Men's Lifestyle

Back to Mother Nature: 7 Essential Items for Surviving in the Wilderness

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If you’re planning on taking a trip into the wilderness, or you find yourself lost in the woods, then you’d better be prepared if you want to survive. No matter what climate you’re in, mother nature can chew you up and spit you out if you don’t have the right gear. If you take these seven items with you, you will have everything you need to survive as comfortably as you can until rescuers find you.

The 7 Items You Need to Survive in the Wilderness

1. Very sharp, high-quality automatic knife

If you’re attempting to survive in the wilderness, the first essential item is automatic knives. A well-made and extremely sharp knife is crucial for staying alive for multiple reasons. For starters, they’re compact and easy to clean. They’re also much safer because the blade is stored inside the knife when it’s not in use. Interior blade storage is an excellent feature because it means the sharp edge won’t dull faster due to unnecessary wear and tear.

When you need to go hunting or fishing, an automatic knife can easily cut the fishing line or through a rope. A knife is necessary to kill food and can be used as a self-defense weapon, so look for one of superior quality that won’t snap or break when you use it. Wilderness survival means doing many activities that require cutting, so the ideal knife is very sharp and can cut through extremely tough materials with ease. As with any other essential item, it’s always a good idea to have two, in case you ever need a backup.

2. Rope

Anyone who has ever gone hiking or rock-climbing will tell you that rope is a handy tool. Any rope will do, but a synthetic, lightweight, and resilient cord (like paracord) is a great choice. It has virtually endless uses, and since it’s woven out of durable nylon fibers, you can even unwind the cord for a makeshift fishing line. If you need a thicker rope, it can be woven or braided together to make it even stronger.

3. First-aid kit

A first-aid kit is pretty much self-explanatory. Having medical treatment in the wilderness when you’ve had an injury or illness is literally lifesaving. Look for a kit specifically designed for the outdoors, which will have treatment for just about any situation that may arise. First-aid kits are essential, so make sure you have one in your backpack at all times since it doesn’t do you any good sitting in the trunk of your car. Make sure it has the basics, like antibacterial ointment, ace bandages, burn cream, and plenty of wound dressings.

First-aid kits are essential, so make sure you have one in your backpack at all times since it doesn’t do you any good sitting in the trunk of your car.

4. Water bottle and purification tablets

Water purification tablets and a water bottle are critical. In fact, you will not survive very long without them because the human body can only survive without water for three days. The rule is one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days, for cooking, sanitation, and drinking. Another alternative to water purification tablets is a survival water filter, which works just as well.

5. Lighter or fire-starting equipment

Lighters are necessary to make a fire, which provides warmth, cooks food, and keeps away predators. When you’re in the wilderness, a fire can mean the difference between surviving the night and freezing to death. It can also mean the difference between eating a cooked, edible meal or starving.

An alternative to a lighter is waterproof matches or fire-starting equipment like flint and a striker. Ideally, you should have at least three different ways to light a fire in your pack at all times. Your fire-starting equipment should be stored in waterproof, sealed plastic containers inside your backpack.

6. Compass, map, and the knowledge to use them accurately

Ideally, a cellphone with a GPS locator is the best way to be found quickly. If you don’t have a cell phone, then the next best thing is a map of the area and a compass. However, a map and compass require the knowledge to use them correctly. If you can’t read a geographical map or follow a compass accurately, they are practically useless.

If you don’t have a compass, you can make one by placing a small, magnetized steel or iron piece, such as a needle, on top of a leaf. You can easily magnetize a needle by sticking the sharp end in a bit of wood and tapping on the free end about 50 times. After it’s magnetized, gently place the needle on top of the leaf in a cup of water and let it float. If there’s no wind, the needle should turn the leaf clockwise or counterclockwise to orient itself north-south. To mark the north end, use the sun, moon, or stars to get a general sense of direction.

7. Survival blanket/space blanket

A survival blanket, or space blanket, is the only item that will provide at least some sort of instant shelter. A thin, lightweight space blanket can help you stay warm at night when the temperature drops quickly. Moisture and humidity also affect body temperature. If you have wet clothes, your body has to work very hard to stay warm. A survival blanket reflects your body heat back at you, making it much easier to keep warm.

However, as a survival tool, a space blanket has multiple uses. It can be used to reflect the sun and signal for help from very far away. If you can’t start a fire, turn your blanket into a cooking surface by placing thin strips of meat on it and letting the sun roast it until fully cooked. It’s also useful for waterproofing and can be wrapped around items to keep them dry.

Could You Survive in the Wilderness Alone?

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being lost in the woods, your chances of survival will significantly increase if you have those seven items. Then, you will be prepared and ready for virtually any scenario that may occur. Those items will make the difference between life and death, so make sure that you have them in your backpack at all times.

Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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