Basic Survival Skills Every Boy Scout Must Know
To be worthy of the name Boy Scout, you should have the necessary knowledge and the basic skills required to survive in the wild. Practicing safety at all times is important, but it is also just as important to be prepared when possible danger or disaster strikes, not that we are asking for any of that. Survive the wilderness with these important survival skills that every boy scout must know. There are seven elements that you must remember to prioritize in order to survive in the wild: water, heat, shelter, food, first aid, navigate, and rescue.
- Finding and Purifying Water:
Remember the ‘Rule of Threes’: you can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, and three hours without maintaining your core body temperature (which may also mean heat and shelter). Water is one of your top priorities during emergency situations in the wild. Dehydration is something you do not ever want to happen because as you lose water in you body, will also lose energy and enough oxygen, resulting to nausea, exhaustion, and collapse. The survival skill of finding a clean water source and knowing how to purify it can actually be a matter of life and death.
- Building a Fire:
Building a fire is a survival skill that is just as vital as securing a clean water source. Fire provides your body with heat and may also be used to boil water and cook food. Fire can also keep the wild animals at bay during night and may be used as signal for rescue. Aside from dehydration, hypothermia is also a no-no. It occurs when the core body temperature of the body drops due to low temperatures and can be worsen by damped clothing.
- Build a Shelter:
A shelter will provide you with protection from the harsh elements of the wilderness. Knowing how to build a shelter is a survival skill that will protect you from the cold or extremely hot temperatures, strong winds, rain and dampness, and from exposure to wild predators.
- Look for Food:
Food will give you the nourishment and energy that you will need to survive in the wild. Surviving requires doing a lot of activities such as walking long distances, carrying your gear, building shelters, scouring for water, and more. Not being starved, you are able to think clearly and make better decisions in the wild.
- First Aid Skills:
In the wilderness, you are more prone to accidents and injuries. It is bad enough that injuries occur but what will make matters worse is if you do not know how to heal these injuries or provide first aid to others. It may be a minor injury such as a sprained ankle but it will be such an inconvenience and may even hinder your chances of surviving. So, it is very important to know and practice on your first aid skills.
- Know how to Navigate:
By learning this survival skill, you can be confident that you will be able to navigate the area that you are exploring. Gather as much information of the area first and learn how to use navigation tools such as maps, compasses, and natural markers. A lot of people who venture into the wild get lost and that is usually when a lot of disaster can sprang up. Be sure to stick with your team because what is worse than getting lost is getting lost on your own.
- Signal for Rescue:
When things go from worse to worst, be prepared to ask for rescue. Signal for rescue by drawing attention to yourself and to your location. Make sure that your signals can contrast the environment (like wearing bright colored clothes instead of earthy tones) and that it is clear that a human has made the signal and not part of the wilderness (shout ‘help’ instead of mimicking animal sounds).
Bonus: Naturalist Skills:
Another useful survival skill is having a good stock knowledge of nature. This knowledge will help you tons and tons in surviving the wild – you may be able to identify plants that are medicinal or are okay for eating, know animal behaviors during day and night, recognize natural markers for navigation, and more. Knowledge of the natural sciences can be very advantageous for you in the wild.