With summer approaching, now is the perfect time to plan your next vacation. Here are a few ideas that will allow you to have fun and practice your survival skills at the same time!
1. Roadtrip – But with a twist!
Is there anything better than the Great American Roadtrip? It’s a chance to explore new destinations, take in the scenery, and get off the beaten path. This summer you should take a roadtrip to somewhere you’ve never been. But here’s the twist: you have to do it without a GPS or any kind of pre-planned directions. You can use a map if you’ve already got one of the area but this will be a great test of your navigational skills.
To make it extra challenging and fun, try taking off with nothing but your Bug Out Bag. If you want to take it one step further, imagine you’re in a bug out scenario where you need to get away from civilization as fast as you can. You’ll want to avoid crowded highways and may need to head directly across country to get to your final destination. This will be a fun but practical way to test out your bug out plan, gear, and physical/mental fortitude.
2. Hiking the National Trails
If you haven’t hiked one of the National Trails before, there’s no better time than the present. These trails are a great way to test your endurance, survival skills, and will in a safe, semi-controlled environment. While some like the Appalachian Trail can get busy during peak season, you’re still able to enjoy them in solitude if you desire. And if something goes wrong, it won’t be long before other hikers stumble upon you to offer assistance. My personal favorite is the Pacific Crest Trail. Once completed, the feeling of accomplishment and pride you will get can’t be put into words and it’s a great way to mentally recharge and be inspired by the nature around you. You can read more about the National Trails here.
3. Fishing the Colorado River
Fishing is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed on your own or with friends and family. It also teaches a valuable survival skill that you might need to get food some day. The beauty of fishing the Colorado River is that it’s so diverse. You’re not just going to be sitting on the dock like you usually would. You’ve got to get out there and hike to some remote areas where you might even need to camp for the night. This is the perfect weekend trip to get away from it all and practice your survival skills all while enjoying the great outdoors.
If you’re up for a detour while you’re out there, try driving through the nearby Alpine Loop. It’s about a two and a half hour drive from Grand Junction to Silverton but it’s well worth it. The Alpine Loop is a 65-mile system of unpaved roads in Colorado where you will see stunning vistas of treeless tundras and towering mountains. It’s been dubbed the “Switzerland of America”. Along the way, there are many abandoned mining towns that you can camp in. The best time to go is between June and September, a narrow window where there isn’t much snow. Regardless of when you go you’ll want a 4×4 as there is some difficult terrain to cross. A 4×4 is also necessary to visit the famous ghost town of Animas Forks near Silverton.
4. America’s Toughest Road
The James Dalton Highway in Alaska is also known as America’s Toughest Road. It is the longest stretch of unserviced gravel road in the country. Many of the inclines are very steep (up to 12% grade) and much of it is passable only in a 4WD vehicle. It starts just north of Fairbanks and goes 414 miles to the small town of Deadhorse along the Arctic Ocean. It’s mostly used as a trucking route for the nearby oil pipelines. There are only three towns with gas and supplies along the entire route — survival supplies and skills are a must. It’s often seen as the ultimate road trip because proper planning and preparation are that essential. If you decide to embark on this adventure, plan to take it slow and remember that big trucks have the right of way.
5. A Deserted Island
What could be a better test of your survival skills than having to survive on your own on a deserted island? You will need to establish shelter, build fires, find drinking water and food. If you want to role play a scenario, you can also think about how you would escape the island or signal for help and practice those skills. There are many places where you can rent your own island but if you’re looking for the ultimate challenge check out Devil’s Island. This remote island has no beaches, is miles from the nearest coast, and will truly give you that feeling of being a castaway. It’s the ultimate survival destination.