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Handbook for Survival in the Rain Forest Handbook for Survival in the Rain Forest Handbook for Survival in the Rain Forest Manual de Supervivencia en la Selva Handbook for Survival in the Rain Forest Manual de Supervivencia en la Selva

Handbook for Survival in the Rain Forest

Dangers within the Rain Forest

To cross a Rain Forest area implies a series of dangerous situation, which are necessary to be familiar with in order to avoid serious or even mortal accidents. If you are not carrying a fire arm, it is necessary to improvise weapons that can be useful in a dangerous situation.

  • The flexible rod or stick is a flexible tree branch or bamboo rod of about 1.5 metres of length. The best material is using the Pona Palm tree, a black wood out of which the local indigenous people make their bows and arrows. The most important feature to take into consideration is that it be very flexible because that will make it lash out when using it, producing cuts in the skin of the attacking animal, causing it a strong painful burning sensation. It is ideal to use to scare off any attacking medium sized animal and also to kill serpents.

  • When you enter the Rain Forest and walk in the underbrush, it is important to use this flexible rod to previously whip the area where you intend to walk. The sound you will produce will scare off the animals and mostly so, any snakes or other reptiles that may be hiding there. Usually the snake will feel your presence and escape before you come upon it, but it can also be that it feels threatened and will try to defend itself and thus prepare to attack you. In order to do so the snake will raise its head and part of its body, open its mouth, stick out its tongue and make a hissing sound. The first thing you should do in a situation like that is to try and stay calm, since serpents can feel your fear and will attack any perceived enemy when they sense that. If it assumes the attack position, do not move and look it firmly into its eyes until it calms down and then slowly retire backwards step by step but slowly, but also always ready to defend yourself. Do not wave or move the upper part of your body and arms, unless it is to hit it with you machete or flexible rod on its back, thus breaking its spinal cord.

  • On many occasions, especially when you are trying to pick a fruit from a tree or a palm fruit, you must take extra care, because many snakes will hide among the warmth of the dry leaves that fall to the ground at the foot of the tree or palm. Before stepping up close, first observe the dry leaves from a prudential distance and see if you can perceive any movement and then use your flexible rod or bamboo staff to poke among the leaves and if you hear any strange sound it is better to go and look for another tree.

  • If the tree is a lemon or orange tree, be careful with the possibility that it harbours a wasp nest, since these creatures are prone to make their nests in these types of trees. In the same manner, it is important to observe well the trunk of the tree in order to make sure that there are no venomous ants that may attack you.

  • Do not lie down on the ground close to a palm or tree if the ground is humid and covered with dry leaves, because there is a good chance the ground may hold bullet antsí nests or nests of millipedes.

  • Do not make camp or rest on the beaches on the banks of the rivers because these are the favourite spots for caimans and big cats, not to mention mosquitoes and sand flies.

  • When the rivers change their courses, so called cochas or ox bow lakes and other small lakes will be formed. There you will often find small baby caimans; if so, do not try to get close to them, since the mother will be close by and they are very ferocious when the defend their young from any perceived threat to their safety. Furthermore, the soil is wet or humid and over the years there may form moving sands or swampy areas, which are very difficult to get free from if you get bogged down. There are also sting rays in the sandy bottom off the river bank beaches and also in other shallow parts of the rivers and their stings can be very painful and will easily cause infections.

  • If you are on level terrain and run into a swampy area, study its width and its depth, if the tree cover around it is spares, it is most probably very deep and it is preferable to go around it.

  • In the swampy areas you can sometimes find leeches, which have a sucking mouth at the top of their head with which they adhere to your skin and suck blood from your body. The resulting wound is very prone to become infected. If you have one that has adhered to your skin, the best way of getting rid of them is to burn them with a cigarette, a match, damp tobacco, kerosene or lemon juice. This way you will be able to get them off your body without any rests clinging to your body. In order to avoid them it is necessary that you keep the cuffs of your pants inside your socks, or inside your boots, making sure you have a tight knot around your ankles.

  • Introduction
    General Information
    How to determine
    your position
    Auxiliary signals
    for air rescue
    How to prepare to
    enter the Rain Forest
    How to get around
    in the Rain Forest
    How to build a shelter in the Rain Forest
    Search for water
    and food
    Dangers within the
    Rain Forest
    How to ford a water course
    How to act during
    a thunderstorm
    How to act when encountering natives
    Snake bites. Prevention
    Insect bites