Survival Tips for the Great Outdoors

adirondacksNo matter how much you enjoy your job and the city, the human mind and body sometimes needs a break from all the hustle and bustle.  So even if you consider yourself a true city-dweller, it can sometimes be a good idea to get out into the woods.

While our minds and bodies have adapted amazingly well to the changes our world has undergone over the last 50 years, on the evolutionary timeline, this short amount of time is totally insignificant.  We are able to live in the fast-paced world of cities because of our unique ability to adapt.  But just because you’ve adapted doesn’t mean your thriving.

Every once in a while you need to take a break.  Get out.  Breath some fresh mountain air.  Enjoy silence for a change.

But before you go charging off into the wilderness, there are a few items you should consider taking with you.

Survival Tools

Even if you’re only going for a day-hike, having the basics of survival gear is a good idea.  You never know what you’re going to run into along the trail.  For this reason having a basic survival knife is a great idea.  Most people think of knives as some sort of weapon, and of course they can be.  But they are also immensely powerful tools.

Knives can be used to cut wood, light a fire, cut food, dig a fire pit and much much more.  It’s obviously not the kind of thing that’s going to help you in a bear attack, but it can help you cut down small tree to use as a makeshift crutch if you twist your ankle.

Keeping your knife sharp is also important.  For that reason, you should carry some sort of knife sharpener.  This is especially helpful if you’re in the woods for days at a time.  The best knife sharpening system is one that allows you to repair, sharpen, and hone a variety of blades.  One particular website that does a good job explaining this whole procedure is MAL Knives.

Water Water Water

The human body can go for days and even weeks without food.  But it can only go 36-48 hours without water.  Water is essential to just about every function within our bodies.

Therefore, having clean water supply is a must.  There are any number of tablets you can add to water to make it drinkable.  There are also devices such as the Lifestraw that filter out microbes that are harmful, allowing you to drink directly from rivers and streams.

High Energy Food Source

For decades we’ve been taught that carbohydrates are the key to energy.  But as far as energy goes, fat contains twice as much as both carbohydrate and proteins.  For that reason, many outdoor enthusiasts are starting to turn to higher fat food sources when they are in the woods.

Saturated fats in particular (mostly from animal sources) are stable at even warmer temperatures.  While it may sound counter-intuitive, something like a paleo cookie can be a great fuel source when backpacking.  Check out gourmet-paleo.com for a wide selection of cookies that are perfect for a trip into the wilderness.  Low in carbs and high in natural fats, they’ll satiate your hunger, and give you long lasting energy.

While these tools are probably not necessary for a hike through Central Park, if you’re heading out into the woods they can be extremely handy, and maybe even save your life.  Yes, even the cookies! 🙂