Camping in the wilderness is a rewarding experience, reserved for those who are willing to go off the beaten path. However, the thrill and excitement of venturing into the unknowns of the wild are often fraught with certain risks. Understanding these risks and preparing in advance is crucial to one’s survival.
In this article, we have summed up certain prepping essentials that can help you survive in the wild and can mean the difference between life and death.
Carrying the best tinder
Try as you might, it’s almost impossible to build a fire by holding a match to a block of wood. You need something that catches fire quickly and holds up the flame long enough to ignite a log.
This is where tinder comes in handy. Tinder is a highly combustible material that takes a small spark to ignite and burn in a controlled manner.
You can either buy a camping tinder from the market or make your own. The most popular tinder among campers is cordage or fibre. This includes cotton balls, char cloth, paracord, jute twine, hemp rope, etc.
Advantages: Tinder is lightweight, easy to use, safe to carry, and it burns for 1-2 minutes.
Accidents happen. But some injuries can be life-threatening. In case of severe bleeding, elevate the wound above the heart to restrict the blood from flowing to the injury. If that doesn’t stop the bleeding, use a tourniquet. Applying well-aimed, firm pressure on the wound using a tourniquet can stop the bleeding in a couple of minutes.
However, it’s not always possible to use a tourniquet around the wound, such as armpits or neck junctions. In that situation, use pressure dressing to pack the wound. Also known as Israeli dressing, this bandage is made of an absorbent, elastic material combined with a pressure bar that aids in controlling bleeding.
In the case of nose-bleeding, pinch the nostrils and lean forward until the bleeding stops. Do not crane your neck back, as it can lead the blood through your throat into the stomach to trigger nausea.
Sharpening your knife
Your knife is the most reliable companion to the campsite or hiking trail. Sharp camping knives require less time and energy as compared to blunt knives to cut through objects. Therefore, make sure it’s sharp, and you have practised wielding and using the knife at home to get comfortable with the edge and grip.
There are several proven methods of sharpening a knife, such as stropping, which involves using a strip of leather, denim, canvas or balsa wood.
Storage is another concern for knife enthusiasts as the blade can catch rust when stored in a leather sheath for an extended period. The leather sheath traps moisture, which accelerates corrosion. Therefore, use a water-resistant case to stash your knife away when not in use.
Always invest in a quality knife, such as Damascus Perkin Knives, which are renowned for durability and performance.
Hiking is a physically demanding activity. You may have to walk, crawl or even climb great distances. Therefore, it is important to start building physical strength and stamina weeks before your adventure.
What does it mean to be adventure-fit?
You should be able to do the following without destroying your muscles and joints
- Walk for 10 hours with 30 pounds on your back.
- Quarter-mile sprint over unpaved ground and jog for a mile
- Swim across a moving river
- Carry or drag a 90-kg person for 30 meters.
- Survive on 1500 calories a day
How to achieve adventure fitness?
- Quit smoking to strengthen your lungs so they can hold more oxygen and improve stamina.
- Count your calories and don’t let your intake exceed 2000 calories per day.
- Drink plenty of water as it will boost your metabolism and help you lose healthy kilos.
- Exercise daily to keep your muscles and joints flexible, and sleep well to help them recover from fatigue.
Preparation is key to your survival in the woods. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to get into trouble. If you know someone who could use this crucial piece of information, feel free to share.