STOP. This is the technique that professionals like Mark Jenkins use when they get lost in the desert without a GPS or phone. It means “stop, think, observe and plan”. Protecting yourself from injury, finding clean water, and the path to civilization can take longer than you expected.
That is why today we at SUMclicks offer you some practical tips that can come in handy if you are alone with the wild.
1. Place a plastic bag on the branch to collect water
Finding a source of fresh water is a priority for lost in the wild. The time a person can survive without water depends on conditions. For reference, an athlete who trains hard in hot weather can become dehydrated, overheat, and die in a matter of hours.
Fortunately, using condensate to produce fresh water is fairly straightforward. Wrap a plastic bag around a leafy branch in direct sunlight for an unlimited supply of fresh water.
2. Wrap the body with bubble wrap and / or leaves to keep warm
This may sound like impractical advice, but bubble wrap is extremely important when hiking in cold weather. This packaging holds the layer of air as a buffer and acts as an excellent heat insulator. It is also used for winterizing windows. If the film is not at hand, you can always use dry leaves. Studies have shown that dry apple leaves, for example, improve thermal insulation.
3. Collect morning dew with bracelets on your legs
This method was widely used by Australian Aborigines who walked long distances without water. They rolled the dry grass into a ball or wrapped it around their ankles as they moved until sunrise, collecting water from the dew.
4. Sleep on a higher level to avoid hypothermia
Keeping walking at night is not the smartest thing to do. If you are going to spend the night in the wilderness, you will need to find suitable shelter. If there are no caves or other means of protection nearby, it is necessary to isolate from the cold and sleep on an elevated position to avoid hypothermia.
5. Rub your hands with pine needles to reduce mosquito bites
6. Pretend to be dead when faced with large animals
When meeting a bear, it is best to slowly back away, as in most cases the bear is more afraid of you than you are of him. However, it may be a good idea to fight back during a black bear attack. However, if you encounter someone larger and more powerful, such as a grizzly bear, the best chance of survival is to curl up and pretend to be dead.
7. Cross the river where the water is deep and slow
The crossing may seem like a simple matter, but you need to treat it with caution . The safest places to cross are straight sections between river bends. The faster the current, the more dangerous it is. Throw a stick to test the current speed. Remember that it is easier to cross deep and slow water than fast and shallow water.
When crossing a river, always walk upstream with the water flowing towards you, and lean forward slightly, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to lower your center of gravity, and use the stick as your third fulcrum: it’s safer to cross alone.
8. Make ice in the shape of the lens to ignite the fire
A transparent ice floe about 5 cm thick can be turned into a lens for lighting a fire in the same way as with a magnifying glass. The trick is to create a shape that’s thin at the edges and thick in the middle. Smooth the surface with your hands to adjust the effectiveness of the ice lens.
9. Collect wet leaves to burn them and give smoke signals
When you’re dealing with water, shelter, and fire, your priority should be to reduce your time in the wild. A smoke alarm can save your life. Heavy smoke can be obtained with wet leaves.
Then use a damp blanket or large leaves to split the plume of smoke into 3 clouds. If someone on a plane or boat sees your smoke signal, they won’t be confused with a wildfire. The 3-Cloud Pillar of Smoke is an emergency code for Native Americans and Boy Scouts.
10. Use ash as a disinfectant
In such a situation, hygiene may seem like the least of your concerns. However, you may need to wash your hands to give yourself first aid. In such a case, you can use the ash from the fire, because according to this study , it is as effective as soap.
Bonus: Ignore survival myths like drinking urine or moss growing only on the north side
Drinking urine or using moss as a guide are some of the myths that have come down to us from movies. Unfortunately, both of them are wrong. First, urine can only be more or less sterile if you have healthy kidneys. Secondly, the whole point of urination is that your body filters excess salts and minerals from the blood. Re-consuming it will put a serious strain on the kidneys and will only aggravate your thirst due to the sodium content.
Moss grows wherever it is humid and little sun. In some places in the Northern Hemisphere, it does grow on the north side, but this is not an absolute rule . In the Southern Hemisphere, moss can also grow on the southern side of trees.