Essential Survival Tips for the Wilderness...
Essential Survival Tips for the Wilderness and what they can teach us about life in NYC.
By lead guide and owner of Destination Backcountry Adventures Dave Dicerbo. You can join Destination Backcountry for a wilderness skills class at the OutdoorFest Campout or at Basecamp Paragon on June 6th (register here).
FOOD & WATER
Water is essential to survival and although starvation will take weeks, food is important psychologically. However, it is very important to consider the source; consuming bad food/water will hasten your demise. One key tip is to avoid high traffic areas, since there is a greater risk of contamination.
In NYC, we see this phenomenon in street food and pizza joints located just outside of a subway stop; these are always the most mediocre, as they survive on high foot traffic, not quality and you risk an upset stomach (at the least!)
If you’re ever lost in the woods without map or compass, don’t fear--there are many natural cues that will help you find your way. For example, certain trees and plants will only be found at specific elevations, giving you a general idea of your location.
This principle may be applied in NYC as well--if you’re surrounded by really tall buildings, you’re in mid-town or downtown. Or if you’re surrounded by a drum circle and white dudes with dreadlocks, you’re almost certainly in Union Square...
If you’re ever stranded in the wilderness, shelter will be a high priority. Seek level, dry ground, south facing, free from potential danger and near water & other resources. Sometimes, you will be incredibly fortunate and find an existing structure, such as a cave. If so, ensure that it is not already occupied by animals
The struggle for shelter is as elemental--and unforgiving-- in NYC as it is in the Wilderness; perhaps even more so! Seek shelter away from danger and high traffic areas (Times Square) and near resources, such as a subway, a good bodega, parks etc. You may be lucky and find the NYC equivalent of a dry cozy cave; a rent controlled apartment. And always beware of who you’re sharing shelter with; there are stories of NYC roommates much worse than wild animals!
In a Wilderness survival situation fire will provide heat, light, mental comfort, protection from animals, signal rescue, purify water, cook food.
Much like in NYC, effective use of Tinder will keep you warm for the night...
POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
Although you may feel as if the entire wilderness and its occupants are conspiring against your survival, remember that you control your own destiny and take time to enjoy your surroundings; after all you really are in a beautiful place.
Although you may feel as if the entire City and its occupants are conspiring against your survival, remember that you control your own destiny and take time to enjoy your surroundings; after all you really are in a beautiful place.