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See also   Edible Berries and fruits  Non Edible Berries   Poisonous Berries and fruits   Food Sources   Meat   Plants as food  Edible Plants  "How to Make A Crawdad trap "
  Making Fire   Obtaining Water   Making Soap  Sleeping Arrangements      Using a signal mirror     Making rope  Make a compass   First aid  Making a spear thrower
 Making a primitive Shelter   Shelters -Manmade material    Surviving a Hurricane    Stranded In Your Car

A few other pages of similar interests   Camping      Canyoneering   Caving    Kayaking
Rock Climbing  

Some other useful links
Survival  and Survival Trips  
 
For an index of all the pages in this section click here.

"By wits and knowledge do we survive"

It may seem strange to some people that many others actually enjoy roughing it to the point that is is considered purely survival. This comes from the concept of running the race and not having won  as being the greater reward. Many of us want to test our limits to find out what we are made of, and whether or not we are all that we have convinced ourselves that we are. Sure most persons with a type "A" personality believe that they can overcome all obstacles, but can they really? One good way to find out is to go on a survival trip.

You don't need to be on a TV show to go on a Survival trip, nor do you need to stranded on some uninhabited island. Some of the best trips are to be had in the type of environment that you may someday find yourself  stranded and possibly injured in. The chances of you needing survival skills within 100 miles of your home is a relatively high possibility. Everyone should take at least one survival trip. Sure you will be planning them and so it is not quite what may occur in a true survival situation, but you will hone skill that can be used if the need should arrive. If you are fortunate you will never have to
eat your buddies or cut off your own arm to survive. You will still develop confidence and the ability to use what resources you have, in your every day life. 
The most important thing is mental preparedness. You must be an optimist and truly believe that you can overcome all obstacles. Without that, nothing else really matters. The second most important thing is knowledge and skills to use what is at hand. Having the skills will improve your mental state as well. 

If you would like to go with a professional rather than tough it out on your own then you may want to consider using a survival guide or outfitter. Survival Outfitters offer several different locales and/or different themes such as a  simulated aircraft disaster or shipwreck, or just plain old being dropped off in a remote location.  Some of the trips are barebones, meaning that you are on your own with only  the occasional contact with the outfitters while others are hosted to a level that could be considered catered. A word of caution: some of these guides will inflict more hardships on you than you would on yourself. Many corporate groups sign up for this type activity to help develop teamwork and force the participants to learn to "think outside of the box". That's all fine and good because thinking that way may keep us from having to live in a cardboard box on the streets of some inhospitable city. We also have a section devoted to Urban Survival which is aimed at being able to live in society without being a constant victim.  In our urban section we cover primarily the methods to Stay Safe  and is not aimed at financial methodoligy, however we  will cover all aspect in future publications.
We do not as yet have a section on "How to Survive on the Street" for homeless people but seeing as how a fairly large number of people are homeless this is something we will be developing, and then if we can just get them into a library to logon we will have something.

Many of the tips and sites here-in will be of great interest to anyone who enjoys the outdoors, sports photography etc. or is concerned about personal security (diseases, burglars, terrorists, Work place hazards, you name it).

                   

 

So how do you Start. First you must decide when, for how long, where, and who you will have for a companion if anyone. Before we go any further we must point out that all activities present real dangers. including the possibility of death.  Still on this page? Alright then let's determine how extreme  you want to experience. Nothing dictates just how severe the the trip need be in order to qualify as a survival trip. If you survive then you went on a survival trip. The general thinking is that you are undertaking this event because you are willing to be tested. A purist will go with only what is on his person on an everyday basis, real hard core. While others will make a few judicious provisions for theirself.  Generally it is not advisable to leave civilization without a few of the bare essentials. Most people think of three basic commodities as being the bare essentials. Commonly named provisions are food clothing and shelter. Sure these are great to have but with the following three items you can have all of the above and more.

  A good knife (not a Swiss knife or a multipurpose tool, but a heavy hunting type of knife) you will soon see why.

  A provision for making fire. (water proof matches, Flint and steel, Magnesium Striker or even a lighter or maybe the skills to ignite tinder with only those things available in the wild (friction Ignition)) We have an intense section on "How to Make A Fire" . It is worthwhile reading as it may save you life and if nothing else, it is fun trying to emulate what is taught in this section

  String or heavy fishing line.

The first two are an absolute necessity while the third is nice to have, but it can be substituted with items found in most any location. 

So far the line of thought has been based on the odyssey taking place in a forested region, because most of us live where there may be forest if the population explosion doesn't consume all the land first, but that is a subject for a forum and  will be touched upon in the Urban Survival section that is in the works along with survival at sea, a terrorist attack, and in the desert.  However this section is provided for entertainment while some aspects of survival may be born out of necessity.  But we digress.

On top of the minimalistic  list above you may want to consider adding a few items to take the edge off of your ordeal, trip, vacation, jaunt or whatever you may want to call it. I would suggest nothing less than a day pack for first timers and check out the hiking checklist and  hiking tips.  Remember the old western movies with the smoke signals? These can be used to send an SOS in an emergency. We have include the Morse code Alphabet to help you with this. When using smoke for signaling the time between the puffs of smoke determines whether it is a dash or a dot and not the size of the puff. Just so you know SOS is 3 shorts 3 long and 3 short interludes between the puff. Now if you are trapped under debris such as in an avalanche catastrophe and you were tapping to communicate with rescue crews, then it would be the the time between the taps to indicate a dot or a dash. 

OK now that all the warning and preparatory suggestions are made, how do you do it? Every bit of information on the pages linked to at the top of this page are absolute necessities. Go to top

Getting started:

Either be dropped off in the location of you choosing or better yet, of someone else's choosing ( for the more seasoned survivalist) and make you way back in the underbrush until all signs of civilization are long gone. Be sure to keep you bearing, and if you plan to return the same way you came, then frequently look back in the direction you came from and make mental images of it. Be sure to find some unique image ( a keybit) in each rearward look. Something as simple as a broken branch or a unusual rock out cropping etc. This will help you on the return trip and give you confidence when ever you see a keybit that is familiar.

Sun Navigation

Navigating with your GPS is a cinch but not many will opt to take one on such an endeavor.  You will have to make do with noticing the suns position in relation to your direction of travel. For this reason novices should not travel during the time between 11:00AM and 2:00PM when the sun is high and much more difficult to judge its position. How exactly do you use the sun for bearing?  I will have to be elementary here as there are a number of people who do not look up at the sun when questioning the time. That is what you will want to start doing if you are considering wandering around God's back 40. Familiarize yourself with where North, South, East and West are in the locations that you will be spending your time leading up to this trip Use a compass if necessary). Then glance at the sun and watch whenever you can and make a mental not where the sun is in relationship to the directional point at different times of the day. Take note on how quickly darkness come after the sun is a particular level on the western horizon. You will soon get a grasp for knowing what time it is by glancing at the sun and you will be able to amaze your friend with the degree of accuracy. However we will save the parlor trick for some other location on this site. What we are interested in is where is the sun located at a particular time and presuming you will have a watch with you when you go, you will always know what direction you are facing or heading. Seasons affect the position of the sun. The further North you are the higher the sun will be in the summer and the lower (to the South) it will be in the winter. Nearer the tropics the north south swing is less noticeable. 

Why go on and on about the sun, well unless it burns out it will always be there and nothing is more important to a recreational wilderness survivalist than to get back out of the wild. One last time. If you're are walking toward the sun in the morning then your are heading East, toward the sun in the afternoon it's West and it it is on your right hand side in the morning you are going South and if on the right hand side in the afternoon you are now heading North. Using those four scenarios you should be able to comprehend that the if the opposite is true at a given time then you are heading in the opposite direction at that particular time. It is probably needless to say, but here it it is, in order to return in the direction you came from, then the sun must  be in an opposing location for similar time of day than it was on the  trip in. Dang nab it now I am confused.  You will get the drift of what was pointed out here and if you don't then take a compass  (See Making a Compass) or better yet a GPS with a backtracking feature. See our humorous "Cloud Navigating" article.

Use care when walking in the wilderness. An injury such as a sprained ankle or a slip and fall could complicate things. If you haven't read it yet, read the Hiking tips page. 

When selecting a place to make camp whether it is overnight or for an extended stay you must always consider what sort of exposure is the area subjected to and to protect yourself from the hazards that the location may present.  See the Page on Camping for the tips on how to do this with some degree of comfort in wilderness conditions. Once you have determined where you are going to set up camp you will have to use whatever is available to create shelter. To see what you can do with Man Made Material  or Natural Materials to create a survival shelter

Vermin . you don't want to be in the path to the county dump as the travelers in the region may not have their natural fear of humans any longer.

  See:
Food sources - Plants and meat.
  How to live off the land

 
soap making    for the primitive lifestyle, survivalist and camper
Using a signal Mirror
  Is is a little more difficult than just having one.
 
Water

 more to come

Be cautious when in the wilds as Ticks and Chiggers can pose a serious problem.

Some other useful offsite links

The more you get to do a sport the more you will enjoy it. We have found that being prepared to leave at a moment notice will increase the number of time that you will actually get out and do it. Ultimately the best way to be prepared is to have all the necessary gear already stored in a "gear trailer". This is a trailer dedicated to this purpose. READ ON.

See all the Activities we currently feature and see what is yet to come.

Being physically fit will make your experiences safer and more enjoyable. We are developing a page devoted to encouraging people to do just this. See the Physical fitness page.

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