Outdoor survival skills can make all the difference in a life-or-death situation. Uppercut Tactical offers wilderness survival tips that include foraging, finding food, building shelter, starting a campfire, and signaling for assistance.

Even experienced outdoor veterans may find themselves lost, hurt or stranded. Fortunately, learning wilderness survival techniques helps them handle these unexpected situations with confidence and ease.


Finding water is a vital skill for outdoor survival. Having access to clean drinking water is crucial in any situation, but especially when you are stranded in the wilderness. Knowing the best ways to find and treat water can mean the difference between life and death.

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It is vital to understand that a person can only survive three days without water. Dehydration can be dangerous even in mild conditions. Avoid exercising in the sunlight if you can and postpone your activities until after dusk. This will reduce fluid loss from perspiration. Also, it is important to eat healthy and stay hydrated.

Surface water, groundwater and atmospheric water are all available in a survival situation. Surface water is found in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Ground water is found underground and in aquifers. Atmospheric water includes mist, rain, snow and fog.

Boiling water is one of the most effective techniques for treating drinking water in a survival situation. This process removes bacteria as well as other contaminants. But it is important to keep in mind that boiling the water may not be enough. Chemicals such as bleach can help.

Another important technique for finding water in a survival situation is to look for animal trails. Game trails usually run parallel to a water source and can point you in the direction of it. It is important to remember that wild animals urinate and feces in the same areas they drink. Therefore, you should move away from the water source at least a few hundred feet.

Another way to find water in the wilderness is to dig. Anywhere there is green vegetation, there is a good chance that water seeps in beneath it. This is true for both rocky and sandy terrain. You should always check for mud deposits, though, as they can contain harmful bacteria. Water can also be found in riverbeds, at the foot of a cliff or behind the first sand dune on a dry desert lake.


One of the most important aspects of outdoors survival is shelter. People who die of exposure in the wilderness are more likely to die than from starvation or dehydration. A survival shelter will keep you warm and dry while preventing wind, rain, and snow. The most basic survival shelter is a lean-to, but it is also possible to construct huts and other structures. Always be ready to build a shelter in case of emergency.

Survival shelters should be built in the most dry place you can find. Your shelter should be waterproof, and well-insulated. If possible, you should raise the floor of your shelter a few inch above the ground. This will keep you off the cold, wet ground and allow you to add more material to your shelter for insulation.

A survival shelter should be large enough to fit you and a friend if necessary. It should be positioned away from major hazards such as falling branches, pooling water and insect nests. It should be located where building materials and wood can be easily accessed.

It is important to begin building a survival shelter as soon as you realize you will need one. Construction will take time, and it’s not good to wait until it starts getting dark. The easiest and fastest survival shelters are debris shelters. This type of shelter is a simple lean-to constructed from dead material such as branches, leaves and pine needles.

The ridgepole of the shelter should be at an angle from the ground, and Y-sticks should be placed near the ridgepole to form a wall. Other Y-sticks should be used to connect the ribs to the ridgepole, and the ribs should be angled toward each other so they can trap your body heat. Use a tarp, or another cover, to protect your shelter against precipitation.


Finding a way to escape becomes your primary objective when you’re lost. While snaring food and constructing an intricate three-point, slip-trigger, spring-activated pole snare trap might keep you going for a while, eventually you’ll want out. That’s when it’s important to be able to signal for help.

There are several ways to signal for rescue, but one of the most effective is to use a personal locator beacon. These devices transmit signals via a powerful GPS that can alert emergency crews to your precise location in the case of an emergency. These devices are available at a reasonable cost in most outdoor or preparedness shops.

Another option is using ground markers to signal help. This can include a brightly colored flag, mirrors or even a piece of organic material over a fire to attract attention at night. You can also build a series of three fires in the shape of a triangle, which is a well-known distress signal.

It is important that the signal be visible. This means the signal should contrast with its surroundings and background, for example, a light flag against dark mossy pines or a brightly colored piece of cloth against an ice carpeted ground covered in snow. You can also write “HELP” or a “SOS” on the ground or use letters in the form of arrows to point your direction.

You should always carry a survival whistle to signal for help. Whistles can be used with little effort and their piercing tone can cut through ambient sound much more effectively than a voice. There are a variety of different types available, ranging from the traditional referee whistle to models which are almost soundless. Most outdoor gear manufacturers include them in their kits. They are available for a reasonable cost. Consider keeping a couple in your backpack, clipping one to your survival vest or stashing them inside of frequently worn gear. These tools can increase your chances of being rescued if you are lost in the wilderness.


Survival situations in the wild can quickly turn into life or death. Knowing the proper techniques, tools and skills to navigate these situations can increase your chances of making it through a difficult wilderness adventure. This includes hard skills like building a shelter, foraging edible plants, and finding water. But also soft skills like mental conditioning and creativity when solving problems. To ensure you are ready for any wilderness adventure, practice these skills in challenging conditions.

A key to outdoor survival is a well-stocked backpack with food that can help you through a wilderness emergency. It is important to have a variety of granola bar, trail mix and candy that can give you energy quickly. You should also have cooking equipment, as well as a fire starter such a lighter or magnesium. A multi-tool with scissors can be used for cutting food or making a spear to hunt.

The famous rule of “Water, warmth, signals and food” is a useful way to determine wilderness survival priorities in a life-threatening situation. This is not the only rule, and your needs will change depending on where you are. You’ll need to find water before you build a shelter, because you can’t make a fire without it.

You can find many foods in the wilderness, including mushrooms, roots, and fruit. You can also hunt and fish for animal protein, such as trout or venison, in a survival situation. You can also use insects like crickets or ants to get protein and fats. However, be cautious of eating anything that has a stinger or bright colors, as these can be poisonous.