When entering the jungle anywhere in the world you should always be prepared with the essential items that can be used for survival in case you find your self “lost in the jungle.” The most important tools you would want to have on your body is a knife first and foremost. This is because a knife of the right caliber can be used to create shelter, fire, catch food, and provide a means to self-defense from any unfriendly jungle creature. Along with a knife you would want to have a compass, lighter/matches, and rope. With these items you are sure to survive if you have the right survival skills or common sense. Unfortunately not everyone who finds themselves lost in the jungle has all these items on body and may be lost with nothing but the clothes on their back. If that is the case, do not get flummoxed, survival is still quite possible.
So, you think you have what it takes to survive in the jungle by yourself? If the answer is no, then their are some things you need to think about. These are where and how you will find food and fresh water. You also need to know how to deal with jungle creatures(especially insects). Lastly you need to know if you can use your skills to utilize what you have on your body, and what the jungle can provide you with to survive.
Ok, so your lost in the jungle and its day one. Your first order of business is to make a shelter to protect you from the elements and also to sleep in. You first need to determine the correct location to build your shelter. Ideally you want to create your new home close to a river, as it is a source of water, food, and you can bathe in it. When you’re ready to move on, a river is a mode of transportation and most people in the jungle will be living along rivers. Once you find the location make sure it is on level ground that’s unlikely to flood. If you can find a good spot near big trees you should make base camp there. The big trees could be used to hang a hammock across, and will provide protection from the sun and rain to an extent. Also, building up on the base of a big tree provides a lot of protection,because your back is protected from the tree. Before you begin to build, insure that there are no nearby dead or rotting logs. They are a haven to dangerous creatures such as scorpions, spiders, and snakes.
Jungle Fact: Remember you are in the jungle and it is filled with all types of vines so if you have no rope, green vines are your best option.
So your ready to start building your shelter. You need to venture around your area to find adequate resources. You want to get sticks, or bamboo if its available and either palm leaves or branches that are heavy with leaves. If you were lucky (if the right location cannot be found it may be necessary to search further to find one, remember this uses vital energy) to find your ideal shelter location between some trees, you can lay a stick across from tree to tree or even put a large stick at an angle from the ground up to the tree. After this, lay more sticks forming your walls in an A-frame style. Keep layering the walls with palm or sticks covered with leaves until you have established your structure. Ultimately there are hundreds if not thousands of different lean-to styles to use so do not limit your creativity. Along with building your shelter, you are going to have to figure out your sleeping arrangements. In the jungle the ground is covered with a plethora of creatures, many of which are poisonous snakes or insects, and much more. So you should think of a way to create an off-ground bed. In the jungle situation I would prefer the hammock. If you realize you had forgotten to keep your traveling hammock on you at all times, don’t worry, there are a few options you have to use. The first would be to makeshift a hammock out of a towel, but you might not have one of those either so I suggest bamboo as your best option. Bamboo you say alex? Yes! Indeed it is very possible to use bamboo to create a very nice hammock. Just check out this video by the guys at Junglecraft (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_nlELHC8vI). If you are a fan of Bear Grylls, and I know you are, then you may have seen the episode where he creates a Bamboo hammock, in a jungle locale, with palms weaved into it for extra comfort. If you have no suitable location for a hammock then you should lay down a layer of sticks and leaves in the order sticks/leaves/sticks/leaves until your are a bit up off the ground.
Congrats! you have built your shelter and if it is dark out by now i suggest making a fire and hunkering down for the night because tomorrow is a big day.
Glad to see you made it to your second day in the jungle. Now, Im sure you are feeling pretty thirsty. If you took my advice, you’re close to a rio, so water shouldn’t be a problem. It may be filled with a plethora of microbes that will be detrimental to your health. Getting sick from contaminated water can cause illnesses that may induce diarrhea and vomiting, both of which will severely dehydrate you. This brings up the fact that your body needs 8 cups of water a day, and in the jungle, because of the humidity, and heat from the sun, you require more around 20 cups per day. So you got some water from the nearby rio. You have some options on what to do with the water to make it safe to drink. The first choice is to boil the water. Boiling is highly effective, but you may not be able, maybe you don’t have the proper container. Your next option is to create your own filtration device. This could be done by attaching a shirt onto three different sticks in the ground and creating a bowl shape. The bottom is a sleeve on your shirt tied into a knot hanging right above your water container. Then layer it with charcoal, sand, and grass clippings. Then poor water through and drink up. If that option is not available you can make the filtration device out of a segment of bamboo, and you can even create a water bottle out of bamboo is you don’t have one either. Check out this other great video clip by JungleCraft. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcInvVcLElE ). If you are not near to a rio you can also extract water that is 100% pure from green bamboo, the water is in the separate segments, and from banana trees. For the banana tree either cut the top off and carve out a bowl and water will fill up inside or stick a small hollowed piece of bamboo into the side and put your water bottle underneath it to allow it to fill. Most importantly remember you are in the jungle! It rains all the time in the jungle so set up plenty of rain traps and rain water is pure to drink right away as well!
I will be trying out a few of these different techniques in the following week and will be back next week to report on the success. Check out all of JungleCrafts videos on youtube. They are a gold mine for jungle survival information.