As someone who lives in West Virginia, I know what it’s like to be in the woods. To survive in the woods.
I’m in the woods all the time.
I’m actually in the woods right now (kind of)
Before delving into any hardcore survival tactics, I’d first like to broach the topic with a few helpful rules of thumb for surviving in the wild.
Note: Most of these tips in any of this article will not work if you’re lost anywhere else other than the woods; places such as: at sea, in the desert, in the mall, in your boyfriends giant house as you come to his third staircase and his creepy father asks “you lost?”
Ten Rules of the Wild:
1. Moss grows on the north side of the tree
2. You can eat 5 salamanders (citation needed) before they are also poisonous and you die.
3. If you can only have 3 objects with you, always choose a Knife for hunting food, self protection and building shelter; a canteen with an endless water supply for hydration so you don’t dry up like a sandy desert; and a marker so you can draw faces and have as many friends as you want.
4. You can drink your pee twice. Any more is poisonous to your bloodstream and you will die.
5. Spiders are an excellent form of sustenance. Wolf spiders are the most common in the majority of woods, and tend to be the largest, which means you’ll get the most nutritious bang for your buck. They’re ground predators though, and live in tiny underground “dens” Wolf Spiders only hunt at night, so to collect them to eat you’ll need to reach your hand into the den and scoop them out. This is not recommended to arachnaphobes unless they want to stay alive, because this is the only way to!
6. Bears despise beavers, and beavers are afraid of bears. If you’re afraid a beaver may attack you, try rubbing your body with bear and the beavers should stay away.
7. When trying to find your way home, always travel downhill and never uphill, unless you live on top of a hill.
8. As night falls, the most dangerous place to be is out in the open. This is why it’s good to scope out a sleeping place ahead of time. The dens of large animals are usually the best, as other animals know to keep away from them. Don’t worry about the animal returning though. As man is the dominant species, the animals will realize this and not try to impend on your new home.
9. If you get a really bad wound, burn the skin around it so it melts back together. This will force it to clot, and prevent infections better than leaving it in open air.
10. Red and black, friend of jack. red and yellow, kill a fellow. This can also be applied to urine, but in reverse.
Now that you have these important Rules of the Wild tips, I’m going to teach you important survival rules. One important item to have is a compass, and if you don’t have one, that’s ok! Because I’m going to teach you how to construct one.
How to make your own compass:
Step 1. Get a dish or something able to hold water like a large chunk of wood or a warped maple leaf
Step 2. Pour water into the dish
Step 3. Get something able to float on top of the water, such as a leaf or a cork
Step 4. Get a needle and magnetize it by rubbing it along the fir of a moose. Only rub the tip of the needle though, or it won’t point correctly. This works because moose and other deer are naturally magnetic
Fun fact: Did you know, if you hit a moose, it will just stick to the grill of your car? This is why many people in more rural areas are switching to cars most predominantly of plastic.
Step 5. Lay the needle onto the leaf or whatever is floating in the water, and the needle will point north.
Tip: If you can’t find a leaf to float on the water (in which case you may be retarded or are in a desert, and are pretty much fucked at this point anyways) you can rub the needle in your hair, and the oil will cause it to float.
And that’s how you make your own compass!
Another very important item to have in the woods is a knife. Knives can be used for many, many things while surviving on your own, as listed above. If you don’t have a knife, there are a couple good bases for making your own.
1. Granite. Sharpened granite can make one of the sharpest blades on the world, more-so than steel. The Native Americans and Aztecs originally crafted their knives from granite, and an ancient Aztec weapon called the Macuahuitl was claimed to have been able to lop a horses head off in a single blow.
2. Stick. Granted, a sharpened stick isn’t going to be the most effective means of anything really, it will help keep you protected if you have nothing else. A sharpened stick jabbed in the side of a dangerous badger encroaching on you will have it scurrying off.
3. Your bones. Your bones are one of the strongest, most readily available material on this planet. As you may know, many mountain climbers lop off body parts if they become stuck in rocks to avoid freezing to death. This may be necessary for you, but for other reasons of survival. When choosing a bone to cut off as a weapon, keep a few things in mind.
The Femur is the longest and strongest bone in your body, but you may need your leg to get around. Do you really need that other hand? Your ear is just cartilage, so don’t try a Van Gogh!
Fun Fact: Many people believe Van Gogh sliced his ear off as a gift for a former lover, but it was really as a ploy to throw off an attacking gang of Rooks as he escaped from their territory he had mistakenly wandered into while assessing landscape for a painting. This attack later inspired his piece of work, Wheat Field With Crows. Google it!
While trying to not die in the woods, a means of having fire is infinitely important. You need fire to keep you warm, scare away predators, and cook your food. Maintaining a fire is very important, and I’m sure all of you know how to start a fire, so I’ll just skip directly to what you should be burning to keep your fire going.
1.Very dry, preferably old wood *wink*
2. Dead Leaves
3. Your hair. It burns really well due to the oils in it. Cut it all off and set it on fire. Or just set it on fire. I don’t recommend this for arsonphobics. Though if you’re afraid of fire and you’re surviving in the wilderness, I guess you’re pretty much fucked anyways.
Really if you’re reading this blog post in hopes of getting class A survival tips, you’re even more fucked anyways.
Also some of these tips are true and some of them aren’t. Distinguishing them will be like a game.