No matter how prepared you think you are for the wilderness, accidents can happen. You can find yourself lost in an area where there is no service, and you’ll need to survive the need before you find your way to safety when the sun rises. Being stuck in the woods can be a frightening experience, so you’ll need to be emotionally prepared for it as a worst-case scenario before you head out to the great outdoors. Even if you find yourself completely on your own, here are some tips for surviving a night in the woods.
While the first issue that usually comes to mind is accessibility to food, this shouldn’t be your primary concern. In fact, you can survive up to 3 weeks without sustenance, so one night without food will not kill you. On the flip side, you can only survive 3hours in bad weather – that being rainy and cold. You need at least one matchbox with you to build a fire. Rubbing two sticks together isn’t as effective as you see in Hollywood movies and is practically impossible if the weather is very humid. If you ever find yourself lost in the woods, you’ll need to gather some sticks and build a fire to keep your body warm during the night.
Before you squat in the woods, you need to make sure that you’re in an area where wild predators will not endanger you. If you plan to stay the night in the great outdoors, the easiest way to do that is to do your research before making your trip. It would also be smart to purchase some affordable night vision products before you head out, seeing as your only source of lighting would be the starry night, which can be pitch black on some nights. If you spot a wild animal from afar, try not to make any sounds and stay put.
Even if the weather forecast tells you to expect a sunny morning and a warm night, the woods’ climate can be unpredictable and can change abruptly. Make sure to pack a thick and sturdy tent that can withstand windy and rainy nights. As soon as you find your spot, please don’t wait until it’s time for you to rest to set up your tent. It’s best to set everything up before you go on a scavenger hunt. If you ever find yourself completely soaked and need to strip yourself off your clothes, you can stay the night inside your tent and cover yourself with leaves as long as they’re not damp; they can keep you warmer than a sleeping bag would.
While you can survive up to 3 weeks without food, that can weaken you and is unnecessarily uncomfortable. Make sure to pack lots of dried fruits, canned foods, beef jerky, and anything else with a long shelf life. You also need to stay hydrated; pack several bottles of water with you and refillable bottles that you can use for emergencies. If you ever have to drink river water, you can add a few drops of chlorine and wait a couple of minutes before consumption. If you run out of food, you can look for a pond and set traps for fish in shallow waters. Alternatively, it’s easier to hunt for frogs. Avoid eating berries or mushrooms that you cannot identify, as some species can cause allergic reactions while others can be deadly.
Being Mentally Prepared
No matter what you pack with you, you can’t survive a night in the woods if you’re not emotionally and mentally prepared. Not even high-end camping gear can help you survive if you expect everything to go flawlessly. Accidents can happen, water can out, and tents can get destroyed. This is why it’s never advisable to go into the woods on your own. Always have a company with you to stay safe. You’re less likely to get attacked by wild animals or lose all your belongings when you’re in a group. By being emotionally and mentally prepared as a group, you need to stay calm when an incident happens or if you spot a wild animal from afar. Panic only exacerbates an already stressful situation.
There’s nothing scarier than finding yourself lost in the wilderness, especially when the sun goes down and your only company is the distant sound of the howling wolves. Even if you have all the camping gear you need in your bushcraft backpack, you have to know the steps you need to take to survive the night in the wilderness. Before you make that trip to the great outdoors, make sure you’re prepared with the right gear, as well as emotionally, in case you get lost in the woods.