wilderness survival

All posts tagged wilderness survival

TakeOutdoors Infographic on Things to Do When Lost

From our friends over at TakeOutdoors.com , check out the complete article here it’s worth the read: How To Navigate In The Woods – The Traditional Way

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TakeOutdoors.com is a website created to make better outdoor experiences for everyone. It is for avid outdoor travelers who want to make the best out of their trip.

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By The Survival Place Blog

Are you planning on taking a trip into the wilderness for your next vacation? Then, you need to be prepared for everything that the elements can throw at you. You might think that it’s easy to survive the outdoors. Particularly, if you’re heading to a place that you know quite well. But you might be surprised because the weather can turn at any moment leaving you in trouble. For instance, you might be camping miles from the nearest point of civilization. Imagine, if fog falls thick and low over the ground. You would struggle to find your way back and would need to rely on the kit that you had with you. If you didn’t have enough supplies, you might find the next few days incredibly difficult. So, what do you need to survive camping in the wilderness?

A Portable Heater

You may want to consider purchasing a portable heater for camping in the wilderness with a good supply of fuel. It does depend on whether you’re traveling on foot or in the car. You might also want to consider whether you’ll be moving around a lot. That said if you’re camping a portable heater can be incredibly useful. Particularly, if you are camping in the winter. If you don’t take a portable heater, you need to make sure you have a survival sleeping bag. The best sleeping bag has a hood to keep you warm, even when the temperature has dropped below freezing outside. It’s possible with the best sleeping bags to stay warm and dry even without a tent!

A Compass

There are two things you’ll need to make sure that you don’t get completely lost wandering in the wilderness. The first is a map and the second is a compass. Ideally, you should have adequate orienteering skills to make sure that you can find your way back to camp. However, even if you don’t, with a compass, you should always be able to find your way back where you started. By knowing what direction your campsite is, you’ll always be able to find your way back to the starting point. You will even find some winter jackets come with compasses included on them. This shows how important that piece of kit is. You might also want to think about some night vision goggles. Night monoculars will allow you to see for miles even when it’s pitch black. You’ll always find your camp site with these and you can check out a review on a site such as www.opticscastle.com/night-vision-monocular-reviews/

 

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Axe

Make sure you have a device or tool that you can use to chop down wood. In extreme situations, you might need to collect wood for shelter or even to supply fuel for a fire. Be aware that to make a good shelter or fire the wood has to be dry. If it’s not, it won’t light, and you’ll struggle to keep your body temperature at a normal level. You might be camping in an area where it is illegal to cut down trees. However, if it is a matter of survival, be prepared to ignore rules like this. Your safety should always be the top priority.

Tracker
Finally, this is another useful tool that you can find on most winter, explorer jackets. Check out some of the latest winter jackets on http://snowboarding.transworld.net/news/oneill-launches-gps-jacket/.  A small tracker is embedded in the material. When pressed it will send a signal to the closest rescue team. They will then be able to track your exact location and avoid you being lost in the wilderness for days.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: Tech And Tips You Need Camping In The Wilderness

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By The Survival Place Blog

There are often problems when you have to survive in the wilderness. So the best thing to do is to plan and prepare for this and make sure you have the skills you need. These are a few of the ideas you can use for basic survival, should the time ever come to use them.

Learn First Aid

What’s the one skill that is going to possibly save lives in a survival situation? Probably first aid training. Being out in the wilderness and having to survive is going to lead to unexpected events. And it could well end up with people getting injured. That’s why it’s important to make sure you are trained in matters of first aid. This is so vital because it can make all the difference. You’ll know exactly what supplies to pack, and what to do to tend to injuries or wounds.

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Stock Up on Useful Tools and Weapons

There are a lot of things you’re going to need to help you when it comes to basic survival. That’s why it’s a good idea to try to stockpile tools and weapons as much as you can, starting right now! You’re going to need axes, which you can find out plenty about by checking out Axe and Answered. You’ll need water bottles, a compass, sleeping bag, tool box. And you could personably use some weapons too. There are a lot of tools, and weapons you could do with that will come in useful in survival scenarios. Do a bit of research if you’re unsure to make certain you have what you need.

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Spend a Weekend in the Wilderness

The best way to get yourself survival ready is to put what you know into practice. And the way to achieve that is to spend a weekend in the wilderness with your survival gear. This will give you an idea of what it’s like to be out there on your own. Plus you will be able to hone and develop your survival skills and instincts. This is very much one of those things that you need to learn by doing. So, it’s crucial to gain this experience and understand the sorts of things that will come in useful when you have to survive in the wild.

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Take up Fishing

If you haven’t fished before now is the time to take it up as a hobby. You have to make certain you learn skills that will come in handy in the wild. And you’re hardly going to be able to whip up a pasta bake, are you?! Learning to fish is fun and helps you develop a skill. Plus it is one of the most useful of all survival skills. It means you never have to worry about going hungry. As long as you are by water, you’ll always have access to a food supply. Fishing is awesome, therapeutic, and big part of survival 101.

You never know when disaster is going to strike and you might be thrust into survival mode. That’s why it’s useful to know some survival training and have plenty of resources to hand. Take a look at these basic ideas and try to use them to make sure you win at survival.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: Cutting Down Problems: Use These Basic Ideas for Survival

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By The Survival Place Blog

You never know where you’re going to be when disaster strikes. Whether you’re stranded or the inevitable happens and you’re in the middle of nowhere. Survival isn’t just about making sure that you have your bug-out bag. It isn’t just about having your shelter ready. It’s also about being able to make it on your own. Being able to survive in the wild. If you’re not sure how to do that, keep reading.

Equipment

You’re not always going to have your bug-out bag handy with you when you’re out in the wild. Whether you’re hunting, scouting or simply on the road in less populated areas. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a mini-bag of useful tools with you. Tools that can help you purify water. That can keep you connected to radio stations. The best tactical flashlight you can use to navigate the wilderness. The best clothes to keep you sheltered from the elements. Even when you’re far from home, it’s a good idea to have these kinds of things with you.

Food

You’re going to want to have some kind of food with you to keep you immediately supplied. But besides that, it’s a good idea to also have some notion of how to keep your own food. Especially if you have to stay out there for days on end. Besides recognizing what and how to forage successfully, finding yourself a good supply of protein is valuable. This is where hunting skills come into play. Perhaps more reliably is finding protein sources from water, however. Sources like being able to successfully fish for bass and bluegill.

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Physical strength

If you want to be able to make it away from civilization (or if civilization crumbles), then you need to be prepared. Not just in terms of equipment and knowledge. You’re going to need a certain degree of fitness, as well. Traversing rough terrain, particularly if you have the kind of equipment you need, isn’t easy. Similarly, in the event of the breakdown of civilization and any ensuing violence, then you need to be in a position to defend yourself as well. After all, your gun won’t always be immediately handy. If you’re talking about survival, your physical condition plays a key role.

Skills

Of course, it’s more than just the skill to procure food and take of yourself physically you need. Being truly independent means developing a whole set of skills that most people today have forgotten about. Skills we once relied on that have gotten a soft as a result of civilized living. Skills like orienteering and being able to navigate all by yourself. Skills like locating the site and resources for a shelter as well as being able to build it yourself. Take constant trips into the wilderness to cultivate these skills. Do it before you’re caught entirely unprepared.

Surviving in the wild is about combining skills, knowledge and conditioning. You’re going to need to learn how to take care of yourself, even when your supplies aren’t immediately handy.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: What You’ll Need To Survive If You’re Caught Out In The Wild

how to predict the weather

By  – The Bug Out Bag Guide

Typically we count on weather services and electronic devices to know what to expect from the sky. We may alter travel plans, make a quick trip to the store, or simply pack an umbrella in reaction to an impending storm. However, these services will likely come to a halt if disaster strikes and alternative means of monitoring weather conditions will be necessary. For those that opt to head for the hills, it will become vastly more important to know how to predict the weather in the wilderness.

Nature itself provides many clues as to what is in store. The clouds, plants, animals, insects, and the moon have been used for centuries to predict precipitation, droughts, and floods. Farmers, fishermen, sailors, and others who spend long periods of time outdoors, and whose livelihood depends heavily on the weather patterns, have devised ways to foresee the weather in order to prepare themselves.

Having the skills to read the warning signs that nature provides has short-term and long-term benefits that can greatly increase your chances of survival in a bug-out scenario. Whether a major storm is brewing and you need to prepare to build a shelter in for the day or if the likelihood of flooding doubles and you need to reconsider your location for the season, learning how to predict the weather using nature is a valuable survival skill.

Continue reading at The Bug Out Bag Guide: How To Predict The Weather In The Wilderness

The Number One Knife Skill for Wilderness Survival and Self-Reliance - TheSurvivalSherpa.comBy Todd Walker – Survival Sherpa 

Humans have employed six simple machines throughout history to reduce the amount of work required for tasks. Of these six, my favorite for outdoor self-reliance is the sexy and sleek wedge!

Huh!?

Sleek and Sexy? A wedge sounds rather dull and useless.

Hold on a second. You may change your mind about the humble wedge.

A wedge is an incline plane sharp enough to cut and separate stuff. Stuff like wood, meat, and even metal need to be divided into smaller parts in a civilized manner. No need to gnaw your steak like a caveman.

You see, like all our cutting tools, a knife is a wedge. Hence my love affair with this simple machine!

“I learned how much of what we think to be necessary is superfluous; I learned how few things are essential, and how essential those things really are.” ~ Bernard Ferguson

It’s not just the aesthetics of forged metal that attracts my attention. The wedge may be the most useful tool a person can carry in a pocket or on a belt.

Why?

Knives are designed to do more than spread peanut butter! In skilled hands, stuff can be made. Important survival stuff. Developing knife skills is the best way to replace all those shiny-object-survival kit items. Safely wielding a sharp wedge has always been a top priority for woodsmen and woods-women throughout history.

Survival vs. Self-Reliance

Somewhere along our collective outdoor journey, survival took on the connotation of simply staying alive. I personally don’t get too caught up in the latest terminology… Woodcraft vs. Bushcraft, Survival vs. Self-Reliance, etc., etc. All I know is that spending time in the woods is my passion.

Survival is part of self-reliance. A big part. You can’t develop outdoor self-reliance skills if you’re dead.

Look up a few old “Survival” writers in the 60’s. Survival was much different from how we view it today. These early survivalists taught us more than just making it through a 72 hour scenario. Survival was wilderness living skills back then.

Dial back to the golden age of camping and woodcraft and you’ll find that the knives of Nessmuk, Kephart, Seton, and Miller played an essential role in all their tramping and wilderness adventures. This simple machine (wedge) was a value-adding tool for, not only survival, but for camp comforts and wilderness living skills.

Before addressing skill, let’s begin with safety…

Knife Safety

A sharp knife is a safe knife. Dull knifes take more force for cutting and increase the risk of injury. You want your knife shaving sharp.

Below are a few tips for basic knife safety for outdoor self-reliance…

  • Cut in a direction away from your body. That’s good advice for beginners and seasoned woodsman. However, there are safe methods to cut wood towards your body when carving spoons that can transfer to outdoor self-reliance skills. Experience and band aids will teach more than reading.
  • Work with your knife outside the triangle of death (an imaginary triangle between your knees and crotch).
  • Work within the blood circle when others are nearby (a circle made with your outstretched arms as you turn 360 degrees).
  • Grip and body mechanics ~ standard grip, reverse grip, chest lever, knee lever, and thumb assisted grip for push cuts in fine carving tasks. (These will be covered in detail in a later post.)

#1 Knife Skill ~ Fire

No matter the season or environment, a solid belt knife rides on my hip. If I’m ever separated from my main pack, my knife is on my body. In this case, it is now my one tool option. A good fixed blade knife is your number one tool in a wilderness setting.

Why such a bold statement?

One word… Fire!

Fire covers a multitude of survival sins. That sharp, metal wedge attached to your hip may be your only hope for fire. Campfires are certainly mesmerizing. We build them for much more than to simply stare into the flickering flames. Fire is your best sleep aid. And sleep is the most overlooked skill in outdoor self-reliance.

“The quality of a survival kit is determined by how much it can help you when you need to sleep.  If you can sleep well at night, you have it made.” ~ Mors Kochanski

Which is more important, knife or ax? I totally agree with Mr. Kephart’s statement below.

The thought that a heavy hunting knife can do the work of a hatchet is a delusion. ~ Horace Kephart

However, stuff happens! Situations can relieve you of a fine ax. In that case, you’d be wise to have a knife able to process enough tinder and kindling for fire. In my woodlands, an abundance of small kindling material is available without ever removing my knife from its sheath. However, when it comes to tinder material, a knife really speeds the process.

Processing Wood

Feather sticks are all the rage in bushcraft and an excellent skill to practice. Pretty little curls bunched up on the end of a stick are created by controlled wood removal. Surface area created from these fine curls is what makes them burn so easily.

The classic feather stickI found a down-n-dirt way to make feather sticks over at Toms Backwoods channel using a spoon knife pictured above. If you have a spoon knife in your kit, use it to process tinder/kindling if you need to do so in a hurry. Here’s a quick video demonstration of the process…

Feather sticks are pretty and all, but my favorite way to make tinder material is using the dull side (spine) of my knife instead of the cutting edge. This technique takes less skill than feather sticks but is a super quick and easy way to produce wood shavings for tinder. Scrape the outer bark of a cedar tree in the same manner to produce a bundle of fine and coarse tinder material. Georgia fat lighter is my all-time favorite, though…

Ax-less, a solid knife can process firewood using the baton method. The baton technique is frowned upon by many in the outdoor community. But as mentioned previously, beating a knife through a piece of wood is my Plan B if I don’t have a proper wood processing wedge (ax). A full-tang knife with a 4 to 5 inch blade should be robust enough to produce tinder, kindling (smalls), and fuel size wood from a single wooden round.

A funny note on smalls: A fellow bushcrafter from across the pond wrote me confused over the term “smalls”. In his part of the world, “smalls” referred to skivvies. I’m not advocating the burning of your underwear. Smalls are pencil lead to pencil size sticks (kindling) used in fire craft from where I come from.

Knife and Spark Ignition

The steel in your main carry knife is another fire resource. That is, if you carry a high carbon steel blade. The thought of striking the spine of your expensive wedge with a sharp piece of rock to produce sparks is an abomination to knife junkies. However, knowing that your blade can serve as a backup flint and steel ignition source may one day give you fire if that’s all you have available.

I’ve written a few times about using my favorite spark ignition source, flint and steel, here and here. While ferro rods create hotter sparks, they are consumable. A fire steel should last you a lifetime and then be passed down for the next generation to enjoy… like a good knife.

Remember, fire is life out there. How much is your life worth? I’d say way more than an expensive cutting tool!

To further you fire craft skills, I’ve got an entire page dedicated to this outdoor self-reliance skill. Your wedge (knife) is an essential tool for creating fire.

More knife skill articles are on the way. Stay sharp, my friends!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

About the author:

Todd Walker is married to the lovely Dirt Road Girl, proud father and grandfather, a government school teacher, a lover of the primal/paleo lifestyle and liberty. His website, Survival Sherpa, provides information about ‘doing the stuff’ for self-sufficiency, preparedness, natural health, and functional fitness. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest. Send him mail: survivalsherpa@gmail.com

 

 

survival knife

By  – SurvivoPedia

Ask a prepper what’s in his pockets, and he’ll tell you about his knife first, for sure. But just any knife will simply not do! And every prepper has his favorite one, so recommending the best knife will certainly not please everyone.

But there are knives better than others and everyone agrees on that. And what’s even more important when choosing your knife is a set of criteria that you have to keep in mind before investing in one.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: What Makes A Good Survival Knife