Most of the time, you never know when you may end up being stuck in a survival situation. The primary reason for this being that most survival situations often start as nothing other than a simple day’s hike or outing in familiar territory. Most survival stories usually begin like that. You take your usual path that you have always hunted many times before. Confident and sure that nothing can go wrong. Only for things to go completely south. Maybe an unexpected snowstorm ambushes you, and you suddenly lose your trail. Amidst all the fracas, you twist your leg or a bear steps out of the thicket. That is where you know you are in trouble.
This is the best time to gear up your basic survival skills. Otherwise, your chances of living through the situation will be pretty slim. Any shortage of experience will lead to poor judgment calls which will only lead to a disaster which is not good for you. Never underestimate the risks that mother nature may pose your way. You may be in for a rude shock. Here are some of the common survival mistakes many people in such situations are known to make and end up landing themselves in deep trouble.
- Not making shelter
If you do not carry or make a decent shelter to protect you from the harsh conditions, then your chances of surviving through the wilderness are slim. If you do not have a shelter with you, then it is critical that you, at least, know how to build one using nature’s tools around you. Do not let your vulnerable body get exposed to the harsh conditions of the wilderness for too long. You will be susceptible to hypothermia or heat stroke if the weather conditions are harsh enough. Also, it is crucial that you always stay dry at all times.
All boy scouts know that being prepared is everything when faced with a survival situation. Most people who find themselves trapped in the wilderness usually have very little to no knowledge on how to live through the situation. Being unprepared in such situations cannot be good. If anything, you need to build a shelter, a signal for help, eat, start a fire, and find water. Aside from the myriad of other survival skills you need to know, these are the most important.
- Getting drinkable water
You may have been smart enough to carry containers and bottles of water with you during your expedition. But these will soon run out, and you will need to turn to another water source. Human beings can last for up to three days max without water. Afterwards, death may be imminent. In the wilderness, you may find a lot of water bodies. Your only questions should be whether the water is safe for you or not. It is, therefore, always wise to purify all the water that you drink and use. The best purification method in the wilderness is boiling the water. Chemical tablets and water filters can also be suitable substitutes. Rainwater and dew can also help hydrate you.
- Lack of good navigation tools
Nothing frightens more than being lost in the middle of nowhere with no map, compass, or GPS to guide you. Even the best woodsman knows better than to head into the woods without a good navigation tool. Thick trees and bushes can easily force you to turn and start walking the wrong way. So, always have at least one backup navigation method in case one fails you. Having one navigation tool is almost like having none. You also need to have a good understanding of the cardinal directions using the sun. Even the stars can help you with navigation if it is the last resort. The bottom line is that you need to know where you are heading.
You do not want to end up with heavy clothing in your backpack and stuck in a hot survival situation. The opposite may be even worse; stuck in light clothes in the middle of a cold survival situation. Your clothing may be just what led to your premature death in the wilderness. Think of it this way, if you had the right clothing in the survival environment, you significantly improve your chances of surviving through the situation. Your clothing may be what causes you to contract heat stroke or hypothermia or not.