A military man is prepared for just about anything, and they’re the ones we turn to when the situation really gets out of hand. To develop this kind of resourcefulness, it takes a lot of training and conditioning in real-life scenarios that cadets have to successfully put themselves through if they ever hope of reaching the status of a full-fledged marine. I’ve talked to a lot of Marines about what really matters when it comes to surviving in the wild, and most of them agree that there are five things everyone should know how to do before even attempting to test their mettle against the wilderness. Today, I want to talk about those five things, so you know just how prepared you yourself are in this aspect.
1. Making a Fire
This is an absolute must. Without the ability to make a fire, you aren’t going to last a week in the wilderness. A fire can be many things; it’s a way to cook your food, it’s probably your only source of illumination at night except the moon and the stars (remember, there aren’t any street lights in the forest), and most importantly, it keeps you warm at all times. Don’t make the mistake thinking that you don’t need a fire if it’s already hot outside, because temperatures in the wilderness can drop significantly – much faster than in urbanized areas.
2. Finding Shelter
The same logic applies to having a roof over your head. If you’re going to spend a night in the wild, don’t plan on any sleeping beneath the stars, because the moment those stars disappear and an intense midnight shower hits, you’re going to hate yourself. A tent or a makeshift natural shelter will also protect you from insects and strong wind, which are both adversaries that are not to be taken lightly when sleeping in the wilderness. Shelter is not that difficult to find or make, but if you’re unsure of your ability to do so just make sure you always have a tent around.
3. Competent Orientation
The number one thing you have to worry about when spending some time in the wild isn’t getting attacked by a pack of wolves or a big old black bear – it’s losing your way and having no idea where you are. If you want to survive out there, it is absolutely imperative that you know how to find the way. Use the sun and the Northern Star to always have an idea of where north is and orient yourself according to that, or even better – attach a small compass to your keychain and carry it around everywhere. Never rely on just one of these solutions, though – it’s best to use all of them at the same time, as that reduces the chances that you’re going to make a mistake.
4. Treating a Wound
Accidents happen out there, and some of them can lead to some pretty serious injuries. Most of the time, these are sprains, cuts and severe reactions to certain bug bites, but if one isn’t careful you can be dealing with things like fractures, puncture wounds and the like. Educate yourself to deal with these kinds of situations, so that you’re prepared in case an accident of that nature does happen when you’re actually out there.
5. Handling Panic
Panic is the bane of capability and resourcefulness. The moment panic enters your mind, you will freeze up and lose the ability to think rationally, which is exactly what you should be doing. Not only should you be capable of noticing and controlling your own fear, but you should also know how to calm others down and stop panic from escalating any further.
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Howard Scalia is 37-year-old former scout leader from Austin, Texas, and one of the best and most trusted blog writers at www.prosurvivalist.com. When he’s not working on some new interesting article, he enjoys taking long walks in the woods with his dogs.
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