OK. To get things moving - let's start an A to Z of Bushcraft and Survival skills.
I'll gradually add a new letter and come up with a skill, technique, hint or tip that matches the letter. Hopefully we'll build a good reference as we go along.
So let's start with the letter A
Awareness in this case means preparation. If you know you’re going into a potentially risky area or situation, then it makes sense to make adequate preparations. If you prepare properly before your journey, then you’ll stand a better chance of surviving if a bad situation hits.
How can you do this?
A good start is to get some training in basic survival techniques at a good Bushcraft or Wilderness Survival School. (Check out the links section on this blog for my personal recommendations).
Once you've got some skills under your belt, you'll have a lot more confidence and won't be too daunted about venturing into the wilds.
And whenever you’re out in wild places – tune into the environment and what’s going on around you. Get to know and read weather patterns, light levels, wind direction and most importantly – animal behaviour.
Animals are acutely aware of everything around them. They know exactly what’s going on. And if they sense any danger – they get the hell out of there. Their whole lives are governed by their inbuilt survival instincts.
You can learn lessons from them by trusting your own intuition and gut feelings.
Your intuition works at a sub-conscious level and is a better indicator of danger than your conscious, analytical mind. So trust your hunches and first impressions – they’re usually right.
And if you do get caught out - it’s vitally important that you adapt to your surroundings quickly and make the best of what you’ve got. Studies of disaster survivors have shown time and again that those who are most aware, quickly accept the situation, adapt and make the most of the mess they’re in - survive.