Arizona Survival Tips!
Be safe out there!
Make sure your vehicle has a survival
kit, with extra water stowed. Check fan belts, hoses, coolant
level, and all lubricants and fluids. Make sure the jack is working
properly. Carry extra water, a flashlight, blankets, flares,
first-aid kit, cell phone and snacks.
Always be prepared and tell friends and family where you're going.
Know basic survival skills and how to signal for help. Be smart!
Two years ago, a lost hiker started a signal fire which became part
of the largest forest fire in Arizona history.
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Useful items to include on your hike:
1. A map, cell phone, GPS unit and compass.
2. Large, bright trash bag for shelter or signaling.
3. Small flashlight and candles.
4. Extra water, nuts, trail snacks and bouillon cubes.
5. Extra clothing, such as rain gear, sweater and pants.
6. Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat.
7. A sharp pocketknife and water purification tablets.
8. Waterproof matches, lighter, magnesium bar and flint.
9. Tender cubes, cotton balls or steel wool.
10. First-aid kit, tweezers, pocket comb (for cactus spin removal),
and small roll of duct tape.
11. A whistle, signal mirror and magnifying strip.
12. Dental floss, small fish hook, line weights and swivels.
Stay Or Go!
When to walk
If the area is truly unsafe, bad weather is approaching, no one knows you're missing, or you are not in a good signaling spot. However, it's best to stay put. Don't make finding you more difficult. If you must move, leave a note, message or marker. Find a high point to survey your surroundings, looking for roads, rivers or habitation.
Adapt to stay alive!
The keys to survival are found in the animals and plants that live there. Imitate them. Sit out the heat of the day, find a water source, and become nocturnal. Do not fight things you cannot change. Remember: Ration sweat, not water. Carry more water than you need. It is important to know how to locate water and purify it. Look for unusually green patches of vegetation; good indicators are cottonwood trees or desert willows. Cactus water might be toxic; use barrel or other cactus only as last resort. Large animals and birds go to water sources early and late in the day. Watch for them and follow their lead.
Mirror is a must!
Find a hilltop, meadow or clearing in the trees. Only if it is safe, build a fire ring and fire. During the day, burn green wood, leaves, grass and things that smolder. At night, burn dry items for a bright, clean flame. A series of three signals, whistles or gunshots is a universal distress call. A signal mirror can be seen for 20 miles and is a must bring item.
Avoid camouflaged clothing and gear. Carry a bright trash bag or a silver-sided space blanket. Your feet are critical; hiking boots should be well-fitting and broken in. Have several latex balloons for water storage, tourniquet, shoelace or fishing bobber. A small yellow sponge can be used for sanitary needs, fish bait or water gathering.