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  • July 30, 2012

    Survival Skills: Drink Dew When Water is Scarce-0

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    What happens when you need water and you’re in an area with very little rainfall, or worse yet, you get caught in a remote area during a drought? Fresh rain water can be one of your best drinking sources during an emergency or after a disaster, but it’s not the only trick you have up your sleeve. There’s another form of precipitation that occurs very often, and that is the morning dew.

    Dew occurs when humidity condenses in low areas due to cooler nighttime temperatures. Dew, and its chilly brother frost, are both forms of precipitation that can be collected for water. But a word of warning: Dew is only as clean as the surface it collects on, which is usually dirty. With this in mind, your drinking water collected from gathered dew should always be disinfected.

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  • July 27, 2012

    How to Make Rope from Natural Fibers-0

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    Our ancestors made cord, twine, and rope from a diverse number of fibrous plants throughout the world. Often, this cord would find its way into every facet of life, from clothes and tools, to fishnets and bow strings. Try going camping without cord and see how well you do.

    All is not lost, however, if you come up short. Luckily for us, there is plenty of plant fiber out there that can be turned into rope. The fibers of many different materials can be used in strips or ribbons, in the same condition as they are harvested.  Fibers can also be separated and cleaned, and then twisted into traditional, multi-ply cordage.

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  • July 26, 2012

    No Power Part 2: Communication And Sanitation Without Utilities-0

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    In the first part of this two-part post, we looked at ways to cook “off grid” and ways to store food without electricity. Today we’re going to look at sanitation in emergency situations, and how to communicate when the power is down.

    Communication
    No power and no phone can be a scary situation for modern folks. We are not used to being cut off, and it makes most of us feel vulnerable. The event that takes out your power may or may not also smack down the phone lines. If it doesn’t, you can still use a landline phone with a hand set (not a cordless, which requires power). But if a major storm knocks out your land lines and the local cell phone towers too, then your communication with friends and family will not be as easy as it normally is.

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  • July 23, 2012

    No Power Part 1: Cooking and Food Storage Without Utilities-3

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    On the night of Friday, June 29th, a destructive complex of thunderstorms known as a “derecho” swept from Illinois through the Washington D.C. area. The unexpected storm delivered wind gusts up to 80 mph and hail almost 3 inches in diameter, and produced extensive damage, leaving more than 1 million Virginia residents without power, many for a week or more.

    With grocery stores and restaurants closed, your ice cream melting, and your electric stove down, how do you feed the family after a disaster like that? This unusual summer storm ended up being a wake-up call for many folks I know. The best advice I can give them is to have supplies and plans in place for natural disasters just like this storm. In the first part of this two-part post, we’ll look at ways to cook “off grid” and ways to store your food without electricity. (Part two, coming Wednesday, will address sanitation and communication when the power is down.)

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  • July 23, 2012

    Survival Gear: How to Use a Tactical Pen-3

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    These days, it seems like there is a tactical version of everything we buy. That one word—”tactical”— informs us that someone has put a combative spin on an everyday item like a flashlight, a key chain, or even a ball point pen. These ruggedized, intensified, or weaponized items can provide us with one more way to defend ourselves and our loved ones. So having tactical versions of different kinds of gear is not a bad thing at all.

    Consider the tactical pen for a moment. In its most basic form, it is simply a rugged pen that both writes on paper and serves as a spike that could be used in hand-to-hand combat. Any pen or pencil could stab an attacker; but a tactical pen can be used to fight back with a surprisingly sharp point, and without the fear of the thing bending or breaking in half.

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  • July 18, 2012

    5 Games To Make Survival Training Fun-0

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    There are many ways to train yourself, your friends, and your loved ones in the skills of wilderness survival. It’s usually easiest if the training is either a little scary (to make it memorable) or simply fun. If giardia water bottle roulette isn’t your idea of a fun game, then consider these five training games for your next camp out.

    Ten-Minute Fire Drill

    Tell somebody that they are in a remote location in the wintertime with little Timmy, and he has fallen through the ice, down a well, or in some other way has come down with hypothermia. You alone can save him, by lighting a sustainable fire within 10 minutes.

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  • July 17, 2012

    The Gear You Need for Hurricane Season-0

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    With the 2012 hurricane season already underway, if you’re not yet ready, we’ll help you finalize your preparations.

    The season officially began on June 1 and won’t end until November 30. So far, we’ve already had Tropical Storm Alberto, Tropical Storm Beryl, Hurricane Chris and Tropical Storm Debby in the Atlantic. The forecasts for this coming storm season are conflicting, and at the end of the day they are simply predictions, not certainties.

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  • July 13, 2012

    Lost Autistic Hiker Found Alive After 3 Weeks In The Desert-1

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    Have you ever been outdoors with someone who was in over his head? No skills, in terrible shape, or simply overconfident. Or perhaps he had a health issue, or even a mental health issue, that put him at greater risk of getting hurt or lost than the average outdoorsman.

    A young autistic man was at great risk for the past three weeks, when he got in over his head and became lost in the backcountry by himself. And yet, he somehow survived. William Martin LaFever, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, went missing around June 6th while attempting to walk from Boulder, Utah, to Page, Arizona, a distance of about 90 miles.

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  • July 11, 2012

    How To Keep a Campfire Under Control -3

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    The wildfires and resulting damage in Colorado and New Mexico have been horrific over the past few weeks. Over 600 homes have been destroyed, and 5 lives were lost. It is bitter irony that such a useful tool as fire can stray so far from its beneficial state and cause such havoc and loss as we have seen in recent days. (2012 Colorado fire data.)

    Obviously, there are times and places where fire building is not a safe activity. There are even times when fires are illegal to light. But what happens when you get caught in a dry environment and you must have a fire? How do you keep the beast under control to boil your water, cook your food and signal for help?

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  • July 10, 2012

    The Importance of Having Rehydration Salts in Your Survival Kit-2

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    There are plenty of off-the-wall survival items that can make or break an emergency, but few are as important in hot weather as rehydration salts.

    This simple mixture of sodium chloride, potassium chloride, trisodium citrate and glucose won’t win any awards for taste, but the mix does give your body the nutrients that it desperately needs when you are suffering from dehydration. These salts can also be used in smaller doses to keep you going in hot climates and during intense work that causes significant sweating. In a way, you can think of these salts as a Gatorade concentrate, which can also be vital in cases of flu or dysentery, when you are losing fluid through vomit and diarrhea. What do these salts actually do for you?

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