Surviving in the wilderness among wild animals and potentially poisonous plants take more than cojones. The daily work pressure, boring commutes and hour-long traffic often makes us want to run into the wild with nothing but a great book or our iPods. Sadly, surviving in the wilderness is not so easy. There have been several cases where outback riders have lost their way in the nearby woods, and they have wandered further into the wild until rangers flew in and rescued them. Even the best survivalists often find themselves out of depth in certain forests at times.
Without going further into the truly discouraging details, let us give you a brief overview of what NOT to do when you lose your way during one of your trail rides or outback horse riding adventures.
Leaving your navigation tools behind
The first biggest mistake is leaving your knapsack containing your navigation tools in the lodge or the shed. You might not have a GPS, but you at least need a compass to tell which way you are going. If you are not going to think about you, at least think about the poor horse for whom it is not like Racing at Kentucky Derby.
Not collecting enough knowledge about the forest
Nothing is as deadly as the lack of proper knowledge about the wilderness.
- You might have to hang on for more than 24 hours in the wilderness, so learn about the predators that lurk. This will help you as well as your horse.
- Learn what you can eat inside the forest. Also, learn about potential horse feed in the wilderness. You do not want to deal with a sick horse, while you are stuck there.
- You need to learn how to build and maintain a safe fire inside the forest for both of your safety.
- Find out signs that can lead you to fresh flowing water. Do not drink from a water body or offer your horse water from there unless other wild animals are drinking from it.
Not considering all the risks
There are several times when people have passed out from the strain or have required a trip to the ER or even worse, due to simple miscalculations. If you find yourself lost, without any sign of help, first sit down and go through the contingencies. You need to plan every step to ensure that your emergency food supply, water reserve, horse feed and first aid can last you till the rescue team finds you. In the meantime, you need to find a way to signal your location inside the forest.
Not keeping signaling devices on you for the ride
You will not have flares inside your backpack, so learn how to signal for help in case you are lost under a dense canopy. Signaling devices should always be a part of your emergency kit. They can include high beam flashlights, whistles, and signal mirrors. If you love camping and riding out to the woods, you must invest in good emergency beacon devices that can help you signal for help.
The key to survival is to remember carrying a fire starter, signaling device and at least a knife when you go for a “short ride” into the woods.