For the best chance of surviving an emergency in the backcountry, you have to understand your priorities. The survival priorities are a grouping of the basic necessities for life, and in most situations – it’s wise to stick to the basic sequence. For example, exposure can kill you faster than dehydration, so find or build a shelter before you wander off looking for water. Make sure you understand the four most basic survival priorities and their sequence: first shelter, then water, then fire, and finally - food. And while you could sustain yourself without it, I consider signaling to be the fifth survival priority. You’ll need to know how to signal your distress if you’re expecting rescue, and especially if you’re unable to move. This simplistic list of five priorities will give you the guidance you need for most scenarios. Though on the extraordinary occasion - you’ll need a little bit more. You should also know enough to take care of injuries and medical issues, should they occur. You may even need to defend yourself, should you become threatened. No matter how your wilderness trial unfolds, follow the priorities of survival.
- Shelter – to protect you from the elements
- Water – to avoid the disabling (and deadly) effects of dehydration
- Fire – to boil your water, keep you warm, and perform 100 other tasks
- Food – to provide physical energy (calories = survival)
- Signaling – to catch the attention of rescuers, do this often and throughout the ordeal
- First Aid – to maintain your body, perform as needed
- Self-Defense – to preserve the body, perform as needed
And if that’s not enough, you can:
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