Wilderness Survival Skills | Backcountry Survival Tips

Master essential wilderness survival skills with tips and advice from the experts at Backpacker Magazine. Our experts teach you how to build fires, forage for food, find shelter, survive animal attacks, and get the most out of every piece of gear you bring into the wilderness.

Pinned to a Mountain By a Storm

Mountaineers Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy (39), Vasily Aushev (35), Constantin Toporov (37), and Rus Khasbulatov (33) survived a days-long storm on Mt. Rainier in June 2019.

Pass/Fail: Build a Fire on Snow

The solitude of a winter night beckons. But will our writer’s attempts to stay warm be a roaring success or a sputtering failure?

Trapped in Quicksand

Ryan Osmun, 35, took a wrong step while hiking in Zion National Park in February and spent 10 hours stuck in the mud.

Sleepwalking Into the Wilderness

In October 2018, Rob Lundgren, 66, woke from a dream to find himself in a nightmare—lost in Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

Chased by a Flash Flood

For J.P. Rose, 34, and Christina Fialho, 35, an idyllic dayhike in the Caribbean in 2017 turned into a nightmare.

PODCAST: Bitten By a Rattlesnake

What if you were bitten by a venomous snake far from help? For Scott Vuncannon, an encounter with a rattler in the North Carolina backcountry was the beginning of a struggle for survival.

PODCAST: Mauled By a Grizzly

Your chances of being attacked by a bear are around one in two million. Todd Orr was mauled by one twice in a single day. Listen to his story in the latest episode of our podcast.

PODCAST: Stranded on a Ledge

A fatal accident is the beginning of a six-day-long wilderness ordeal in the second episode of BACKPACKER’s Out Alive podcast.

Lost, Injured, and Cold

For George Brown, 68, a morning trail run in August 2018 became more than 40 hours stranded in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness with a broken leg.


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