Obviously we'd all like to think we are never going to find ourselves in a situation that relies on our basic human skills of survival to live. Why? Well put quite simply, there is no room for mistakes! Get it wrong, and it's pretty much all over.
So what does it take to survival against the odds? There is no one answer for the actions you take, though there is one for the way you go about it. ADAPT! - evaluate the situation and react appropriately, this is the ONLY way to survive.
So what would you consider "hostile territory"? It could be the traditional wilderness, or maybe a foreign ghetto that you find yourself in. Both require a totally different approach, and both should be assessed on the exact situation you find yourself in.
In the wilderness for example, food, water and protection from the elements would seem a priority while in an urban situation, life sustainability skills quickly move to self protection and spacial awareness.
Without question, survival prepping is the "in" thing these days. Whether it's television shows, books, movies or magazines, you will find some aspect of survival that has many people hooked and clamoring for more. "Regular" people can be found wearing paracord survival bracelets and now, more than ever, people are stocking up on supplies and other survival goods if and when the world succumbs to chaos created from natural or man-made events.
However, what is relayed to the consumer on these media outlets does not necessarily reflect what true survival entails. Unfortunately, this can lead to a false sense of security for these people if they happen to fall into a real-life survival situation and can only rely on information put forth to primarily entertain the masses. However, this can be corrected.
The key is to unlearn some basic survival rules that may not be as accurate as some may think Then, if disaster does strike, you will be armed with the correct information to give yourself a fighting chance to not only endure your situation, but to come out of it stronger and more confident than ever. Read on to stay informed and stay on the cutting edge.
Yes it is. if you have some matches in your pocket. Without fire-starting gear, it won't be so simple. The process of creating fire through friction is not a guarantee by any means.
Even experienced survivalists know that many factors can lead either to roaring flames or to a cold, dark and damp night. Moisture in the air. the proper materials in the wild and your own experience creating fire all have an impact upon the final result.
Never assume that fire is a given in any situation, no matter how many times you created it in the past. To save yourself frustration and stress, carry one or two disposable lighters on you at all times. This is an easy solution.
No, not even close. In fact, food should be considered only when you have the more important survival tasks checked off your list.
Finding or purifying fresh drinking water, erecting a shelter that keeps you off the cold ground and trying to create fire for warmth, light and mental comfort should occur before trying to replenish lost calories.
Humans can go without eating food for weeks or months before dire consequences occur. Prioritize your initial survival needs, and no matter what your stomach may be saying to you, food is not one of them.
Maybe, but never take the chance. After walking for a long time under the hot sun, the look and sound of a quick-flowing stream or lake may be tempting to quench your thirst, but if you value your health and overall well being, don't take a drink.
Even the most crystal-clear waters found in "undisturbed" nature can be the home for a multitude of waterborne pathogens. Bacteria, protozoa, viruses and other harmful "creatures" can be found in flowing waterways, just waiting to enter your body and cause all sorts of internal, life-threatening problems.
Diarrhea, vomiting and nausea can occur very quickly after drinking unpurified water. Excessive dehydration can lead to a full-body shutdown, leading to lights out for you. Avoid this by boiling all drinking and washing water (Yes, even splashing water over your face can give harmful microorganisms a chance to enter your body) for a few minutes to kill the harmful pathogens. Carrying water-purification tablets, iodine pills or a personal water-filtering straw will take the worry off your mind.
Take a wet environment, add in high elevations and blowing wind and hypothermia can become a reality very quickly. It doesn't matter if you are in a jungle, desert, damp forest or tropical island — hypothermia can overcome your body and put you in a serious life-or-death situation.
To prevent this, and as simple as it may sound, you need to stay dry and warm to prevent your core body temperature from dropping to dangerous levels.
Build a fire, dry out wet clothing, add insulation between you and the cold ground, snuggle with another person. All these factors can all help maintain a safe internal body temperature. Don't get lured into a false sense of security by thinking and believing that hypothermia can only occur in cold, icy and snow-covered landscapes.
You can eat as many plants in the wild as you like. The problem is that a vast majority of them may make you incredibly ill, and this may ultimately lead to your death.
Unless you have years of experience at selecting wild edibles, your chances of making an error while under survival "hunger" is extremely great. Even with a field guide under your arm, mistakes can happen, and being alone out in the wild is not a time or place to make such mistakes.
Instead, re-read Tip #2 and don't worry about food just y e t Remember, it's better to be safe and hungry than having a dinner comprised of harmful and possibly poisonous plants. As for wild mushrooms, don't even think about it.
Sometimes, but don't depend on it. Moss will grow on the north side of a tree, but it could also grow on the south, east and west sides also, sending you on a wild goose chase towards what you believe must be north.
This thinking will only get you further lost by giving you a one-in-four chance that you are going in the direction that you have planned. Those odds are not in your favor. Moss will grow on surfaces that are moist, shady and cool in temperature.
With an overhead forest canopy blocking sunlight from reaching low-level surfaces, these requirements for moss growth can occur just about anywhere. To help with direction, use whatever sunshine penetrates the overhead trees and continuously keep the light touching one side of your face. Determine east and west first, then travel in whatever direction that you need to go until reaching your destination.
When out in the wilderness, most people will assume that wild game and fish are plentiful so obtaining food would not be a problem.
This type of thinking will only keep your stomach growling for quite some time. Even with the most modern or sophisticated traps, fishing gear or hunting weapons, bagging a meal is not an easy task. It takes practice, patience and experience to hunt and fish, so under survival conditions when you are not "at your best," these outdoor meals may never arrive.
Your best bet is to set many simple deadfall traps, snares and shallow fish containment pens to hopefully catch yourself a meal while you tend to other immediate survival matters, like securing safe drinking water.
Yes, an overhead shelter can protect you from falling snow or constant rain, but without a proper base above the ground level, hypothermia could sneak up on you in the worst way.
The cold ground "sucks" the heat from your body, and without proper insulation your core body temperature could drop through the night, causing severe health issues.
When shelter building, start at your lowest level and move upward. Make sure you have plenty of thick insulation, the more the better. Two to 3 feet of insulation will collapse to only about 6 to 8 inches when you lay down, so pack in as much as possible.
Create a nest around you to contain your body heat and then begin your roof. If you don't get a chance to construct "walls", at least you are off ground and you are protected above from whatever nature drops through the night.
A snake's venom enters your bloodstream almost immediately upon being bitten. Making an "X" cut on the point of contact and trying to suck the poison out only wastes precious time for you to get to professional medical assistance.
Also, any residual poison on the bite site may harmfully affect your lips, mouth and internal systems if ingested. Your best bet when bitten is to get to help as quickly as possible, not by performing "minor surgery" on yourself.
You've watched numerous survival shows, read books and magazines, bought some gear and supplies, and now you are ready for anything man or nature may throw at you, right? Probably not. The fact is that the best preparation is experience.
Without any prior knowledge of even minor survival or emergency situations, you can break down quickly both physically and mentally, leaving you in dire straits. The best tools in the world are only good if you have a strong mindset and the physical strength to use them.
Book-smarts is never a replacement for hands-on, in the wild" experience. To better prepare yourself for an uncertain future, try camping outdoors with the most minimal of goods and supplies.
Practice your fire-making skills, try to secure fresh drinking water and test your hunting and fishing skills with limited equipment. Practice makes perfect, but perfection is not your goal. Your goal is to acquire a strong set of skills useful when and if times go bad.
Lord Baden-Powell got his inspiration for commencing the Boy Scouts on the Boer War battlefield when Ladysmith was under siege. Youths of the town became the messengers, spotters and support staff for the thin line of besieged troops that continued to hold out against the Boers. Although the Boy Scout organization has seen many changes and has evolved in its hundred-year existence, the motto that 'B-P' chose for his organization has never diminished in relevance.
'Be prepared' is elegantly simple and as important for the hunter as it is for anyone going into the outback. Most of us plan the hunting trip meticulously - and there is a lot of enjoyment in this process. However, once we get to our hunting area and set up camp things often become a little too relaxed and safety takes a back seat.
The idea of having a pocket survival kit is so that it stays with you at all times. Regardless of what activity you set out on, your essentials are always with you. I guess the original idea of this was that you might leave camp without a kit if you had to pick it up and put it on your back, but you are not likely to leave without your trousers and you keep your mini survival kit in your trouser pocket!
Being prepared means that despite the lure of the quarry, the excitement of being in the field and stalking game, you still have safety and survival as primary concerns. Despite the temptation to dash out of camp, go just a few hundred metres further, just cross this creek and check the next hillside, you will still be able to retrace your steps.
If the worst-case scenario develops, then your trusty survival kit will supply the necessities to keep you safe and sound for a while. Water, warmth, shelter and food are the traditional groupings under which the contents of a survival kit are chosen, but these are not the only possibilities.
The environment, local conditions and the season of the year may alter the emphasis of the kit's contents. Now that the seasons are changing, you may wish to add something extra in the way of shelter and protection from cold winds.
Water and its procurement are always important, even in winter. Food always comes last, despite its value for improving morale. There are plenty of high-calorie, small-volume items on the market that will provide a 'pick-me-up'. Recently I saw a classic brand of 'food tablets' on the market again that provide a welcome change from the tea bag, coffee sachet and stock cube that tend to be standard fare for the survivor.
Although I am not allowed in supermarkets without wifely supervision, I do occasionally sneak into one unnoticed. Plenty of food ideas for survival kits can be found therein, even in our small town. Visit one yourself when revamping the pocket survival kit, and if you get caught, tell the missus that you want to 'be prepared'.
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Space is tight in a safe room, a bug-out vehicle, or your interior bathroom. if that's where you decide to hunker down and ride out the storm. Pre-staged gear should allow for basic hydration and nutrition without elaborate preparation, perhaps for one to three days before the storm passes, with reserves on hand. Essentials should include:
1-gallon potable water per person for three days, plus 1 gallon for washing.
Bathroom facilities and trash storage, or disposable wipes, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, and bleach, used for water treatment and as a general disinfectant.
Dry change of clothes with water-proof shell, strong-soled boots or hiking shoes, gloves, respirator, and protective glasses.
Individually selected items of value and need - i.e. cash, documentation, and reading glasses.
First-aid kit, medicines and prescriptions, sunblock, bug repellent, compact reflective blanket (space blanket), etc.
Firearms, ammo, knife, etc.
Chargers, batteries, communications (radios, mobile or satellite phones), self-charging weather radio, flashlight, headlamps, chem lights, etc.
Whistle, flare, mirror, air horn, fire-starter.
Axe. pry bars, saws, wrenches, etc.
Whether you choose to GTFO early or you're ordered by local authorities to evacuate, make sure your vehicle (preferably a capable 4x4) is in good working order. And much like the items outlined in the "Bugging In" sidebar, you should pack essentials in your vehicle such as food, water, fire-starter, medical supplies, and self-defense tools. Also consider loading your ride with the following:
Fully packed bug-out-bag fox each family member.
Vehicle, boat, bike, generator, camp stove, lantern.
Air compressor, tire-repair kit, tow strap, come-along, tallboy jack, rope.
Toolkit, shovel, chainsaw, pry bar, or axe.
Spotlight, binoculars, and protective eye wear.
Cash, tape, window screening, tent, camp stove, cook set.
Knowing what to do in an emergency can often be the difference between discomfort and tragedy. If you are going to be on ice for any period of time, then certain gear is encouraged.
Spud Bar : A spud bar is a long, metal-tipped pole than can be used to probe new areas of ice. If you are unsure about where you are getting ready to step, you can use the bar to check the ice.
Safety Spike : While resembling a medieval martial arts weapon, this spike should be a part of any ice adventure. These are generally 1-inch-thick dowels with a metal spike protruding from the end. Most are lashed together and should be carried around your neck. If you fall through the ice, you can quickly use the spiked end to pull yourself out of the water.
Pack waterproof matches so you can start a fire if needed.
Emergency Pack : This will be the repository for the other items that you could possibly need for an ice emergency. The pack should be lightweight and waterproof. It should include waterproof matches, fire-starter materials, a first-aid kit, a space blanket, non-perishable food bars and dry clothes.
Flotation Device : This is especially true for those who may be traversing the ice on an ATV or snowmobile. If the ice collapses underneath you, a flotation vest can help keep you buoyant and assist in your escape.
Mindset Matters : If the worst happens when you're 7,000 miles from your disaster kit, you've still brought your mental attitude towards survival and the knowledge gained from preparing at home.
Work As A Team : Solo survival is unrealistic. You must cooperate with others in the same predicament. Through cooperation, neighbors were able to share resources and alert each other to hazards, news and incoming relief.
Consume With Caution : Sharing was sometimes very difficult. Food had to be considered non-replenishable, and I was very conscious of every kilo of rice and can of food I brought over the mountains and doled out to needy survivors in the area.
Ways To Lead : Surviving requires that we must quickly learn when to take charge, when to acquiesce to someone else's experienced judgment, when to be charitable and when to say no.
Prepare To Defend : A self-defense firearm should be at the top of your list of urban survival gear. Without it, you are only stockpiling supplies for the first stronger opportunists to come and take them, and possibly take the lives of your loved ones as well.
Keep Your Cash : The idea that cash becomes worthless in a disaster is a myth. After a disaster, the cost of anything still available will double, but without money I couldn't have paid for fuel in exchange for a seat on a truck to go get more lifesaving supplies.
Humor Is Essential : Though our situation was grim, or perhaps because it was grim, it was important to laugh at it and ourselves to keep spirits up and maintain the conviction that we would survive, no matter what happened.
Water is the most crucial element in a survival situation. When disaster strikes, clean and safe water may not always be available, and if it is, it won't be for too long. But if you're properly prepared with disinfecting gear, not all will be lost.
If you're constricted by limited resources, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you start by filtering water through a clean cloth, a paper towel, a coffee filter or allow it to settle.
Draw off the clear water and perform the following steps:
Add eight drops (0.625 milliliters) of unscented liquid household chlorine (five to six percent) bleach for each gallon of clear water (or two drops of bleach for each liter of clear water). Add 16 drops (1.5 milliliters) of bleach for each gallon of cloudy water (or four drops of bleach for each liter of cloudy water).
Stir the mixture well. Let it stand for 30 minutes or longer before you use it.
Store the disinfected water in clean, disinfected containers with tight covers.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Store the disinfected water in clean, disinfected containers with tight covers.