The Basics of Outdoor Survival
Two-Hour Buddy Burner
Buddy-Burner.com was created with one purpose in mind...to inform and provide YOU with what is needed for basic outdoor survival. There are thousands upon thousands of different outdoor survival products, ranging from very primitive tools, to more advanced, and even technological devices. Here we focus on the basics: When we break it all down, there are only a few basic elements required for outdoor survival. The most important element to ensure survival is 'Heat'; with heat, you are able to cook, sterilize water, provide warmth, and with the heat from a fire, you also have a source of light when it's dark outside. The other two essential elements of survival are sustenance (food and water), and shelter. Buddy-Burner.com provides you with a source of 'Heat', as well as other tools which can greatly aid you in providing yourself with the other two elements of survival.
Remember, Survival of the Fittest....
I'm sure we've all heard that before. But what does it truly mean? We usually associate the word 'fit' with being muscular, or in good physical shape, but survival actually depends largely on the condition and ability of our minds, and not just our bodies. While being in shape is a very important aspect of survival, our knowledge of things is what will benefit us the most in staying alive. One example would be the ability to identify the snake in the picture to the right. Is it poisonous?, and if so, how potent is the venom? What's a safe distance to keep from being bitten? How common is the snake in the area you happen to be in? Having a knowledge of these things would greatly increase your survival rate during such an encounter.
Survival is all about using your Common Senses!
While having the proper tools and equipment is important, outdoor survival begins with using your body’s five senses: Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, and Smell.
1. Sight – This involves much more than just being able to see. Whether or not you find yourself in a survival situation, being able to observe your surroundings is crucial in making it through disasters and emergencies. Making mindful observations of your environment will help you be better prepared for when you’re faced with trying to survive. While outdoors, try to make mental notes of geographical landmarks, the different types of terrain you encounter, the location of the sun during the day and the stars at night, and even signs that wildlife might be near; by doing these things, you will reduce your chance of getting lost as well as avoid possible dangers.
2. Hearing – People, animals, running water, traffic (land or air), and changing weather all make their own distinct sounds. Learning to recognize and listen for these different sounds may mean the difference between life and death. Imagine mistaking passing cars on an unseen road for wind, and then wandering away from the road and potential rescue without even knowing it. If you are trying to survive with a group of people, remind everyone to talk softly and only when absolutely necessary-talking too frequently and loudly can mask sounds that could aid you in reaching safety or finding a food/water source.
3. Touch – In some instances, even through clothing or shoes, your skin can feel and distinguish terrain, substances, temperature, types of plant life, and if sensitive enough, can even feel when dangerous insects or arachnids (ticks, ants, spiders, etc.) are on you. Remember that in order to feel these things, your body must maintain its normal temperature, usually within plus or minus one degree of 98.6 degrees F. Your body is a natural insulator, and if it cools down or heats up too much, it can affect the skin’s sensory receptors responsible for touch, body position, temperature, and pain. Your body’s sense of touch is what alerts you to what feels comfortable and relaxing, and what feels painful and uncomfortable. In short, think of your sense of touch as a warning system to what your body needs to survive.
4. & 5. Taste and Smell - These two senses can work together to warn the body of possible danger and health hazards. It's very important to recognize certain odors in the air. For example, the first time you catch wind of a decomposing animal, you will never mistake that smell for something else. Some animals like to scavenge their next meal, so recognizing the smell of a dead, decomposing carcass may signal that there is a dangerous animal near by. Certain swamp lands also emit a certain odor. A good rule of thumb is to move away from any foul odors you may approach. Taste is beneficial in the sense that if you eat something that is rotten, moldy, or toxic, your taste buds can usually sense this; you will salivate, and then have a chance to spit the substance out, whatever it may be. It is a good idea, however, to only eat things you know to be unspoiled and having some sort of nutritious value.