11 Outdoor skills that every adventurer should know

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just a beginner with an adventurous spirit, life-threatening situations in the wilderness can happen to anyone. Anyone can get lost in the wilderness. Anyone can be left without food or water, or be attacked by wild animals!

Don’t take this for granted. You never know what might happen to you: remember the movie 127 hours – when a mountain climber gets trapped in a canyon so he takes desperate measures to survive (drinking urine and even amputate his lower right arm to survive). If you haven't already mastered some of these skills, check our list of 11 outdoor skills that every adventurer should know. 

Don’t panic.

As we said before, bad situations in the wild can happen to anyone, even the most experienced adventurers. Whether you’re lost in the mountains, or a storm has destroyed your shelter, don’t panic. Being able to calm yourself is the first survival skill you have to learn. 

First of all – don’t think of a “worst-case scenario.” Even if your first reaction might be panic, try to breathe instead. Breathing is the number one and most effective technique for reducing anxiety. Exercise breathing techniques so you can calm yourself. In addition, if you start feeling anxious, stop moving and observe your surroundings. Take a deep breath and think of all possible solutions.

How to prepare your survival kit.

You should always carry a survival kit in your backpack just in case. While we can’t take everything with us we would potentially need, there are basic things that make a basic survival kit. Even a small amount of basic materials is something valuable comparing to nothing. Here are some of the most important items:

  • first aid kit
  • knife
  • water bottle
  • fishing line
  • scarf
  • compass or map
  • signal whistle
  • a needle and a thread
  • matches

How to dress properly

It is not the smartest thing to go into the wilderness in a dress or short shorts. Layered clothing is the main rule when it comes to clothes. Appropriate clothing can help you cope with extreme cold, rain, or heat.

Choose resilient fibers to manage moisture and body heat. You can also choose wool material for cold days as it warms the body easily and it’s antibacterial. In addition, whatever clothes you choose, make sure it is well-insulated.

How to use a map and compass

When you are an adventurer, the first and basic thing you need to know is how to use a compass and maps properly. There are many places on the planet where your cell phone will not have a signal or you will not have internet access. The simplest technique of orientation is triangulation, but there is more you can discover and learn before the trip. 

Also, you can use your surroundings for orientation. For example, you can use Sun or stars instead of a compass. The most accurate way to find the south in the Northern Hemisphere is to follow the North Star. If you are going north, west is on your left, and east on your right.

Photo by Nick Seagrave on Unsplash

How to find clean water

How to find clean water is one of the most valuable outdoor skills you should know. Although people usually bring enough water (a few bottles or more), it is useful to know how to find water in nature. One of the simplest ways is to collect rain. Also, animal tracks can lead to water.

But even if you manage to find water, you are not done yet. You need to filtrate water to avoid getting sick. There are water purifiers you can carry on the trip but you can also boil water to the boiling point to kill bacteria. And yes, it’s better to melt-boil snow before drinking it. 

How to find food in nature

Water is important, but a person also cannot survive long without food outside. Therefore, it is equally important to know how to find food in the wilderness. First, inspect your surroundings and see if there are any plants or trees with edible fruits. You can look for nut trees and berries, but make sure not to eat the poisonous ones. If you’re skillful enough, you can catch rabbits, squirrels, fish...

How to build a campfire

Not only adventurers, but all people should know how to build a campfire. Just with this skill, you will have a higher chance to stay alive in the wilderness. With fire, you can keep warm, cook, or scare animals in dangerous situations. 

How to make a shelter

One of the basic outdoor activities you can learn is how to make a shelter. A basic shelter can be made just with wood, tarp, and rope. Build the shelter by layering branches and putting leaves or straw above. But if it’s snowing outside, you should seek a cave to keep you warm or build a hole in the snow. If you’re interested in building shelters, there are many useful videos for beginners on YouTube that can help you.

How to make a bed 

Now that you have learned how to make a shelter, you also need to know how to make a bed. It is not enough to have success in getting rained on, but also you need to avoid going to sleep on wet ground. Just follow one simple rule: never sleep on the bare floor of the woods or ground.

Gather wood and arrange them as a bed. Then gather dry leaves or straw to make the softcover. You can always carry sleeping bags, picnic blankets, or other sleeping mats for more comfort. If you’re just camping, lying on the ground is not always comfortable even if the blanket is cozy.

Also, some people prefer to sit. AirChair is something you must try! AirChair is a lightweight and portable chair, made of air that is perfect for all picnics, all around the world. No electrical pump is required, as QuikFill AirChair inflates in seconds by capturing the air. This gadget is specially designed for providing maximum comfort and support and it’s made of durable nylon rip-stop fabric. You can use it later for reading a book in your backyard, at the beach, at concerts, or camping.

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Knowing First Aid

Simply said, basic first aid skills can save your life in the wilderness. Moreover, you can save someone else’s life! This skill is especially important if you like to spend time hiking and climbing. It’s not hard to learn how to handle minor injuries, treat cuts, burns, and broken bones. You can take affordable courses to learn how to deal with heat stroke or heart attack. In addition, this skill will not only help you outdoors but also in everyday life.

How to handle unexpected wildlife.

Unfortunately, it often happens that wild animals attack people, but it does not have to be fatal for them if they know how to defend themselves. Before you start a journey, explore and find out whether there are dangerous animal species in the area such as bears or venomous snakes.

For instance, if you are attacked by a brown bear you should first play dead, but if you’re attacked by a black bear you should defend yourself. According to National Geographic, if you’re camping in bear country, before going to bed, put in a bag everything that smells—food, deodorant, sunscreen, tampons, toothpaste…


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