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Poignant Outdoor Survival Training

by Bruce Haring

Are you taking your family out on a fun-filled, adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventure trip? Well, chances are that you will be sincere in your efforts to take good care of your family, particularly the kids. After all, it is better to prevent and prepare than to repent and repair.

Here are a few elementary pointers that every novice or (seasoned) outdoor adventurer would do well to remember before daring to take the plunge.

Whistle away: Lost in the outdoors? You have been hiking past the woods all day long and it suddenly dawns upon you that it is going to be night very soon. Hysteria strikes big time and you decide to rush back to your base camp, only to realize that you do not know your way back!

Calm down, take a few deep breaths! Check your supplies and the equipment that are in your possession. Now is the time to unleash that mystifying whistle that someone may have taught you to use when you were little. Keep whistling until you hear a return whistle and move in that direction.

Stay where you are: Your bright red bandanna and whistle are dependable alibis that will help you get help. So, stay right where you are, especially if you are injured. By doing that, you are giving your team a much better chance of locating you within a few hours. If you are part of a group, try not to stray from it; stay together as a cohesive unit. Never break away from the group just because you want to do something glaringly different.

Conserve your energy: In the wilderness, you need to maintain a body temperature of 98.6˚F. Any major variations in this temperature and you could meet a fatal end. Therefore, conserve your energy and drink copious amounts of water. When you are lost, you need to do all that you can, to remain alive and attract the attention of a passerby or rescue team.

Keep sipping water: When you are stranded in the wild, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated. If you run out of water, do not huff and puff frantically! Instead, try to breathe normally through your nose. If you find a stream, do not refrain from drinking water just because it does not look purified. If the water looks clear and does not emit a foul odor, go for it! Remember, your priority is to keep yourself alive and safe, no matter what!

Make a temporary shelter: If you can’t find a temporary shelter anywhere in your vicinity, you’ll have to make one to safeguard yourself from heat, cold, rain, wind, snow, or any kind of inclement weather. Choose the optimum location to prepare your shelter, one that can keep you reasonably safe from the rigors of the wilderness. Do not spend too much time scouting for the perfect shelter; make do with what you have and do the best you can.

You can find a few small branches to rest upon or a clearing where you think you can sleep. Also, do not forget to leave home with a large brightly colored garbage bag that can be folded into your jacket pocket. Use it to cover yourself and withstand sudden changes in the weather should you find yourself stranded in the wilderness. You can also use the bag as a shade in case the heat becomes unbearable.

Make a lot of noise to attract attention: At times, the nuisance value of loud noises can work in your favor. When you are isolated in the wilderness, it is a fabulous idea to scream your guts out to make yourself audible. That apart, you should move to a part of the wild where you can be seen easily. To that end, it helps to wear colorful or dark clothing.

If you hear or see a helicopter, find a clearing and lie down immediately to make yourself visible. Wave a flag too, if you can. If you don’t have one, just wave your hands wildly until you evince some response. Don’t let the moment pass without making a difference.

One good signaling device that usually works like a charm is a whistle. It carries much farther than you think it does, about two miles if not more. Hang a whistle around your neck and use it appropriately. Whistle three times for help, pause and repeat until you are found and rescued.

Be calm, help is on the way: If you have got all that you need, but still lost and do not know how to get back, keep your calm! Ensure that you are vigilant and make yourself comfortable until someone locates you. You might have to spend all night in the wilderness all on your own, but if you have come equipped for all kinds of emergencies, you should do just fine. Enjoy the adventure, the environment, and believe that everything will be fine next morning.



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