There is a definite sense of comfort in surviving a disaster safely in your home surrounded by all of your supplies and in a climate you understand. However, there is also a need to learn how to survive in a hostile environment far away from every common thing you have ever known. For many, the jungle can seem even less hospitable than the frozen Arctic circle, since the oppressive heat, poisonous insects and reptiles, and overgrowth of vegetation seems much stranger than mere biting cold. As such, learning to survive in the jungle can be a way to overcome your aversion to the strange and hostile in far away places, giving you greater comfort and calm even when traveling to places you’ve never seen.
Disclaimer: I’m no jungle guide, and I certainly don’t wrestle crocodiles for a living. Any trip into hostile areas or thick jungles should definitely involve a plan for returning to civilization and be presided over by experienced guides and experts. Any “survival tips” should always be weighed against expert knowledge, as jungle survival has many unique and difficult challenges.
Key tools to have on you
Obviously you won’t always know that you’re going to be lost in a trackless jungle, but if you have the chance to properly suit up here are some tools and supplies you’ll really want to have:
- Portable Water Filtration. There can be an abundance of water if you happen to find a river or collect water during a downpour, but in the hot and humid conditions you’re likely to run into potent strains of bacteria that could leave you helpless for weeks at a time. Make sure you have a small, portable means of filtering water so that you can get enough to stay hydrated.
- A compass and knowledge of how to use it. Even if you don’t necessarily know which direction leads to civilization, you at least want to follow a straight-ish line in a given direction rather than wandering in circles. A compass can give you the ability to navigate even without many notable landmarks.
- A survival machete. Machetes are of middling use in forests commonly found in North America, but in a jungle many plants are more easily handled with one of those bladed tools. It will still require a great deal of strength and endurance to make any real headway through dense jungle (some guides suggest a mere 50 feet per day of hard cutting in the thickest portions) but at least you will have an option.