There’s a million and one things you could do this summer. Lying by the beach, hosting a BBQ in your backyard…but what will you actually gain from this, beyond a few hours of pleasure? If you want to make the best possible use of the good weather, then you need to head outside and cement your survival skills. Summer, with its fine weather, is an ideal time for those people who haven’t quite got the skills they need.
Into the Woods
Of course, to practice survival skills you’ll need to take yourself away from anything man made, but also somewhere that contains plenty of life. Regardless of where you live, you most likely have a deep, dark forest somewhere within driving distance from you. Make that your base for a week or two and you’ll return to civilization with a whole host of new skills.
Most people underrate their ability to find food when it really matters. It’s a basic skill that everybody can learn if they put the effort in; just most people don’t put the effort in. Your best options for food will be: animals, fish, and foraging plants. It can be tricky to catch animals if you’ve never done it before, but fishing is a skill that everyone should have. Take a read of fly fishing explained and get into the water: one day, it could be the difference between life and death. Also, having a book that outlines which plants can and cannot be eaten will be an invaluable resource, so make it one of the few things you take with you on your trip.
Stepping it Up
If you’ve been on a survival trip before, then summer is a good opportunity for you to step it up and real test your skills. For example, try going into the woods without a tent and see if you’re capable of making your own shelter. In an emergency, it’s unlikely you’ll have a waterproof, easy to put up tent just lying around. Similarly, you should have water with you, but see first if you could make it without access to clean water. Where would you go for water in an emergency? Would you know where to look? Before doing either of these things, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
The clear summer nights are ideal time to learn how to navigate yourself using only stars. Once you know a few basic rules, you’ll know that it’s actually very easy. And if you have no access to any type of technology at some point in the future, you’ll still know how to get around.
At the end of your trip, have a think about what worked and what didn’t. How ready would you be, really, if something terrible happened and you needed to survive in the wild? There’ll almost be areas that you need to improve on, and they can become the focus for your next trip into the woods.