Prepper with backpack using a flashlight in a field

Survival Skills: How to Survive a Wildfire

An excerpt from “How To Survive Anything” (Just released!)

Whether started by a lightning strike or a careless campfire, wildfires have been a part of ecosystems around the globe for countless millennia.

MacWelch's How to Survive a Wildfire 7-15 SG.matches
Wildfires in Saskatchewan and British Columbia in late June and early July, 2015 brought smoke into the Midwest creating unhealthy air quality.

These purging fires clear away the dead grass and fallen branches. They turn vegetation into nourishing ash, and open the way for new plant growth and regeneration. In the natural system, these fires happen at intervals, contained in small areas, and the resident animals can flee to safety. But over the last century, more and more humans live close (or in the midst of) fire prone areas. Should you ever get caught in a wildfire, remember these tips – they could be lifesavers:

  • Avoid canyons and other natural chimneys, as their natural wind flow patterns could draw in a fire and trap you.
  • Get into a river, lake or other body of water, if possible. Lie back and use a wet piece of clothing over your face, as both a heat shield and a smoke filter.
  • Make your way to breaks in the trees, which could mean breaks in the fuel and therefore the fire.
  • If you’re near a road, lie face down along the road in a ditch or depression. Get under the road if you can squeeze into a culvert or drain pipe.
  • Cover up with anything that provides a shield against the heat.
  • Follow the wind. Let the wind point you in the safest direction of travel to get away. If it’s blowing toward the fire from your position, then run into the wind. But if the wind is behind the fire, blowing toward you – run on a course that puts you perpendicular to the wind, and move fast! That fire will be coming at you quickly!

These tips, and many more survival skills, are available in MacWelch’s books:

Prepare For Anything

Hunting and Gathering Survival Manual 

And if that’s not enough, you can:
Follow Tim on Twitter @timmacwelch

Take one of his survival classes at
and check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles at Outdoor Life Magazine’s survival site, The Survivalist ( link )

And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine.

Shop Sportsman’s Guide NOW for a great selection of Survival Gear!

Shop Sportsman’s Guide NOW for a great assortment of Emergency Supplies!



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