If you’re an outdoor enthusiast—the kind of person who lives for hiking, camping and backpacking trips—you may have developed a nice repertoire of survival skills to deal with many common outdoor challenges and scenarios. But, when disaster strikes, having the right tools on hand can mean the difference between life and death.
Here are our go-to essentials for how to survive in the wilderness:
Think in threes
When it comes to survival, try to think in threes: You can survive for three hours without enough warmth, three days without water and three weeks without food. That makes finding an adequate heat source your number one priority, followed closely by clean water and sustenance—but ideally you’ll have access to all three! If you take one thing with you on your next excursion, make sure it’s our Wise 5-Day Survival Backpack. It includes 38 servings of freeze-dried, dehydrated, gourmet entrées, as well as six 4.227 fl. oz. water pouches, one portable stove including 24 fuel tablets, one stainless steel cup, one squeeze flashlight, one 5-in-1 survival whistle, one N95 dust mask, one set of pocket tissues, three wet naps, one waste bag, one box of waterproof matches, one mylar blanket, one emergency poncho, one set of playing cards and one 47-piece first aid and hygiene kit (including a 37-piece bandage kit). Having this comprehensive survival pack on hand will ensure you have all your essential bases covered.
Finding your way to safety is another key pillar in a successful survival strategy. First of all, unless you have a large flashlight or some other adequate light source, you should never travel at dark; you are much more likely to injure yourself by tripping over obstacles or falling off unseen terrain than you are to make significant progress during the night hours. Once you can see clearly in the light of day, you should make your way towards help by orienting where you are in relation to where you need to go. Those of us who don’t have extensive navigation experience (Siri doesn’t count, unfortunately) may struggle without internet-enabled smartphones or other GPS aids. A quick, simple solution is to invest in a Digital Compass. This weather-resistant device is battery-powered and tells you direction, angle, relative and absolute altitude, barometric pressure, weather forecast and temperature of where you are, and even includes a clock and calendar.
If you suffer an injury, are struggling to find your way or find yourself in some other dilemma that limits your ability to travel, the best thing to do is alert any nearby parties to your presence. With nine different flashing patterns, this LED Road Flare does just that. Activate the bright SOS signal, and anyone within a half a mile will be able to see that you are in distress and need assistance. Plus, the flare is rechargeable and waterproof in water up to 33 feet deep, allowing you to exonerate yourself from even the trickiest situations. And if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Keep firing the flare! After all, you can’t be rescued if no one knows you’re there in the first place.
For more bright survival ideas and prepping tips, check out our Emergency Preparedness problem solvers.