- Pocket knives are handy in any situtation.pocket knife image by angelo.gi from Fotolia.com
In a survival situation you have to act smart, be efficient, and know your goals. Having a survival field manual on hand is always helpful because, in the wild, you are in a life threatening situation. You will need a quick go-to reference in the wild. In Saskatchewan, where January temperatures ranges from -9 degrees Celsius to -23 degrees Celsius, winter will be a difficult season to survive. Your only hope is escaping to a safer place. Always keep the will to live on your mind.
- The ultimate goal in a survival situation should be getting out to a safer place. To do this, you need to know where you are and your directions. The shadow tip method can be used to find North. First, push a stick into the ground and mark the tip of its shadow with a rock. Wait 20 minutes and mark the new shadow tip. Draw a line connecting the old and new shadow markers, extending about a foot past the new one. Put your left foot on the old marker and your right foot on the new marker. You are now facing North. With this information you can find all other directions respectively. In Saskatchewan the North Star should also be visible throughout the year. Find it by tracing the Big Dipper's handle across the sky, before it bends.
If you have a map follow your directions to the nearest town. If you do not have a map keep a close eye and a close ear for any signs of civilization. Otherwise, follow streams down current to where it empties into a river. Then follow that river downstream. Only cross rivers if the current is weak.
- Without water, you will die. Water is your greatest need. All water you obtain has to be purified. Do this by boiling the water at least 20 minutes. If it is winter time in Saskatchewan, try to gather up snow and melt it for water. This too must be purified.
If you have problems finding water in Saskatchewan, dig a well. Dig deep until you find wet soil. You can scoop up, purify, and drink the water that collects at the bottom of the hole. Another method of collecting water involves placing a clear plastic sheet over the well and securing it with dirt around the edges. Place a cup at the bottom of the well; then, put a rock on the plastic sheet to push it down so water will drip into the cup. The water will evaporate, condense on the plastic, and drip down into the cup because of the rock. Drink the water from the cup as it gathers.
- Fishing can be done with anything resembling a hook and a line. You can also try diverting streams so that fish end up in a shallow pool where you can catch them. Hunting may be difficult to do, especially in winter. Learn and use different traps and snares listed in survival handbooks. Never eat any plant unless you are sure the species is safe or you have a handbook saying that species is safe. Many plants are poisonous.
Shelter and Clothing
- Lean-tos can be quickly constructed by placing sticks in the ground at an angle and then securing a tarp or branches over it. Tepees can be constructed in a similar way. If you can, construct a fire. In the winter, when there is several feet of snow on the ground you can dig burrows in the snow. Find a large, coniferous tree and dig around the base all the way to the soil. You can inhabit that hole and use the tree's branches as a roof.
Always wear full and tight clothing, even during sleep. Tuck pant legs into your socks to keep mosquitoes out. Always have multiple pairs of socks with you when you venture into the wilds.Let wet ones dry near a fire or around your neck. In winter, insulate clothing with vegetation.