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Surviving the Wilderness?

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I've been camping and hiking here many times on the river in some pretty secluded spots and also in the Rocky Mountains. I have never become lost, thankfully, but if I did I don't know how long I would last.

It would depend a lot upon the weather and if I could find food and water. I don't think I would make it long in frigid winter weather even with food. I think I could come up with some sort of make shift shelter but I don't think I would be very good at setting traps for animals or catching fish with my hands or a spear. Making the spear would depend upon if I had a knife or could find a very sharp rock. Then there's the problem of animals big enough to eat you. Around here that's not likely to happen even though we do have bobcats, black bears, cougars and packs of coyotes but in some places in the world you could be lunch pretty fast.

How about you, could you survive for long with only what you had on you, wasn't prepared to be lost in the wilderness? What are some of the things you would do to survive? Do you think you could deal with wild animals big enough to eat you?
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I would like to think I've watched enough episodes of Bear Grylls to at least survive a couple of days till I can make my way to civilization. I wouldn't bet on it though. I think if I had to for instance get lost and have all my camping gear and equipment with me, I might be ok. But if I had to not have anything on me and just be dependent on nature, I doubt I would live long actually.

But then, I know this about myself, so I don't put myself in those situations. So I'm safe! ;)
 

danwiz

Registered Member
I think that I could survive for a couple of days, as ididrsly said, but beyond that, I don't know. I would like to think that being 66 years old and having worked as a Forester and therefore being outdoors a LOT I know enough about the forests and mountains so that I could survive for longer, but I suspect that 10 days would be the end of me. I never go on a hike to the mountains without a good flashlight and a good compass and enough clothes so that if the weather changes I would be okay. I also have 2 lighters in my backpack - they live there at all times - so I should be able to start a fire. I know how to build a fire and how to find dry wood/kindling. Food would be a problem - that's why I say 10 days maximum. I do not know how to set snares or traps, just never learned how. If there were no safe drinking water then probably 4 or 5 days would be max!

Animals big enough to eat me. Well, having worked and lived in the woods in Alaska I like to think that I know how to avoid brown (grizzly) bears and if I were to become a target for one of them how to avoid being eaten, but if there was a true man killer who wanted to get me, then it would. Mountain lions, cougars, etc., I've no idea how to go about not being eaten by them - I suppose be observant at all times. I always have my pocket knife with me, but it's only a 4 inch blade, so I could not do much damage with it. I could, however, make a pointed stick!

So, overall, I feel that I would be better prepared than the vast majority of mankind, but probably not well enough to last through a winter.

If truly lost, I'd follow a creek/river, valley down and down and down. I certainly would not go UP. With my compass I could easily avoid traveling in circles, which I understand is what ends up happening to a lot of people. Even without a compass I believe that I could avoid walking in circles. Being able to walk in a straight line for extended distances is a critical skill for people who work in the woods and as I said above, I've done that for many years.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I would probably be better than the average person in a wilderness survival situation because of the extensive amount of time I've spent hiking and camping, but what I've done doesn't really mean I have great survival skills. I've never been in a survival situation like that before.

I think I could build a basic shelter well enough and I know how to insulate it to keep me relatively warm at night. Fire, water, and food would be another story though. I would not be able to build a fire without a lighter or matches. Without a fire you can't boil your water. I have no hunting experience and don't know how to set traps, and I don't have much knowledge on wild edibles.

The wild animals aren't a concern of mine. I've spent over 100 nights camping in bear and mountain lion territory. Don't eat where you sleep and you shouldn't have a problem with bears.

Overall, I think I have enough of a skill set to survive for 5-7 days, which would give me more than enough time to find my way back to civilization if I wasn't seriously injured.
 

Elanor

Registered Member
I know for a fact I would be useless! I could probably last a couple of days using my common sense, but if I was lost any longer than 4 - 5 days I would be screwed. The difference would definitely be whether or not I had my gear with me. I think it is one of those things where you don't know how you will react until you are in that situation.

Like idi said though, I wouldn't get myself in the position to get lost in the wilderness. As I know I would probably be a bit pathetic :lol:
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
The only thing if be concerned about is finding food. I've done barebones camping before and it wasn't all that bad. I know how to set up a shelter and keep warm, I even know how to find water, I've never had to find my own food though.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I'm sure food would be my downfall, I just don't see me catching something easily but I have never been desperate enough to try. I'm also sure any plant I might try to eat would probably make me sick. I'm not good at identifying eatable plants. I think you can eat the bark off trees but I'm not sure which ones. I guess you could also eat some bugs or worms.

I've read many stories where people have beat the odds and survived under horrible conditions but there are many people that didn't.

I found this article on how to build a shelter but some of the things they said to use you might not have. I don't normally carry a magnifying glass or rope around with me. Probably wouldn't have those items if I were out hiking either.

How to Survive in the Wild: 8 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
 
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