UKSN 14 Week Basic Survival Challenge - Week 14

Survival Challenge

The fourteenth and final week of the UKSN Community Challenge starts today! Learn about the UKSN and take part in weekly challenges, tasks and skills! Can you complete them all?

Don't forget to share your progress and pictures of your daily challenges on our Facebook group or in the comment section below.

This week you have 2 challenges to complete!

Challenge 1:

Build a Solar Still

Being able to access clean water is very important and so is learning the different methods of fresh water procurement. This challenge revolves around build a simple solar still!

The Challenge

You have found yourself in a dire situation without fresh drinking water! You need to scavenge specific items to build a Solar Still....

Items Required

- Plastic sheet

- A container such as a bowl or cup


Step 1: Dig a hole in an area with at least some direct sunlight

Step 2: In the bottom of the hole - directly in the centre place a container that can collect the water generated such as a bowl, cup (or anything else you can find).

Step 3: Fill the area around the container with leaves or anything that is damp or wet.

Step 4: Lie a plastic sheet across the top of the hole and anchor it in place. You can use stones or anything heavy.

Step 5: Pleace a 'small' stone in the middle of the plastic sheet. Ensure its centred above the container and causes the plastic to dip

Step 6: Condensation will occur on the underside of the plastic sheet and run towards the centre. This will then drip into your container providing you with clean, distilled drinking water!

Did You Know?

This technique can also be used to distill sea water! Simply immerse a rag, t shirt or other fabric in the sea water and place around the bottom of the hole instead of wet leaves!

Challenge 2:

Re-tune Your Mind

We will soon be saying au revoir but we have one final challenge for you...Change your mindset!

To survive, the only thing you need is your brain. It's by far the best survival tool you have. You just need to tune it.

In a survival situation there are many mental factors you need to overcome before the physical barriers. These include fear, panic and stress which can hit like a ton of bricks when you find yourself in an unfamiliar situation.

To overcome these, there are many techniques you can practice including dissociation. This is where you do a hard or repetitive task such as push ups and when you finally start to feel uncomfortable, focus your mind elsewhere. You can also do it using cold water. Simply submerge yourself in a cold bath or shower. When you feel the burn and need to get out - don't. Re-focus and push it for a little longer. Think about the people who depend on you and every time your mind starts to falter, reaffirm why your doing this. Push the panic and fear to the back of your mind and find that happy place. Concentrate on the task ahead.

Eventually you will build up your mental stamina and be able to block out the uncomfortable feelings you might have.

Positivity is also key. Recognise your emotions. There is no room for negative thoughts in a survival situation. Tell yourself "i can do this"!

Another aspect is mental flexibility. Can you adapt and create innovative solutions to problems? Practice being creative and regularly thinking outside the box.

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation - STOP!

S: Stop

T: Think

O: Observe

P: Plan

Don't go wading in - Think your way out of the problem. Stop. Take a few seconds to compose yourself. Analyse your situation and observe your surroundings. Only then should you make a plan and come up with a solution to the problem.

Regularly reassess the situation as things can rapidly change.

Remember - this is only the start. Continue to learn and practice your skills. Develop yourself and help friends and family to do the same. Together we can be ready for almost anything.


You have (possibly, maybe...) completed the challenge! We hope you have learned a few new skills and most of all, had fun. Don't forget to keep challenging yourself and look out for more challenges soon!

If you have enjoyed the challenge why not take a peek at our unique UKSN Survival Poster which includes most of these challenges and much more. You can then look back regularly as a reminder - plus it will look amazing in your office, shed or 'man cave'.

UKSN Survival Poster


Let us know how you get on using the comments section below or posting via our Facebook group. In fact, why not post on both?

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