How To Be Prepared And Survive In Extreme Environments

Every environment has its own pros and cons, and we are all pretty aware of that. From a survival perspective, bugging out in secluded areas could be the right way to go if you are familiar with the environment and you know how to handle it.

When it comes to ensuring you and your family long-term survivability in extreme places, it is compulsory to understand and respect the laws behind Mother Nature.

Desert versus tropical environments

If you consider desert and tropical areas, it is pretty commonsense to ask ourselves which is the best environment to find ourselves in when it comes to survival. The same goes if you plan to relocate in such zones if you like to stay away from large metropolitan areas.

I am sure all of us have many ideas related to this, mainly developed by reading books or watching tons of YouTube videos. Or, again, by developing our personal considerations after reading shocking survival stories and finding out about the ordeals survivors had to face when getting lost in such areas.

desert versus tropical environments

The basic point is that every scenario has its own “rules of engagement,” which involves a distinctive level of awareness.

In saying that, a lack of knowledge of the area – in terms of climate, terrain, flora, and fauna – can only end up in catastrophic and traumatic results. A wrong choice can, in fact, lead to your death.

No doubt that there is a common word that defines both desert and tropical environments. Hostility.

Those extreme spaces, along with their wildlife and vegetation, hardly tolerate the human presence. And for this specific reason, mankind has always faced a large number of ordeals when trying to survive and thrive over there.

The geographical issues

Generally speaking, Desert areas are pretty much rich in wild animals, large predators, snakes (among which the most poisonous in the world), disease-carrying insects, parasites. You will have to learn how to interact with all these inhabitants, and just like them, you will have to learn how to deal with a constant lack of water.

Therefore, it is imperative to change one’s mental setting and constantly remain 100% focused in such environments. This becomes difficult, especially when you have to handle the constant scouting to find the most suitable place to set your shelter.

Desert environments mean being isolated and without supplies. Without a proper plan, being found unprepared can surely lead to a tragic outcome. The story of Everett Ruess is clear proof of that.

Without a good geographical knowledge of the place, you cannot go very far in the desert, and most certainly, you won’t be able to come back alive.

What about Tropical areas?

what about tropical areas

Such areas include thousands of different species, from some of the most lethal predators to a myriad of insects and snakes. The high percentage of humidity means there will be a lot of water, but it also favors the development of dangerous bacteria.

Additionally, being constantly aware of what lurks above your head as well as straight under your feet is more than mandatory when exploring such an environment. Your knowledge of the local flora and fauna makes all the difference in knowing where to set traps and what to gather.

By applying your observation and tracking skills systematically, you can effectively scout the whole place and select the best spot to set your shelter. However, this becomes a daily task due to constant rainfall.

Call to action before bugging out in extreme environments 

As stressed out in some previous articles, bugging out in the great outdoors requires an advanced level of survival and self-sufficiency skills. Without them, your chances of survival are close to zero.

Within extreme environments, have a proper set of survival skills will make life bearable. Once you manage to cover your immediate necessities, you will be able to work on your long-term survival plans.

Your basic necessities are strictly related to

  • shelter
  • presence of water
  • presence of food

bor banner remediesIn order to achieve it, you must master the following skills:

  • Land navigation
  • How to make essential knots
  • Collecting proper tinder
  • Starting and maintaining a campfire
  • Setting an improvised shelter in a safe place with natural or artificial materials
  • Collecting and purifying water
  • Hunting and its complementary skills (skin, processing, and preserving meat)
  • Wood carving in order to make tools
  • Creating a container for multiple uses
  • Manufacturing handmade primitive weapons
  • Gathering herbs and berries
  • Sewing clothes and gear
  • Reading man, animal, and vehicles tracks
  • Learning how to reduce your presence in the area (“Counter-Tracking” in the Tracking terminology)
  • First aid fundamentals
  • Proficient weapon handling and maintenance
  • Proficient use of available gear and being able to fix communication devices, radios, and vehicles

Once established an ideal area where to bug out, you can actually start to equip your shelter with a general list of items such as:

    • proper water and food supplies
    • generator
    • communication devices
    • solar panels
    • stockpiled gear, weapons, and ammo

Settling a specific surveillance system to keep your stuff safe is obviously a priority, and you may be required to establish a defensible perimeter around your camp.

Basic gear for Extreme Environments

basic gear for extreme environments

Having the right equipment is always a very critical issue. It requires to be assembled according to specific uses and personal needs (either physical or psychological).

The rassemblement may vary due to:

  • weather conditions
  • long or short stay
  • temporary injures
  • presence of other individuals

and so on.

A minimal survival kit should contain:

    • a small folding knife
    • a map of the area
    • some paracord
    • an emergency thermal blanket
    • a lighter
    • SOBMay18 4some matches
    • a signaling mirror
    • needle, and thread
    • a plastic bag
    • a whistle
    • tablets for water potabilization water
    • a painkiller
    • antibiotics
    • a compass
    • a metal mess tin
    • fixed blade knife
    • GPS
    • combat Application Tourniquet
    • first aid kit
    • torch
    • canteen
    • tarp
    • sleeping bags
    • some MREs
    • spare clothing
    • binoculars

Keep in mind that tropical areas need very lightweight gear in order to move freely, so having multi-purpose items would be the way to go in such a case. Even more, crossing streams means getting and staying wet quite a lot of times, so you need to be able to protect your bug-out bag and additional gear.

One of the most common enemies in this kind of environment is trench foot syndrome. Having proper footwear and a few pair of socks is highly recommended.

Additionally, the presence of very thick vegetation will make your exploration a real tough one.

This kind of environment makes covering a distance of about 380 feet a challenge, and you may need at least one hour to do so. Consider bringing a good Parang or a machete in order to make your way through the jungle.


Generally speaking, the risks and dangers connected to bugging out in such extreme environments can be faced and resolved by applying a determined mentality.

This approach must always be based on deep respect towards the area itself, the flora, and the fauna.   Bugging out in a desert or tropical area is surely harsh but not impossible.

Regularly, this should be considered as the ultimate option you may resort to. Even so, unconventional situations may require unconventional approaches and solutions.

This article has been written by Kyt Lyn Walken for Prepper’s Will.

Suggested resources for preppers:

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If you see this plant, don’t touch it!

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