"be prepared for anything mother nature may throw at you"
now that we have that out the way you have to decide now whether it is worth you carrying on reading this and the way you are going to decide is to ask yourself this.
"do you have the will to survive?"
if the answer is no. then clear off. if the answer is yes then congratulations, you have completed the first step of survival school. will power.
Step 1: The basics of survival!
Most valuable - before you trek anywhere unassisted check local knowledge. Find out about the basic geography of the area. Familiarize yourself with edible plants and animals and local seasonal dangers like floods and animal migrations.
Be prepared for the environment you're heading into - bring the right tools and supplies.
Use common sense. If you are lost, try to get your bearings before moving on. If you're tired, rest. If you're hungry, try to find food.
And always push yourself, the only way the people like bear grylls and ray mears survive is by pushing themselves beyond what the think they can do.
Step 2: The knife
You can make a knife but i find this to be a time consuming effort and is nearly pointless compared to some of the knives you can find on the market. i will however put a link in just incase you were curious with this instructable
I personally always carry a swiss army knife that has a lock on it whenever i go camping, you could however use a bog standard swiss army knife without a lock: upside is it does more stuff (you could probably find one out there with and umbrella on it) downside is you have to be careful because it wont lock. on the other hand a simple lock knife without any add ons is good: upside is it's light weight and simple, downside is there is nothing on there like a can opener or a fish scaler etc. If you really want to go over the top and do infact find yourself stuck in a particularly dense part of the woods/jungle you may want to have a machete handy. i got one whilst i was in uganda and i havent regreted it since.
regarding the machete my parents beg to differ....
Step 3: Altoids survival kit
It is essentially a small tin full of everything you might need to get through the night in not only a forest/jungle but anywhere. the contents of each survival kit varys from whoever has made them, but you cannot buy these and everyone is homemade.
It saves money compared to shop bought survival kit, but more importantly it could save your life
For my survival kit i took an old mint tin and filled it with:
-2 match strikers sellotaped to the inner top of the tin
-a birthday candle
-a light, compass and whistle combo thing
-a fair amount of dental floss
-a fair amount of soldering wire
-a fair amount of tin foil
-the elastic band holding the tin together
Things i should have in my survival kit:
-some duct tape
-a small sealable bag of some sort
Reasons for having those things in the tin
-matches: always handy for starting fires
-strikers: handy for starting the matches to start the fire =]
-candle: it burns for a long time so helps greatly to start fires
-a light, compass and whistle combo: the whistle is good for getting attention, as is the light and the compass is good for navigation
-dental floss: it is nearly clear when lay out in a trap
-soldering wire: strong wire for binding
-tin foil: good for cooking things in and holding things to keep them dry
-the tin: holds everything and you can cook small things in there
-elastic band: holds the tin together and is good for bindings
-duct tape: very good at fixing things. i've heard many a story where people have used to duct tape in the wilderness
-small sealabe bag: keeps things dry and fresh
There is a more extensive kit here, but my tin was small so i was severly limited =[
Step 4: How to make fire (important!!)
Before you can even think about starting the fire you have to prepare yourself and this means gathering alot of different types of wood that you can use to build a fire up.
You will need different sizes of wood, BUT IT ALL HAS TO BE DRY!! this is critical other wise it will not burn (the only exception is when you are impaling some food onto a stick, then you want it live so it doesn't burn). the different types of wood/fuel you will need are-
1. Wood or bark shavings. (dry grass or paper may be used here but is not recommended as it burns far too intensely and as such will not last very long)
2. Small twigs. this will serve as building blocks to the main structure of your fire (this will be discussed later)
3. Slightly bigger twigs, but not too big. this will make it possible to stack bigger stuff on
4. Even bigger sticks. this again will lead on to bigger sticks
this cycle carrys on and on and on depending on the size of fire you want.
An exceptions of the above are pallet wood. often found in firewood dumps. this is good because it burns for a while.
You will also need a few big logs to put around the fire if you are not in a designated fire zone. This will stop the fire from spreading and causing any major damage.
Always remember to get more firewood than you will need. this means that you can stack it on if you need the fire for longer than expected or if you wanted the fire slightly bigger.
To make a fire you need 3 things. 1: Fuel, 2: Oxygen and 3. Ignition
We've covered number one. number 2 needs a bit more thought (surprisingly) because you need to create the right sort of structure for the fire so that the oxygen can get in and you also need to make sure not to put too much firewood on too quickly because this will smother the fire and put it out, much like a candle with a snuffer.
The structure that I like to use for my fire is a basic two sticks ontop of two others and then carry on.
This is done by laying two sticks parallel from each other than laying two on top of them and then building it up. This allows for good ventilation and the opportunity to put your fuel and ignition in the middle, in the heart of the fire.
There are a few other types but i find none of them to be as effective, but it is just important to remember to have a structure to have an air flow (co2 goes out o2 comes in) and to get the right size sticks next to each other so the fire can build itself up.
Now, the final section. ignition. there are a few different things you can use for this, including a steel striker (a carbonised steel rod struck with a key shaped piece of metal. this can be replaced with a knife or a key) this is the same concept as a striking two flints together, you can use matches (these aren't good in wind or water unless you have "monkey matches", these are wind and water proof matches. very hand but they burn incredibly quickly) and lighters, storm lighters or zippos are good because they are windproof too.
To light a fire create you fire with the kindlering in the middle in the middle and then start your ignition in there.
Congratulations. if all went to plan you now have a fire. =]
i like fire... lol
Step 5: Making a shelter. Hooray
The shelter i generally use is a bog one. A large stick proped up against a tree and then with fern branches coming down from either side. this creates a nice waterproof (ish) shelter that generally fits one man, but can be improvised to fit two or more by using more than one stick and connecting the two with fern branches.
Sorry i can't offer anything more on this subject but i can say that as i start to get more info i will post it up then we can all be true surivalists =]
Step 6: Dress appropriatly
What you wear really depends on where you're going and what time of year it is, but on a whole i like to wear thin, lightweight trousers that will protect me from stingers, etc but will also be cool and light for mobility. I also have a camoflauge coat that i am in love with because it traps heat, is full of pockets and can be used to pad out your sleeping bag or whatever. it is not very good for the summer however =[
on a whole this is what i wear according to the seasons
spring/summer: lightweight trousers, a breathable t-shirt and some hiking shoes. This is dependant on the weather
autumn/winter: lightweiht trousers, a thick t-shirt, maybe a jumper, my camo coat, some wooley hiking socks and my hiking shoes. This, to, is dependant on the weather
Just remember to check the forecasts if you ever go out, but also remember that the forecasts can never be 100% correct, so in my eyes it's better to bring that extra jumper or coat you were planning to because you may find yourself stuck in the wet, cold rain trying to stay warm in just your t-shirt and trousers. not good =[
Also it is a good idea to wear shorts if you know there aren't going to be any particularly vicious stingers or plants about and it's going to be hot. it's a good idea.
Step 7: Trapping animals
The Deadfall Trap
The deadfall trap works on the principle that when the bait is taken a weight falls on the prey. This live animal trap can be made to any size. Prop a weight up with a stick with some food attached by a string to the stick propping the weight up. when the animal takes the bait the weight will drop and either leave your animal looking alot like road kill or just imobilise it. let's hope for the latter.
A box trap is a very good trap for small game and birds.
To construct a box trap assemble a box from sticks tied together or whatever appropriate material that's available. Make it big enough to hold the game you intend to catch.Take time to make a trigger that fits well, like some string attached to the door and the bait. This will then force the door shut and some yum inside.
Using snares to trap animals is a simple method. Especially if you want to catch rabbits and small animals.
Make sure the noose is large enough to pass freely over the animal's head. Set it at a height that's equal to the height of the animals head and a hand's width from an obstruction. Anchor securely.
Just remember to leave yourself downwind from the animal, follow their tracks to watering holes etc, be patient and practice as much as you can.
I will leave fishing down to you
I will also leave gutting the animal to you, as much fun as it is you can work it out. (it's half the fun =])
Step 8: Well, gosh. congratulations
P.S i take no liabilty for death for any other forms of injury caused by the acivities stated in this guide.
lol, i'm just kidding. you wont die, but if you do find yourself caught in a man size snare trap dont come crying to me.