Top mistakes in Wilderness Survival
1. Finding clean water to drink
2. How to build a fire and stay warm
3. Know what to eat and how to find food
4. Finding or making shelter
5. Navigating the area improperly
Building a Fire
Having the ability and know-how to create a fire in various seasons and weather conditions is absolutely vital to survival. It is the way to cook food, clean water, and stay warm and dry. Most people today could not build a fire in various conditions in the wilderness. This is because so many people have become accustomed to turning on the gas and using a lighter to light the gas. In reality to create a fire in a wet or snowy condition with survival tools can be pretty difficult and with nothing, it is near impossible. This is why when you are out in the wilderness; you must carry at least 2 to 3 different methods of creating fire.
Also known as magnesium fire starters, these can be very effective at making fire, buy buyer beware because the Chinese have flooded the market with close look-alikes that fail to work. The only brand name that I have heard works very well (there may be more that I do not know of) is Doan. Buy a brand name fire starter.
Matches are probably the easiest way to start a fire. I carry two types; waterproof and regular. I reserve the waterproof matches for when I am in a wet situation. I carry more than I need because they are lightweight and small and often times the conditions force you to light more than one match to create a fire.
Lighters are another simple method to create a fire and usually most of them are reliable.
All of these methods are very difficult if you do not have tinder in your fire starting kit. Tinder can be tree bark, pine needles, dry moss, old man’s beard, and any other dry object that catches fire. Many stores sell tinder, but I make my own. All I do is find what would make good tinder and gather it in a pile and let the sun completely dry it out. Some people use cotton swabs or paper materials.
There are really only a few methods on how to find food. Those are fishing, trapping, hunting, and gathering.
This can be done if you have strong line of some sort, a net, or a fishing pole. This is pretty straightforward. You can also use a net to catch fish.
There are many aspects and methods to trapping and has been the subject of book just on its own. Trapping involves using a counterweight, a crushing device, a stabbing device, or a chocking device. There are many types of traps, but trapping concepts are still the same.
Find an area where there are a significant amount of animals tracks, these areas are often near water. Build your trap, remembering to use sticks and objects to guide the animal into the trap. Know that whatever type of trap you set, you want it to be a clean kill so when you return to get your food, you don’t have to fight with it.
In you have no experience hunting; starting during a survival situation would be pretty difficult. Without weapons, hunting is nearly impossible. So, if you are a hunter, you probably can obtain food fairly easily if you needed to. If you are not, you may want to learn, but it is important to know your style and what you would do in a wilderness survival situation.
Gathering is about the oldest method to obtain food. Yet, it is still extremely dangerous. There are many poisonous plants and you must be aware of what you can and cannot eat in the wild. Mushrooms are extremely dangerous and can result in death, not just illness. There are some experts and books written on just identification of mushrooms alone. If you know what to look for and depending on your location, you may have food in bunches all around you. The main thing to do is educate yourself about your surroundings.
Finding or Making Shelter
If you are in a survival situation you and you do not have a tent, protecting yourself from the elements is a must. Below are pictures of improvised shelters. You just have to be creative and find cover from wind and precipitation.
Orienteering correctly in a survival situation is the difference between being lost and being where you need to be. Consider your objectives and goals and land. Know that low laying lands are colder at night than higher lands, but ridges often have winds that will make you just as cold. Low laying lands like valleys accompanied with rivers or waterways can flood, so also be aware of that. Before you camp or go hiking, study a map of the area extensively and bring the map with you. Know key locations, like roads, rivers, lakes, cities, and cliffs. Move with caution as there could be dangerous things ahead.