The 5 W’s of Emergency Survival

The 5 W’s of  Emergency Survival


by Wyzyrd, Editor-at-Large


As “codified” by “Survivorman” Les Stroud.


These are really all “common sense” things, and not my original ideas, but an experienced close friend came within a couple feet of dying last weekend, and sometimes, we all forget the basics.



1) Water

 If you don’t have a supply with you, and a way to safely obtain more, you might be dead within 3 days.


2) Weather

Is it hot? Is is cold? Is it raining or snowing? The type of shelter you set up is totally dependent on the weather. A woven hammock with a shower curtain over it will probably OK work in Virginia in August. If you do that in Canada in February, the grizzly bears will complain about frozen food.


3) Wood

You will probably need something to build your shelter, and wood (or other burnable material) lets you add additional heat for warmth, cooking or sterilizing water.


4) Wigglies

Are you in copperhead-country? Stay away from rock-piles. Been walking through grass all day? Check for ticks. Avoid red ant colonies and such things. Do you have mosquito netting or repellent? Can you sleep off the ground?  The little ‘creepy-crawlies’ are more likely to hurt you than “lions and tigers and bears”.


5) Widowmakers

Look up before you set up camp. Do you see a big dead branch? Do you see a crumbling rockface? Look around next. Do you see evidence of flash floods? A leaning dead tree? If yes to any of the above, pick a different spot. (refer back to #2 – Weather – rain, wind and snow make these worse.)  My buddy ignored #5 this past weekend and woke up to a 30 foot dead Sycamore tree between his tent and his firepit.


Stay safe.



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