What if one you one day you found yourself lost in the middle of nowhere? What would you do? Would you know how to survive? As Les Stroud will discuss below, having basic survival skills is crucial and the spiritual experience that comes from being out in nature may actually make getting lost out there for a day or two slightly refreshing, so long as you don’t panic.
Check out these 6 important steps to greatly increase your chances of surviving well in nature if you ever got lost.
1. Mental Check
The first step is to reassure yourself mentally. Don’t panic. Remain calm and have faith you will survive. This is an important step because your mental state will determine a lot for you. You can use it to control breathing, temperature, hunger, hydration and more. When your mind isn’t right, your body will go out of wack.
The second step, or the first physical step, is to find shelter (anything that protects you from the elements). Preferably you want a spot near fresh water as you will need to stay hydrated. Think about blocking yourself from the wind using some form of shelter. Whether it be a bank, branches and leaves, or a big rock, finding a way to stay dry and warm is important. The fresh water should be drank about every 30 minutes to stay hydrated.
Getting a fire going will help you deter predators, stay warm and can even boil food for you. If you intend on catching food to eat, this is your chance to cook it as well. You want your fire to be protected from elements to some degree and in a spot that won’t burn down your whole shelter or you when you’re sleeping. Fire also helps to alert people of your presence.
Start signalling. get creative on how you can leave signs that you are there so people can find you. Whether you do fire signals, or try to create obvious structures that lead back to your camp, do you what you have to, to reach people and get help.
We touched on this earlier but water is just so important. Find a source of water. You can experience symptoms of dehydration pretty quickly when you’re trying to survive, exerting yourself and stressing out, which will affect your ability to actually make it out of there alive. Remember, boiling water can be a crucial step to making sure you are drinking safe water.
We can survive without food much longer than we can without water, so don’t stress as much on food. Get it if you can and if not just roll on. Only eat plants or leaves that you know are safe. If you can catch your food, be sure to cook it well, the last thing you want is to get sick.
If followed correctly, these steps will increase your chances of survival greatly. Practice makes perfect, so start getting more comfortable out in nature and practice some of these skills. Create shelters for fun, learn how to make fires in different ways, build navigation skills, etc. Survival skills are not only essential to learn, but fun to explore and practice too, so why not get started today?
Being exposed to wilderness triggers something deep in our consciousness. A more real you comes to surface. Humans are intrinsically spiritual, but spirituality lies deep within us during our waking hours. From birth we are conditioned to suppress it. That is why being exposed to raw nature and situated in an unpredictable environment is so good for the human psyche. It nourishes the normally locked aspects of ourselves by exposing the mind to wildness. The intensity, the openness, and the beauty of it all shows the mind a picture perfect frame of the true self.
That, to me, summarizes the fascination that people like Les Stroud have for spending time in the wilderness. Before the skills, the fun, the challenge, it is deeply spiritual. That is why I believe that we have so much affection for those environments and why they have been so romanticized in our culture.
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