Are you about to go camping for the first time but aren’t so familiar with what basic survival skills you might be needing? Survival skills are something every camper, especially first-time campers, must have knowledge of.
To give you an idea of what basic survival skills you should know before camping, we’ve compiled a helpful guide for you. Keep reading to learn more!
Navigation is a critical skill every camper must know in order to avoid getting lost in the wilderness. There are a couple of ways that you can do so:
- Find the high ground. Finding the high ground allows you to get a better look at all of your surroundings and gauge more or less how far your location is from your destination.
- Follow the sun. Following the sun is a traditional method of navigation because the sun moves from relative east to relative west. A helpful tip to see which direction the sun is moving in is by propping a stick into the ground and monitoring which direction its shadow is moving. Making marks of the movement of the shadow can help you recognise the direction more.
- Bring a compass. Compasses are convenient because they do not rely on electronic technology. They’ll be especially useful if you have a map with you as well.
2). Finding And Purifying Water
Humans can go without water for only two days. As such, it is important that you know how to find and purify water so that you have consistent supply with you. Some options that campers use are to boil water before drinking, strain water through silver, or creating a solar still using a plastic bag.
However, there are also new up and coming tools and devices that can purify water for you, so this may be something to invest in case of emergencies.
3). Building A Fire
Late at night, temperatures could drop which can leave you freezing. Therefore, it is important that you know how to make a fire to keep warm, especially without matches. Additionally, fire can help you purify your water, cook your food, ward off potential predators, cauterise your wounds, and allow you to send out a help signal.
Having matches and lighters on hand may help you; however, more often than not these tools aren’t on hand, particularly those who are non-smokers. One way you can create a fire is to rub together a soft stone and sticks. Feed the fire by adding dry fuel like dry dead leaves or grass and firewood like dry and old wood.
If you want to create a smoke signal, then use green vegetation to create smoke.
4). Creating A Temporary Shelter
On the rare occasion that you might get lost overnight or you don’t have a foldable tent, it is important that you know how to create a temporary shelter to protect yourself from things like the weather, predators, and others.
One way you can create temporary shelter is by using a method known as “lean-to.” This is an easy survival structure to create because all you have to do is lean building materials against existing formations like against a rock wall, a tree etc. It can also be free-standing if you are able to create a frame then pile building materials like branches and rocks.
Another method is the round lodge, where you take numerous branches and lean them together to create a teepee-looking structure. This offers more protection because you can be fully enclosed within the structure. It can also more adequately protect your belongings like food, water, and clothes.
5). First Aid
Of course, first aid is an essential skill to have no matter what situation you may be in. In camping, there can be many unexpected and unpredictable incidents that can lead to some harmful consequences.
It is always helpful to bring a basic first aid kit with you, which may include disinfectants, bandages, gauze dressings, scissors, plasters, safety pins, antihistamine medicine, bug sprays, and sterile eye dressings among many others.
If you have an open wound, make sure to clean the injury and seal it shut to avoid any bacteria from infecting you. Additionally, make sure to bandage responsibly, because if you don’t do this it may lead to some complications with your limb.
In a worst-case scenario, a broken bone may be treated by using a sturdy object like a tree branch and tying it to your limb with cloth or rope. Do not attempt to reset a broken bone unless you are a medical professional.
6). Hunting And Foraging For Food
Hunting and foraging for food is another critical survival skill that you must know before camping. One easy way to hunt for food is to create your own weapon by sharpening a sturdy stick and using this to spear fish or small game. It is preferable to hunt smaller animals because hunting larger animals can lead to more effort and higher risks of injury.
You can also create small survival traps by using materials from your surroundings. It would be helpful to find resources on how to create a simple snare as this will be especially useful if you want to conserve energy.
Foraging for food is also another option. Make sure you are familiarised with the local flora of the area you are camping in so you can avoid eating poisonous food. Try to avoid plants that also look dangerous, such as mushrooms.
Basic survival skills are often overlooked when campers go camping; however, these skills can be the line between life and death.
It is important that you familiarise, train, and enrich yourself with survival skills to anticipate unexpected dangers and hazards you may encounter on your next camping trip.
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