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Ten Wilderness Survival Backpacking Tips


Why learn wilderness survival skills just for backpacking? They might save your life someday, and for ultralight enthusiasts, skills replace gear, and therefore weight. Also, it's just a good feeling to know you can deal with whatever comes up.

Survival means to stay warm and dry, hydrated, uninjured, and to find your way out of the survival situation. Eating can be nice too, but it's not crucial if the situation is for a few days. Below are some random survival tips - hopefully just enough to get you interested. I'll have more pages on wilderness survival coming soon.

Wilderness Survival Tips

1. Sleep warm: Sleeping with your head slightly downhill may take some getting used to, but it's a good way to stay warmer.

2. Eat: In North America, there's no berry that looks like a blueberry, or raspberry, that can hurt you from one taste. Spit it out if it doesn't taste right, but if it looks and tastes like a blueberry - it is.

3. Start a fire: Put dried moss or milkweed fuzz in your pocket as you walk, and you'll have dry tinder to start a fire, just in case it's raining later. Experiment with several different materials.

4. Find your way: Mark the tip of the shadow of a stick stuck in the ground, then mark it again fifteen minutes later. The line connecting the the first and second marks points east.

5. Read the sky: In the Rockies you can see the clouds forming just before the afternoon storms. Lightning kills hikers in Colorado regularly, so being able to read the sky can keep you out of trouble. .

6. Stay dry: Large fir trees can block the rain and keep you dry during short showers.

7. Build a bed: A pile of dry leaves or dead grass can keep you very warm in an emergency.

8. Drink: Fill water bottles every chance you have, so you won't have a hard time with any long dry stretches of trail.

9. Heal yourself: Pop the "blisters" on the trunks of a small spruce or fir trees, and you can use the sap that oozes out as an good antiseptic dressing for small cuts.

10. Start a fire: Birch bark will usually light even when wet.

These are just some of the wilderness survival tips and techniques you can easily learn. Why not practice one or more on your next backpacking trip?

Check out our Wilderness Survival Guide.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Wilderness Survival Tips