Ten Wilderness Survival Backpacking Tips
By Steve Gillman
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
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
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
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
These are just some of the wilderness survival tips and techniques
you can easily learn. Why not practice one or more on your next
Check out our Wilderness