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9 Reasons Why You Suck at Wilderness Survival

If you cannot hack it in the wild, this may be the reason why

Have you tried to go into the wilderness just to find that you are really bad at survival skills?

There may be an easy explanation as to why you suck at wilderness survival.

Obviously, there are numerous reasons why a person would fail to survive, but here are the 9 we feel are most important.

1) Too Much TV not enough Prep

The first and most critical step to survival training is to practice the skills needed before you attempt off grid living or wilderness survival.

If all of your information has been gathered from watching television shows, or worse no information has been gathered because you spend all your time in front of the television then you are not prepared.


Get up off the couch and get outside and practice different scenarios.

Hone your skills and your chances to survive will increase dramatically.

2) Your Survival Gear was packed haphazardly

Preparing for wilderness survival includes making a detailed survival gear list and then getting everything on that list.

Just packing a bag full of junk based upon a “feeling” will lead to a poor survival setting.

Ensure that you have a survival gear list that includes:

  • A food list (both dehydrated food and non-perishable food)
  • Water purifiers and purification tablets
  • Clothing
  • Necessary tools for survival
  • A disaster plan

3) You bought the cheapest set of knives you could find

Where there are some cheap knives that can stand up to the test of time and heavy use, the majority of cheap knives suck.

They break, they are dull to begin with, the blades bend and break, etc.

Ensuring that your knives are durable and that they will stand the test of time and usage is paramount to your survival.

Yes, these knives will be more expensive, but things of great quality usually are.

Specialized survival knives are preferred over just a nice “novelty” knife.

Ensure that the knife you are buying is intended for heavy and frequent use.

Take the time to do some research on the best knives on the market and get the best.

4) Your navigation skills are non-existent and you have no compass

Wilderness survival is greatly dependent on movement and a navigational system.

You need to understand where the food is going, where the water flows, what areas are hazardous, where you need to migrate to keep warm/cold.

A man that does not know how to navigate by natural methods (by the stars, from moss, from flowing water, and the sun) has bleak chances in the wild.

Sure, you may have a compass, but if your compass breaks or if you get into an area that sends your needle haywire what will you do then?

Mindless wandering because of a lack of navigational training has got to be one of the top reasons why you would suck at wilderness survival.

5) You thought anyone could do it

The number one killer of people who attempt to make it off the grid in a wilderness survival setting is the mindset that anyone can do it.

This is a gross mistake.

If you have no bushcraft training, do not prepare, and enter the woods like a child with a new toy, you will die. It is really that simple.

Survivalists have to have the mindset that the odds are not on their side and that they must make nature work for them.

If you treat your wilderness survival with the mindset of it being about surviving then your chances may improve.

6) You are too out of shape to survive

This is not being mean. This is being realistic.

If you are obese, have high blood pressure, are diabetic, or suffer from any number of diseases which can be controlled, your chances or wilderness survival are slim.

There is no abundant supply of insulin in the wilderness (though you may find some natural ways to keep your sugar under control).

A person with high blood pressure will be at risk as survival is stressful and sure to raise the blood pressure even higher.

Obese people will find that walking, the sun, and other tasks will tax upon them.

If you are out of shape, exercise and eat right. Put it into your routine. If you plan to survive in the wild you will need to be in peak condition.

7)  You relied on a buddy to balance the load

Many times, a person fails to in a wilderness survival setting simply because they based their survival upon someone else.

You may have thought that you would pack the food and your buddy would pack the tools.

Perhaps you honed the fire starting skills and they honed the navigation and tracking skills. Regardless, if you are depending upon another person for your survival you have done so foolishly.

In a survival situation your buddy is likely to go where he believes the best chances for HIS survival lay (which may or may not be with you).

8) You did not pack enough water

You need to have access to water at all times.

Not keeping canteens of water is going to quickly diminish your chances of survival.

There is no guarantee that you will find water quickly and so you need to have plenty of water in your survival gear.

You will also need to have water purifier so that you can restock on water.

If you run out of water you cannot survive. Water is one of the three mandatory needs (food, shelter, and water).

9) You made yourself a target

In wilderness survival the key is to keep a low profile, especially if you are trying to survive under extreme conditions.

Broadcasting your supplies and the quantity and quality of the items in your survival bag will make you a target for others.

Your bag should be common in appearance and not too showy. You do not want to draw attention.

Also, do not set your camp within close proximity to others in a wilderness survival situation.

Stay off the grid and out of other’s radar.

Spread The Word!
James Allen

James Allen entered the scene of Emergency Preparedness at the age of 12 when he joined the Boy Scouts of America, eventually earning his Eagle Scout Badge at the age of 17. Also at 17, he joined his local Civil Air Patrol squadron and became active in their ground search and rescue team, where he tucked several Missing Person searches and Downed Aircraft searches under his belt, as well as accompanying his team to respond to Katrina in Mississippi. He eventually received training in the squadrons SAR air crew roles, and was appointed Emergency Services Training Officer, until he left the volunteer organization out of obligations to work and family. He began serious "Prepping" with the birth of his daughter in 2012.

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