We live in an amazing planet that we love with beauty wherever we go. We have wonderful forests, majestic rivers, impressive waterfalls, impressive mountains and supreme views. Mother Nature was extremely generous to us and we often forget to look out the window and admire her work. It’s time to take our heads off papers, computers and smartphones, assemble our outdoor survival gear and head to the nearest mountain or forest.
Why the gear? Well, mother nature can be extremely generous, but it is also very capricious and can deceive both the innocent beginner and the experienced outdoor man.
There are three types of people outdoors:
- the beginner Who is discovering nature and has no idea how dangerous it can be?
- The intermediate, Person who went on some outdoor adventures and begins to realize how reliable we are of civilization.
- the experienced Man that begins to resonate with nature and knows how to protect himself and protect those around him
Every experienced outdoor adventurer will tell you this: when you leave camp or stopovers, you always need to take the outdoor survival equipment with you. It is not for your comfort, but for your survival. In case you get lost or injured, you can get out of a bad situation and ask for help. The only time he can realize the real value of his survival team is when he is alone, in the middle of nowhere, without any possibility of asking for help.
Nobody wants you to go through this kind of situation, but, regardless of your will, it can happen. If you are not prepared to face it calmly and if you do not have elements such as the emergency whistle, the signal mirror, the map, the compass, the knife and many others, it may be too late. Are you ready to end up somewhere alone, without being able to help yourself?
Basic elements that everyone should have.
Let’s talk about the most basic elements that should be in your kit. Remember, without this, you may not be able to survive and get out of a bad situation in nature. Although we have cities, roads, cars, the latest technologies when we are in the middle of the civilized world, there are still large areas of wild terrain where unprepared people are usually lost. Having the necessary elements with you can help the rescue team find it on time.
The survival kit varies in size depending on the space available in your backpack and how much weight it can carry. You can bring a large outdoor survival gear that will make your camp more comfortable or you can simply use a Altoids can to hold your most basic survival kit (fire starters, matches, compass, emergency whistle, water purification tablets). water, fishing line, rescue mirror, and whatever is small enough to go in the can).
Do not expect to actually use anything from the survival kit from the first time you go outdoors, but be sure to take it with you at all times.
A compass and a map of the area that you are going to explore with roads and access roads are extremely necessary.
You will need these items to make sure you are going in the right direction.
For this, we found an amazing video tutorial on how to use a compass and a map that will make you understand how things work.
Of course, you must know how to use these elements before you get to nature, so practice before leaving home.
Tips on how to use a map and a compass to know where you are:
- The most recommended type of map when you are in the desert is the USGS map. The scale is 1: 24000 (1 inch on the map represents 24,000 inches in reality) and the map is quite detailed. You can see the latitude and longitude coordinates for a better orientation.
- The compass also has to be chosen wisely, following the advice of the most experienced. Here are some basic features that your compass should have:
- You will need an observation mirror to be able to see the compass indication at the level of your eye;
- You should be able to see under the compass, so look for a transparent base plate;
- Make sure your compass has a rotary dial. This should be marked with 360 degrees (2 degree increment).
- Also, it would be great if there were lines of meridians, make it easier to use along with the map.
- There is a difference between magnetic north and cardinal north that can be deceptive. Professional compasses have the ability to correct this difference.
- Now, after you have chosen your two main elements, the map and the compass, you need to know how to actually use them.
Knives and multi-tools.
To achieve it in the desert, you will need some basic tools. Your outdoor survival kit should include at least one outdoor knife and a multiple tool.
The multiple tool will be useful for many activities such as opening cans, cutting food, opening bottles, carving branches, fixing things, etc.
The other best friend you need in your outdoor survival kit is the fixed blade knife. It is recommended to have a professional knife for the outdoors, since they are specially designed for this type of activities. How will the knife be useful on the outside?
Here is a small list:
- You can cut the rope into manageable pieces when the situation arrives and you need it;
- can cut branches, make space through bushes, carve the bark of trees;
- It is very useful for improvising wooden objects such as splinters, sticks, etc.
- Whenever you need to cut something (clothes, bandages, packages), your knife will be the first thing you look for.
Professional knives must be well maintained to be useful. Be sure to clean your blade after each use and before leaving for an adventure, make sure it is sharp. A blunt leaf will not do you any good.
Another tool that is extremely useful when in the forest is an ax. This is not an absolute necessity if you have the knife, but if you have space in your backpack and can carry it, you should take it with you. It is very useful for cutting larger branches for fire and for cutting logs of fallen trees.
Equipment that can be used for signaling.
Never leave the house without having a signaling device on your outdoor survival equipment. Signaling equipment means items that you can use to communicate with other people in case of an emergency. The best article in this situation would be a cell phone with signal and battery, but do not put all your hopes in a single article.
The cell phone is very complicated, especially because there are large areas without coverage. Also, the battery can die in you, making the cell phone useless. More traditional items can be very helpful, such as:
- Signaling mirror: these are very useful for pointing out the help of an airplane. There is a special way to use it to signal a S.O.S. So the pilot knows that someone is in trouble. Even if you can not land in your area, the pilot will contact the authorities and give you their exact location. Buy a mirror that has instructions for use engraved on the back so you do not forget how to use it.
- Emergency whistle: special whistles, strong and resistant to shock. Using these can help a rescue team find you on time or can attract the attention of other campers and let them know you are in danger.
- Flashlight: use it to indicate in Morse code (of course, you must know how).
- Fire signal: if there is none of the above, you should have at least matches and fire starters. Fire and put green leaves and twigs to make a lot of smoke. This way you will stay warm until the rescue team arrives.
Equipment for the construction of a shelter.
If you are not the type of person who carries tents to the forest, at least you must have the equipment and material to build a shelter. First of all, you need a good quality sleeping bag that is adaptable to the ambient temperature. Even so, the bag alone will not do you much good if it rains or if there is a temperature drop. Sleeping under the clear sky can be a very exciting adventure during the warm summer nights, but otherwise, it is necessary to have at least a tarp, some rope and a tool.
Improvisations of refuge. They are easy to do Try to find some sturdy branches that you can use to make the skeleton of your shelter and place them using a rope. If you do not like to carry a large piece of string with you, learn to make bracelets and / or paracord belts. You never know when you need a rope in the forest. After everything is in place, place the canvas over the entire construction and use a little more rope to tie it to the nearest trees.
It is not a great refuge, it is true, but it will keep you dry and protect you from the wind. These days you can find different types of tents in specialized stores, which allows you to choose between different models, sizes, weight categories, etc. We recommend everyone to take a tent when they are outdoors, it is safer and it is better to use them as a shelter.
First aid kit and water bottle.
These are other elements that you should not think about leaving your home without. You do not need a big first aid kit, just the basic elements to be able to heal wounds until you reach civilization. Make sure you have fresh bandages, gauze, alcohol, cleaning wipes and anything else that is useful to you.
If the absence of the first aid kit can be accepted, without water you will die. Simple simple! Buy a special container, made of metal so that it does not get punctured easily and try to find one with an integrated filtering system. If it remains without water, it can leave a spring or even a puddle.
Do not forget to purify water pills. These are as important as the filtering system. Actually, they are less expensive, so if you have a budget you can give up the filtering system. Remember: drinking clean water is extremely important!
Extra change of clothes, hat and everything else.
Do not let the beautiful weather fill you up. Even if it’s summer and it has not rained for days, the weather can change in a matter of hours. Check the weather forecast for the area you are going to go to before leaving home and include a change of clean clothes (shirt, pants, underwear, socks) in your backpack. You will be grateful when you get wet and can change with dry clothes in the forest.
Do not forget your head either. A hat or cap will protect you from the sun during the day and keep you warm during the night.
All these items and a little more should fit in your backpack. The backpack itself must be chosen wisely, according to the size of your outdoor survival equipment and food supplies. Make sure you can take it to its full capacity and that you feel comfortable in your back. A good backpack has the following attributes:
- the back is reinforced so that you do not feel all the weight on your shoulders;
- The shoulder and hip straps are padded and wide enough to feel comfortable even when the backpack is heavy;
- It has multiple compartmentalization possibilities so you do not have to squeeze everything in a big pocket;
- offers you the possibility of hanging different things abroad;
- It has a rain cover.
If you choose the right backpack for you, your outdoor adventures will be more fun. It is difficult to enjoy the beauty of nature when your shoulders scream for help and your back hurts. Try to make your trips more enjoyable by choosing the right equipment. It may seem a bit expensive at first, but this equipment is built to last, so you only buy it once.
These are the most basic elements that your outdoor survival kit should contain. In case you get lost, you will have the necessary equipment to return to the civilized world or, in case you get hurt, you can ask for help. It is highly recommended, by people experienced in outdoor activities, to take a friend with you.
You should never go out alone unless you have an option. When you are with someone, you can consult the addresses, you can discuss alternatives and combine plans. Also, if one of you gets hurt, the other can go and ask for help. It is better if one of you has some outdoor experience, but even if you have two beginners, it is better that you are not alone.
Another good tip is to make sure you always have your survival kit near you. If it’s in your backpack, do not go anywhere without it. You never know how you slide and fall into a ravine and nobody will know how to find you. To make sure this never happens, use your emergency whistle around your neck and get used to using items made from paracord. Your knife should be with you at all times and any other useful items that you can put in a pocket.
If you fall into some kind of hole or ravine and can not leave without help, you can start blowing your whistle. This will alert your friends or people who will visit you. If they can not get you out, they will call the professionals to come and rescue you.
Survival can depend a lot on will power and strength, but having these basic elements nearby can save you a lot of stress and problems. Do not ignore your outdoor survival kit thinking that it can not happen to you. Bad things can happen even to experienced outdoor adventurers, since nature can be deceptive. Many tragedies happened to young people who simply looked for a bit of adventure and relaxation away from the civilized world. If you are prepared you can avoid this kind of thing.
It is absolutely normal to want to get out of the concrete madness of the city and deepen the silence and relaxation that wood offers. However, be sure to act responsibly and take all precautions before taking each step. If it is sometimes difficult to get help in the center of the city, imagine how difficult it is to rescue yourself from an unknown area. The preparation for survival may be the only thing that keeps him alive until the rescue team reaches him.