The four W’s for surviving Utah’s wilderness: Wood

Local News

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (ABC 4) — Monday, in the second part of the four W’s of surviving Utah’s wilderness.

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Whether you are sleeping in a tent or planning to build your own shelter, wood is key for survival.

“So basically anything that is on the ground that is not alive,” Erik Pearson said. “There is always a first step for everything. You are always new. You are always a beginner at everything”.

Every few days, someone has to be rescued in Utah.

Last month, a woman and her two dogs went out for a hike in the mountains above Farmington. Officials say she got lost and could not find her way back to the trail head.

Search and rescue found the woman in “good condition;” she spent 24 hours in the wilderness without a shelter.

“The idea is to get the weather off of you,” Pearson said.

Pearson said it is important to check the weather forecast and always being aware of your surroundings.

“Like an overhang, climb up under a cliff hang or a rock,” he said.

Nature may have already created shelter for you, but if not, you can make a teepee or tripod out of three branches similar length.

“I’ll tie them off with whats called a Canadian jam, not two wraps on the inside and two wraps on the outside, then I am going to take that and kind of weave it,” Pearson said.

Once you gather enough wood to start a fire, the tripod could be used to cook.

“This is a fun thing to kind of help out. I spread it out like that and then from here, you can adjust it any way you want and could be used as a cook tent,” Pearson said. “You can make it a little bit larger and make an actual smoker out of it. You remember those huge chunks are park we were pulling off, you could lay them up against this to make a smoker. Its not ideal to use dry wood for that”.

Now that the fire is almost out and darkness is setting, it is time for bed.

“If you try to come near me, I will bite you and they can even bite after they are dead,” Pearson said.

Coming up Tuesday night, the wildlife that moves in the night while you’re fast asleep.

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