10 skills that could save your life

None of us intend to end up in a life threatening survival situation, but there are some great everyday skills that could help you. Just in case.

Original list here

Choosing a safe camp site

The most important things when picking a site to camp or sleep are

  • Elevated 
  • Dry

If you can also make sure you are away from natural dangers, bugs, insects, flooding, falling rocks and branches. It should also be ideally near a source of running water, dry wood to build a fire and protects you from the elements. 


Prepare a good shelter

An insulated shelter is very important to shield you from the elements and keep you warm. Build an A frame and cover it with sticks and leaves, drape tarpaulin or create a lean to shelter. Moss and pine leaves make great bedding and keeps you off the damp ground.


Learn to make a fire

Believe it or not you can start a fire with an AA battery. All you need to do is short the circuit with the help of wire, foil (gum), or steel wool and connect the positive and negative terminals. Of course there are plenty of other ways to make fire as well and it would be worth memorising a few of these techniques as well.

To help make a fire you can use dry tinder, fibrous material like cotton and cover it in Vaseline or lip balm and of course, wood. Fire is extremely useful in a survival situation, it keeps you warm, purifies water, sterilises and can be used as a signal for rescue. 


Finding a source of water

There are the obvious sources, rain, snow and dew, but you can also recover water from over sources. You can squeeze a pure form of water from vines, thistles and cacti or you can collect water by covering a leafy branch with a plastic bag. The transpiration process will condense ready-to-drink water in the bag. Any ground water should be boiled to killed pathogens.

Identify edible flora

Knowing which plants to eat and which will kill you is very useful. You will make sure you are not poisoned and waste energy trying to fight it off, and you will recuperate energy by eating. Some common edible plants include cattail, lamb's quarter (wild spinach) and dandelions. 

Natural navigation

There are plenty of ways to find your way out of a jungle, using the sun, rivers, trees, satellite dishes and the moon, amongst many others. These will mean you won't require a compass, map or GPS. 

Signalling for rescue

There are two obvious and simple ways of calling for rescue; an easily visible fire with plenty of smoke and arrange stones and objects in the pattern of HELP or SOS. A torch is another good way to attract attention, or use a mirror to reflect the sun. 

Inform others abut your trip

Always tell someone where you are going, your route and when they should expect to hear from you. This way if you do get lost or hurt and don't make contact, someone is capable of alerting the authorities. 

Basic first aid

CPR, abdominal thrusts, patching up wounds and stabilising a fracture are some great basic first aid skills to learn, and not just for survival. Take a local course, read the first aid manual, or watch St John Ambulance's instructional videos. Just remember first aid isn't about the equipment but being effective, safe and prompt. 

Fight the fear

Seven things are going to be your worst enemy if you are in a survival situation and all of them involve yourself. You'll need to fight and combat panic, pain, cold. thirst, hunger, fatigue, boredom and loneliness.