How To Survive For Three Days In The Wilderness

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Field & Stream.

Even seasoned outdoorsmen are not immune to woods shock-the fear that accompanies spatial disorientation. You have to control the urge to panic and maintain some sense of inner peace. People who are lost progress from confusion to denial. They bend their mental map of where they think they are until it conforms to visible landmarks or their compass needle, and then they carry forward until they finally wake up to what their senses are trying to tell them that they’re lost. This is when panic hits. If you can recognize the sequence, you and a better chance of resisting the impulse to take those next potentially fatal steps.

Stop walking and establish a home base. If daylight permits, you can make forays to try to find a vantage, but mark a trail for your return. If you can’t regain your bearings after short walks in several directions, return to your home base and make camp, preferably in a lee with an overhead canopy.

I think this is the most important advice.  The other parts (about waiting for rescue) are debatable.

In fact, I wouldn’t even begin forays from home base.  If you’re lost and you know it, stop.  Set up camp.

Build a debris hut, lean to, or some sort of survival shelter, and begin collecting deadfall for firewood.

Better yet, it may end up being a wet night and you may die from exposure.  I’ve always recommended at least the following (even on a day hike): rubberized poncho, 550 cordage, flashlight, fire starter, large knife (or hatchet), pistol, parka, energy bars and potable water.

Water and food keep you alive and give you energy.  The poncho and paracord give you shelter from the rain.  The parka keeps you warm, the knife or hatchet gives you the ability to cut wood, and the fire starter prevents you from having to make fire by primitive means (or fail to do that because of dampness).  The pistol is for predators.

With these simple preparations, your chances of survival go up exponentially.  If you really want to be prepared, a cup for boiling water would be the final step in your preparations.


Comments

  1. On January 11, 2021 at 5:49 am, Ron said:

    Minimum survival gear pack includes:
    a nalogen shaped like a military canteen
    canteen cup
    Canteen cup stove
    trioxin fuel tablets
    water purification tablets
    this all fits in a military canteen cover.
    A Sawyer mini filter and a bottle of water (to use first to drink, then because scooping water in those silly mylar bags Sawyer gives you is next impossible, you fill the bottle with dirty water, screw the filter on top of it and you can squeeze it and refill your canteen with clean water).

    The canteen cup on the canteen stove lets you heat water for either rehydrating food or bathing your sore feet or making coffee.

    Now add the big knife / hatchet, poncho, emergency blanket, 550 cord, matches, magnesium fire starter, some kind of energy bars or compact food and you can make it in relative comfort.
    You can be dry, you can have a reflective shelter to throw heat back on you from the fire that you can build, you’re not wandering around making it harder for someone to find you.

    And at least a handgun.

    Only an idiot wanders around without some means of protecting himself.
    If you’re in country where there are sizable predators to worry about, carry a carbine, or a large enough bore pistol that you can defend yourself.

    Of course this includes two-legged predators.

    My personal favorite is my little charter arms Pitbull in 44 special.
    Two rounds of CCI number four varmint shot, 3 210gr semi wide cutter solids.
    I’m good for Mr No-Legs, Mr Two-Legs or Mr Four-Legs.

    The weight is minimal, it rides high on my belt on a bianchi thumb break holster and I hardly know it’s there

    Except for the piece of mind.

  2. On January 11, 2021 at 5:51 am, Ron said:

    And I’m going to add that I apologize for any poor grammar or typos in that previous post, I just got off a 12-hour night shift and I’m a little blurry and I’m voice texting this in my phone.

  3. On January 11, 2021 at 10:20 am, JB said:

    Ron just proved that even in the best conditions one can become foggey brained and blurry eyed after a long night of work in the best conditions. Now consider becomming lost and undergoing sleepless nights in the cold wet wilderness with strange noises keeping you up throughout the night.

  4. On January 11, 2021 at 11:43 am, Fred said:

    AF rule of 3’s.

  5. On January 11, 2021 at 8:08 pm, Phil McCracken said:

    FWIW- I fasted this weekend. It’s not easy to deny yourself food for 3 days. It sucks. But I think it’s a healthy thing to do occasionally and it’s a useful lesson for yourself. Westerners aren’t used to not eating.

    I keep a LBE kit with Fox Outdoors large buttpack in the truck at all times for the unexpected. It’s the same one I take hiking and camping. It’s got everything for a couple days in it. Water filter, 2 steel bottles +folding cup, some power bars and jerky, med kit, esbit stove, spare socks, space blanket, whistle and compass, 9mm, knife, light, etc. It’s handy without being too bulky and I can add a 3 day backpack if necessary. It’s proven its value many times.

  6. On January 11, 2021 at 9:07 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Phil,

    Ah. I left out Mylar blanket and med kit. Wrote too quickly.

  7. On January 12, 2021 at 6:09 am, anonymous said:

    For my kit, a hammock to sleep above the ground is a requirement if not for just peace of mind. Many biting insects and poisonous snakes about, sleeping above is much easier.

    My water kit does not include a filter – instead, tranporation bags to gain water from branches are used instead. Very very few ground water sources here unless recent rains occurred so a water filter is hardly needed.

    A high visibility handkerchief is also recommended. Can be tied to long branch and extended above the tree canopy for distance visibility.

    And lastly – one of the UV Paqlite glow in dark products. Charged by ANY light source (including flashlight) for constant soft light that does not destroy night vision.

  8. On January 12, 2021 at 8:31 am, Phil McCracken said:

    Walmart sells a little steel cup with folding handles I like. It mates perfectly with a steel Ozark Trail water bottle they sell. And both those will fit in a no-name molle water bottle pouch you can find on ebay and amazon for about $8. The pouch has a little pocket on the side you can fit some odds and ends in, such as purifier pills, mini-power bar, etc.

  9. On January 12, 2021 at 6:25 pm, BoyDownTheLane said:

    Consider keeping these items in your vehicle too; you could break down on a desolate highway traveling through a very rural area. Suggested reading on the topic: “Deep Survival” by Gonzalez.

  10. On January 13, 2021 at 10:31 am, Levi Garrett said:

    @BoyDownTheLane,
    That’s where the idea of a “Get-Home-Bag” comes into play. Good reminder.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "How To Survive For Three Days In The Wilderness", entry #26675 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Survival and was published January 10th, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (35)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (21)
Ammunition (131)
Animals (90)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (259)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (78)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (6)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (108)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (22)
Body Armor (20)
Books (3)
Border War (11)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (3)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (14)
Christmas (12)
CIA (28)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (216)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (161)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (4)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (26)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (32)
Featured (184)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,279)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (43)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,289)
Guns (1,780)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (30)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (92)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (170)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (95)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (4)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (263)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (58)
Medical (55)
Memorial Day (5)
Mexican Cartels (35)
Mexico (50)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (22)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (72)
NATO (15)
Navy (22)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (57)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (65)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (506)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (874)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (210)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (30)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (372)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (21)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (22)
Survival (40)
SWAT Raids (55)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (2)
Tactical Gear (6)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (17)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (10)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (22)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (3)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (56)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (303)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (71)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2021 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.