Outdoor Survival Tips for the Hunter
Every year fishermen and hunters find themselves in survival situations. Due to the nature of our outdoor hobbies we tend to leave the trail. We venture to find the biggest fish or to shoot a buck. This naturally puts us out in the elements to begin with. The weather changes on us in a heartbeat or it’s the dead of winter or the middle of the summer. Our surroundings don’t have straight sidewalks with corners and street signs.
According to the Custer County Search and Rescue in Colorado, after the first 24 hours of being lost survival chances drop to 50%. Each day thereafter is drops another 25%. Usually after 4 days it turns into a recovery operation instead of a rescue. For well those of us who venture into the outdoors often we need to take steps to increase our chance for survival before even leaving the house.
The first thing sportsmen must do before ever leaving on their trip to an unfamiliar area is a map study. If you spent time in the area before this may not be as crucial depending on how many times you spent in the area. Everyone going on the trip needs to know as well as have a copy of a map for the area.
GPS devices work great, most of the time. Just like any other device they can break, get wet, batteries go bad, or not get a signal. Having a map and compass, even if it’s a little thumb sized compass, can make the difference between staying in the woods for 5 days or getting back to the camp by night fall. As we said in the military all the time, one is none, two is one. At some point your first line of gear breaks, usually at the most in opportune time.
The second thing all sportsmen need to do is inform others of your plans. Make copies of the map you take with you. Give it to someone you trust. Also make plans to communicate with them when you can. Set time windows when you will call them. In today’s day and age everyone carries a cell phone. Make sure to keep it charged. If you hike in and can’t make a daily window, you need to make sure that you have a drop dead time that you will call. If things go south in a hurry, someone will know where to look. This narrows the search radius and ups your survival chances.
As your final line to your survival, carry the necessities to live. Rod Alne, a 27 year veteran with the Air Force Para-Rescue Unit and owner of The PEAK Inc., recommends taking the three Tier System. On your body Tier 1, in a pouch or fanny pack Tier 2, and finally in your back pack Tier 3. Tier 1 consists of the absolutely bare minimum suggested for survival up to Tier 3 which carries your comfort items that increase your odds for survival.