Nature survival basics

Breadcrumbs EN

The "primordial" jungle is easily recognizable by the abundance of giant trees. The tops of these trees form a dense canopy over 100 feet above the ground.

There is little light or undergrowth under this canopy. It is difficult to move in such a jungle, but it is possible. The "primary" jungle in many areas has been cleared of vegetation so that agriculture can be practiced. This land, if cleansed and left untreated, becomes a jungle again; it turns into a solid carpet of dense shrubs and climbing plants. This is a "secondary" jungle, and it is much more difficult to cross them than "primary". More than half of the land in the tropics is cultivated in one way or another, and it is also allotted for allotments. This is primarily associated with the production of rubber, tea, coconuts. If you get to the plantation, keep an eye on the people who look after the crop - they can help you. During tropical rains, the "primary" or "secondary" jungle is an unpleasant place to live or move around. Dry, bushy terrain is more open than wet jungle, but it is difficult to navigate due to the lack of topographic landmarks, population and roads. However, you can navigate them using the compass, with patience and common sense.


Jungle travel can be done safely if you don't panic. If you are left alone in the jungle, depending on the circumstances, first of all you need to relax and analyze the situation.

You should:

- to determine more precisely the general direction of movement to a safe place. If there is no compass, use the sun and watch as aids to determine direction;

- take a supply of water and food;

- move in one direction, but not in a straight line. Go around obstacles, avoid fighting with them. Take advantage of natural shelters and shelters in enemy territory;

- Regardless of the speed of movement, it is recommended to make a 10-15-minute stop every hour for a short rest and preparation of equipment. After about 5-6 hours, a big halt is made. 1.5-2 hours will be enough to gain strength, prepare hot food or tea, tidy up shoes and clothes; - in order not to stray from the route, even with a compass, every 50-100 m you should outline a noticeable landmark;

- there are certain ways to move through the jungle; neglecting them only leads to scars and scratches. Work your shoulders, hips, bend, squat or straighten, speed up or slow down as needed. 


Choosing a place.

1) Try to choose a parking place on a high, open area, away from swamps. Here mosquitoes will not pester you, the land will be drier and more likely that the place will be blown by the breeze.

2) In the mountain jungle, the nights are cold. Avoid windy places.

3) Avoid dry river beds. Sometimes, after rains that have passed so far away from you that you do not even suspect that it has rained, they can fill up with water for several hours.

Asylum type.

The type of shelter you build depends on the time you have available to build it and whether it will be permanent or temporary. As a refuge in the jungle can be:

- a simple shelter made of a parachute thrown over a rope or a liana stretched between two trees;

- a shelter made of an A-shaped frame and covered with a thick layer of palm or other tree leaves, pieces of bark or bundles of herbs.

Cover the roof at an angle with leaves, like tiles, from top to bottom. This type of shelter is considered ideal because it can be made completely waterproof. To do this, use the wide leaves of a young banana tree. Build a fire pit on a flat stone, or on a lined of flat small stones. When the stones are well heated, lay a sheet on them and let it turn black and glossy. In this state, the sheet becomes more waterproof and durable and can be used for roofing. Once the shelter is ready, dig a small drainage groove at the bottom of the hill that will provide you with a dry floor. Bed. Do not sleep on the ground: make yourself a bed of bamboo or small branches, covering them with palm leaves. A hammock made from a parachute can replace a bed. You can make a hard cover from tree branches, ferns: dead tree bark is still better than nothing.


Finding water in the jungle is not difficult:

- water from a clean stream with a fast flow, with stones

- a good source of drinking and washing water. Before drinking the water, make it drinkable by boiling or chemically treating it;

- Fairly clear water can be obtained from muddy streams or lakes by digging a hole in the ground 1-6 feet from the edge of the shore. Let the water seep and the dirt settle;

- water from tropical streams, creeks and swamps can be drunk only after it has been processed;

- water can be obtained from grapes and other plants. Bamboo shoots and grapes are good sources of water. Coconuts, especially when green, provide milk juice that is both enjoyable and nutritious when consumed in small portions. Sugar syrup can be obtained by cutting off the flower threads. Coconuts are available throughout the year. Sugar syrup can be obtained from tree growths, fruits of other palm trees.


There is an abundance of food in the jungle. But some species are poisonous. Any food eaten by monkeys is generally safe for humans. Never eat fruits and vegetables raw unless they are completely peeled. Cook all vegetables before eating. A fish. There are some poisonous fish in tropical waters, but generally many of them are edible. The safest fish to eat is one that has been caught on the high seas or deep behind the reefs. For survival, humans can use shellfish, snails, snakes, lobsters, sea urchins and small octopuses as food on the coast.

1) Eat only small pieces of fish. If there are no negative consequences, you can safely continue to eat fish.

2) Tropical fish spoil quickly and should be eaten immediately after being caught. Never eat the insides or caviar of any tropical fish.

3) Commonly known fishing methods will surely prove successful in the jungle.


Some plant species are poisonous and should be avoided.

1) White mangrove or "blinding" tree. This plant is found in swamps, river estuaries or along the coast. When touched, the juice forms blisters. You can go blind if the juice gets into your eyes.

2) Cow bush. This plant is usually found in thickets and bushy areas, but never in a regular forest. Flower petals and pods are irritating. Blindness can result from eye contact.

3) Western Celtis. This plant is very common, especially in and near ponds. It is poisonous and causes a burning sensation if touched.

4) Datura smelly. It is a weed characteristic of abandoned and cultivated land. All parts of this plant, especially the seeds, are poisonous.

5) Pungi. This plant is found mainly in the Malay jungle. Its seeds contain hydrocyanic acid. It is dangerous raw, but it can be eaten if it is fried.

6) Laxative nut. The seeds of this plant act as a powerful laxative.

7) Castor oil plant. This plant looks like a bush, is often found in thickets and in open places, has poisonous seeds and acts as a powerful laxative.

8) Vomit root. This plant is found in abundance in all tropical areas. It has an appetizing white or yellow fruit (it looks like a small orange), it is very common in Southeast Asia. The fruit has an extremely bitter pulp and seeds containing a highly toxic poison.


If the body is not fully covered, it becomes vulnerable to insect bites, cuts and scrapes. You must have: - Loose and long enough clothing to tuck into gloves and socks; - clothing strong enough to withstand wear in harsh conditions; - head mosquito nets and thorn-proof gloves; - pockets for carrying essential items - maps, compass, matches; - army uniforms provide special jungle footwear. These are the best jungle shoes.


General Provisions.

Do not think that you will be able to get away from the enemy and stay alive in the jungle areas if you do not keep fit. Even under ideal conditions this is difficult, but the chances can be increased by following some common sense rules.

1) Take your time. Never try to beat the jungle with speed - it is impossible.

2) Avoid climbing high places, unless it is related to determining the direction of travel. When crossing flat terrain, prefer workarounds.

3) Watch your feet, change and wash your socks more often. Protect your shoes from cracks and decay by greasing them.

4) If you have a fever, do not try to move. Wait for the temperature to drop. Drink plenty of water.

5) Ticks, leeches, mosquitoes, insects and other parasites are a real threat to your health and safety. Deal with insect repellents or by avoiding areas where they are especially abundant.

6) Avoid infections. In conditions of tropical heat and humidity, wounds are highly susceptible to infection. Try to protect the wound or sore by covering it with a clean bandage. Sterilize the dressing if possible.

7) Prevent fatigue from heat, cramps and heatstroke by restoring water and salt depletion through perspiration. Drink plenty of usable water, if you have salt, stir 2 salt tablets in a jar of water. If you feel the effect of the heat, rest in the shade and drink half a jar of this salted water every 15 minutes. Continue this treatment until you feel better. Avoid sunburn.

8) A constant danger in the jungle is represented by countless thorns, fragments of branches sticking out in different directions, saw-like edges of the leaves of the pandanus palm. Even minor abrasions and scratches caused by them are easily infected, festering, if they are not immediately lubricated with iodine or alcohol. Cuts made by razor-sharp edges of split bamboo trunks and stems of some herbs do not heal especially for a long time.

9) When swimming in tropical rivers or wading them, you can be attacked by crocodiles. In South American reservoirs, piranhas are no less dangerous - small, human-sized fish of black, yellowish or purple color, with large scales, as if showered with sparkles. The smell of blood causes an aggressive reflex in piranhas, and, having attacked the victim, they do not calm down until only one skeleton is left of it.

(based on materials of «Энциклопедии безопасности» Громова В.И. и Васильева Г.А., Москва. 1998)


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