In most cases, this isn’t the case.  The problem is that we don’t always know how to make good use of what happens to be available.  This is why stressing improvisation and ingenuity is so important, and the more tricks we know about can make life easier during difficult times.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of some tricks that illustrate this point, and chances are that you can benefit from using them as well.

Stick Pot Holder

If you’re boiling water or cooking some food in a small pot over a fire, one unexpected challenge may be to find a way to keep it at the perfect distance from the heat.  While there are many ways that you can improvise a stand or hangar to get the job done, you can also use a branch and experience similar results.

Look for a relatively-fresh branch that is at least 3-4 feet long, and carve a wedge along one side of either end that’s around 4 inches long.  You only want to trim half of the ends and leave the other half intact, but try to make the ends pointy.

Next, cut an inch-long notch into the side of a second, smaller branch that has a hook or fork on the end.  You will use the fork to hold the handle from the pot later.  Stake the end of the larger branch into the ground at a 45 degree angle so that the top is over the fire.  Carefully attach the second one, at the notch, and then hang the pot.  As long as the large branch is staked securely, it should support the weight of the pot and allow you to dangle it at an appropriate distance above the fire.

Tong Branch

Another hitch associated with campfire cooking that tends to be overlooked is that handles of pots and cups will be very hot after a couple of minutes of exposure to heat.  If you don’t want to risk burning yourself by improvising a pot holder, consider using a branch for tongs instead.  All you need is a fresh branch that has a fork and two long arms that extend outward.

The idea is to place the tongs around the object you want to lift, give it a good squeeze, and you should be able to safely pick up and carry it away from the fire.  Look for a branch with forks that are about ½ inch thick, and make sure that the branch is fresh so that it will bend instead of snap as you apply pressure.

Sheet Hammock

You can easily turn a bed sheet into a hammock, and this is a great way to sleep in comfort while being able to stay high and dry.  Hammocks are also excellent alternatives when it’s difficult to choose an appropriate site to set up camp.  All you need is some cordage, a couple of sturdy trees, and a way to tie everything together.

The easiest way to make the hammock is to fold each end of the sheet like an accordion so that it resembles what drapes or curtains look like when they’re open.  Next, hold the folds with one hand while you tie-off some cordage a few inches below the ends.  Pull tight before knotting the cordage, and tie the hammock to the trees.

See how easy these tricks are and how they can have great value during a wilderness survival situation?  Try these for yourself, and always keep your eyes open for other tricks as well.  The more you know will help you to be more-resourceful in the field, and hopefully this can make life a little bit easier to contend with during difficult times.