It probably won’t happen, of course. But if for some reason you find yourself in a situation where you need to survive, you need to have a saddlebag of skills to keep yourself alive. Here are just a few things you need to know if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation.
- Construct a shelter. If you’re alone in the wilderness, it’s extremely valuable to know how to construct a shelter to protect yourself. Using a tarp if you have one, or branches, or a garbage bag. Moss and pine needles make great bedding.
- Fire building. Starting a fire is possible with dry tinder, some kind of fiber (cotton balls and Vaseline will do) and wood. Fire is necessary not only for warmth, but for purifying water and sterilizing bandages for wounds.
- Finding water sources. You can get water from all kinds of places, not just obvious ones. You can squeeze water from cacti and vines, or use groundwater, though this should be boiled before drinking.
- Signal for rescue. Fire is great for this, as well as stones in a clear space, or an emergency flashlight.
- Before you go on a trip, let others know. This way if you don’t contact anyone or come back on time, someone will know to be worried and call the authorities.
- First aid skills. This is useful even for day to day life. Knowing the Heimlich, CPR, how to secure broken bones and how to patch wounds are all super-important life skills, especially if you have someone with you.
- Find a safe place to stay. Any place you choose to camp should be dry and elevated and as free as possible of animals, rockslide areas, and other natural dangers.
If you feel unprepared, look into a survival skill workshop or handbook to get yourself ready for any situation.