Key Elements of Surviving Hiking In The Wilderness

Key Elements of Surviving Hiking In The Wilderness

into the wild

A lot of people have misconceptions about what it takes to survive in the wilderness. Sure it helps if you are healthy and aren’t seriously disabled, but surviving outdoors is really 99% about what you know and not about how healthy you are.

There are 4 main things you need to do in order to increase your chances of survival. Actually here are 5 things, the first important one being to have a good backpack or daypack. It needs to be sturdy enough to carry the load over long distances, and also comfortable with a good load distribution. If you go with a lesser grade pack, you risk getting a torn shoulder strap, which is a nightmare to manage in the wild.


More people die of exposure to the elements of the weather than anything else. For example if you are in the Forest in Montana in the middle of winter it can get as low as 40 degrees below zero there. The first night you will need to make warm shelter for yourself. You can do this by creating a hut for yourself out of debris. This debris needs to be at least 3 feet thick. If created right, it will even become water proof and will be a total heat insulator so you can be warm, even in the dead of winter. The debris should even cover the ground as well.


The next thing you’ll need is water. You’ll need to be able to drink some water within the first 24 hours, preferably within the first 6 hours. You might be able to get your water from a creek, and you can also get it from certain plants and roots. In fact, some plants are known to produce up to a gallon of water per day. The problem with water from creeks is that you might need to boil it, since there’s a chance that it could be contaminated, which brings us to the next key point of survival.


Assuming you don’t have matches, you need to be able to start a fire from scratch. You can do this by creating friction between two dry pieces of wood. Eventually you’ll get cinders and sparks, which then you’ll put on dry brush which will ignite. You can hollow out the bark of a tree and use that to boil water in, unless you brought a container for this.


The jungles and forests are an abundant source of food. The key when approaching animals for food is to slow crawl. You would walk about 25% as fast as you’d walk in an office setting or on the street. Even certain bugs are known to be edible. The best thing you can do to learn more about catching food in the wild is to go to youtube and do a search on “wilderness survival”. There are a lot of great videos covering this that will get you started.

The key to surviving is to enjoy the serenity of your situation and not try to fight the wilderness, but to become one with it. Once your shelter is setup and your water supply, you should only have to work about 1-2 hours per day to survive, which is a lot less than most of us work out here. It takes time and practice to master these skills, but you can find out just about anything you need to know if you search, there are a few great wilderness mentors right on youtube. Best of luck!