Surviving in the wild is no easy feat, especially if you do not have any previous experience with doing so. There are definitely a few things that you need to know, so be sure to never overestimate your knowledge in this field, lest you experience a really nasty surprise when you realize you’re lost, out of food or don’t know how to start a fire.
There is also a bare minimum of equipment that every camper should have when trying to spend a night in the wild, and today I want to talk about that – the absolute essentials that you must have with you at all times if you plan on doing anything like this.
All sorts of accidents can happen in the wild, and the main problem with this is that you aren’t always able to get help as quickly as you need it, so you have to make sure that you’re able to help yourself. For this reason, you must have a first aid kit with you with some basic stuff inside, like bandages, band-aids, painkillers, antibiotics and disinfectant.This will be more than sufficient for any sprains, cuts and irritations that you might come across in the wilderness. If you happen to experience a more serious injury such as a puncture wound, try to get help ASAP.
The number one danger you’re exposed to when you’re strolling through the wilderness isn’t getting your food stolen by a raccoon, or getting attacked by a black bear. Those scenarios are highly uncommon, but a much more common one is simply losing your way. To prevent this from happening, I highly recommend having a map and compass on hand at all times, as well as a GPS unit. GPS can be a great way to determine your location but you should never depend on it entirely, because once the battery runs out you again have no idea where you are, unless you have an alternative method of orienting yourself.
Running out of food and water is something you really don’t want to experience when spending the night in the forest. Unless you’re experienced and absolutely certain that you can find food for yourself in the wild, it’s best to pack as much food, if not more than you think you’ll need. However, it’s not only how much you pack, it’s what you pack, as well. You need to make sure that the food you bring is not going to spoil before the end of the trip, and require you to throw it out. Get some food that has a long shelf life, like granola bars, seeds or canned food. There are survival kits out there that you can purchase, which contain rations that can last indefinitely, so that’s definitely something you want to check out.
Remember this – it’s never warm enough to sleep without a roof over your head in the wild. Most people tend to forget that they live in an urban environment, full of steel and concrete constructions that absorb the Sun’s heat with a high degree of efficiency and then radiate it back during the night. Because of this, the temperature differences between day and night in our neighborhoods is not that high. In a forest, it’s a completely different story. There’s no concrete, no steel, just wood, dirt and leaf, and these tend to cool down a lot more quickly. Add to that the chance of a surprise shower that hits you in the middle of the night, and you quickly see why a tent is a must-have for any survival situation.
Fire Starting Kit
The same thing applies to fire. A nice, controllable campfire is essential for spending a comfortable night in the forest, for several reasons; one, it’s going to be one of your only sources of illumination. Two, it’s going to be a very valuable source of heat, no matter how hot it is during the day. Three, you can use it to cook and heat up your food, make coffee and it’ll also help you keep pesky bugs and critters away (no wildlife likes to venture too close to a fire). For this reason, it’s a good idea to set yourself up with some waterproof matches, or some flint and tinder if you’re really feeling hardcore – just make sure you have the means to start a fire at any given moment, and you’ll be fine.