What We Learned on Our First Survival Trip.

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You can pack your bug out bag and plan all you want, but until you get out in the woods and try to do a survival trip with your bug out bag, you won’t know how prepared you will actually be.

We planned the trip for a weekend in September. September in Wisconsin can get pretty chilly at night. We went with another couple. We packed our guns, bug out bags, got our small game hunting permits, and headed to some county land. After we got there, we parked our car and hiked 2 miles out in the woods until we found a nice spot by the river.

Once we found our spot, we proceeded to make our shelters and build a fire. One of the things we figured out is that we need to find a shelter that suits us better. The one we built was okay, but we can always improve! One of the things that we need to improve on is making it warmer for colder nights.

For food, we shot some squirrel and roasted them over the open fire. I’d have to say, they turned out pretty good! We also made up some rice that we had with as extra filler. One thing that didn’t occur to us is that camping pans with plastic handles don’t work very well. In a survival situation, cooking over an open flame with them, the handles melt. The plastic knob on the top also melts causing a huge mess. For our next trip, we are going to find a set with no plastic on it.

The biggest thing that we learned was that we need to pack sleeping bags. We did bring some blankets but they weren’t enough. The temperature dropped down into the 30s during the night and boy was it cold! We wound up using our mylar foil emergency blankets to try and stay warmer. I have to say that they weren’t very warm either and boy were they noisy! They did help some though. Another thing to be aware of with mylar is that it doesn’t breathe, so we did end up a little damp by sunrise. We made it through the night. We were not successful at catching any fish, so we managed to get some more squirrel for breakfast.

The prevalence of small squirrels and lack of forageable foods in this area/time also helped us to realize that we need a small and light weight trap for small game. If a bug out situation were to drag on past a few weeks, it would be difficult to pack enough ammunition for continued hunting of such a small animal.

We decided to pack it up and head back home since we were not prepared for another cold night. But with the knowledge that we got from this trip, we should be better prepared for our next one. It was a fun trip and I can’t wait for our next one!


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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