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  • July 30, 2013

    Survival Skills: Maintain Hygiene in the Field -1

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    Maintaining some semblance of hygiene can be a morale booster in an emergency, and it can be vital to the health of individuals and groups. There are few things as vile as camping out with a group of people and having some kind of gastro-intestinal bug tear through camp because some fool didn’t wash his or her hands. You could contract things worse than that, too, that could create skin infections and cause serious harm.

    It’s a good thing that these sanitation and hygiene problems can be prevented with just a little conscientious behavior. Whether your situation is a survival situation or a family campout, you can keep cleaner and safer by following a few simple steps. 

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  • July 29, 2013

    Survival Gear: 5 Handy Uses for Paraffin Wax-1

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    A block of wax may not seem very exciting. In fact, a dull white chunk of paraffin probably wouldn’t make it onto the gear list for most survivalists. But as it turns out, you can actually do a lot of important tasks with this common grocery store item.

    Petroleum-based paraffin wax has been around for a little over 100 years, and its discovery may have kept some whale species from being hunted to extinction. Popular lamp oils and candle waxes in the late 1800’s were made from whale fat, which also served many other household and industrial purposes. Whale numbers dropped at that time, due to the high demand for their fat. When a much cheaper petroleum substitute was invented, the whales caught a much-needed reprieve. Today, paraffin is used in home food canning and candy making; but it also has plenty of survival uses.

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  • July 25, 2013

    Survival Medicine: Signs and Field Treatments for Heat Illnesses-0

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    Who hasn’t worked up a lather of sweat doing both favored and dreaded outdoor chores and activities in the summer heat? That familiarity makes it hard to imagine that you can actually die from something as simple as getting overheated. Our ever-cheerful friends at the CDC have stated there are approximately 618 heat-related deaths each year in the United States; 68 percent of which are men (based on statistics from 1999-2010).

    Since August is only one week away, it’s more important than ever to monitor yourself and those around you for heat-related illnesses like hyperthermia. The high humidity and summertime temperatures can cause these illnesses to come on fast, as your sweat fails to evaporate in humid weather and the air temps are near to, or higher than your body temperature. Symptoms of heat illness can manifest in different ways, but they are generally divided into two conditions: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat Exhaustion
    Heat exhaustion occurs when the body’s core temperature goes into a hyperthermic state (you are over 100 degrees F). This condition can easily occur when the air temperature is higher than your normal body temperature. Inadequate hydration, medical issues, and heavy exertion can aggravate this situation. Watch out for symptoms like dizziness and unusual tiredness, with copious sweating and clammy feeling skin. 

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  • July 23, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: StatGear Auto Rescue Tool -0

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    A frequently overlooked facet of survival and preparedness is dealing with vehicular emergencies. But as anyone in law enforcement, firefighting, and rescue can tell you, people become trapped inside their own cars all the time. You may also find yourself to be the first person on the scene when someone else desperately needs your help.

    Even if you are not a first responder by trade, the T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool from StatGear could be a very handy and affordable piece of gear to keep in your vehicle. This multi-tool was designed by practicing New York City paramedic Avi Goldstein. The four main functions of this tool are a combination blade, a hook-style seat belt cutter, a spring-loaded steel-tip window punch, and a five- lumen LED light with replaceable batteries.

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  • July 22, 2013

    Survival Skills: How to Make Your Own Blow Gun And Darts -5

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    When we think of the origin of the blowgun and breath-propelled darts, we tend to think of the world’s jungles. That notion is generally correct, but not completely. Native Americans of the southeastern United States have crafted and hunted with blowguns for centuries. This simple precursor to firearms can be made with store-bought materials, or you can harvest your own supplies to build a blowgun from traditional materials. It’s a fun weapon to use for target practice, and it could be used for small-game hunting if no other weapon is available. 

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  • July 16, 2013

    Survival Skills: The Figure 4 Deadfall-1

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    The figure-four deadfall is often the first trap illustrated in the trapping chapter of your handy pocket survival guide. As a result, it’s often the first trap people try to build when learning how to make traps. It might also be the last trap they ever try to build because of the trap’s frustrating design. If you carve just one part incorrectly, the whole thing will fall apart. If you have an eye for carpentry, whittling, geometry, or physics, you can usually produce a functional figure four on your first try. But if you have ever been stymied by this classic trap, let me help you out.

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  • July 15, 2013

    Survival Skills: How Critter Scraps Can Keep You Alive-0

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    In recreational hunting and fishing, many of us are all too happy to ditch the guts, bones, fur, and feathers of our quarry. In these modern times, most people keep only the meat, and return the rest from whence it came.

    But if you’re lucky enough to get an animal during a survival situation, those less traditional edible parts (and all other parts and pieces) become a lot more desirable and valuable. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to use critter scraps for survival. 

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  • July 12, 2013

    Survival Skills: 3 Wild Medicinal Plants You Can Find Now -5

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    When the need for first aid or medicines is a part of your wilderness emergency, it’s great to know how to use the medicines that surround you in everyday plants and weeds. Native plants and non-native plants were dependable medical resources for previous generations, and we can still find them and use them today. Here are three common and valuable wild plants that you can find in summer.

    1) Yarrow

    This plant can be found in fields and open areas coast to coast, but it’s originally from Europe. Yarrow is as close to Neosporin as you will find in wild medicine. The white flowers and the green, feathery leaves can be crushed into a paste and applied to cuts, scratches, and scrapes to disinfect the wound and stop blood flow. Yarrow is also used as an anti-fungal, and when brewed into a tea it can induce sweating to break fevers.

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  • July 10, 2013

    Survival Skills: How To Cook With Hot Rocks -2

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    Hot stones have been used for cooking for thousands of years. Three of my favorite rock-cooking methods are frying, boiling, and stir fry. The upside to these methods is that they don’t require a lot of materials from home. Most or all of the gear for these low-tech culinary techniques can be sourced in the field. If you’re a careful cook, you’ll even make some meals that taste good. Seriously, this is nowhere near as nasty as you would think. 

    Warning: For all of the methods in this post, make sure you gather the rocks from a high and dry location, as waterlogged rocks can explode dangerously when they heat up in a fire.  The steam builds pressure in the rock causing it to blow up like a grenade. Also, avoid slate and shale, as they are prone to explosion regardless of where you find them.

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  • July 9, 2013

    Survival Gear: U.S. Spec Medium Transport Pack -0

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    Although we all should know better, I’ve seen a harmful trend among the preparedness crowd in recent years—the massively overloaded, heart attack-inducing, mega bug-out-bag. It seems that the bigger the pack, the more likely you are to put a cast iron frying pan in it. OK, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but you get the point. In a quest to save myself from myself, and to help others down the minimalist path, I began researching smaller bags and backpacks that would do the trick. I think I have a winner, and you won’t believe the price tag!

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