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Quick Survival Tips

This is an excerpt from an article written several years ago for Prepare Magazine. These tips will, if nothing else, give you pause to think through your planning a bit more carefully when gearing up for different environments.

Tips for Urban Survival

1) Have a Get Home Bag: Keep it stocked with essential survival items to evacuate the city center

2) Have an Exit Strategy: Have a plan to exit the urban area and backup plans if those exits become impassable.

3) Think Like MacGyver: Think outside the box when using everyday items for uncommon tasks.

4) Don't attract attention: If you carry an obvious gear bag, people will desire to take it, making you a prime target of opportunity. Have your head on a swivel- meaning always be aware of your surroundings and the dynamic changes occurring.

5) Be ready to Fight: When panic hits the urban environment, people may react violently to secure what they need. Be prepared to defend yourself or remove any threats preventing your escape.

6) Follow your Instincts: Listen to your gut and do not get caught following the crowd.

7) Plan to Bug Out: Be prepared to Bug Out once you reach safety, crisis tends to spread, and regional evacuation may be required, act fast before it hits your front door.

Tips for Wilderness Survival

1) Have a Survival Kit: Knife, Saw, Multi-Tool, Shelter, Steel Canteen, Compass, Fire-starters with Ferro Rod, Bed Roll, Four 55gallon Drum Liners, and at least 100ft of cordage.

2) Think before you act: Think, Observe and Plan before taking action; it may mean the difference between wasting resources and possible injury.

3) Get Rest: Sleep is essential in a survival scenario; it allows your body to heal and your mind to remain sharp.

4) Camp Securely: Beef up your camp by making it less attractive to critters and potential invaders

5) Hydrate Often: Dehydration can sneak up on a person; drink regularly before you become thirsty

6) Fire Skills: When fire starters run out, natural material or perhaps primitive fire by friction may be required; know several ways to create fire with and without modern tools.

7) Build a Nest: The key to being comfortable in the woods is to nest, use at least 6-10” of material under you when you sit or lie down to maintain comfort and combat conduction.

8) Thermoregulate: Learn to heat and cool your busy and the physics of fire and shelter; your life may depend on it.

9) Keep your Wits: Stay positive and take things one day at a time to avoid becoming depressed and disillusioned.

10) Hunt: Find easy food at the water's edge; creeks, ponds, and rivers all provide accessible food resources with low-calorie output.

Jungle and Deep Wilderness Survival Tips

1) Learn to Navigate: In the jungle, you often cannot see more than a few feet at a time, so learn to navigate through heavy foliage and use terrain association to keep moving forward.

2) Keep your Clothes On: While the heat will sap your strength, they are necessary to protect you from environmental hazards such as the sun, plants, and insects.

3) Move swift but silent: Loud noise carries in the jungle, which alerts jaguars and other curious predators to your presence which may cause them to track you

4) Keep your feet dry: Constant rain, sweating, and water crossings will cause your feet to remain wet all the time, dry them often and rotate socks to prevent debilitating trench foot.

5) Keep hands to yourself: Grabbing nearby trees and plants as you trek up or down hills or while trailblazing can cause contact dermatitis, lead to being stuck by thorns, or being stung or bitten by an insect or animal, look before you touch.

6) Boil your water: Jungle water is dirty water, kill organisms by boiling

7) Protect Yourself: Mosquitoes will plague you, learn how to keep them at bay by using smoke from a fire and nets to protect against malaria and dengue fever.

8) Eat Plants: Learn the plants of the Jungle; they never run out and are a great source of food, medicine, and tools

9) Fire: Learn to make a fire in the rain and carry multiple ways to make a fire

10) Shelter: Sleep high to stay dry and keep off the jungle floor, but secure your bunk from predators

11) Embrace the Suck: It's always hot, wet, and humid in the jungle; embrace it; it’s not going to change. Stay positive.

Desert Survival

1) Whenever possible travel at night and rest in the day. Cooler evenings and star-lit skies provide a more hospitable environment to exert yourself traveling by foot. You'll avoid heat-related illness by traveling at night.

2) Dig holes: Water is often found deeper in the ground in dry places, within shaded bends of creek beds, and where green plants grow. Desert shelters are also cooler when dug into the earth, a 3ft deep trench to lay in with some shade created of browse will do wonders for creating a micro-climate to rest in.

3) Stay Covered: Keep your skin covered- you'll be less likely to get sunburned with long sleeve shirts and hats. Don't forget sunglasses or sun-goggles to protect your eyes from the reflecting of the sun off the sand.

4) Predators are lurking: Snakes, Scorpions, and the like lurk under rocks and branches. Be watchful as your travel and while making a shelter.

5) Use fire sparingly: Fire in the desert is best used for signaling, water purification, and cooking unless you're resting at night to stay warm. You'll rarely need if in the daytime hours.

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