Survival Skills You Might Need When Backpacking
You don’t necessarily need to be a survival expert. We aren’t suggesting you spend a weekend hanging out with Bear Grylls and other wilderness gurus. But whether you’re a keen backpacker or somebody new to adventures out in the wild, it’s still worth knowing a few skills as this will make your trips safer.
Here are just some of the skills we think you should learn and practice before you head out into the backcountry.
#1: Learn how to make a fire
Especially if you’re camping outdoors, knowing how to make a fire is a must because you do need to keep yourself warm. You will also need a fire to cook food. Check out these campfire basics and then purchase the items you need so you can practice in a safe area before your travels. Consider the best camping hatchets and purchase something that fits in your backpack. Then buy those other essential items, such as matches, strike igniters, and other types of fire-starting equipment.
#2: Learn how to make shelter
If you’re carrying a tent with you, you won’t necessarily need to know how to make a shelter, although it might still be useful in the event that your tent becomes damaged or blows away! But if you intend to hike without a tent, perhaps because you aren’t planning to camp overnight, it is especially useful to learn this skill as you may need to make a shelter if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
#3: Learn navigation skills
Don’t rely on your GPS devices when outdoors. You might not get a strong enough signal for them to operate correctly and they could run out of charge too! If you take a tumble, you could also lose or break them. It’s wise to learn a few navigation skills in the event your technology does fail you, so look online for guidance on how to read a map. You should also look for advice on making trails so you can double back on yourself if you need to. And knowing how to read a compass is another skill that is worth knowing.
#4: Learn first aid
Our first piece of advice is this: Don’t forget to include a first-aid kit in your travel survival kit! Our second piece of advice? Make sure you know how to use the items within. As emergency services could be hard to reach, knowing how to make slings and splints could be essential if you injure yourself while on your hike. It’s also worth knowing which items to use for bites, stings, and contact with potentially poisonous plants too. Watch a few videos online, take a first aid course if you can, and then arm yourself with everything you might need before your travels.
These aren’t the only survival skills worth knowing, of course. You might want to learn which plants and berries are safe/unsafe to eat, for example, and you might want to learn how to deal with predators if you are venturing somewhere risky. The more you know the better, as you will be better equipped for your wilderness adventure. Consider our suggestions and then think about the other skills you might need to brush up on before you head out into the wild.