Often, our comfortable and convenient lives in the modern human-made world thoroughly blind us to the outdoors’ rough and rugged terrain. It is easy to become desensitized to the intimate and primal relationship that every one of us has with mother nature – a biological instinct developed through millions upon millions of years of evolution on this planet.
Now we have an app or push a button to create fire or navigate, on top of a countless list of other normal human activities integrated into our smart devices that allow our lives to be fully and conveniently adapted to our environments. But it’s vital to realize that it could all disappear in an instant. All of us are simply a single accident or mishap away from getting stranded, lost, or abandoned in an unfamiliar environment with no way to contact civilization.
No less than a handful of millennia ago, most of the world’s human population lived outdoors, spending practically every waking moment of their active lives integrated into nature as they live off the land hunt and survive. Even ancient civilizations and complex cities still had outdoor exposure. Our species had evolved outdoors.
Although our modern lives may prevent us from re-strengthening that relationship, it is very well within our capabilities to survive and adapt to our outdoor environments by being innovative and remembering a few of these survival strategies. With these tips in mind, your chance of survival in the outdoor wilderness is significantly greater in your favor. Unless you are the avid outdoorsman and critically-acclaimed author Mike Honeycutt, an apex survivalist and modern-day Steve Irwin mixed with James Bond and Indiana Jones, you will most likely need to remember these tips.
It’s essential to make sure that you have communicated with someone (at least a friend or family member) before embarking on any trip, hike, or expedition. In the worst-case scenario wherein you lose your mode of communication (or failed to bring one in the first place), your loved ones have a lead to go on if you end up missing, and the initiative to rescue you is immediate. If nobody knew that you embarked on a trip, then nobody would know where to look for you. So always maintain proper communication beforehand and occasionally during trips if possible.
In a dire and desperate time, it’s easy to overthink, worry, and sulk in the misfortune and negativity of a seemingly-hopeless situation when you find yourself in one. It may not seem like such a big deal. Still, you would be surprised how beneficial the impact of positive thinking is on the morale, determination, and willpower of a desperate individual to survive their ordeals. Maintain a realistic outlook on the situation, and calmly plan your next moves. Do not rush and do not panic – take long and deep breaths if necessary.
You will only last a good three days out in the wild without any water and even shorter in the unforgiving heat of a desert. If it just so happens that you are fortunate enough to have access to freshwater, remember to boil it before consuming the water, no matter how thirsty you are or how tempting it is to drink it. Forgoing the boiling process could lead to a stomach infection or other complications if you drink it. That only makes matters worse in a desperate situation wherein water is scarce, and getting the runs only dehydrates you further.
Signal for help when you can
Survival is essential, but in a dire situation, people need rescuing. Figure out a plan to alert potential passers-by through lighting fires or use big branches and stoned to form the words S-O-S or H-E-L-P in an open area which can be seen from above the potential to catch the attention of passing aircraft.