Wilderness Survival Guide

Backpacker hiking in nature

The outdoors can be an exciting and rewarding place to explore, but it’s important to be prepared for whatever may come your way. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the essential skills you’ll need to survive in the wilderness, including how to find food and water, build shelters, and stay safe from wild animals.

An important rule to remember is the The Rule of 3s:
For outdoor adventurers, the Rule of 3 is a must-know for survival. The Rule of 3 states that a person can survive for up to three minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter or warmth, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Knowing this rule can help adventurers to stay safe and make the most out of their outdoor adventures.

The Rule of 3 is a great starting point for learning about basic wilderness survival. It emphasizes that shelter is the first priority when in an outdoor environment, followed by access to water and then food. Shelter from the elements gives protection from heat, cold, wind, rain and snow. Finding or creating some form of shelter is vital to stay comfortable and safe in hostile environments.

Having access to clean water is essential in any environment as it helps prevent dehydration. Make sure you have dressed appropriately for the climate of your location and destination.

Go to the outdoors more often

photography of person on green mountain
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There are a few things to consider when planning a wilderness trip. The first is your physical condition. If you’re in good shape and are not running a fever, consider hiking longer distances than you think you can handle. If you’re feeling sick or have any other medical conditions, let a doctor know before you leave.

The second consideration is the weather. If the forecast calls for rain, bring an extra jacket. If the forecast calls for snow, be prepared for icy conditions. And if the forecast calls for bad weather, assume it will get worse as the day goes on.

The third consideration is food and water. Make sure to pack enough food and water for the duration of your trip, and store it in a safe and dry place. And remember: do not drink untreated water!

Finally, be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for animals, and do not approach them unless you know how to handle them. Be especially wary of bears and mountain lions; they are wild creatures that can pose a threat to your safety.

Beware of hazards and dangerous animals

tiger through green leaves during day
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Wilderness survival can be a daunting task. It is important to be aware of the hazards that can occur in the wilderness and to take precautions to avoid them. Some common hazards include poisonous snakes, blizzards, and hypothermia.

It is essential to know how to identify the warning signs of these dangers and take appropriate precautions. For example, if you see a snake, do not approach it. Instead, stay away and call for help. If you are caught in a blizzard, make sure to keep warm and conserve energy. And if you become hypothermic, drink warm liquids and seek shelter until you can thaw out.

By being aware of the dangers and taking sensible precautions, you can make your wilderness survival journey much easier and safer.

Avoid injury at all costs and have a way to treat them

person applying bandage on another person s hand
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When venturing into the great outdoors, it is important to be aware of the dangers that can come along with it. One of the most important things you can do to stay safe is to avoid injury.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid getting injured in the wilderness:

-Stay on trails and paths when hiking. This will keep you from getting lost and help you avoid obstacles and wildlife.

-Never try to cross a river or stream on foot; always use a bridge or sturdy rope.

-Stay away from steep cliffs, high mountain slopes and other dangerous areas.

-Be aware of weather conditions, especially in mountainous regions. If it looks like there is going to be an avalanche, for example, don’t go near the edge of the slope.

-Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, especially during hot weather conditions.

Have a way to treat your injuries by packing a first aid kit and your survival kit before your adventure.

Trauma Bag 250-pcs First Aid Supplies
First Aid Kit 192 Pcs Emergency Essential Supplies

Learn to build/bring/find shelter

When planning your wilderness trip, take into account the different weather conditions that could be present. If you are in a cold climate, bring shelter before you leave. If you are in an area with hot weather, build a shelter after you leave.

There are many types of shelters to choose from when camping outdoors. Some of the most common include:


Instant Pop Up Tents for Camping, 4-5 Person 2-3 Person Camping Tent
Camping Tent with Rainfly, 2/4 Person Dome Tent
UNP Camping Tent 10-Person-Family Tents



You can build a shelter if you want to stay at a location for an extended amount of time or you dont have a tent with you.


The wicki-up, which is composed of poles, brush, and plants, resembles a miniature tipi. Although this shelter can be found all over the world, the American Southwest has received the most reports of it. This shelter may be appropriate for regions with sporadic rainfall thanks to more grass, shrub, and leaf coverings, as well as a steeper roof. For hot, dry conditions, a wider, squattier building covered in sparse brush can provide you with a shady, vented shelter.

Leaf Hut

A two-sided, wedge-shaped lean-to with superior weather resistance and insulating capabilities is the leaf hut. Choose a solid pole that is between 9 and 12 feet long to create one. It can be supported by a rock, a stump, two forked prop sticks, or the fork of a tree. Next, wrap tree branches over the pole’s sides to serve as ribs. Along both sides of the ridge pole, these are positioned at an angle. To prevent the covering of your tent from falling through, space the ribs closely together. Next, cover the structure with foliage (this can be anything that traps air, including grass, ferns, moss, pine needles, brush, or pine boughs).


One of the easiest and most popular types of prehistoric shelter is the lean-to. With a variety of materials, it may be put together in less than an hour. You will have shelter from the wind and rain that the wilderness may bring with this straightforward, one-sided design.

Support a sturdy, long pole between two trees. With poles, brushes, or branches, enclosing one side. Then pile any available vegetation—leaves, grass, palm fronds, or anything else—on top. Two issues with this shelter stand out: 1) It doesn’t keep heat in well; 2) You won’t be protected if the wind or rain changes direction.

The most important part of any shelter is keeping yourself and your belongings safe from the elements. Make sure to think about what kind of weather you will be experiencing and choose the right type of shelter for that condition.

Make sure you have the necessary tools and gear to build these shelters:

  • Wood Saw
  • Survival Knife
  • Axe
  • Cordage
Folding Saw, Heavy Duty 11 Inch
Kutir 36 Inch Pocket Chainsaw
Silky Professional Bigboy 2000 Folding Saw
GERBER LMF II Survival Knife
Survival Kits 38 in 1, Emergency Survival Gear and Equipment , Fishing Hunting Camping
Camping Shovel Axe Outdoor Survival Shovel Set with High Carbon Steel


outdoor fireplace during nighttime
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Creating fire is one important aspect of survival because it is a way to create heat, cook food and disinfect and boil water.

The first step is to establish your campsite. Choose an area that’s sheltered from wind and rain and has access to fresh water. Dig a depression in the ground for your tent and place your gear near it. Make sure there’s enough space around your fire for everyone to gather.

Now it’s time to start gathering firewood. Collect enough wood to last the night, plus some extra for later. Select sturdy pieces that won’t snap in half when you try to break them off. Try to locate wood that’s fallen recently so it’s already dry.

Make sure you have multiple ways of starting a campfire. The most common ways of starting a fire is using a gas lighter.

Here are some products you can use to start a fire.

Plasma and Butane Gas Lighter Combo
Plasma Lighter
Butane Lighter
Gas Lighter

A more outdoor and bushcraft way of starting a fire is by using a Magnesium or Ferro rod striker to create sparks to ignite some tinder.

If you are really interested in becoming a bushcraft survivalist expert then you might be interested in learning how to start a fire using sticks and friction either by rubbing them or the drill method. Know where and how to find tinder to start a fire from the ember generated from the friction.

Find water sources

body of water across forest
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If you are in the wilderness and need to find water, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for natural sources such as springs, streams or lakes. If these sources are not available, look for man-made sources such as wells or reservoirs. Finally, if all else fails, try to find drinking water stored in containers such as canteens or jerry cans. You can also create water from moisture generated by plants by covering them with a clear plastic bag, this process will take a long time but will be necessary if you are stuck in an area with little water. Also, you can also use a plastic bag and some bottles or containers to create a water distiller to remove and distil salt water into fresh water. There will be a guide on survival water treatment so make sure you subscribe or become a member to get notified.

Make sure you treat water either by disinfecting it by boiling it or by filtering it to kill any contaminants that can get you sick and give you diarrhea which will dehydrate you even more. Prepare by bringing a water filter with you or water purification tablets.

Find a way back to civilization

shallow focus photography of black and silver compasses on top of map
Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

If you find yourself stranded in the wilderness, print and bring a map, preferably a topological map of the area you will be travelling to. Make sure you know how to use a compass and a map. There will be a guide on this in the future so make sure you subscribe for the latest preparedness information. Be on the lookout for major landmarks such as rivers, lakes, and mountains which will make locating where you are on the map easier.

Find food if you still are lost

shallow focus photography of berries
Photo by Thierry Fillieul on Pexels.com

If you are stranded in the wilderness, your first priority should be to find food.

First, scout your surroundings for potential sources of food. Look for edible plants and trees, streams or lakes that might have fish or other aquatic life, and even abandoned animal habitats. Be creative! You may be surprised at what you can find if you look carefully.

If you don’t have time to explore, take a closer look at the patterns and shapes in the vegetation around you. This can help you identify types of plants that are likely to contain valuable nutrients like protein or carbohydrates.

Once you have decided on a probable food source, start stalking it. Keep an eye out for any movement in the area and be prepared to run if necessary. If you’re successful in nabbing some sustenance, make sure to store it properly so it doesn’t spoil.

There are also great apps for finding and identifying wild plants which can be poisonous and which are edible. Download and use these apps before leaving the trip just in case you need to identify plants, some apps will require an internet connection which will be useless when you are in the wilderness without any phone signal.

Hunting and trapping fishing methods

hunters aiming their rifles while in the forest
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Hunting and trapping are the most common methods used to obtain food in a wilderness setting. Hunting is the pursuit of an animal with the intent of killing it.

Trapping is taking an animal by capturing it in a device, such as a net, trap, or snare. The methods used depend on the wildlife species being hunted or trapped.

Methods for hunting game vary depending on the area being hunted. Deer hunting in particular can involve tracking deer through their trampled tracks in the snow.

The hunter can use optics to locate deer and then use calm, stealthy steps to approach them from behind without alerting them to his presence. After getting close enough, a rifle can be fired and the deer killed.

Some hunters use bows and arrows to hunt game. Bow hunting typically involves waiting until an animal is within Range (the distance at which an arrow can be shot without penalty) before shooting. Arrows must be carefully crafted so that they travel straight and hold their feathers well during flight to ensure an accurate kill.

Many hunters use rifles because they are more accurate than bows and arrows and also carry more ammunition. A rifle can kill an animal at a much greater distance than a bow or arrow, allowing for easier hunting without the need to get close to the animal and spook it.

Don’t Panic

When faced with a survival situation, there’s no need to panic. The key is to remain calm and assess the situation. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe in the wilderness:

1. Know your surroundings. If you’re lost, take time to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Look for signposts or landmarks, and map out your route if necessary.

2. Stay hydrated and fed. When stamina starts to run low, drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food that will give you energy.

3. Avoid dangerous situations. If you notice dangerous wildlife or weather conditions, stay away from them until you can assess the situation more carefully. Try not to make too much noise when hiking or camping so that you won’t startle any animals or alert predators of your presence.

4. Stay warm and safe. Make sure you dress appropriately for the weather conditions and keep yourself as warm as possible by using adequate clothing and shelter. If it becomes necessary to huddle together for safety, avoid contact with wild animals that may be carriers of diseases such as rabies.


Survival in any dangerous situation is often a matter of priority. Knowing what to do first, second, and third is key to staying alive. This is why the rule of 3s for survival has been established as a protocol for when you find yourself isolated in an extreme environment.

The rule of 3s states that your three main survival priorities should be shelter, water, and food; each being essential for human life. Finding shelter should be your top priority because it gives you protection from harsh weather conditions and potential predators. The next step would be finding a source of clean water; dehydration can set in quickly so this must not be overlooked. Lastly, you will need to find a dependable food source – rationing your food supply can help make it last longer if necessary until you are able to reach safety or receive help from others.


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