How to Protect Yourself in the Wilderness

How to Protect Yourself in the Wilderness

Considering how to protect yourself in the wilderness

By Scarlet Gratton

Planning for your wilderness getaway never kicks off with thoughts on getting lost in the woods or spotting a bear. We envision perfect, sunny weather, peaceful hiking trails, butterflies, birdsong, waking up to the sound of the babbling brook nearby, and tasting fresh berries you’ve just picked. The reality, however is somewhat different, and it calls for thorough preparation for your trips to the beautiful outdoors, in order to stay safe when camping, hiking, or lounging in a cabin.

As beautiful as Mother Nature is, it can also be extremely dangerous when you’re not prepared or trained to cope with specific situations. That is why some survival training and preparation are essential for any adventure you plan. Here are a few safety precautions and self-defense ideas to keep in mind for your next outdoor escapade.

 

Get to know the region you’re visiting

Get to know the region you are visiting

Heading out to a national park or a reserve you’ve never visited before? It’s time to start browsing and exploring official pages of those locations to learn about the native wildlife in those areas, as well as the official advice given to visitors by experts. Just like each location has its own climate, it also has specific wildlife you might encounter, from bears, wolves, snakes, spiders, all the way to seemingly harmless birds. In any event, knowing how to behave and what not to do around those species can make all the difference in the world and in knowing how to protect yourself in the wilderness.

Basic awareness of your surroundings is vital, as you’ll be able to recognize tracks, and perfect habitats of each animal, so you’ll know to steer clear. Some of the most common predator precautions include the following:

  • Don’t surprise any animal – they will feel threatened and often try to defend themselves by attacking.
  • Don’t feed or touch any wild animal you encounter.
  • Don’t leave any food or trash behind – it’s both extremely bad for that very same environment you seem to love, and it’s dangerous because it will attract predators.

 

Learn about making your own shelter

Learn about making your own shelter

In addition to predators, you also need to be cautious about the elements. Different weather situations can escalate quickly, and if you’re not aware of your position and your options, you risk jeopardizing your safety and your health. That is why you should practice and learn how to make your own shelter in the wild.

Just in case something goes awry with the tent you brought, or if it gets destroyed or you get lost, being able to make your own little nook will keep you warm until you go back to safety or call someone to pick you up. By using fallen branches, leaves, moss, and other natural materials, you can easily build an insulated shelter quickly.

 

Self-defense essential tools and must-haves

Self defense tools and must haves

Knowing all the right behavioral patterns in the presence of a wild animal is paramount when you’re exploring nature. Especially if you’re camping on your own and you spend more time in the great outdoors, you need additional protection to stay safe and know how to protect yourself in the wilderness in case any wildlife encounter escalates. For some of those situations, you’ll need a bear spray, a multipurpose pocket knife, and sometimes a firearm.

First of all, learn how to handle, clean, and store all of those pieces of equipment. As a gun owner, you need to do some research and go through gun safe reviews so that you can find a vault to keep your firearm and your ammunition stored safely. Learn how to clean your weapon, and how to aim properly, so that you can defend yourself in a stressful situation in nature. The same applies to any knives you have, as knowing how to use and store them safely can help you stay focused in an emergency.

 

Finding fresh water

Finding fresh water

In case you run out of water or you get lost, one of the primary skills you’ll need to survive and stay safe is to be able to find fresh water. After thoroughly learning about the topography of the area you’re visiting, you’ll know where to look and what parts of your location are most likely to hide water pockets.

After finding some water, you need to boil it or use a water filter to ensure that you’re not about to ingest any pathogens such as E.coli and salmonella. You can also learn how to collect water from dew and plants, which might take longer, but it’s equally effective.

 

Stay connected

Stay connected

Escapades and endless hiking trails are enough to make any globetrotting gal swoon. However, you also need to make sure that people know where you are, how long you plan to be away, and the easiest way to reach you. Ideally, share your coordinates with someone you know. Add to that, bring a few useful communication tools to be able to reach someone in case of an emergency.

For example, a satellite phone, or a multifunctional device that sends out text alerts with your coordinates can be extremely helpful in such situations. A simple flashlight can help you send out a signal for help in Morse code, so prep for that, too.

 

Depending on your destination and the duration of your trip into the wild, you’ll be able to learn so much from each adventure you take and adapt your skills over time. While you’ll hopefully never need to use some of the listed methods, knowing them is key for how to protect yourself in the wilderness. Perfecting them will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your travels and to keep yourself and your companions safe.

Guest Author

Scarlet is a passionate writer and a regular contributor at ripped.meinterested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves travelling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.

39 thoughts on “How to Protect Yourself in the Wilderness

  • August 20, 2020 at 9:45 am
    Permalink

    As a boring city dweller who only recently got interested in activities such as hiking and camping (I am yet to try camping), I realize that I have no idea about how to properly behave in nature. Articles such as this really help me create awareness of what is out there!

    Reply
  • August 16, 2020 at 7:08 pm
    Permalink

    Brilliant post! To educate and inform people how to find fresh water, make shelter Tec are crucial if people get into difficulties x

    Reply
  • August 13, 2020 at 4:38 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this post. What you write is really reliable, so I know if I wanted to take a camping trip whether alone or with a few other people, I’d be well-equipped!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2020 at 9:24 pm
    Permalink

    Great tips for those out camping or hiking in the wilderness. So many people now are choosing trips like this, for the isolation, it’s important to remain safe during these times!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2020 at 6:43 am
    Permalink

    This is a really informative post. I enjoyed reading it so much! I feel like I can now camp alone… joke! I am still a scaredy cat. Haha!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2020 at 5:35 am
    Permalink

    These are all great pieces of advice. However, I would not go camping alone. I think it is always best to do the buddy system. Self defense tools and access to clean water is a must too.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2020 at 4:42 am
    Permalink

    Great, great tips for solo (or group) camping for women as it covers safety, which we need. I’m no camping pro hence I prefer glamping in controlled environments or a hike for a couple of hours. Kudos to you for having this down pat!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2020 at 2:37 am
    Permalink

    This is SUCH a helpful and informative post for those brave enough to tackle the wilderness – for which I am NOT! 😅 I do hope to travel in the future, and to slowly push my own boundaries and go outside my comfort zone, but the things you mention in this post I honestly cannot see myself doing. Never say never though, I guess!

    Reply
  • August 11, 2020 at 9:18 pm
    Permalink

    Why is this article for women only? Men could also learn a lot from it, as myself right now. I don’t usually do camping, but now I will try. Very useful tips. Thank you!

    Reply
  • August 10, 2020 at 7:57 pm
    Permalink

    These are such great tips for protecting yourself while camping. Knowing your destination well is mandatory. Not just for camping but otherwise also. Protecting gears and stay connected are one of the most important things to give maximum attention. Thanks for this helpful post.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2020 at 7:35 pm
    Permalink

    I can’t imagine myself alone in the wilderness. I can get lost really easily. But these tips are very important and helpful.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2020 at 5:26 pm
    Permalink

    I am not a regular camper or wrecker but reading this post was so interesting. Like any holiday planning you must prepare and find out about where you are and what is going to keep you safe and enjoy that place. I think its key to find out about the location to start with and also if you in natural habitat finding fresh water would be a key and one we might just take for granted in our day to day life and not think about. Thanks for a great post

    Reply
  • August 9, 2020 at 7:00 am
    Permalink

    These are definitely some essential skills for outdoors. Freshwater and how to make it safe is one very important aspect. Those tools definitely help in ensuring the safety. Good tip about the satellite phones. Most places do not catch the normal cell signals.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Ami,

      I am so glad you found the article useful and I’m wishing you a lot of amazing adventures and camping trips in the future! 🙂

      Reply
    • August 11, 2020 at 8:59 pm
      Permalink

      Good of you to share this informative post about protecting ourselves in the wilderness. Finding fresh water and hanging on to some survival tools, among other essential tips, are important.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2020 at 6:36 am
    Permalink

    Great tips! Luckily for me, wild animals aren’t as much of a concern in our area, but I can imagine that some situations must get super intense!

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Kelsi,

      I’m so glad you liked the article! 🙂 Yes, wilderness can definitely be full of intense situations, especially if there are many wild animals in the area.

      Reply
  • August 8, 2020 at 5:08 pm
    Permalink

    These are some real practical tips that are relevant for anyone who loves the outdoors. I agree, before heading out, one must fully acquaint themselves with the area, its geography, and prepare accordingly. I feel, when you are in the wild, it’s better to pack up backups as well -as a lot of times things can go sideways, and one has no control over the situation.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:29 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Arnav,

      Thank you for reading the article and sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate it! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 8, 2020 at 1:55 am
    Permalink

    These are all such good tips! I would love to travel again soon.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:28 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Erin,

      Thanks so much, wishing you a lot of adventures in the future! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 8, 2020 at 1:46 am
    Permalink

    It is important to be prepared for the great outdoors. We have never done wilderness camping and it would be an adventure.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Marysa,

      I hope to read about your experience once you try it. 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 11:19 pm
    Permalink

    I am an avid hiker and usually hike alone. I’ve been a little afraid to camp anywhere overnight alone but would love to try staying over in a National Park some day. These tips are super handy and make me feel much more prepared to do so.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:25 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Lynne,

      So glad to read that you find these tips useful. Wishing you happy camping and fun adventures! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 9:42 pm
    Permalink

    Such a relevant and super important subject. Safety and protection should always be at the forefront when planning an excursion. Too many people go out into nature and are not prepared. I am terrified of camping solo but this post breaks down actionable steps and I will be sharing it with all my future travel friends.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:23 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Sophia,

      I am so glad you found these tips so helpful and I wish you plenty of exciting adventures! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 7:20 pm
    Permalink

    I found this really helpful. I always wanted to hike the Appalachian trail, but was a little timid to go alone based on some of the things you mentioned (bear, self defense, etc.) It is good to be aware of these potential risks so that campers/hikers can properly prepare and know how to protect themselves.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:21 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Cecilia,

      I am so glad you found the article helpful and I hope you’ll get to visit the Appalachian trail in the near future. Just do your research and make sure you prepare everything you might need in advance. Happy hiking! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm
    Permalink

    This is some intense camping! I’ve pretty much just camped in my backyard with my kids with easy access to comfort in the home. I’d like to venture out and go real camping someday.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:17 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Monica,

      I hope you will and I wish you many fun and safe camping trips in the future! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm
    Permalink

    This is an important blog topic. Especially if you head out into wilderness. I think that staying in the moment and being aware of the surroundings is so important. I see far too many people so engrossed in their phones they are totally unsafe. And miss all the beauty around them. I must admit I could never imagine hiking or camping anywhere that I might feel that I would need a gun to protect myself. Being prepared is important. And I do wish our kids would stay in touch more when they head off into the wild!

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:16 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Linda,

      You’re right – being aware of your surroundings and enjoying your time in the nature is what we should all try to do and what we should teach our kids as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 12:18 pm
    Permalink

    When going camping in the wilderness, proper research of the area and knowing what’s in store are essential! It’s better to also go with someone who already has experienced especially if it will be your first time.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:14 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Alyssa,

      Yes, I agree that it’s very helpful to go with someone who’s familiar with the area, it’ll give you so much confidence for your future ventures. Thank you for reading the article, it means a lot! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 5:59 am
    Permalink

    These are great and practical tips. Finding fresh water is sometimes overlooked but water and shelter are invaluable skills. I appreciate that you included these items and they are specific to not only women! Everyone needs this! Self-defence is another issue and probably my biggest concern out there I guess!

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:11 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Molly,

      I completely agree with you – it’s essential to know how to find fresh water and shelter when you need one. And yes, self-defense is particularly important for us women. Glad you liked the article! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 7, 2020 at 4:14 am
    Permalink

    I didn’t think this pertained to me as I wouldn’t go camping alone, but I do go hiking alone and these are great tips to remember!

    Reply
    • August 9, 2020 at 1:08 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Lynn,

      So glad you found this article helpful! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: