Have you ever gone camping and did not know how to act in a life-threatening emergency? Or maybe you postponed it and ended up never going because you were afraid? I do not blame you, it happens to each one of us, even to the strongest among us all. If we do not have the right Survival Skills Training then it is very frightening to be in the wild.
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Many times I canceled plans with friends because I was afraid of not having the right skills. I used to see the photos and videos they posted and feel bad for not being there. Thus, I decided to take things into my hands and improve my survival skills. If you are like me or just want to make sure that you and your companions are safe you should follow these tips and be sure to be all set.
Survival Skills Training Schools
If you think that you need training from experts I am listing four Survival Skills Training schools that you could attend to practice and feel safer. Just keep in mind that these schools offer professional courses and they are very expensive. You probably just need some basic skills so that you will survive in a potential disaster.
This school dates back to 1989. The U.S. military attends Ancient Pathways to train for desert survival. Its main course is bushcraft which lasts from four to fourteen days and teaches you everything you need to know to survive in nature. It costs $295. I would definitely go to this school if I had the chance and money. Considering that the U.S. military trains there it must be one of the best.
Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School
I highly recommend this one because it teaches you how to build your own tents. What if yours breaks and you do not have where to sleep? Moreover, you will learn how to find the way by using maps and other topographic tools. I, for example, have no orientation skills at all, and I am sure I am not the only one. Some understanding or maps and topographic would be so helpful. Also, your trainers will be alumni of the SERE school of the U.S. Air Force. It only lasts four days and three nights but you will be fully prepared in the wild. This course is called Humble Thunder and it costs $550.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft School
This one is great if you are a college student because it does not only provide Survival Skills Training but it even gives academic credits. There are several different courses to choose from. This courses are of the form of a workshop and can be only one long, can be similar to crash courses and be about one or two weeks, or as different immersion programs that last up to one year. However, it is a little expensive but worth it. It will not only help you in the wildlife but also in your academic one. One day course costs $125 and the year-long one $800.
Survival Training School of California
I recommend this one because it provides Survival Skills Training in different climates. You will be fully prepared for storms, floods, or draughts. It is very expensive with one-week lasting courses costing $1050, however, you can get discounts if you are a group. So you can take your friends with whom you are planning adventures and attend courses at this school first. Link here
What To Do When In The Wild
Going to one of these schools would be very helpful, especially if you lack survival skills. However, if you are on a tight budget like me you might find the above-mentioned schools very expensive or time-consuming. Thus, you can just follow these simple steps:
Check the Location
You need to find a location where you will be protected by wild animals and also by natural disasters. Try to find a high place that is not too close to a water resource so there will be no flooding. However, the water resource should be accessible and easy to reach in cases of fire and for consuming reasons. Put your tent in a flat place that is up a hill with dry wood around and accessible water. If you can find ruins of walls it would be even safer. Moreover, stay away from the different bird, ant, or spider nets as they can be rather dangerous.
Find/ Build a Shelter in Case Your Tent Breaks
Remember to always bring a tent and read the manuals on how to build it. It would be better if you practiced at home first. Nevertheless, it might happen that your tent breaks or are taken by the wind. No need to worry, you can always find or build a shelter. The easiest way is to improvise a debris hut. Take a big tree branch and lean it to a standing tree, a big rock, or cut wood. Then take smaller branches and tie them vertically to the bigger one. Take other small branches and tie them horizontally with the primer ones. You can cover it with leaves or clothes. Also, put leaves or clothes on the ground.
Start a Fire without Matches
In cases, you run out of matches or you drop them in the water you will need to improvise into starting a fire, especially at night when it gets very cold. Firstly, you need to build a tinder nest where you will start the fire. Put some sticks and leaves that caught fire quickly. Make sure to have sufficient wood and build the nest somewhere not so windy. One of the easiest ways to start the fire is by using lenses.
You can get the lenses of your binoculars and point them towards the sun until the sticks, leaves, or wood catch fire. If you do not have lenses, you can create them by filling a balloon or condom with water and use them as lenses. Another way is by using batteries and steel wood. It does not matter what types of batteries. Just take a battery and move it up and down a small steel wood until it catches fire.
Track a Water Resource
It can happen that there is no water resource near your location. No need to panic. You can find a water resource by either following animals or vegetation or just collect it as our predecessors did. Animals and plants have the tendency to live and grow near water resources. Thus, following them would help you find water.
However, be careful what animals you follow and plants you touch. Do not follow predators or you will end up being their pray. You can even collect water from nature. If it is raining you can put different containers or improvise some using plastic and the branches of the trees. When they are filled with the rain you can drink the water. If it is not a rainy day you can always collect the dew.
Do Not Get Poisoned
Now that you know how to find water you should learn how to find edible plants as well. It can be very easy to get food poisoning by plants in the wilderness. Make sure to have a book or screenshots of edible plants so that you can find them easier. Also, try to hunt small animals or fish and cook them in the fire that you built with the methods that were explained above.
These are my tips for Survival Skills Training. You can either choose to go to one of the schools and become an expert or follow the tips and help yourself and your group survive. This is a very important topic for me considering that I have no natural sense of orientation. Also, I am a book warm meaning that I barely go outside so surviving in the wild camping was difficult for me. However, this steps helped me a lot. I hope they help you too.