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Survival Needs----->

Discussion in 'Other Camping' started by Northern Dancer, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I don't know what kind of courses you may have taken to survive in the wilderness but I am appalled and somewhat concerned when I read some of the ridiculous lists that dubious, even unscrupulous people post. That's sort of a long sentence, isn't it? Anyway, we are talking about SURVIVING not PLAYING. When one's life depends on one's actions you better get it straight because there will be no television cameras recording your mishap or your demise for that matter.

    The word is NEED meaning absolutely. There are numerous other things that are helpful but meeting the NEEDS are going to see you through.

    1 While humans can go up to 3 weeks without food, they can only survive for about 3 days without water. The body is made up of 60% water, and it is used for several functions including blood circulation, body temperature regulation, and helping you to keep your wits about you, which is especially important in any survival situation.

    2 Once you’ve found water, the next order of business should be starting a fire. You can use fires to boil water, to cook, to keep warm, and as a way to signal for help.

    3 Choosing where to set up camp is just as important as how you set it up. Choose a flat site on level ground, at least 100 meters from rivers and streams- you don’t want to be swept away in a flash flood!

    4 Once you’ve got water, fire, and a shelter, it’s time to look for food. Rule #1 of foraging is to eat only things that you are 100% sure are not poisonous. Stick to common plants like clover and dandelions, bugs like crickets and larvae, and any fish or small animals you’re able to catch.

    5 While in general animals are more afraid of you than you are of them, there are a few potential hazards you need to be aware of.

    To meet these needs one should have the skill and knowledge to manage these issues including a strong resolve/determination to live. I've been lost five times. Though all were short-lived I was rather surprised how many negative thoughts came into my mind.

    To avoid survival situations [other than uncontrolled natural dilemmas] one also needs to fully understand outdoor etiquette; it will go a long way to prevent these things from happening.

    OKAY...we are now open to debate and concrete experienced tips and suggestions.

  2. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Survivalist

    My basic list aside from shelter which is usually the tent, food and water, there's also the rope and the hunting knife which is a very important implement for me. My first action when setting up camp is to find branches that I can use as a cane or spear depending on the terrain. A long piece of branch is a good protection against attacking animals and it can also serve as pole for the tent. For the fire, it is more convenient to bring cigarette lighter because the match loses its efficiency when it gets wet. My mortal enemies in the campsite are the mosquitoes and ants.
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    The list stands and is adhered to by the pros.

    How many animals actually come after you? The only animal that has ever chased me down was a red squirrel. Water, fire, shelter, and food are at the top of the list. Remember, in this scenario you don't have a tent. You may have a knife attached - preferably a multi-purpose knife and you probably are not carrying rope - who does?

    This is the knife I carry - by Gerber.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS7miUPJQiMjdGpUT1FLttYCix8RlkoT-Z08Y8-iAcSzgLvi9LxCA.jpg I chucked the whistle and attached a screamer. This basic knife can split logs, cut down small trees, has a fire starter and a little booklet [for those who need it] how to signal for help and can be attached to a pole to make a spear.
  4. I had an old belt pack for a GPS unit (from when GPS units were bigger). It is now an emergency kit. It includes:

    Signal mirror
    Emergency blanket (aluminized)
    A knife sharpener (I carry a Leatherman Wave in my pocket)
    Some paracord (wrapped in duct tape)
    Some cotton/petroleum jelly fire starter
    A tiny LED flashlight
    Moleskin and razor blade
    Small First Aid kit
    Magnesium fire starter with striker blade
    Disposable lighter

    The kit is more about first aid and short-term survival - like until help arrives - rather than about being a minimalist adventurer.

    With this, one can start a fire three ways: 1. using the lighter 2. making a small pile of magnesium shavings and sparking it 3. sparking the fire starter. That's a bit redundant, but as Northern Dancer says, it's pretty critical.

    The blanket and paracord can make a quick tent or the blanket can just be used for warmth.

    I carry this on my belt even with a backpack on. Ever leave your path, head into the woods to use the restroom and get lost? Me either, but it's possible.

    There is more about this kit and some photos at:
    Survival Hiking Staff vs Survival Kit | EXPLORE! Blog
    The article also talks about a survival kit built into a hiking staff. As you will see, I don't care much for that idea.
  5. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

  6. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    Reading this reminded me of the lady that got lost and succumbed to the elements a couple of weeks ago. This was in the Smokey Mtns park maybe 2 hours drive from my home. My wife and I have done some hikes in that area. The trails are well marked and noticeable, as long as you are on the trail. The vegetation is so thick, in some areas, that you couldn't see the trail if you were 20 feet, some times less, from it. Her and her daughter separated, her daughter took another trail that led up to clingmans dome, within a quarter of a mile from the parking lot where their vehicle was. They found the girls mother 7 days later. 2 miles west of the parking lot, and 3/4 mile from the Appalachian trail. No foul play was suspected.

    When we hike we don't separate. If one of us has to leave the trail for privacy, the other one stays put, and with in a distance where we can hear each other. I carry my pack even on short hikes because it has a simple first aid kit, thermal blanket, knife, rope, compass, extra water, fire starting aids and other things. I may look like an idiot, but I really don't care.

    This lady that went missing was same age as I. I'm sure she didn't plan on that happening. I can only imagine the horror she went through.
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    The reality is there are a lot of tragedies like you mentioned @killeroy154. We had a guy visiting from England who got himself in serious trouble. Lucky for him that he was rescued and his life was saved. Rescuers were stunned to see how inept, unskilled, and how he lacked even the basic equipment for what he was trying to do.

    Our rules are rehearsed again when someone new joins us. You never leave the group without telling someone and why you are doing that. Everyone is to have a proper whistle. I have one attached to my knife and one on my life jacket.

    I was chuckling to myself when you mentioned about looking like an idiot. When it comes to winter camping, for example, I remind people - "It's not about fashion folks or looking "purdy" it's about your personal safety!"
  8. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    One thing they instruct here is if you get off a trail, and realize you don't know which direction it is, stay put and call out for help. You can make matters worse if you start walking to where you think the trail is. When searching for a missing person, the searchers will explore close to the trails first looking for signs. Hang a bright colored piece of material on a tree limb and stay put. (My Spiderman boxers should be real noticeable).
  9. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    The taught practice is to stop, sit down and stay put. It is better if you have a *proper whistle than using your voice - but whatever works. Bright colours work too and are recommended over dark colours. Now about underwear - I'm in deep trouble. :(

    * Proper whistle refers to one that is manufactured for outdoor use. That means it has no "pee" in the chamber or other gadgets attached thereto and is made of durable material.

    In the past, I've instructed the Hug a Tree Program to children and youth - the advice is good for seasoned adults as well.


    This is one of my whistles attached to my knife called Wind Storm Emergency.
    I also have several Foxfire Whistles and one is located in my dining area and one in the tent as well as what I carry. The ones in the dining area and tent area are to scare off animals if necessary.

    Remember if you have a whistle around your neck it must be on a break lose cord to prevent you from getting tangled in a bush in an emergency. This is important when canoeing.

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