How to Safeguard Yourself in the Woods

Being safe in the wilderness – Why?

Going out for an adventure in the wilderness, and experiencing our natural world first hand, can be one of the best experiences in life. Yet, the great outdoors is a very dangerous place for the inexperienced, and you need to be prepared before you head out to the wild to be safe. 

You might think that it is just animals that can pose a threat, however, weather, and getting lost are probably more significant risk factors in the wild. Getting lost when you are outside in the world is one of the biggest dangers in wandering around the wild. Having incorrect or no tools at all, and hunger and dehydration, are all major risk factors. 

So, as you prepare for your wild adventure, make sure you are prepared and safeguarded before you go. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure you are safe and protected. 

Basic Needs:

Wherever you go on any holiday, you require a packing list. The same goes for when you are planning a trip into nature. You will be packing different things though, you wouldn’t take some of these on a casual summer vacation, but some of the tools you will need in the outdoors are not for enjoying yourself, but protecting yourself and basic survival in the event of an emergency. 

Always be prepared for an emergency in wilderness adventures, it is better to have it and not require it, than to need it and not have it, remember. 

Sunscreen

Even if it is not hot outside, you should take sunscreen with you. Lengthy exposure to the sun can cause serious issues. Wear sunscreen, a sun hat and watch the UV index. Cover up and try to limit time spent in direct midday sunlight to stay protected. Too much sun exposure can dehydrate you extra fast, so if you do get lost in the woods, staying out of the sun can keep you going a little longer, and make your water supply last longer. 

Hydration

While we are on the topic, staying hydrated is just as important. You need to ensure you pack a couple liters of water. You require ensuring you stay hydrated. If you get lost, that water will be your best friend, and without it, you are in big trouble. Always drink before, during, and after your trek. 

Should you get lost, it is also worth taking a water filtration system with you. You can get small portable ones nowadays, and why not learn how to collect rainwater too! 

Food

Pack some carbohydrates to take with you. Carbohydrates give us energy and are basically the fuel for our bodies. You are sure to get hungry at some point, so make sure you have carbohydrates to keep you going. 

Essential tools

There are plenty of tools you need to take with you. A knife can help you in many instances, so even a small Swiss army knife can be a lifesaver, a lighter is also a requirement, it will save you a lot of effort and issues when you light a fire. 

Do not forget your first aid kit, you never know when you might need it. It is also worthwhile staying well versed on how to maintain your kit, such as how to replace an axe handle safely. 

Navigation

Always take something with you to help you know where you are. Take a map, compass, GPS, or all three. If one ends up not working, you will have other options. If you do get lost, do not panic, try to find trail markings, try and follow your footsteps back, or call for help. Panicking will only do damage to your situation.

Always Camp Before Dark

When you are in the woods, it is wonderful, but at night it becomes a danger zone, tree roots you cannot see, different animals, and so on. Set up camp before the sun goes down, and make sure you’re safe. Setting up camp after sundown has resulted in so many accidents for people, so keep an eye on the sun’s position in the sky. 

Stay on the Trail

Keep a close eye on your footing as you make your trek. Even the highest quality shoes cannot stop you from a fall. Stay in clear areas, and do not venture into areas which do not look totally safe. 

Enjoy the wild! 

While the wilderness presents many dangers, it is a wonderful place to venture. There is something very freeing for the soul in adventuring the woodlands, just make sure you are safe when you do it.