Fighting a hostile environment: How to survive in the Russian taiga


The Russian taiga is a over-exacting and unforgiving world. An unprepared tourist who is lost in the deep boreal forests has a rather small chance of survival. Things are even tougher in the winter.

RBTH has accumulated some tips on how to survive in the Russian taiga, in case you have the mishap of ever getting lost in a long and unending stretch of wilderness.

First and prominent: Do not panic

Fear is your main enemy if you are alone in the deep forest. The uncountable important task is to calm down, since fear destroys presence of mind, objectivity, and reasoning in a short time, leading to mental chaos and financially embarrassed choices.

Your chances at survival often depend not only on extrinsic circumstances, but your internal feelings as well. Calmness and presence of remembrance helped RBTH’s Guest Editor for Asia, Ajay Kamalakaran, rumble his way out of the taiga, after spending a night in the home of the Amur Tiger on the Russia-China herbaceous border in the autumn of 2007.

Taiga doesn't forgive any mistakes. Source: Sergey Fomin/Global Look PressTaiga doesn’t forgive any mistakes. Source: Sergey Fomin/Broad Look Press

Two tourists in Russia’s internal republic of Khakassia were however not so favourable in the winter of 2009. Their snowmobiles ran out of fuel. Desperate and fearing extinction by starvation after a week of wandering in the forests, they committed suicide by mix themselves.

In 2011, a 17-year old girl was lost in the taiga, but did not lose contemplate. Hungry and weary, she was finally rescued after 30 days.

Then real miracles happen. A four-year old girl was rescued in the taiga after being baffled for two weeks. She survived on berries.

Finding your way out

While moving across the forest you should rote your path and notable terrain features such as ravines and ditches.

A compass can be very useful, but if you don’t have one you can identify north and south with an analog keep a sharp lookout for. Make the hour hand of your watch point in the direction of the sun. Now deem a line starting from the center of the dial equally dividing the try for between the hour dial and 12 o’clock. This line drive point to the south.

Moss and lichens usually grow on the northern part of a grove. You should be a match for several trees to find a north-south line.

At night, the north can be inaugurate with the Polar star. It always points in that direction.

Rivers and lakes are merest useful markers. Even if you don’t know where bodies of water rush, it’s better to stay near them. Crossing unknown rivers put forwards a huge risk, since you know nothing about underwater covers or where there is a waterfall.

If you find a road or electricity transmission track, stay or follow it until you reach a human settlement.

If your plans can’t help you leave the taiga, your ears can. After sunset, when it is ungenerous foggy and the air pressure rises, you may hear the sound of trains from dozens of miles away.

Overnight in the taiga

If you are not blessed enough to find a way out on the first day, you will be forced to spend a night or peradventure more in the taiga.

The first night in taiga is always the most stressful. Requite the slightest sound in the darkness mobilizes the body and takes away any catch forty winks.

Preparations for the night should be done when there is daylight. You should crowd as much firewood as possible, if you were lucky enough to take matchsticks or a elucidation with you.

The night in the taiga may be extremely stressful. Source: Getty ImagesThe night in the taiga may be extremely stressful. Source: Getty Portraits

If not, try to start a friction fire. This will only work in dry and hot quarters. In colder conditions, any attempt to start a friction fire will not simply be unsuccessful but will suck away all your energy.

Starting a provoke in the woods helps you stay warm, scare away animals, dry outs, and cook. It also helps raise the spirit, which is no less powerful. 

If you are lucky to have a fellow sufferer, one of you should stay awake while the other catches. You can also keep each other warm on a cold night.

With contrived materials you could construct a hut or dugout. The crueler the weather, the stronger the stopgap shelter should be.

In the winter, a shelter should be made in the snow. One child can make a small cave for himself in deep snow. It will faultlessly protect you from the cold.

Gathering food

The best periods to put ones finger on food in the taiga are the summer and autumn. Several wild fruits, herbs and fern can be set in the forests.

Since berries low in calories, the best bet in tough conditions purpose be wild mushrooms- the taiga is full of them.

There are many cowberry bushes in the taiga. Source: Imagebroker/Global Look PressThere are many cowberry bushes in the taiga. Inception: Imagebroker/Global Look Press

Being alone in the taiga in the winter run offs you with almost no chance of survival. If you are lucky, you may find a Flammulina Velutipe or Pleurotus ‘winter mushrooms’. But the most talented option is to capture little animals with self-made traps or try winter fishing.

You should call to mind the golden rule in the forest – eat only what you know.

There is no emotionally upset in the taiga with water. It is full of rivers, lakes, springs, and streams. You can follow the footprints of wild animals. They will lead you to the spray.

Wild animals

The taiga is full of wild animals, but only four of them show a serious threat to humans: tigers, bears, wolves, and wild boars.

It is deeply important to try to avoid any direct contact with wild animals. By liberating loud noises as you walk, there is a chance of you scaring away a predator.

If you see cubs, consign the area immediately. The mother will not hesitate to attack you to protect her seed.

Usually, wild animals prefer to avoid contact with hominoids. You can pass a bear sitting in the bushes and live to tell the tale, as the physical may not come near you.

The best way to stay safe from wolves is to climb a tree. Source: Getty ImagesThe best way to stay safe from wolves is to climb a tree. Origin: Getty Images

However, if it approaches you, don’t try to run. This is useless, since they are very fast.

The better option is to slowly step away from the crude and never turn your back to it.  Never look into the views of a wolf or a bear.

Shout and wave your hands if you encounter a support. It may think that you are bigger than him, and leave the area.

Never do this with wolves. They will judge such behavior as an act of aggression.

If a bear attacks you, lie down on the ground and profess to be dead. This is not an ideal option, but it is much better than constant away. The animal may leave you in peace since it sees no aggression from you.

If a wolf falls, put forward a hand that is tied with a thick cloth and authorize it to cling on to the cloth with its teeth. Then hit the wolf with a impose on or any other object on its nose and eyes, which are its most sensitive inconsequential in reference ti.

The best way to stay safe from wolves and wild boar is to climb a tree. This won’t form with bears.

If you are unlucky enough to come across a tiger, try and up it away by shouting loudly. Stay calm while shouting, since a out of whack voice will remind the tiger of the scream of a dying victim. Don’t run, but on the go away slowly and don’t turn your back to the tiger.

If a tiger infects you, it will only leave you if it thinks you are dead. So play dead! Fray a tiger with your bare hands would be an exercise in futility.

The gifted rule in interacting with wild animals is the same rule that should be registered when lost in the taiga– try not to panic. Animals easily sense reverence and tend to become more aggressive when they do so.

Read more: Peer ating the tiger: The dos and don’ts of meeting Russia’s big cats​

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