SURVIVAL SKILLS


Introduction

To survive is to continue to live or exist despite dangerous or life threatening situations. There are many circumstances that could threaten the survival of a person or a group of people. Some of these include dire socio-economic situations and war. It could also be unexpected situations which arise suddenly such as being shipwrecked or marooned on an uninhabited Island, lost in a desert, or cold, isolated Arctic regions or in a dense forest. Looking at these various scenarios, it is clear that to survive in each of these situations one would most certainly need somewhat different sets of skills. Therefore, survival skills have to be discussed in terms of the scenario to which they apply and, hence, one could say that there are physical survival skills and economic survival skills among others.

Survival Skills for a Hypothetic Situation

This article limits itself to the discussion of physical survival skills. Let us take a hypothetical situation. Let us assume that you are stranded in a forest and it is almost night fall. What do you do? How do you cope before the elements of the weather or wild animals get to you? How do you beat the odds and stay alive? The critical answers to these and similar questions depend on whether you possess survival skills or not. It is naïve to believe that a situation where you will need critical survival skills to survive will never arise because according to Murphy’s Law, whatever can go wrong will certainly go wrong. So it is better to be prepared for the unexpected by developing critical skills needed to survive extreme situations. I am going to discuss in a summary form a list of survival skills that are needed in the jungle.

Survival Skill #1: Locate a suitable site for camping. You will need to avoid spots that have natural danger like insect nests and places that are prone to being flooded.

Survival Skill #2: Build a suitable shelter that will insulate you from cold and precipitation.

Survival Skill #3: Start a fire with a battery by short circuiting the battery.

Survival Skill #4: Build up your fire by using dry easily flammable materials like dry leaves and twigs.

Survival Skill #5: Find drinkable water. Your ability to distinguish between clean and unclean water will be critical here. As a rule, water that is stagnant or has been on the same spot for a while is to be avoided, while snow, dew and rain water are good for drinking.

Survival skill #6: Collect water that has transpired from the leaves of plants by using plastic bags. This will serve you nicely as drinking water.

Survival Skill #7: Be able to differentiate between edible and non-edible plants. Going after big animals might prove to be a costly waste of valuable time. Instead go for the little things that are easily available such as small rodents, reptiles and plants. You need to buy books that tell you about edible and non-edible plants in different environments and memorize them.

Survival Skill #8: Learn how to make and use multi-pronged spear with wood and knife. This is the easiest way of hunting small game.

Survival Skill #9: Learn how to navigate during the day by using the position of the sun or by using an analog watch to get your general bearing.

Survival Skill #10: Learn how to navigate by night by finding the North Star (Polaris). Polaris is at the end of The Little Dippers handle. By drawing a line between the two stars once you find The Big Dipper and by extending this line beyond the Little Dipper, you will find that it aligns with Polaris. If you then face Polaris you are facing the true north.

Survival Skill #11: Learn how to tie different kinds of knots particularly the bow line, it may be your life saver in the jungle.

Survival Skill #12: Learn how to send up a signal. Set up a signal fire either in a clearing or a hilltop where its visibility will be maximized so rescuers can find you. Make sure you create a fire base so as to prevent moisture from putting out the fire. You can also use a mirror signal by getting the angle of reflection right. This works equally well with sunlight or moonlight.

All said and done we can summarily say that survival in the jungle is about correct application of common sense.


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