Survival skills

Survival skills are techniques that can be used in a natural environment . These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life , including water , food , and shelter . The skills and support of animals and the environment and the survival of animals. Survival skills are often associated with the need to survive in a disaster situation. [1] Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that they have invented and used for many years. [2]Outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing and hunting all require basic wilderness survival skills, especially in handling emergency situations. Bushcraft and primitive living are most often self-implemented, but require many of the same skills.

First aid

Main article: Wilderness medical emergency

First aid ( wilderness first aid in particular) can help a person survive and function with injuries and Illnesses That Would Otherwise kill or incapacitate him / her. Common and dangerous injuries include:

  • Bites from snakes, spiders and other wild animals
  • Bone fractures
  • Burns
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Heart attack
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hypothermia (too cold) and hyperthermia (too hot)
  • Infection through food, animal contact, or drinking non-drinking water
  • Poisoning from, or contact with, poisonous plants or poisonous fungi
  • Sprains , particularly of the ankle
  • vomiting
  • Wounds , which may become infected

The survivor may need to apply for the first aid kit, if possessing the requisite knowledge, of naturally occurring medicinal plants, to immobilize injured limbs, or even transport incapacitated comrades.


Shelter built from tarp and sticks. Pictured are displaced persons from the Sri Lankan Civil War

A shelter can range from a natural shelter, such as a cellar , overhanging rock outcrop , or fallen-down tree, to an intermediate form of man-made shelter such as a debris hut, tree pit shelter, or snow cave , to completely man -made structures such as a tarp , tent , or longhouse .


Making fire is recognized in the sources to increase the ability to survive physically and mentally. Lighting a fire without a lighter or matches, eg by using natural flint and steel with tinder , is a frequent subject of both books on survival and in survival races. There is an emphasis placed on practicing fire-making skills before venturing into the wilderness. Producing fire under adverse conditions has been made much easier by the introduction of such tools as the solar spark lighter and the fire piston .

One fire starting technique involves a black powder firearm if one is available. Proper gun safety should be used with this technique to avoid harmful injury or death. The technique includes ramming tinder, like charred cloth or fine wood strands, down the barrel of the firearm until the tinder is against the powder charge. Next, fire the gun up in the air in a safe direction, run and pick up the cloth that is projected out of the barrel with the shot, and then blow it into flame. It works better if you have a supply of tinder at hand so that the cloth can be placed against it to start the fire. [3]

Fire is presented as a tool meeting many survival needs. The heat provided by a fire warms the body, dries wet clothes, water disinfects, and cooks food. Not to be overlooked is the psychological boost and the sense of safety and protection it gives. In the wild, fire can provide a sensation of home, a focal point, in addition to being an essential energy source. Fire may be a wild animal, but wild animals may be attracted to the light and heat of a fire.


A human being can survive an average of three to five days without the intake of water. The issues presented by the need for water dictates that avoidance of water by perspiration be avoided in survival situations. The need for water increases with exercise. [4]

A typical person will have a low temperature, and a cold, dry, or cold weather condition. Four to six liters of water or other liquids to prevent dehydration and to keep the body functioning properly. [5] The US Army’s survival manual does not recommend drinking water when it’s over. Instead, water should be drunk at regular intervals. [6] [7] Other groups recommend rationing water through “water discipline”. [8]

A lack of water causes dehydration , which may result in lethargy , headaches , dizziness , confusion , and eventually death. Even mild dehydration, endurance and odd concentration , which is dangerous in a survival situation where clear thinking is essential. Dark yellow or brown urine is a diagnostic indicator of dehydration. To avoid dehydration, a high priority is typically assigned to a supply of drinking water and making sure that water is safe as possible.

Recent thinking is that boiling or commercialization is significantly safer than use of chemicals, with the exception of chlorine dioxide . [9] [10] [11]


Culinary root tubers , fruit , edible mushrooms , edible nuts, edible beans, edible cereals or edible leaves , edible moss , edible cacti and algae can be searched and if needed, Prepared (mostly by boiling). With the exception of leaves, these foods are relatively high in calories, providing some energy to the body. Plants are some of the easiest food sources in the jungle, forest or desert because they are stationary and can thus be had without exerting much effort. [12] are necessary to get involved with pet trapping, hunting , and fishing .

Focusing on the survival of presumed searchers, the Scouts of America Boy Scouts of America especially foraging for wilderness survival situations, making the risks (including use of energy) outweigh the benefits. [13]


Survival situations can often be resolved by finding a way to safety. Types of navigation include:

  • Celestial navigation , using the sun and the night sky to locate the cardinal directions and to maintain course of travel
  • Using a map , compass or GPS receiver
  • Dead reckoning
  • Natural navigation, using the condition of surrounding natural objects (ie moss on a tree, snow on a hill, direction of running water, etc.)

Mental preparedness

The mind and its processes are critical to survival. The will to live in a life-and-death situation often separates those that live and those that do not. Stories of heroic feats of survival by regulars with little or no training. Among them is Juliane Koepcke , who was the sole survivor among the 93 passengers when her plane crashed in the jungle of Peru . Situations can be stressful to the level that even trained experts may be mentally affected. One should be mentally and physically tough during a disaster.

To the extent that stress results from testing human limits, the benefits of learning to function and stress. [14] There are certain strategies and mental tools that can help people cope better in a survival situation, including focusing on manageable tasks, having a Plan B available and recognizing denial. [15]

Important survival items

Civilian pilots attending a Survival Course at RAF Kinloss learn how to build a shelter from the elements, using the materials available in the woodland on the north-east edge of the aerodrome.
Main article: Survival kit

Often survival practitioners will carry with them a “survival kit”. This consists of various items that seem necessary or useful for potential survival situations, depending on anticipated challenges and location. Supplies in a survival kit. For wilderness survival, they often contain items like a knife, water container, fire starting apparatus, food aid devices (snare wire, fish hooks, firearms, or other,) a light, navigational aids, and signaling or communications devices . Often these items will have multiple possible uses as space and weight are often at a premium.

Survival kits can be purchased from various retailers or individual components can be purchased and assembled into a kit.

Common myths

Some survival books promote the “Universal Edibility Test”. [16] Allegedly, it is possible to distinguish between toxicants and toxicants by a series of progressive exposures to skin and mouth with ingestion, with waiting periods and checks for symptoms. However, many experts including Ray Mears and John Kallas [17] reject this method, stating that even a small amount of “potential foods” can cause physical discomfort, illness, or death.

Many mainstream survival experts have perpetuated the act of drinking urine in times of dehydration. [18] However, the United States Air Force Survival Manual (AF 64-4) instructs that this technique is a myth should never be applied. Several reasons include the high salt content of urine, potential contaminants, and sometimes bacteria growth, despite urine being ” sterile “.

Many classic cowboy movies and even classic survival books suggest that one’s mouth is a proper treatment. However, it may be dangerous to the blood stream, it can not be sucked out and it may be dangerous to attempt to do so. If you want to be a snake, the best chance of survival is as fast as possible. [19]

See also

  • Distress signal
  • Mini survival kit
  • Survivalism
  • Ten Essentials
  • Woodcraft


  1. Jump up^ “12 Outdoor Survival Skills Every Guy Should Master” . Men’s Fitness . 2017-09-28 . Retrieved 2017-09-28 .
  2. Jump up^ “Wilderness Survival Skills” . . 2017-09-28 . Retrieved 2017-09-28 .
  3. Jump up^ Churchill, James E. The Basic Essentials of Survival. Merrillville, IN: ICS, 1989. Print.
  4. Jump up^ HowStuffWorksby Charles W. Bryant
  5. Jump up^ Water Balance; a Key to Cold Weather Survivalby Bruce Zawalsky, Chief Instructor, BWI
  6. Jump up^ “Army Survival Manual; Chapter 13 – Page 2” . . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  7. Jump up^ “US Army Survival Manual FM 21-76, also known as FM 3-05.70 May 2002 Issue: drinking water” . . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  8. Jump up^ “Water Discipline” at Survival Topics
  9. Jump up^ “US EPA” . Archived from the original on 29 December 2011 . Retrieved 2011-12-27 .
  10. Jump up^ “Wilderness Medical Society” . . Retrieved 2011-10-21 . dead link ]
  11. Jump up^ “Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources” . 11 March 2008. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012 . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  12. Jump up^ “Master The Great Outdoors” . . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  13. Jump up^ Wilderness Survival Merit Badge pamphlet, January 2008, at 38
  14. Jump up^ Krieger, Leif. “How to Survive Any Situation” . How to Survive Any Situation . Silvercrown Mountain Outdoor School.
  15. Jump up^ Leach, John (1994). Survival Psychology . NYU Press.
  16. Jump up^ US Army Survival Manual FM21-76 1998 Dorset press 9th printingISBN 1-56619-022-3
  17. Jump up^ John Kallas, Ph.D., Director, Institute for the Study of Edible Wild Plants and Other Foragables. Biography[ not in citation Given ] Archived13 February 2014 at theWayback Machine.
  18. Jump up^ Peterson, Devin (2013). “Effects of Urine Consumption” . SCS . DNM International. p. 1 . Retrieved August 6, 2013 .
  19. Jump up^ Lawson, Malcolm (2013). “Top 10 Survival Myths Busted” . SCS . DNM International. p. 1. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015 . Retrieved 18 April 2015 .