How-tos for Backcountry Survival

Here are ten things to consider about building your own kayak with a friend, after, of course, you share a beer or two.

» Learn How to Build Your Own Kayak
(Jim David via Shutterstock)

Build Your Own Kayak

Here are ten things to consider about building your own kayak with a friend, after, of course, you share a beer or two.

» Learn How to Build Your Own Kayak

Scare Off a Mountain Lion

I was just reading about pepper spray repelling a mountain lion...what about using one of those very loud boating/marine fog horns? These horns are quite small but can be very loud.

» Learn How to Scare Off a Mountain Lion

(Scott E Read via Shutterstock)


Survive Falling Through Ice

Don't panic. Just follow these simple rules.

» Learn How to Survive Falling Through Ice

falling through ice survive survival ice hypothermia
(Dimos/Shutterstock.com)


How to Stitch a Wound

Become a regular Dr. Frankenstein with these tips from Dr. Luanne Freer, founder of the Everest Base Camp Medical Clinic.

» Learn How to Stitch a Wound

(Sophy R. via Shutterstock)


Make a Bow Drill

Before the Bic, matches, and flint & steel, there was the art of rubbing two sticks together. A nearly forgotten skill in modern outdoor education.

» Learn How to Make a Bow Drill

(Pig Monkey via Flickr)


Pilot a Canoe in Whitewater

That's the beauty of a canoe. You can stroke them in flat-­water, load them with weeks of supplies, and, if you know what you're doing, shoot them down some pretty serious whitewater.

» Learn How to Pilot a Canoe in Whitewater

(muppetofdestiny via Flickr)


Survive an Animal Bite

Ever been out traveling or an a wild adventure when you felt, all of a sudden, like you were no longer at the top of the food chain? Here, experts explain how to avoid becoming lunch.

» Learn How to Survive an Animal Bite

(ImNotQuiteJack via Flickr)


Survive a Night in the Cold

What can I do to stay warm if I have to spend a night in the cold without a sleeping bag?

» Learn How to Survive a Night in the Cold

(Artep via Flickr)


Escape an Attacking Animal

Learn how to escape an angry baboon, moose, or elephant. Thank us later.

» Learn How to Escape an Attacking Animal

(dwphotos via Shutterstock)


Find Yourself with a Compass

GPS's (and batteries) fail. And learning to read a map and use a compass builds good navigation habits, meaning you're less likely to get lost in the first place.

» Learn How to Find Yourself with a Compass

(Rissy Story via Shutterstock)


Predict Weather Changes

I’ve encountered a lot of weather folklore over the years from books and other guides. A few methods are reliable, and others may work depending on what part of the U.S. or world you're in.

» Learn How to Predict Weather Changes

(Kyle Nishioka via Flickr)


Deal with Drowning Victims

The Heimlich has been used for decades to clear the airways of choking victims. For that purpose, it has proved to be a lifesaver. However, the medical community is now advising against its use in drowning cases.

» Learn How to Deal with Drowning Victims

(AntonSokolov via Shutterstock)


Deal with a Head Injury in the Wilderness

From a practical perspective in a wilderness environment, here's the best approach if someone has sustained a head injury.

» Learn How to Deal with a Head Injury in the Wilderness

(Basov Mikhail via Shutterstock)


Treat a Flesh Wound

Next to muscle strains and sprained ankles, minor wounds—cuts, blisters, scrapes, burns, and punctures—lead the list of injuries in the outdoors.

» Learn How to Treat a Flesh Wound

(Chad Zuber via Shutterstock)


Find a Reputable Tracking Class

Tracking is a science and not something that involves smoke and mirrors. So I'd say consider spending time with a qualified tracker and then you will get more realistic results and skills.

» Learn How to Find a Reputable Tracking Class

(Eugeny Vasenev via Shutterstock)


Treat a Snakebite

Whiskey shots aren't the answer.

» Learn How to Treat a Snakebite

(Audrey Snider-Bell via Shutterstock)


Survive a Tornado

Stay safe by knowing the essentials of protecting yourself, and plan for even the worst situations.

» Learn How to Survive a Tornado

( f9photos via Shutterstock )


Handle a Grizzly Bear Encounter

If you're heading into bear country this summer, heed these important tips from Kerry Gunther, bear management program leader for Yellowstone National Park.

» Learn How to Handle a Grizzly Bear Encounter

(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


Build Your Own First Aid Kit

You can buy a preassembled medical kit from your favorite outdoor retailer, but you’ll usually want to add something to it, and inevitably the supplies will dwindle, forcing you to replace them.

» Learn How to Build Your Own First Aid Kit

(Wolfgang Flamisch/Corbis )


Deal with Wet Feet

How should I deal with wet/smelly/rotting feet in the wild?

» Learn How to Deal with Wet Feet

( dno1967b via Flickr)


Protect Yourself from Wildfires

What if you are backpacking or camping, and are confronted by a fast-moving wildfire? What should you do?

» Learn How to Protect Yourself from Wildfires

(Jon Beard )


Make a Plant-Fiber Rope

There are hundreds of plants whose fiber can be used to weave rope. Which one you use depends on where you live.

» Learn How to Make a Plant-Fiber Rope


Survive a Bar Fight

Anyone who's been in a real rumble will tell you it's a far more brutal affair than your choreographed fantasies of kicking ass like Patrick Swayze in Road House.

» Learn How to Survive a Bar Fight

(Everett Collection)

Filed To: First Aid / Survival / Navigation
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