Archive for the ‘Survival Camping’ Category
Lee Flynn submits the following for your consideration.
Not every emergency situation is life threatening. For every city-shaking earthquake and coast-sweeping tsunami, there are thousands of smaller common annoyances that disrupt power, create messes, and just generally inconvenience those of us who would like to be able to stick to our daily routine without having to put up with Mother Nature’s nonsense. Here are three common emergency\disaster scenarios, and a few tips on how to deal with them.
Those of us who’ve ever tried to get a campfire going with only a few matches have to wonder why a dry log will sometimes resist an open flame as though it were a gentle breeze, but a house will go up like gunpowder at the first hint of a spark. Whatever the case, the fact is that in 2011, home fires caused an estimated $6.9 billion in damages. If a fire breaks out in your home, the first thing you should do is try to get an idea of how big/extensive it is.
The first thing you need to do is get your family out of the house. Planning and practicing fire escape routes will help things go more smoothly. Don’t bother scrambling for valuables or belongings; they’re not worth your life. If you can see the flame and know that it hasn’t already spread through walls or to other nearby combustibles, and if it looks small enough, you may want to try to smother or douse the flame. Be careful, however, as fires can spread quickly, and you don’t want to become trapped inside.
If putting out the fire seems too risky, quickly leave the house, closing all doors behind you as you go. Doing so will limit the amount of oxygen the fire can consume, and also delay the spread of smoke. Call the fire department from a mobile phone or neighbor’s house, and don’t go back inside until you’ve been told by a fire officer that it’s safe to do so.
It doesn’t seem like floods should be as damaging as they are. After all, it’s just water. If anything, a flood should make everything cleaner when it passes through. Except that water is the universal solvent, and that means that when it starts to flow out of control, it carries with it all of the muck, grime, and filth that it passes over.
If flooding begins to occur in your area, turn off your main power and gas, and evacuate immediately. Avoid any roads or paths that have standing water on them, and head for higher ground. Try to avoid coming in contact with flood water, as it can carry disease and bacteria (thoroughly wash with soap and disinfected water any body parts that touch flood water).
If you are unable to evacuate your home before the flood closes in, retreat to upper floors or even the roof. Be sure to bring some survival food and warm blankets with you, because you might be up there for a little while.
Sort of like a flood, except much colder, a blizzard can strike without warning and leave behind a world covered in a smothering blanket of pure white (which would be pretty, if it weren’t so dangerous). If you’re outside when a blizzard hits, try to find shelter quickly. If none is available, consider digging a snow cave; it might seem counterintuitive, but snow retains heat really well and can protect you from the sub zero temperatures outside.
Stay hydrated, but avoid eating snow. Melt it first by placing some in a container and keeping it in your jacket (but not against your skin). If you’re at home, gather the entire family together in a single room to conserve heat. If the power goes out, try to avoid using a fireplace unless you absolutely have to, as snow can block up your chimney and force smoke back down into the home. If your windows are clear, allow sunlight to enter and heat the house during the day, but block them off to conserve warmth at night.
Make sure to eat regularly, and always stay hydrated. Use an emergency survival food supply so that you don’t have to get creative about how to prepare what you have in your fridge without the use of electricity. If you don’t have access to liquid water, try collecting some snow and bringing it inside so that it can melt; just be careful not to let out all your heat while you’re trying to get something to drink. You can also drain your hot-water heater or get water from ice melting in your freezer if the power is out.
As with any disaster, it’s important to be prepared. Having a plan, safety measures, and 72 hour kits and survival food that might just save your family’s life if something unexpected should happen. Don’t let Mother Nature’s hissy-fit put you in a bad situation; be prepared and you won’t have to worry about anything at all (except maybe how to go to the number 2 without any running water. Hint: It involves containers with lids).
While surviving a blizzard might not be high on your radar as weather gets warmer, it’s not uncommon for those who travel and camp in the mountains to encounter such storms. Beware.
I’d love to know what you’re thinking about what you’ve just read. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Decision making is a crucial survival skill which we each need to cultivate. Craig Caudill shares insights on it below.
If you come to a fork in the road, you must make a decision about which way to go. If you are on a path that splits off in numerous directions, you are really in a predicament. This scenario is an example of when Hick’s Law comes into play.
What is Hick’s Law? Basically, it is the idea that the more choices a person has, the longer it will take them to make a decision. This belief is applied in marketing strategies, tactical training, teaching and so on.
It can also be applied to survival preparedness. In a survival situation, time is of the essence. Spending a great deal of time trying to make a decision could be extremely costly.
This information is extremely valuable in two ways. The first way is your bug out bag or survival kit. Do not pack a lot of gear that all serves the same purpose. You do not want to make an emergency situation worse by cluttering your mind with “which tool should I use” or “what would work best for this particular job.”
Your kit should contain items that you can practice with regularly. Reusable gear is the key to making sure you are familiar with a tool’s uses and are comfortable using that particular item. It is imperative each piece of gear you do choose can be used for a variety of tasks, not just one. This will help you keep your mind clear and focused in stressful circumstances.
The second way in which Hick’s Law applies to a survival situation is the flip side of the formula. If you are thrown into a survival situation, you are going to have a lot of decisions to make. Each option warrants some contemplation. Do you shelter in place or bug-out? What are your sheltering options? Water and food supplies and so on will all need to be addressed. That is a lot to throw at a person at once. When this happens, you must prioritize your immediate needs to live first and foremost.
Use this information to help you choose what gear to carry in your bag. Remember, keep it simple by choosing tools that are multi-use and reusable. And most importantly, practice with your gear so you know how to use it when you need it to survive.
Any thoughts? How are your decision making skills? Leave a comment below and let others know what’s on your mind concerning what you’ve just read.
Editor’s Note: There’s an abundance of info online and in books about what to include in a bug out bag. Nonetheless, people still have questions. Just the other day I saw an inquiry on Facebook about what to put in a bug out bag. With that in mind, I present the following helpful guidelines from the good people at Food Insurance. – John
Long term food storage plans help us stay prepared for self-survival after a man-made or natural disaster occurs. They’re even great during a financial crisis when you have limited funds to purchase fresh foods.
But, true emergency preparedness is also about short term survival after an evacuation. It’s during these times that you need to have an on-the-go, portable kit. Your kit needs to supply you and your family with the necessary essentials needed for 72 hours. These 3-day portable emergency kits are called Bug-Out-Bags.
Characteristics of a Good Bug-Out-Bag
- Easy-to-Tote – It must be portable, and easy to carry. Good ideas include backpacks, bags on wheels, or anything else that’s easy to tote.
- Lightweight – There’s no telling how far you may have to carry your bug-out-bag. During an evacuation, you may have to stand in lines, hike… who knows? You need your bug-out-bag to be as light as possible.
- Durable – Make sure you purchase a bug-out-bag made of high quality fabric. Who knows what type of weather and other conditions it will have to get you through? So, also make sure your straps, zippers and wheels are all in good working order.
10 Essentials Every Bug-Out-Bag Should Contain
Here are ten essential items that should be in every bug-out-bag.
- Water – Expert recommendation: one gallon of water, per person, per day. But, that is way too much weight to carry around during an evacuation. Here are some lightweight options for your emergency water supply:
- Water purifier
- Water filter straw
- Water bottle with filter
- Water pump with filter
- Non-Perishable Foods – Here are three of the most popular choices for emergency food storage:
- Canned Foods – Can eat right out of the can, but very heavy to carry around
- Dehydrated Foods – Very lightweight to tote, but require boiled water to prepare
- Freeze Dried Foods – Lightweight, convenient packaging, only need hot water to rehydrate
- First Aid Kit – To keep it lightweight, only pack the essentials:
- Antibiotics (just in case)
- Sam Splint
- Wound-closure strips
- Burn ointment
- Triple-antibiotic ointment
- OTC pain-killers
- OTC anti-inflammatory meds
- Suture kit
- Adhesive bandages
- 4. Clothing – You should have enough clean clothing for three days.
- 5. Shelter – Fly, tent, tarp, hammock with rain fly, large poncho, etc… to make emergency shelter.
- 6. Important Documents – This includes items such as copies of IDs, birth certificates, passports, important phone numbers and addresses, maps, etc…
- 7. Cash – You probably won’t be able to use your credit cards or debit cards after the crisis strikes.
- 8. Battery Operated Radio – Your radio may be your only way to stay connected with the rest of the world. Remember that cell phone services may be down.
- 9. Battery Operated Flashlight – Don’t be caught without it. The stress of being in the dark all night could actually make things even worse during a crisis.
- 10. Survival Kit – This should include:
- · Extra batteries
- · Whistle
- · Small folding knife
- · Compass
- Waterproof matches or refillable butane lighter
About the Author
Is there something you must have in your bug out bag that’s not mentioned above? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Editor’s Note: Here’s another helpful article from Craig Caudill. You may recall he was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio a few weeks ago. View my post about that here.
If you have read about the Law of Threes, you probably realize how vital it is to your survival. If you haven’t read about it, I suggest you do. One concern many people have about the Law of Threes, is how do you put it to work for you during your survival training.
The simplest and most effective way to get a good handle on any skill is to practice. A lot. There are a few things you can do to really become familiar with any survival skill.
- Practice frequently
- Seek training from a qualified person
- Test your skills in stressful situations
You can never practice too much. Here is a little story about how a simple excursion with the family turned into a practice situation. My family and I were doing what we love–walking in the woods, when my son stumbled on an uninhabited hornet’s nest that had fallen to the ground. We could have just walked around it and carried on down our path. Instead, my son decided the nest material would make a good tinder bundle. And you know what? He was absolutely right.
This is one of those things he learned through practicing. Now, if he is ever in a survival situation, he knows one more thing that will work as a tinder bundle. Through him, the entire family added to their cache of survival knowledge. Even if it wouldn’t have worked, it still would have been an excellent learning opportunity. We would have all known in the future, skip the nest and keep looking for something else to use as a tinder bundle. You have absolutely got to get out there and practice and experience the outdoors.
This one is tricky. There are plenty of people who claim to be “experts” in survival training. However, let me give you a tip. An expert would not proclaim his or her way is the only way. The very nature of survival skills involves tweaking and improvising a specific skill until it suits you and your needs. There is no one size fits all. Sure there are best practices and you should listen to these insightful words. Take the advice, mull it over and apply it to your practices. It is imperative you keep an open mind and see what all is being taught out there. Take what you can from each person who has survival knowledge and piece it together to make your skill set work for you. Do not assume you know it all and cannot learn from another person. That is a dangerous practice.
Testing Your Skills in Intense Situations
This is crucial to your survival in a true emergency. If you do all of your practicing in ideal conditions with the perfect gear, you will never know what to do in an actual survival situation. Could you start a fire in the rain without your matches? You are going to have to learn the hard way before you are in a life or death situation. Throw yourself into a situation like spending the night in the woods without your sleeping bag or your knife. Can you do it?
Like I mentioned earlier about the hornet nest, these are things you will only learn through experience. Your training needs to include high-stress situations that require you to think out of the box. Once you have come up with a solution, this is one more trick to add to your arsenal of survival skills. Do not assume you can practice your skills with your gear on a nice, sunny 60 degree day and manage to survive in frigid temps with no gear to speak of.
Maybe you are operating under the assumption that if you had to, you could rise to the occasion. Don’t bank on it. Sure there a few, a FEW stories of extraordinary people who have overcome some extreme circumstances, but again, do you really want to bank on being one of the rare ones who perseveres? The old adage is true, “You will not rise to the occasion, but rather you will default to your level of training.” Why not give yourself a little more assurance and take the time to practice now and under various types of circumstances.
Have you considered taking classes at an outdoor survival school? If so, perhaps you don’t know where to start. How can you find one that’s reputable? Are there family friendly schools that offer good training, but aren’t like military boot camp?
Fortunately, the answer to that last question is yes. Here’s how I came to find out about such a school, specifically Nature Reliance School.
I became affiliated with Dan’s Depot a while back. And they were kind enough to offer articles I could share with you. Craig Caudill, a consultant to Dan’s Depot, has written articles you can view here and here. You may see more from him in times to come.
It seemed like a good idea to interview Craig for DestinySurvival Radio. So he was my guest yesterday, and I think you’ll enjoy our visit..
Who is Craig Caudill?
As the bio info on his site says, he “was blessed to grow up with parents that enjoyed the outdoors. He spent his childhood years exploring creeks, and woods at his home and at the family farm. He spent many weekends with his dad and other friends, sleeping in tipis and lean tos in reenactment events as well as caves and other wild places.”
“He also spent a great deal of time hunting and fishing, and was taught very important “woods ethics” by his dad. At an early age he challenged himself with two distinct “woods sabbaticals” in which he walked into the wilderness with very minimal supplies (a knife) and stayed for nearly 30 days each. These two experiences left him understanding the limits to his knowledge of bushcraft and wilderness living. It was those two experiences that have led him to the last two decades of practicing and honing practical wilderness skills alongside, primitive skills (i.e. Native American and other aboriginal culture skills).”
Craig has trained with notable instructors, too. One of them is Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder School and co-host of Dual Survival on the Discovery Channel. But as Craig modestly told me in our conversation, he doesn’t want people thinking he’s cool or that he’s the only one who has all the answers.
He’s also an accomplished author who has written or been featured in several magazines including Self-Reliance Illustrated and others. He’s also written a weekly newspaper column and has been featured on educational TV in Kentucky.
Craig also loves teaching both adults and youth, especially to those who are new to outdoor experiences. In an e-mail he sent me, he quoted the late Jeff Cooper who said, “You will not rise to the occasion, but rather default to your level of training.” Craig believes in promoting family preparedness, rather than “lone wolf” survivalism.
What is the Nature Reliance School AllAbout?
Craig makes Nature Reliance School family friendly by keeping prices affordable and inviting parents to train with their children. While training is suitable for the inexperienced, the school is also open to those with more advanced skills, such as those in Special Forces who want to brush up on their training.
Different classes serve different skill levels. Whether you want to learn land navigation or survive in the woods with just a knife, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Nature Reliance School.
A chief aim of the school is to get people connected with nature. You should have the confidence to know you can learn to survive outdoors if you have to. The skills can be useful for surviving scenarios like earthquakes, which are a real possibility in the part of the country where Nature Reliance School is located.
But urban survival is important, too. Therefore, Craig has developed material on that which is provided by Dan’s Depot.
Craig makes it a point to be genuine and open with his students. Though he’s the teacher, he’s open to new ideas, too.
He and his staff want students to get a lot of hands-on experience. They also believe it’s important to work in groups, which will be essential in long term survival situations.
What’s the Connection to Dan’s Depot?
To my surprise, the company hasn’t been around that long–only a little over a year. But they’re aggressively reaching out to their intended audience. As a result, they asked Craig Caudill to become a consultant to help develop gear and kits and provide part of the training they offer.
Craig says he can’t say enough good things about the Dan’s Depot community. That includes the people who work at Dan’s and the people who participate in the online forums and comment on blog posts.
What About Mindset vs. Survival Gear?
Your survival gear won’t save you. It’s your skill using it that will save you. Dan’s Depot aims to provide you and me with the knowledge and mindset necessary to use that gear.
If you’re wondering how to get started, Craig recommends watching the DVD’s from Dan’s Depot, such as the one on urban survival. Also, check out the site’s forums.
Craig and I talked about more, but to hear it all, listen to DestinySurvival Radio for March 14, 2013. Check out the Nature Reliance School at http://www.naturereliance.org/. Find Dan’s Depot at http://www.dansdepot.com/ or click on any ads you see for them on this site.
Have you been to the Nature Reliance School or another outdoor survival school for training? How was your experience? Would you recommend such training to others? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Wise Food Storage has a new product that makes starting a fire easier.
What is WiseFire?
WiseFire is an ideal source of fuel for emergency preparedness and outdoor use which is available in the following options:
- Pouch in a box of 15 pouches – Boils up to 60 cups of water
- 1 Gallon – Boils up to 60 cups of water
- 2 Gallon – Boils up to 120 cups of water
- 4 Gallon – Boils up to 240 cups of water
WiseFire, the ideal source of fuel for emergency preparedness and outdoor use, comes in lightweight grab-and-go buckets and burns in rain, sleet or snow without releasing any harmful chemicals or gases into the air.
WiseFire is Versatile, Safe and Simple
WiseFire is an optimal fuel made from recycled wood, inert minerals, and shielded by a patented blend of paraffin, making it inherently safe and environment friendly. It would light the first time and One cup of it burns 20-30 minutes even when there is wind, rain, sleet or snow.
Plus, it’s nonvolatile – which means there is no risk for unexpected fires or flare-ups. Due to its lightweight, it’s also easy to transport. Not to count that it has 25 year shelf life and can be stored safely near foods. For longetivity and better results, store WiseFire in a cool, dry place.
The key benefits of WiseFire are:
- Safe to store – 25 year shelf life and stores safely near food.
- Burns “green” – does not contain any harmful chemicals or vapors
- WiseFires’s leftover ash is a natural fertilizer-it nourishes the earth.
- Nonvolatile-no risk for unexpected fires or flare-ups.
- Optimal fire starter that lights the first time.
You’ve got to see it to believe it!
Watch this short video.
WiseFire and Wise Company
While providing a wide variety of great tasting long-term storage and camping meal entrees, Wise Company also considers healthy and easy-to-prepare products as in just 12 to 15 minutes by simply adding boiling water. Cheesy Lasagna, Pasta Alfredo, and Hearty Tortilla Soup are just a few examples.
These have a great shelf life and are remarkably packaged, making them dependable, simple and affordable. In an emergency situation, water can be quickly boiled using WiseFire as a fuel source.
Now’s the time…Are YOU prepared for:
- Job Loss?
- Natural or man-made disaster?
- Other emergency situations?
Protect your most valuable asset…Your Family.
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