Roaming Survival

This is when you will be surviving on the move (roaming). Either you have decided that you will have a better chance at surviving in another location because of depleted resources, or you believe that search and rescue has been called off.

It may also be that no itinerary had been prepared and no-one will know you are missing or where you are.

Any move to relocate should be with the intent to rescue yourself. Be prepared to signal for help if an aircraft flies overhead, or there are people in the distance. However, it may not always be possible because it depends on the circumstances. If as an example you are in an area with heavy tree cover you will not be seen as you are roaming about on the forest floor.

Do what you can, but the odds are against you. Get to you new location and setup some good signals.

Roaming survival:


1. There may be better or more resources in your new location.

2. You are heading back to civilization, unless you get lost.

I'll add this here instead of in the list above as an extra if it so be that your circumstances should require this information.

1. If in enemy territory you may escape the area to safety.


1. Shelter building will be sporadic or on the move until you make camp at your new location, therefore it will be time and energy consuming. Your temporary shelters will most likely not be as efficient as your previous shelter where you had time to fix it up.

2. You are no longer in the comfort of the home that you have provided for yourself. This includes 'the little things' that helped make life a little more comfortable.

3. Signaling will not be as efficient. At your first site you could have made a series of three tripod fires in a triangle, ready to be ignited at the site (or sound) of an aircraft. Please go to the Signaling page for more info.

4. Given that you may not know what the terrain will be like ahead, there may be unforeseen difficulties and dangers awaiting you.

5. Surviving in your new location may be more difficult. Water, food and other resources may be more scarce. Water is an important factor in determining the suitability of a new site.

6. You may become more lost. Know how to navigate from your location to the next area you'll camp in.

I'll add this here instead of in the list above as extras if it so be that your circumstances should require this information.

1. You will not be as safe from predatory animals as you roam through the landscape.

2. If in enemy territory, your shelter might not be as well concealed and it will be more difficult to have a covert fire while on the move.

3. The more traveling you do, the more signs you'll leave behind that may give away your position to any unfriendly people. Of course, do what is best according to your circumstances.

If you are in a longer term survival effort and will not be able to make it back to civilization any time soon, make it worth the effort to pack up and leave. Make your new camp at a distance of about 2-3 days distance away from your current location and then make your new camp including making your signals etc. This is so that the area will be undisturbed and fresh in your new location. It does not guarantee however that things will be easier in all things.

Given that you have decided to move on because you feel that there is no more hope of search and rescue or because local resources are depleted, there are certain things that you will need to do first.

1. Leave a note to indicate where you are going in the event that search and rescue does show up after you leave the area. Include information on where you intend to go, your health condition, how many are in the group etc. Keep it as simple as possible, but definitely mention where you are going, unless in unfriendly territory.

2. Bring what you can from your previous location such as tinder, natural and/or modern cordage etc. A tinder fungus called King Alfred's Cakes (Daldinia concentrica) can be used as a coal while on the move if you needed to get a fire going. However, it will last for about 20 minutes which is not very long. A better idea would be to bring some dry tinder with you or collect it as you go, provided you have the means to ignite it. If not, the tinder fungus can be used. You'll need to use some other tinder fungus to maintain a coal until you are ready for a fire. Be creative to keep to going.

3. Make it easy for search and rescue to follow you. Mark the trail every 100 feet or so with anything that will attract attention. There are many methods to leave 'bread crumbs' for search and rescue.

Remember that they are looking for signs of your presence, so make it as obvious as possible.

I'll add this here instead of in the list above as extras if it so be that your circumstances should require this information.

1. If in enemy territory or you are avoiding suspicious looking people after an emergency in a built up area that is in anarchy, you may decide to move on for safety reasons. Depending on the circumstances you may or may not have much time to properly break camp and leave with supplies. Of course make your best decision and do what you can if this ever happened to you. If you have a bushcraft knife and firestarter do all that you can to bring those items with you. Have a look at what else you could bring in a hurry. It is preferable to always have certain items on your person as you do things around your camp and elsewhere. If you already have these with you, you'll have them if you had to leave in a hurry.

2. Minimize the damage to the environment you are in, such as disturbing vegetation, the cutting of wood, any remnants of an open or concealed fire, leaving your tracks all over the place etc., to avoid giving away your having been there as well as to avoid others following you, at least to make it difficult for them to.


Lofty Wiseman Survival Course with Trueways Survival School (inc survival tool knife use)