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Surviving Trouble In The Wilderness

surviving trouble in the wildernessGetting into the outdoors for camping or hiking is a great way to experience nature and leave the everyday world behind.  Some people will use established campgrounds, often in national parks.  Other campgrounds are run by private individuals, and both of these types of campgrounds generally have some conveniences available, such as a store, laundry, showers, etc.  However, a segment of the campers prefer to get off the beaten path and find their own campsites in more isolated spots.  These places are often far from services, and while offering more privacy and quiet, can also present problems if something goes wrong far from help.  However, if you have made the proper preparations, you will be able to come through most unpleasant situations relatively unscathed.

Getting Lost

Even experienced campers can become lost on a trip, especially if it is in an unfamiliar location.  You might be trying to track down that elusive bird you hear singing or running after your dog and suddenly find yourself lost.  If you still have a backpack on, you will be able to survive even if it takes you a day or so to get back to camp or out of the area.  Having ab emergency kit or the means to purified water that you come upon, such as water purification tablets or a purification straw will help prevent dehydration.  A whistle should be in your pack, and this will allow you to signal your location to searchers.  A compass can help you find your way back to camp if you have some idea the camp’s direction.  If you camped near a stream, follow it back to your campsite.

Wild Animals

Most wild animals want nothing to do with you, and will leave the area when a human approaches.  Some, however, will act with aggression – generally the carnivores like bears and cougars.  Watch out for signs of a kill, such as a deer carcass covered with dirt and duff.  Bears are very protective of their food and will attack without warning if you approach their kill.  Cougars often attack without warning from cover.  Even herbivores like deer can be dangerous under certain circumstances.

While carrying a gun may be illegal where you are camping, most states will allow you to carry pepper spray for self-defense against animals.  This spray will drive away even a bear, and is much more effective than mace.  Carry it with you at all times, but make sure that if you must use it that the wind is at your back, otherwise it could be blown back into your face.


Probably the most frequent injuries when hiking in the wilderness will involve sprains or strains.  The uneven ground can easily twist an ankle while walking.  A first aid kit should definitely be among the items in your backpack, and if you have an elastic bandage in the kit, it can be used to support the injury. 

Minor scrapes and cuts, along with insect stings, can occur easily while backpacking, so use the items in your first aid kit to treat these.  Carrying Celox or Quikclot can help to deal with serious bleeding, and knowing how to splint broken limbs can also come in handy.

More Articles:

Dealing With a Severe Injury In The Wilderness 

Wild Animal Attacks