7 Wilderness Survival Skills All Hunters Should Know
What do survival skills mean to you?
While survival skills are part of the world of fiction or something that is cool to watch on a television show to some people, it means a lot more to hunters. How prepared are you for a situation such as a disaster, economic breakdown or being trapped in the wilderness? The odds of being in a “survival for the fittest” situation are narrow, but certainly not impossible.
Although for most people finding themselves in situations that require survival skills is a matter of chance, hunters have to know how to survive under harsh conditions. Learning survival skills not only increases the chances for successful hunting, but it also ensures that you come back home in one piece. Read on for the critical wilderness survival skills hunters should learn.
Packing the essential items
The first skill you should have is to bring important things. Experienced hunters do not have trouble knowing what to park, but that is not the case for beginners. Consider the dangers you are likely to face and pack accordingly. Some items are necessary whether you are going to a hot, cold, snowy or humid region. A key part of your kit should be a first aid tools.
Learn how to make rationalized decisions
For you to stay alive in the woods, you need to learn how to remain calm in adversity and reason rationally. You should prioritize your actions based on what is happening at the moment. Panicking is likely to worsen the situation. Mastering this art requires one to take the S.T.O.P approach. It means that you should quit everything you are doing unless you are running to save your life and then plan on what to do next.
S.T.O.P stands for Sit, Think, Observe and Plan. Take time to survey your environment before settling for a solid plan. Although this strategy does not guarantee your survival, it will make things much simpler for you. At least you will have an idea of what you are doing.
Forecast the weather
When you are at home, you rarely care about the weather unless it is a devastating situation like a hurricane or flood. However, when in the woods, even the slightest weather change can compromise your chances of survival. Heavy winds and rain will increase the difficulty of creating a campfire. The ability to predict the weather keeps you in the know.
Here are some weather forecasting skills:
Animals – animal movements can help you predict the weather because some disappear when they sense that rain is coming.
Air pressure – clouds move from high-pressure regions to low-pressure regions. So, while you cannot measure air pressure using your hands, watching the movement of the clouds will guide you.
Clouds – the easiest way to predict impending rainfall is by knowing what the different cloud coverage means.
Making a shelter
Without a shelter, you cannot survive in the wild for more than two days. If you have a tent, building a shelter is as easy as pitching it. However, if you don’t, then you should know how to create one using the materials available in the wild. You can make use of grass, sticks, and leaves to build a small hut. Use the debris, grass and some leaves to improve insulation and twigs to enhance its stability. Remember to carry your tools such as knives, which are vital in building the shelter.
Collect clean water
There is no way you can survive past the third day without water. While you may have packed some, there is a chance that the reserve will run out, meaning that you need to collect water. Water from the upper part of the stream is cleaner than that from the lover reserves. You can also collect rainwater. In case you are unable to obtain fresh water, then you may have to filter the muddy water. Use the large leaves as funnels, and then fill them with sand and stones. You can pour the water through this system, and you will collect clean water at the end.
Filtered water is not free from microorganisms, implying that you should boil it. If you do not have a pot, pour the water in a cut-out bamboo stem and boil it over a campfire.
Build a campfire
Whether you are out on a hiking adventure or stranded in the wild, learning how to build a campfire is essential for these reasons:
It is a source of light
You can use it for cooking
Used for signaling
Regulates the temperatures, especially at night
It keeps harmful insects and bacteria away
Making a campfire is quite easy, but harsh weather conditions might make it challenging. Here’s how to do it:
Find an ideal place for building a fire. This should be a flat space without other elements that may catch fire easily
Dig some inches into the ground to contain the fire and arrange a ring of rocks in the hole.
Collect materials that can catch fire easily, such as twigs and grass, and then put them inside the hole.
Try to start a fire. If you carried matchsticks, this would be easy. If not, scrub flints to create sparkles and set the grass and twigs on fire.
Put logs around the fire to act as fuel. Remember to have some muddy water on standby in case the fire is out of control.
Know how to exit
If you have a map and compass with you, finding your way out is pretty easy. If not, look at the sky for navigation signals. If you do not have a map, your best bet would be to move along the bank. Eventually, you will come into the open land, from where you can find help.
Survival is fun
In an ideal situation, you will not be facing an epic situation where you must do everything the natural way. Outdoor activities are enjoyable and safer when part of a group than alone. Also, make sure you prepare adequately. Enjoy your hunting trip!