Before we go on that hike, camping, hunting or other wilderness activities we all need to take some essential safeguards.
First, get to know the area you will be going into. Where are major roads, railroad track and what direction would force you to cross them? Know where the nearest town is and what direction they are if you had to use a road or railroad track to exit from the wilderness differently than you had planned. Where are the rivers and streams? If you had to follow one would it take you where you could help within a short amount of time?
Second, take some time to plan your adventure. How are you going to get to the trailhead, where are you going to park, how are you going to get home or back to your vehicle? What time are your starting your adventure, what time will you arrive at your destination and when will you be back home? The more details you can preplan the better. Then share your plan with someone that if you don’t arrive back by a certain time will know you’re in trouble!
Part of your plan should be knowing what the weather will potentially be like. Even, if the weather isn’t calling for rain, assume it will and pack appropriately. For more information about how to dress check out my post on what to wear by clicking here.
Third, take a way to communicate you need help. Today, almost everyone has a smartphone. You never know today a cellphone tower may be within range. If you go into the wilderness a lot you should consider a GPS messenger. With a GPS messenger, you may be able to get a message out that you need help. I’ve found that thick cover can block the signal so you may need to get to an open area where you can signal for help. Be sure to put fresh batteries in it every time you go out. Use the old batteries in something that doesn’t have your life depending on it.
Fourth, carry a 72 hour kit with you every time you go into the wilderness. It should be able to provide shelter, water, fire, signaling, navigation, and food.
Fifth, learn first aid! I recommend that if you will spend time in the wilderness areas that you take a wilderness first aid course. The difference from your normal CPR/First Aid Course is that you may not be about to get to the hospital in a short time and be stuck for hours or days needing to care for yourself or others. The Wilderness First Aid course help you with medical issues over a longer period of time.
We go in detail over the above along with what to carry, instructions and practice on using the items in your 72 our kit. Check out our Survival School and join us for one of our Essential Wilderness Survival Courses by clicking here!
However, in some cases, you have done everything right but help hasn t found you within that 72 hours. In 2019 a 73-year-old man got lost in the mountains of Southern California when he became separated from his hiking group. He was missing for over a week before search and rescue found him. He credits his prior military experience for his positive outcome. For most people to survive in the wilderness for a week they have to had either training or preferably experience. At Trail Blazer Survival School our training helps you learn new survival skills by demonstrating them and then having you practice it, this equals experience. After you take the Essential Wilderness Survival Course you can take your skills to the next level from just barely surviving the minimum 72 hours it normally takes search and rescue to find you to stay out in the wilderness for an extended time, just in case you are the man or woman it takes longer to find, in our Applied Wilderness Survival Course.