Stayin’ Alive: In The Wild

Do you like going out into the bush? I love it. I feel so at home in the bush. Of course, I enjoy my home comforts too. I need my laptop and my phone, my warm bed and my instant coffees. Yes, I love the bush, but I probably wouldn’t love it so much if I ever got lost there and needed to stay alive.

What would you do if you got lost during a hiking trip? Kind of hard to say. How are you going to eat? How are you going to stay dry and warm while you sleep at night? How are you going to find your way back to the carpark?

There are two important matters that we need to address: preparation, and winging it in the moment. What are you going to bring with you when you go hiking, and what can you do to increase your chances of survival while you’re out there?

Preparation

The hatchet will be your best friend in the bush

Brainstorm for a bit: what would be really handy to have in the bush? What would make you think “OH MY GOODNESS WHAT A RELIEF THAT I BROUGHT THIS THING” if you were lost in the bush?

Some suggestions:

  • A hatchet
  • A sharp knife
  • A flint
  • An emergency blanket
  • A first aid kit
  • Some strong cord
  • Fishing line
  • Tinfoil
  • Billy

These are all things that could prove really helpful. You’ll be shivering in your makeshift mud hut thinking “I am SOOOO happy I brought that blanket and the hatchet I used to make my hut!”

It would also be really handy if you had told your friends and family that you were going for a hike, and where – so that if you don’t come back, they know where to find you.

Winging It

Leaves collect and store water after the rain – not much, admittedly

Stay calm. Chill. Take a knee, as Will Smith and his kid like to say in ‘After Earth’ (which wasn’t really as bad as theĀ film critics made it out to be). Panicking will NOT help matters.

Find water. If you can hear rushing water, you’re in luck! Go drink it. You might need to boil it, in which case it’ll be great if you know how a few pottery skills for making clay pots (or you could just bring a billy?). If you can’t find any water, you could urinate into a clay pot, boil it, and somehow collect the steam into another pot. Yeah, good luck with that – you’re a smart person, you’ll figure it out (your life depends on it).

One way of finding water, which really only works after rain, is to collect it from leaves. A few hours of pouring drips of water from leaves into a billy might produce a few cups, enough to keep you going for a day.

Find sticks. You’ll find some kind of use for them, I’m sure. Do a Robinson Crusoe and make something. Like, for example, a house for you to live in, if you end up in the bush for that long:

How to Build A Primitive Hut

Ways To Find Food In The Bush

Are there any fruits growing around the place? Climb a tree and get them. How about wild animals running around? Set a trap. Are there birds in the trees? Make a badass bow and arrow. Is there a river? Make a fishing line.

Avoiding Danger

You’re here to stay alive, not to make crazy wildlife YouTube videos. If you see anything dangerous, avoid it. There’s no need to poke fate in the eye until it bites you.

Remember the late Steve Irwin as your pattern of what not to do in the wild