What Would You Do?





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Published on Apr 13, 2012

What would you do if you found yourself all alone and lost in the forest. This instructional video will teach you how to build a shelter that could save your life. Using basic hand tools this shelter can provide a comfortable and safe place to dwell for many nights. Even if you find yourself lost without adequate clothing or a sleeping bag this emergency shelter will keep you warm and dry. This video is part one of a two part series
Plan ahead. Don't just trek off into the wilderness, do some research first. There are a lot of resources regarding survival, both online and in libraries, but warning: many of the techniques used in these manuals are sometimes wrong or incomplete. One of the most accurate books about this subject is "Bushcraft - Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival" by Mors Kochanski. Educate yourself about the flora and fauna of the area you are exploring. Knowledge of the local plants and animals can save your life! Also, see if you need any medication or injections.
Make sure someone knows where you are going every time you go into the wilderness, and how long you intend to be gone. That way someone will realize that you are missing, quickly alert rescuers, and be able to tell them where to start looking for you. Note: this is like a 'flight plan' which pilots file before leaving. Similarly, don't forget to call the person(s) you notified to tell them when you are back. Like "the boy who cried wolf" a false alarm wastes rescue resources and may be costly (some communities have begun to bill the parties responsible). Be prepared. Basic survival tools such as a knife, a fire steel (metal match), some matches, some cord (550 paracord is best), a whistle, a "space blanket", signaling mirror,water purifying tablets etc. can mean the difference between life and death. Even if you are only out on a day hike, be sure to bring the essentials. Having all this equipment is nothing if you cannot use it properly. Make sure to practice many times in a safe environment before venturing into the wilderness. Also, know how to catch and cook fish and game if the need arises. Cell phone with spare battery or a portable CB radio can be your best, quickest means of rescue if you are truly lost or injured. A cell signal may only be obtainable from a hill or tree - but be safe if contemplating a climb. Serious hikers may even consider investing in a personal locator beacon such as the spot messenger for extended, precarious, or very remote, treks. Don't panic. Panic is more dangerous than almost anything else, because it interferes with the operation of your single best, most useful and versatile survival tool: your mind. The moment you realize that you are lost, before you do anything else, stop. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Even if you're hanging from a rope halfway down a mountainside with a broken leg, remind yourself that people have survived exactly this situation. Stand still and look around carefully! Wherever you are will become your "point zero." Find a way to mark it using a spare piece of clothing, a pile of rocks, a sheet of paper, or anything else easily visible from a distance. Stay in one place, and you not only increase your chances of being found, you also increase your ability to survive by reducing the energy your body expends and the amount of water and food you will need. Hunker down and stay put. Chances are that someone will be looking for you, especially if you let someone know your plans. Signal your location to maximize the odds that someone finds you. Make noise by whistling, shouting, singing, or banging rocks together. If you can, mark your location in such a way that it's visible from the air. If you're in a mountain meadow, make three piles of dark leaves or branches in a triangle. In sandy areas, make a large triangle in the sand. In a forest, you might want to prepare three small fires ready to ignite at a moment's notice, with heaps of wet leaves nearby in order to make smoke. Three of anything in the wilderness is a standard distress signal. The space blanket can also be used as a signaling device. Start scouting your area, carefully keeping track of your location. Be sure you can always find your way back to your "point zero" as you search for water, shelter, or your way home.

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