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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dubree Hut Step-by-Step Construction 2

Dubree Hut Step-by-Step Construction 2


1. Step One - Locate a good spot. Seeing how there wasn't very many trees around, here's a spot that has logs and a few sticks to use as a frame and bark for the roofing.

2. Step Two - Build the frame. Logs make a good main frame and the sticks fill in the rest. It's hard to see but there's a good slope to the left for the roof to allow rain to run off.


3. Step Three - Cover the roof with bark using the shingle method.


4. Step Four - Put down some bedding like pine needles or pine bows, then make a small doorway and climb in and enjoy.




This shelter was a good example of building in an area with fewer trees and using bark instead of pine bows.

Note: Remember to take a look at the posts on "wilderness survival shelter criteria" and "3 components of a dubree hut" to see all the steps and check if this student followed them.

See you on the trail,
--Greg


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can You Deal With Panic? Your Personal Survival Depends On it.

By G. E. Rouse


The first time I was put in a survival situation, I remember it was like my mind began to spin like a rolodex trying to find a familiar point.

In modern society we can almost always find help. Landmarks are everywhere and getting permanently lost or turned around is rare.

So what do we do in an emergency, when there's no help around the corner or just a phone call away? Research shows that when an individual can't find help, they begin to PANIC.

To control panic use the STOP acronym:

The S T O P acronym:

S - Sit

T - Think

O - Observe

P - Plan

When panic begins to set in the first thing to do is sit down. Most people have a tendency to run or hurry, which usually results in more trouble.

Next, you need to think about the situation and remain calm. Along with observe the situation to make rational and informed decisions. Many times a simple pause to think and observe can show a way out of our predicament, that most will not see.

Lastly, plan how you're going to deal with this emergency and then systematically do it.



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Monday, May 25, 2009

Step-by-Step Construction of Dubree Huts - 1

Step-by-Step Construction of Dubree Huts -1

Note: Remember to take a look at the posts on "wilderness survival shelter criteria" and "3 components of a dubree hut" to see all the steps and check if this student followed them.

1. Step One - Find a good location and build the frame. This student found a great spot that had losts of material readily available, along with the main frame already there from the downed logs.




2. Step Two - Finsh the frame and door. She finished piling sticks on for the frame. Almost overkill, but they were there and easy to thrown on. Nice door header.


3. Step Three - Cover up the frame. In this case she used tree bows as the were plentyful.

4. Step Four - Put down bedding. More pine bows will work fine here, now climb in, pull the packpack in the doorway and enjoy.
By knowing and following the basic shelter criteria, this student was able to pick a good spot and build this shelter in a quick and easy way. We'll take a look at some more shelters in future posts.

See you on the trail,
--Greg


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Friday, May 22, 2009

Basic Survival Kit

Basic Survival Kit
 
Here’s a list for a basic survival kit that you can build on your own. The biggest problem is what to carry it in, you want something small that can hold water. That brings up a key point, make sure your survival kit is not to big or you won’t carry it with you. The smaller and lighter it is the higher the probability that you will take it with you.
 
Big and heavy survival kits get left at home. Another key point is that as your survival skills grow your survival kit shrinks, the more you know the less you need or the more you can improvise.
 
Now, the key to a good survival kit is that you always have an “heir and a spare“. The saying comes from the old days when a king would always try and have two sons, so that if one died in battle or from disease, he would still have an heir to the throne. What that means to us is to always have a back-up for every item, for example, more than one way to light a fire (i.e. matches and a flint).
 
I’ve included the survival use with each item. Well, here’s the survival kit list:
  
BASIC SURVIVAL KIT
  • Heat & Attitude = Flint and steel + fire-starter / Lighter + candle
  • Rescue = Whistle / Signal mirror
  • Food = Fish hooks and line / Snare wire
  • Location = Map / Compass
  • Light = Photon light / Light stick
  • Cutting = Small Knife / Flexible saw
  • Weather Protection = Survival bag or blanket / Poncho
  • Shelter/1st Aid = Parachute cord / Duct tape (on pencil)
  • Food = Hard candy / Power Bar
  • Storage = Condom (for water) / Survival gear case
  • Water = Water purification tablets / Filter Straw
  • It beats pine needles = Toilet paper or paper towels in a zip-lock bag
The last one is pure convenience, but its lightweight and doesn’t take up much space, besides you can always use it for fire starter.

Also, a good choice for the food is something you don’t like (the nastiest food bar you can find), otherwise people have a tendency to snack on it when those outdoor munchies hit and then when you really need it its not there. One trick is to wrap the food bar in duct tape so it’s harder to get to and then you won’t eat it out of convenience, but in a survival situation you’ll cut that baby out.
 
Finally, another reminder to KEEP IT SMALL, if the kit is to big you won’t take it with you.

See you on the trail,
--Greg

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Survival Shelter Roofing

People always ask what you cover a dubree hut with and my answer is always the same, “whatever is available“. I've used everything from an old piece of tin I found to pine bows and even sod, if you layer it, you would be amazed at how waterproof they are. Here's a few examples of different survival shelter coverings.


You can use pine bows.



You can use grass.


You can use bark


Make sure you lay it like shingles, working from the bottom up, so the water will run off.



OR you can use a combination of more than one.


In the end it doesn't matter what you use as long as you can cover it and keep it warm and dry.

In my next few posts, I'll show you some step by step photos of building different shelters.

See you on the trail,
--Greg


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Monday, May 11, 2009

3 Components of a Dubree Hut

Dubree huts are basically where you pile dubree (branches, sticks, rocks, etc...) into a pile to make a shelter. You use what's available in your immediate environment and make a shelter out of what nature provides.

The benefit is that you don't have to have any gear to do it and so if you learn this method, no matter where you find yourself or what you have, you can always build a shelter. That said, there are a few things to learn that will make this method a whole lot easier.

3 Components of a Dubree Hut:

1. Frame (strong, natural & easy): In the winter we used the arch, but in the other climates we use the triangle, besides the arch, the triangle is one of the strongest shapes and can be easily made.


You also want a strong frame made of solid sticks.


Natural means using things that already exist, so you can save time and energy. Taking a few minutes to walk around and find a better spot can save a lot of time and energy (calories) in the long run.



And when it comes to easy, you want to find an area that already has all the material you need. Dragging logs and dubree around is not a wise use of calories in a survival situation.



2. Door (small, header & plug): For the door you want the opening as small as you can get it and still climb in, so as not to let out all the heat.


Header is so that the door doesn't collapse everytime you go through it.


And the plug can be a branch, backpack (as seen in the photo) or anything that will plug up the door and trap in heat. you're not looking for air tight, just something to stop the heat loss and wind.


3. Bedding (level, insulating & dry): One of the biggest mistakes I see is when shelters are built on uneven ground, then the person rolls downhill and blows out the whole side of their shelter in the middle of the night.


Studies show it's more important what you have under you, then on top of you for staying warm through the night. If you build a great shelter and then lay on the cold ground and lose all your body heat through conduction, it's a waste. Remember your body will conduct heat to a cold surface in order to warm it up to your body temperature 98.6 degrees (a losing battle with the ground even in warm weather).

Below is a picture of a student using pine bows. One trick is to lay them down before you build, which makes it alot easier. You can also use grass (like above), pine needles, a backpack, the foam seat off your ATV, etc...


Finally staying dry from above and below is important, if you're wet you're cold.
To recap the 3 Components of a Dubree Hut are:
  1. Frame (natural, easy & strong)
  2. Door (small, header & plug)
  3. Bed (level, insulating & dry)

These 3 Components are the components of a good dubree hut, if you learn and follow them you will be dry and warm. In my next post I'll talk about diffrent coverings or roofing material for your dubree huts.

See you on the trail,
--Greg


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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wilderness Survival Shelter Criteria

Wilderness Survival Shelter Criteria

There a few basic criteria to follow when it comes to building a wilderness survival shelter. Depending upon the situation (injury, location, etc...) you won't always be able to use everyone, but the more you do the warmer you'll be.

Here are the 7 Criteria for a successful wilderness survival shelter:

  1. Warm: You must create a dead-air space where warm air is trapped.


  1. Wind and Waterproof: Warmth cannot be achieved if you have wind blowing through your shelter and you're getting wet from above or below.
  2. Small: The smaller a shelter is the easier it is to build and the easier it is to heat.
    NOTE: Remember that any endeavor in a survival situation comes at a price of calories or energy and so you must always conserve your energy and only spend it when the return is greater than the expenditure.


  3. Strong: You want a shelter that won't collapse on your head or blow over in a storm.
  4. Easy to Construct: Keep it simple, remember the cost of calories to build, the easier the shelter the less calories spent.


  5. South Facing Slopes: If you can, south facing slopes are warmer and have rocky terrain for radiant heat, north facing slopes are colder and damper, the trade off though is that north facing have more vegetation and therefore more material to work with.
  6. 50-75ft up from canyon floor: If you remember from the winter shelter posts, we created colder air sumps so that the cold air had a place to settle away from where we were sleeping. Well this is true on a larger scale meaning that canyon bottoms are where the cold air settles and so getting 50-70ft up out of the bottom of a canyon or revene can change the temperature significantly. An easy way to figure this out is to find a tall tree at the bottom and just head up the hillside until you're about even with the top of it.

To recap they are:
  1. Warm (dead-air space)
  2. Wind and Waterproof (above and below)
  3. Small
  4. Strong
  5. Easy to Construct (keep it simple).
  6. South Facing Slopes (different vegetation and rocky for radiant heat)
  7. 50-75ft up from canyon floor.

These are the basic criteria for wilderness survival shelters and the more you can follow them the better shelter you'll have.

In my next post will break down the 3 Components of a good shelter.

See you on the trail,

--Greg



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