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Survival night in the Amazonas Jungle
While being in the Amazonas Jungle, I went to sleep for a survival night into the jungle. We learned how to make our own settle with trees and palms, how to fish our own food and how to start a fire to cook the fish. Survival skills are techniques a person may use in a dangerous situation (e.g. natural disasters) to save themselves or others. These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life: water, food, shelter, habitat, the ability to think straight, to signal for help, to navigate safely, to avoid unpleasant interactions with animals and plants, and cure any present injuries. Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that ancient humans have used for thousands of years. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting and many other outdoor activities all require basic wilderness survival skills to handle an emergency situation. Bushcraft and primitive living are most often self implemented, but require many of the same skills. Many skills are environment specific and require training in a particular environment. Wilderness survival is commonly broken down into three areas: Modern Wilderness Survival, bushcraft, and primitive living. The latter two are often self imposed, thus not always "survival" in the strict sense of the word, but many of the same techniques are employed. Modern Wilderness Survival teaches the skills needed to survive Short-Term (1 to 4 Days). Bushcraft is a combination of Modern Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living, lasting 4-10 days. Primitive Living teaches the skills needed to survive over the Long-Term (40 days plus). Many primitive technology skills require much more practice and may be more environmentally specific. Several organizations offer wilderness survival training.
Course ranges from one day to field courses lasting several months. Different training is necessary to survive in different climates. Although one technique may work in a dry sub-Saharan area, the same methods may actually be a detriment to health in an arctic climate. A shelter can range from a "natural shelter"; such as a cave or a fallen-down tree, to an intermediate form of man-made shelter such as a debris hut, a tree pit shelter, or a snow cave, to completely man-made structures such as a tarp, tent, or longhouse. Making fire is recognized in the sources as to significantly increase the ability to survive physically and mentally. Lighting a fire without a lighter or matches, such as by using natural flint and steel with tinder, is a frequent subject of both books on survival and in survival courses. There is an emphasis placed on practicing fire-making skills before venturing into the wilderness. Producing fire under adverse conditions has been made much easier by the introduction of tools such as the solar spark lighter and the fire piston. Fire is presented as a tool meeting many survival needs. The heat provided by a fire warms the body, dries wet clothes, disinfects water, and cooks food. Not to be overlooked is the psychological boost and the sense of safety and protection it gives. In the wild, fire can provide a sensation of home, a focal point, in addition to being an essential energy source. Fire may deter wild animals from interfering with the survivor, however wild animals may be attracted to the light and heat of a fire. The light and smoke emitted by a fire can also be used to work at night and can signal rescue units. A human being can survive an average of three to five days without the intake of water. In colder or warmer temperatures, the need for water is greater. The issues presented by the need for water dictate that unnecessary water loss by perspiration be avoided in survival situations. The need for water increases with exercise. A typical person will lose minimally two to maximally four liters of water per day under ordinary conditions, and more in hot, dry, or cold weather. Four to six liters of water or other liquids are generally required each day in the wilderness to avoid dehydration and to keep the body functioning properly. The U.S. Army survival manual recommends that you drink water whenever thirsty. Other groups recommend rationing water through "water discipline". A lack of water causes dehydration, which may result in lethargy, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and eventually death. Even mild dehydration reduces endurance and impairs concentration, which is dangerous in a survival situation where clear thinking is essential. Dark yellow or brown urine is a diagnostic indicator of dehydration. To avoid dehydration, a high priority is typically assigned to locating a supply of drinking water and making provision to render that water as safe as possible. Recent thinking is that boiling or commercial filters are significantly safer than use of chemicals, with the exception of chlorine dioxide. Culinary root tubers, fruit, edible mushrooms, edible nuts, edible beans, edible cereals or edible leaves, edible moss, edible cacti and algae can be searched and if needed, prepared (mostly by boiling). With the exception of leaves, these foods are relatively high in calories, providing some energy to the body. Plants are some of the easiest food sources to find in the jungle, forest or desert because they're stationary and can thus be had without exerting much effort. Skills, and equipment (such as bows, snares and nets) necessary to gather animal food in the wild include animal trapping, hunting, fishing. Focusing on survival until rescued by presumed searchers, The Boy Scouts of America especially discourages foraging for wild foods on the grounds that the knowledge and skills needed are unlikely to be possessed by those finding themselves in a wilderness survival situation, making the risks (including use of energy) outweigh the benefits. The mind and its processes are critical to survival. The will to live in a life and death situation often separates those that live and those that do not. Stories of heroic feats of survival by regular people with little or no training but a strong will to live are not uncommon. Among them is Juliane Koepcke. Situations can be stressful to the level that even trained experts may be mentally affected. To the extent that stress results from testing human limits, the benefits of learning to function under stress and determining those limits may outweigh the downside of stress. There are certain strategies and mental tools that can help people cope better in a survival situation, including focusing on manageable tasks, having a Plan B available and recognizing denial.

See Also:
ManausMapThings to doLandmarksHistoryUseful InfoWeatherRubber TreeAmazon TheatreNative Brazilian / IndegenousStick InsectSurvival in the Amazon JungleTarantulaBrazilian CarnavalCaiman / AlligatorTermitesAmazon River Dolphins / Pink DolphinsPiranhaSpidersWater LiliesMeeting of the WatersAmazon River / Amazonas RivesAmazon Jungle / Amazonas Jungle

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