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Chances are good that you currently have a newspaper within reach at your home or cabin. If you have a stove or fireplace, or just build a lot of campfires, chances are also good that you know how effective the black and white pages of newsprint can be at starting fires, both at home and in the field.
But what about the rest of the stuff at home? What other items that you’d be willing to burn could be useful in the task of fire building?
Here are a few you’ll know well, and a few you may want to try out. [ Read Full Post ]
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. [ Read Full Post ]
In every survival class I teach, somebody is usually surprised when we pass by a millipede or toad in the woods and I mention that, “You can’t eat that.” Based on the animal’s diet, or some inherent toxin in their bodies, they are not suitable for people to eat. But they aren’t the only things that are off the menu.
The box turtle, for example, is really a tortoise. Living on land, they encounter all kinds of deadly mushrooms that grow to just the right height for them to munch. Consuming these toxins, the box turtles’ flesh can become toxic as another deterrent to predators (when the shell just isn’t enough). Many years ago, this possibility was well known by indigenous peoples. A number of eastern native tribes and nations had taboos against eating these tortoises, and just to be on the safe side we should too. [ Read Full Post ]
Somewhere between hunting and fishing lies the food gathering art of frog gigging. While gigging is typically portrayed as a southern avocation, plenty of northern marshes are home to frog spearing enthusiasts and some good sized frogs, too.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Not every amphibian is suitable for human consumption. Many North American toads have toxic glands in them or on them, and some frogs produce toxic secretions. Get a good field guide or go gigging with an experienced frog hunter to learn which frogs are good and which ones to avoid. [ Read Full Post ]
A cheerless story comes to us today, of a fight to stay alive in the Gulf of Mexico for two Texas fishermen. For more than 30 hours, best friends Ken Henderson and Ed Coen treaded water after their boat sank at noon last Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Coen, who was a slender man, began shivering almost immediately after the accident in the cold springtime ocean. Both men were wearing their life jackets, which they strapped together to avoid drifting apart. After failing to swim to a gas well nearby, they kept their morale up as best as they could, hoping for rescue. [ Read Full Post ]
In this exclusive clip from Discovery Channel’s brand new season of Man, Woman, Wild, former Special Forces survival expert Mykel Hawke builds a signal fire with an old Iroquois method and tools patched together from beach scrap.
In the fourth episode that airs this Friday at 9 p.m. on Discovery, Mykel and Ruth are stranded on a desolate island without fresh water. They must use the few resources they have to catch fish and collect water, proving the old proverb “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” true. [ Read Full Post ]
On the small French island of Reunion, off the east coast of Africa and just the other side of Madagascar, a top surfer has been killed after a quick and brutal shark attack last week. Mathieu Schiller, 32, was dragged off his board on Boucan Canot Beach by a man-eating tiger shark. He was killed in less than 30 seconds.
Schiller was a European team bodyboarding champion in 1995, and was part of a large group of surfers in the area that day. Fellow surfers tried to recover Schiller's body, but police later said that it had been carried away by the current. "There were around 20 people in shallow water and about five surfers out deeper when it happened," a witness told a local news agency.
"We saw the shark's nose emerge and then the man just vanished. It was very sudden, then the animal just swam off. "Some of those nearby tried to reach him but his body was dragged away by the current." [ Read Full Post ]
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