As Green Monsters, we strive to be environmentally-conscientious. Perhaps by minimizing fossil fuel use, buying eco-friendly products, consuming locally grown, organic plant-based foods, and carefully considering daily decisions made at home, we are benefiting the environment. For more eco-friendly motivation, we might try to get closer to nature by taking a hiking/camping trip, kayaking or canoeing, riding a bike through a forest trail, etc.
But what would you do if nature was no longer just your escape from urbanized society? What if you found yourself completely stranded in a wilderness environment? Do you think you would survive? Although you might believe your cell phone, laptop, and iPod are basic living necessities, let’s be real. We know we really need water, food, and shelter, but are you truly prepared to survive on your own? Check out these 10 things you would need if you found yourself closer to nature than you ever expected to be!
1. Water Catchment/Filtration System
The average adult human body is made up of 60 percent water and therefore, replenishing water is crucial to survival. So, when you are out on your own without a sink, hose, or water bottle, find a piece of cloth, a hollow log or a piece of bamboo, or a plastic bag (you can sadly often find plastic anywhere) to use as your water filtration and collection devices. You might also choose to use a rag to collect morning dew from grasses. You can read about various methods of collecting water by clicking here. (If you knew there could be a chance of being stranded ahead of time, of course bring a reusable water bottle).
Duhh… we need food energy to keep our bodies running, so what are you going to eat and how are you going to find edible foods out in the wild? Be prepared to have a list and description of wild edible foods such as certain flowers and learn how to grow and re-grow plants that you find. If you anticipate being out in the wilderness, it would be wise to take along an ample supply of superfoods like maca powder, wheatgrass, and spirulina, as well as a sprouting kit in case you need to be able to sustain yourself for a while.
3. Dental Hygiene Device
That’s right, you need a toothbrush. We don’t care so much about your pretty smile when you’re out in the wilderness, but we do care about your hygiene and health. You can make a toothbrush by chewing on the ends of a small tree branch to create soft, moist bristles. You can also use pine needles as a method of brushing your teeth for a refreshing pine flavor.
4. Source of Heat and Light
Matches would be ideal in this case, since they are a quick and easy method for starting a fire, finding your way through darkness, keeping warm, making an emergency signal through smoke, burning off parasites such as ticks (yes, there are other methods, but when taking desperate measures…), etc. If you don’t have matches, sure … use the most cliché survival tactic in the book: find two sticks and rub them together.
5. Material to Keep Warm
Depending on where you find yourself stranded, staying warm could be very difficult, but it is essential for survival. Making sure you have warm, insulating clothing with you, including a heavy jacket and under layer, is ideal. If you don’t, get that fire going quick and hopefully you’ll have someone to cuddle with!
If you’re one who has a habit of carrying a knife in your pocket wherever you go, you’re on the right track to wilderness survival. A knife can be very useful for cutting branches and vines to build shelter, creating other survival tools, and preparing food or finding water sources (e.g. cutting through plants for moisture).
7. Natural Insect Repellent
Insects can be not only annoying as you are focusing on trying to survive, they could be decreasing your chances of survival due to spread of bacterial and parasitic diseases. Thus, having a natural insect repellent will be beneficial. Did you know something as simple as lemon juice could repel mosquitoes? Check out some other natural ways to keep yourself safe from itchy bites by clicking here.
8. Material to Build a Shelter
Rain, sun, snow, hail, wind, insects, maybe even lions, tigers, or bears … you’ll need shelter to protect you from a variety of natural environmental factors. There are many different ways you can create a shelter structure with natural materials depending on the environment you find yourself in.
9. Natural Self-Aid
If you injure yourself out on your own in a wilderness environment, you will be vulnerable to infection and illness. Learn how to create an all-natural first aid kit by reading this post!
Who knows … maybe you’ll enjoy wilderness life so much that you won’t want to return to urbanized society. But just in case, it might be wise to have a directional device to have a plan for your travels. We can survive in nature because we are a part of nature – just as long as we are prepared!
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