10 Survival Hacks To Make It Through Nature - Part 2
#6 Protection from Weather
In point 4 we spoke about finding a camping ground. When you finally found your camping ground you have to decide how you are going to protect yourself from the weather.
This contains also your ability to observe the weather. When you see a storm coming in the distance you should plan further steps to find yourself a shelter.
Keep your eyes open for things like caves, spurs and fallen trees. In dry nights where it doesn't freeze a campire will be enough to keep yourself warm. If this is not enough for you you can build yourself a shelter made of branches and leaves for example. If it rains make sure your leaf roof will have at least a half a meter to keep you dry reliably.
If that is still too cold for you, you can start building a leaf sleeping bag. Just gather some leaves on a pile togetherwhich is a half a meter high and twice as wide as you. Make sure that it reaches a lenght of at least your body size - rather a little longer. Form a hollow in the middle, lenghtways and cover yourself with the leaves on your sides.
#7 The Campfire
Nothing brings more comfort into your camp and makes a better feeling of security than a campfire. You will also need it to boil your water and cook your food. Additionally it creates a natural light source.
There are a lot of ways to start a fire, some are easier and other can be a little tricky. The most original form is making fire with sticks and a cord which can take a while and requires a lot of practice but it enables you to make a fire without tools.
Especially for beginners it is recommended to take a lighter or flint matches with you so that it won't take too long and become too frustrating when it does not work as it should the first few times. So make sure you have a reliable lighter or flint matches in your survival pack!
Before you start your fire put a circle of big stones around it to avoid the fire spreading and getting out of control. Before you are going to light it make sure that you start with small and easy burning pieces first. The fire needs to grow before you can put bigger pieces on it. So start with dry tree bark, when the flames come up put some thin branches of twigs on it and later when you see the fire is getting bigger you can start putting some bigger branches on it.
Important: Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before you are leaving your camp and move on!
#8 Orientation - create an inner map
When we speak about orientation we speak about to know where we are, where we want to go and how we get there at any time. Sometimes it needs some practice but we can definitely learn it.
It does not only shows us the way at any time and we will lose the feeling of being lost, it also trains our intuition.
Important are orientation points.
In order to avoid walking in a circle and getting lost, you need to search for a fixed point in the landscape for you to orientate. That can be a group of rocks, a strange looking tree, a waterfall or canyon.
Anything what you can easily keep in mind can serve you as an orientation point. Go towards these points and you won't walk in a circle just to find yourself after an eternity back at your start point.
When you walk through dense forests without any of these orientation points just watch the trees.
What do I mean by that?
Have a look for three trees standing in a line. When you reached the third tree in this line extend the line with three further trees ahead of you so that you just follow a line of trees.
When you always keep an eye on your environment you won't get lost that easy. So walk mindfully and watch out for signs of humanity such as streets, buildings or even smoke. Learn also to listen. Sometimes you will be able to locate noises of machines in the distance, on which you can orientate.
#9 Make a weather forecast
Especially for beginners it is important to make sure you will not stumble into bad weather surprisingly. The weather can decide if your survival trip becomes a beautiful experience or hell on earth!
As a beginner, it's better to start your first survival trips in summer or early autumn when it is still dry and warm. This way you will profit from the mild weather and find easily some fresh fruits to eat.
Learn to watch your environment, in order to avoid walking into bad surprise. Even if you don't see the looming clouds while walking through the dense forest try to feel the air. If the air is opressive and humid it can mean that a storm is coming soon.
Another good indicator are the animals around you. Listen to the birds. Birds have a way better feeling for the weather and magnetic fields than we humans have.
Do they sing happily and cheerfully about the nice and warm summer day or do they rather sing depressed? If the second one is the case it is a quite sure sign that the weather will change soon.
If they stop singing completely and you can feel wind coming up it is a sure sign that there is a heavy storm coming - o time to find yourself a shelter again.
If the birds keep singing and it starts to rain slightly you can be sure that the rain won't last long or turns into a heavy storm.
Important: Before you start your outdoor survival trip watch the weather forecast in the media. Better plan your survival trip on another day when the forecast shows severe storms.
#10 Never lose courage!
The most dangerous enemy you will meet out there is your own psyche. When you leave your comfort zone in the city and get into an unforeseen situation with hunger and thirst, hundreds of mosquito bites, being exposed to the weather can be overwhelming.
You might have doubts and ask yourself "why am I here? I could have stayed at home!" Of course you could have stayed at home but at home in front of TV you will not learn so much about yourself and how you are able to manage situations than you are out here.
The best miracle cure against this frustration is humor. Make a joke from time to time, especially when you are in a group or with a partner. You absolutely have to avoid to demotivate each other.
The human body is incredibly sturdy and strong, especially in extreme situations. The only thing that can be a real danger for us is our own mind, claiming that we won't make it. Don't let yourself go down from that and keep joking and having fun.
At the end we will remember these moments where we could prove what we are capable of way more than we thought. Since these moments have enriched our lives and shaped our personality.
Have Fun Outdoors!