Decades-long Air Force man Rod Alne gives 7 tips for surviving in the wild.

He starts out with building a smarter survival kit. A three-tier system. First, on your body, 30-50 feet of 550 paracord braided into a lanyard with a signaling device (whistle, etc) attached.

Also carry a firestarter (bic or other), a small button compass, flashlight, and knife, a space blanket, a signal mirror, multi-purpose tool, and a cellphone.

With those, you can call for help, build a shelter, and start a fire. If you’re near water, you might want to carry a couple fish-hooks or a net as well.

Tier two.

In a small backpack/fannypack. It should have a first aid kit, surveyors tape (brightly colored), raingear, 55-gal contractor bag, duct tape, candy bars, granola bars.

Tier three.

Backpack. It should contain some things to build shelter. You could go with a tarp, sleeping bag (the small kind), MRE or other sustenance, water container (that can be boiled ie metal), fixed knife blade/saw/axe, and some clothing that will be suited to the environment.

After that, Alne explains that you can increase your chances by learning a few skills.

Splint a break/sprain. You may bring a samsplint or other for this.

Build a shelter fast. This includes knowing how to pick a site that has drainage (isn’t in drainage) and isn’t too elevated (to stay out of the cold wind). You need to aim to stay at 98.6 degrees. You can use fire to get to that temperature.

Build fire in rain, damp and snow.

Get located and found. This can be with a whistle, but if you’re lost, you probably need a ground-to-air signal. CLASS. Remember that word. Contrast, location, angles, size, and shape. A mirror can do it. The smell of smoke can too.

Find your way home. GPS is great, but when it dies, you need something else. Also, if you like most people don’t have the money for a GPS, you need to learn to rely on more reliable methods. Learn the watch method or the sundial method to find direction. There’s also the moss-on-tree method, but it’s not as reliable.

His last of seven tips: develop a survivors mindset. That is what will really get you out of a situation.