The purest way to connect with Mother Nature is through the wilderness. Whenever a traveler visits a forest, he/she realizes that the trees have something to convey every time the wind blows. A strong earthy smell instantly connects the soul with the forest. The first time is surely unforgettable. The enormous trees form a majestic canopy with the sunbeams pouring down through the leaves making the traveler dream of heaven.
Forests can be extremely dangerous to an inexperienced traveler owing to the dense vegetation and deadly wildlife. With little help from the weather, surviving in a forest isn’t as daunting as staying alive in a jungle. Surviving in a jungle during a storm takes the danger and difficulty to a whole new level. Rain falls throughout the year in a rainforest. Even the dry season guarantees a downpour at least once during the day. The temperature of a jungle is always high, and humidity closer to 100%. Perennial rain temporarily cools the environment down.
When lightning and thunder are invading the area, staying outdoors is not safe. This article will enlighten you about surviving a storm when a safe shelter is unavailable.
Know about the environment:
Rainforest weather is always harsh and humid. Inside the jungle, humidity is always high. Your clothes will get wet, and there is nothing you can do about it. Waterproof clothing makes the job easier.
Avoid the lightning:
Lightning during a storm can be very dangerous, even fatal. Although most people survive, 80% of them suffer from neurological disorders their whole life. To avoid lightning, take shelter in a safe place. Injuries not only occur from direct lightning but also by making contact with something made of metal which is electrified by lightning. Avoid making contact with anything metallic.
If you have a car, stay inside. If lightning strikes, the electricity will travel through the metal body of the car to the ground. Don’t lean against the door.
If there is no safe shelter, like a car, find a group of small trees surrounded by bigger ones and stay there. You can also find a dry low area like a ravine, and make a temporary shelter. Avoid taking shelter under large trees and rocks.
If you go out with group try to spread with minimum 50-60 feet distance from each other rather staying together during lightening storm.
Take care with floodwater:
Storm with heavy rain can raise a flood, then it’s extremelly danderous. Then, don’t come near the stream, or lowlands, river… The power of floodwaters with mud can wash anything on the way it flow, even you.
Be aware of other possible dangers:
Wild animals are not the only danger you have to face in a jungle during a storm. A bug bite or mosquitoes can turn out to be equally dangerous. Know what not to eat in a rainforest, as there are plenty of poisonous plants. However if you know what is edible, you will get plenty of food sources there.
Some useful safety tips:
1. A proper shelter shields you from the environment and wild animals. Choose a place near a water source. Avoid dead trees and cliffs while making shelter. Take advantage of everything you already have with you. A rope and a plastic sheet can make a good tent.
2. A good thing about a jungle is that you’ll have a plentiful supply of water as it is always raining. You can make a filter to use the rain as drinking water. Drinking rainwater is the safest option. The humidity would make you not feel the thirst, but you’ll lose hydration through sweat. So don’t forget to drink lots of water.
3. Eat only those fruits you know are safe or follow the monkeys to know the edible fruits and berries. At first you would find fishing hard, but once you know how to do that, you would be good to go.
4. Move forward very carefully as the jungle-path is thorny and thick. Use as much possible hard suits or dresses along with high heel boots to avoid cuts and scratches as it increases the chance of potential infection.
5. Even if it’s hot and humid, always try to wear full sleeve clothes and rub mud on your exposed skin to avoid bugs and mosquito bites.
6. Never lose the “coupe-coupe”( a long knife). It will help you cut branches at eye level, while you try to move forward. A standard advice is to look through the jungle, as looking at the jungle won’t help you gain momentum.
7. Sometimes a jungle is so dense; you can only progress about a few meters per hour. So don’t lose patience.
8. Learning to climb a tree will help you attach a hammock, find food and be safe from wild animals.
9. You can’t make a fire in a rainforest. But you can make smoke, which will repel the insects. To do this, carry a lighter and put it in a plastic pouch to keep it dry.
10. Learning to use a compass may help you. In the rainforest, the trees are colossal and dense; they form a canopy. And the sun may hide behind the thick tree leaves all day. So you can lose your track of direction, as your surrounding may look the same.
11. Use a smoke rescue signal. You just have to find an open spot to light the smoke signal. The wet tree branches from the rain forest will help you to produce enough smoke.
12. Always stay near hard soil to have good foundation underneath your feet to avoid landslide while you will be on hill forest.
Surviving a jungle/rainforest is exhausting as it will take a toll on your nerves. Try to observe the monkeys, and you’ll know what to eat and what to avoid. Don’t forget to leave a trail, so that rescuers can find you.