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Surviving the Amazon Jungle

Posted on 17 September 2011 by onthegroundtravel

Amazon Jungle Survival Tips:

1) In Europe, you learn to look up to see the frescos on ceilings.  In the jungle, we learned to look up, down, left, right, below, and everywhere.   It’s not the animals that are most likely to hurt you (most of them run away before you even know they are there), but it’s the plants that may cause you the most grief.  When you walk the jungle, try not to touch anything with bare skin.  Many trees have spikes on the trunks, underneath the leaves, or on the roots and some of the spikes are poisonous.   Furthermore, if you happen to brush against a tree trunk infested with fire ants, the pain from the stings will last several days.   If you get stung by fire ants, consider yourself lucky as there are other ants that can leave you in severe pain all over for days.   The same goes for tree sap, some can cure illness, others are dessert for the monkeys, and some are just plain poisonous.  On windy days, heavy fruit from the top of trees are dangerous as they may fall at high speed and knock you out or worse.  Locals call the fruit “Cabeza the Muerto” or “Dead Head” for that exact reason: they look like a head, and have knocked some jungle hunters dead in the head (we are not kidding!).

Spikes on Tree Roots in the Amazon jungle from trips around the world.

2) Wear white color, long sleeve clothing.  Mosquitos are attracted to dark and bright colors.

3) Buy a mosquito net for your head.  Outdoor equipment stores like REI sell them.  They will definitely give you peace of mind when you hear insects buzzing around your ears all day.  I know they work as there were definitely a few mosquitos stopped by the net right in front my eyes as they tried to bite me.

4) Make sure your lodge provides knee-high rubber boots.   This is essential.  You will be walking through some really muddy areas that can be knee deep.  Hiking boots will not be sufficient unless you don’t mind getting your socks and feet all muddy as well.

5) Our posts on Life in the Amazon Jungle and Iquitos and the Belen Market (port city to the jungle) may also be of interest to you.

Amazon Jungle Adventure Log:

Learning survival skills is one of the primary reasons we made a stop at the Amazon jungle.  Under the expert guidance of a local guide, we learned a number of skills that we can carry with us for the rest of our lives.  This includes how to avoid getting lost, and what to do once you are lost in the jungle.  Other tips such as finding water and food sources, and when to start a fire are also invaluable.  As difficult as it may seem for city dwellers like us to adjust to the uncomfortable weather in the Amazon, we were glad we visited this wonderful place.

Water Vine in the Amazon jungle from trips around the world

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Navid Says:

    Extreemly helpful article, please write more.

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