Before there were Navy Seals, some of the toughest special operatives to survive extreme climates were the ninjas.
What makes these ninjas so fascinating and impressive was the fact that they did not have the cutting edge technology or advanced level of gear that our modern operatives possess.
Ninjas were often sent alone or in small groups to handle missions that require them to endure the elements for long periods of time, engage in combat, and return home safely with their mission completed.
Let’s discuss a few of the tactics that ninjas utilized to survive their missions.
One of the most critical skills any ninja needed to learn was to identify the upcoming weather. Japan was the land known to have tempestuous weather that could change with very little notice and even drastically alter the landscape at times.
Different weather scenarios could have drastic impacts on the outcomes of missions.
For example, rain would make any mission requiring fire to be more difficult. On the other hand, it could make infiltration easier as the sound of rain could mask the sounds of footsteps.
A few traditional old school basic rules of thumb that ninjas used to identify changes in weather;
If the webs of spiders are getting wet, it will be fine the following day.
If cirrocumulus clouds were seen in the sky then the the day would have a degree of wind present.
If the stars in the night sky appear to be glittering then there will be rain the following day.
The areas in which ninjas often operated in Japan were quite mountainous. They would often have to survive in these mountains for long periods of time as they maintain stealth to achieve their objective.
Not only were they forced to study the arts of assassination, espionage, but they were also required to learn the arts of hunting, building shelter, and utilizing local plants and shrubbery to hide themselves.
These ninjas were required at times to maintain camps near enemy compounds, all while remaining invisible to the enemy. This means they had to hunt, cook, set up camp, and perform their daily activities all without being detected in a hostile region.
In order to survive while in enemy territory ninjas were often forced to hide beneath bodies of water.
To achieve this end, ninjas learned to use local reeds, sticks, and other handcrafted devices to use as breathing tubes in order to stay underwater for long periods of time.
Many of the smaller bodies of water in Japan have lily pads, reeds, and other plant life protruding from the water and around the banks so that a single protruding reed or tube used for breathing would not draw suspicion.
These are just a few of the tactics that ninjas utilized to stay alive in the harsh climates they were deployed in to accomplish their missions.