How to Survive in the Wild for 72 Hours

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by Lee Flynn

Survival Tips to Help You Get Out of a Wilderness Alive

People often go for hiking in wild areas. Most of the hiking trails are places that are not familiar to hikers and thus, they could easily get lost. Losing the trail is not the problem. Real tragedy strikes when you do not know how to survive in the wild until you get help. What do you do when you are in the middle of nowhere and you do not have the basics needs like food, water, shelter, and clothing, as well as other essentials like flashlight and matches? Most professional assert that the average period a person can survive in the wild is 72 hours.

Most disturbed teens are placed on wilderness therapy programs to help them recover from substance and drug abuse. They are taught the wilderness survival skills to help them get through the program. When on a therapy program, you cannot rely on the escape tactics you see on movies. Leading psychologists believe that employing different techniques other than the traditional therapy programs help troubled teens address their problems and seek lasting solutions to their problems. Placing teens in a wilderness helps them get out of their comfort zones and are in a better position to handle any problem they face. Here are some wilderness survival tips to help you come out of a wilderness alive.

Carry enough supplies that can last you three days

Wherever you go for hiking, carry enough supplies that can last you 72 hours, even when you plan to hike for a day. The supplies vary depending on where you are hiking. However, the basics include water, food, lightweight Mylar emergency blankets, an army knife, a compass, and a map of the area you will be navigating. Unless you have a Master’s Degree in Neolithic studies which equips you with adequate skills to light a fire using sticks, you should carry a packet of waterproof matches.

Stay where you are

When you discover that you are lost, stop moving and get a comfortable place to sit and relax. Try to overcome panic by taking a gulp of water and breathing in and out deeply through the nose. Start analyzing the situation. If you packed a compass, note the reading. It may seem as a useless gesture since you are already lost, but knowing the compass directions is a great psychological tool for disoriented people.

The main reason people are advised to stay where they are is to enable search teams get to them faster and to reduce the loss of energy. Lying around when lost is the best way to save your life.

Prevent hypothermia at all cost

At night, it is very cold in the wilderness. This could lead loss of body heat, a condition known as hypothermia. When the wind is blowing or you are wet, hypothermia could happen very fast. Loss of body heat is the leading cause of death for people lost in the wilderness. Therefore, ensure you cover yourself well and have a supply of heat, like a fire.

Tips to help you survive if you didn’t prepare for an emergency

First and foremost, get a water supply. If there are no ponds or streams, try to get some water from rock depressions. In most cases, the water is infested with dancing bugs which you will have to filter using a piece of cloth. The water is not pure, but you have to take it as staying hydrated will help you be found alive. Never forget a pocket-size Mylar blanket to save you from exposure to direct sun during the day.

Make a bed of pines or leaves to reduce loss of heat when you lie down at night. The bow-drill technique of making fire is quite technical to master. Therefore, never forget to carry matches with you every time you leave for hiking. When making fire, start with thin fuel, and continue pilling the thicker fuel.

Whether the person comes out alive or dead depends on his/her state of mind and preparation. In such terrible moments, people are discouraged from thinking so much as it lowers their chances of making it alive. The instructors or tour guides could offer some assistance, but you should switch your mind into survival mode, meaning you have make your own decisions when deemed necessary.