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Top 4 skills to master that could save your life

Written by Fiona

December 20 2019

Knowing how to find water in the wilderness, build a fire, read a map and create a shelter are the four skills you need to master if you are serious about trekking and finding adventure. If you are confident in these skills, it will allow you to push yourself to new limits. Armed with these life-saving skills, you can venture off the beaten track and find solitude in nature. 

Additionally, you will be able to cut down on what you carry, as you will be able to survive largely from what you find in nature. This also allows you to connect to nature on a deeper level. Only when you are using your natural surroundings for your survival, will you truly find escape from the modern world. 

These skills will also help you to build confidence and self-esteem as you are well armed in the knowledge that you are prepared for whatever life throws at you.    

Build a shelter

You should always be prepared to find shelter quickly if you ever need to. If your body temperature were to drop while you were out in the wilds, it could seriously harm your chances of survival. The type of shelter you will be able to create depends on your surroundings and so you need to have a good skill base that can be adapted to your environment. 

It is a good idea to take a basic tarp, bivvy bag or lightweight tent when you head off for a backpacking trip.

Find water

While humans can survive for around three weeks without food, you can die from dehydration in just three days. Therefore, knowing how to find water and sterilise it is a priority. A water filter is a great idea for longer trips when you can’t carry all the water you will need.

Build a fire

Fire has been an important part of human history. It has allowed us to eat a wider variety of foods, kept us active at night, protect us from other animals and insects, and kept us warm in the harshest of weather. Without it, it is unlikely we would not have been able to climb our way to the top of the food chain. 

The ability to build, maintain and put out a fire has clear benefits. As well as providing food, light, warmth and protection, you can also use it to sterilise water and equipment, dry your clothes and create a far-reaching signal for help if you ever need to. 

If you do not have a camping stove with you, or you run out of gas, then a fire could be life saving.

Read a map

We all tend to rely on our GPS devices these days. They are a fantastic tool, however they should not be relied on entirely. You never know when a device may be no longer able to detect where you are, or it could break or lose battery. It is important that you know where you are and where you need to go by using a map and compass.

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