Photograph via snooOG

Wilderness Survival


The Wilderness Survival subreddit


r/survival is a forum for sharing and discussion of the topic of wilderness survival and not an authoritative source of information. Your training, preparedness, health, well-being and safety are your own responsibility!

The subscribers, commentators and moderators of r/survival are not responsible in any way for how this information is used nor for any actions based on it that may result in damage to property, injury, sickness or death, accidental or otherwise.

What is Wilderness Survival?

r/survival defines Wilderness Survival as the philosophies, knowledge, techniques, and actions applied in a Wilderness environment, in a short-term survival scenario, which serve to increase the likelihood of survival of the individual or group.

Rules of r/survival:

  • Follow reddiquette. Be nice.

  • Keep all posts on the topic of Wilderness Survival (see definition above). This means no posts about urban survival, bug out, prepping, teotwawki, zombies, collapse, etc.

  • Please use the search feature before posting. Chances are someone has posted about that topic before.

  • No "check out my gear" posts. Posts about gear must contain specific questions, comments, reviews, modifications, or ingenious new uses. Requests for review of kits are accepted but please don't turn this sub into /r/survivalgearporn.

  • No blog spam or blatant advertising-only posts. Please see reddit's self-promotion rules for clarification of what constitutes blog spam.

  • All posts regarding medical topics (first aid kits, medical advice, etc) must have OPs level of medical certification in the post title (abbreviated e.g MD, RN, EMT, etc.) or in the body of the submission. If you aren't certified that's fine, just indicate so in your post. This rule is to ensure OP isn't given advice outside their safe scope of practice.

  • Please do not post dangerous advice. Any comments and advice posted that can have a potential lethal and/or harmful outcome can and will be deleted by the mods with no notice required.

Failure to adhere to these rules will result in a removal of the offending post. Repeat offenders may find themselves banned from r/survival.

Regarding First Aid/Medicine posts: Medical advice from strangers on the internet is not an authoritative source of information nor does it establish or even imply a patient/caregiver relationship. Please consult with a licensed physician or otherwise qualified healthcare provider if you require medical advice or treatment.The subscribers, moderators and commentators of this subreddit are not responsible for any medical advice and the consequences from following it, posted herein. Please make sure to read the disclaimer.

Some useful links:

** Knowledge weighs nothing but if you're looking for gear check out the following:**

Links to other subreddits you might enjoy:

IRC Channel: #innawoods on irc.snoonet.org

If you have any questions, inquiries, or suggestions, feel free to message the mods.


4,288,567 Subscribers


Less efficiant survival methods and their more efficiant counterparts?

What are those survival skills you've encountered that made you want to tell everyone about a more efficiant way to go about things?

For example, shelter building, water collection, fire starting, etc.


21:46 UTC


Thoughts on the Tracker knife? Is the hype real?

00:22 UTC


Topographical maps

What would be the ideal type of topographical map for a survival scenario? Example 7.5 x 15 minute, 30 x 60, 1 x2 degree?

14:07 UTC


Steel Canteen(s) and/or Mess Kit

Does anyone have any good recommendations for a cheap (sub $50) stainless steel food grade canteen and/or mess kit? Currently rocking an old USGI 1 Quart plastic one and looking to upgrade. Thanks.

02:27 UTC


Is heat treating a "survival bow" necessary? And are there any good alternatives methods besides fire?

So I plan on experimenting with "survival bows" using non-optimal materials (mediocre or terrible wood, various scrap bow string materials, etc).

One roadblock is heat treating the bow. If I'm at a camp spot for an extended time, a fire trench would be a perfectly decent method for heat treating. But if I'm in an area with limited fuel or if I can't stay in one spot for too long, it's not a very viable method.

The areas I'll be bush crafting in are low humidity and high heat. So I could technically just leave it out in the sun. But I expect that would take a very long time.

So my question is, how necessary is heat treating a makeshift survival bow? And what non-fire methods would be actually useable in a survival situation?

01:35 UTC


What is the best length for a fixed blade knife? Not only to baton, but feather stick as well as anything else. TIA.

23:20 UTC


Bow drill cord slipping

This is extremely frustrating. I have gotten solid with the bow drill with everything other than the cordage. I put a bowline at one end of a fork and split the other end, insert the cord, and put a half hitch at that end. When I am inserting the spindle in or I am just about to get enough heat or dust for an ember, the cord starts slipping and to keep the revolutions going I pull further and further away from the spindle untill it is eventually tossed into orbit. No ember, wasted effort and energy. Makes me want to give up.

22:16 UTC


Alternatives to the petroleum-covered cotton ball

My wilderness hobby is backpacking. And Im very good at starting fires in a variety of elevations and climates. Here are some alternatives to the infamous, patrolium-covered cotton ball:

Your first aid kit has supplies you can multipurpose if a fire is being stubborn. Those small alcohol swab squares that come prepackaged? They burn for about 45 seconds each. They are lightweight, so protect them from the wind. (And remove from the package before burning.) The antibiotic ointment you (hopefully) carry is petroleum-based. You can also just use a squirt of your alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Don't have the first aid supplies with you? Check your pockets. There's a good chance your chapstic is petroleum or wax-based.

As with any chemical fire starters, give it and yourself room to breath while the fire consumes the starter. We don't need that stuff in our lungs.

Hope this was helpful! Looking forward to hearing from others.

Edit: I appreciate how everyone is adding their personal go-to's! It just hits different than a generic list of things suggested by people who haven't used them.

20:13 UTC


Can you use a single-wall water bottle with an external coating safely to boil water (ie: Klean Kanteen single-wall)?

Here: https://www.kleankanteen.com/collections/non-insulated-water-bottles/products/water-bottle-wide-mouth-40-oz

Klean Kanteen seems to be sold out of their brushed steel bottle. I’m thinking of likely waiting for restock to buy the stainless one, but they have a free shipping deal going on for today and only the single-wall black coated is available.

19:09 UTC


Have any of you guys gone out camping by yourselves before?

I got into camping last year and just recently got a 4x4 with ATs. I’m thinking of trying my first solo camp once I get some more cold weather gear. I’m in AZ and will probably head out towards East or North AZ for some forests. What are your experiences? Do you guys get lonely? Any challenges you’ve done that you think are fun or important to do?

05:22 UTC



Does anyone know if there is a mixture of an Jetboil Flash, Esbit cooker, Bushbox and MSR Whisperlite?

09:53 UTC


What is the best way to handle an attack from a swarm of bees?

I was hiking in the desert in SW Arizona today and came within 15 yards of a swarm of bees. I immediately retreated. What would be the best way to handle a situation where I accidently stumble too close and am attacked? Is it true that fire/smoke will stop a bee attack? Just want to see how people would react to this as it seems dangerous.

19:37 UTC


Easily Practiced Skills

I'm curious to see what you folks think are some essential/practical survival skills that can be practiced and developed on any given day. I have hit a bit of a rut in terms of my own development and as such I am looking for some new ideas.

Thanks in advance.

14:33 UTC


Looking for a place in Northern California where I can practice land navigation, bushcraft, and other survival skills.

Title says it all. I’m in Sonoma County for reference. Just need a spot to go get some hands on practice.

21:32 UTC


School camp 24 hr solo

I'm on school camp next year and we are doing a 24 hour solo with only a tarp 4 1m lots of rope, a tarp and whatever we pack. The whole camp is 5 days and has alot of hiking so I have to pack light. Is there any setup or things that I could bring to make this any easier. We are in Queensland Australia and it's going to be a low of 3°C so I want to be off the ground. We aren't allowed to make a fire and we are given food for the night and morning. i have most common packing gear ready just looking for some shelter styles and some uncommonn but useful items you think could be good to bring.

05:23 UTC


The Escape Azimuth. A Tool For Day Hikers

Of course, this is not always the correct option. Hug a tree is real, as to not hike out of the primary search area and get more lost. This is best for day hikers (the most common in need of rescue) due to the smaller distances travelled. Also, the terrain must be passable, and you must be ambulatory.

01:18 UTC


Has anyone ever filtered and/or distilled water from a dehumidifier and tested for potability?

03:47 UTC


Can anyone recommend survival schools in California?

03:34 UTC


What are your best survival tips for out west, Nevada area?

00:24 UTC


Adding braided fishing line to survival equipment?


Hi All! I can think of many use cases for braided fishing line in survival situations. Snares, camp alarm, sewing… does anyone have experience with it?

13:40 UTC


On the technique of sucking the venom out of a snakebite wound

TLDR: Is there any truth to and evidence of the practice of sucking venom out of a snakebite

I think we all know that if in a movie, show or video game, a character gets bitten by a venomous snake, another character has to suck the venom out and then spit it out, which magically removes the venom and makes the bite victim instantly okay

I think we’ve all seen videos of people talking about how this does not work, does not save the afflicted person and can actually affect the person trying to suck out the venom

Does anyone know where this trope came from and why it’s so popularly known by people even with no other knowledge of survival techniques. Was it actually practiced at one point by pioneers or is it a Hollywood invention?

Is there any truth to it at all that it could in some way be effective or is it just completely invented?

19:15 UTC


You can pitch pretty much any tarp shelter with just these 8 knots

17:38 UTC


Mexico Yucatán🏜 survival experience?

So me and a buddy (19 and 20) will be travelling Mexico (Yucatán to be specific) for 2 months. We are not that experienced. We have been to Thailand og Vietnam, but never anything like Mexico.

So asking the experts i know wanders this community. What do we need? Emergency rations?, bandaids? Thermal blankets? We have backpacks and good boots, not much Else.

Any help (or recomendations) are highly apreciated🙏🏘

22:29 UTC


Napalm for campfire starting purposes

Can it be stored in a plastic air tight bottle with a child lock glass jars? Or whatever you guys prefer to use would be helpful aswell

20:25 UTC


Does Ash Lye work like Industrial Lye for disinfecting water?

Hi. Does ash lye (potassium hydroxide/potash) work for disinfecting drinkable water like industrial-made lye (sodium hydroxide), or are there any important health risks?

I know it's an alkaline solution (so, it should be used diluted), and that it's used in soapmaking, but I wanted to know if there's more ways to efficiently disinfect drinkable water while out in the bush other than boiling, which is resource-intensive (as in, depletes resources quickly. In this case, fuel).

01:24 UTC


All in one book?

What’s the best book that covers the majority of the information you need for survival, medicine, foraging, shelter etc

Edit: serious answers only

Looking to create a few survival bags for friends. Realised having the survival medicine handbook, nuclear war survival skills and ultimate preppers survival is too much weight and was wondering if there was a book that covers all of it

18:48 UTC


King Cobra bite

So let’s say I’m stranded in a massive forest that stretches for acres and acres and acres and acres. It’s dark and humid, there’s nobody around-only me and the descents of wilderness, I’m stranded, there’s no means of transportation of ANY sort nearby, only berries for food, and water only if I walk far enough to look for it.

Then a King Cobra snaps a good chunk of my skin. There’s no medical personnel or facility within a 80 mile radius maybe.

What now?

18:46 UTC


What do I do if I have limited water but am very thirsty?

Do I drink all of it at once and quench the thirst completely, or drink little by little and quench the thirst partially every time? Which one will keep me comfortable for a longer time?

20:35 UTC


What if you can't back away from a bear/cougar/wolf?

Hi everyone. I have a couple camping trips planned this summer in BC, so I'm refreshing my bear safety knowledge. I've read up a bit on cougar and wolf encounters also, because I might as well. The advice universally involves backing away from the animal, but what I can't find information on is what to do if there's nowhere to go; for example, what if there's a cliff behind you, or a body of water? What if the only route away involves getting closer? The only thing I can think to do is stay in place and try to scare it off, but maybe there's a safe (relatively speaking) way to get past? I'm wondering also if the best option would depend on whether or not you're alone.

I don't actually expect to be in this situation, but I think it's good to know these things regardless. I'm pretty sure the majority of this province is bear country, and the only person I know who's encountered a cougar was on a cliffside (on a ladder and it was an easy getaway, but still).

For a bit of context: these are the official guidelines for bear/cougar/wolf encounters here.

Side question: is there a reason speaking loudly is suggested, not yelling? I'd think yelling would be more threatening.

03:21 UTC


What do you think lasts the longest for cutting down trees and making firewood.

You can only choose one axe saw or a wire saw?

09:19 UTC

Back To Top