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The 8 Rules of Wilderness Survival

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by Pat McHugh

Wilderness survival isn't predictable enough for there to be “Do XYZ and you'll live”-type rules. But there are hard, fast rules for outdoor survival that should prevent you from winding up worse off.

1. Send Your Itinerary to Someone Else

Always leave a detailed itinerary of where you are going and when you plan to return with someone you trust. If you change your schedule for any reason, please be sure that tell someone of that change.

2. Unless You're With Someone Else, Don't Go

Never go into a wilderness area by yourself. Unavoidable accidents can and do happen.

3. Remember that Weather Can Change

Make sure that you take with you and wear the proper clothing. Remember the weather can and will most likely change.

4. Vacate your location? Never

If you do get lost or stranded, stay in one location. Rescuers will find you if you have followed rule No. 1.

5. Information is a Good Thing

Learn how to use a compass or a GPS, take a map of the area and orient yourself to the area before you trek off into any wilderness.

6. Very Important: Survival Kit

Always carry a personal survival kit with you at all times in the outdoors.  A survival kit in the hands of someone who does not know ahead of time what is in it, or if it is not with you on your person, or how to use the contents when and where needed can do more harm than good.  So take the preparation time at home to make and pack your own personal kit.  Also invest the time beforehand to understand the life saving use of every item in your personal survival kit.

7. Always Keep Your Cool

The greatest and most important of all survival tools is your brain.  If you should become lost, stranded or separated from others, keep your cool. The most important wilderness survival element is to not panic. You will survive.

8. Let Yourself Have Time to Plan

The time to think about survival isn't in a tight spot. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, prepare and pack for the worst. You're reading this article right now, and that's a good start.

Put these rules together and what do they spell? S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L

More Wilderness Survival Tips

These outdoors survival rules give a bird's eye view of survival. If you're ready to dig deep, check out Stay Alive! Survival Skills You Need by John D. McCann. Using full-color photos and thorough instructions for the  best shot at wilderness survival.

Click here to order Stay Alive! Survival Skills You Need for 40% off retail.

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