Whether you find yourself lost in the woods or recovering from a neighborhood tornado, it’s highly probable that you’ll face severe limitations of your resources. It’s important to think and plan ahead so you know how to manage those resources from supplies, food, and even your physical energy.
From gear and supplies to tools, food, water, physical strength, and energy, all these elements demand conservation. Being resourceful and adopting efficient practices are essential aspects of survival in such challenging circumstances.
Let’s take a look at a wilderness survival situation as an example. Being a prepper, you (hopefully) have a small kit with you any time you hit the trail. The kit, of course, contains a variety of different ready-to-light tinders, such as WetFire Cubes or tinder tabs. The smart move, though, when you go to make your fire is to use natural sources of tinder if they can be easily found. Cattail fluff, seed pods, and dry grass should be used first, before tapping into your store-bought tinders. Using these types of tinder conserves your commercial tinder for when you might really need it. While hopefully it will only be a single night out in the field, one never knows what the future might hold.
An other resource worth preserving is your tools. An axe, hammer, or other hand tool could make the difference between life and death. While you may need to process firewood, for example, consider alternatives to using your knife for chopping through lengthy pieces. Try using a levering action by wedging the wood between two trees, or opt for breaking it into smaller parts and feeding it gradually into the fire as it burns. Keep in mind that every use of your knife, axe, or hatchet contributes to dulling the blade, even if only slightly. Restrict the use of the blade to situations where cutting is genuinely necessary.
Your survival kit, or Bug Out Bag, probably contains items useful for constructing an emergency shelter, but before you haul those out, look for naturally occurring options for emergency shelter, such as a downed tree that forms a natural lean-to. The less work you need to do and the fewer supplies you use, the better off you’ll be. Obviously, common sense plays a role in survival. Don’t bed down in a cave unless you’re certain you’re the only thing in it.
Energy is resource, too, of course. When it comes to food gathering, you should never expend more energy than you will receive from the food you obtain. For example, it makes very little sense to burn calories by going on a lengthy track, stalk, and hunt if you aren’t certain to harvest the animal. A far better option is to concentrate on acquiring food through more passive means, such as fishing and trapping, as well as harvesting wild edibles.
If you’re truly lost, staying put is a much better option than rambling around for hours on end. Searchers will have more luck if you’re not a moving target, plus you won’t get tired and make stupid mistakes.
Get into the habit of conserving your resources on a regular basis. Doing so now will make it second nature to you when it truly counts.