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Survive in the Woods: 7 Things You Need to Know

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Looking to be the next Bear Grylls and survive in the woods all alone? Do you want to practice your ultimate survival skills?

Well, as a beginner, you can’t just drop by yourself in the middle of an island, in a rainforest.

You may be able to survive – but unless you’re the real Bear Grylls, the chances are that you might die if no one comes to save you in the next few days or weeks.

The 7 Things You Need to Do to Survive Alone in the Woods - Looking to be the next Bear Grills? Do you want to practice your ultimate survival skills? Well, as a beginner, you can’t just drop by yourself in the middle of an island, in a rainforest. You may be able to survive – but unless you’re the real Bear Grills, the chances are that you might die if no one comes to save you in the next few days or weeks.However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on the “survival trip” altogether.

No matter if you are going into the woods willingly or just got lost there (hopefully, it’s the former), this is what you should do as a survivalist.

The 7 Things You Need to Know to Survive Alone in the Woods

Study the Woods

For safety’s sake, let’s just say that you planned some alone-time into the woods and didn’t just stumble there by accident – and got lost.

If the trip was planned, then you might want to get some solid info regarding the land.

Study the grounds – and bring the map with you, just in case. This should prevent you from getting lost like Kevin McCallister in New York. 

Also, you may want to educate yourself about the flora and fauna. If there are any poisonous fruits or dangerous animals, you might want to know what to expect.

Bring Survival Gear

If you are going into the woods alone, then you need to bring survival gear with you.

Bring a knife, some matches, fire steel, a thermal blanket, some cord, a whistle, a compass, a signaling mirror, and some purifying tablets. It may not seem like much, but it may just make the difference between life and death.

Get Oriented

So, you have a map – but there’s still a chance that you’ll get lost if you aren’t careful enough. This is why you may want to take some steps to orient yourself. Learn where the sun rises and where it sets – and if possible, take a compass with you.

You can also try to mark the area with something that can be seen from afar – such as a piece of clothing or a rock pile. This way, you will know that you have already been in that area. 

You may also want to familiarize yourself with the North Star. This way, you’ll be able to orient yourself at night – and won’t be running in circles for hours, at the mercy of forest animals.

Find a Water Source

Technically, you can last up to three days without water – but by the second day, you will be so thirsty that you’ll barely be able to do anything for yourself.

This is why, when you are alone in the woods, searching for a good water source should be your top priority.

If you can find a spring, then you are all set – but if you can’t, a stream is your next best option. Don’t forget to boil that water, though, because it can be packed with bacteria.

A good way to find a source for safe drinking water is to look for the movement of birds. They usually fly around rivers/lakes/etc., so if you see a flock around, then it means water should be nearby. Try to stay around that water source until you return from the woods.

Gather Wood

The last thing you want is for nightfall to come and for you to not have anything to keep you warm. Ideally, you should start gathering the wood before night falls. Gather a nice, big pile that will keep you warm for a whole night, if you need to.

If you don’t look for wood during daylight, not only will you not be able to see where you are walking, but you won’t be able to differentiate between good wood and bad wood.

Plus, a campfire will keep the animals away – so it also acts like a protective shield – one that will keep you warm throughout the chilly night.

Find Shelter

If you have a tent, you’re all set. However, if you want to travel lightweight and didn’t want to bring anything like that with you, then you will have to create or find your own shelter.

If you don’t, you’ll be at the mercy of the elements – and you’ll also be in danger of being attacked by the wild animals.

Caves are ideal – but make sure that they haven’t been occupied by wild animals first. If you can’t find a cave, don’t despair; the woods are packed with useful tools.

Look for a fallen tree and create an A-frame from branches around it. After that, make the “roof” from bushes and leaves, to keep the elements out.

If you can find moss, it’s even better. Not only will it keep the cold and rain from coming in, but you can also use it to create a comfy mattress under you. This will keep you from getting into hypothermia or other conditions like that.

Find Food

This should be obvious, but we all have to eat. And while our bodies do have the ability to survive without food for three weeks, believe us, our bodies won’t be happy by it.

By day two or three, your stomach will be growling so hard that you won’t even be able to think straight.

Make sure that the food you find is edible – and that you are not munching on poisonous berries. When you’re going through anaphylactic shock, dying of starvation will be the least of your problems.

Set traps. Don’t be afraid to eat bugs or insects – as disgusting as it might seem. They are packed with nutrients – and if cooked properly, they may actually save your life.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, your survival trip in the forest is a planned one – in which case, you need to follow our tips.

If you aren’t planning any trips, hopefully, you will never need these pieces of advice. However, you can never be too informed.

The best way to survive in a forest is to stay calm – and think things through. Gather your survival materials and try to keep yourself alive until help comes.