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11 Wilderness Survival Tips That Could Save Your Life in Critical Situations

Learning self-defense techniques or creating a Medical ID on your iPhone are all things you hope to never have to use; however, it provides you with peace of mind to be prepared. Many of us love to hike or enjoy the beauty of nature and being prepared for any emergency with wilderness survival tips is just as important.

With an estimated 50,000 search and rescue missions every year, it’s a fact that thousands of people get lost in the woods. Learning wilderness survival tips to help you find shelter, staying hydrated, or building a fire can mean the difference between life or death. Here are 11 wilderness survival tips to help you survive being lost in the woods.

1) How to tell a non-venomous bite from a venomous one.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - How to tell a non-venomous bite from a venomous one.
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Not all snake bites are the same but knowing which ones are dangerous can prevent panic attacks. Here are 3 ways to identify a venomous snake vs a non-venomous snake:

  • Eyes: Non-poisonous snakes have round pupils but poisonous snakes have eyes with elongated pupils that look similar to cat pupils.
  • Body scales: Non-poisonous snakes will have a double row of scales that seem to overlap each other while poisonous snakes will have a single row.
  • Bite marks: Non-poisonous snakes will leave a double set of teeth marks while a poisonous snake bite will start with 2 distinctive holes.

2) Stuff your clothes with branches and grass to help stay warm.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Stuff your clothes with branches and grass to help stay warm.
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Leaves, grass, and tiny branches act as insulation and can help you stay warm when the temperature drops in the evening.

3) Make a DIY leaf compass with water, a leaf, and a needle.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Make a DIY leaf compass with water, a leaf, and a needle.
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You’re probably aware that it’s easy to walk around in circles in a forest without realizing it. Help stay on course with a makeshift compass. Simply place a leaf in a glass of water. Then, magnetize the end of a pin or needle by rubbing it onto your clothes repeatedly for about a minute (or at least 100 times) and carefully place the threading needle atop the leaf. The magnetized end will point north.

4) Scrape plastic from a guitar pick to help start a fire quickly.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Scrape plastic from a guitar pick to help start a fire quickly.
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Playing guitar around a campfire is a camping ritual for many people. If you have guitar picks, they contain cellulose which burns easily and can help start a fire quickly.

5) To stop any bleeding, use a tampon.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - To stop any bleeding, use a tampon.
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Tampons are sterile which makes them perfect to help stop bleeding or use as a makeshift bandage.

6) Protect scratches from infection by applying ChapStick lip balm.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Protect scratches from infection by applying ChapStick lip balm.
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Being in the woods increases the chances of cuts getting infected. Help seal cuts and scrapes by applying lip balm.

7) Soothe insect bites with a dab of toothpaste.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Soothe insect bites with a dab of toothpaste.
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Most toothpaste brands contain menthol which helps soothe insect bites and reduce itching. Toothpaste also contains anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness and swelling. This and other toothpaste hacks prove toothpaste does more than just clean teeth.

8) Burn herbs to help drive away mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Burn herbs to help drive away mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
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Insect and even animals hate the smell of burning herbs. Throw some sprigs of thyme, mint, or lavender on a campfire to keep away mosquitos and other insects.

9) To help start a fire, light a wax crayon.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - To help start a fire, light a wax crayon.
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Wax crayons can be used as a candle and burn as much as 30 minutes! Because it contains combustible material, it can also be used to easily start a fire in combination with small dry branches and twigs.

10) Filter dirty water using a t-shirt.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Filter dirty water using a t-shirt.
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Your body needs water to survive and getting fresh water, even a little in survival situations. All you need is two containers and a t-shirt or other clean fabric. Place the container of dirty water elevated above another container and place the t-shirt so that both ends are at the bottom of both buckets. You’ll start to get clean water within an hour but as a precaution, it’s best to boil it first.

11) And the last wilderness survival tip: Place dry branches in an egg carton to light a fire quickly.

11 Wilderness Survival Tips - Place dry branches in an egg carton to light a fire quickly.
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If you have empty egg cartons or even a cardboard box, it will help start a fire even in windy conditions. Place dry twigs and branches in the egg carton before lighting it.

H/t: Bright Side

Again, I hope nobody has to use these wilderness survival tips but knowledge is power, even in the woods. Please share these helpful wilderness survival tips with your friends and family.

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