by Angela Williams
Civilization and advancements in technology have reduced to the minimum manmade disasters. Even some natural disasters can be foreseen and adequately planned for. However, Mother Nature sometimes has its way and, leaves a catastrophic aftermath. In such a case, your level of preparedness is the single most important determinant of your survival.
Such preparedness also comes in handy if you are in the wilderness.
To survive in the woods, you must possess some unique bushcraft skills, skills that the best preppers have perfected over the years. In this tutorial, we will provide you with 8 basic bushcraft survival skills that you ought to know to be a successful survivor.
1. Sourcing and Purifying Water
Over 70 percent of your body is water. For that reason, you cannot survive for more than three days without drinking water. In an extreme environment, it may not even be possible to survive that long. Perhaps the most important survival skill is locating and purifying water. It is always good to store sufficient water at all times and carry some prior to leaving for an exploration.
Mother Nature is another good source. You can actually extract clean drinking water from certain plants, especially those with large, green leaves. However, you have to learn to do it properly as some plants may be poisonous. Learn how to extract water from plants in time for adequate preparedness. If there is a ready source of water such as stream, river or pond, use the water only after filtering and boiling it.
2. Starting and Fueling Fire
The next basic but important skill is starting and fueling a fire. This skill is only second to sourcing and purifying water. Hypothermia, a medical emergency that occurs when your body is incapable of producing enough heat to cope up with heat loss, is a real threat if you do not find a way to start a fire to warm your body.
Fire is also essential for water purification, cooking of food, warding off deadly predators, cauterizing wounds following injury and in signaling help in case of an emergency. Ideally, it would be good to have matches or lighter in your person at all time. However, you must also equip yourself with skills so you can start a fire from scratch. Learning how to start a fire from scratch and tend to it is a vital survival tactic all survivors must undergo.
3. Building a Temporary Shelter
The basic needs for human survival are water, food, shelter, and clothing. If you leave to wander in the woods for a day and return to civilization in less than a day then building a temporary shelter should be the least of your worries. However, the story is different if you were to be lost in the wilderness for a couple of days. You would want to build a shelter to protect you from the elements and for peace of mind.
The risks and dangers of emergency are compounded by extreme weather including rain, snow, thick fog and cold. The manner of building shelter depends much on the surroundings and the environment where you are. Learn the best types of temporary shelter to build in emergency situations. Examples include Round Lodge (wickiup, teepee, or wigwam) and Lean-to.
4. Foraging and Hunting For Food
In a survival situation, the usual sources of food are no longer available. Once your food reserves are gone, you are left with the option of trusting Mother Nature to take care of your nutritional needs. You must learn to find and catch food to keep yourself and your loved one alive.
You can use various methods to forage and hunt for food. Such methods include hunting game using self-made weapons, trapping via small game survival snares, and fishing using a line and a hook and foraging for edible fruits, seeds, and herbs.
Concerning the latter, there are many helpful resources that can guide you on the particular plants to go for.
5. Proper Use of Survival Tools
Since most individuals cannot afford all the survival tools currently available in the market, the wise thing to do is pick the appropriate ones for your needs. Survival tools will help you in making a temporary shelter, fetching and preparing firewood, hunting, and cooking among other needs.
The most common survival tools to have in your possession include a flashlight, tactical folding knife, a backpack, scissors, hammer, splitting maul or ax, nails, pliers just but to mention a few. However, it is not enough just to have the tools; you must also know how to use them properly. This will not only make your work easier but also prevent accidents or nasty failures.
6. Psychological Preparedness
Survival means staying safe and functional by mitigating the effects of the disaster or emergency situation at hand. It takes a lot to manage your attitude and personality in an emergency situation. One of the most important survival skills is psychological preparedness. You must have confidence that you will survive despite the difficulties presented by the situation.
Think of what might happen to you if you were to lose hope along the way. It could prove fatal in the end if you cannot get your act together and approach the situation with confidence. It takes a lot of practice and soul searching to prepare psychologically for any eventuality in an emergency situation.
7. Predicting Weather
In most cases, we do not have to worry about the weather conditions of our immediate environment unless there is an impending natural calamity such as hurricane or floods. Nevertheless, being able to forecast weather is a vital skill every prepper should learn. The lessons will become handy in an emergency situation.
Any sudden change in weather conditions if you are in the wilderness can prove disastrous to you because you will not have the necessary skills to mitigate it. Among the weather predicting skills to learn include air pressure, cloud types, animal behavior and variations in temperature. While you can use weather prediction gadgets such as barometer, thermometer and so forth, you must also be able to make approximations from these natural phenomena.
8. First Aid Basics
First Aid is a fundamental skill everyone, especially preppers, must learn as part of disaster or emergency preparedness. In case of emergency, this skill can help you get out of a deadly situation. For instance, you might get a cut that leads to severe bleeding. In such a situation, you can use your First Aid skills to stop the bleeding before you access a medical facility for a more robust treatment. It also means you must have a small First Aid Kit.
Acquiring the 8 bushcraft skills discussed is the first steps in learning outdoor survival bushcraft skills. Bushcraft skills are easy to learn with practice and incredibly helpful. If you do not possess these skills, chances are that you will fail if lost in the woods for an extended amount of time and I believe that’s something you do not want – so get to work.