I FEEL LIGHTHEADED AND DIZZY AFTER ABOUT 8 HOURS WITHOUT FOOD.
We enjoy teaching teens about wilderness survival. When we mention the rules of 3 they always seem the most shocked about this one. Once, there was a young man that told us that he liked food way too much to consider this.
We have personally seen someone sick for a week and unable to keep food down be very weak and puny. In fact, she fell and broke her wrist because her body became so weak. It doesn’t take long before your body starts letting you know something is wrong.
In a true survival situation though, it is important for you to remember that the priorities are shelter, water and then food. Don’t panic that you have nothing to eat the first day or two. Do not feel desperate and start eating berries, plants or some bugs that you don’t know for sure are safe to eat.
If you can, participate in a local plant identification course. Learn which plants are edible or should I say which part of them is edible. How do they have to be prepared matters too.
Same thing goes for bugs. There are a lot of different bugs out there. Some are edible and actually good sources of protein. Some are more edible roasted. Research and know though before you start crunching down on them. A couple clues to non-edible ones are the ones that are red and ones that are hairy or furry.
If you really want to be prepared for survival, first, always pack some lightweight, high-protein snacks.
Secondly, if you are near water, then try fishing. Did you pack a simple hook and some fishing line in your survival kit? It is lightweight, but comes in very handy if needed. These days they also make fishing poles the size of an ink pen. Additionally, research how to build a trap for fish to swim into. Fishing is pretty easy way to pass a day and it’s a great survival food.
You may also want to practice making traps and snares. A quick and easy one to throw in your pack is a mouse or rat trap. Sounds silly, but it might catch you something edible. Making snares will also take your mind off worrying and give it something productive to do while you wait to be rescued.
The biggest thing to remember is that you are a survivor, do all you can to stay alive until you are found. A positive mind and attitude sometimes saves people and gets them through in ways that are unexplainable. Have faith that you will be rescued. Know that you told someone your plan and they will be looking for you. Know that someone will miss you and search for you. Make sure they know that you actively train to survive. Make sure they know to never stop looking, you will be there…hopefully near a water source. That you will have distress signals for air resources to spot you. That you will stay put and survive. That’s right, stay put.
Stay put, don’t wander off. If a search and rescue team is looking for you, you do not want to risk moving and being in a place where they have already searched. Stay put, keep blowing your whistle, keep a fire stoked and be ready to make all three fires burn if you hear aircraft, make yourself visible to search and rescue teams and never give up.
If it has been over a week, there is a chance that the search has been cancelled. You have a couple choices at this point. First, if you have a compass and map, then start hiking in one direction that you see should be the shortest way to civilization. Stay your course, don’t wander back and forth. Secondly, if you are near a river, try hiking near the bank, making your way traveling down river. Most times, you will find civilization at some point. Be sure though to leave signage that you were there at that campsite and which direction you started traveling. That way if someone does find your camp, they know you need help and which way you went.
Saving yourself by hiking out may be your first instinct, especially on day two or three. Try to avoid doing that though if you know someone knows where you were going. Your chances of surviving and being found are better by staying put and focusing on the rules of three.
This post is part of a series, starting with Survival, 3 Minutes without Air, 3 Hours without Shelter, 3 Days without Water and there will be an additional post that will help you with great resources to learn more about survival. Thank you for reading the series.