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Friday 21.10.2016 | Name days: Severīns, Urzula

Survival experts’ advice on how to avoid danger in the wilderness

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIt is often the case when accidents start off innocently: when fishing with friends, going on a trip through a forest or when hunting. Suddenly things go terribly wrong and you find yourself in danger. Survival experts recommend trying to calm down and come up with a logical plan on what to do next.

Sometimes people make simple mistakes that later cost them their lives.

Insufficiently calculated risks

Before travelling into the wilderness, it is important to stop and think for a minute or two: what can you expect to find wherever it is you’re going, what you should take with you and what you should do to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Matches? Flashlight? Mirror? As military people say: if there is no plan, pre-plan for mistakes. Among other things, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car.

Wrong choice of clothes

It is a good idea to dress a little warmer than necessary. You can always take off a shirt or jacket and put it in your bag, no? It is much better than suffering from low temperatures and dreaming of a jacket you never took with you.

Lack of good navigation tools

People who go out in the wilderness without a compass or GPS are bound to end up in trouble. Anyone who has ever been to a forest knows that even the most experienced of explorers can get lost in a matter of minutes. It is important to keep mind that two is better than one – you shouldn’t rely solely on GPS for guidance. If you have the basic knowledge, you can determine your location based on the stars.

Poor practical skills

Scouts say: «Be prepared!» Unfortunately, most people who end up in trouble in the wilderness are completely unprepared. Here are five basic things worth learning in order to be prepared in problematic situations: learn to make shelter, learn to call for help, learn what you can eat and where to find it, how to make fire and maintain it and how to find water.

No shelter

There are only two mistakes that can cost your life if you end up in the wilderness all by yourself: no tent or no knowledge how to make a shelter using materials around you. Being dry is one of the primary conditions necessary to survive.

No fire

Fire plays a major role in survival. It provides warmth, light and the ability to purify water. Fire can be seen from far away at night and smoke can help others detect your position during the day. It is worth keeping in mind multiple methods of creating fire or taking things that will make it easier to obtain fire: mirror, lighter, matcher or a special fire striker. Don’t forget that glasses can also serve as a valuable tool for starting a fire.

No way to signal for help

Skills that can help signal for help are invaluable. Any shop that sells survival equipment offers all kinds of signalling tools: mirrors, whistles and long-range flashlights. If nothing else, you can use objects around you to create a signal sign. Three bonfires that make up a triangle or a straight line are interpreted as SOS.

No water

We all know that people cannot survive long without water. In an emergency, problems can be caused by unclean water and the lack of any water. There are multiple methods for purifying water (boiling, using special purification tablets or filtres).


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