For some, living in the forest is a means to escape the usual daily madness, while others see it as another way of life. Whether you plan to live outdoors for a few weeks or for a longer period of time, there are a number of factors that must be carefully considered. It is no secret that planning can make all the difference, so the preparation for your adventure in nature must be done well in advance.
If, for some reason, you find yourself stuck unexpectedly in the forest, obviously you can not prepare yourself. However, knowing and understanding basic survival skills will definitely make all the difference; especially if you are facing an emergency or challenging situation.
Why live outdoors?
While many people seek information on how to live in the forest, there are those who wonder why they choose to live outdoors. When you have a cozy house and a comfortable bed, why would you want to leave behind all your precious comforts for an unpredictable trip?
Well, for those who enjoy the idea of giving up almost all the luxuries they have, living in a natural environment can result in a greener lifestyle. By living off the land and consuming less than you would normally do in terms of gas and other energy sources, you will cause much less damage to the environment.
Apart from this, your body and mind can also benefit greatly from all the fresh air and the sound of the nature that surrounds you. No loud noises, no traffic and no eccentric boss yelling at you. What could not be loved? It really is the definitive getaway.
If you enjoy at least one planned trip, you will also find yourself much more prepared in the event of a significant disaster or if you are lost in the forest. Reading about the subject is one thing. It is putting into practice the theory that you have read that makes you count for something.
Part of learning to survive in the forest will require you to find some kind of test field. In other words, you will have to look for a suitable area that is quite devoid of civilization, as well as abundant in fauna and flora.
Once you have found the perfect place to carry out your first experience in the desert, you will have to do additional research. Find out how far it is and how to get there. You should also find out if it is privately or governmentally owned. In any case, you must ensure that you obtain all the necessary documentation and permits in order to legally access the land and establish the camp. If you plan to hunt or fish, you may need additional licenses, and you should become familiar with local regulations and any restrictions.
Planning the time frame
The amount of time you intend to spend outdoors will determine, to a large extent, how to endure life in the desert. You should consider the weather conditions, as well as the time you plan to stay.
If you plan your trip outdoors for a few weeks, your plan will be very different from a trip that lasts a full year or even half a year. Also, if you plan to live outdoors during the summer, you will need different supplies compared to what you need in the winter. Of course, you should always pack clothes for all seasons, just in case!
The time of year will also determine the type of hunting season you are in. Not all animals can be hunted throughout the year, and there are specific regulations in place that protect them during certain times of the year.
Understand the potential risks
Establishing how to stay alive in the forest will mean that you must take into account the very real risks you will face. It’s not just about weather conditions and finding a reliable source of food. You should also consider the risk presented by certain wild animals and potentially dangerous plants.
If you plan to live in a place where wild cats or bears roam, you might find some not-so-pleasant surprises. In the same way, you should be able to identify dangerous and toxic plants. Not all the beautiful berries are ripe to eat! In some cases, the fruit of a plant is your best defense mechanism!
You will enjoy several hours of daylight, but you will also have to spend every night. With light limited at times, you will have a greater chance of tripping, falling or hurting yourself. When you go out (either day or night), you must take care of your steps. Your medical supplies will be useful if you are injured. You must also maintain some type of communication to be able to communicate in case of an emergency.
Many adventure seekers understand the various risks and, for this reason, choose to join a community instead of doing it alone. When you are in a group, your chances of survival are much greater. Not to mention the fact that you’ll keep you from getting bored!
Food and supplies
By packing the right supplies and preparing yourself with various skills, it will make it much easier to survive conditions in the forest. The following list details the main preparation points.
Prepare to hunt
Meat is an important source of protein and, since you will not find any supermarket nearby, you must determine how to defend yourself. The hunting method you choose will depend on the type of game you are trying to catch. Also, what you hunt will depend on the season.
Since you will not have access to a fridge or freezer, summer can be annoying when it comes to storing meat. In this case, you have two general options. You could hunt small game regularly and, basically, just hunt what you plan to eat that day. Alternatively, you could hunt beyond your daily needs. Dry and salt the meat so that your meat lasts without refrigeration.
Hunting small animals such as rabbits can be done using various methods such as long nets, traps, traps or shooting, of course. Larger games are usually hunted by firing or setting traps. Either way, it is important that you are aware of the relevant laws and if restrictions apply. Familiarize yourself with hunting techniques and be sure to bring all the necessary supplies.
I went fishing
Fish is another excellent source of nutrients and, as long as you are establishing a camp near a lake or river with a healthy fish population. Like meat, fish can also be caught daily, or it can be dried and stored for a later stage. In many cases, it can be highly beneficial to stock up on meat while you can. The fish can be abundant one month and not so abundant the next.
If you can get a large catch during the coldest months of the year, you can easily rely on low temperatures to help keep your fish and meat fresh without the need for actual refrigeration. Just be sure to place your meat in a safe place so that other wild animals do not steal it!
Plants are everywhere in the forest, and many of them have the most beautiful flowers and bright berries. Delicious as they may seem, not all plants are good for human consumption. It is important to understand that, unlike animals, plants can not flee from predators. Its only defense mechanism comes in the form of toxins. Some plants are toxic from root to tip, while others are good to eat, but they have berries and poisonous flowers.
When planning your trip, you should investigate its location and conduct research on the various native plants of these parts. Find out which ones are good to eat and learn about their nutritional value while doing it. For example, if you catch a cold, you may have some nearby plants that contain Vitamin C. The common cold has no cure, but Vitamin C can really help calm the symptoms until it passes.
Remember that some plants are even toxic to the touch. Take Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac for example. Both contain a particular oil that causes severe irritation and inflammation.
In addition to living off the land, there is nothing wrong with bringing some additional food supplies such as popcorn, rice, coffee, tea, sugar and other similar items that you feel you need but will not necessarily find in nature. However, you should avoid overloading by carrying things that you like but without which you can live. A few canned foods can be useful in case you find a day or to get out of hunting.
Just like food, you can not survive without water and you can not exactly drag an unlimited supply with you. You should determine how to make your drinking water safe without having to rush to the store every other day.
The first thing you must understand is the fact that water can harbor all kinds of microscopic germs. If you drink contaminated water, you can get terribly sick in a matter of minutes or hours. Boiling is a highly effective way to remove contaminants and purify your water. You should make sure to boil the water properly. A slight boil will not work.
It should boil with enough fury for a few minutes before removing the pot from the heat source and cover it. If it is not covered while the water is cooling, much of it will evaporate. If the water boils at night, you will have a fresh supply in the morning. Similarly, if you boil another pot in the morning, it will be cold enough in the afternoon (depending on daily temperatures).
Another potential concern is the presence of larger impurities in water such as sand and soil. Even if you can not see the dirt particles, drinking them will mean that they will enter your digestive system and could end up in your kidneys and other parts of your body. If these deposits accumulate, you could face serious medical problems.
A water filtration device is definitely a great investment. Some filters are designed for one person, while others are designed to filter large quantities that suit families and even communities. Choose the right purification system for your needs.
Being so far from civilization is not a joke. Especially if you get sick or injured. You should stock up on some basic medical supplies in case you or someone in your travel group needs treatment.
Some of the best medications to have on hand include:
- Aspirin for headaches.
- Paracetamol for fever
- Antivomics medication
- Drugs against diarrhea
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Any prescription medication you may need (such as heart or diabetes medication, for example)
- Ointments for various conditions, such as skin irritations, burns, muscle aches, etc.
- Bandages and Band-Aids
- Splints and slings
- Thermal blankets or space blankets, as they are also known.
- Medical scissors, gloves and other medical equipment.
- Alcohol to disinfect and clean wounds.
In many cases, you can make use of several objects that are found in nature to prepare your food. You can use rocks to build a fireplace, and the stones will serve to protect your environment from fire damage. If you can not find rocks, you can dig a hole and fire on the ground to make a kind of burning furnace.
To purify your water, you will need a pot with a lid, and you will need cups, plates or bowls and some type of cooking and eating utensils as well. Each person will need their own set of eating utensils, of course, but you will not need as much as you might think. Consider items that will serve a dual purpose or multipurpose like a Swiss army knife. Not only can you use your knife for the preparation of meals, but it can also be used when you are setting up camp and in many other situations.
The type of shelter you choose will be determined to a large extent by the climate and environment you are likely to encounter. For example, if the climate you are likely to experience is likely to be quite severe, you will need a durable form of shelter. There are different types of tents, and each one is suitable for different climatic conditions.
While some light varieties can withstand wind and rain, there are others that are more resistant and more suitable for snow and stronger downpours. You can enjoy investing in a tent as well as an additional tarp. Eating under the tent will be much more pleasant than having to hide inside your tent when you dine in the rain.
The base of your shelter should be durable and waterproof like the rest of your tent. Be sure to bring a repair kit, extra plugs and cords to secure your tent in case of damage or breakage of the ropes.
As a refuge, you should also choose your wardrobe very carefully. The items that you will need to include are:
- Summer clothes
- Waterproof jacket and pants
- Winter clothes
- Accessories such as hats and gloves.
- Sturdy, waterproof boots
- Underwear and socks
- Regulate the equipment as an orange jacket so that other people in the area can easily see it and avoid hunting accidents.
In addition to these main categories of items that you will need to carry, you will also need several different items. First of all, you will need some kind of pillow and a sleeping mat. If you plan to live outdoors for a longer period of time, you may want to invest in a durable air mattress and pump. You will also need blankets. Do not forget to take extra in case they get wet.
You will need to keep your fire lit to make food, heat and light. Therefore, you will need many matches and perhaps some tinder and flint. Water-proof matches are the best bet of all for obvious reasons.
For extra light, you must pack a flashlight or two together with extra batteries. If possible, the flashlight with a solar charger could be better in the long term.
It always helps to keep things like ropes, containers or waterproof bags and basic tools like a small ax to cut wood.
Bring some good books and other forms of entertainment, such as a chess board, a deck of cards and similar social games that can be played when you are not hunting, exploring or taking a nap.
Do not forget the importance of hygiene! Bring plenty of soap, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and other toiletries throughout the trip. Do not bother with items such as makeup, perfume and after-shave lotion. In fact, it is better to avoid perfumed substances if you want to keep insects at bay.
Use a bit of insect repellent to repel insects like mosquitoes and do not forget to use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF, as well as an After Sun lotion or gel, in case you have an unpleasant burn.
Take with you a basic first aid guide, as well as a forest guide. What you read today, you may not remember after a week or a few months. Having these resources at hand will be advantageous at some time or another.
Take a break from technology
A long life in the forest can seem difficult for those who depend at least a little on their telephone, computer, internet or television. Technology is a luxury that we can all do without when we try to survive in such conditions. You can not simply recharge your phone or tablet whenever you want, and your reception may not be as good. Not to mention that you’re trying to drag a TV wherever you go!
Take this opportunity to cut those strings and free yourself from their technological dependence. Of course, as mentioned above, you should definitely maintain some kind of media, but this does not mean you should ignore your surroundings while browsing the web or chatting with friends. This defeats the whole point of moving away. Also, it is a good practice in case you find yourself in a situation where you find yourself unexpectedly trapped in the forest without having access to such luxuries.
For those traveling in a group, you can really benefit from investing in radio communication devices such as Walkie-Talkies. That said, they should only be used as needed, since they will consume batteries. If possible, obtain a solar power socket to charge several small devices and batteries.
Prepare to have fun!
Once you learn to live in the forest, you may be reluctant to return to your normal life in the city! Living in a beautiful natural environment can be challenging, but it can also be extremely rewarding. If you are planning a trip of this kind, make sure you prepare properly in advance and tell at least one friend where you are going and when you plan to return.
If your trip is scheduled to continue for an extended period of time, you may want to consult a particular friend or relative in your home regularly. This way, if you have problems, they will know and can alert the relevant authorities.
CAMPING AND Hiking