Hiking is one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world.
Going out into the “great unknown” is an active escape you should always make time for! Finally, you can leave your world behind and enjoy the planet the way that you were meant to.
But a hiking trip can quickly turn into a dangerous situation, which is why it’s essential to be prepared. Don’t leave without packing some common sense and basic hiking survival skills.
Here are six to set alongside your first aid kit:
Best Hiking Survival Skills
1. The Skill of Alertness
Perhaps the most important skill you can hone is that of thinking clearly.
In a situation where fear can take over, use the adrenaline rush to come up with a survival solution. Although this may take practice or emergency drills, you can still learn to master the art of thinking quickly and efficiently in dangerous situations.
2. Leave Your Basic Itinerary With Someone at Home
Always have a backup plan.
If you plan to be gone for an extended period of time, it’s wise to give someone a general idea of where and for how long you plan to be hiking. That way, if anything does go wrong, someone else will know your itinerary and be able to alert others in case you may need rescuing.
If you need to stay in contact with others while traveling, it’s a good idea to pack a Universal World Travel Power Adapter. This model of USB adapter accepts two- or three-prong plug outlets from all over the world, and works with grounded or ungrounded devices.
3. Learn How to Build a Fire
Fires are essential for a number of things: for warmth, light and alerting rescue services in case you are stranded somewhere.
Did you know you can start your own fire by punching a lithium cell phone battery with a small, sharp knife? If you want to start a fire with twigs, make sure they are very dry, as damp ones will take extremely long to spark.
But in the event that you can’t get a fire started, the next best thing is to pack a headlight flashlight. You may use it when you’re reading at night during your camping adventure, or if you’re out hiking and run out of daylight. This recommended LED Flashlight is a good waterproof choice. Its light has a beam distance of up to 110 meters, so it can be used for both everyday and emergency situations.
4. How to Tie a Knot
Don’t take it for granted. Knot-tying may be one of the simplest survival skills you could learn today. Believe it or not, the right type of knot could save lives. There are both right and wrong ways to tie knots. Sailors, firefighters and castaways know that being aware of the difference could mean your very survival!
The top knots you should learn to tie are a figure-eight knot, a bow knot and a square knot. The great thing about this skill is that anyone can learn how to tie a knot in their spare time.
5. How to Set a Fractured Ankle or Wrist
Fractured bones must be dealt with carefully. If you see the bone protruding, don’t try to push it back to its location. Instead, just cover with a bandage and attempt to stop the bleeding. This can best be done by applying direct pressure with a cloth.
It is also important to prevent swelling. To do this, first remove any watches, rings or bracelets. Next, apply an ice pack in a cloth over the affected area — not directly on the skin. Until help comes, keep the ankle or wrist elevated above your heart level.
6. Know How to Source Water in the Wild
Another good survival skills to learn when going hiking is how to find a consumable water source.
If you think you may be in an area without potable water, pack some purifying tablets. These will come in handy and be a tiny but powerful lifesaver!
7. Learn How to Treat Insect Bites
There are some herbal remedies for insect bites. If you are in a tropical rain forest, try using the leaves of aloe vera plants to soothe irritating or infected bug bites. Otherwise, you can pack some mosquito repellent mixed with a tiny bit of coconut oil to ward off the critters.
If you are traveling with kids, some mosquito repellents aren’t that healthy for their skin. Try instead this deet-free, all-natural Citronella Mosquito Insect Repellent Bracelet. It’s great for all ages — kids, toddlers and adults alike. Its microfiber wristband is travel-friendly and easy to store in your hand bag or backpack. It is infused with natural oils such as citronella and eucalyptus, and can last up to 168 hours.
If you go out hiking, remember the typical places where mosquitoes and other biting insects lurk: in swamps, hunting and fishing grounds, and near lakes. Remember to pack well when planning for a trip, and source items you may use beforehand.
A general rule: Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!
Happy hiking and safe travels!