Wilderness Woes - Canna Camp Supply Co

Wilderness Woes

Hey there fellow Canna Campers! We are back with another information-filled Base Camp Blog! This one however may save your life in a bad situation so make sure to pay close attention!

Getting lost or even worse…hurt while adventuring is some people's biggest fear about adventuring in nature, but fear not! In this week's blog, we will discuss some ways you can avoid a disaster. As well as some tips to get your learning process started on what to do in a survival situation.

Mother Nature can be a mean, unforgiving place but she can also provide joy and wonder unparalleled in any other facet of life, keeping both of these statements in mind will help you enjoy the outdoors but also respect it. Good can turn to bad in an instant 

and you should be prepared by learning a few skills before embarking on your journeys.

Look for natural markers

 While hiking don’t get caught up in the Insta moment and forget to look around for unique trees, rock formations, plant life, and animal habitats. If you are not hiking on a trail make sure to leave trail markers, and carry “blazes” brightly colored

Stones stacked beside a trail to provide a trail marker ribbons with you to tie to trees, if you don’t have any with you stack rocks use branches, or find some other way to leave trail markers.

  It is easy to get swept away in the beauty make a wrong turn and suddenly you’ve been walking what feels like an eternity and the trailhead is nowhere in sight, panic starts to set in and now you're frantically searching for something that looks familiar, leading to our next point

Do Not Panic!

The sun is starting to set, and you decide to pick up the pace and begin jogginghiker jumping dip in the ground down the path, “I don’t want to get stuck out here” races through your brain as you miss seeing the exposed tree root or dip in the ground and go tumbling to the ground. Now you are Immobile, the sun is fading behind the horizon, and temperatures are starting to drop “What do I do now” you think as you suddenly remember reading this week's Base Camp Blog, a slight wave of relief breaks the panic and you start planning your escape!

If you become immobile

Access the situation and your injuries. Are you bleeding? How bad is the wound? Is a storm rolling in? If there is bleeding always tend to the wound first. You may not want to look but you need to determine how severe your injuries are. Did you break a bone? Do you have any range of motion in that limb? Often with a few simple items you can find and others should keep in your hiking bag at all times you can create a makeshift support to help you make it closer to rescue. 

  • Paracord or rope
  • Ratcheting belt or Tourniquet
  • Sticks or Branches, hiking poles, etc.
  • Some form of padding, backpack, clothing, etc.

In a dire situation you will be able to use these items to create a quick splint or tourniquet, make sure to support each side of the injury as well as above and below it.  Once you have stabilized the injury attempt signaling for help before trying to make your escape.

Person with leg in a survival splint

Depending on where you chose to adventure help may be a few yards away or a few miles away, if you are in a popular hiking area yelling “Help!” may be sufficient enough, but most of the time the natural landscape will drown out a voice yelling so it’s always a good idea to have .(img credit: freehub)

Back up Signaling options.

person signaling for help with a flair

  • Cell Phone
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Mirror
  • Flares or Flare gun
  • Lighter/Matches

Ok, the first one is kind of obvious but we have heard of people having one and

person using SOS on phone

not trying 911 because they didn’t have a signal, all carriers are required to route

911 calls regardless of what service you subscribe to if there are towers in your area.

The others are often less thought of, we believe everyone should carry a whistle so we include a FREE Canna Camp Supply Co keychain survival whistle with every order that ships from our Colorado location! (we are a small company without much space, so if you order a cold-weather tent or another large item that ships from one of our other suppliers' US warehouses, please shoot us a message and we will get one on the way to you.)

While you can use the universal Morse code signal for help S.O.S  … _ _ _ …

Morse Code Translation Chart

(three short blasts, three longer blasts followed by another three short blasts) there is another well-known signal for help for whistles which is three short blasts lasting 3 seconds each, give yourself a few seconds between blasts to catch your breath and listen for a reply, common whistle replies are a single long blast or a quick double blast.

Mirrors, Flares & Flare guns are useful if you’ve been stranded for a while and do not think anyone is in earshot, they can also all be used to start fires for warmth to help manage the elements. Flare guns are legal in all states for their intended uses just don’t go using one to start your next campfire or one-up your friends in a Roman candle war(which is a VERY bad idea to begin with).

Each time you adventure in the great outdoors you should let someone know where you plan to be hiking and send them a dropped pin when you get to the

Dropping a pin on a map

trailhead if you are able. Even if it is a coworker let someone know, it may be the difference between rescue being able to find you or not.

 If you are not hiking in an overpopulated touristy spot prone to theft you may leave a note on your windshield stating where you will be hiking and when you intend to be back so that way if someone comes across your vehicle they can send help your direction.

If you have been attempting Distress signals and do not believe help is coming that day it may be time to try to set up a temporary camp. Look around for natural shelter, if there is none close to you try to find some brush or leaves to create

Tree being used as a natural shelter

insulation when the temperatures drop at night, create a fire for warmth which can also be used to signal and try to rest for the night so you can attempt to escape in the morning,

There have been numerous resources written by qualified experts on these subjects. Don’t let this be the end of your quest knowledge if you plan on taking a trip into the great outdoors. 

In a future blog, we will discuss survival shelters and how to build them more in-depth so stay tuned for another Base Camp Blog


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