Everyone wants to enjoy an adventure in the wilderness at one point in their life. Watching a few shows on your TV about surviving in the wilderness makes it look like an easy job. If that pretty TV host can do it, even you sitting at your home can do it, maybe even better than her. 20 minutes in the forest will make you realize that what you see on the TV is far from the truth. Some of us can literally have a heart attack if they are left alone for 20 minutes in a forest. Below are some of the myths that you will hear many people saying and claim that are important if you want to survive in the wilderness. Surviving in the wilderness needs you to first have your facts right.
- Land has basic necessities so it’s easier to live off it
Many survival TV shows have made this myth to be believed. Land might have a variety of flora and fauna, but that doesn’t make it easier. Remember the survival for fittest motto in the animal kingdom, it’s very real. So you will need to have shelter. To some extent you might be forced to build yourself your own shelter using the correct materials, not to mention you will have limited time.
- Free food available in the wilderness just look around and you will find, same with water
To me this has been the funniest myth. I have never understood how you get to eat berries in the wilderness and you don’t know anything about them. The survival experts on TV find their natural meals so easy, more like effortlessly. Of course, these TV hosts don’t spend a significant amount of time in the wilderness even during their shows. Most climates have plenty of edible plants and they are of low calories. But still these plants are very seasonal. We are both not experts in plants and can suffer poisoning from eating a look alike of a berry you saw your favorite survival TV host eat. Wild game hunting isn’t easy and those tools used in hunting can be quite a handful when it comes to using them. Also tracking wild game can be a little hard (be cautious you are not confused to be poacher). So you only option would be to look for nuts and fruits that are rich in sugar, you need plenty of calories in the wild so that they can give you the needed energy. Pine needles can give you Vitamin C.
Finding water isn’t easy either. You finally manage to locate a stream, then you are faced with the dilemma of how clean the water is. Just looking at it can’t tell you. In your pursuit for hydration, you can end up getting more dehydrated through vomiting and diarrhea after drinking contaminated water. Before you head to wild pack survival rations and a very reliable water filter. It’s also recommended you carry out extensive research on the wild foods available in that particular forest and at that particular season or time. Cattail is a very nutritious wild food and common in most ecosystems. If you can be able to get the exact locations of where edible wild foods can be found then you will be safer. Always look for nuts also.
- In case you get lost, look for food immediately
Studies show that the human body can survive up to 6 weeks without taking any food, and that’s why when you get lost you should first make sure you have a shelter that will protect you and then make sure you have a supple of clean water. Look at your situation, carefully analyze what is more important before help comes your way. Most of the time shelter is prioritized especially if you in cold places, the mountains or it is getting dark. Shelter and fire will help you reserve some energy that your body could have lost. Hot climates that are extremely sunny will require shelter immediately too. In order to avoid being dehydrated you will need to keep yourself from the scorching sun. The situation will be different in a climate that stable with good temperature, here you will have to focus on getting clean water first. So in case you get lost, first look for shelter and water, since these are the two most important necessities.
- In need of Fire, just bang two rocks together or rub sticks
It is true that friction does cause fire. But then when you have to bang rocks to get sparks that are supposed to light up a fire that becomes rocket science, not only does it need plenty of practice, it also requires you to get the correct materials and the right conditions for the fire to start. If you are in a windy or damp environment, then starting a fire despite any survival technique, will be very challenging. Even the seasoned expert will face a hard time. You will need patience and skill if you want to start your fire from friction. So it doesn’t hurt to carry a few boxes of matchsticks or a lighter.
- Better play dead when faced with a bear
This is very common on TV survival shows even animations. Some of us have even heard it when we used to go for camping when we were kids. The reality is that, playing dead when you are faced with a bear that is aggressive is very dangerous. Bears are smart will make sure your body is lifeless before they leave you alone, so till then, they will do all they can to kill you. So better be safe than sorry. If you come across what might seem like bear trails its best you steer clear, in case you are in a bear habitat have a bear spray with you, always make too much noise as this will keep the bears away. If you are faced with a predator, as your first defense strategy should be to make yourself look bigger than the animal. Open your jacket, stretch to the sides, stand taller and start making a lot of noise. If you are being mulled, look for a sharp or hard object and strike it to the nose or eyes. If you have no option but to play dead, you can only hope that the bear wasn’t hungry and was just neutralizing a possible threat.