That depends on how extreme your survival trip should be, which in turn depends on your outdoor experience. Theoretically, humans can survive up to four weeks without food, but only if calorie consumption is reduced to a minimum. A survival trip isn’t about vegetating, it’s about exercise. Therefore, the topic of food is important and decisive for the length and intensity of the survival trip. Even if you’re planning to feed 100% on nature, a water bottle and water filter are absolute must-have’s. Even a book on botany can not hurt and will help you to properly determine the edible plants. These include the comfrey plant, which contains an above-average amount of starch and quickly gives you the strength to continue your survival trip. You can also really get into Spleen Herb, because it is not too bitter. Ribwort, on the other hand, has healing and disinfecting properties. Especially in Europe there are almost 2,000 edible wild plants and especially in autumn nature offers a 7-course menu of fruits, berries and roots which are wonderfully enjoyable and give energy.
But meat is also possible: if you reach lakes or rivers on your survival trip, you can make a fishing rod with your fishing line in no time at all and even a homemade spear can be useful to catch dinner. Fish is best eaten cooked. Of course you can grill the fish over an open fire on a branch – for those who like it a bit finer we recommend cooking materials from camping equipment. A small pan, a pot and some cutlery won’t turn the wilderness into a 7-star restaurant, but it will give you great comfort and everything tastes twice as good. The fuel for your natural stove is dry wood from nature. But more about this under Tip 2.
In any case, you should have an emergency ration of canned food and dry food ready, because the wilderness is unpredictable.
Making fires in the wilderness
After a kilometre-long walk across the wilderness there is nothing better than sitting around a campfire with your comrades, warming up your limbs and listening to the crackling of branches and twigs in the silence of nature.
As simple as it sounds, making fire in the wild is associated with preparation and, above all, responsibility. You should only make a fire at your campsite and choose a hard surface, which you should limit with dry stones. It is important that the stones you choose to limit your campfire are dry, because damp stones can burst due to heat stress and become quite dangerous. The aim of a good campfire is for the fire to generate a lot of heat, which is emitted to the sides, with little smoke, so that you can sit together comfortably. The reason for a lot of smoke is in most cases damp wood and when the fire produces too little heat. It is therefore important that you only use “dead” wood, i.e. completely dry wood for your fire. Make sure that enough oxygen can reach the centre of the fire at any time and always have enough supplies of firewood ready so that the fire can develop its full heat.
Basically there are 4 different types of fire for survival trips, which we all want to explain in more detail in upcoming blog posts. The pyramid fire, which consists of three layers, is recommended as an all-rounder among the fire types:
I. Tinder, small branches and dry grass and leaves as easily combustible center
II. surrounding medium sized branches arranged in pyramid form
III. therefore again large branches as outermost layer of the pyramid
Make sure in advance that you have carefully cleared the area around your campfire of branches and leaves so that the fire cannot spread uncontrollably. Not every fire has the same function. For example, a star fire is more suitable for cooking, whereas a pyramid fire provides excellent warmth.
To light the fire, we recommend using matches that you hopefully kept dry in your Survival backpack. You need to be thrifty here because you only have a limited number of matches with you. To make it work with your first match, you should turn your back to the wind and place the fire as low down in the center as possible, then blow lightly to ensure a good oxygen supply. A magnesium rod is also a wonderful way to make a fire. Once your campfire is burning, don’t move too far away from the fireplace to be able to react at any time.
After all, when it is bedtime, the fire must be extinguished carefully. It is recommended to let the fire burn down completely. The remaining embers can then simply be extinguished with soil, sand and a little water. If for any reason you have to stop your survival camp prematurely and do not have time to let the campfire burn down, you should remove the thick branches from the burning fire and extinguish them separately. Then extinguish the fireplace with soil, sand and water until there is no more smoke or embers.
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