Essential Survival Skills for your Next Hike
Hiking is fun, but it can be risky sometimes. Things can go wrong and you may sometimes find yourself in some precarious situations if you aren’t careful. For that reason, it’s important to pack essential gear like hiking poles, do your research in advance to ensure that you’re prepared for your hiking adventure. You may have many questions before your next hike, such as ‘How do I use a SAM split?’ or ‘how can I protect myself from wild animals on my hike?’ We’re here to give you some of our top essential survival skills ready for your next hike. Read on to find out more.
Making A Natural Bandage
In an ideal world, everyone would be certified in First Aid and we would always have a first aid kit with us to prepare for those unfortunate moments where we or a member of our group gets injured. Of course, this isn’t an ideal world and so there will sometimes be situations where your nifty first aid kit is not on hand. In these situations, you will need to know how to make a natural bandage. You can create one using dried sphagnum moss. You can usually find this in swamps or bogs, and it’s a very bushy, soft sort of moss. You can put this material up against any wounds and it will essentially act like cotton. You can also bind it on the top of a sterile piece of fabric once the blood has clotted.
Treating Heat Exhaustion
Another key thing that you need to know to do when out on a hike is to treat conditions associated with the weather, such as heat exhaustion and frostbite. You never know when this kind of information will come in handy!
To identify heat exhaustion, you should look out for heavy sweating. The person will also have cool, wet and flushed skin. Other associated symptoms include vomiting and dizziness and a rapid pulse. If someone has heat exhaustion, the person should try to sit down in a shaded location with their feet elevated. Try to spray them with a bit of water and do other things that will cool them down such as providing cold drinks.
How to Use a Compass
A compass may seem a little too old school for many of us, since most of us already have a GPS on our phones so it may seem pointless to know how to use one. The truth is though, when you’re hiking the chances are that you will likely have less signal on your phone. This means that you will need to know how to navigate without the use of your smartphone and the internet.
How to Operate a GMRS Radio
A general mobile radio service, or GMRS radio, is an essential tool for long-haul hiking. It may seem redundant when there are smartphones in this day and age, but it remains crucial to have a portable GMRS radio kit and know how to operate one. This two-way communication system allows hikers to communicate with each other, especially when they go on diverging paths. This also connects hikers to base camps. With this, they can update their companions and the base camp on their safety and call for help when needed.
How To Purify Water
If you’re out in the wilderness, you may not always have access to clean water. Sure, you can bring a million different water bottles with you, but that will weigh you down as you’re hiking and eventually your supply is going to run out. For this reason, it’s important to know how to locate and purify water so that it’s suitable for drinking.
You should look out for water that’s flowing, since this water isn’t as likely to contain harmful bacteria. To find this kind of water, check for any animal tracks since animals will go down to the water.
To purify the water, you can then use a filtration system or a camping stove to boil the water. Water filters that are designed for camping are usually compact and lightweight, so they’re a fantastic thing to bring along with you when you’re camping. You never know when you may need it.
Lighting a Fire
Lighting a fire is an incredibly important skill to have when you’re going hiking or just staying indoors in general – just ask the contestants of Survivor. Fire is needed for keeping you warm, purifying water and for bushcraft activities. In addition to this, you can feel like a real outdoor fanatic and a real outdoors man or woman when you see those self made flames for the first time.
To start a fire, you’re going to need a lighter, matches or a fire steel with you. You’re also going to need some tree branches and wood in order to get the job done. These logs and tree branches should be dry so that you can create the flame. After a little bit of waiting and working on your fire, you should get some fantastic flames to keep you warm all night long.
Many of us aren’t used to surviving in the great outdoors, so understanding some essential skills is key for ensuring that your trip is a success. By practicing the above skills, you can be sure that you will be safe the next time that you go camping.