Basic Survival Skills You May Need in a Serious Jam

Specialists strongly suggest that everyone have basic knowledge of what to do during a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Hopefully, you will never have to practice these survival skills, but if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, this article could save your life.

Here at Bright Side, we believe that it's incredibly important to know basic survival skills. It's just as important to refresh your knowledge on the topic every once in a while, so be sure to write these down!

1. Plan

To start, it’s a very good idea to know what potentially could happen in the area where you live or travel. For example, there's not much use in getting prepared for a volcano eruption if there aren't any around. In other words, identify the potential disasters that could happen in your area and prepare a plan of what to do if it actually occurs. It's always smarter to be safe than sorry.

2. Orientation

Learn how to use your natural surroundings for your orientation, like the distance between the sun and the horizon can give you an estimated time of sunset. Position your hand in a way so that the sun is placed on the pointer finger and count how many fingers are between the sun and the horizon. Each finger is equal to roughly 15 minutes. Even if it isn't very approximate, time may be very critical if you need to organize your time and find shelter overnight.

3. Attitude

Attitude is highly critical in an emergency - in fact, positive thinking is just as important as physical skills are. Our bodies have phenomenal abilities, and a positive mental attitude will give you strength you didn't even know you had.

Do you remember the story about the 2 mice who fell into a jar of fresh milk? One gave up but the other paddled so hard that eventually he turned milk into butter and jumped out. Be that second mouse!

4. Water

We all know that water is the most important resource you need for survival - dehydration can kill you in just a couple of days. Certainly, finding a source of clean, drinkable water is the perfect solution but if it's not possible, you can make a solar still.

5. Food

Hopefully, you had a Bug Out Bag prepared, complete with essentials like food supply. Firstly, check what food you have and eat small portions when you're hungry. When you think about your "Bug Out Plan" check what edible plants grow in your area, maybe some berries can be found too. Another important thing to learn is what plants around you are poisonous so that you can avoid them.

6. Fire

Fire can make your survival situation very different. Fire provides heat and light, you can purify water and cook food with it, and dry your wet clothes and shoes. To make fire you always need 3 essential components: oxygen, fuel and an ignition source.

You can get oxygen from the open air. Fuel consists of whatever can be burned - dry wood is always best. An ignition source could be a lighter or matches. Even though you know what you need to build a fire, it's also good to have an idea of how to start one if none of those items are available. It's also worth knowing how to make a Dakota Fire Pit as it's way more efficient than simply burning wood.

7. Surviving in waterfall

If you happen to get stuck in a water stream, no matter if it's a small waterfall or a low-head dam of a strong underwater current, the main thing to remember is not to panic. Curl up, drop to the bottom and move downstream. Surface only after you are cleared from the water force. It’s mentally difficult to make yourself dive, but it's the only way you'll get out safely.

Do you think we missed something critical? Or perhaps you've been in this type of situation before and had to depend on your own survival skills. Tell us about it in the comments below.

Illustrated by Sergey Raskovalov for Bright Side
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