The Jungle is a harsh environment that does not forgive mistakes. The intense humidity and heat creates a breeding ground that bacteria thrives in. The ground is covered in decaying vegetation and bugs, spiders, scorpions, snakes, and any other slithering or crawling thing that can make your life miserable. The jungle is filled with things that will make your life as hard as possible, but for everything the jungle has that can make surviving hard it has something that will allow you to survive. From vines to plants with medicinal value, the jungle is a living super market.
The Jungle is a dangerous place. Each step is filled with deadly critters and plants. It takes skill and a sharp eye to survive the jungle. However there are multiple jungles, and each has a unique deadly force. From King Cobras to Boa Constrictors to Tarantula to even bullet ants. You life is always in peril in the jungle. Of course it seems that the dangers of the jungle are overwhelming but the truth is that people have lived in the jungle for thousands of years so it is not impossible but it is hard.
Like in all survival situations water is key to survival. However in the jungle finding water will not be as difficult as in other places because water is extremely plentiful. The down side is that almost all of the water in the jungle is contaminated with bacteria. You are going to have to purify all of your drinking water.
In order to purify your drinking water you are more than likely going to need a fire. A fire is critical in the jungle. It is the best defense against all types of predators and critters. Building a fire though may be near impossible in the jungle. The best method of fire creating in the jungle is through hyper-golic chemicals, or two chemicals that will self ignite when mixed. This is the best method of fire making because the high humidity of the jungle can keep a spark or ember from catching. Of course there are several methods to make fire in the jungle even if you do not have hyper-golic chemicals. (For more information on fire production look up my fire production posts in the category: Fire: Uses and Types.
Once you have a fire, you can make not only clean water but you also have the ability to keep bugs away. Mosquitoes are your worst enemy in the jungle. They carry diseases like Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Malaria, and West Niles Viruses. In order to keep bugs away the smoke from fire does a fantastic job at keeping bugs away, and the fire it self is great for keeping those bigger predators from you.
Though fire is great the next big thing you need to do is shelter. Building jungle shelters take time. You have to be careful when you are building these shelters because you are going to have to be off the ground. Sleeping off the ground keeps you away from creepy crawlers on the ground. Also sleeping up high keeps you off the wet ground which helps your body regulate itself. The type shelter you are going to want to build is a raised shelter. The entire campsite should be off the ground. The Bed platform should be made wider than you need so that you can build a fire pit on your platform. In order to build your Fire pit simply take four sticks, make a square frame. Then pack the frame with relatively dry mud. By doing this it keeps the moisture from the ground from killing your fire.
The final idea of building shelter in the jungle is to make your canopy. A bed platform with a canopy keeps you dry but most importantly the canopy keeps heat in. Once you have established your fire pit in your shelter, you can use a canopy to create a kind of smoke screen for bugs. The canopy can hold the smoke of the fire in your shelter. This might seem like a bad idea but in actuality the smoke of your fire (especially if you have used a termite mound) creates a smoke that repels most insects, and very importantly it repels mosquitoes. It is a great way to de-bug your living space in the jungle, and keep it warm.
When in the jungle one of the most over looked points of survival is your feet. Your feet are at natures mercy in the jungle. The jungle is breeding ground for bacteria, and because your feet does not air too much (since you are wearing boots) your feet can develop what became known to U.S. G.I.s as Jungle Rot. Jungle Rot is a serious condition to watch for in the jungle. The constant high humidity causes you to sweat and clothes stick to your body. There is an easy way to combat jungle rot though, it is called going commando. By removing your under garments; socks, skivvies, and undershirt allows for your body to breathe. It also allows your body to dry without keeping water by your body, thus preventing Jungle Rot and definitely making your life better.
Besides the fact that the jungle is a harsh environment filled with bacteria and viruses, living in the jungle is not impossible. Many of the peoples around the world that live in the jungle use their understanding of the plants and animals to help them survive. As a basic understanding you should know that the jungle takes no prisoners.
Like in all areas of survival the basics are only a start. Look for more jungle survival lessons in the future. As Always folks, Prepare to Survive