How To Survive In The Wilderness Without Supplies? ( In 6 Steps )

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Without supplies, you will have to rely on your knowledge and skills in order to survive. You will find everything you need to survive in the wilderness, as long as you know what to look for, and where to find it.

In order to survive in the wilderness without supplies, you should look for shelter for the night, after which you have to look for water and food. In addition to this, you should also make a fire as this will keep you warm and it also has a positive psychological effect. No matter what you do, try not to panic, people who tend to panic will make bad decisions that will only hinder their chances of surviving in the wilderness.

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Surviving in the wilderness will be fairly hard, especially if you are not prepared and you do not have any supplies. There are a lot of reasons why people might find themselves in a survival situation in the wilderness, from getting lost in the wilderness to actively seeking solitude and getting lost. Most people who get lost in the wilderness will be found in the first 72 hours, but these first 72 hours are probably the most dangerous hours in the wilderness.

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The problem is that most people do not have the necessary skills to survive in the wilderness, even if they have supplies, now imagine how difficult it would be for someone to survive without any supplies whatsoever. You might find it far-fetched that someone could end up lost in the wilderness without any supplies, but if you have been hiking in the past couple of years you have probably seen plenty of people who are hiking without any basic supplies.

Some people will go on a hike with a sandwich and a bottle of water, wearing jeans and leather walking shoes. If you want to survive without any supplies then your best asset will be information and simple logic. There are people who managed to survive long periods of time in the wilderness without having the necessary skills, they managed to overcome this by sheer determination, and by using their logic.

The wilderness is a fairly broad topic, for some, it could mean a rainforest while for others it could mean the desert. No matter what kind of wilderness you would find yourself without supplies you will find the below survival tips useful. If you want to know how to survive in the woods or for a longer period of time then my recommendation is to read my recent article What do you need to survive in the wild? ( Top 29 Items )

How To Survive In The Wilderness Without Supplies?

Surviving in the wilderness without supplies can be an extreme challenge, but with the right knowledge and skills, it is possible. Firstly, focus on finding sources of water, as dehydration is a major threat. Look for streams, and lakes, or collect rainwater in improvised containers. Next, prioritize shelter by utilizing natural materials like branches, leaves, and rocks to create a sturdy and insulated structure. Fire is essential for warmth, cooking, and signaling for rescue.

Learn various methods of starting a fire, such as using friction or utilizing a magnifying glass. For food, familiarize yourself with edible plants, insects, and small game that can be found in the wilderness. It is crucial to research and practice wilderness survival skills, including navigation, basic first aid, and crafting tools from natural resources. Maintaining a positive mindset, staying calm, and conserving energy are also vital aspects of surviving without supplies.

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Assess The Situation First

Now you have probably heard from a lot of people that your first priority should be to find water or to build a shelter and so on. In my honest opinion your first priority should be to assess the situation, do you have any food, water, or any communication devices. Most people who get lost in the wilderness will realize fairly late how bad their situation actually is, and they will simply keep on walking probably in a circle for a couple of days till they collapse from dehydration.

Even if you do not have any supplies or tools with you then you will still have to assess the situation, take a mental picture of some of the landmarks, and start thinking about where you will sleep during the night. Spending the night in the wilderness is a terrifying idea for most people, although most people will be scared of animal attacks, but the real danger will come from hypothermia. Sleeping on the ground without any source of heat and shelter will only make things a lot worse. There are 3 rules which you should follow to survive any SHTF scenario, for more information check out my recent article Survival rule of 3 ( Step by Step Guide ).

Know Where North Is

No matter if you want to live in the wilderness or you simply get lost in the wilderness, you will have to find a way to know where North is. This way you will not end up going in circles like most people do who get lost in the wilderness. People who get lost in the wilderness will often walk aimlessly in hopes to get to civilization or to see familiar landmarks, while this sometimes works but it isn’t the best idea.

Luckily it is fairly easy to find North without any tool, all you need is a stick and a couple of stones. Get a straight stick, it’s extremely important that the stick is straight. Stick the stick in the ground to have an upright position. You will notice the shadow of the stick, place a rock at that position and leave it like that for 20-30 minutes. After 30 minutes you will notice that the shadow of the stick has moved, place another rock where the shadow is right now.

The first rock will show you West, while the second rock will show you where East is. Now if you have ever used a compass you will know where North should be, if not then place your left foot behind the first rock which is West, then place your right foot behind the second rock which is East, and North will be right in front of you. You might think that it isn’t important to know where North is if you want to live in the wilderness, but sooner or later you will have to explore the area in order to find food and water, and the last thing you want is to get lost. If you want to know how you can make a fire without a lighter then check out my recent article How to make fire without a lighter? ( Top 16 Methods ).

Build A Shelter

If you have the skills of how to build a shelter without any tools just with local materials then this will not be a problem for you. Just keep in mind that a shelter should always have a roof in order to protect you from the rain or snowfall, and you should make your bed elevated from the ground, this way you will not lose as much body heat to the ground. Under ideal circumstances a shelter should be close to water, in case you haven’t found water yet then you should make a temporary shelter with some twigs and leaves.

Surviving alone in the wilderness will be a lot easier once you have shelter and some water. Try to explore the area and find some water, once you have found water then you could make a more permanent and comfortable shelter. If you want to know how to survive in the forest, then you will have to know how to make an improvised, temporary shelter. You should have a sleeping bag or an alternative to it if you stay in the wilderness for a longer time, for more information check out my recent article ( Top 19 ) Alternatives to sleeping bags.

Find Water

If the night isn’t approaching fast then you will need to find some water, there are a lot of sources of fresh water in the wilderness if you look hard enough. You have to keep in mind that water takes the path of least resistance, which means that water will flow in the valleys which are surrounded by high hills or mountains. If you are in an area where the mountains are covered by snow then you have a very good chance of finding a moving body of water.

If the area where you are doesn’t have any freshwater then you will have to think outside of the box. In the wilderness, you will notice that the nights will be a lot colder than in a city, the main reason for this is because most of a city is built with concrete which is heated up during the day by the sunlight and these buildings will actually radiate heat even during the night. The temperature difference between night and day will be significant in the wilderness.

During the early morning, you will notice that morning dew is forming on nearby plants, these are small water droplets that you can drink safely. Now, don’t just go and start licking the grass, as this is not the best way to use the water. As you do not have any supplies you will probably not have any water bottles in which you can collect the morning dew, but you will have some clothes. Take your shirt off and place it on the grass, now slowly start walking dragging your shirt in the grass, this way the shirt will absorb more water, fold up the shirt into a small bunch and suck the water out of it.

You will not get enough water just by drinking the morning dew, this is something that you can do until you find water.

Build A Fire

Once you have a shelter, and preferably some water also then it is time to build a fire. A small fire not only will keep off predators and keep you warm but it also has a strong psychological effect. Most people will not have the necessary skills to make a fire without any tools, but it is actually easier than you might have imagined. If you are wearing glasses then you can use them to light the tinder fairly easily, just focus the sun’s rays through your glasses onto the tinder and it should catch on fire.

On the other hand, you can use just the local materials to build a fire without using any tools. For this, you will be using friction, as friction creates heat, and with enough heat, the tinder will catch on fire. You will need some tinder, preferably something very dry, like dry leaves, grass, bark, or wood shavings. Find a thick piece of wood that has a flat side and it is also dry. Find a thick stick that you will use to ignite the fire.

Make a small nest of tinder and place it on the thick wood, from here you will have two options on how you can ignite the fire, either by drilling or by creating enough friction from an angle to make the fire ignite. Place the stick into the tinder nest which is placed on the thick piece of wood. Start rotating the twig as fast as possible, place both of your palms on the twig, and start moving your hands just like you would when you want to warm up your palms.

In addition to this, you should also apply pressure as this way the wood will heat up even faster. Just keep in mind that doing this with your hand will result in several cuts and bruises till you get the fire going. If you have shoelaces then get another twig and strap the shoelaces on the twig to make it look like a bow. Now make a loop around the fire-starting twig with the “bow”, take a rock to hold the fire-starting twig in place, and start pushing and pulling.

Just keep in mind that the wood and tinder should be as dry as possible in order for this to work, in case it has been raining recently and everything is wet then check out my recent article How to start a fire with wet wood? ( Fast & Easy ).

Find Food

You have probably noticed that food isn’t one of your top priorities, this is because a person can live without food for around 3-4 weeks, but only a couple of days without water and most people will only survive only a couple of hours in colder climates without a shelter. Now that you have temporary shelter, a source of water and you already know how to make a fire then it is time to find some food.

Depending on where in the wilderness you are, you might probably find some edible fruits and berries, the problem is that not everything is edible in the wilderness. While most fruits and nuts which you will find in the wilderness are relatively safe to eat but some are toxic and poisonous. Even something as common as diarrhea could potentially kill you, as you will lose a lot of water, and if you do not have a nearby source of freshwater then you will be in a lot of trouble.

If you have a nearby stream then you will have a fairly easy time finding food, as oftentimes you will find small critters and fish in these streams, just cook them before you eat them because some of them will contain dangerous parasites. You could even attempt to hunt some smaller animals, just keep in mind that you will have to consume them in 1-2 days as their meat will start rotting after that. If you do not have any luck with finding edible fruits and nuts, fish, or hunting small animals, then your best option will be to eat bugs.

Just a side note, if you manage to catch some rabbits easily, you should know that you can not live off eating rabbits alone. The Rabbit meat is so lean that it doesn’t really have any fat, which is vital for your body’s ability to absorb protein, without this additional fat you will develop protein poisoning.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn essential skills such as finding and purifying water, building a shelter, starting a fire, identifying edible plants and insects, and navigation techniques using natural landmarks or celestial objects.
  • Utilize your surroundings and natural resources creatively to meet your basic needs. For example, using rocks or sticks to create tools, making cordage from plant fibers, and fashioning traps or snares for hunting small game.
  • Stay calm, positive, and focused in order to make sound decisions and conserve energy. Prioritize your actions based on survival needs, and maintain a positive mindset to enhance your resilience and problem-solving abilities.