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
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“2. Unless You’re With Someone Else, Don’t Go
Never go into a wilderness area by yourself. Unavoidable accidents can and do happen.”
Pish Posh… If you want to get a SPOT to make it easier to find your corpse.. Well… Ok no need for others to be needlessly endangered or their days wasted looking for us because of our choices.. I agree to that.. but that’s as far as I go.
I have spent no small portion of my life making forays alone in the wild for periods brief and extended.
Could something unforeseen befall me?.. Yes…
More likely to die from a slip and fall after taking a shower.. More likely to die from Congestive Heart Failure.. More likely to die from some drunk driver.. More likely to die from any of a million myriad of other mundane and boring things..
Actually there is only one constant.. We are all going to die.. More likely to have died as a GI..
Most recently more likely to die from massive bilateral pulmonary emboli caused by some Moron Construction Crew who did not put signs out after putting fresh tar on a road causing an old dumb-ass to crash his Motorcycle..
My suggestion is to live like a Tiger.. and die like one.. Alone .. unafraid..
Then at your next duty station… after you complete in-processing.. Take a walk past that copse of trees just off to the side of Main Gate.. Just on the other side you will see Tents, a bunch of fellas.. and a few women.. with their Dogs, Rifles and Rucks. Depending upon the time of day.. they may just be sitting around a campfire.. either coming back from or about to head back out to do what they love best.. Some in groups to be sure but certainly a few to wander alone and free in the woods and fields of Heaven just as they did here on earth.