Call it what you may, but reading, studying and practicing techniques for survival is valuable if you like to adventure out into the unknown.

We like to buy and test new equipment and see what works best.  We have basic survival essentials in our day packs.  Then we get more serious with our backpacks for multi-day trips.  We also have a car pack for in case of a break down or being stuck somewhere remote.  We enjoy seeing what equipment and techniques work for us.  We like to know which way to start a fire is easiest for us.  Practice leads to less stress during a critical incident.

Our most recent gadgets that we acquired to research include:

What we also like to do is study the area that we are going, have good trail maps and know the weather forecast.  Online we research areas and study the terrain if it is not here at our typical flatwoods.  We look at elevation charts for the trails we want to hike.  They can provide a lot of insight.

ga-elevation-mapThis elevation chart helps us understand the challenges of the AT!

Part of learning and growing though is knowing that you don’t know it all.

There is always something out there to learn.  We reached out to #teamHLAW to see what others do.  We got some more great ideas.

-Michelle michelle-long

I always research a new hike. I always have a map. If there is any doubt in my ability to navigate the trail without getting lost, I find someone familiar with the trail to hike it with me. Out here in the woods, it’s easy to get lost. The National Forests, Wilderness and State National Areas are not marked as well as the National Park and it is easy to get turned around.

Also, during winter months, if I am hiking solo, I always carry my stove, sleeping bag and tent. Just in case.

-Jill jill-dunbar

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – Sphinx (Mystery Men) Ha ha ha! Just had I throw that in there ~

Seriously, Dale and I are notorious for over preparing. We rarely day hike. We’re mostly backpackers – that being said, we always carry necessities that will ensure our survival. Dale and I are both very analytical – we research, read maps, plot waypoints, analyze terrain on Google Earth, and we ALWAYS let someone know where we will be and when to expect us back. (My 3 year stint on my college search and rescue team taught me this last one.) I really think, tho, relying on technology gives people a false sense of security, hence the panic mode. We have never gotten lost. Taken a wrong path? Yes, we have and have had to spend the night somewhere we hadn’t planned, but we always knew where we were and how to get back to where we started. All in all, instincts are a powerful behavior and people just need to rely on them more than using technology as a crutch when outdoors.

We found great takeaways from what both Michelle and Jill do.

What type of techniques for survival do you have?  Comment and let us all know.

Remember, if you adventure with kids that it is important for them to learn too.  Top Tips To Teach Children How To Survive In The Wilderness

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