HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE PLUVIAL FOREST
Rain forests are famous for their rains, and their rainfall averages 2 meters per year.
In the rain forests live a multitude of insects, animals, plants and micro-organisms, about two-thirds of the known animal and plant species on the planet live in these forests; there are so many that today you can still discover new ones. It has been estimated that to identify all the insects of the Amazon jungle, it takes at least 3600 years, this fact is also due to the fact that there are very few people working in this regard. Consider that in a single tree some seventy different ant species have been counted.
Life in the rainforest is limited to a few indigenous communities, although the area is rich in food and water, survival in these areas is practically impossible if you do not have the necessary knowledge and skills.
Even the soldiers who got lost in these areas did not make it to come home alive.
ORIENTATION IN THE FOREST:
Orienting in the forest is very difficult while getting lost is very easy, the dense vegetation makes you lose any sense of distance and size.
The thick blanket of leaves and branches sometimes prevents us from seeing the sky, causing a sense of loss.
To get a better idea of the territory and the direction to be taken, you can climb up to the top of a tree.
For a claustrophobic find yourself in a rain forest is like finding yourself in a nightmare, even a normal person would feel crushed by the sense of oppression and disorientation that the forest infuses.
The march in the jungle is always very slow, it takes a long time to cover even minimum distances.
Depending on how thick the forest is, you can walk even less than a hundred meters per hour.
HOW TO SURVIVE?
The march in the forest is quite difficult, the ground is constantly wet and slimy and the surface on which you walk is formed by decaying leaves and trees as well as mud.
In these conditions, dislocating an ankle or breaking a leg can be very easy.
Also you have to be careful of the snakes, it is very easy to exchange a few branches for one of them. Usually the snakes do not attack the man if they do not feel threatened, but if we march on one while as we march, it will react by biting a leg.
The humidity inside a rain forest is unbearable (in the warmer seasons it can even reach 98%).
Even if the temperature is around 30 degrees, because of the high humidity, you are wet with sweat and in these conditions you dehydrate quickly.
Get used to sudden and abundant rains even several times a day.
In the rainforest it is normal practice to be constantly soaked from head to toe, both for rain and humidity.
- Eye! In the forest the dangers also come from above.
- The most dangerous animals in these areas are scorpions, mosquitoes and snakes, of the latter there are many species, many of which are poisonous.
- In order not to lose the orientation if you find it, follow a river, it could take you to the sea or to civilization.
- If you take a walk in the forest it is always advisable to take a machete with you to make your way through the thick vegetation. The machete can also come in handy as a defense and hunting weapon.
- Never walk barefoot and cover your feet and legs well; because thorns, ants and other small insects could create wounds that would immediately infect in an environment such as this, and adequate protection can protect against bites of spiders and snakes and scorpions.
- If you follow a river, notice that the sound of the water gets louder and louder, be careful because you might be near a waterfall.
- If you want to overcome an obstacle (like a waterfall or a slope) you can exploit the lianas, pull them with all your strength until they come off the tree, then use them as ropes, perhaps joining more than one to lengthen the rope.
- The lianas are very durable and can come in handy for a thousand purposes.
If you find a river you have to pay close attention to drinking its water.
There are signs that could make you understand that the water is good: when it flows quickly (ie when it is not stagnant), when it appears clear and clean or when you find animals like plecoptera and small shrimp that swim.
Before swallowing the water, bathe a little ‘tongue to taste it: if it is odorless and tasteless you can drink it.
Where the animals drink, the water is certainly harmless even if there is no safety that it is drinkable.
By chewing on a blade of grass or sucking a wet pebble, you can relieve your thirst for a while.
Water can transmit all sorts of viruses and microbes, and is the first cause of dysentery and disease in the forest, when you venture into these areas it is always ideal to bring a supply of mineral water, purifying tablets or a pot to be able to boil the water.
Tablets or tablets for potable water purification: link.
In these areas, attacks of dysentery can affect you very easily.
Diarrhea dehydrates the body from water and mineral salts, and increases the risk of heatstroke and in a humid and hot environment like the jungle would be a lethal combination.
There are several plants that you can use to rebuild your stomach, most of the medicines on the market are created by exploiting the plants of the rain forests.
The jungle does not offer inexperienced people enough food to survive, but looking at the details something is always there.
In the forest you do not have to force yourself to hunt, look for animals or build traps you can feed with all the plants that the flora offers.
You can eat wild fruits fallen from trees, leguminous plants, coconuts, palm sprouts, roots of climbing plants …
The variety of foods that can be found in the jungle are varied: banana, pineapple, fig, mango, peanut, avocado, millet, rice, sugar cane, papaya, various berries, dates, buds of the palms, larvae of insects and termites, wild honey, crickets, eggs of ants, caterpillars (those without hairless), snakes (remove head, skin and intestines before cooking them), lizards, bats, white fishes, eels, crayfish etc …
If you find frogs do not eat them because there are many poisonous and toxic, especially if their skin is colored with too flashy and shiny colors.
Never eat mushrooms, they could be toxic or poisonous, their nutritional intake is so low, that even if you are a mushroom expert it is not worth risking.
If you can build a bow you could use scorpion venom, snakes and frogs to make poisoned arrows.
Plants that contain milky juice are often poisonous.
If you are near a big river you can fish at night using a torch light.
To build a torch, take a solid stick and wrap a palm bark around it with some camphor resin so that it continues to burn.
The fish at night are more docile, they are also attracted by light sources, holding the torch near the surface of the water the fish will approach, take advantage of the moment to hit them with a hardwood, once stunned grab them quickly.
The termites can be eaten, even if they are very small they give a great protein intake, even if they are even more than beef and fish, you have to eat a lot of them to get a decent meal.
THE NIGHT AND THE REFUGE:
The worst moment when you get lost in the jungle is the arrival of the night.
The night in the forest suddenly arrives, that’s why you have to organize a bivouac before it gets dark.
In the equator the hours of darkness and the hours of light are the same.
To build a shelter always choose an elevated area.
It is of primary importance, when possible, to light a fire, better if smoky so as not to become the meal of mosquitoes and other insects.
Mosquito bites, besides being very annoying, can transmit diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
Sometimes lighting a fire in the rainforest can be very difficult due to the continuous rains and the difficulty in finding dry wood.
When you light a fire you can build a small roof over it, using the large palm leaves, so that the rain does not turn off immediately.
If you do not have a lighter, a matchstick, a flint or a flintlock, you can use an eyeglass lens or the dial of the watch or a bottle bottom or a piece of glass, or anything that can concentrate the sun’s rays on the bait, provided that the area you are in is not covered by the forest roof.
Or you can light the fire using the famous bow.
For the shelter to avoid the dry river bed, pay attention to the nests of ants and the caves for the possible presence of wild animals.
Do not build the shelter directly on the path but slightly moved, as the night could be beaten by predators.
The first thing to do to organize the bivouac on the ground is to clean the surrounding soil from brushwood, branches and leaves so that it is as uniform as possible, to do so do not use your hands but a stick.
The ideal thing is to make a hammock with lianas and then hook it to two trees.
To shelter from heavy rains you can build a roof over the bed where you will rest, using large palm or banana leaves.
Wherever possible, a raised shelter can be constructed by exploiting the bifurcation of a tree by constructing a platform with reeds and branches.
If you find a termite nest you can burn dry feces over a fire, the smoke produced will be an excellent mosquito repellent.
NAVIGATE A RIVER:
If you find a river wide enough you can build a raft to move faster through the forest.
The wood to build a raft in a forest never fails, you can use barks and lianas to tie the various logs.
If you see mangroves around you while you are sailing in the river, it means that you are leaving the jungle and you are approaching the sea. If the current becomes very strong, immediately leave the raft and continue on foot to the coast, if you let yourself be transported you could be dragged into the open sea.