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  • September 25, 2012

    Survival Gear: A Look Back at the Hudson Bay Survival Kit-1


    The Hudson’s Bay Company, founded in 1670, is one of the oldest companies in the world and the oldest commercial corporation in North America. Much of the company’s existence was founded on the fur trade in North America, specifically in Canada. With traders, hunters and trappers wandering so much of the untamed North, good survival gear was critical.

    While this kit seems antiquated by today’s standards, I think there is a lot of wisdom built into this collection of food, gear and supplies. I know I’d rather have all this stuff than not have it if my plane went down or my canoe got smashed.

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  • September 21, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Stay Hydrated In Any Environment -1


    Staying hydrated plays second fiddle only to shelter as a critical survival priority. Yet outdoorsmen often walk around at some level of dehydration, especially on long trips and hunts. That little headache, that extra tiredness, the clumsy thing you did—it could very well be a result of dehydration.

    Cold, dry, or windy weather usually aggravates this situation. Who wants to drink cold water or take the time to make a hot drink when you’re busy outside in cool temperatures? And dry or windy conditions will steal extra water from your skin, and therefore from your body.

    So here are some time-tested ways to both ensure you are drinking enough, and to remind you to stay hydrated no matter what you are doing or where you are.

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  • September 19, 2012

    Survival Skills: Folk Wisdom Weather Predictors-6


    Whether you are adventuring deep in the back country, or you simply forgot to check the weather before your day hike, there are some handy old sayings that can help to predict the short-term weather. Using the moon, wind direction, indicators of moisture increase, and the color of the sky, you can form a good guess about the weather you’re about to encounter.

    The Moon’s Appearance
    “Pale moon rains; red moon blows. White moon neither rains or snows.”

    When the air at night is very clear, the moon appears white. This sign speaks of fair weather to come. But when moonlight passes through air laden with dust particles, it can appear pale or reddish. The more dust particles in the air, the greater the chance that moisture will have something on which to form raindrops.

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  • September 17, 2012

    Survival Skills: 10 Ways to Use Bamboo-6


    Bamboo is just one of those things, like rope or duct tape, that can be adapted to create an infinite number of material items. From survival gear to homesteader equipment, bamboo’s uses seem to only be limited by the imagination of the user.

    So what are the 10 best ways to use bamboo for survival?  

    1. First, you’ll want to get a survival shelter built in the event of an emergency. Bamboo poles are both strong and lightweight, which makes them a great choice for building shelter elements.

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  • September 13, 2012

    Six Toxic Plants and Animals You Didn't Know Could Kill You-4


    Did you know that the shrew is North America’s only venomous mammal? The venom isn’t enough to hurt a person, unless they were to have an allergic reaction to the neurotoxic venom. I remember a school camp out when I was a kid where a boy named Bobby picked up a cute little mouse-looking thing and it bit him. Within a few minutes, Bobby was in a fair bit of pain and his hand had swollen significantly. He was taken to the hospital just to be safe, and when the camp out resumed all the kids were terrified of walking through the tall grass where Bobby found that little “devil mouse”.

    So if a shrew is bad, what other unlikely critters and plants can harm us? The fact is, there are a lot of nasty things out there that can hurt the unaware and the unlucky.

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  • September 11, 2012

    Survival Skills: How To Make Ground Search Signals-2


    When most folks think of signaling for help, a giant “SOS” sign on a deserted beach is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But what if your best chance for rescue might come from a ground-based search team? While ground-to-ground search signals are smaller and less showy than ground-to-air signals, they can still be valuable lifesavers. Here are some of the top signals that you could build at ground level so that a search party can find you.

    Sticks and Stones
    Rock cairns and stick structures are great examples of ground signals. Place rocks or small logs to form arrows that point the way to your camp, or in the direction you are headed in the event of a “self-rescue.” Signals like these were common in centuries past to blaze trails and create paths. Techniques like chopping shapes into tree trunks were also used to communicate information and allow people to find their way. You can chop arrows into tree bark to point searchers toward your camp so they can find you. Use a hatchet or even a rock with a sharp edge.

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  • September 11, 2012

    Fisherman Survives Floating in Plastic Tub for 26 Hours Off Alaska Coast-4


    Rub-a-dub-dub, imagine spending 26 hours floating in the waters off Sitka, Alaska, in a 4-by-4-foot tub. That’s what Ryan Harris, 19, did late last week after the 28-foot aluminum boat he and a friend were fishing from capsized. The Coast Guard rescued Harris on Saturday, two hours after his fishing buddy Stonie “Mac” Huffman was found alive on a beach 25 miles northwest of Sitka.

    The two men had been fishing for coho salmon two miles from Cape Edgecumbe when the hydraulics on their boat failed. They fixed the problem and started heading to port when a massive wave knocked the boat on its side, dumping the men into the water before they could send a mayday. “We had no radio, no cell phones,” Harris told the Daily Sitka Sentinel.

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  • September 10, 2012

    Survival Skills: How to Make Your Own Quiver -0


    There are a lot of options when it comes to transporting arrows, but few are in keeping with primitive archery like making your own quiver. If you read our posts on quick survival bows and making your own arrows, then this will help you to round out your traditional archery tackle.

    Bark Tube Quivers

    Cut a section of tree branch or a sapling trunk a little over 2 feet long and a little under 6 inches in diameter, then chisel the bark off this wood billet in one continuous sheet. You’ll need to keep the bark in a tube shape as it dries. Wrap it around a dead, dry stick or a bundle of sticks that is the same diameter as the log that the bark was growing on.

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  • September 6, 2012

    Four Toxic Plants To Avoid -0


    As Indian summer approaches, the wild foods that got our ancestors through the winter seem to be everywhere right now. Late-summer berries and early-fall tree nuts comprise the largest plant-food payload of the entire year and are both available to the careful forager, with “careful” being the operative word. With this abundance of food also comes some additional risk from gathering the wrong plant’s berries or the wrong tree’s nuts.

    Here a quick list of four plant parts that you better leave right where they are.

    Buckeye Nuts

    Buckeye trees are common through the mountains of the mid-Atlantic and much of the Midwest. The large, meaty looking nuts contain some unpleasant surprises within: a bitter tannic acid (which can be removed), a poisonous glycosidic saponin called aesculin (which cannot be removed), and possibly a narcotic alkaloid. Though some native cultures had tricks to process the nuts for human consumption, buckeyes have a long history of poisoning both people and livestock.

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  • September 5, 2012

    Survival Gear Review: SOG Dark Energy 214 Tactical Light-4


    LED flashlights that burn for 100-plus hours may sound pretty cool, and they are… if nothing important or dangerous is going on around you in the dark.

    But that little power thrifty “night light” doesn’t shine very far, or have much impact when you are trying to see what creature is lurking in the dark outside your camp. And that 100-plus hour flashlight would never be able to blind an assailant during a nighttime run-in with a 2-legged predator.

    With that in mind, meet the SOG Dark Energy 214. This palm-sized cylinder full of sunlight has many more features than you would expect from such a petite package. The housing is aggressively checkered with a rough texture which provides you with a great grip, wet or dry, with gloves or bare handed. It’s actually quite reminiscent of the checkering on the handles of many SOG fixed blade knives. The on/off button is full click, but it also comes with two “half click” options: 40% power and a mesmerizing strobe light feature. The integrated clip fits snugly on a belt or the inside of a pocket lip.

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