7 Basic Survival Skills Every Man Should Know!
The modern convenience can blind us to the truth of a disaster striking. But once in a while, we have to contend with one of the many disasters that can test our will to survive. Think of a horrendous storm or bushfire that knocks out power. Even more common is getting lost wondering too far away from the trails. You can successfully mitigate these and similar situations if you learned and honed a few basic survival skills.
Hopefully, you can benefit from this list of 7 basic survival skills every man should know. They range from finding and purifying water, to binding wounds, to making fire and more. Practicing and polishing these skills can make big differences. They are what you need to emerge a victorious survivor. We recommend you buckle up and hone these skills. You don’t know when you might need them.
- Sourcing and Purifying Water
We start from water because it is the most important item for survival. According to experts, you can live for days, even weeks without food. Without water, death from dehydration comes in hours or even minutes. It all depends on the prevailing environmental conditions.
In an , the conventional sources of water may be all gone. Your priority, therefore, should be to source for water and even purify it if necessary. So, how do you source and purify water in the wilderness? Here are some tips:
- Be Aware Of Potential Water Sources:
Experts love to refer to wilderness water sources by an acronym GGG (Ground, Greenery, and Gravity). The flow of water on a hilly terrain is always downhill. Seek out creeks and streams in the hollows where hills meet. Simply because you can’t the water does not mean it isn’t there. Take a moment to listen to the source of water as it cascades over rocks.
If you cannot hear or see water, look for the signs of life. Plants tend to be greener and healthier around streams and creeks. Besides, insects and animals linger around water sources to drink. In case you fail in all these, the next place to look is underground. Dig and you could find groundwater. Keep in mind that underground water is not clean.
- Avoid standing/stagnant water:
Stagnant water is full of bacteria, parasites, and even fungi. Most of these organisms can cause waterborne illnesses. Always avoid any stagnant water in pools or ponds. Seek water in places with a strong flow. This discourages the multiplication of germs in water. Examples of illnesses caused by germs in stagnant water include dengue, bilharzia, and malaria.
- Always Try To Purify Water Before Drinking It:
Do not rush to drink the water you find before purifying it. Don’t be confused if the water looks crisp and clear. Such water could be chalk full of parasites and bacteria. The easiest way to purify your water is by boiling. This may take time but it is a worthy undertaking. Adequate boiling water will kill most of the impurities. Purifying water will be easier if you had the means to build fire and a vessel. A
Alternatively, you can bring along a portable personal water filter. Another good alternative is bringing water purifying tablets. Sometimes, you have none of these ways to purify water. You can take the risk if you are desperate. Your immunity might deal with such germs. But let this be the last resort.
- Creating and Tending to a Fire
The next most important skill you must learn is creating and tending a fire. Too much cold can lead you to develop hypothermia. Hypothermia is perhaps the most dreaded cause of death in the wilderness. You could have shelter but without fire, the risk of hypothermia remains. The fire is also vital in water purification and cooking. Here are some helpful tips:
- Keep Things Dry:
You might have the best items to help you start a fire. However, without keeping things dry your efforts may come to nothing. It would be frustrating if you had only green leaves and wet items to start and tend to fire. On the contrary, source for dry, dead and cracked limbs. Find dried grass for kindling. The only time green leaves will be necessary is when you will need to create a smoke signal.
- Start With Small Fibers:
Smaller fibers or whatever else you need for the fire tend to burn faster. Besides, you cannot start a fire with a heap of kindling and firewood. We recommend that you start small and build the fire with progressively larger woods. A good idea is to light your kindle outside your pile of firewood. Once the fire is well formed, transfer it beneath the stack of larger woods.
- Creativity Counts:
There is no textbook method to starting and tending to a fire. You cannot simply depend on lighters, matches and Ferro road. Some creativity is necessary because these items may not always be available. You can start a fire with a magnifying glass by simply focusing sunlight through it to some tinder. In cold areas, you can use clear ice for the same technique.
- Foraging and Hunting For Food
Your emergency survival could stretch for days. This means your food reserves could get depleted before the situation improves. You can learn how to forage and hunt for food like a wild animal. Of course, there are benefits of doing this. But you must also be aware of certain drawbacks. Here are a few tricks to help you obtain your food in the wild:
- Trapping Game:
One of the most important survival skills every must know is building a snare in the wilderness. Mark you, it will be from materials you have on you. There are resources to help you develop this skill. Discussing them in detail is beyond the scope of this article. It takes patience to lay a trap but the skill is worth your effort.
- Hunting Game:
Hunting can be difficult if you do not have the skill. However, it is a good way to obtain the large and small game. You cannot always find a hunting knife, a spear or a rifle in a survival situation. Therefore you must learn to create one. Fashion a crude weapon by sharpening a long, straight and sturdy stick. It will work as a spear. Target smaller creatures to save your effort and increase your chances of succeeding. Besides, the chances of injuries are minimal.
- Fishing for food:
You can fish for food if you find yourself near a water body. It is a good way to find healthy, protein-rich and safe food to eat. It would be better if you packed along a fishing line and a hook. Otherwise, you can improvise a fishing line from your cordage or shoe straps. For the hook, you can fashion it from a strong wire. Insects can become your baits. However, you have to beware of large predators usually present near water bodies with abundant fish. You can read more about catching fish in survival situation click here.
Foraging is the easiest way to obtain food in the wild. The wilderness is full of a variety of edible plants. Some produce delicious fruits whole others have green leaves. However, you must be careful to avoid poisonous herbs such as mushrooms. It will require you to familiarize yourself with wild plants beforehand.
- Reading and Navigating Compass
Navigating your way out of the wilderness can be a real pain if you have no idea how to read a compass device. No matter how great your voice is; your screams will go unheard. Furthermore, you may not be able to guess the direction out of the wild so walk out to safety. You must know how to read and navigate a compass device. You must also learn to use nature to tell you the right direction. Here are some tips:
- Use the Sun:
The sun is a relatively reliable indicator of direction. No matter where you are in the world, the sun rises from the east and sets to the west. You can use this knowledge to tell you your position relative to known landmarks. A simple trick is to stamp a long stick on the ground. Make a marking on the ground where the tip of the stick’s shadow is. Check the position of the shadow after a few minutes. That is the direction of the east.
- A Higher Ground Might Help:
This may not always be effective but a higher ground can give you some direction. Certain landmarks are visible from the higher ground. Even if you are not familiar with such landmarks, they can be your way out. Since a landmark is a place of interest, some people may be there. You can even climb a tree to find a higher ground.
- Use The Direction Of Water:
If you are keen, you will always see civilization around water sources. In case you are lost in the wilderness, following the course of a river is a great survival tactic. Your chances of finding people are high unless you are completely off the grid. The river will also provide you with a good source of drinkable water in case you do not find your way immediately.
- Cooking In the Camp
Most men are terrible cooks. However, you will need this skill if you were to survive in the wilderness. You can go weeks without food. On the contrary, your strength will be waning with time. You will not be able to defend yourself against predators and the elements. So, you must learn how to cook in the camp. Here are a few tricks:
- Desist From Game Entails:
You might eat animal liver in a five-star restaurant. In the wilderness, such delicacy could be a lethal poison. Killing a game in the wilderness and dressing it for food is great. However, you must not eat its entrails. Dispose of it altogether. Only eat lean muscle. There is no need of putting your life at risk due to ignorance.
- Cook Game Adequately:
In the wilderness, overcooking is often better than undercooking. Burn your meat if possible. The taste may not be savory but it will preserve your life. Thorough cooking will kill most of the harmful bacteria that could threaten your life. Unlike the domesticated animals, you may not know the health condition of the game that you just prepared.
- Dispose of Food Waste Properly:
This may not sound like a survival skill but it is nonetheless. If you do not dispose of your food waste well, it will invite dangerous scavengers such as hyenas. Wild animals have an exceptional sense of smell. They will want to have a taste of your food. Dispose all food waste far away from your campsite. If possible burn them completely or burry then deep in the ground.
- Tying a Knot
You may not consider this a great survival skill. However, failing to learn and hone this skill could lessen your survival chances. The skill is great in many leisurely activities, not just survival. Learning how to tie a knot will help you with many applications. You will be able to secure fishing line, hunting traps, survival shelters as well as first aid bandages.
There are different types of knots and their functions. You must learn how to tie each of these knots and the applications they are meant for. You can learn the skill from survival books. However, you can become a professional by experimenting. Poorly tied knots can make your shelter to fall apart or your trap to come loose. Teaching you how to tie each type of knot is beyond our scope.
- Wound Dressing Techniques
An already bad situation can get worse if you get injured in the middle of a crisis. Your goal should be to avoid all kinds of injuries. However, you must prepare for any gash or break happens to you or another person you are with. Here are a few ways to deal with common injuries:
- Bring a First Aid Kit:
A First Aid Kit will help you with more than just dressing wounds. It can help you deal with some illnesses you can contract in the wilderness such as allergies. There are small size kits that you can easily carry with you. At the least, pick vital components of the kit and pack them for emergency preparedness.
- Close Wounds Immediately:
The longer a wound is exposed the higher the chances that it will attract pathogenic organisms. This can lead to severe complications. Use alcohol to clean and sterilize the wound. You can then close it off with a bandage. In case you do not have a First Aid Kit, you can improvise a clean piece of cloth to use as a bandage. Burning can stop bleeding where clotting does not seem to occur. Use breathable fabric material. Do not over-bandage.
- Deal smartly with fractures:
Bone fractures are rare in emergency situations but they happen anyway. That means you must prepare for it. You need to develop a skill to help you stabilize the fracture from further worsening. Find a straight smooth rod and tie it to the broken limb with some cordage or a piece of cloth. Desist from trying to reset a fractured limb if you are not a professional. It could lead to further injuries.
The here information is could be mouthful, I guess. But it is what you need to make it out of an emergency. You do not know when a disaster will strike. Therefore, take the earliest opportunity to master these 7 basic survival skills every man should know. It will prove worthwhile for you to learn and polish then if you want to come out victorious after the disaster strikes.