LIFE

How To Survive The First 72 Hours When Lost In The Woods

by Elyse Wanshel

Survival Tip #6: Make a plan.

Survival Tip #6: Make a plan.
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Figure out if you should try to get home or stay put until morning. “In making this all-important decision,” says New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, “Consider how much easier it is to gather firewood during daylight.”

If you do decide to stay the night, gather as much firewood as you think you need to last the night, then make 10 more piles just like it.

People who have had to stay overnight in the woods always say the amount of wood they actually needed to keep a fire going was surprising.

Survival Tip #7: Find water.

Survival Tip #7: Find water.
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Water is the most important thing, far more important than food.

According to Koester, “You can go over four weeks without eating – much longer than the average survival situation — so don’t waste energy looking for food unless it’s there for the picking.”

Water often flows downhill, so head that way if you’re in search.

If you come across a large puddle, you can purify the water by making a water still from a plastic bag. Watch the video below for a great tutorial on this.

Survival Tip #8: Find or make shelter.

Survival Tip #8: Find or make shelter.
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

When spending the night in the woods, one of the biggest risks you face is hypothermia, the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature.

The best way to avoid this is to find a shelter so you can keep dry and warm. “Find a location out of the wind, rain, or snow,” advises Koester.

Caves are a good bet but are seldom vacant. Other great options are rock outcroppings, deadfall trees, and large live pine trees.

Once you have found a location, try to stay put. “You are much easier to find by others if you stay in one place than when you move around.”

Survival Tip #9: Make rescuers aware of your location.

Survival Tip #9: Make rescuers aware of your location.
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Last but certainly not least, make rescuers aware of where you are.

“Make noise (blow a whistle, bang rocks together, shout), make your location visible from the air, use a signal mirror, or build a fire,” says Koester.

Three fires — either in a triangular shape or side by side — is a known international symbol for help.

After watching the important tutorial below, please SHARE this life-saving information with everyone you know!

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