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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

20 Wilderness Skills

It's mid summer and (hopefully) you will be getting out to the wilderness to practice your survival skills before fall. Here's 20 things you should know how to do in the woods:
  1. Start and maintain a fire.

  2. Find and purify water.

  3. Use a map, compass, and GPS device for route finding (land navigation).

  4. Make a shelter from native materials.

  5. Fish.

  6. Hunt/use a snare.

  7. Find and prepare wild foods (nuts, berries, roots, etc).

  8. Travel cross country (ie: not along a trail).

  9. Perform basic wilderness first aid skills.

  10. Signal for help.

  11. Cross a stream/river.

  12. Cross a variety of terrains (ice, rock, scree, etc).

  13. Track animals.

  14. Improvise tools and weapons.

  15. Predict weather.

  16. Keep yourself warm (ie: prevent hypothermia).

  17. Protect yourself from animals (from the smallest bugs like tics and mosquitoes to bears).

  18. Night skills (travel, stalking, navigating, etc).

  19. Knots and rope skills.

  20. Keeping yourself entertained (whittling, carving, etc).

Some of these things you can learn from a book or video, some things you can learn from friends, and some things (like crossing glaciers and rope skills) you may want to learn from an expert (learning a skill means you give yourself room for error under the guidance of an instructor, not risk life and limb to practice a difficult skill).


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