Hunting is an exciting sport, but when things go south and don’t go as planned, having a set of survival skills is essential.
While most hunters are highly experienced and proficient in tracking, harvesting, and field dressing animals, many of these sportsmen do not have the knowledge it takes to survive in the wilderness without their belongings to help them along the way. Thankfully, we’re here to fill in the gaps and teach you how to survive should the worst happen.
Mastering the simple survival skills below could be the difference between life and death.
What Survival Skills Does Every Hunter Need?
Find Drinkable Water
Clean drinking water is critical to your survival. While a person can survive weeks without food, a few days without water, and your chances of leaving the mountain alive are grim. Unfortunately, not all water found on the mountain is safe to drink. Drinking water from lakes and streams means running the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria or parasites. Err on the side of caution and boil any water you find to kill any pathogens before partaking.
Start a Fire
Knowing how to start a fire is a skill every hunter needs to know. In addition to staying warm and sterilizing water, the smoke that comes from the fire might aid anyone trying to find you. Every hunter should always pack a lighter, matches, and fire steel. Find a safe clearing to start your fire, and remember to begin with small dry pieces of tinder to start your fire and slowly work up to bigger pieces. After your fire gets going, you can add larger, wetter wood to get a slower, longer-lasting burn. Don’t forget to gather all the wood you’ll need before beginning.
Day or Night Navigation
If you find yourself off the hunting trail or without GPS, it is essential to know how to find your way back to civilization. Of course, during the day, you have a constant you can rely on — the sun. This will come in handy if you have a general lay of the land, and you can lead yourself back to a road or trail. Unfortunately, the moon isn’t as reliable. Instead, learn about stars and which are consistently in the sky. Ideally, though, you’ll do most of your hiking during the day. It’s best to avoid trekking at night for a couple of reasons: you’re more likely to get further lost, and many predators come out during these hours.
As the sun is getting ready to set, quit hiking and build a shelter. As you look for a place to spend the night, keep in mind you want to stay elevated and dry. Avoid sleeping directly on the ground since it will quickly absorb your body heat. Gather small debris such as leaves, moss, twigs, and pine needles to create a buffer from the ground and create a more comfortable place to rest. Protect yourself from frost, rain, and dew by building a roof. Find a rock wall or fallen log where you can build a lean-to with other fallen branches. The smaller, the better when it comes to making shelters — you’ll stay much warmer.
Book Your Next Hunt with R & K Hunting Company
If you want to learn more hunting tips and tricks from the pros like these essential survival skills, book your next hunt with R & K Hunting Company.
Our knowledgeable guides have years of experience and practice on and off the mountain and want to take you on a hunt you’ll remember forever. Planning a hunting trip can be exhausting and stressful, but when you book with us, we take the headache out of the entire process. Enjoy your next hunt in Utah or Wyoming with R & K Hunting Company today.