interesting survival tips

14 Interesting Survival Tips for Thriving in the Wild

Welcome, aspiring survivalists! You’ve landed on the right page to learn interesting survival tips to help you in a crisis or when stranded in the wild. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned adventurer, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about outdoor survival. So, strap on your hiking boots, grab your bug-out bag, and let’s dive into these life-saving tips.


Survival Tips for Beginners: The Basics

Embarking on your journey into the world of survival skills can be both exciting and daunting. This section describes the very basic knowledge and techniques to help you navigate any survival situation with confidence.

1. Staying Calm for Survival

Keeping a cool head is crucial in any survival situation. Panic can lead to poor decisions and worsen your predicament. Take a deep breath, assess your surroundings, and formulate a plan. Remember, the wilderness isn’t out to get you; it’s just your temporary home.

To help you keep your cool under pressure, consider these proven techniques:

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep, controlled breaths can have a calming effect on your mind and body. When you feel overwhelmed, try the following deep breathing technique:

  1. Inhale slowly through your nose for four counts.
  2. Hold your breath for four counts.
  3. Exhale slowly through your mouth for four counts.
  4. Repeat the cycle for a few minutes.

This exercise helps lower your heart rate and refocus your thoughts.

Break Tasks into Manageable Pieces

In a survival situation, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks you need to accomplish. Instead of letting this stress you out, break things down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Use a table like the one below to prioritize your needs:

Priority Task
1 Find or build shelter
2 Secure clean water
3 Gather food
4 Signal for help

This approach can help you maintain a sense of control and prevent panic.

Stay Positive and Focus on What You Can Control

Your mindset can significantly impact your ability to cope with stress. Concentrate on the aspects of the situation that you can control, like completing tasks or staying active. Remind yourself of your strengths and resourcefulness.

Practice Mindfulness

Being present in the moment can help you stay grounded and focused. Practice mindfulness by:

  • Tuning into your senses
  • Observing your surroundings without judgment
  • Acknowledging your thoughts and emotions without reacting to them

Keep Busy

Keeping occupied can help you stay calm by distracting you from negative thoughts and emotions. In addition to addressing your survival needs, consider engaging in activities that can boost your morale, like singing, telling stories, or setting personal goals. Keeping busy can also help you stay warm in cold weather.

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2. Build a Fire Survival

You’ll need a warm, toasty fire for keeping warm in cold weather, cooking food, and signaling for help. To build a fire, gather dry leaves, twigs, and branches.

Materials to Gather

  • Tinder: Dry leaves, char cloth, grass, or pine needles
  • Kindling: Small twigs and branches
  • Fuelwood: Larger branches and logs

Steps to Build a Fire

  1. Clear the area: Ensure the area is free of debris and create a fire pit surrounded by rocks for safety.
  2. Arrange tinder: Place a small pile of tinder in the center of the pit.
  3. Add kindling: Arrange small twigs in a pyramid or teepee shape around the tinder.
  4. Add fuelwood: Place larger branches and logs around the kindling, leaving some space for airflow.
  5. Ignite the tinder: Use a fire starter, a battery with steel wool, or other fire-starting methods to ignite the tinder.
  6. Feed the fire: Gradually add more kindling and fuelwood as needed, being careful not to smother the flame.

Starting a fire without matches is an important skill too, so be sure to practice before venturing out.

3. Find Clean Water in the Wild

In survival situations, securing clean water is a top priority. Here’s a brief overview of locating and purifying water in the wild:

Locating Freshwater Sources

  1. Streams and rivers often provide a steady flow of fresh water, making them ideal sources for hydration in the wild.
  2. Lakes and ponds can serve as convenient reservoirs of water, but ensure proper purification before consumption to avoid potential contaminants.
  3. Rainwater collection, using tarps or containers, is an efficient and eco-friendly method to collect water directly from nature’s faucet.
  4. Morning dew on plants, collected by wiping with a cloth or shaking branches into a container, can provide just a few drops of water in a pinch when other sources are scarce.

Purifying Water

Choose one of these methods to purify water before consumption:

  1. Water filter: Portable filters can remove most bacteria and protozoa.
  2. Boiling: Bring water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute to kill pathogens.
  3. Purification tablets: Chemical tablets can disinfect water when other methods are unavailable.

Alternative Methods

If you’re unable to access the above methods, consider these makeshift solutions:

  1. Solar still: Dig a hole in moist soil or wet ground, place a container in the center, cover with plastic, and let the sun evaporate and condense water for collection.
  2. Bandana filtration: Use a bandana or cloth filtering water of debris before using other purification methods.

Tips for Finding Food in the Wild: From Plants to Protein

Discovering food in the wild can be both challenging and rewarding, requiring a diverse set of skills and knowledge. The following are a few more basic survival skills to find and safely eat edible plants, insects, and animals to keep you nourished and energized in an emergency.

how to find food and water in the wilderness

4. Edible Plants in the Wild

By following these guidelines, you’ll be better equipped to safely forage for edible plants in the wild and expand your survival skills repertoire.

Tips for Identifying Edible Plants

  1. Do your research: Before heading out, study the local flora and familiarize yourself with the edible and poisonous plants in the region.
  2. Consult field guides: Carry a reputable field guide or use a reliable plant identification app to help you verify plant species.
  3. Observe wildlife: While not foolproof, watching the eating habits of local animals can provide some clues about which plants may be safe for human consumption.

Warning Signs of Potentially Harmful Plants

  1. Milky sap: Plants with white, milky sap are often poisonous and should be avoided.
  2. Bitter taste: If a plant tastes extremely bitter, it’s best to spit it out, as it could be harmful.
  3. Strong almond scent: This smell may indicate the presence of cyanide, a dangerous toxin.

Basic Rules for Safe Foraging

  1. Only eat plants you can confidently identify: If you’re unsure about a plant’s identity, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming it.
  2. Test plants before eating: Perform the Universal Edibility Test to determine if a plant is safe to eat. This involves smelling, touching, and tasting a small portion of the plant while monitoring for any adverse reactions.
  3. Know the plant’s entire life cycle: Some plants may be edible during specific stages of their growth but toxic at others, so understanding their full life cycle is very important.

5. Edible Insects in the Wilderness

While the idea of munching on insects might make your stomach turn, these little creatures are actually a great source of protein and other essential nutrients. By incorporating edible insects into your survival skillset, you’ll have access to an abundant and nutritious food source.

Popular Edible Insects

  1. Ants: Rich in protein and tangy in taste, ants can be eaten raw or cooked.
  2. Grasshoppers: High in protein and easy to find, grasshoppers can be roasted or fried.
  3. Termites: Nutrient-dense and abundant in wooded areas, termites can be a valuable survival food.
  4. Crickets: Another protein-rich option, crickets can be pan-fried or roasted.
  5. Earthworms: Although not insects, earthworms are edible and can be found in damp soil. Boil or fry them before eating.

Tips for Consuming Edible Insects

  • Cook insects thoroughly: Cooking insects not only makes them more palatable but also kills any potential parasites.
  • Avoid brightly colored insects: Bright colors often signal toxicity, so it’s best to stick to insects with neutral colors.
  • Know your local insect species: Research the insects commonly found in your area, and learn which ones are safe to eat and which ones to avoid.
  • Remove inedible parts: Some insects, like grasshoppers, have parts (e.g., wings and legs) that should be removed before consumption.

little known survival tips

6. Animal Tracking for Survival

Mastering the art of animal tracking can be an invaluable skill for finding food in the wild(1). Here are some fundamental techniques and tips for tracking and hunting wild animals while keeping yourself safe.

Basic Animal Tracking Techniques

  1. Identify tracks: Learn to recognize the footprints of common prey animals, such as deer, rabbits, birds and other small game, to determine their presence in the area.
  2. Analyze scat: Examining animal droppings can provide insights into their diet, health, and recent whereabouts.
  3. Look for other signs: Keep an eye out for indicators like disturbed foliage, nesting sites, and feeding areas to help locate your target.

Tips for Safe and Effective Hunting

  1. Conserve energy: Hunting can be physically demanding, so pace yourself and avoid exhausting your energy reserves.
  2. Use appropriate tools: Familiarize yourself with the tools and techniques required for different types of hunting, such as snares, traps, or bow and arrow.
  3. Observe from a distance: Keep a safe distance while observing your prey to avoid spooking it or becoming a target for predators.
  4. Know local wildlife: Study the habits and habitats of wild animals native to your region, and be aware of any potential dangers, like bears or venomous snakes.

Mastering the Elements: Survival Tips for Extreme Weather

Bracing against the forces of nature is a critical aspect of survival, and extreme weather conditions pose a unique set of challenges.

7. DIY Survival Shelter Ideas

Constructing a reliable shelter will increase your chances of staying safe, warm, and dry during any survival situation.

Types of DIY Survival Shelters

  1. Lean-to: A simple structure made by leaning branches against a horizontal support (e.g., fallen tree or ridgepole), this shelter offers protection from wind and rain.
  2. Debris hut: Constructed by creating a frame of sticks and covering it with leaves, grass, or other debris, this shelter provides insulation and shields you from the elements.
  3. Snow cave: Ideal for snowy environments, a snow cave is an igloo-like structure that takes advantage of snow’s natural insulating properties to keep you warm.

Tips for Building DIY Survival Shelters

  1. Choose a suitable location: Look for a spot that’s flat, dry, and protected from wind, rain, or potential hazards like falling branches.
  2. Insulate your shelter: Use materials like leaves, grass, or snow to insulate the floor and walls of your shelter, trapping heat and keeping you warm.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation: Make sure your shelter has enough airflow to prevent suffocation, especially in enclosed structures like snow caves.
  4. Reinforce your shelter: Secure your shelter by tying branches together or weighing down the structure with rocks or logs to prevent it from collapsing.

8. First Aid Techniques

Familiarize yourself with basic first aid techniques and pack a well-stocked first aid kit(2). You’ll be better prepared to handle accidents and injuries in survival situations, potentially saving your own life or the lives of others.

Common Injuries and Basic First Aid Techniques

Common Injuries Basic First Aid Techniques
Sprains Use the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Cuts and Scrapes Clean the wound with water or antiseptic, apply antibiotic ointment if available, and cover it with a bandage.
Snakebites Keep the affected limb immobilized, avoid tourniquets, and seek medical help immediately.
Burns Cool the burn under cold running water, cover with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage, and avoid applying ointments or creams.
Broken Bones Immobilize the injured limb with a splint, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Essential Items for a Survival First Aid Kit

  • Bandages: Ensure you have a variety of bandages such as adhesive bandages, gauze pads, and rolled gauze to adequately cover and protect different types of wounds.
  • Antiseptic: Bring along antiseptic wipes or solution to thoroughly cleanse wounds and minimize the risk of infection.
  • Painkillers: Stock up on over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to alleviate pain and decrease inflammation.
  • Tweezers: A handy tool for extracting splinters, ticks, or other foreign objects embedded in the skin.
  • Medical tape: A necessity for securing gauze or bandages firmly in place, ensuring proper wound coverage.
  • Scissors: A versatile tool for cutting bandages, clothing, or other materials when needed during first aid situations.
  • Moleskin: An essential item for preventing and treating blisters, particularly during long hikes or other outdoor activities.

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9. Navigation Skills for Survival

When lost in the wilderness, a compass and a map are your best friends. Learn how to use them, along with natural landmarks like rivers and mountain ranges, to find your way. Don’t forget the sun rises in the east and sets in the west!

Basic Navigation Tools and Techniques

  1. Compass: Learn how to use a compass to determine your direction and orient yourself in relation to your surroundings.
  2. Map: Understand how to read topographical maps, and practice using them in conjunction with a compass to navigate through unfamiliar terrain.
  3. Natural landmarks: Use prominent features like rivers, mountain ranges, and valleys to help guide you and pinpoint your location.
  4. Celestial navigation: In the absence of a compass or map, use the sun’s movement (rising in the east and setting in the west) or the stars to determine your direction.

Tips for Improving Your Navigation Skills

  • Practice: Hone your navigation skills by practicing with a compass and map in familiar environments before venturing into the wilderness.
  • Study the terrain: Familiarize yourself with the landscape and terrain features of the area you’ll be exploring.
  • Plan your route: Before setting out, plan your route, including any checkpoints or landmarks you’ll pass along the way.
  • Stay oriented: Regularly check your map and compass to ensure you’re staying on course and making progress toward your destination.
  • Trust your tools: When in doubt, rely on your compass and map to guide you, as your instincts can sometimes be misleading.

Urban Survival Tips: Thriving in a Concrete Jungle

Navigating the urban environment in a crisis requires a distinct set of skills and knowledge compared to wilderness survival. Next, we’ll explore some important techniques and strategies for staying safe and resourceful amid the unique challenges of an urban landscape during emergencies or disasters.

10. Tips for Surviving Natural Disasters

From floods to earthquakes, disasters can strike at any time. Develop an emergency preparedness plan, including evacuation routes and communication strategies. Stock up on essentials like food, water, and medical supplies to see you through the crisis.

Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan

Start by identifying the potential disasters that are most likely to occur in your area, like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, or wildfires. Knowing what you’re up against will help you better prepare for those specific events.

Also, take the time to establish the safest and most efficient evacuation routes from your home and workplace, so you’re ready to leave in a hurry if necessary.

To stay connected with your loved ones during a disaster, develop a solid communication strategy. Create a list of essential contacts, such as local emergency services, insurance providers, and out-of-town relatives, to ensure you have all the important numbers at your fingertips.

And don’t forget about your furry friends! Make sure you have a plan in place for your pets, including evacuation procedures, shelter options, and necessary supplies to keep them safe and comfortable.

Stocking up on Essential Supplies

  1. Water: Store at least one gallon of water per person per day, enough to last at least three days.
  2. Non-perishable food: Keep a three-day supply of non-perishable food items that don’t require cooking or refrigeration.
  3. Medical supplies: Stock a well-equipped first aid kit, including any necessary prescription medications.
  4. Sanitation: Maintain a supply of personal hygiene items, such as toilet paper, soap, and hand sanitizer.
  5. Tools: Have essential tools on hand, like a flashlight, extra batteries, a multi-tool, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.

Staying Safe During a Natural Disaster

Action Item Description
Stay Informed Regularly monitor local news and emergency alerts for updates on the situation and instructions from authorities.
Follow Evacuation Orders If instructed to evacuate, leave promptly and adhere to established evacuation routes.
Shelter in Place If evacuation is not feasible, find a secure location to shelter in place, such as a basement, interior room, or designated storm shelter.
Protect Important Documents Safeguard essential documents like identification and insurance papers in a waterproof and fireproof container, ensuring their accessibility and preservation.

11. Survival Skills for Hikers: Gear Up

Essential survival gear for hikers includes a backpack, multi-tool, fire starter, water filter, and first aid kit. Dress in layers, and don’t forget a hat, gloves, and sturdy footwear. Remember, the right gear can make all the difference when you’re battling the elements.

Basic Survival Gear for Hikers

  1. Backpack: Choose a comfortable and durable backpack that can accommodate your gear and supplies.
  2. Multi-tool: A versatile multi-tool can be invaluable for various tasks, from cutting branches to opening cans.
  3. Fire starter: Waterproof matches, a lighter, or a fire starter can help you ignite a fire for warmth and cooking.
  4. Water filter: A portable water filter or purification tablets ensure you have access to clean drinking water.
  5. First aid kit: Pack a well-stocked first aid kit, including bandages, antiseptic, painkillers, and any necessary prescription medications.

Clothing and Footwear

  1. Layers: Dress in layers to regulate your body temperature and adapt to changing weather conditions.
  2. Hat: A hat can protect you from the sun, keep you warm, or shield you from rain.
  3. Gloves: Insulated gloves provide warmth and protection for your hands.
  4. Sturdy footwear: Wear appropriate hiking boots or shoes with good traction and ankle support.

Additional Gear to Consider

  1. Map and compass: Familiarize yourself with the area and carry a map and compass for navigation.
  2. Emergency whistle: A loud whistle can help signal for help or alert others to your presence.
  3. Headlamp or flashlight: A reliable source of light is essential for navigating after dark or during emergencies.
  4. Extra food and water: Carry extra non-perishable food and water in case your journey takes longer than expected.
  5. Weather protection: Bring a lightweight, waterproof jacket and pants for protection against rain, wind, or snow.

why is water purification necessary

12. Hygiene Practices in Survival

Start with personal hygiene by bathing with water and biodegradable soap when possible, or use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe yourself down if water is scarce. Don’t forget about hand hygiene; regularly clean your hands with hand sanitizer, especially before eating or preparing food, to prevent the spread of germs(3).

And keep your mouth clean by brushing your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste, or in a pinch, use a clean cloth or your finger to remove food particles.

Clothing hygiene is also important, so change into clean clothes when necessary and allow dirty clothes to dry before wearing them again to prevent skin irritation and the growth of bacteria.

Lastly, focus on your living area hygiene. Dispose of waste properly by burying or burning it, and keep your cooking area clean to prevent contamination. Follow these hygiene practices and you’ll significantly reduce the risk of illness and infection, keeping you strong and healthy as you navigate your survival situation.

Post-Emergency Tips

Whether you’re lost in the woods or you just experienced a natural disaster, here are some additional tips to help you navigate the crisis.

13. Lost in the Woods: What to Do

Should you find yourself disoriented and lost in the wilderness, your first instinct might be to panic, but you have to remain calm and think clearly.

Here are steps you can take to increase your chances of survival if you’re ever lost in the woods:

  1. Stay put: Rather than wandering aimlessly, stay in one place. This makes it easier for rescuers to find you and minimizes the risk of getting further lost.
  2. Signal for help: Make your presence known by using a whistle, a mirror, or a brightly colored cloth to attract attention. Glow sticks can help at night. The universal distress signal is three short blasts on a whistle or three flashes of light.
  3. Create a visible SOS message: Use rocks, logs, or other materials to spell out “SOS” in a large, open area. Make sure it’s big enough to be seen from the air.
  4. Build a smoky fire: A smoky fire is a good air signal people can seen from a distance and can alert rescuers to your location. Use green or wet branches to create smoke, and keep it going during daylight hours.
  5. Find shelter: While waiting for help, build a shelter to protect yourself from the elements. A lean-to, debris hut, or a simple bed of leaves can provide some insulation and protection.
  6. Stay warm: Conserve body heat by wearing layers, and don’t forget to cover your head, hands, and feet. If necessary, huddle with a companion for additional warmth.
  7. Find water and food: Locate a source of clean water, and if possible, purify it before drinking. Forage for edible plants or insects, but only consume them if you’re confident they’re safe to eat.
  8. Keep track of time: Mark each day with notches on a tree or by building small rock cairns. This will help you maintain a sense of time and give you a sense of progress.

By following these steps, you’ll increase your chances of being found and staying safe while you wait for help to arrive.

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14. Surviving a Natural Disaster: The Aftermath

Once the immediate danger has passed, assess your situation and determine your needs. Locate a safe shelter, secure clean water and food sources, and tend to any injuries. Reach out to local authorities for help, and be prepared for aftershocks or additional hazards. The aftermath can be just as challenging as the event itself.

  1. Assess Your Situation: Once the immediate danger has passed, take a moment to assess your situation. Check yourself and those around you for injuries. Make a note of your location and any immediate dangers in your vicinity such as downed power lines, fires, or unstable structures.
  2. Find Safe Shelter: Your next priority should be to find safe shelter. If your home is intact and safe, it’s usually best to stay put. If not, look for a communal shelter or a location free from potential hazards like falling debris or flooding.
  3. Secure Clean Water and Food: Water is a critical need, so locate a source of clean water as soon as possible. Food is also important, but remember that you can survive longer without food than without water. If you have them, ration your supplies to last.
  4. Tend to Injuries: Use your first aid supplies to tend to any injuries. Clean wounds, bandage cuts, and immobilize sprains or fractures. If serious injuries are present, seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
  5. Reach Out for Help: Make contact with local authorities or disaster response teams if possible. They can provide immediate assistance, including medical aid, food, water, and shelter. Use your phone if it’s working, otherwise, look for a community meeting point or signal for help.
  6. Stay Prepared for Aftershocks or Additional Hazards: Depending on the type of disaster, there may be aftershocks (in case of earthquakes) or additional hazards like landslides, floods, or fires. Stay alert and ready to move if necessary.
  7. Communicate with Family and Friends: Once you’re safe and your immediate needs are taken care of, let your family and friends know that you’re okay. You can do this through a phone call, a text, social media, or through the Safe and Well website run by the Red Cross.
  8. Begin Recovery Process: Once you’re safe, it’s time to start the recovery process. This may include contacting your insurance company, repairing damage to your home, or seeking professional counseling to deal with the emotional aftermath of the disaster.

Remember, the key to surviving the aftermath of a disaster is preparation, quick assessment, and thoughtful action. Stay safe and remember to look out for each other.


These interesting survival tips are just the beginning of your journey into the world of wilderness survival. Remember, knowledge is power, and practice makes perfect. The more you learn and practice these essential skills, the better prepared you’ll be to face any adventure – or misadventure – that comes your way.

Go forth and conquer the great outdoors, and may the survival odds be ever in your favor!


1. Movebank. “Movebank.”, 2022,

2. American Red Cross. “Red Cross Training & Certification, and Store.” Red Cross, 2018,

3. CDC. “Personal Hygiene during an Emergency | Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene-Related Emergencies & and Outbreaks | Healthy Water | CDC.”, 26 May 2021,