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50 Survival Tips and Tricks for the Outdoors

When it comes to survival tips and techniques, the more you know, the better. While you can’t possibly prepare for every single thing that is out there, you can try your best to be as aware of many of them as you can. Sometimes these bits and pieces of knowledge can seem quite like useless trivia at times, but don’t be fooled. The knowledge is there not to be useful ALL the time, but rather to be there when you need it the most. That is why we put together a massive list of 50 Survival Tips and Tricks for the outdoors.

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1. Create a thick fire signal.

A combination of fresh pine and spruce leaves produce a lot of smoke, which is what you want with the signal. Start out by building a small fire using dry leaves, twigs, or other tinder.

Collect the fresh pine and spruce leaves and compile them into a bow. When the fire is up and smoking, put the leaves over the fire, making sure to cover it completely. This will cause the branches to burn intensely, producing even more smoke.

Additional things to consider: ​

  • Choosing the location – ideally, you want to build a fire on elevated grounds, such as a peak, top of a hill or ridge.  Clear the area so that the fire will not catch onto nearby twigs/other flammables. If it’s too difficult to clear the area of debris, then the next best option is to isolate the fire with stones to control the fire.
  • What creates the thick smoke?  – Dry grass, leaves, pine needles, paper, wood shaving, small sticks are great for starting fires. To sustain the fire, you will need to find dry wood , full branches and anything similar that will provide a slow but long lasting fuel. To create more smoke; simply add living branches, wet leaves and even rubber materials.
  • Don’t forget to thoroughly extinguish the fire when you depart your location or when you are rescued. The last thing you want to do is start a raging fire in the forest.

2. Staying Cool in the Desert.

This may not be the best-smelling solution to preventing heatstroke when you’re out in the scorching desert, but it works. Take a piece of cloth like a bandana and soak it in urine. Wrap it around your head and it will keep your head from feeling the wrath of the sun. Heat stroke is the second leading cause of death in the desert, next to dehydration.

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3. Learn to tell where North is without navigational survival gear!

If you need the help of a compass but you don’t have one, you can use an analog watch to do that. Point the hour (short) hand at the sun and draw two imaginary lines between it and the 12 o’clock point. You will create an angle between the two lines. Draw an imaginary straight line bisecting the angle. The line point away from the sun is north, because the sun always goes to set in the west direction.

Disclaimer: telling time by sun doesn’t work as effectively when you are too far up north or south.

4. What if you don’t have a watch?

Don’t worry. As long as you know what time it is, you can still tell where north is. Simply draw an analog representation of the time on the ground and draw the lines from there. Cellphones are particularly useful in telling the actual time regardless where you are because mobile tech nowadays uses GPS to be able to tell the time of the day regardless of location. Of course, it’s always advised that a survivalist have a watch with them at all times.

Find out the rest of the 50 Survival Tips and Tricks for the Outdoors here.

  • About Women's Outdoor News

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. With a band of columnists and reviewers, photographers and female reporters, The WON engages its readers through a blog format and we invite you to talk to us. Thank you for reading!