Guest Post by Harris A. Norman. Harris is a Writer, Explorer and Prosurvivalist. You can find out more about Harris and his travels by visiting his website.
How To Survive The First Night In The Forest
We all sometimes want to be closer to the nature for a while and enjoy its beauties. It is helpful and relaxing and is good for our overall health. However, you always have to be prepared for the nature, wherever you find yourself. If you want to enjoy staying in a forest, or if you somehow find yourself there, you have to know how to survive nights in the forest and what are the things that are necessary for you.
What are the survival skills?
These are all those things we learned which are necessary for prolonging life in dangerous situations with limited time, where we need to be rescued by lifeguards or to get out of such situations by ourselves. These skills should be governed by all those who use nature as a form of entertainment or occupation. For survival, the most important thing is to have a good concentration, and to be strong enough to sustain loneliness in case that you are left alone; one needs to know how to adapt to all situations and weather conditions, and to always remain calm and confident.
The priorities of ensuring the needs in nature are orientation, shelter, fire, water, food, signalization and first aid. Someone will ask why shelter and fire before food and water? A man with no water can withstand a few days, not more than 5; without food around a month … but a man can die in a couple of hours due to hypo or hyperthermia. So if you find yourself in a forest, try making a shelter first. You can use broken branches and thicker leaves and some mud (which can serve as glue) and make a shelter close to a bigger tree. In this way you will have a support by a tree from one side. Use everything you can find and start building it, layer by layer. It would be helpful if you bring some old clothes with you so you can cover it. Use only colors which can be found in the nature, so you can be less visible to animals or other people. It is also important to stay at one place and not to wander around, in case you are lost. Sides of the world can be determined by a dark line that extends from the ground almost to the top of the tree. It is well visible on the background of a brighter bark of wood. This dark strip is always on the north side and is formed from residual moisture. The humid crust slowly dries on the north side, where there is almost no sunshine.
After doing so, focus on fire. Try not to provoke any harmful fire against the nature and the environment. It has to be isolated and limited. You need matches or a lighter, a tinder and kindling. After you light it, you need to take care of it and maintain it.
Drinking water can be easily obtained from atmospheric water that occurs in several forms. Rainwater, snow and ice can be used on anhydrous terrain and in mountainous areas. The rainwater is collected in an improvised way from exposed tarpaulins, tent wings or any other non-permeable material by being discharged into containers or excavated pits whose walls were previously covered with impervious material (clay, nylon …). As a collecting surface, we can usually use a canvas, because when it is dripped with water, the drops slide along its surface as if it were of impermeable material.
As for the food, if you don’t have some basic knowledge regarding botany, it is recommended not to eat everything that you think it is edible, especially when it comes to mushrooms. If you don’t have any food with you, you can go hunting. There are birds or fish that you can fry. If you don’t know if you stomach will suit animals, refrain from eating them and stick to some plants you can find.
Last, but not least is to know how to provide the first aid to those who need it, or to you is something happens. You always have to have a first aid kit with you, containing some bandages, pain killers, gloves and ethanol, so you can clear the wounds.
The better we prepare (appropriate clothing, appropriate equipment and certain knowledge), the better will the time spent in the nature be. We are the ones who must obey the laws of nature, its conditions and its whims. If we understand it and behave like we should, it will accept us and we will only benefit from it. Otherwise – it will not save us at all! Nature is crude just as much as it is necessary.
Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified yoga instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of taking care of his physical fitness and inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on www.prosurvivalist.com as one of its revered writers.
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