From snake bites to torrential floods, disaster can occur at the worst of times. However, being stuck with little or no help can be very dangerous for everyone. That is why you need to know a few common survival tactics to help keep you safe no matter what emergency arises.
- What are the essential survival skills?
- What tools do you need for most survival situations?
- How did we choose?
- Fastpack EDC
- Duct tape
- Emergency flashlight
- Windproof lighter
- Stormproof match kit
- Paracord survival kit bracelet
- Emergency blankets
- Personal water filter
- Vacuum insulated water bottle
- Sighting compass
- An axe
- Folding saw
- Survival knife
- First-aid kit
- Bivy sack
- Emergency radio
- Cargo pants
- Toilet Paper
Wrap Up When Fighting Hypothermia
A lot of people say you should keep on moving when dealing with hypothermia but that is not the case. Many think it’s important to start exercising when you’re cold because it will help make you warm and circulate the blood flow but it makes things a little worse. The reason why is simply because blood vessels open up when the body is trying to exercise and it means your warm blood is pushed to the surface causing you to become colder.
You need to keep your internal organs warm and by wrapping up warmly and reducing warm blood flow to the surface, you can do this. If you somehow find yourself in water and unable to get out, you should stand or lie still to help keep your internal organs safe and warm. Exercising isn’t really good because it doesn’t do much good especially if you are going to be kept out in the cold for the upcoming hours.
Dealing With Poisonous Snake Bites
If you have to survive in the wilderness you need to be extremely wary of snakes. When you are bitten by a poisonous snake, it can be very serious and deadly but the worst mistake you can make is to suck out the poison. Now, many will say you absolutely need to remove the venom and while that may be true, you shouldn’t suck out the poison.
The reason why is simple, you could end up causing more damage. When someone sucks poison out of a wound or attempts, they could do one or two things; they could accidentally swallow poison or add more bacteria to the snake bite. The mouth has lots of bacteria and you could easily cause serious damage to a friend. Also, do not try to slice away some of the skin to get to the bite.
Instead, you need to remain calm and remove any and all items such as jewelry that may constrict blood flow. The area will start to swell quickly so it’s important to act fast. If you or a friend has been bitten on the arm, keep the arm below heart level and seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Stave Off Wild Animal Attacks
Most people believe when you are confronted by a wild animal you should run and get as far away as possible. However, in most cases, you are very unlikely to outrun a wild animal especially bears, wild dogs and big cats. These things are fast and they can and will catch you; so instead, of being an easy target, you must stand and face the animals.
As crazy as it sounds, it isn’t. You should try to do a lot of yelling and make yourself look big and maybe you can scare away the animals. Shouting things such as ‘go away, get back’ may help a little. Animals don’t always know how to react when their so-called prey stands up to them because it damages their confidence and it may just scare them off. Of course, sometimes, it won’t work but if you can’t get to high ground safely you need to try and scare off the animal.
Splint a Broken Arm or Leg
Whenever there is a broken bone to deal with, you need to act fast to immobilize it. The reason why is simple – you’re going to be serious pain and you can’t really move much with a broken bone also. The first thing you need to do, is create a sprint for the arm or leg and use it immobilize the bone and hopefully it shouldn’t cause too much pain for you to move.
However, for major wounds, you are going to need to be extra careful. For example, if you have an open wound and you’re losing a lot of blood, you need to apply a lot of pressure, direct pressure onto the wound. Place your hand onto the wound and keep as much pressure there as you possibly can. The object here is to reduce the amount of blood flow so the person doesn’t lose too much. Also, try to bandage up the wound if the bleeding doesn’t stop and keep pressure there. You need medical attention quickly so try getting to a hospital within a few hours.
Keep Updated With Emergency Situations
Just because the next town over has been hit by a flood, it doesn’t mean your town or city won’t be affected. For example, bad weather can trigger flooding in one town and miles down the road, it can cause landslides and you need to be aware of them. One emergency can trigger another and you have to know what is going on at all times in order to stay safe and remain out of harm’s way.
You may be planning to leave the city but there may be roadblocks or delays and you have to be aware of everything that is happening. You do not want to be stuck in the open when disaster strikes.
When A Riot Breaks Out, Stay Off the Streets And Away From Roaming Mobs
Most people will understand how important it is to remain indoors when there are riots outside, however, sometimes, you may be caught off-guard and find yourself in the middle of a raging war. The reason why you find yourself away from the safety of your home is your own business, but you need to be extremely cautious in terms of how you approach the situation.
Your first port of call is to find shelter as quickly as possible but until you do, avoid the streets and at all costs, avoid mobs. Now, we’ve all seen it on TV when violence erupts, there are tones of mobs roaming the streets looking for trouble and you do not want to be anywhere near them. This isn’t just about getting sucked into following them but rather being on the end of their temper. You may not have done anything wrong but that doesn’t mean you won’t become a target.
Stay In Concrete Bunkers When a Storm Hits
Roots cellars are perfect when it comes to riding out a terrible storm outside. Tornadoes and hurricanes are some of the worst and you have to keep you and your family safe. However, your home may not be safe and you need to have a shelter for you to turn to. This may be your own personal root cellar or if you have no bunkered shelter of any kind, you need to get to a local community center.
The above seven survival tactics may just allow you to remain clear from danger when disaster strikes. You never know when danger will strike and when it does, you need to be ready for anything.
What are the essential survival skills?
Should you ever find yourself in a survival scenario, you will probably need a lot more than a knife and a compass. From binding wounds to making fire and finding water, there are some crucial skills that you should practice to stay alive in the most challenging situations.
One thing we cannot do without for many days is water. We can survive weeks without food, but we might die in just a few hours if we don’t have water and the heat is terrible. Having suitable drinking water is essential for our survival. Here are some tips to help you find water in worst-case scenarios:
Gravity, greenery, and ground
The water flow is always downhill, so look for streams and creeks in the crevasses between hills. Even if you don’t see it, water could be around. Try to catch the sound of water running over rocks and follow the sound. See if you spot signs of life as animals like areas with drinking water. You can also dig a hole in damp soil to find groundwater. It’s the last resort and you will need filtration to drink it. Groundwater is typically filled with parasites and germs.
Avoid stagnant water
Even if standing water looks appealing, you should be aware because it’s full of bacteria and parasites. Pooling water in streams presents the same risk. Always search for places with a strong flow because the water will propagate everything that might get you sick. We care to remind you the chance of malaria and dengue fever (they’re dangerous) in standing water is significant. Should it be possible, never drink water from standing water. Always boil the water or try water filtration. Details come down below.
Starting and tending to a fire
Along with finding drinking water, making fire is another crucial skill to survive in case of emergencies. Fire will keep you warm, give you light, cook your meals, boil the water, and keep predators at a distance. You can also use fire to cauterize wounds and signal help. Sure, you should have a lighter/match in your survival backpack, but you should know how to start a fire from scratch.
There are several ways and tricks to start a fire. Our recommendations will come in handy:
The drier, the better
You can use a magnifying glass, a bow drill, a flint, etc., to start a fire. However, none of them will work if your fuel (twigs, wood, sticks, etc.) is wet. Don’t just go for branches of living trees but seek out cracked, dry, dead branches off the ground. It’s the same for kindling—dry, dead grass is ten times more efficient than plucked greenery. If you want to send smoke signals, you should use green vegetation instead. Even so, you will still need a good fire with dry wood and only “cook” the greenery above it.
Don’t get too confident about your skills to start a fire and start small instead. Tiny fibers are easier to light than bigger ones. You should use a few smoky sparks in a handful of dead grass in the beginning. It’s not a good idea to light medium-sized branches—you will waste time, fuel, and energy. Take a small flame carefully to larger branches once you get a small flame going. You only need a spark to start a fire.
Friction, lighters, and matches are some of the many ways to start a fire. Even if it’s a childhood trick, burning ants with a magnifying glass will give results. If you’re in a cold climate, you can focus light from the sun into clear ice to start a fire.
Build a shelter
Let’s say you will be able to find your way back to civilization in less than a day or so. But what if not? You need to know how to build a temporary shelter to protect yourself from the elements. The rain, snow, cold, and even a thick fog can put your life at risk unless you have shelter. Use the surroundings and the environment in which you are. Here are the easiest shelters to build:
This type of shelter is made with leaning building materials up against a pre-existing structure or natural formation like a fallen tree, rock face, wall, etc. It can also be a free-standing shelter when you build a 3-piece standalone frame onto which you lean the materials.
With a lean-to shelter, you won’t have 360-degree protection. However, it’s a suitable option to build in a pinch.
Also known as wigwam, teepee, or wickiup, the round lodge is made similarly to the lean-to shelter. You build it the same way, with many branches leaning together to make a large structure. However, it provides more protection when appropriately constructed. You will need more time and materials than with a lean-to shelter, but it protects you better than the lean-to shelter.
The Igloo/Quinzhee snow hut, the snow cave, the Ramada, and various tarp shelters are also solutions for survival scenarios. The idea is to have protection over your head from the elements. Each of these shelters presents risks– a snow shelter, for instance, has a chance of collapsing and suffocating/freezing you to death.
Smartwatches are significant as many come with GPS and show your location at any given time. What if it runs out of batteries and you have no tools to find your way back to civilization? It’s essential to know how to navigate the world surrounding you. Here are some tips to remember:
Use the sun
Except for the extreme North and South Poles, the sun moves from relative east to relative west. It’s not the perfect system, but it’s worthwhile. Look for a long stick and push it into the ground to make it stand up alone. Make a mark in the dirt where you see the tip of the stick’s shadow. Wait a bit and see in which direction the shadow has moved—it’s typically east.
Find the high ground
Even if it’s not fruitful all the time, finding a high point is an easy way to make an idea about the surroundings. You can climb a small tree or walk to the top of a hill to look at your location. It’s a place to start your survival mission.
Civilization and life depend on the water, so follow the flow of a river. You will most likely come across other people sooner or later—only if you’re not entirely off the grid. It might take a while until you discover the way back, but you will have drinkable water.
Hunting & Foraging for Food
If you cannot find your way back to civilization in a day or two, you will need to know how to find and forage food. There are many ways to do it and each has ups and downs. You will need proper tools, or at least a sharp knife:
There are several traps to make and you only need materials and stuff from the surroundings. You will need patience and skills to build a trap and catch a meal. However, you won’t spend as much energy as you will with hunting.
If you know how to sharpen a long stick and turn it into a weapon, you can use it to spearfish or small game. You don’t need hours to make your weapon, but you might spend a whole morning catching anything.
You only need something similar to a fishing line and hook. You also need to be near a body of water/ set up the fishing line (ideally, with bait) and wait until you catch something. We recommend you avoid areas with many fish—large predators could be interested too.
Local flora might not get you full, but it keeps you safe from starving. Needless to say, you should avoid anything that resembles or is known for being poisonous—mushrooms are a good example. Include a book about local plant life into your list of books to read.
Dressing A Wound
Getting injured in a survival scenario is one of the worst parts to imagine. Even if you can avoid severe injuries, you should be ready to act if anyone suffers a break, gash, or similar. Here are some things to remember:
Close the wound
An open wound is a place for bacteria to grow and cause an infection which can worsen the whole situation. Even if it’s a small cut, make sure to wash it and seal it shut. You can close with a cloth, something in your band-aid (details come below), or even burn close the wound if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
Brace the break
If you or someone with you breaks a limb, you should bind it to avoid getting worse. Look for a straight tree branch and tie it to the limb with a rope, cloth, or paracord. Don’t try to reset the broken bone unless you’re a medical professional.
Never use tourniquets unless you really must. A tight bind of a limb can cause limb loss. You want your bandage to close the fresh wound and you should use a sterile cloth. Change the bandages as often as possible because dirty bandages can cause infection.
Tying A Knot
Many sporting activities (sailing, for example) require you to make a knot properly and this skill is pretty underrated. However, tying a knot not to become loose can be crucial in an emergency.
When you know how to ty a knot, you will be able to properly secure your hunting trap, fishing line, survival shelter, bandage, etc. Regardless of what you may think, most of us are unaware of how knots can work. You need to practice so your shelter doesn’t fall apart and your trap works. It’s essential to know how to tie a square, clove hitch, and bowline.
If you’re lucky and catch some wild game, you need to cook it and not eat it raw. It’s never safe to eat raw wild game because you could get parasites or diseases carried by the game. You need to know how to camp cook and what’s safe to eat. Some general guidelines come next:
Remove the guts
You’re not at the restaurant to enjoy a goose liver; a goose liver can kill you when in the wilderness. When you dress the meat to cook it, you must dispose of all guts, especially anything related to the digestive tract. Otherwise, you risk getting sick and diarrhea is the least dangerous symptom to name. You should eat only limbs and muscles.
Overcook and not undercook
We know that overcooking can make the meat challenging to eat and less savory, but it’s safer that way. When you cook the food thoroughly, you kill off possible bacteria and pathogens that may lie in the meat. All in all, you should eat a tough jerky instead of rare.
Throw all waste
Staying safe in the wilderness is key to surviving. After you cook your meat, make sure to dispose of all waste far from your shelter. Wild animals will most likely smell the food and get closer to you. Even if some animals may not be dangerous, you don’t want to take your chances when a mountain lion is around. If possible, you should try burry all garbage.
What tools do you need for most survival situations?
Truth be told, it’s challenging to be prepared for any survival scenario. Additionally, prepping for every possible emergency scenario could take you years of your life. It doesn’t mean that you should entirely forget about it and take it all as it comes.
You should, at least, reasonably prepare for most situations. The following survival essentials will help you stay alive nine times out of ten. Keep reading for the details.
How did we choose?
Commonly, survival gear can be categorized in smaller categories:
- Shelter, etc
We care to remind you that you would need more than just one item for each of these categories. For example, you should have both a container to store clean water and a water purifier for hydration. Keep in mind that there’s no perfect kit of survival tools to work for everyone. We recommend you use your common sense and add/remove items according to your survival skills, place of residence, or travels. Our list isn’t, by all means, an end-all-be-all. At the same time, our list will help you get through the night and be mentally prepared when you need to create your survival gear kit.
Make sure that you buy the appropriate fast-pack EDC to store your survival essentials. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it should be flimsy and not durable. On the contrary, look for a pack made from rugged Cordura nylon with a webbing system for expandable carrying. A 30l capacity is enough for survival purposes.
You should never underestimate the utility and versatility of duct tape. Look for high-quality duct tape that is strong, sticky, and comes with a UV protective layer so that the sun doesn’t alter the adhesive. You can use duct tape for myriads of things, from making a bandage to patching clothes, tents, and even tools.
We’re not saying that you will find yourself away from civilization overnight. We can all hope that the power grid shall never fail. However, the risk is never null, so we need to be ready if that happens. Make sure that you have portable illumination that doesn’t depend on batteries or plugs. We mean a hand-crank and solar-powered emergency flashlight. Look for one that is small enough to fit your hand. You can find models that come with a carabiner clip to attach to your pants. Models that allow hands-free use (headlamps) make for an excellent choice.
A windproof lighter is smaller and easier to carry around than a match kit, bow drill, or any other type of fire starting method. Whether you’re in complete darkness at home or in the middle of the woods, a windproof lighter will come in handy when you need light or make a fire.
Stormproof match kit
Should the emergency find you in the wilderness and you have no option but to spend the night, you will need fire. Water is the number one thing you need, by the way. Fire will keep you warm and offer illumination. At the same time, it can work as a signal for rescuers and help you cook food. You can also use it for rescue purposes and to defend yourself.
Look for dependable match kits that include all the components you need to make a fire, regardless of the weather you’re stuck in.
Paracord survival kit bracelet
Paracord bracelets are excellent as you can carry them around without even noticing. When the emergency strikes, you will have some sort of tool right down on your wrist. You can use the paracord for many things: to build shelters, bind wounds, create animal traps, etc. Look for models that work as multi-purpose survival tools. You can use them as fire starters, fish hooks, etc.
Stay away from the “adventure blankets,” as they won’t be of much help in survival scenarios. Look for high-quality and specialist emergency blankets. They’re highly versatile and can be used as shelters to cook food with solar energy. They keep you warm at night and even work as slings or tourniquets. That’s just to name a few.
Personal water filter
Access to drinkable water is the number one priority in most survival situations. It’s not always that you run into a river or a stream and be sure that the water is safe to drink. Use a lifestraw—it’s a non-obtrusive device that fits in any pack.
Vacuum insulated water bottle
Even if you have a water filter, you still need a recipient to store drinkable water for later use. Look for a vacuum insulated water bottle made from rugged stainless steel. It has to be BPA-free and maintain water cold for 24 hours.
It’s time to learn to read a compass. Your smartwatch may include a compass, but what happens in case of power outages? It’s only a matter of time until you will no longer be able to use your smartwatch or any other electrical device for that matter. You might find it tricky to learn how to read a compass, but it will make the difference in survival situations. You will be able to go to unfamiliar terrain and improve your chances of survival. Get a compass with a water-resistant pouch for safe carry in inclement weather.
Many people find it tricky to carry a woodcutting ax, but the tool is essential when you need firewood or build a temporary shelter. If necessary, you can use the ax as a defense tool. You can find tough and long-lasting models with hand-forged build and an American steel body. A leather-wrapped handle ensures a secure and comfortable grip, whereas a ballistic nylon sheath protects it when not in use.
A hatchet won’t do you any good when you need accurate cuts. A 15-in folding saw, on the other hand, will be of great use for precise cuts. A foldable model takes little space when not in use. A blade made from Swedish steel won’t need sharpening any time soon. A handle made of aluminum right here in the USA seals the deal for many.
If you care about your safety, you probably care a knife on you even when you’re reading this. It goes without saying that a tactical knife is mandatory in a survival kit. The market gives you plenty of options. Models made of Cro-van steel are long-lasting. A leather handle provides a comfortable and secure grip. If you don’t have time to pack many tools, grab a fixed-blade knife for emergencies.
Multi-tools are handy as they’re versatile and reliable for various situations. A folding multi-tool is one thing you want in your survival kit. Some of the best options out there are used by emergency personnel and first responders and you can use them in a blink of an eye. A model with seven built-in tools (screwdriver, pliers, several blades, bottle opener, etc.) should do for most survival scenarios.
It’s wise to have an emergency first aid kit in your home, bug-out bag, and car, let alone when you think of a survival situation. There are plenty of options, so look for one that fits your needs and budget. Seek that the bag is made with durable materials such as 1000D ballistic nylon. A webbing system is a great addition and it expands the storage possibilities. A reliable first-aid kit contains several bandages and gauze, a CPR shield, medication, burn gel, and a bevy of other tools for emergencies.
Bivy sacks are incredibly versatile and many hikers use them for outdoor adventures. Basic bivies that work as emergency sacks are feather light (under 8.5ounces) and easy to collapse. They’re also tear-resistant and reliable for outdoor survival sleeping solutions. You don’t necessarily need a sleeping bag with a bivy sack. They’re made to protect you in case of emergencies, not to provide you with the incredible comfort that your memory foam matters might offer. When your life is in danger, you just need something to keep you dry throughout the night and not roll around in the dirt.
An emergency radio can make the difference between failure and survival. Information and instruction on evacuation will be broadcast over the radio in a natural disaster. A good emergency radio comes with a hand crank to work even without power. Some also work as cell phone chargers and operate by a hand crank.
You should have extra clothing prepared for emergencies. In survival situations, you need to focus on functionality and not so much on aesthetics. You can find pants that will keep you dry and warm and safe in any situation. Pants made of ripstop fabric with enough pockets and storage options for all your gear are ideal for survival purposes.
Follow the 3-layer system when you prepare your clothing. If you don’t have time, you should make sure that your outer layer is a waterproof jacket. The jacket for emergencies should keep you dry and warm in inclement weather. Make sure that it has several pockets to store some of your survival tools and a durable feel to it.
Even if it sounds weird, toilet paper is essential for overall comfort during survival. Don’t opt for rolls because they’re difficult to carry. Look for toilet paper that is compact, easy to use, and even biodegradable. You will have to leave it in the woods without feeling bad about it.