Survival in the Outdoors

Easy Tips and Instructions on How to Survive in the Wild

It's easy to get lost while exercising in the woods. The key is to not panic and know how to survive until you get help. The first step: Don't panic!

Here's a short checklist to get you started on surviving:

  • First, you need to calm down. Breathe slowly and deeply in a calm location.
  • Next priority: You need to ensure your safety. Take a look around and make sure there are no direct threats to your safety. Move if you have to.
  • You need warmth to survive. An easy shelter is a large pile of leaves to bury yourself in at night, which provides insulation. With more skill, you could build a small hut out of large branches and leaves.
  • Once you have a shelter, start on a fire. Gather dry twigs and grasses to start it up. Birch bark peels easily and is great for tinder. If you don't have matches, vigorously rub two sticks together or find flint to strike for a spark
  • When you have that roaring fire going, start searching for water. Even the most disgusting pondwater can be distilled just by using a bowl or container, a piece of plastic, and a hole in the ground in the sun. (See pamphlet for more information)
  • Once the distillery is set you can focus on finding food. You can hunt or forage for plants. If you don't have a knife, try to get your hands on sharp rocks or sticks.

Eating Wild Plants

When trying to eat in the wild, always be aware that there are many poisonous plants in the wilderness. To determine edibility, follow these steps (Test one plant part at a time and do not eat for 8 hours before beginning)

  1. Smell plant part for strong or acidy smells
  2. Rub or place plant onto wrist or inner arm for 15 to check for a reaction
  3. If no reaction occurs, rub a small bit of the plant on your outer lip
  4. Wait three minutes. If nothing happens, touch the plant to your tongue
  5. Wait 15 minutes. If nothing happens, chew up the plant part. DO NOT SWALLOW.
  6. Wait. If nothing occurs, swallow the food and wait 8 hours.
  7. If no ill effects happen, the plant part is safe to eat.
  8. If any burning, itching, or other effects occur, induce vomiting and drink a lot of water

There are demonstrations at our Outdoor Education booth of many more tips for survival!

Come by and take a look!