Introduction: Ten Forest and Mountain Survival Tips
Countless accidents can happen when you are out by yourself in the wilderness. Without communication with anyone else (assuming you do not have a phone or cell service), survival is hard. Nonetheless, these helpful tips will get you through almost any life or death incident.
Step 1: Water
You find yourself lost in a forest without any water bottles or fresh water.
What you need: a plastic bag and glass container
Get out your plastic bag and find something like a puddle. Scoop up the water and you will see that the water drizzled out of tiny holes. Collect it in your container. All other debris will have collected in the plastic bag.
Boil the water over a fire to get rid of harmful bacteria.
Step 2: Food
You went on a hike but veered off the trail and have eaten all your food. It's been hours since you last ate and you feel like you are starving. Don't worry. Unlike in the movies, it can take weeks for you to fully starve if you have hydration if some sort.
What you need: an edible plant guide
As a solution, before going anywhere there is even a slight chance of getting lost, read up on the types of edible plants that grow in that area. To be even safer, bring along a plant guide to help you.
Step 3: Shelter
You were on a pleasant hike, but it took much longer than expected. The sun's beginning to set but you don't have enough time to make it all the way back. You are very tired and just want to sleep.
What you need: an emergency blanket
Find a tree with low-hanging branches and drape your emergency blanket over it. Make sure there are no animal dens near your sleeping site. If you have no blanket, use your jacket. If you have no jacket or it is too cold to take off, use anything you can find: leaves, lichen, etc.
Step 4: Bear
You are having a good time exploring the forest until you hear a suspicious noise. You turn around and you are face to face with a bear and her cubs. You didn't bring any bear bells and are alone.
The bear does not want to eat you, it just wants to protect its cubs from any harm. Right now it thinks you are a potential threat. Think through everything you do carefully. Do not make any sudden movements which may scare the bear. Do not hide in a tent or under leaves, which is foolish because the bear will easily find you.
If you climb up a tree, depending on the type of bear, it could either be could or bad. If it is a small bear (like a black bear or sloth bear), it will climb up incredibly fast and knock you down. If it is a large bear (like a grizzly), it will not climb but may be able to swat you with its paws. Generally speaking, do not climb trees unless you are dealing with a large bear and found a very tall and sturdy tree with many thick branches good for climbing.
Your main goal is to not appear as a threat. Do notify the back no matter what! Try to play dead or roll up into a ball if you think that will work. In a situation like this your survival intestines will kick in.
Step 5: Avalanche
You are climbing up a glacier covered mountain when cracked began to form beneath your feet. You realize it's an avalanche. You did not bring a backpack with air tanks for avalanches or anything like that.
What you need: a snow shovel
Take off all of your heavy equipment except for a snow shovel, which you will need. Rescue teams will more easily be able to find you if they see your equipment.
Immediately jump past the crack, but if it is coming from above you, jump to the side.
Grab onto something like a large tree or boulder. However, if it is a big avalanche it can knock over such things.
Start swimming through the snow. You are denser than the snow, so you will sink, but try to stay afloat by kicking and paddling.
If none of those things work, when the snow starts to reach you, take a deep breath and put your arms in front of your face. Close your eyes and as soon as the avalanche covers you push out your arms and start sliding them like windshield swipers. That gives you a pocket of air to breathe in. Conserve energy by staying still until rescue teams arrive. If you are close to the surface, pull out the snow shovel and dig your way out. If you are not near, that might sink you in deeper.
Step 6: Whitewater
You were walking in the forest along a river and wanted to feel the water. You got closer, but when you put your hand in you got knocked into the rapids!
As soon as it happens grab onto something large like a boulder or log and drag yourself to shore. No matter how shallow do not try to stand up or you will get dragged down by the currents.
Throw off your heavy gear as it weighs you down. It is not important but if you can throw it off the shore, a dry jacket can help you stay warm when you get out.
Call for help but do not waste your energy by yelling for a long time. Try to swim downstream towards the shore.
When you get out of the water, huddle up to stay or run to stay warm.
Step 7: Fire
You went camping and you need to start a fire. You need them cook your food and also need a light because it's getting dark.
What you need: waterproof, strike anywhere matches
Collect dry, flammable tinder for your fire. It could be paper, lichen, feathers, dried moss or plant fibers. Find firewood of all different sizes and lengths. Make sure the wood is dead and dry.
Create a nest by putting the tinder in the center and surrounding it with firewood. Put the most flammable items on the top.
Strike a match on something tough (like a rock) and toss it onto the top center of your 'nest'.
Maintain the fire by occasionally adding more wood to it but never let it go without supervision. That could start a wildfire.
To put out the fire, let it burn out slowly then pour water over it. Do not use your fresh water because you heed that for drinking! Get it from a puddle, stream, or river instead. Pour he water very slowly all over until the fire is out.
Step 8: Snakebite
You went out in the forest when all of sudden you feel pain in your ankle. You look down and there's a snake!
Quickly remember what the snake looks like to tell the hospital later so they can give you the proper antivenom if it is poisonous.
Cut off or remove any clothing restricting the bite. Keep the bite lower than your heart to prevent the poison from being pumped through your bloodstream. Stay as still as possible.
There are many urban myths about snake bites which you cannot follow. Do not: suck the venom out, cut around the wound, apply a tourniquet or apply ice.
Call for help as much as you can, but if none comes try walking slowly back towards where you came from.
Step 9: Broken Bone
You were walking through the forest when you tripped and felt a searing pain in your ankle. Upon inspection it is more than a twist or sprain.
Sit down and keep the broken bone elevated. Put something cold on it to keep the swelling down.
What you need: medical gauze
After the swelling reduces, gently wrap your ankle with gauze. Place a stick next to it and wrap more gauze around that to keep it straight.
Very carefully and slowly get help and go to the hospital.
Step 10: Bleeding
You went out camping and accidentally cut yourself on something. It seemed minor but tons of blood came rushing out of the wound.
What you need: medical gauze
First things first: clean the wound with fresh water and remove any debris in it. Wrap the gauze around tightly but do not do it too tightly or make it a tourniquet. Apply firm pressure to stop the bleeding.
Find help as soon as possible before you lose too much blood.
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