If you look at enough true accounts of survival emergencies, you’ll find abundant examples of people who were rescued when they stayed put, and you’ll find people who were rescued when they went looking for help.
Tragically, you’ll also find many cases where someone went looking for help, only to die in the process; and there are even a few stories about people who stayed put too long, hoping for help that never came.
Let’s say you became injured and were stuck in a remote location. If someone missed you, and knew where to look for you, the likelihood is high that you would be rescued. Conversely, if no one knows you are having a problem, or they don’t even know where to look for you, there’s a better chance that you might never get rescued.
There are plenty of do-it-yourself camp stove ideas on the Internet. Some are new and some are classics, but few are as resourceful as the fire can. Here’s a fun little project you can do this weekend.
This simple contraption is made from any cast-off flat can (like a tuna can). You’ll also need some thin snips of cardboard, cut as wide as the can is tall (any length will work). And finally, you’ll require some candle wax, new or old. This wax component is a great way to use up candle drippings or old candle nubs.
The average “Ten Essentials” list calls for food, as does the typical list of survival priorities. Most instructors and books also recommend that we have food in our bug out bags, 72-hour kits and wilderness survival kits. I’ve been caught without food enough times in the past that I’m always sure to pack food now.
But which types of food make sense in a survival pack?
Certainly your choices will vary by season, terrain and the nature of the survival scenario; but what I’m always looking for is a solid middle ground. Which foods work for hot and cold; wet and dry; short-term and long-term?
A taboo is defined as an act that is forbidden, unacceptable or unhealthy. In the realm of survival, it’s easy to stray into this territory. Pop culture survival books and television shows often demonstrate all kinds of outdoor tricks that are neither acceptable, nor healthy. Which are the worst offenders? Which acts should be taboo?
Here are the top five things I wouldn’t be caught dead doing.
#5 The Universal Edibility Test
This test was devised for the right reasons, but it doesn’t take into account the two worst elements in emergencies (human error and Murphy’s Law). This test has been offered to survival novices as a way to determine if a plant is safe to eat. Through a number of physical trials, you look for negative reactions before you finally ingest the mystery plant. My problem with this test is the fact that the wrong plant could be fatal, and not register a negative reaction before it comes to the eating portion of the test. My advice: If in doubt, DON’T EAT IT!
Need help after dark? Light sticks can be a nice back up for your regular flashlights, head lamps and other lighting options. There are also many different light stick choices on the market to fill the different requirements that we may have as we prepare for outdoor emergencies.
The most common light stick choices are 30 minute high-intensity, eight hour regular duty and 12 hour long life. The standard eight hour green chem light is a good general choice for most purposes, and it is commonly available. You can also get white, red, orange, yellow and blue light sticks, along with a variety of other colors from specialty providers.
As most of us gear up for survival, sometimes it’s easy to forget about equipping the kids in our lives. And we shouldn’t be forgetting about them, because they can be the most vulnerable members of any group.
But what kind of gear can the little ones handle? The answer depends heavily on their age, and their knowledge. This brings us to the next important questions:
How mature are the kids in both age and development?
And how much have you already trained them in survival?
For The 5 - 8 Year Olds
This group is surprisingly tough. When you look at survival scenario statistics, this group usually fares better than the next older group. The leading explanation for this is the fact that these little guys are young enough to still rely on their instincts. If they get thirsty, they drink from a puddle. If they get cold, they burrow into leaves. Of course they can’t be expected to handle dangerous survival gear, or serious first aid supplies, but they can carry enough gear to assist with their own rescue – should they ever fall into an outdoor emergency.
When it comes to trapping, you’ve got to have the right bait to catch the right critter. Sure, cheese or peanut butter will work on a mousetrap, but what if you’re not after mice?
To be successful, you need very specific baits to lure in specific animals. Here’s a how to get started.
Trap Bait For Herbivores There are some great baits for plant eating animals that can be harvested in the wild, or picked up at the local market. When I’m after groundhogs, I have the best results when I use really sweet apples, cut into pieces so their fragrance is released. You can skewer an apple slice on a trigger component, or just leave some cut pieces in a box trap.
There certainly are a lot of chemicals and devices on the market to provide us with “bug free” drinking water in the outdoors. At a glance, it would seem like these companies are all trying to scare us into buying their product just so we can get a clean drink out in the woods, or after a disaster.
If there are any scare tactics at work in the marketing of these products, don’t let them stop you from getting and using this equipment. These are not baseless fears. There really are some bad things in the water. Here’s a look at four of the most dangerous biological water contaminants in America’s creeks and waterways.
There has been no shortage of survival-themed television programming in recent years, and that trend looks to be continuing in 2012. So get your popcorn, settle into your favorite chair, and prepare to be disgusted, angered, amazed and occasionally stupefied.
A time-tested crowd pleaser, CBS’s Survivor is gearing up for its twenty-fourth season. What you may not know about Survivor is that it has spawned more than 16 other Survivor programs overseas. So if you lived in South Africa, you’d be watching a whole different Survivor show. These shows are more about drama and head games than they are about survival, but let’s face the facts: 24 seasons plus more than a dozen spin-offs is pretty impressive.