Basic Survival Skills
In an emergency survival situation, there are five basic skills that you need to know. These skills, which can be learned easily, give you the ability to sustain the basic needs of life and provide you with enough know-how to survive until you can be rescued.
- Water. More than anything else, your body needs water. Without food you can last several weeks, but without water it is only a matter of days before you will expire. If you find yourself in a situation where you have no clean water, your first priority should be finding some. If you find a questionable water source, look for a way to boil or filter it to prevent illness. Once you have water, carefully ration it, especially if you do not know how long your predicament could last.
- Fire. While fire obviously is necessary to provide warmth, in a survival situation it can be used for far more than simply heating your chilled toes. A fire can sanitize water, as well as cook or dehydrate meat. It is also effective as both a source of light and as a signaling device. In addition, since most animals are afraid of fire, it can act as a protection from dangerous beasts.
In light of the essential nature of fire in a survival situation, fire starting devices take on new importance.
Waterproof matches, butane lighters, fire steel, or a magnesium fire starter are all efficient and consistent ways to start a fire. Having these on hand means that you will not have to resort to more primitive methods of achieving fire.
- Shelter. When most people think of shelter, they think of a structure of some kind. However, in an emergency, any form of shelter is a step in the right direction. Start with clothing. Wearing multiple layers to provide varying degrees of shelter from the elements. Next, look for a place where you can take cover at night. Even a leafy tree can provide the needed protection. If you have the strength and the ingenuity, the next step would be building a more stable shelter out of available materials.
- First Aid. Investing in a quality first aid kit is a decision you will not likely regret. In a survival situation it could easily save your life. As a precaution, taking a first aid class would also help you to prepare for the unexpected. If you find yourself in a situation where your first aid skills are not adequate, do your best to remain calm. Signal for help and try to relax while you wait for assistance.
- Signaling. If you find yourself stranded and in need of help, signaling can save your life. The standard protocol for a distress signal is three of something. Consequently, three blasts from a whistle or a gun, or a triangular structure of some kind, can all be understood as a cry for help. A signal fire is also an effective way of signaling for help.
Basic survival skills are necessary in almost every emergency situation. Knowing how to meet your most basic needs will prove invaluable to both you and those around you. Make sure to always be prepared and think about packing a
Survival Kit in your car for any situation. Prepare today for whatever that could happen in the future.