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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Outdoor Survival Kit Considerations

First-aid/Survival kitImage by germanium via FlickrOutdoor Survival Kit Considerations

If you are planning a trek through the wilderness, or simply want to be prepared, it is a good idea to have a survival kit.

Each survival kit should be personalized to meet your individual needs, as well as, suit the particular environment where you will be traveling. 

Many outdoor survival kits are available on the market, but you can make your own at home, or add to the ones purchased from the store.  All outdoor survival kits should include some basic items, plus specific things that will help you to make it through the wilderness successfully.

To reduce the size and weight of the outdoor survival kit, select items that have more than one purpose.  Items that only have one purpose may be crucial to survival, but if a similar product can perform the identical function, plus meet other needs, choose the one that offers the most options.

The outdoor survival kit should be split into two parts.  The part of the kit that stays in a pouch will contain the bulky items that you need to keep handy and accessible.  The other portion of the outdoor survival kit should be pocket-sized.  These are the items you use everyday.

Be familiar with each and every item in the outdoor survival kit.  An item is not going to help you survive if you don't know how to use it properly. 

A quality pocket knife is an essential part of the outdoor survival kit.  The survival knife is compact, so it can be carried with you all the time.  Choose a variety that is comfortable to use.  Various features may also be helpful and reduce the need for other items in the outdoor survival kit. 

Waterproof matches or a flint striker are must haves in an outdoor survival kit.  Fire can make the difference between success and failure, so always have these items available.  Practice using such items at home before you really need them.

Keep with you a small container for purifying drinking water.  This can may be used to melt snow or ice, or as a filter for drinking water.  You may wish to include water purifying tablets in your survival kit, as well.  

First aid items are a must for an outdoor survival kit.  Tape is number one, it can be used for bandages, for example in an emergency.  Include a small supply of necessary prescription medications for severe conditions that you may have, such as an inhaler for asthma.

A compass and map will be very helpful in an emergency.  These tools will allow you to find your way to help quickly and easily.    Rope, fish hooks, and dried foods, hard candy or other items that can be beneficial.

Vary your outdoor survival kit as needed to meet the environment and your skill level.  Also, consider the amount of space you will have to carry such items when making your outdoor survival kit. 

Outdoor survival kits will vary from person to person.  Also, your outdoor survival kit will need to be adapted to the specific environment.  Keep these things in mind when selecting your items for the outdoor survival kit.
 
See you on the trail,
--Greg  

1000+ Military Survival Manuals Click Here!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Choosing A Survival Shelter Location

Bachalpsee in the morning, Bernese AlpsImage via WikipediaChoosing A Survival Shelter Location

A valuable outdoor survival skill is knowing how to build a shelter.  It is important for your survival to know the proper techniques to make a shelter that will allow for adequate sleep and rest while providing protection from the elements.

The climate of the environment plays a significant role on the need for a shelter.  Many individuals can only survive a matter of several hours without adequate protection from severe weather conditions.  Extreme heat and cold are very dangerous situations to face without the proper shelter and protection for the body.

The first step to choosing a shelter is to select the location.  The location of your survival shelter must be as safe as possible.  Try to create a shelter that is easily visible.  This will help the search and rescue teams find you quickly and easily. 

Choose ground that is as flat as possible.  The ground should be dry and free of loose rocks and dead trees.  Such hazards may fall on you or destroy the shelter.  Whenever possible, you should make a shelter near water, but avoid becoming too close, for this will bring you trouble with insects and flooding.

If your survival gear contains an extra poncho or blanket, your task of making a shelter is significantly easier.  If not, you will need to use the items in the environment to create a shelter for protection from the elements. 

The natural environment may have made a shelter for you.  Survival does not mean reinventing the wheel.  If a cave, or low limbs are available, use this as part of your survival shelter.  Do not over-complicate the issue at hand. 

If nature hasn't provided a shelter for you, make your own shelter that can accommodate you while you sleep and rest.  The survival shelter should only be large enough to sleep comfortably.  In cold climates, you will need to heat this area, so bigger does not always mean better.

It will take some time to make a shelter that will provide a level of comfort and protection.  Do not wait until you are tired and it is dark to begin choosing your shelter for the night.  Think about your shelter before jumping in and building.

Whenever possible, let the shelter opening face away from the prevailing wind.  This will ensure that you are more comfortable in the cool of the night.  Protection from the wind, rain, and sun is key to feeling well enough to continue.

Selecting or making a shelter is crucial to your survival.  Think about making your shelter early in the process, not after you have become tired and worn down.  Use what items you have with you and the environment to your advantage.  Nature may have provided a shelter for you if you take a good look around. 

A good shelter will allow you to rest and sleep, so you can carry on until help arrives.  Adequate sleep and rest will keep your positive attitude and energy high, thus greatly improving the odds of survival in an outdoor emergency situation.

See you on the trail,
--Greg  

1000+ Military Survival Manuals Click Here!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Survival Food

Survival Food

Humans need water to sustain themselves, long before food becomes an absolute necessity, but if you have ever pondered a situation where you are alone in the wilderness, you probably first thought about food and shelter.  Learning how to find survival food in the wild is a valuable outdoor survival skill.

We are so accustomed to the luxury and convenience of walking over to the fridge. And grabbing a snack or cruising through the drive-through of the local restaurant that finding food in the great outdoors seems frightening to many individuals. 

In reality, nature often provides foods that are nourishing if you know where to look.  Granted, these items may not taste as delectable and palatable as a cheeseburger or steak made-to-order, but they do provide necessary nourishment and energy to survive.

Plants are a form of nourishment if you know which ones are edible and safe.  Learn about plants and their edible parts by reading up on the topic or taking a hike with an experienced guide.  Be wary of any unknown plants that may cause a harmful reaction.

Do be aware that some parts of plants may be edible while other parts of the plant are not.  Focus on studying specific plants that are abundant in your area of travel.  Learn which plants are edible and what varieties are poisonous in your region.

Animals are another option for food when it comes to survival.  Humans need protein to survive and nature often provides wild animals for this purpose.  If you are alone in the wilderness, you can trap animals for food.  Also, if surface water is available in the area, fishing is a great option. 

If animal trapping and hunting isn't your specialty, it is important to learn about this outdoor survival skill before you actually need it.  Fishing requires some technique, as well.  Learn from watching survival shows, reading from books or the internet, or first-hand from someone experienced in the trade.

Preparation of the fish and game is equally as important as knowing how and where to find the animals.  Learning the fish that are safe to eat, for example is an outdoor survival skill, but knowing how to prepare the fish is a completely different task at hand.  Some fish are safe to eat raw, but others, must be cooked.

Insects and worms are other forms of nutrition in the wild.  These animals are often abundant in most any environment.  Learn what types of bugs are safe for eating.  Worms and insects can provide valuable protein.

To survive, you will probably need to open your mind to new forms of food that are initially unappealing to you.  Getting over the unappetizing idea is one of the largest issues for survivors, but it can be done in an emergency.

To be adequately prepared for an outdoor survival situation, you must learn the survival skills necessary to find food.  Educate yourself about edible plants, wild game, and safe fish.  Once you are knowledgeable about what you can eat, then it is important to learn how to prepare the food for consumption.  This information can save your life in an emergency outdoor survival situation.


See you on the trail,
--Greg  

1000+ Military Survival Manuals Click Here!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Building A Lean-To Shelter For Outdoor Survival

My shelter in the morningImage by sudarkoff via FlickrBuilding A Lean-To Shelter For Outdoor Survival

If you are stranded out in the wilderness in an emergency, you need to tap into your wilderness survival skills.  Building a shelter is very important to survival in such situations.  People can only last a short while amidst extreme weather conditions without shelter.

You should master the outdoor survival skill of building a lean-to shelter, to be adequately prepared for an emergency.

A lean-to shelter is one of the easiest and simplest shelters to make for an emergency.  This type of shelter is a great way to provide protection from the weather and wind.  Always remember to place the back of the shelter toward the prevailing wind for the best protection.

A lean-to shelter is also great for most types of terrain.

To create your lean-to shelter, pound two large, forked sticks or straight ones into the ground.  About one foot deep.  These sticks should be about six feet apart depending on your height.  A large limb must be placed inside the Y-shaped forks to create the frame for the shelter or lashed to each upright. Another option would be to use existing trees, rocks, etc...

Fill in the roof area with sticks that are tied to the top and stuck into the ground.  This creates the frame for your lean-to survival shelter.  Remember to bury the sticks in the ground to make the shelter sturdy enough to withstand the force of the wind.

Covering the skeleton of the lean-to is the next step to making the shelter.  Use large leaves, bark, pine needles or grass to cover the framework of the lean-to shelter.  Whatever material is available will suffice.

As you cover the lean-to shelter, begin at the bottom and work your way to the top, just like roofing a house with shingles.  If it should happen to rain, the water will run over the joints and not leak onto you.  Staying dry is very important, so take the time to prepare the shelter appropriately.

Don't forget to place some comfortable grass, leaves, or pine bows on the ground inside the shelter for bedding.  Look for items that are soft and comfortable.  Sleeping on the bare ground will sap your body heat quickly.

Also, you can cover up with items such as grass and leaves for more insulation.  If you have a trash bag in your survival kit, you can stuff it with these items to make a comforter. Think of this as nature's blanket for you.

When you are making a lean-to shelter, it is beneficial to use the natural environment to your advantage.  Look for limbs, leaves, and sticks that will suit your needs, that are close by with as little work as possible.

This will reduce the amount of work you need to do and save your energy for other tasks related to survival in the outdoors.  Also build a reflection fire in front of your lean-to shelter to radiate heat into your shelter.

Because the elements are harsh on the body, building a shelter is crucial to survival in an outdoor survival situation.  Practice this outdoor survival skill to master it, before you really need it.

If you are enjoying a hike over the weekend, bring along your camping gear, for instance, but plan not to use it.  Instead of sleeping in your tent and sleeping bag, rough it for a night in your own lean-to shelter.  This will give you the chance to practice your skill while allowing the opportunity for another safe sleeping area as a backup plan.

See you on the trail,
--Greg

1000+ Military Survival Manuals Click Here!

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