Survival. A word that has haunted man since the beginning of time. Cavemen from thousands of years ago had to hunt and gather, braving the dreaded winters to find food in freezing temperatures. Now, we’re chronically overweight and need safe spaces when we hear something we don’t like. The biggest danger to ourselves is our selves. With modern technological advances like a roof and HVAC systems, we’re conditioned to have our whims catered to.
What about venturing outside? Wilderness survival is nothing compared to what it once was, but that’s not a bad thing. Modern conveniences make your chances of survival in the wild is much better than before. Using my experience from about 2 and a half years in the Boy Scout program (I’m kidding, I was actually an Eagle Scout!), I’ve written up a fun, simple guide on how to survive in the wild. Enjoy!
What Do You Need to Survive in the Wild?
Learning to survive can be summed up in two important words; “Be Prepared.” These words, the Boy Scout motto, are essential not just for surviving in the bush, but also for having a good time. The equipment you bring with you could dictate whether you live. If you’re ill-prepared, you could get injured, stranded, or worse.
There are a few necessities to surviving in the wild.
Firstly, you need access to food and water. Normally, when camping, you bring enough clean water and cans of spam to ensure you can make it back home in one piece. Or, you could bring your knowledge of edible plants and hunting skills to save a few pounds on the hike in. If you plan on cooking your food, you’ll need a stove or a way to make fire(unless, of course, you prefer your spam cold).
You also need a light source; not because you’re afraid of the boogeyman, but because, well, you need it to see.
Just suppose you were stranded somewhere. What would you need to survive on an island, in the jungle or in the Sahara Desert? Or what about the dreaded, very-likely-to-happen zombie apocalypse?! We’ll have guides to all of those and more in the upcoming sections, but all jokes aside, the possibility of getting stranded are very real.
Think of it this way; if you go camping, you know generally what to expect. You have all the relevant equipment, including flashlights, tents, fire-starting materials, knives, axes, etc.
Picture this. You’re sitting at a desk munching on a bag of stale chips reading this on your computer, or flopped on the couch in your underwear reading this on your phone. What if the walls around you, right now, were to disappear? What if you lost access to electricity? Would you have everything you need to survive in the wild?
These brief guides will help you learn survival skills that can be used in almost any situation, whether in jungle, desert or Sesame Street. Read them carefully; you never know what skills you’ll need, or when you’ll need them!
What Would You Need to Survive on an Island?
Imagine this. You were one of the kids from the novel “Lord of the Flies.” For those of us who didn’t bother to read the book in English class, (spoiler alert), a small group of boys end up in a plane crash on a deserted island and are forced to survive in the wild, protecting themselves from starvation, exposure, and their prepubescent tendencies.
What would you need to survive on an island? It’s a bit different than surviving in the woods because, unless your name is Michael Phelps, or can assemble a boat from scrap materials, you probably won’t be able to find help.
After finding yourself on the island and befriending a volleyball, your priority will be to create a signaling device to catch the attention of passing aircraft or boats. A smoky fire during the day and a bright fire at night are your best bets. You can also study ground to air signals, but always remember the 3 letters: SOS. That will be your best bet to receive help.
You will also need to learn how to catch fish because that will be the safest, most dependable source of food. Scout for other wildlife, coconuts, and other edible plants, since there won’t likely be a Krusty Burger nearby.
You will also need a source of reliable water. Salt water, obviously, is not good for you and is never safe to drink. Look nearby for a stream or create a vessel to collect rainwater runoff from leaves.
Finally, you need shelter. A roof over your head thatched with large leaves and bamboo reeds can protect you from the elements (and can also be sold for a profit if the housing market on the island goes in your favor).
How Do You Survive in the Jungle?
Now you’ve conquered the desert island, let’s help you survive in the jungle, a much different animal. You’re more likely to find help if you keep moving, but the dangers and unfamiliar terrain in the ever-changing wilderness will present challenges. Here’s a brief guide on surviving the jungle.
First, let’s talk food. Eating exotic plants and animals isn’t a good idea in any galaxy (although they’d make fabulous Instagram content). Finding a viable food source (bananas, anyone?) is of vital importance.
Along with food, water and shelter are also necessities. Jungle terrain is damp, hot and plain uncomfortable. It’s easy to contract infections and other diseases, so proper hygiene and sanitation are a must.
Know what else isn’t fun? Mosquitoes. They are carriers of infectious diseases and unspeakably annoying to deal with.
Speaking of animals, the jungle is a veritable horror show of animals that can creep, leap and eat you. Poison frogs, jaguars and anacondas are much, much worse than your neighbor’s scary dog; likewise, piranhas, alligators and electric eels may lurk in bodies of water. These aren’t your sister’s goldfish.
Surviving in the wilderness is tough when everything is trying to kill you.
How Would You Survive in the Desert?
Now for something completely different. The desert. One of the worst places to get stranded, second only to being stranded in an office writing blogs about how to survive in the wild. In the desert, you can forget building a shelter, collecting rainwater, and hunting for food like your ancestors did thousands of years ago. In the desert, there’s nothing. If you’re able to build a shelter or a fishing device out of sand, you should also build yourself a teleporter and get out of there. Imagine a day at the beach, but with no water, jet skis, boardwalk ice cream or volleyballs (again, unless you fell out of a FedEx plane).
Here, your priority again is to signal for help and ration water. Wear light clothing that covers you from the sun, lest you turn the shade of a Macintosh apple. Evenings can get quite cold, so you should also find extra layers. Heatstroke during the day and hypothermia in the evening. What a terrible combination.
What You Need to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?
The bad news is that you’ll have to leave your home behind. Take only what you need, including warm, waterproof clothes, and suitable shoes in case you need to leave your car behind. If you stay in the city, the density and higher concentration of zombies will convert you faster than non-believers and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” Be sure that you have already bought those complementary tactical items we mentioned above; they’ll be hard to find in stores when zombies are about. You won’t have the luxury of two-day shipping.
Electricity will be scarce, and even more so if you’ve already left town. Bring a generator for backup.
Or you can always just go to The Winchester, have a pint, and wait for all this to blow over.
How to Make a Survival Kit