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Survival Basics When Alone In the Woods
If one were to be dropped into the middle of the woods with literally, nothing more than the clothes on their back, their chances of survival would be dramatically reduced. Survival situations arise from day hikes that go terrible wrong or natural disasters that turn people's lives upside down. However, you can prepare for any situation. Survival experts like to state that they are not preparing for the unexpected, but for the expected crisis or disaster. Experts realize it is simply a matter of when it happens and not if it happens.
Being Prepared Is Critical To SurvivingBegin by gathering up some survival essentials. Here are some things you must consider when putting together a survival kit. You will need shelter, water, a means to hunt & fish and the equipment to accomplish all of this. The following list is to get you started and is by no means comprehensive; it can be adapted to fit individual situations.
- Personal First Aid Kit
- Multi-Purpose Knife
- Fixed Bladed Knife
- Powerful Airgun
- Magnesium Stick For Fire Starting
- Magnifying Glass For Fire Starting
- Sheet Of Clear Plastic For Water Collection
- Small Stainless Steel Bowl To Prepare Food And Boil Water
- 2% Liquid Iodine For Water Purification
- Nylon String
- Light Weight Fishing Line
- Quart Canteen Or Similar Sized Water Container
- Coffee Filters, Cheese Cloth Or Similar Material To Filter Water
- Small Camp Ax or Hatchet: Most Camp Axes Will Have A Hammer Side As Well
Why Use an Airgun in a Survival Situation Instead of a FirearmHaving the ability to hunt in a survival situation is crucial. A pellet gun is ideal for hunting small game such as rabbits, birds or squirrels. Traditional firearms create tremendous noise and in certain survival situations, you may not want to advertise your location. Several pellet guns even offer enough power to take down larger pests such as woodchucks, opossums, raccoons, foxes and even coyotes.
Keep in mind, stalking game requires patience, practice and the ability to remain quiet. Gunshots from traditional firearms are not as quiet, one miss and your game is spooked. Never to return to the area again. Plus, you can store and transport the airgun ammo without fear of deterioration or children acquiring live rounds.
In any hunting situation, you must keep others in mind. It is incumbent upon you to practice proper weapons handling procedures and this includes learning how to handle a pellet gun. Remember, preparation is the key to survival.
Water Collection and PurificationWater will be one of your main concerns because you cannot survive longer than three days without it. Additionally, in the hours leading up to dehydration, you will not be able to function; making it impossible gather food or build a shelter. Before you drink any water from any source, you find in the wilderness, you must purify it. Boiling water is the preferred method. Filter the water before boiling. Boil the water in the stainless steel bowl. The water must rapid boil for at least one (1) full minute. Let cool before drinking.
Before purifying the water, you must filter it using the coffee filters or some other means. Keep in mind the bottle you used to dip the water will be contaminated around the dink line, so use one to dip, and then filter into another container for purification.
In some situations, starting a fire may be problematic or impossible. As an alternative, you can use 2% liquid iodine to make the water safe to drink. To purify water with iodine, use the eyedropper enclosed in the vial to add five (5) drops to a quart of water. Shake the container well and wait for a minimum of 30 minutes before drinking.
Another way to collect water is to use the plastic sheet and collect morning dew by draping it over a bush. The dew will collect on the plastic. It is smart to consume this water first so that you can preserve your larger supply.
Rivers, lakes and even ponds will attract small game. Typically, you will find game trails around any water source in the wilderness. This is an ideal place to hunt game with your pellet rifle or BB gun. Before staking out a trail with your pellet gun however, ensure the game trail is not used by a large predator. You can determine the animal by its tracks and droppings, so look carefully. It takes patience, but because you practiced you can be confident, you will bring down some small game.
Other Survival TipsHere are some other helpful tips to surviving alone:
- After determining you are lost, stay put, unless you know precisely in which direction to travel. However, if you knew how to get out you would not be lost in the first place. You increase your chances of an injury by wandering around and it makes it harder for rescue personnel to find you. You will also waste precious calories and will need to consume more water. Stay in one place and begin building your camp.
- Once assured of a water source and food supply, you can begin improving your shelter, building signal fires and developing other means of alerting rescue personnel.
- Additionally, learn to start fires without matches. Matches are unreliable and you will typically have a limited supply. A damp or wet book of matches is useless.
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