How Do Humans Survive in a Rainforest?

Humans can survive in a rainforest provided there is reasonable access to food, water and shelter, and appropriate measures are taken to address and avoid dangers. Tropical rainforests are typically found along the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ, the meeting point of the northeast and southeast tradewinds.

Heat and humidity are a major source of danger for humans trying to survive in a rainforest. Prolonged exposure without adequate hydration and shelter or other shielding can rapidly lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration. It is essential that a source of fresh water be located immediately on arrival in the rainforest, and that measures be taken to render all collected water safe for consumption.

Rainforests harbor a number of different and deadly tropical diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, hookworms and more. Flies, mosquitoes and other insects are major sources of these potentially deadly diseases. Prevention is key, so humans planning on traveling to tropical regions should receive inoculations where available and take measures to repel and kill insects while in the rainforest.

Rainforests are also home to potentially deadly animals and plants, so having advance knowledge of the types of animals and plants expected to be encountered in rainforests is essential. Having the right equipment, or knowing how to construct suitable substitutes, can help humans survive in the rainforest.