If you are out there in the wild, be it a desert, forest, or a mountain, enjoying some fresh air and scenic view and suddenly something unexpected happens, will you take action, or panic? Panic would make you overwhelmed and frozen by fear and therefore you should do whatever you can to avoid it. The best trick to avoid panicking is to take action and to do that you should be well prepared for various circumstances.
Let’s discuss some of the common dangerous scenarios that you can face in the wild and some tips on how to avoid them.
- Poisonous plants
A very dangerous and life threatening scenario that plays out in the wild is interaction with poisonous plants. If you realize that you just walked through poison oak or poison ivy or any other three leaf plant and have developed bumps or rash on your skin, you need to take immediate action. If you can find gum weed nearby, pick it, crush it and apply it on the spot that came into contact with your skin. Then immediately wash your skin with a grease cutting soap and apply a compress of either witch hazel or coffee. Your skin will burn and itch due to the poison but you need to make sure that you don’t itch as it can make your wound worse. Moreover, watch your steps and there might be more such plants in the area.
- Hazardous weather
While on your trip you need to be aware of the weather forecast for next 24 hours and be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions. Just because the forecast says the weather will be sunny, doesn’t mean it won’t change. Imagine you are out on your trip and suddenly the sunny weather starts to get cloudy and dark and you hear a BOOM of the thunder. The next thing you see is lightning everywhere, are you prepared for it?
When faced with extreme temperature, you need to have access to a dry shelter where you can stay warm. That typically means a sleeping bag or a tent which is graded for the correct temperature. Apart from that you need to be aware of what the ongoing weather signals, and to do that you need to be prepared with a weather radio or smartphone with signal.
- Getting injured
Getting injured by slipping on a wet spot or trip over something is probably the worst scenario you can face if you are alone in the wild. Try to avoid slippery, rocky or any other surface your instinct senses as dangerous. Keep a basic first aid kit handy with you to treat your injury. Use some sticks and medical wraps to fasten a splinter. After treating your injury follow these five steps: signal for help, stay warm, build a fire, find shelter and stay in one spot.
- Encountering a wild animal
If you encounter a wild animal, both you and the animal will face the instinct of fight or flight. Begin to back slowly in the opposite direction and don’t make any sudden or sharp moves. Get near your gear and take out a weapon to protect you, maybe pepper spray or a sharp object. Animal aspect of dealing with animal encounter is to avoid going in animal traffic zones and avoid throwing food and garbage near your sleeping space.
- Getting lost
The best way to deal with being lost is to prepare to survive in the wild. If you know you can live there, you won’t panic and take steps to survive and be discovered. Follow the 5 steps mentioned previously: signal for help, stay warm, build a fire, find shelter and stay in one spot. Carry survival kits that contain water, food, first aid kit, flashlight, flares, knife, emergency blanket, mobile phones. Mark your location where ever you go.
The key to survival from almost every dangerous scenario in the wild is to be prepared on how you deal with them, and being prepared often means being fully equipped. Please ensure that you are adequately equipped before your next excursion in the wild.