Survival Skills when Backpacking
Why study survival skills? If you plan correctly, backpacking won’t test your outdoor survival skills. When you’re far from a trail, you may become lost or twist your ankle. Regularly expanding your knowledge may make your trips more pleasant and safe over time. In light of this, I’ve developed a list of odd survival talents and methods.
Snow blocks may be used to make shelters without particular equipment. Without any machinery, I built 2-by-3-foot snow block trench shelters. I started by stamping rectangles in hard-packed snow, then collecting them. I built a shelter in 20 minutes by laying snowbanks on either side of a trench I dug in the snow and on top as a roof.
In late winter and early spring, maple and birch trees may be used to make syrup, but it’s too much work in a wilderness survival situation. Maple or birch sap might add 200 calories to your daily total. Cut off the tops of twigs and place a container under them to collect the sap. Simple technique. I’ve been able to get a quart of liquid from a single branch for days.
What about a meal-based survival plan? Crayfish become red when cooked, like lobster, and each tail is edible. Instead of feeding them, look beneath rocks. They’ll swim backwards, so catch them from behind.
Peel and braid yucca leaves to construct desert ropes and lashings. I made this rope in 30 minutes, and none of us could break it (two on each end).
I used birch bark pots before. Two methods exist. First, drop hot stones into the liquid to boil it. Second, place the pot directly on the flame. The liquid in the birch bark pot absorbs heat so fast that the flame must rise above it to catch.
Fill light garments with dried grass to make a winter coat. It’s best to put another piece of clothes (like your raincoat) between them. Instead than making survival gear from scratch, it’s usually better to alter what you have.
There are hundreds of ways to make woods walking more fun and safe. Why not read some survival tips even if you don’t plan to use them? You’ll probably recall something important one day.