If you’re planning to go camping this summer, you can attest to the importance of knowing what it takes to stay safe. Here are a few tips I’ll summarize from various sources.
- Be familiar with stories of how others have survived in the wilderness. Attitude is important. Many who survived seemingly shouldn’t have. The book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why offers good material on this.
- Tell others where you are going. If you change your plans, leave a note or some means of informing those who should know.
- Know your priorities. Do the important things first. You must especially have shelter and water.
- Know some first aid. At least have a booklet or deck of cards and a few first aid items.
- Be mindful of possible shelters. Are there any caves nearby or trees to protect you from rain or snow? Do you have provisions for making a shelter?
- Always plan ahead. For example, look for water and shelter before you need it. Don’t let problems become survival emergencies.
- If you’ll be in the wilderness for a night or more, have two ways to start a fire.
- Know what is edible. Your body needs water more than food, but if you know what plants or small animals you can eat, it could be a psychological as well as physical boost.
- Know how to navigate. Could you function without maps or GPS? Do you know directions or how to determine them? What would you do to find a road or previous point of reference?
- Know how to stay warm and dry. Hypothermia is a killer.
Stay safe wherever the outdoors takes you this season.