Whether you need to survive in the wilderness or a small area of woods, you should always be prepared. Being caught without supplies can turn the tables. Fortunately, there are only four basic survival essentials needed in almost all cases.
If you’re taking a stroll through the woods, you should always bring some water, knife, and a fire starter. If it’s cloudy or rainy, bringing along a rain jacket isn’t a bad idea.
Always consider what could happen. Your car could break down in the middle of nowhere, so keep an emergency kit in your car. You might have to flee unexpectedly, so a bug out bag is always good to have at the ready.
Four Basic Survival Essentials
You can count the number of things essential to survival on one hand: just 4!
If you have an injury or illness that requires medical attention, you will need a few more items. However, these four items are the main necessities.
This is where survival kits can be exceptionally useful. You’ll have rations of water, food for nutrition and matches or something similar to start a fire for warmth.
Some survival kits even have tents for shelter. If push comes to shove, however, you can always make a lean-to.
Even if you don’t have the four basic survival essentials readily available, you have more resources at your disposal than you may realize.
How to Obtain Water
Water is the most important thing the body needs for survival. Although we can go up to three days without water, dehydration starts long before then.
Searching for a creek or stream of flowing water is a great way to get started. Never drink water straight from standing water. Bacteria and other harmful things settle in stagnant water.
Just because the water looks clean doesn’t mean that it is. Always purify water from lakes, streams, creeks and rivers before drinking it.
If you can’t find a flowing source of water, there are alternatives to get some.
- Collecting Dew – Press a rag, towel, or even your shirt onto the ground. The dew will collect and you can wring it into a bottle or straight into your mouth.
- Dragging Cloth Behind You – Plants have plenty of water on their surface in wooded areas. Wrapping cloth around your leg or dragging it behind you will collect the water. Wring the cloth straight into your mouth.
- Following Ants – Deposits of water can be found in grooves of trees, and ants know this. If you notice a trail of ants making their way up a tree, there is likely to be at least some water.
- Travelling on the Side of a Mountain – Stay parallel to a mountain if you’re near one. Many mountains have streams flowing from top to bottom, meaning you’ll find water.
- Digging for Water – Water may settle underground from dried-up creeks or streams, or areas with plenty of flourishing foliage. Digging in these areas may lead to water.
Building and Settling in a Shelter
A shelter will protect you from the many threats in nature, such as wild animals or bad weather. It goes without saying that shelter is absolutely necessary.
If you don’t have a tent or portable shelter readily available, there are alternatives. For instance, you can always make a lean-to.
The ideal lean-to is made by gathering large branches and laying them against a large, solid object. Finish it off by using smaller branches to cover the gaps.
Food is a Basic Survival Essential
Ideally, you’ll be bringing a kit that contains the four basic survival essentials. This includes a source of food. Maybe that just isn’t possible given the circumstances.
Just like with water, there are plenty of food sources surrounding you. You just have to know how and where to look for it. Wild plants and animals are a definite source for nutrition, as well as most bugs and insects.
Obviously it will be tedious to catch wild animals, even if you have the necessary gear. Fortunately if you’re near a river or lake, you could try fishing for food. This isn’t as difficult.
Although it may not be a five star meal, eating bugs is an option. In fact, most bugs are very nutritional. You can’t eat every bug out there though, so keep this in mind.
Maybe you come across some plants in the wild. Are you 100% sure it’s edible? If not, do not eat it. Eating inedible plants can cause many atrocious side effects. Take the edible plants test if you’re not sure if a plant is edible.
Finding and Maintaining Warmth
Although this is the last on our list of the four basic survival essentials, it is no less important. Warmth should be a priority as temperatures can drop very quickly in woods or the wilderness. A cold body actually requires more food.
There are many steps you can take to make you warm and stay warm. For instance, you can trap your body heat with a well-built shelter.
A New Zealand woman survived a night in the cold woods. To keep warm, she buried herself in the dirt. In the absence of an emergency blanket, dirt works as a great insulator.
Making a fire is a common way to stay warm as well. This can be a problem if you don’t have a fire starter on hand like a lighter or matches. So, instead of rubbing two sticks together, put that energy into building a snug bed in your shelter.
Basic Survival Essentials Can Save Your Life
It’s always better to be prepared in survival situations. Knowing what to do and how to do it can literally save your life.
Keep a survival kit readily available and know what to do if disaster strikes out of nowhere.