Brad's Top Survival Tips
Explorer and Nite Hawk owner Brad Parsk knows a thing or two about staying alive against the odds. From living alongside desert tribes to traversing the arctic solo, the survival expert has endured some of the world's harshest environments to become a master of his craft.
Now, exclusively for Nite, Brad shares his top 5 survival tips.
We all love a good adventure from time to time. But sometimes things don't always go to plan. If things go awry, keep these 5 points in mind.
Always tell someone trustworthy where you are going and when you'll be returning.
This way, if you don't get back when expected, somebody can raise the alarm.
Imagine this: you get lost, injured or stranded somewhere. There is no phone reception and nobody within earshot. In fact, nobody even knows you are there. You didn't inform anyone of your travel plan because, being ever the optimist, you didn't expect this to occur. But it did. And now you're up the infamous creek without a paddle.
These scenarios happen to thousands of people a year, and it can be avoided with a quick phone call 10 minutes before you leave. Giving someone a heads up of your proposed route / intentions / timeframes can make the difference between perishing and being rescued.
This may seem like the most boring "survival tip" of all time, but it's saved more lives than any other piece of advice!
Take a moment.
When things start to go south, it usually happens quite rapidly. So much so, that we often don't realise that we are actually in a survival situation. One minute you are enjoying a hike in the hills, the next minute the weather turns and you can't see more than 6 feet in front of you.
Rather than blindly continue on, it's sometimes good to take a break and collect your thoughts.
Assess the situation. Ask yourself: is it smart to continue on? Does anyone know where I am? Would it be safer to double back a little way? Am I thirsty / hungry / tired / disorientated / injured? What is my body trying to tell me? Will carrying on add additional risk to a now dangerous situation?
Survival isn't so much about playing the action man and doing crazy stuff, as you will often see on certain TV programmes. It's actually about making the wisest choice given the current circumstance. Pausing to assess and plan is never time wasted.
Remember the survival priorities.
The survival priorities have been built around this essential knowledge to ensure that you, as a survivor, are putting energy into the right things first. Most people place food far too high on their perceived list of important things. In reality, food is the lowest of all survival priorities. Look at the list below and tackle these things in order:
Fire is an amazing, multi-use gift.
I would argue that man's most pivotal point in history was when he mastered fire. We homosapiens haven't been around all that long compared to many species but we have achieved a great deal. It is believed that we learned how to make fire some 400,000 years ago from striking flint pieces together. Utterly ingenious.
These days, there's no need to carry rocks around (unless you are that way inclined!), as we have much more convenient ways to start a fire, including matches, lighters and ferro rods. Use them.
Fire not only keeps you warm and alive, but it has been proven to significantly boost morale in a survival situation, enabling you to think more clearly and even get a more restful sleep.
Fire can boil collected water, thus purifying it. It can cook, roast or smoke food sources and even keep predators at bay. What's more, a fire in the dark can be seen from some distance so it also acts as a signalling method. Fire is like nature's swiss army knife.
It pays to have a survival kit.
Any good adventurer, hiker, woodsman, explorer, survivalist or outdoor enthusiast should never be without a survival kit.
What is a survival kit?
The idea behind a survival kit is that you have a small container filled with life-saving gear. If it's small then it's convenient, and thus you are more likely to carry it with you on hikes, travels and adventures.
Assembling your own kit can be time consuming, but it gives you full control over the quality of the contents. Here's a how-to guide: https://www.instructables.com/id/Pocket-Survival-Kit-3/
However, if you don't have time for that and simply want to buy something that's ready to go, check out: https://www.bushcraftlab.co.uk/collections/outdoor-survival-kit