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  • February 29, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Make a Toothbrush in the Field -3

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    Have you ever been caught out in the field minus your toothbrush? It can happen. Thankfully, our ancestors had plenty of options that we can still use today so we don’t end up going to bed with stank breath.

    Tuft Of Pine Needles
    You might be somewhere without your toothpaste, but if pine is nearby -- at least you have a toothbrush. Grab a tuft of pine needles, and give your teeth a good scrubbing. The needles leave your breath piney fresh, and if you chew them a little, you’ll also be getting a few milligrams of Vitamin C. Just skip the Loblolly Pine in the American Southeast, and the Ponderosa Pine in the American Southwest, as these two species have some toxicity.

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  • February 27, 2012

    How to Use a Sharpie in a Survival Situation-10

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    I’ll be the first to admit this. Up until recently, I would never have imagined that a Sharpie could be a lifesaving or life altering piece of gear. And I was always puzzled as to the reason that many disaster prep specialists had permanent markers high up on their short lists of equipment. But then I began studying the ways that these markers could help us in times of crisis.

    #1 Leaving Notes And Making Signs

    Need to meet up with somebody and communications are down? Lost your pet after the tornado? Then leave a note, or use some cast-off material to make a sign. The permanent marker will put your message out there.

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  • February 27, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Make Fire With a Hand Drill -5

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    The Hand Drill method of friction fire making is about as raw as it gets. You spin a wooden drill against a wood board with your bare hands. This method has had one of the widest distributions on earth, and it probably has been used for the longest span of time. Clearly, it’s one of the most difficult friction methods to use. But when properly demonstrated, hand drill fire building is a thing of beauty.

    Should this be your go-to fire making method? Nope, this method is probably the single greatest reason why matches and lighters were invented. I don’t expect that 1% of the world’s population could pull this technique off. The Bow Drill is more likely to work for most people, and I guarantee that method will be more of a fight than it looks on TV. Remember, there’s always that quiet voice in the background saying “…your results may vary,” or something like that.

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  • February 22, 2012

    Swedish Man Survives in Snow-Bound Car for Two Months-7

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    A lost Swedish man was discovered and rescued Friday, February 17th, according to Reuters. Unbelievably, he had been trapped in his car since December 19th, when the vehicle became snowbound on a remote forest road.

    The 45-year-old unidentified man from southern Sweden was initially located by some snowmobilers, who found the Swede huddled in a sleeping bag in the back seat of his car. Later reports indicated that he had no food when he was stranded.

    Most people can only survive for four weeks without food, but this remarkable man astonished the local authorities and doctors by lasting 2 months.

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  • February 21, 2012

    Survival Skills: Find Natural Toilet Paper-3

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    It’s easy to laugh about this situation after the fact, but it’s not so funny while the events are unfolding. Here’s the scene. You get caught out in the wild somewhere -- and you’ve got to go... As you rifle through your pockets, desperately hoping to find an old napkin, some tissues, or the toilet paper you meant to pack; you come up empty handed.

    Sure, the best strategy is to go outdoors with a stash of toilet paper. But if you run out, or get caught with short supply, you can always improvise -- instead of going home with your left sock missing.

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  • February 15, 2012

    National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers" Show Gets Mixed Reviews-5

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    For reasons both good and bad, I find myself fascinated by National Geographic’s new television show Doomsday Preppers. This unusual new program gives us a window into the lives, minds and disaster plans of seemingly ordinary people from all around the United States who share one common tie -- they think that disaster will befall the American way of life.

    The concerns and fears of these individuals and families range from earthquakes to economic collapse, and from solar-flare-induced power failures to an extreme oil crisis: any of which could lead to the unraveling of society as we know it.

    In all honesty, I was dreading the fact that I had to watch the show in order to write this post. Now, I must admit, I am very curious to see the next group of people that come out of obscurity to share their views and their way of life. I do not count myself as a prepper, nor do I think that my head is buried in the sand (or elsewhere). But this show has certainly given me some interesting points to ponder. I’ll give National Geographic this -- the program is nothing, if not thought provoking.

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  • February 15, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Build a Signal Tree-4

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    It sure would be nice to have someone who could stand there all day to signal that you are in distress—especially if you are alone in the wild.

    Well, that’s just what a signal tree can do for us in a time of need.

    Like some hideous Christmas tree gone wrong, this ugly signaling method won’t seem so homely if it happens to get you rescued. Like my mother once told me when I was just a lad, “Pretty is, as pretty does.”

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  • February 10, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Be a Leader During an Emergency-4

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    I don’t know why leadership is such a frequently overlooked part of survival (and everyday life), but it just is.

    Leadership is one of those elements in survival that rarely gets recognized for its importance during an emergency. Having a leader is also an inescapable reality when acting as a group. There will always be an Alpha in charge of the group. Maybe they’re not qualified to hold such a critical position, but they are almost always going to play the role they were born to play. 

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  • February 6, 2012

    Survival Stories: Oregon Family Survives 6 Days In A Hollow Log-3

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    It sounds a bit like a fairytale gone wrong, but it ended happily enough. A lost family of three mushroom hunters spent a very rough week, sheltered in a vacant hollow tree in an old-growth Oregon forest, until they were finally rescued on Saturday, reported the Associated Press.

    "It's a miracle, really," said Curry County Sheriff John Bishop. “They just got turned around. They sought some shelter in a hollowed-out tree and basically they stayed in the same place. But it was heavy vegetation where they were."

    Bishop said that the family was "in pretty good shape," given the week they had spent in the cold, wet conditions without warm clothes, food, fire or significant shelter.

    The story began Sunday, January 29, when Belinda Conne, Daniel Conne, and their 25-year-old son Michael went out looking for hedgehog mushrooms. These expensive, orange-topped fungi are favored by mushroom enthusiasts, but they almost cost this family their lives.

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  • February 3, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Build a Solar Still-2

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    The solar still is a simple invention that collects and distills water through a greenhouse effect. It’s not perfect, nor does it collect massive quantities of water, but it does provide fresh water in arid climates and saltwater environs.

    It was invented by Dr. Ray Jackson and Dr. Cornelius Van Bavel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1970s. In their original method, a square of clear or milky plastic 5x5 or 6x6 is draped over a 3-feet-deep hole with a clean cup or other container in the bottom.

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