How To Survive in the Swamps and Marshes

Marshes and swamps constantly get flooded and are the hub of a variety of insects. You require a different set of skills to survive in the swamps and marshes.

These areas are quite humid, and it is not much comforting to stay in these areas. However, marshes and swamps are the best to go for a bike ride or a short stroll.

Besides, the swamps and marshes offer enormous outdoor recreational opportunities such as hiking, hunting, and trapping, fishing, etc.

Wildlife photographers also love swamps and marshes because they provide a very good view of birds and wildness.

Even if you visit mountains or forests, heavy rain or a flood may cause the region to be marshy. In such cases, the special survival skills of swamps and marshes come to the rescue.

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1. Why Go To Swamps And Marshes

Before planning a journey to the swamps and marshes, it is necessary to be aware of its specialties.

The following points describe the importance of the swamps and marshes.

  • Visiting the swamps and marshes allows an individual to shoot beautiful photographs of the diversified species of birds and animals that inhabit these areas. Birdwatching is a special feature provided by the swamps and marshes.
  • Swamps and marshes provide excellent opportunities for camping. One can totally relax and stay in vicinity to nature and enjoy its beauty.
  • The scenic views of the swamps and marshes are too captivating! Enjoying the scenic beauty while boating and canoeing can only be offered by swamps and marshes.
  • The swamps and marshes are rich in wildlife, with diversified species as its inhabitants. Thus, these swamps and marshes offer enormous hunting and fishing opportunities. 
  • Educational institutions can take their pupils for a visit to the swamps and marshes since it is quite relaxing and educative at the same time.
  • Certain swamps and marshes offer the exciting opportunity of scuba diving! The swamps and marshes offer ample recreational facilities and are a must-visit for adventurers.

2. Survival Skills Required in Swamps and Marshes

To survive in the swamps and marshes, you require skills especially tailored for this environment.

These areas are generally filled with insects and animals. Hence, special preparations, skills, and tools are required to deal with them.

2.1 Carrying Tools and Implements

The survivalists must carry proper tools and implements such as knives and spears. You can buy some good but inexpensive knives beforehand.

You can make spears with wood or branches. Hammers, similarly, can also be easily built using a large rock.

Wooden sticks or branches can be used as handles for the hammers. 

2.2 Shelter-building

Shelter-building is one of the most important skills to survive in the swamps and marshes. A shelter offers you protection in the time of natural calamities or extreme weather conditions.

You can practice shelter-building in your backyard or any open place. Start by making small fort-like structures or constructing structures of wood.

Shelters can also be constructed on the water surface by using wood as a platform and branches and leaves for the bed. You can also use sticks or small pieces of wood to make makeshift shelters.

In case you do not find any convenient open space, Habitat for Humanity can help you by providing training on shelter-building.

Also, there are online learning videos and survival schools that will teach you this skill of shelter-building.

Primitive Survival Shelter | No Tools | Raised Platform Bed

2.3 Starting a Fire

Fire is essential to keep the wild animals away from the camp, to cook meals, to keep oneself warm, and so on. Besides, you can also use fire to send signals for help, in case you get stuck in any danger.

Lighting fire is an easy and quick process and can be done by rubbing stones with each other. The bow drill method is also another easy way to start a fire in an enclosed pit.

Adventurers will come across many dead or dried leaves spread on the forest roads. These are effective in starting a fire. Also, there is the age-old way of starting a fire by rubbing stones against each other.

A more unique and easy way to start a fire is by applying physics that almost everyone learns in their school.

All you need to do is to use glasses and focus the sun rays on dry leaves or twigs. The concentrated heat will ignite them.

A small lighter, however, is very handy and easy to work with compared to the above-mentioned natural ways.

How to make fire on water(the swamp fire)

2.4 Finding Sources of Water

Human beings can survive without food for days, but can not survive without water even for a few hours. Water can be found in lakes or streams, but make sure to properly purify it before consuming it.

You may also collect the dewdrops in a bottle or a container. Dewdrops are generally found in the moist ground or under the rocks. Rocks slow down the evaporation process, so that’s a good place to look for as well.  

In some cases, one may find streams, lakes that may have apparently clean water, but it is always safe to boil it or purify it and free it from bacteria or insects.

Contracting infections or parasitic worm infestations on a trip is quite disgusting and detrimental to one’s health. Hence, it is always better to remain on the safe side.

Carry portable personal water filters and purification tablets on your journey. 

2.5 Foraging for Food

Finding food is extremely important since energy is essential to perform any activity.

Survivalists can set hunting snares to trap small game animals. Fishes are largely available from streams or creeks.

Although the idea of consuming roasted frogs may sound a bit weird, survivalists may catch frogs from the ponds or lakes and can have a delicious meal after roasting them over the fire.

Wild Food Foraging In The Swamp

2.6 Preventing Fungal Infection

The humidity of the swamps and marshes attracts fungi and bacteria.

Don’t wear wet clothes or socks since it may lead to a serious fungal infection.

Also, make sure to dry your sweats from time to time for the same reason. 

How to Prevent a Fungal Infection from Spreading — The Doctors

2.7 Using Water Vine

Drinking water from the marshes is quite dangerous since it is home to pathogens, insects, and poisonous microorganisms.

A good skill to learn is to distinguish a water vine among all the trees present in the swamps and marshes.

The water-bearing vines are those that have rough barks and shoots having a thickness of about 5 cm.

However, ensure that you do not choose water vines that secrete a milky fluid because they are highly poisonous. 

2.8 Setting Up a Swamp Bed

Swamp bed is an essential component to stay dry in the swamps and marshes. It will help you to keep off the ground and prevent you from getting wet.

To make a swamp bed, the first step will be to choose trees that are straight and then lash them between some other erect trees horizontally.

To secure the bed, put the ropes or branches in a crisscross way. You can also use leaves, grasses, or branches to make a bed. 

3. Basic Survival Items For Swarms and Marshes

Apart from mastering the survival skills, certain items will help you survive in the swamps and marshes. Here are our top picks:

3.1 Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof jackets will keep you dry in the wet surroundings of the swamps and marshes.

Besides, the jacket also protects your clothes from getting soiled and dirty. These jackets are generally very light and quite comfortable.

3.2 Waterproof Gaiters

Waterproof gaiters help in preventing the mud from entering your boots. They also prevent the entry of mosquitoes or other insects inside your shoes.

These gaiters have contractive rope and shoelace metal hook for adjustment and firm bundling.

3.3 Waterproof Boots

Waterproof hiking boots are designed to bear the rigors of swamps and marshes. They will help you navigate these places while keeping your feet protected.

3.4 Cooking Pot

A pot can function in multiple ways. Pots are required to cook meals. You can also use them to dry certain non-inflammable gear pieces or objects in case the weather remains damp.

Water in the swamps and marshes is very impure and requires purification. Pots can be used to boil the water from lakes or streams to avoid bacterial or parasitic worm infestation.

3.5 Sleeping Bag

Sleeping directly on the ground is quite uncomfortable. Moreover, you will not want to lie on muddy ground and get soiled.

Sleeping bags provide you comfort in the hostile and humid environment of the swamps and marshes.

3.6 Gill Net

Gillnet hangs in the water column and is designed to permit the fish to enter only its head. This results in the gills of the fish getting trapped in the net.

Gill nets are quite a handy and useful tool to find your meals in swamps and marshes.

3.7 Portable Water Purifier

Portable water purifier helps you to consume clean and fresh water.

LifeStraw Plastic Portable personal Water Purifiers, with its 200ml capacity, and ability to filter out 99.99% of bacteria and germs, does the job well in this regard.

3.8 Portable Lighters

A waterproof lighter is must-have equipment for any outdoor trip. Fire is helpful on many occasions, including cooking your food.

3.9 Survival Hatchet

Hatchet with a stainless-steel blade is quite important while going camping and eases the shelter-making process. It smoothly works over wood and makes it easier to construct a temporary shelter.

3.10 Medical Kit

Needless to say, medical kits are another most important item for any outdoor trip.

3.11 Burner Stoves

Carrying burner stoves while going camping makes lighting fire easier and also makes cooking convenient. Its lightweight makes it easy to carry it along the journey.

4. Alligators In Swamps And Marshes

Crocodiles and alligators dwell in the swamps and marshes. It is important to stay away from crocodiles and alligators since they may attack humans.

If you are being chased by an alligator, the first and foremost thing to do is to run. Alligators do not like to chase their prey for a long duration, so there is nothing much to panic about.

However, if an alligator approaches you in the middle of the water, it is a bit difficult to escape from its clutches.

In that case, the most sensitive and delicate part of an alligator is its eye.

In case of an alligator attack, try to attack it with any sharp object near you. If nothing else is nearby, drive your thumb or fingers directly into its eye. This may make the alligator release its hold.  

The alligators and crocodiles do not consider you as prey if you do not tease or disturb them. Children are easy prey and must be kept away from the water.

Do not feed the crocodiles since it is quite risky, and you may become their prey.

5. What are the 3s in Survival?

The 3s in survival, also known as the rule of threes. They define the priorities that the survivalists are required to keep in mind while they go out in the forests, mountains, swamps, and marshes.

These rules help an individual to take a tactical decision in the moments of crisis.

  • The first rule is that a survivalist can survive only 3 minutes without drawing in oxygen or breathable air (usually, with protection or in icy water).
  • The second rule is that an individual can survive only for 3 hours in a hostile environment that has inhuman and extreme temperatures.
  • The third rule is that a survivalist can thrive only for 3 days without consuming pure drinking water.
  • Lastly, a survivalist may survive only for 3 weeks without consuming food.


Owing to the humidity in the swamps and marshes, you may feel irritated and uneasy.

However, the diverse flora and fauna, and recreational activities that you can do in the swamps and marshes, attract people to venture out in these terrains.

From being the home to a diverse range of wildlife to boasting beautiful scenic views, the swamps and marshes fascinate the survivalists from every nook and corner of the world.

However, when you are properly equipped with the correct skills and knowledge to survive in the swamps and marshes, you will be able to navigate around any dangers that may come your way.


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