People living in the wilderness have considered a change of pace, leaving the routine behind and choosing to live in peace out of many troubles way. If you have been considering living off the grid and perhaps trying to live like the ancestors, what do you have to know about wilderness living, like having an organic garden, raising sheep and chicken and diving into this completely new primitive world?
In general, wildness living is about survival, which falls into two categories — staying alive and using the wilderness as a way of life. The main stress is learning how to live independently, using the resources around you in order to stay alive yet fulfilled and well nourished.
Wilderness living is living in a primitive fashion, without things, including axes and guns, as much as possible. However that of course may be impossible by now because most tools we use are manufactured. In order to remain alive and live in a semi or primitive fashion, whether it’s a conscious effort, as in a hobby, you should learn of the fundamentals regarding what to know to start this type of life, whether on a temporary or a permanent basis. So, we’re here to present you the techniques and processes to live off the grid.
Before anything, you should determine the action to take, something appropriate for the environment, taking consideration the climate, the resources and so on in the place you think about to become your next home. Therefore, you will also need survival skills based on the conditions in the place where you want to live.
Remember, there’s a significant difference between living in the woods of the mainland, living in the subzero Alaska and living in the Sahara Desert. In this case, you should know how incredibly different the locations are so that you’ll prepare with the survival skills you need to adapt and live in your desired one.
You should consider the basics first, including the time of the year you find is the easiest to begin, the kind and the volume of supplies you need and whether you’d have access to the civilization or not. You must also figure out how far away this new home would be and how that distance would affect your current condition and situation.
Basically, you’ll also need a map of the place where you’re going before leaving. Know how to use a map and directions so that you don’t get lost and don’t stress in the new venture you’re about to take. Determine if your survival skills are enough to handle the situation or terrain of a specific place. You must also determine if you’d need sometime in adapting your body to the new weather condition, for instance.
Before you consider going to the wild and living there for some days, as an example, you can consider taking some survival classes, as well as survival skills you will need. It’ll be better to own some kinds of training before venturing into your fight with Mother Nature. You can also contact a couple of wilderness groups or adventure organizations in your area for a few of suggestions and stories of their experiences in the wild. The more can you’ll be able to learn of the experiences you’re about to experience will result to a better means of handling any of them.
One of best things to do is to learn identifying some plants, like the poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac so that you may be able to avoid them when you are in the wild. As you know, part of living in the wild also entails your knowledge and skills of what to encounter in this new environment, that doesn’t have the convenience and uselessness that you are already aware of in this civilization.
And then, there are also plants that can irritate your sin, such as the cow parsnip with saps that can make your skin terribly sensitive to the sun, causing it blisters that can be so painful. You must understand the terrain on your best ability, in short, before venturing into wild living.
In all cases, you should keep your head cool at all times in the new environment and best way to do that is to know as much as you can about it, preparing you with vital information you need to understand before you head into it. As you’ll already know, being unsure and nervous will make you commit to huge irreversible mistakes. So in short, you must train yourself to avoid any mishaps while in the wild.
Collecting your things
You should gather your belongings and things in one backpack with everything you’ll need before going, and it has to contain all the items, that are vital but are also simple to carry to avoid the burden of carrying something that may be even heavier than you’re.
It will just slow you down and make you tired easily, not permitting you to enjoy your stay and adventure in the wild. You must know that living in this style of environment will mean a lot of foraging and exploring and you’ll not be able to do these things properly if you would have to take a awfully heavy bags with you.
This backpack should contain everything you need on the go, so invest on a sturdy backpack you can rely on when living in the woods, as an example. Before leaving, pack as much however ensure they’re not hard to carry. You must also learn how to pack the bag to the brim, while you’re carrying it. Take note, it’s also vital to have packing skills for this activity.
Purifying water and keeping it clean
In addition to food, ensure that your water is purified, something essential to keep you safe from water-borne diseases coming from contaminated and dirty water. Perhaps, you can’t really be sure if the water from the freshwater system in the wild is clean because it may contain debris of a dead animal upstream.
The easiest method that you can purify water is thru boiling it for at least ten minutes to make sure that bacteria from the water can be killed. You can also create use of iodine tablets, which you should use based on directions of the maker. Apart from boiling or using iodine tablets, you can make use of a water filter straw that you can buy on-line.
You can also pre-filter water before drinking using another piece of material, including a clean bandana. Remember, however, the minimum filter size to use is from one to two microns, allowing particles of these sizes to pass through the filter, but best is to use a smaller micron size to filter the water better (although it may take some time to filter water). The best to use of all these could be a gravity filter, that’s if you’ll bring one because all you would ever need to do is to pour the water in and do more chores you need to accomplish.
Speaking of water filtering and purification, you should also keep water clean and safe, something to do if you’d be able to keep clean water containers which will keep every single drop of water clean. But in order that you keep your water clean in these storage systems, you must also sterilize them by boiling them for ten minutes to make sure that all part of them are actually clean to keep your water clean, too.
Signaling for help
When you need some help, you won’t want to miss some chance of someone rescuing you. In this case, it’s necessary that you bring some rescue signals, including whistles. You’ll also bring a gear to help others verify where you are, but there are some basic ideas to help you prepare for it, especially if you forget taking some gears for signaling.
First, you should learn building a signal fire. You can also learn and create use of a mirror or any reflective objective that can flash the horizon when sending an SOS signal. Alternatively, you can build use of emergency beacon devices you can purchase on-line.
Learning of survival techniques
Do not begin living off the grid had you not educated and versed yourself of survival skills. In this case, you will need to learn some before needing them, and some include building fire, building shelter, preparing a survival kit and so on. Next issue is to prepare your physical condition, no matter what. You must begin exercising now so that you can be in shape before starting with your new life.
Nonetheless, you must have both physical fitness and vital skills before you will need first aid. You can think about learning new things as well, and a few of them include eating edible insects and grubs (seriously!). Okay now, you may also need a supply list, so you may not have to worry about your life and safety just in case you decided to remain in the woods for five days, as an example.
Some of the basics you’d need including utilities, such as netting, rope and knives, pistol or rifle, flashlights and lanterns (with extra batteries and oils), vitamin c source, blankets, water filters, matches, fire steel, axe, area map, compass, mirrors, flares and whistles (for quick rescue just in case), sewing and gear kit, radio transmitter and quite a few different things you deem necessary based on the terrain or place you’re heading.
Don’t forget bringing the right clothes. This can be a no-brainer, but you don’t wear and bring light clothes in a subzero and heavy, thick clothes in the desert. In general, there are 3 rules to follow. Cotton is rotten and good friends won’t let you bring cotton.
One thing is that cotton isn’t good in terms of retaining their warmth, especially when they get wet. So, in this case, you can’t depend on cotton clothes to survive the wear and tear, although it’s light and comfortable. In short, cotton isn’t the way to go when getting to live in the wild, even for a couple of days. Instead, pack with clothing that can survive the wild, including those made for surveyors, loggers and anglers. They’ll last, although they are quite heavy.
Don’t think twice of taking some extra layers off when you feel hot and wearing some on when you feel cold. And keep in mind, it’s best to own enough of clothes than to run out of them because you can always have something to replace one that gets wet or you will have extra layers to keep you warm just in case.
You can depend on merino wool for this purpose. They don’t get wet that easily, so you’ll bring some jackets made of them depending on the terrain or weather in the place you’re going. You can additionally get pains and jackets for snow and rain, especially in places where temperatures can be over four degrees celsius.
Setting up camp
Find a secure site to stay, somewhere near the water source but far enough from any danger from animals that stay around water sources. In addition to finding a secure spot, you must find a stable ground, ideally far from any drop-offs, rocky areas and watery areas — all these may bring you close to the risks of the weather.
Apart from finding a secure spot in the wild, you should also begin building a fire so that you can stay warm and feel comfortable in the wild. Don’t build a fire near your valuables and food supply to avoid them from being burned. Don’t cook with the flame directly, but you can first let it sit. The open flame creates a hot coal bed that will burn your food instantly. Wait for the fire to sit before cooking with it.
To start a fire, you can first find birch barks that are good to begin fires, particularly in cold places. On the other hand, hemlock bows are good if you’re looking to keep the mosquitoes and flies away. Nevertheless, you must take extra caution when working with fire and don’t leave it unattended for your safety and of the woods.
When done building a fire, you can begin making a shelter something that can give you home while you’re in the wild. So, you should have your basic structure, a place where you’ll sleep is one. Build a better shelter if you’re looking to stay longer in the wild. In this case, you may take into account building something stronger and that can support your activities the longer you’re planning to stay out there.
Overall, think about safety, so never sleep on bare ground. it’d get you sick. You must have a kind of flooring in your shelter. Make use of some leaves, hemlock bows and hay. Don’t sleep in the dirt, or else, you will freeze, especially if you’re in a cold location.
Part of shelter is also prioritizing water because you cannot last days without it. They say that folks can last up to a month without food but cannot without water. You must stake out some sources where you’ll rely on for water. If you have some of containers, you can fill them in huge quantities so that you’ll never have to go back to the source daily.
Apart from it, you can also collect morning dew from leaves and grasses using some clean cloth or rag that you can squeeze into your container, though this may not be the cleanest water source you can imagine. This will help you keep yourself hydrated — most importantly.
Considering and meeting your basic needs
In the wild, you should possess the essential skills of trapping, gathering and hunting, some of the basic survival skills you’ll need in order to keep yourself nourished. You must be educated of these skills so that you’ll get food. You can also tap on the resources, including streams and rivers, which can be full of fish and marine food sources. In the sky, there are birds you’ll hunt and cook to survive, and in the ground, there are edible plants to eat as well.
As you can see, Mother Nature offers everything for you, but you just have to learn gathering them for yourself. aside from learning how to hunt and gather food, it’ll also assist you stay alive if you’d find out how to distinguish edible and non-edible food sources (especially mushrooms and plants). In short, you’ll be able to enjoy your stay in the wild if you possess more skills that may help you adapt with the changes in the terrain and climate of the place where you’re planning to head for wilderness living.
When in the wild, don’t eat anything, unless you know and precisely know it is edible. You’ll find a book regarding the flora and fauna in your locality for a better distinction on plants to eat and not to eat. Apart from recognizing the edible plants in the wild, you should have a good storage system, something you’ll keep dry and free from contaminants. you should also have a decent storage system to keep scavengers from posing a threat to your food supply.
Taking care of business
Apart from such tips that we’ve mentioned above in managing your life in the wild, you should also know how to take care of your business and that includes taking toilet breaks. You should have a toilet of some kind, but ensure that it’s not near your water supply. Perhaps, you can find and dig a hole for a temporary toilet. If you have made something like an outhouse, you may get your butt frozen into wood if you would not put a stryofoam over the toilet seat.
Learning how to walk in a straight line
When in the wild, a good sense of direction is vital so that you don’t get lost but you can track your point of origin (temporary home) without any problem. When taking a trip faraway from your shelter, you should be able to navigate properly. To help you on this purpose, you can make use of a backmarking signs, but ensure that they’re behind you. You can also make use of the sun, moon and trees in navigating, something appropriate for folks gifted with an internal compass.
When you’re alone in the wild, it should be hard to live. Before heading into this adventure then, you should learn the way to become your own doctor by learning quite a few first aid techniques, such as cleaning and mending a wound.
The main reason is that you will be everything in this adventure if you chose going alone. So, possessing basic first aid information and skills might be able to assist you in taking care of yourself, including during emergencies requiring you to put a splint to yourself in case. But if you break a leg, you should be ready to find immediate help because you can’t just move with your leg broken. What you should then do is to us a reliable signaling system, including a beacon device, a whistle or some type of smoke. You will also depend on a radio or a phone for help.
If you enjoy living in this setup and you decide to settle there for good, you should also think about setting up your garden, but ensure that it’s far from animals. You must also find out how to stock up for the winter by stocking food, firewood and water to last for a few of months. Lastly, don’t forget making your home stronger to keep it stable against the weather.
There you have the basics you need when deciding to live in the wild, whether temporarily or for good. Remember, this can be not a decision you make overnight, but it takes a while. You should always keep yourself on top of the situation once you have decided living in the forest or similar outcast environments. So, when considering transition from city to wild living, think logically and don’t go for it unless you’re sure and prepared. Feel free telling us any tips or techniques to living off the grid you think would help our community.