10 Survival Hacks To Make It Through Nature - Part 1
Do we really have to "survive" for Survival?
We call survival the art to make it through wilderness without any modern equipment.
This is less about the struggle to survive, it's more about connecting with nature and environment and live from the offers nature gives you.
As many see it as a hobby for the weekend it is not always about "surviving". It is more like a personal test on how we are able to help ourselves without modern equipment and become part of nature again. A simple form of minimalism - be happy and thankful for the support you get from mother nature, even if it is not easy sometimes and you have to do some efforts.
This is a great chance for us developing our personality, increase our creativity and the sense to find solutions. These benefits are an improvement in our daily lifes too since nature does not forgive weakness. The only way is to help yourself!
We as human beings used to live in the wilderness for many thousands of years. Most of us forgot how to live in the wilderness and to live all on our own. This is a great chance to get back to the roots and take action to connect to mother nature again on a way we are able to control.
How do we get started and what do we need for our personal Survival Adventure? That's what this article is about.
These are our 10 Tips for beginners how to make it through the wilderness...
The art of survival is to be able to find a support of nutrition and water, find a shelter protecting from weather and the ability to protect yourself from dangers - the less modern equipment you use the better.
Basic requirements are a strong belief in ourself - the right mindset can be crucial if you will make it or not. In nature there is nobody accepting an "I can't do this and that". The will to survive must be stronger than any doubts. The golden key: if you have a problem or if you need something, find a solution!
In this point mother nature can be your best ally or your worst enemy, it depends on your mindset!
Another basic requirement is humility. Respect nature and be thankful for any support you'll get from it. Many people think human beings dominate nature but when it comes to the point many would fail and nature itself sorts out.
Of course we also have to learn some skills that would help us making it well out there.
#1 Be prepared for your Adventure
Especially in the beginning we should prepare ourselfs with some tools to get a feeling what it means to be in the wilderness. Although Survival means to help yourself with what you find it is important especially for beginners to get a first impression of what we have to be prepared for and what awaits us out there.
For the start find yourself a woodland which is not too far away from the next town or Ranger Station so that it would be easier to reach out to someone in any case. It's not a matter of false pride getting yourself in trouble, keep your own security in mind and the ability to quit at any point!
For the correct clothing it is recommendable to wear several layers of light clothing over eachother so that you are able to take off a layer when it gets too warm but also to get one more when it's getting cold.
Take a water bottle with you filled up with water. After it is empty you can fill it up at the next water source.
If you don't want to drink water unfiltered, click here to get to our step by step guide on how to build your own water filter...
Take some high calorie food with you that lasts for a longer time. This can be nuts, dried fruits and granola bars.
A knife with a long and fixed blade is essential. When you are able to cut and hack things you can build yourself everything what you need. Especially for beginnners it is advisable to take a sleeping bag, a tarp and a sleeping pad with you.
If this is gonna be your first trip as a Survival Hero don't be shy to ask at least one more person to go with you. Like that you will have someone to share your experience and a reliable partner in an emergeny situation.
Important: Make sure that a third person that is not involved knows about your outdoor adventure and your chosen destination. In a real emergency - if you get lost for example - this can save your life!
#2 Be aware of Dangers!
To be able to move safely in nature it is important to know about the dangers that might come across your way. Most people think of wild animals as a danger when thinking about risks that might come across out in the wilderness.
Of course it depends where your destination is. In most European forrests are not many threats anymore. Wild boars for example normally try to avoid the contact to humans. If there will be an encounter try to keep calm and respectful towards the animal since you are in its habitat. Try not to run away and do not attack the animal.
In some cases it might be a good idea to take a bear spray or if needed a rifle with you to defend yourself in an emergency case. Take your own security serious and don't let chance decide!
In the long run the more dangerous things in the wilderness are not wild animals. These dangers are called thirst, hunger, weather, heat, cold and injuries. Try to protect yourself from these situations and do not fight against nature heroically as hard as you can. Survival does not mean to fight against nature and take dangerous situation you'll find - it means to integrate and to live from it. It means to learn and to notice the offers nature gives you and to accept these offers.
#3 How to find food in the wilderness?
In nature you will need a lot of calories. When you are all day long on your feet trying find the best shelter, water and food or when you gather dry wood for a camp fire your body will move constantly. This means you need to get your "fuel" to keep your motor alive. Being creative and thinking about solutions needs already a lot of energy.
In many books about survival you will find the statement that the human body resists hunger for up to 4 weeks so don't worry - well this is only correct if you are not active the whole day and this is definitely not the case when trying to "survive"!
Another important term is that you are exposed to the weather and your body works all the time on full speed to keep the right ballance you need what costs a lot of energy too.
In regards to those facts food can easily become the main concern from first day on. The best remedy against hunger are skills about natural food sources.
There are thousands of edible plants, roots, berries and mushrooms. Especialy for beginners it is necessary to take a simple handbook of plant identification with you. There are also a lot of excellent courses to attend where you learn exactly what plants you can eat.
Important: At any costs, do not eat any plants you are not able to identify. If you are not sure if you can eat a plant, a mushroom or berries, just leave it and do not take the risk of poisoning!
The better way is to learn about a few plants what you can identify safely instead of learning as many plants as possible and not being sure at the end.
Insects can be a good protein source at the beginning since they are easy to catch and many of them even taste good -cants for example. In many cultures around the world insects have become a rich delicacy.
#4 How to filter water In Nature
Beside of food water is another very important need that you have to cover to survive your Survival Adventure.
Originally our intestines contained the same bacteria that are found in wild water sources so that we could drink it back then. However our sterile lifestyle nowadays eliminated most of them so that drinking wild water without filtering could even be harmful to our health.
If we overwhelm our destines with those bacteries in large amounts it could react in form of diarrhea and vomiting what is even a bigger loss of water than normally.
The only water you can drink without any problems is water right from a freshwater source. If such a freshwater source is not in your location you will have to clear the water first.
There are two options: You can boil it or you can filter it. If you don't know how to filter water correctly have a look to our article of how to make your own water filter.
Important: Make sure you drink water only from sources that you trust! Do not drink water from a river that went through a city with industrial areas. Chemicals and other toxins like heavy metals or hormons cannot be filtered and cooked out. Agricultural areas are also affected. So better stay away from waters in those areas.
#5 How to find your Camping Ground
Your first night night in the wilderness can become a nightmare - if you do not follow some easy steps for your camp ground!
Avoid places with a high amount of humidity at any cost and at any season. Inwinter humidity will accelerate the cooling of your body and in summer it will attract mosquitos that make the night hell for you.
If you don't have a camping pad with you try not to lie directly on the ground. Especially in winter the ground can be too cold and cools down your body. If you do not want so sleep on a higher leaf layer you can also collect a few light branches, put them together and place something soft on it like a blanket, clothing or your backpack.
Make sure you won't sleep under dead branches. When wind comes up in the night you don't want them to crack fall on you while you sleep.
If possbile light up a camp fire. It will keep you warm and keeps mosquitos and wild animals away from your hotel room at Mother Nature's.