How To Survive In The Wilderness

Mount Everest, Himalayas, Nuptse, Lhotse

How To Survive In The Wilderness

A Ten-Part Series

Welcome to my 10-part series on ” How to Survive in the Wilderness ” . In this series , I will explore TEN specific areas of survival in the wilderness . These will include many of the situations that can arise when you leave the civilized  world . Being Prepared , Food , Clothing , Shelter , Navigation , Dangerous Animals and Finding Water will be included , in addition to three others from reader comments and suggestions .

The Great Outdoors

There are only two places that we spend our time in – the indoors and the outdoors . When the weather is fine , the sun is shining and there are no clouds in the sky , we run outside , like ducks to water . This is why outdoor activities are so popular and will continue to be so , for a long time to come  .

For many of us , we soon become involved in one or more activities and quickly begin to equip ourselves for this new-found activity . By this time and with this level of commitment , the beautiful sunny day is a bonus . Soon , we have to plan our wilderness activities around our families and our workplace .

As we wander further and further away from our safe places , we begin to encounter more risk . Sometimes this new-found risk will lead to mishap , danger and on occasion – more serious consequences . In this series on ” How To Survive In The Wilderness ” , I will show you how I have managed to survive the many years I have spent in the great outdoors with relatively few mishaps .

Part One – Being Prepared !

In part One , I have chosen – Being prepared ! Being prepared is a simple concept that means just that . This will make you ready for situations that will arise in the environment that you will be in . I spend a lot of my wilderness days in the temperate zone , specifically , between the 49 and 60 degree Latitude North of Canada .

This is a world of mountains and valleys , forests and plains with many  deep , wide , swiftly-flowing rivers . There are basically two types of preparation ; – 1) Physical or External Preparation and 2) Mental or Internal Preparation .

External Preparation

External Preparation , in part , refers to the equipment that you will bring along to your specific activity and your ability to understand its functions and be able to use them efficiently . The idea of being prepared to many people , especially the novice , conjures up visions of the newest and most expensive gear and equipment on the market today .

While this is partially true , and that a lot of equipment is sometimes necessary for many of these activities , I also want to address the issue of Physical Preparation . This means preparing your body through exercise and training . The level of intensity of this physical exercise will depend on your age and the type of activity you have chosen


This can vary from simple daily walks , calisthenics and minor weight training to more intense workouts of running and weight training .

Mountain, Hiking, Lake

How To !

Please read through my other blogs for a list of equipment and items to bring along with you on your excursions .

As for physical fitness , if you are not very active , start by walking slowly every day or as often as possible . This will make your body stronger , increase your lung capacity and encourage you to get more involved in physical training .

Visit a community center or local fitness center and see what they have to offer . This increased level of physical fitness will enable you to better enjoy your time in the outdoors .

Mental Preparation

Mental Preparedness and the ability to adapt to any and all situations you are confronted with are what true survival is all about . Being prepared mentally is being aware of what can happen , it is being mentally fit to perform the task that will be required when an emergency situation occurs .

Mental Preparedness will bring you to a state of calmness and clear-thinking when you are confronted with danger . This is an important and useful concept in day to day living , but becomes even more important when you are away from the safety of friends and family and in the wilderness with only the resources that you have brought along .

The Technique

Mental Preparation is ” stopping ” your body from moving ,- closing your eyes and breathing , – slowly and deeply . Now , review in your mind’s ” eye ” , the task you are about to do . This is very simple – do not make it complicated . Practice this at night , when you are in bed .

This can also be done on a chair at home or at work . Firstly , close your eyes , take 3 deep breaths – and review the task or activity you are about to perform . Practice will make this easy and quick , and you will soon realize take your task or situation is much easier than it seemed in the beginning .

With practice , you will quickly be able to relax , control your breathing and assess the situation . If you ever get lost in the wilderness – STOP , sit down and breathe ! – control your breathing . Now , that YOU are in control – life is easy !

Life is simple – we make it complicated . As you can clearly see , any activity can be enjoyed by everyone . This can be achieved by rudimentary physical exercise and simple mental preparation .

The time we spend in Nature can be filled with awe and wonder , not to mention the tremendous physical and mental benefits . This is a place where you can enjoy the great creations of beauty and find the peace that so often eludes us in our noisy worlds .

As always , I welcome your comments and suggestions and look forward to the 3 new topics that you will bring to this website .

Preparation is the beginning . Do not spend all of your time preparing . Now is the time to participate – now that you have all this new equipment and the knowledge to use it . You also have the mental awareness to avoid the danger and lower your risk factor .

Get off your chair ,  get out and explore the beauty of Nature . I look forward to hearing about your adventure !

Zugspitze, Mountain, Mountain Range

2 thoughts on “How To Survive In The Wilderness”

  1. Hi Paul, it was an interesting read for me to learn about being prepared in order to survive anything unexpected in the wilderness. Whilst it’s great to enjoy the outdoors, it’s important to be physically and mentally prepared in case any situation calls for it. It’s very much part and parcel of life, that we plan sufficiently for any forseeable things or be mentally prepared for any changes in the course we had planned on taking.
    Besides all those topics you mentioned, I think it’ll be important to understand the environment that we will be in such as the different weather conditions and the terrain of the different locations. Besides four-legged animals, we should also be aware of some insects e.g. what to do when being attacked by a swarm of bees or army of ants, bitten by a hairy spider or slithery snake?
    ~ Sue

    • Hi Sue and thanks for the different perspective on the dangers one can encounter in the wilderness . The dangers are almost always related to the environment we are in . As you have mentioned insects and reptiles , and especially snakes , present very real dangers in the wild . Your suggestions are greatly appreciated and I will explore these in greater detail so that I can offer you some means of protection against these dangers . Again thank you for the suggestions on this important topic of wilderness adventures .

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