Using What's Around You - When Supplies Are Gone

If you forget to bring toilet paper or biodegradable wipes while hiking and need something to clean yourself, there are a few natural elements you can use. Some safe options include large leaves (such as mullein or broadleaf plantain), smooth rocks, moss (if it's abundant and clean), or even snow if it's available. 

However, it's important to be mindful of your surroundings and environmental impact. Make sure to choose materials that won't harm the environment or disturb local flora and fauna. Additionally, always practice Leave No Trace principles by properly burying any waste and packing out any trash.

 Using What's Around You - When Supplies Are Gone - ZIPHERS

Here are some other elements of nature and how you can use them when you find yourself in such a situation:

WATER: Finding a clean source of water is a top priority. You can collect water from streams, rivers, lakes, or rain. If the water isn't safe to drink, you can purify it by boiling, using purification tablets, or constructing a simple sand and charcoal filter.

SHELTER: Construct a shelter to protect yourself from the elements. Use available materials like branches, leaves, and rocks to create a makeshift shelter, or use a tarp or space blanket if you have one. Insulate it with natural materials like pine needles or moss.

Using What's Around You - When Supplies Are Gone - ZIPHERS


FOOD: Foraging for food in the wild can be challenging, but it's possible. Look for edible plants, insects, and small game like rabbits or birds. Learn to identify safe and edible plants and insects in your area.


NAVIGATION: Use the sun, moon, stars, and natural landmarks to navigate your way. If you have a watch, you can determine direction using the hour hand and the sun's position. Additionally, if you have a magnetized needle, you can create a basic compass.

Using What's Around You - When Supplies Are Gone - ZIPHERS

SIGNALING: If you need help, use signaling techniques like building a signal fire (with green vegetation to create smoke), creating visible signals on the ground, or using a whistle or mirror to catch the attention of potential rescuers.

CORDAGE: You can make cordage or rope from natural materials like plant fibers, vines, or even animal sinew. Cordage can be used for various purposes, such as building shelters or traps.

Using What's Around You - When Supplies Are Gone - ZIPHERS

FIRST AID: Nature provides various medicinal plants that can help with injuries or illnesses. Learn about the native plants in your area and how they can be used for first aid.

Remember that surviving in the wild with limited supplies can be challenging, and it's crucial to stay calm, think rationally, and prioritize your needs. Having some basic outdoor skills and knowledge can significantly improve your chances of survival in such situations.

Using What's Around You - When Supplies Are Gone - ZIPHERS

When you're on an outdoor adventure and run out of supplies, it's essential to rely on the elements of nature to survive and make the most of your situation.

Additionally, always let someone know about your plans and expected return time before embarking on an outdoor adventure, which can aid in search and rescue efforts if you get lost or stranded.


October 27, 2023 — Debbie Mercer

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