Most of the guides in this series have looked at how to look after your physical wellbeing in a survival situation, but mental health is just as important—and often overlooked—in a survival emergency.
Entries in survival guide (6)
If you’re caught in the wild for some time, building a shelter is a vital survival step—both for the physical safety a shelter offers, and the feeling of well-being and morale it can create. Exposure to the cold can cause fatal hypothermia, but it can also cause excessive weakness and fatigue that can reduce the desire to survive.
With the advent of smartphone maps, improvised navigational methods are even less well known than before. But if you’re stuck in the wilderness with no signal, being able to tell what direction you’re walking in can be the difference between finding civilisation and being lost for days on end.
If you’ve ever been travelling in the back of beyond, you’ll be familiar with the usual ways to purify water—purification tablets, chlorine or iodine tinctures, that kind of thing. But how do you keep yourself hydrated if you’re stranded somewhere without even these basic supplies?
Imagine it: you’re up in the mountains, hours from civilisation, and you sprain your ankle. The temperature’s dropping fast, and getting back before dark is becoming a real issue. Knowing the basics of treating common injuries and illnesses can mean the difference between an unpleasant memory and a survival emergency.
Knowing how to build a fire is probably the most important survival skill, after immediate injury treatment and locating a water source. Beyond the provision of warmth and light, fire can help purify water, cook food, sterilise bandages, act as a signal, and provide a psychological boost. In short, it could be the difference between life and death.