Basic Survival Tips Every Adventure Traveler Should Know

The best part about being an adventurer is, there is always something new to learn. Frankly, you never know what challenges you might face while heading out for that new hiking trip. Still, there are a few basic survival tips you should know in case things take a bad turn.

So I have compiled the most important tips that you need to know when out in the wilderness. If you know a few of them, great. If not, it is never too late to learn. 

Research the Area

Preparation is one of the key aspects of any outdoor adventure trip. Even if you head out for a day-hike, it’s important to study the geography of the area. This will let you know any potentially dangerous spots to avoid, the nature of the wildlife, and the nearest habitats. Also, take note of the weather forecasts, to know the lowest and highest temperatures you can expect.

It’s also important to estimate the time it will take to complete a hiking trip. In remote trails, fix a “turn around” time. That means, unless you reach the destination within a fixed time, you will head back to return before it gets dark. It is also important to share your travel plan with a few responsible people.

We have all grown accustomed to using smartphones and GPS systems for navigation. However, it’s always best to learn the basic map reading skills and bring a physical map with you. That way, you can head for safety even if your GPS runs out of juice or reception.

Find Proper Shelter

If you are lost in the wild and it is getting dark, finding the right shelter for the night is a priority. Basically, this is the place from where you can start taking all the other steps needed for survival. 

While choosing the right spot, do not pick the top of a hill of a dry river bed. To avoid lightning strikes, avoid clear grounds where you can be the tallest object. While seeking shelter in a cave, make sure that you are not invading the home of any wild animal.

Ideally, you should look for a spot that can shelter you from the sun, wind, and rain. Note, the smaller the shelter the better it is for providing warmth.

Collecting and Purifying Water

For surviving in the wilderness, staying hydrated is more important than collecting food. So finding a proper water source is extremely important. Any moving water source or springs are usually good for use. In drier climates, plants like cacti can be a good source of water. Other than that, rainwater, dew, melted snow, or ice are some of the purest sources.

No matter the source, you need to purify the water before drinking. There are plenty of methods for purifying water, including, chemical and UV filtration methods. Carrying an ultralight straw filter is also a great option. Pick one based on your preferences and budget.

There are natural filtration methods that can be used too. The most common ones are boiling and sedimentation. You should bring the water to a rolling boil for at least a minute before consuming it.

Building a Fire

In a survival situation, fire is the ultimate source of warmth and security when the sun goes down. It provides warmth on cold nights, keeps wild animals and insects away, and can also be used for cooking or boiling. Besides, you can also use the smoke to signal for help.

There are many ways that you can make a fire. Doing it by using the right tools is one of the simplest survival skills you can learn. The first thing is, making sure that you pick the right spot. Next, keep in mind that the three important components of fire are tinder, kindling, and fuel. So gather all three in sufficient amounts before starting. 

To be safe, carry two options for lighting a fire- a lighter and a striker. For generating smoke for signaling, use green foliage.

Learn First aid Skills

Honestly, you never know when first aid skills will be needed. So, make sure to pack a survival first aid kit in your backpack. It is best to take a short course that deals with treating injuries and identifying coon health issues. If you took the course years back, refresh your memory by taking another. 

Some important skills you need to learn include using a splint to set a broken bone, basic CPR, and treating insect bites. This is one reason experts suggest hiking with a team or a partner. That way, you won’t be left alone in case of any unwanted accidents.

Conserve Body Heat

Staying warm on cold nights is extremely important to prevent hypothermia. As a basic step, try to insulate yourself by putting a few layers between you and the ground. This will prevent heat loss through conduction. Stay away from the windy spots to prevent convection heat loss. 

To thaw your cold feet, swing them like a pendulum to increase blood flow to the toes. In case you are frostbitten, apply lukewarm water or hot wet cloths to the area. Do not apply dry heat or rub the affected area vigorously.

Know your Limits

Hiking and trekking are about experiencing nature and not about showing off your abilities. While being confident about your abilities is important, you can’t afford to get cocky in the wilderness. Choose a trail that matches your skill levels and expertise. Also, know the limits of the gear you are carrying.

The other thing is, unless you have the right knowledge, eating random berries and plants found on the trail can be a fatal error. Lastly, it is important to stay positive while waiting for rescue in an emergency. No matter how helpless you may feel, never give up hope.


There are always some risks involved with an adventure trip. But that should not prevent you from heading out and enjoying it. With the right preparation and by using the survival tips mentioned here, you can easily prepare yourself to handle emergencies.

I’d love to know your thoughts on these tips. So feel free to leave a comment. 

Have a terrific trip!

Kevin Smith

About the Author

Kevin Smith

Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. The outdoors has always been a passion of mine since I was a kid as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know when it comes to camping, hiking etc. and I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby as me. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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