How to Survive in the Wilderness: Basic Skills Mastery

Do you want to know how to survive in the wilderness? Learning and mastering the art of survival is one of the most important life skills anyone should possess. Online, however, you might be overwhelmed with the plenty of information supplied on this matter. And with that, you might be confused on how and where to start when trying to figure out ways on how to survive (and thrive) in the wild! Keep reading and learn the basic skills you will need.


Nourishment is another department to master if you want to survive in the wilderness. You need it for nourishment and energy. For tips, see the following for ways on how to look for food when in the wild.


You need to carve a knife for this task. A primal technique to make a knife is by using a wood block and hitting it with a rock until it sharpens. You can also break off some of the wood’s edges, and then use another piece of rock and some water as a wet stone.

Fishing is the first hunting option that you may want to use if you want to look for food while in the wild. Look for streams, which can be teeming with food, including mussels. But if you don’t succeed at fishing, you can look for other sources of food, such as plants and flowers, like dandelions or sour grass.


This method is another popular technique on how to survive in the wilderness if you cannot go out hunting. Just make use of sticks and arrange them like a teepee. Two more sticks can be used to hold it up. Place an item, which you think is a good trap for your choice animal that can be trapped inside it.

For larger animals, you should use pitfall traps. You can make one by digging a hole of about three meters deep but it will depend on the size of the prey. When done, you can place two crisscrossed thin branches across the hole you dug before covering it with leaves. You can also put peanut butter, raw meat or berries, or anything that the target prey wants to eat.

Other food survival skills in the wilderness

Make sure that you will be able to identify the plant, which you want to consume. As a tip, you may want to check on guides online from survival experts because some plants are hard to identify.

Some edible plants also have their poisonous counterparts and look exactly alike. The very basic rule of thumb is to avoid plants that you cannot identify for your safety.

Look for food in the most natural environments, which are teeming with plenty of foods items to nourish and help meet your nutritional needs. A common reality for the people faced in a survival situation is PLANTS aside from small game and insects. A few plants to consider include,

  • Cattail
  • Conifer
  • Grasses
  • Oak


Our bodies are made up of at least 75% water. It comes as no surprise that we need it for survival. Humans can survive at most three days without water.

Ideally, you must drink at least eight glasses of water daily, or else you might not make it in the wilderness.

Dehydration is one of the reasons people die in the wild. Health problems, including dry tongue and burning throat are only two dehydration signs to watch out for to prevent it from happening by looking for water sources where you are.

For some who can source water in the woods, for instance, they find it challenging to look for clean water and eliminate the pathogens, which lead to disease.

Disease often results from untreated water. Other water problems arise from chemical loaded water coming from agricultural and industrial operations.

In the first few days, you should look for water sources, and in the wild, the best sources of clean drinking water are headwater streams and springs. Some people also collect morning dew from plants with a plastic wrap. You can also look for a pond and consider digging a hole that is deep enough in order to collect water.

Other popular methods used for treating or purifying water can include chemical treatments with iodine or using filtering pumps. On the other hand, there are also herbal treatments used to make water clean and free from any bacteria or viruses. For one, there is the grapefruit seed extract sold as a water purifier.

But then again, if you don’t have access to these items, the very basic way of sanitizing water is through boiling, which must be done by up to three minutes or more to kill any pathogens or bacteria.


You need it to survive in the wilderness, one of the most important of all survival skills. Fire can keep your shelter and body warm, boil your water and warm your body. Obviously, it can help you prepare food as well.  This survival skill is also essential for safety and security reasons.

As what to remember regarding survival skills in the wilderness, you must prepare and carry different fire tools, such as steel, matches, flint and lighter, and toss them into your survival bag.

However, it can still be a challenge to start a fire when in the wild even with these implements. That is why you should also learn how to start one especially in the inclement weather. You need good fire building skills, which can vary based on the environment or situation to which you will be exposed.

Also, without the implements or fire starting tools, you will be faced with another problem.

Friction is one of the best techniques in building fire in the wilderness. It is the basic of all that has been used for ages, dating back to the time of our ancestors.

A few techniques under the category include hand drill, bow drill, fire saw and fire plow. Overall, you must learn different techniques of making fire according to the situation and weather conditions.


Direct exposure to outside elements is one of the biggest challenges faced by individuals who are forced to be in direct contact into a major survival emergency or situation.

Some people find it hard to learn how to cope up with extreme temperature outside and worry about hypothermia – which can be dangerous and fatal at the same time.

You can avoid it easily by learning the basics of shelter in the wilderness.

For one, learn how to build an ideal shelter based on where you are trying to survive. By doing so, you will be able to minimize or prevent heat and water loss – especially when exposed to high temperatures. See the following for what you need to know about shelter considerations.

  • Location must be near survival materials, such as wood, but away from hazards, such as chemicals, falling trees and debris and other hazardous elements.
  • There must also be insulation from the wind, air, ground and rain.
  • The shelter to build must also be near a neat source.
  • Will it be a personal or group shelter to decide on its size?

Several types of shelters can be considered. If natural shelters, including hollow stumps or caves, are available, then you might want to consider it. Alternatively, you can build a shelter, such as a scout pit, debris tipi, debris hut or snow shelter. But in almost any environment, the debris hut is the most realistic choice for many.

Naturalist and Survivalist Skills

Know as much as you can about nature – it is the very basic survival technique you need to master to keep yourself safe in the wildest of environments, which do not often contain those conveniences you can get from a modern and technologically connected world.

The better you will be able to survive the wild by knowing nature deeper, so have an in depth understanding of it beyond the basic skills you need.

For one, when learning how to hunt for game in the wild, you should possess the necessary wildlife tracking skills, which will help you look for wild game. You also have to know about herbal medicine that you will need to heal any illness you might get when in the wild.

Naturalist knowledge, nevertheless, is one of the basics to master if you’re looking to survive longer in the wilderness.

Also, you may want basic natural science knowledge, including on ecology, botany, geology and other fields. For help, you may want to buy relevant animal and plant guides applicable for your region because they resources can help you identify the different species and ways they may be useful for your survival when the time comes you need to adapt in the wild.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to survive in the wilderness, you will be able to adapt in the new and strange environment that your body, mind and soul are not used to. Most importantly, learning these life skills for survival and providing yourself with food, fire, shelter and water, among other essentials will help you better cope up with the new challenge and ensure that you will live in the wild today!

Show Comments

No Responses Yet

Leave a Reply