What You Learned
All hunters should know basic survival rules. The two most important are BE PREPARED and DON’T PANIC.
If an unexpected situation occurs, you need a calm head, food, water, and shelter.
- Remember S.T.O.P.
- Remain calm.
- Stay put so that others can find you.
- Plan ways to signal for help.
Never hunt alone. Hunt with safe hunters who also know how to survive in the woods.
Mark a map to show where you plan to hunt. Leave a copy of the map and other information with a responsible person. Let them know where and with whom you plan to hunt, and when you expect to return.
Always carry a survival kit with you and know how to use it.
Know the weather conditions for the area where you plan to hunt, and dress for the weather.
- Wool clothes, and some modern synthetic fibers, provide warmth even when wet.
- Weather conditions can change quickly during hunting season. Layer your clothes to be prepared for this.
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. It is caused by being exposed to body sweat, cold, wet, and wind or by falling into water.
- To prevent hypothermia, keep warm, drink liquids, and keep eating.
- To treat mild hypothermia, cover the victim’s head, remove wet clothing, provide warm liquids, and have the victim rest near a heat source.
- To treat severe hypothermia, send for medical help. While you wait, handle the victim gently and provide warmth using warm liquids (if conscious), good insulation, and warm objects or your own body heat.
A wind chill chart tells you what the temperature feels like when wind speed is combined with the air temperature. Pay attention to wind chill advisories and warnings.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur when you get too hot. To prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke:
- Layer your clothing.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Drink plenty of water.
Having a fire helps keep you warm, gives you a way to signal for help, lets you cook, and keeps you calm and busy while you wait for help. Be sure you know how to build a fire—you will need matches or another fire starter, tinder, and fuel.
Knowing how to use a map and a compass can help you avoid getting lost. Learn these skills before you go afield.
Take safety precautions with any vehicles you use for hunting.
- Always wear a personal flotation device (life jacket) in a boat.
- Wear a helmet when riding on a mountain bike or a three- or four-wheeled vehicle.
- For any vehicle you use as a base camp, make sure that it is in good repair and that the heating system has good ventilation.
Wildlife-transmitted diseases have been reported in Washington. Visit a doctor if you have contact with wild animals and then become ill.
If you prepare for outdoor emergencies, you can beat the enemies of survival: pain, cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, boredom, and fear.