The jungle or tropical rainforests usually have common denominators like heat and high humidity, thick vegetation and annoying insects. With that said the jungle is an excellent place for a survivor to utilize his/her primitive skills to the fullest.

Under most circumstances U.S. RSOG cadre place a large emphasis on a diet high in fat and protein. In the jungle the mass availability of edible plant foods changes that. A diet higher in carbohydrates becomes very doable. A survivor needs a good working knowledge of easily identified plant life that will yield back substantial amounts of useable sustenance. Proper study and training is the most efficient way of mastering a working knowledge of this special environment.

Of course many of the bushcraft skills that are utilized in woodland terrain will also apply in the rain forest. Creating shelter from the elements (rain, sunshine) is an easy task with a simple lean-to and raised bed. It can advance past that to teepee types of shelters to actual tree huts that are suspended from cross members that are lashed from one tree truck to another. There are some rules that every survivor should live by while in the jungle.


Number #1

Do not sleep on the ground if at all possible. Many critters of various stings and sizes occupy the jungle floor. The lowly little ant can put a healthy survivor down. Just because a creature wonít kill you doesnít mean that you want to tangle with it. From poison sweating frogs, to venomous reptiles, to black scorpions, they are all out to make a living just like the next guy and they are good at it.


Number #2

Donít show up without a man-sized cutting tool. There is an unbelievable amount of bushcraft that needs to be attended to, not to mention the digging and chow collection chores. Try opening a coconut or cutting the heart out of a palm tree with a 6-8 inch blade. It can be done but it quadruples the work. Even a 10-12 inch blade isnít always enough at times. The local boys donít pack machetes or prangs for no reason.


Number #3

Always wear a hat, long pants and long sleeves if at all possible. This has a lot to due with protection from insects and over exposure from the sun. Just a few hours in the sun while fishing on a gravel bar for pink catfish, can be enough to cause a gringo to get blisters on his/her ears. That leads to an open wound being filled with sweat and dirt. Fly larvae can be laid in exposed hair by carrier insects. Wear your damn hear gear, it doesnít matter that Navy SEALs didnít wear it in Vietnam. All the odds are already stacked against an evader, why push your luck.


Number #4

Limit your travel at night as much as possible unless you are carrying a light source. For the evading soldier this maybe tricky. The last thing that you want to do is lay down on or step on a fer-de-lance, which are notorious for not getting out of your way until you have unknowingly molested them. Sitting in an ant nest or bouncing through a black wasp nest can motivate your senses quickly! If you have to move at night move SMOOTHLY with stealthy intent. The jungle just isnít the same as American timber.


Number #5

Protect yourself from insects with a vengeance. Just because the locals let them suck the juices out of themselves doesnít mean that you can. An infected mosquito bite can and has killed people. Not to mention all of the other transmitted diseases that come along with them.


Number #6

Absolutely NO water source (even freshly collected rainwater) is potable. Threat every source as hostile to your well being.


Number #7

The best training comes from the local guides! They have been living there their entire lives, it just makes sense. Seek them out for their knowledge. The guide is always right, if you think likewise, shoot yourself.

Thatís the first 7 of many more rules that apply to jungle living. Commit those to memory and the average survivor will be that much ahead of the game. As common sense sounding as they are, we constantly see people breaking the rules and wishing that they hadnít later.

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