawk or Hatchet
- Pocket Chain Saw
If your budget allows It’s important to buy wilderness survival gear that is strong and durable. This will avoid being in an extreme situation and your kit letting you down.
Wilderness Survival 101 – Summary
Whether you undertake wilderness survival training by attending a course or you teach yourself. Learning these skills will give you the knowledge and skill set you need to stay alive in harsh conditions. Maintaining a positive attitude and mindset will also go a long way in helping you adapt to any challenges you may face.
Research Credits & Recommended Reading