Survival. It is that thing we do every day, or attempt to. We have to eat and drink enough to sustain a normal life, and we have to clearly make sure we're doing everything right with medicines and many other things. It can be difficult to survive completely, as normal life can be pretty hard on us. However, if you live in a developed nation it is likely you are living a pretty good life. This is not the case with many other places around the world.
One of the most well-known areas of the world where nations are not as developed as they need to be would be various areas in South America. This is also home to the infamous Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon is considered one of the most incredible places on Earth with some absolutely beautiful views and interesting wildlife. However, it is also a very difficult place to live and one of the most common places that people can get lost.
The Rainforest is quite large. Though many tribes still live in the area, they have lived here for many years and know what it takes to stay alive in places like this. It's literally all they try to do there, so they must be good at it. However, if you're unlucky enough to get stuck here either alone or even with a friend or two...you may not make it if you don't know what to do.
This made us start to think, what if we could give some insight on ways people can make it through the jungles of the Amazon? What if we could inform you on some easy to use tips that can help you make it out? That is exactly what we planned to do. We will tell how you to act, and only use things you would have brought with you (no major tech). That said, we hope you enjoy our list of 20 ways travelers can make it through the jungles of the Amazon.
20 Slow Down, And Think
This may seem like an easy thing to do, and one that may not be a big deal for you to do. However, most people have trouble with this and it can truly throw them off. When they discover they are lost, they'll immediately begin to freak out. This helps no one, especially you. The best way to counter a negative problem is to properly think through what you can do to get out of the situation.
You need to slow down, consider where you are. Look at the daylight you have left, and look at your surroundings. Look for things that may help you not only figure out where you are but possibly look for things that can likely give you an open area to signal for help. You also want to look for simple things like smoke or listen out for unnatural sounds, as that is human-made. All of this can only be seen and heard when you slow down and simply use your senses to the best of their abilities.
19 Keep On The Lookout For Symptoms
A lot of people will freak out and although they are maybe not acting nuts, they are not completely calmed. This leads to many getting worse over time. Survival is as much a mental journey as a physical one. Many people have trouble settling down. Sometimes it is due to the fight or flight response coming out and some kick of adrenaline. But when these wear off, or fight or flight takes over completely, it can be pretty bad. It could lead to a panic attack, and this ultimately can even lead to overheating.
Look out for chest tightness, shortness of breath, lack of any way to focus, blurred vision more than any normal you might have, and twitching issues. All of these can be signs of panic attacks. You also want to keep on the lookout for things like hypothermia and heat stroke. Both very different, but both are easy to see coming. Mental struggles can sometimes lead to these happening randomly, so you'll need to stay focused and calm to avoid any issues of missing symptoms.
18 Eat Fruits And Other Forms Of Vegetation (That Are Familiar)
Most people who go to the Amazon tend to learn a bit about the culture of the area as well as plants and animals that frequently show up here. Obviously, the types of things you see will be affected by the rainy season. People often forget that the Amazon might have a huge rainforest but it does not rain every single day the entire year. There are somewhat dry seasons. In this time, more animals might be around as well as certain fruit and vegetation. Knowing what you'll normally see here could be useful.
Most know this, but let's pretend you do not. Most know to steer clear of various animals that can end you before you can end them. However, animals are not the only dangerous things you'll find here. The vegetation you come across can be great for you to eat. Sometimes you can even eat it raw without any issue. Yet some of it can poison you. Things you can eat include fruits like Camu Camu, Maracuya, Bacaba, Acai, and Cocona.
17 What To Do If You Get Cut
Being cut is never really a big deal when you're at home. Unless it is some sort of deep wound, of course. The reason it could become a huge problem in the Amazon is simply because of the infections you could get with an open cut here. This is why you must do all you can to avoid getting cut, but if you do manage to see this happen to you...there are a few ways to avoid an issue. First, clean up the cut. If you're near a water source, do not use this to clean it unless the water has been boiled. A lot of bad bacteria can be in open water, of course. You could use leaves or simply cloth you have. You could then cover the wound a number of ways.
One way is, especially if it is a deep cut, cutting part of your clothing off to act as a cover for it. You could even use mud. There is also a special ant that can be seen all around here called the Trap-Jaw Ant. It cannot be mistaken for another, as you'll certainly notice its pinchers. They will bite you, so that can be used to your advantage. Simply put the ant on the area you wish to close, have them bite and it'll act almost like a stitch. Simply detach the head from its body to keep the ant's head in place.
16 Develop A Makeshift Spear
One of the most important things you'll need here is a spear. The reasons are obvious. There are many animals that do not mind feeding on you. Some snakes like the anaconda are found here, as well as certain big cats like jaguars, pumas, and black panthers. While monkeys typically will leave you alone, sometimes they'll get aggressive if you camp out near or in their territory. They do not like this at times, and thus, they feel you'll need to go. Due to their aggression, you could see a random howler monkey taking a shot at you.
There are numerous animals in this random place in the world, which seems to surprise a lot of people. This is not even talking about the numerous poisonous insects and amphibians you'll come across. Have we scared you enough to build a spear yet? Good. You could simply find a stick and attach your knife to it, or sharpen the stick using the knife or with a sharp rock. As long as there is a point to the thing, you're likely going to have a useful weapon.
15 Make A Proper Shelter
No matter where you are in the rainforest, you need to be sure to keep time in mind. Look up to see the light you have and always stop in enough time to make a good shelter. Look at all you have around you. From moss to wood, you want to see every little thing. One of the most important things is to find the driest place around. So if one area seems to have more of a dry appearance, you want to set up shelter there as it likely means the rain does not hit it as often.
Or you want to make something like a tent. You'll need a lot of longer sticks and any sort of long leaves or vines. This will be used to tie things like sticks together. They can also get wet and won't just break apart. You could also use shoe strings if you're in a last resort situation. Simply loop them together, sticking the sticks into the ground in a circle formation with space to get inside. Leave room for the opening. You'll then need to cover it. So find as many leaves or moss to cover everything to protect it from the rain. Then make a platform to sleep on that is raised, so you can avoid those creepy crawlers at night time.
14 Use Mud To Cover Your Body In Times Of Major Insect Issues
One of the most common things the jungle or rainforest provides is major insects. However, most of us think about things like spiders, ants, scorpions, or things like that when we think about stuff on the ground to worry about. In reality, they are not the only issue you can run into here. Random flies and mosquitoes can be a huge problem.
To avoid issues like mosquito bites, coating your skin is very important. While wearing your clothing at all times is useful, you also need to use things like mud. Yes, you read that right. This creates a layer on the skin that makes it harder for these things to bit you, thus, they avoid it. Or they do not succeed. Either way, you're in the clear more often than not.
13 Build A Fire As Often As You Can
Anytime you stop for the evening, which you'll want to do sooner than later in the day due to how long it takes to develop shelter...you'll also need to make a fire. Making a fire in the rainforest can be pretty hard to do. Mostly everything is wet, so trying to make a fire with wet materials is like expecting to win the jackpot in Vegas. You may get lucky, but 99% of the time you come up as a loser. There is an easy way to avoid the issue. Most people are going to carry a drybag to the rainforest with them. Seriously, it is Amazon 101 here.
The reason you need a drybag is obvious, but this can be a lifesaver, truly. Find wet things you can use for kindling. The best possible thing might be things like wood chips, or random bushel types of plants. Something light basically. You can store it here or in your pockets. It should get dry by the time you get where you're going. Simply use these dry things after digging a spot out and surrounding it with rocks. Use a match, lighter, or dry sticks you may have stored to make the fire with these dry materials.
12 Other Ways To Get Fire
Fire is one of the toughest things to get in the Amazon due to the wetness of the place. This is why you want to come prepared with things like a lighter, as it can be flicked open numerous times. Matches are a one flick thing. But there are a number of other ways to get fire and a number of other things you can use. Proper rocks can get a spark, you'll need to get dry ones with one that is cut a bit as it'll be the sparker. You could also use other forms of friction too, such as a bow-drill. There are even other supplies you can use to help.
11 Don't Forget About Leftovers From A Fire
People often will make a fire then move on to the next place just casually leaving the ash and materials behind. In reality, it is very important to use everything it provides. The ash can be used to clean your hands. It's not technically soap, but it can sort of act like a disinfectant in part. It may seem like the ash is just nothing special, but it has more than people realize. You could also do something with the fire that people often don't consider when in survival periods.
There is something called a charcloth that you can create. Basically, you can cut off part of your clothing, usually something small. If you have a container you can close, you can use this. So basically you sort of roast the cloth. Do not burn it until it is done. Simply make sure it gets all black. It'll act like charcoal and take a spark real quick and help in making fires. In order to use this, however, you'll need a container you can close. So something like a bamboo stick you can close up would be perfect unless you have a normal container in your bag or something. That works too.
10 Make A Signal Fire Everywhere You Go
When you are able to start up a fire, this is a huge deal. However, this can be used for more than warmth and cooking. It can also be used for signaling for help. When people are out looking for you, it's often they will sort of consider flying over the Amazon and looking for signs. The best possible way to catch their attention is to be sure to make something stand out as unnatural. This is why smoke is important to create, especially black smoke. It stands out and can be seen for miles. If you don't have anything around for that, white smoke is good too.
The white smoke can be seen coming out of the trees. However, you want to find the most open spot you can to make a signal fire so that if you do see a plane, it will clearly be able to spot you. The most important thing is being found, so all ways to do this clearly is of importance. When you are in an area where you plan to be for a bit, especially something open in the Amazon...you'll want to make this signal fire a priority.
9 Make Sure Your Skin Is Covered As Often As Possible
The rainforest may not always be filled with rain, as you'll remember from when we cited rainy season versus non-rainy season. However, it does rain a lot all throughout the year. This is important to remember, as this can bring your temperature down extremely. Walking around the jungles of the Amazon will ultimately be colder with a lack of major sun and due to rain falling on you. So layers can be a huge thing at the end of the day. On top of this, there are other ways to use it.
While some take off their shirt or roll it up when they get warm, this is a bad idea in the Amazon. Layers protect from things like bugs and other random things. They also help to keep moisture in. So when you sweat, you release water from the body. Keeping the layers over you may seem like it's a bad plan but keeping everything in will help in avoiding cases of heatstroke.
8 Find Anything Or Make Anything That Can Be Used As A Container
When it comes to the jungle, you're given a ton of natural supplies. However, most people tend to carry their own as they enter the rainforest. Whether that be a big bottle or numerous bottles of water. This is important to have, as they can be useful. However, if you have to make something the best thing to find is something like bamboo. It tends to have pockets throughout that can absorb water throughout the time you're in the jungle.
Bamboo will also have breaks in it where it is flat and cuts itself off from a continuously long tube. Cut right below this and at the top enough to use it. You can then always add something as a lid later. Coconuts are also common here and contain lots of nutrients. They are brilliant containers for various things like food and water as well. Converting nature's stuff into things for you is how people survived for centuries. So this is something you can easily do if you simply keep focused and look out for the right supplies.
7 Follow Wildlife Such As The Literal Animal Or Trail
One of the most forgotten things about survival is that animals are everywhere, especially in the Amazon. While people may be aware of them, they do not think of them as more than a possible food source or danger. They can be a lifesaver by simply following them. Animals know the area very well. Clearly, they're going to be smart about everything here. They know where the big game animals are such as the Jaguars and Panthers, so they'll avoid many areas they know can harm them.
They are also going to frequent places that they feel are safe and have resources they can use, especially animals like monkeys. One man actually survived in the Amazon by following monkeys each day who led him to water and shelter each night. They even brought him some food off and on. While you cannot expect that last part from animals, they will often know where proper shelters, water, and food can be. So follow them, but don't be too aggressive or get in their territory.
6 Always Head Downhill In The Amazon
One of the most commonly misunderstood things about the Amazon is that it's like every other place. Sometimes you just get lucky to find civilization, as you could walk the wrong way. In a rainforest like this, the best thing to do is head downhill. Water is typically at the bottom of this. Once you find a body of water, you may find civilization right away. Or possibly a tribe, which means you'll need to approach with caution.
If you do not see people the moment you're down as far as you can go, there's a number of things you'll need to consider. The best thing to do is follow a body of water, such as the likely creek you're at or river you may be at too. However, in the rainy season, this may not work as the water rises and it can be tough to find the right place to be. This is when you may have to consider the idea of building a water floatation device of some sort. As it'll be important to use.
5 How To Build A Makeshift Watercraft
Once you're in the rainy season, you'll likely need to get something together to help make your way around. This can be done by simply finding bamboo, which the rainforest is abundant in. Even during this time of the year when some are covered. The beauty of bamboo is that it can grow in various environments and retain water as well as float on it when it's hollow. So get all the water you can out of them and tie them together perfectly well. This needs to be very tight without cracking the bamboo itself.
From here, you can test it under your body weight. You may need to stack a number of them on top of the other due to the size, but it all depends on how big you are to know how much you'll need. You'll also need a paddle, and even a back-up (trust us there). Avoiding animals in the water like crocodiles will be important, but so is steering. So simply cut off some bamboo or another type of hard tree-like thing to make a proper paddle. This will be the easiest thing to truly do.
4 Always Leave A Trail
Due to the fact that you're going to be on the move, once you decide on this, you'll need to leave a trail. This can be done by merely leaving man-made signs behind. That means cutting trees with an arrow in the direction you're going or simply cutting on the side you're going will do the trick. Leaving things like food or bamboo behind won't do the trick as animals will likely mess with this stuff or even eat it, who could blame them, right? This is why man-made signs like cutting a tree are very important.
There are other ways you can leave a sign of you being somewhere. Your shelter is clearly going to stick out, as well as where you made a fire for the night. However, this may be broken up by animals. Though it's not going to happen as often as some think, so it could help. Either way, cutting the tree is best. If you happen to have a bright marker such as an orange or yellow, even something neon...this can do wonders as well.
3 Walk Slowly And Carry A Big Stick
While people want to move faster to get out of the thick rainforest and the entire Amazon once they are lost, they often go too fast. This can lead to several injuries. People have to keep in mind that this place floods all the time. There are a lot of sinkhole areas and some ground that can just crumble beneath you.
This is clearly a bad thing, so the best way to avoid any issue is to walk slowly but with a purpose. Go relatively fast, but always keep yourself focused on trying to look where you are going. Why the stick? Walking sticks are great for accuracy in walking and help people similar to a cane. So when you're getting tired, they are something to hold onto. Plus, they can be used to test the ground in front of you before you step. Which can quite literally save your life or save you from a serious injury.
2 Always Stay In The Same Direction You Decided On At The Start
One of the most common problems that people have when trying to survive in any area is their trouble with staying in one set direction. You have to decide from the start on which direction you plan to go to. The best way to help here is certainly to use the walking stick we referred to earlier.
It'll often help you stay in the same direction. The trail you leave behind will tell you where you have been versus where you haven't, which is another great thing to use it for. Another great thing is simply keeping focused on a certain target destination. Something you can see miles away. Whether it is a mountain or something, it'll help you keep going the same direction you've started in. This is likely the most important thing you can do when traveling in any environment, but especially the Amazon.
1 Hunting For Food Is Good, Hunting Smart Is Important
While eating vegetation from the Amazon can keep people alive, the most important thing people might need is normal animal food. While making a bow and arrow and spear could be useful, traps are smarter and they help to catch animals. Catching fish can be done with a 4-pronged spear. Simply find a bamboo stick and cut it in areas to make points, sharpen them with your knife. If you're not by a water source, you can make a snare or deadfall trap. Snares are easy to make as well as deadfall traps.