Ever wondered if you live close to a potential nuclear target?Even if you live in a small town or rural area... don't think you are safe. Not all strategic targets are in heavily populated areas. Find out if your county is close to ground zero.
Tips for choosing the best gun for off grid living
When you are looking into the purchasing of a gun for hunting in a wilderness survival setting, there are several factors which should be considered.
Price should not be the main factor but rather the functionality and the compatibility that you have with the rifle.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best rifle for hunting.
What is your level of expertise?
Some rifles require a bit more experience in shooting and maintaining.
Where you may want to have the biggest, baddest gun available, it will do you no good if you cannot use it.
Does the gun have a scope? If so do you know how to calibrate it and keep the lens clean?
Regardless of what people may think, guns are not just a mechanism where you load the bullets, point, and pull the trigger.
You need to determine your level of experience with guns first so that you can determine the best gun for you.
What is the caliber of the gun?
The second most important factor in picking a gun for your disaster plan/ wilderness survival is to determine the caliber of the gun. .22 rifles have little to no effect in the wilderness game hunting.
Sure, you can get a squirrel or maybe a rabbit with this gun but that is about it. You might as well have rocks to throw at them.
A .30 is not much better but can take down a deer, though a 7.62 is more apt for that. If you really want to go for the power a .300 will bring down about any animal you come across and is commonly used to hunt bear and other large game.
Any caliber higher is just overkill as there will not be safari animals roaming the wilderness.
Consider, bullets leave an exit hole and firing a high powered rifle at a small animal will all but obliterate it.
You want to get a powerful rifle that does not leave a large entry of exit point. This way you can hunt both large and small game as the necessity requires.
Does the rifle take a clip or not?
Remember, everything that you need to bring with you must be in your emergency preparedness kit.
This means that if you need to have clips for the rifle, then they will need to be stored somewhere in your bag.
If the rifle takes bullets without a clip, then you will need to have a place where you can store a few boxes of bullets.
It is more realistic to find a rifle that takes a clip which can easily be stored in your survival gear then trying to find a place to store hundreds of individual rounds of ammunition.
If you prefer to have a gun that does have loose bullets, consider storing the boxes in the side pouches of your survival pack or carrying a few boxes in the pockets of your pants (as it is hoped for that you will have jeans which have several pockets and not just blue jeans).
How heavy is the rifle?
Yes, your physical strength will gradually increase as you become more self-sufficient living off the grid.
However, in the first few weeks or months, you are going to be getting used to the wilderness environment.
It does no good to get a rifle that you cannot hold for a long period of time or one that you cannot stabilize to take the shot when needed.
Know the limits of your strength and find a model which is appropriate for you. There are several different models that accommodate the caliber needs you will have.
A good test it to hold the rifle straight out in front of you for 2 minutes or so. If your arm gets weary quickly, then the gun is probably not a good fit for you
. If you find that the rifle can be held steady and that you are comfortable with the design then check the quality of the manufacturing and purchase it.
How loud does the rifle fire?
In normal hunting situations, the noise put off by the rifle is not that big of a concern.
You are hunting and you have found the game that you are going to kill, so what does it matter if it is loud or not.
Yet, in a survivalist situation you do need to consider the noise of the rifle.
Why is this?
The main reason is that you are in a survivalist situation and do not want to give away your location.
Where it is true that you will probably not be able to shroud your location entirely, a gun that is too loud is like a beacon telling others where you are located and that “there is food here”.
How does the rifle handle outdoor storage?
Ideally, guns are stored in a dry place where there is little to no moisture or dirt which can come in contact with them.
Realistically, your campsite may not have these accommodations.
If the rifle that you purchase requires special maintenance or else it jams or parts break, then it is not a very effective gun for your wilderness survival.
You want to pick a hunting rifle which can be kept in moderate conditions and requires minimal maintenance.
Keep in mind that with any rifle you purchase there will be pros and cons.
You may have to sacrifice the weight of the gun for the proper caliber to get the job done, a clip may be sacrificed to loose bullets on a gun that has a higher precision rating.
You may choose to purchase a blot action rifle and a spare bolt mechanism over a self-loading rifle.
There are many considerations that you should take in to mind.
Above all, you need to ensure that you can carry the gun over the course of your survival navigation and that you can use it properly when required.
I’m sure you’ve heard stories of solo hikers or bikers that manage to get themselves lost in the wilderness, and then, after battling with nature and its extremes, they return to civilization because of their will to survive and of course – that handy bottle of water.
We humans can only survive around 3 to 4 days without water, while staying alive without food is much easier, because trying to survive in extreme heat conditions can actually worsen your thirst and your body will start craving more fluids.
While over-hydration is not a good thing either, you will still always need a certain amount of water in your body so that your organs can function fluently.
When you find yourself lost in the wild or venturing through unknown and tricky terrains, carrying enough water with you can be hard.
This is why water purification methods have been devised by survivalists who understand how important constant access to clean water is when you are traveling off-the-grid.
However, many people are left regretting the fact that they didn’t know ‘enough’ about water purification, before venturing into the wild.
So here are a few pointers that can help you understand water purification to upgrade your survival chances.
Be Conscious About the Water Sources You Choose
Your best option for retrieving pure water is from sources of clear flowing water from areas where there are no people around, no manmade buildings or any obvious signs of pollution.
When you are making your way through the wilderness and you run across a stream or a spring, you should try to fill up as many bottles of water as you have.
Ponds, lakes, & Rivers
You should know that ponds, lakes and rivers are less ideal sources of water since the first two are water bodies that are stagnant, which means that it may have a lot of bacteria, while rivers can often typically be heavily polluted.
Be extra careful after the area has experienced any flooding, or if there are population centers or chemical plants operating nearby.
Snow & Ice
As long as this is not frozen seawater, ice and snow are also great and instantly available sources or pure, or at least, clean water in the winter season.
You shouldn’t et ice or snow though, since that lowers your body temperature quite a lot and does not do much to quench your thirst.
You should still purify ice or snow after it has melted, but only as long as it isn’t brown, yellow or black in color. Adding snow to a hot pot and melting it will make for an awful taste.
Filtering & Digging for Clean Water
You can also try to retrieve clean water from mud, dry river beds or any other kinds of low lying terrain.
One thing that I haven’t particularly tried but have heard numerous times about is creating a swamp well which is done by digging up a hole and then trying to shore it up back from the shoreline.
The main concept behind this procedure is trying to find bodies of clean water underground which are usually present in excess around other large bodies of water like oceans or seas.
However, while all of the aforementioned ways of looking for clean water are very useful, sometimes you are stuck with very limited options and the only thing that you can do is look for possible purification methods that can help you.
Also, it is never a good idea to plan a risky trip in water scarce areas, because if you get lost, your survival instincts will be the only thing that can help you stay alive.
The best way to purify water is through boiling, and it is also the easiest.
All you need is a little bit of equipment along with a camp stove or a campfire.
You should try to bring the water you have to a full boil until you have rolling bubbles as the pot simmers over high heat, and make sure that you let those bubbles roll for at least five minutes to ensure maximum purification.
Then cool it down and drink up!
Purification Pumps or Filtration
When you make a visit to a camping supplies store, you will find a number of different kinds of filters and purifying pumps that actually enables you to clean water almost instantly.
This can easily be done by squeezing water though charcoal or ceramic filters, after which it is treated with chemicals to become safe for drinking.
There are a variety of hi-tech water bottles available that have this process built in as mechanism, so that water can be purified without being pumped from bottle to bottle.
The purification takes place as you suck the water into your mouth through the head of the water bottle.
Tablets & Drops for Purification
This is a very inexpensive and simple procedure, but the water extracted through this method will not necessarily be the best in taste.
The easiest way of purifying any kind of wild water is simply by dissolving purification drops or tablets in it and then waiting for a few minutes.
You can either use Iodine, which is more common, but potassium permanganate and chlorine can also be highly effective.
You should let the water be for at least 20 minutes after adding these chemicals before you can think of consuming it, and if the taste is unpleasant, use powdered fruit juice mixes to mask the taste.
“The Walking Dead” has become a cultural phenomenon with hordes of fans and a huge online following, but more can be gleaned from this literal horror show than pure entertainment.
The show gives the audience a possible scenario for what life would become in a situation in which survival is the number one goal.
There are no more 9 to 5 jobs, mortgages are no longer a concern, and passing that math exam in the second period is never going to happen, so that leaves finding food, shelter, and simply living to see another day.
Thinking along those lines, I’ve discovered that several truths have been uncovered about survival in a Walking Dead scenario.
Extracting the zombie element, you’re left with a show about extreme survival in a post-apocalyptic world where there is no law, there are no rules, and life will never be the same again.
Using the day-to-day survival tactics of the survivors, I’ve come to some interesting conclusions.
1. Almost Everything You Thought Was Important Becomes Obsolete
Our lives are fairly comfortable in this world.
We have air conditioning, television, transportation of all kinds, and grocery stores, but what if all of the conveniences of modern times vanished?
The simple answer is all our interest in superficial things would vanish as well.
Clothes would no longer be for fashion, but to keep you warm and protect your body.
A car would be welcome as long as it still ran, that make, model and year would be rendered pointless.
Sports teams are gone, celebrities no longer grace the cover of magazines, because they are no longer printed, and social media is a distant memory.
Whatever pointless endeavors that used to occupy our time will be gone and we will focus on what is truly important.
We are left with real human relationships, finding shelter, scavenging for food, and staying safe.
There may still be drama between people, but it’ll be done face to face, and it’ll involve voices, not emoticons.
2. Family is Everything
If you are lucky enough to have loved ones with you in a survival situation, they become the most important things in your life.
Keeping them healthy and safe will be your number one priority.
This may not always be easy to accomplish due to the harsh conditions in which we may find ourselves, but having family or someone you love with you is a great motivator, and keeping them in good health and spirits also gives you an incentive to do the same.
This is also an opportunity for people who are alone to forge bonds with other humans they may not have ever met in a perfect world.
Survival can be used to further relationships with your fellow man and learn ways to work together and understand one another, when before these same people would have never crossed paths, or, if they had, ignored each other completely.
A family becomes whoever is closest to you and gains your love, trust, and respect.
Family is no longer determined by blood or law, but rather closeness and need.
3. There’s Safety in Numbers…Sometimes
“The Walking Dead” suffers from a lot of tragedies, most occurring whenever a group is settled and let their guard drop a bit.
This is usually when a zombie herd crashes through a fence or a rival group attack for no real reason. I’ve learned that it’s better to have others with you in a fight and to help watch your back, but there are also times when being alone seemed a better option.
For every zombie battle won, there are a lot of casualties, and most of those could have been prevented if one member hadn’t done something stupid.
This is where the flaw of a large group is exposed.
Your survival and the success of a group falls on everyone’s shoulders.
If there is a weak link, they can take everyone down with them, or cause tragedy to befall those who didn’t see it coming.
The character, Michonne, is an excellent example of being perfectly capable of surviving alone and doing it well.
The big downside of surviving alone is that you are always alone.
Personally, I’d take my chances with an amateur group member rather than slow marching through the woods with no one to talk with.
4. Survival Can Be Totally Random Or Dumb Luck
You can’t plan everything, especially in a survival situation.
Accidents happen, illnesses can bring down anyone, and you can’t always trust the people you think you can.
With so many wildcards thrown into a survival scenario, it shouldn’t be surprising that sheer, dumb luck and random fate will like to determine how long and how well you will survive.
Granted, if you have no skills or help from others, you won’t last long anyway, but let’s assume you can at least run and find food.
Even after you’ve been doing it for awhile, there’s no guarantee that a tree branch won’t fall on your head or you won’t get hit by the only car that you’ve seen driving around in 2 months.
At this point, everything comes down to chance.
5. There’s A Lot of Time to Think
Without distractions, you will have lots of time to think even as you go about daily chores like scavenging for canned goods and seeking out a safe shelter for the night.
No television, phones, and computers mean you are alone with your own thoughts at all times, but in a survival situation, this is probably for the best.
Lots of time to think allows you time to come up with inventive ideas and plans that can help you and your group.
6. You Can Adapt to Anything
At first, it may be hard to adapt to not showering regularly, being able to turn on a light, or sleeping with one eye open, but it can be done.
Eventually, survival is your new normal and, though you may miss certain aspects of life before the end of the world, you find ways to adjust to the way life is now.
7. You Do What You Have To Do
Survival isn’t always pretty and, sometimes, you have to resort to doing things that you would otherwise find immoral, disgusting, or beneath you.
This is the price you pay to live another day.
If you are unwilling to change your moral codes or reset your principles to match the new world order, your time will be up much sooner than if you just did what needed to be done.
Seriously, have you ever seen something eat a shark? We always see videos of shark attacks and everyone has seen the movie, Jaws.
But this blew my mind.
If you’re an avid fisherman, you know that grouper have to swallow their prey because their mouth edges aren’t loaded with teeth.
This video shows the unbelievable inhaling power of a grouper as it swallows a shark.
Watch the video below to see how this small shark is swallowed in one bite.
Yes, we know the footage is a bit shaky…but wouldn’t you be a little shaky and in shock if you watched this happen?
This rare sight was luckily caught on camera and you can see the grouper make one swift motion to attack the shark while it was still hooked by the fisherman.
The grouper’s mouth and gills create an intense sucking power to bring prey in to eat, even from a distance. Did you know grouper use their mouth to swallow sand in order to form their shelters under big rocks, and then jet it out through their gills?
Something else that is crazy about grouper is that their gill muscles are so powerful that it is nearly impossible to pull them out of their cave if they ever feel attacked. They extend the gills and it locks themselves in.
If you’re out in the ocean fishing, you should always have your camera handy because you never know when a grouper might pop out of no where and steal your catch!
Are you really prepped or are you doomed for failure?
You have a survival bag made and you believe that it is up to par.
However, many times those which take on off grid living find that their survival gear is greatly lacking.
Understanding the common mistakes which new wilderness survivalist make concerning their survival gear will ensure that you do not do the same.
So here they are, the top 10 mistakes to avoid in your Survival Gear.
1) Keep away from Goliath Sized Packs
You want to ensure that you can carry all your gear in your survival pack, but at the same time the pack has to be manageable.
Getting a pack that is huge will only make you a target for others which are trying to survive as well as become a burden to you.
As you will be toting the pack over large distances, ensure that the pack does not weigh more than you.
Image Source: Flickr user Jonathon Seah
The best survival packs are those which contain all the necessary items in the smallest space.
Consider, if you have to tote a 70 to 100 pound bag on your back that is the equivalent of carrying a 9 year old child all day.
2) Don’t pack just water, pack water purification tools
If you pack bottled water and a few canteens and expect to survive then you have already been defeated.
Water will be your primary objective in wilderness survival.
You need to ensure that your pack has water filters, water purification tablets, and that you have a way to heat up water.
Water purification tablets should be used with any water which is held for a day of more to ensure that you do not get contaminants.
When possible, you should save those bottled waters and canteens for days when you cannot find any fresh water.
3) Don’t forget to pack paracord
String is often overlooked as a luxury item.
However, a nice amount of paracord can be used to make fishing line, it is needed for a bowdrill, it can be used to hang your clothes or to make a very quickly shelter (if you have a tarp or large sheet).
Where it may not appear at first glance that string is important, you do not want to have to sacrifice your clothing or weave rope cords if you can avoid doing so.
4) Go beyond the standard first aid kit
Your emergency preparedness kit needs to go beyond the everyday first aid kit.
By this I mean that you need to have ample gauze, bandages, tweezers, superglue, needle, thread, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Nail clippers, pillars (for when tweezers just won’t work), and if possible a survival heat blanket. These are best to have packed in your bug out vehicle.
Do not forget to pack Benadryl or the equivalent either as you may have an allergic reaction to plants and other digested food.
5) A pack without a whetstone is a doomed pack
Regardless of how sharp your knife and axe are currently, they will become dull. Yes, you can make you a “natural” whetstone, but why?
This is time that can be dedicated to hunting and tracking and other survival skills.
Besides, if you are in a situation where you need a sharp blade you do not want to have to go about finding a suitable substitute for a whetstone.
The size of the stone does not matter too much (though you do not want to get one that is too small) so long as you can keep your knife and axe sharp.
6) You forgot to pack dehydrated food
Until you can actually do so, you have to eat.
Finding a good game trail can take days to find. If your wilderness survival begins in winter, plants and game may be unavailable for a substantial amount of time.
To minimize the probability of starvation, you need to have non-perishable food. The best way to do this is with dehydrated food.
Dehydrated food lasts a very long time, and let’s face it if you forget food it will probably outlast you.
7) Don’t pack your gun
You may have seen on prepper videos and other survivalist broadcasts that certain survival gear packs have guns stored in them.
This is a very bad idea.
First, it is impractical to have one in your pack.
If someone comes up on you and you need a gun, the time that it takes to get out the gun and then use it will be too long.
The person will already have fled or mugged you.
You’ll want to have your gun on your person, ideally in a gun holster.
8) Avoid florescent colors when selecting a survival pack
Logically, a fluorescent survival pack will hinder your chances of survival.
First, as a survivalist you want to blend into the surroundings and not be noticed. Colors which attract attention are a danger to you.
The more attention that you draw from other survivalist the lower your chances of survival become.
Yet, your main concern should not be from the other survivalists.
Consider, if you are trying to track or capture game and you have a bright pack giving away your location you won’t be successful.
This is why camo was invented.
Pick a pack that has natural greens, browns, or one that has a cameo pattern.
By picking a design that accents your natural environment your chances for survival increase dramatically.
9) Have a way to repair your pack
The easiest way to have your survival gear go to ruin is to have a damaged pack. You can easily avoid such by packing a small sewing kit, or better yet, choose duct tape.
Tears and rips are bound to happen to your pack.
If left unattended, they will grow leaving you to decide what gear can be carried and what gear must be sacrificed.
10) Pack a complete pack; do not rely on a partner survivalist
Finally, do not pack a half pack.
Those who go into a survivalist “partnership” do so with the lowest probability for survival.
If you are in a wilderness survival situation, your pack should have everything you need to survive.
Think about it.
If food rations get low and your pack does not have the food in it, who is going to be the person to control the food.
If an emergency happens and the decision comes down to you or him, do you think that your survivalist buddy will let you live and die?
More than likely they will not.
Make sure you pack a complete survival gear kit.
Today we’re going to learn an always fun skill that will land you in jail if used improperly. As always, this article is FOR LEGAL PURPOSES ONLY. We don’t promote any illegal activities here.
This can be used to start your car when you’ve lost your keys, or to get a car going in an emergency situation. And you just never know when this skill will come in handy – especially during a SHTF situation.
These methods are surprisingly simple. They may not work with all cars, particularly new ones that require microchip activation to get started.
This method requires rewiring the car to bypass the ignition system.
This method uses a drill to disable the lock pins, and will destroy the key switch. Once this is done, the key mechanism will be permanently damaged. Any key, screwdriver, or flat piece of metal will be able to start the car from this point on.
Remember that these methods may cause damage to a car, so use only as a last resort.
Always wear insulated gloves when working with wires.
And again… only for legal purposes!
This article was originally published by Rambo Moe at PreparedForThat.com
Here is a video of how to hot wire a car.
Nature’s greatest allure is how it allows us to rekindle our connection with our primal senses – the forgotten aspect of our nature.
The beautiful thing about nature is that, it requires us to strip down to the bare essentials and live off the natural elements. In this article we will share with you 18 essential bushcraft skills that all successful preppers share.
These skills will help you experience the liberation that a person gets from self-reliance and adventure.
18 Bushcraft Skills All Successful Preppers Share
The Craft of Fire
A bonfire can serve many purposes. Not only does it help illuminate the surrounding areas, but also helps in getting warmth, cooking food and boiling water.
It is also used for building weapons and tools.
Hence, fire is an essential element for wilderness survival.
Art of Navigation
There are two primary mediums for navigation: a compass and a map. If you have these two pieces of equipment you can almost never get lost, especially if you’re familiar with the area.
However, for a master navigator, all that’s necessary is keen observation skills and nature.
The sky becomes their map and the sun and stars become the directives.
Foraging for Food
Foraging is one of the most important skills as it allows us to find edible plants. Nature is filled with many delicacies along with just as many toxic plants.
A person’s ability to find wild berries, fruits and mushrooms is essential for their survival.
Hunting your Dinner
Hunting is probably the most primal of all the bushcraft skills and the best way to add some protein to your diet.
A good hunter will possess the ability to observe their prey and create a plan to either track it down or trap it.
No one can survive in the wild without sturdy shelter. This particular skill, is the foundation of an adventurer’s and their time in nature.
You must know how to create an appropriately sized shelter that can protect its inhabitants from rain.
The adventurer should also know about various different types of shelters and their proper use.
For example, a swamp bed is a type of shelter that allows shelter on wet surfaces or even water.
Understanding your Ropes
One of the most important, yet basic skills in bushcraft is the ability to tie poles or sticks together to create a rope.
Although, survivalist can take nylon ropes, but their real ability will be tested when they can create ropes from bush materials such as grass or vines.
Knots and Lashings
Your ability to tie knots will help you several other essential skills necessary for survival.
In bushcraft work you will be forced to learn many different types of knots and lashings, which will help you build shelters, ropes, beds and so on.
If you are ever forced to make your own shelter from the bush materials that are available at hand, thatching is a skill that allows you to do just that.
It is not difficult to construct a hut exclusively using with local materials. In place of nails you will use lashings and thatching with long grass ferns for weather proof roofing.
With some basic tools and know-how, anyone can set up a temporary or permanent camp.
Knowledge in camp craft will help you establish a u-shaped stone fireplace or a dug in fireplace.
Hooks, fire-throngs and forks from me made from bush material. It teaches you diverse set of skills such as stone baking, creating lamps or making camp-furniture.
Reading the Sun-Clock
Believe it or not, but our sun acts as a clock if we can learn to learn its rays. Well, all you really need is a stick to create a shadow, which will help you tell the time in the most primal manner.
We don’t really need refrigerators to preserve food for later. The best ways to keeping our wild animal meat fresh under bush conditions are by smoking or drying the meat.
Fishing and Fish Traps
Although, the most usual method for fishing is by using a rod and a line, however, we can devise a number of creative traps to catch fish.
This helps us free up time to perform other tasks during the day.
There are many natural indicators that can help us find water in the wild.
Water can be found in hollow trees, under the soil and water can also be extracted from vegetation.
Since water can be found and extracted in the driest of terrains, it is an essential skill for bushcraft.
Analyzing Animals and their Habits
The ability to recognize animals is of enormous benefit for an adventurer. Species identification can help you in finding water and food sources.
It can help you stay out of danger by avoiding threatening animals such as poisonous snakes.
There was a time when we could tract almost anything literally anywhere.
However, modern civilization has taken this skill away from most of us.
Ability to read tracks can help you avoid dangerous animals, while helping you find food.
Although, everyone carries a first-aid or survival kit, but a person’s ability to give first-aid can be extremely important and can even be the difference between life and death.
On the lesser extreme, it is important for one to understand how to properly clean a wound to prevent infections and other complications.
Understanding Your Weather
There are many effective ways to predict weather without the use of technology.
For example, observing cloud patters is an effective way to anticipate changes in weather.
This is a particularly important skill, as preparing for rain can make your life quite easier in the wild.
Emergency Signal Codes
Although, bushcraft and the wild are quite safe, it is still important to be properly prepared for the worst, because accidents and emergencies are not predictable and our disaster preparedness shouldn’t be lacking.
If you really are serious about mastering bushcraft, then you need to at least familiarize yourself, if not master these 18 survivalist skills all successful preppers share.
Hopefully, this will inspire you to experience the joys and purity of nature in it’s true form, which we all know is WILD.
To receive regular updates and posts, subscribe now by entering your e-mail!
Essential skills everyone needs to live off the grid and survive
Bushcraft skills, or those skills which require that a person understands and utilizes nature and natural methods to survive, are essential for any man.
Being able to take care of not only yourself, but also your family in a crisis survival situation, will be greatly dependent upon your survival training and survival equipment.
Here are 15 important Bushcraft Skills everyone should know.
1) How to use an axe
One of your most essential pieces of survival equipment is your axe. You must know how to use the axe.
The best axes are no longer than from the tip of your fingers to the bend of your elbow. (or what’s shown below)
Image source: http://www.africanarcher.com/axeCraft.html
This allows for easy carrying as well as versatility of use. Always plan your cuts so that the axe blade is facing away from you.
The axe does take a great deal of practice in order to use it for bushcrafts. Keep your blade sharp.
You can use the axe from the handle or from the head. You can even use it as a replacement knife if needed.
2) Bowdrill for fire starting
When starting a fire using the bowdrill method you will need to have drill, a half, and a Bearing block.
You should use some form of lubrication in your hollow (such as a snail) so that the wood moves freely.
Of course, the most important part is the string. Cut a small notch (1/8th of the hole) so that ash does not accumulate and cool your coal.
Remember to keep a steady pressure while using the bowdrill method.
Survival training must have canoe training. In a survival situation you will be required at times to navigate rivers and lakes.
Ensure that your oars are cut to the same length and width (if making more than one) so that you do not have any inconsistencies when rowing.
If you are the sole occupant of the canoe, use the two stroke paddle method (being two on the left, two on the right). Ensure that you use the river to your advantage to avoid over exertion.
4) Edible Plant Identification
Perhaps the most crucial of all bushcraft skills is the ability to identify edible plants. Blueberries and blackberries are seasonal.
However, there is a great deal of edible vegetation for preppers and survivalists if they know what to look for.
5) Identifying poisonous plants
The rule of thumb in outdoor survival is “leaves of three leave them be”. It would behoove anyone to add a plant and herb book to your survival equipment.
This way you can identify which plants are safe, which are poisonous, which are edible, and which can be used for medical purposes (such as Aloe).
You do not want to mistake poison ivy or poison oak for the wrong plant, especially in areas which will become very agitated with movement.
6) How to make your own fishhooks
Fishhooks can easily be made with a little practice and a sharp knife. It is best to carve the hook from a single stick.
However, if you have to you can use two strong sticks and bind them together (either by string or by using a notch and grove method).
Note that if using a two part fishhook it is best practice to use it only on smaller fish. Larger fish should be captured using either a single hook or a fish spear.
7) Cleaning your catches
Food, water, and shelter are the three elements of survival. When catching food either by hunting, snare, or fishing, you must know how to clean your catch.
Fish should be scaled from the tail to the head where catfish are scaled from the head down. Wild game should be hung with the head up to avoid the bowels breaking and ruing the meat.
Cuts to your catches should go from the sternum to the groin. Work from the top to the bottom after removing the internal organs.
8) Know your Snakes
Every area is different and has different snakes which need to be identified.
Diamond shaped heads are generally poisonous where rounded heads are not.
However, do not assume that a snake is friendly. Remember, Red and Yellow kill a fellow but red and black is your friend Jack.
It is always best to err on the side of caution in the outdoors. Better yet, leave them be unless you are planning on harvesting their meat.
9) Bowl and spoon carving
You will need to know how to carve bowls as well as spoons. This is needed not only for eating, but for storage as well.
You do not want to keep food sitting on the ground, a bowl is needed.
Spoons are also a diverse tool. Practice and skill will be needed in order to get the technique correct.
Utilizing your axe will greatly reduce the time in getting the initial shape of your bowl or spoon formed.
What do you do when you are in the woods and there is no stream from which to get your meat?
The answer is that you track.
Following physical tracks is ideal, but you may also have to know how to read broken twigs and rutted spots. Never go into an animal’s den.
A cornered animal is dangerous. Track the animal and find out where it eats and what trails are common.
11) Maintaining drinkable water
You should always keep a three day supply of water on you.
Where this may sound a bit excessive, consider that in a survival situation, water will be scarce.
When you can, camp close to fresh water streams or rivers. Purify the water by boiling it.
As heat kills most germs, it is advised that you do so. Before boiling your water remove all large contaminants.
12) Binding a wound
Preppers who have practiced bushcraft skills will be quick to inform you that wound binding is a regular activity.
True, caution is taken in all activities, but it is inevitable that accidents will occur. For small cuts, you want to ensure that the wound is cleaned and covered.
Burns should be kept aired to avoid irritation and further injury.
Practice crafting crutches (I would recommend that you make a crutch support for your walking stick very similar to a bearing block design) so that you are ready should you need to craft one quickly.
13) Start a fire with Flint
Being able to start a fire with flint is essential for times when you do not have access to the wood to make a bowdrill.
You will need to have flint and steel in order to make the fire.
Prior to starting your fire you will need to gather very dry kindle.
If using a farrow rod use the back of your knife (the tool that comes with it is usually rather small and weak). When using any of the two methods keep your flint still and strike with the other component.
14) Make a shelter
Survival training must include practice in making shelters.
The easiest way to do this is to create a lean-to.
To do this you want to have dead fall, or something to build your lean-to against. Keep in mind that if you are building a fire you will want to allocate a bit of space to that as well.
Your open area needs to be facing the dead fall, boulder, etc. .
Use forked supports for the frame and then use dead wood for the roof. Once constructed, use green leaves to keep out rain.
15) Know how to navigate
All the bushcraft skills available are of no use if you cannot navigate in the woods.
If you continue to go in a circle, you will use all your supplies, game will become scarce, and your chances of survival will become bleak.
Focus on understanding how to read the stars, locate moss on trees, follow the flow of water, and watch the sun in order to get natural bearings.
Everyday you perform mundane tasks like driving your car, buying food at the market or turning on the lights in your home. You’ve become accustomed to all of the modern conveniences our modern society affords us.
But what if a natural disaster or political turmoil were to strike your region?
What would you do if there were no electricity for your house or petrol for your car?
Suddenly, day to day living has become a struggle and the future looks bleak.
Bushcraft skills are techniques for living off of the land with a minimal set of tools and equipment.
Bushcraft skills will enable you to survive in the wild, away from modern conveniences.
Learning bushcraft skills will empower you to thrive in a natural environment. Being able to start a fire or tie the correct knot can be the difference between eating or going hungry and ultimately, life or death.
By learning these bushcraft skills, you will gain confidence and the positive outlook that are essential for surviving the most difficult of situations.
Humans have been using fire for over a million years. It’s the one bushcraft skill that supersedes all others in importance.
A fire provides you with warmth, a way to cook food, purify water, create smoke signals, harden wooden spears, melt snow and it will keep most wild animals at bay during the night.
Starting a fire can be a challenge if you don’t have any matches or a lighter. So it’s important to assess your situation for things that will aid you in creating a fire.
Glass, batteries, soda cans, pieces of concrete and metal rods can all be utilized to create a fire. You will need different grades of wood to use as tender, kindling and fuel.
Tender is a small bit dry grass or hay that lights easily. Kindling is small twigs and sticks that will burn a little slower than the tender.
The fuel wood will be pieces of wood that are large and will burn for a long time. Always gather twice as much firewood as you think you will need otherwise you may have to go looking for wood in the middle of the night.
A magnifying glass can be used to start a fire on a sunny day. Place the glass about 2 to 3 inches above some dry kindling. Blow on the tender when it starts to smoke and it should flame up. Then put kindling and larger pieces of wood loosely over it to fuel the fire.
If you find a soda can you can smear toothpaste or chocolate onto the bottom of the can and rub it around for a few minutes. Wipe it off and you should have a very shiny metallic surface. You can use this like a parabolic mirror to concentrate the suns rays into a hot spot that will light a piece of kindling.
If the only thing available to you is wood, you can use the wood plow method to start a fire. Tale a small plank-shaped piece of dry, soft wood and a stick of hard wood that is about one half to three quarter inch thick and long enough to give you a good hand grip.
Use your knife to create a 1 inch groove down the center of the plank. With the plank lying flat on the ground, rub the hardwood stick through the trench until you have a decent amount of wood dust. Then, lean the plank against yourself so the wood dust gathers at the bottom of the trench.
Proceed to rub the stick vigorously through the trench until the wood dust begins to smolder. Add your tender and kindling while blowing on the smoldering wood dust until it lights.
Knot tying is one of the essential skills needed to survive in the bush. Knots are used to create shelter, traps, snares, tools, weapons and clothing.
The four knots I would recommend learning first would be the square lashing, diagonal lashing, shear lashing and the tripod lashing. As the names suggest, these knots are used to bind polls together and are excellent for constructing a shelter or any framed structure.
The double fisherman, double overhand and square knot are all great utility knots that I couldn’t live without. The double fisherman and the square knot are used to join two similar-sized pieces of rope. The double overhand is a great stopper knot and will keep your line from slipping out of other knots.
Knowing what is around you is vital to long term survival.
By using tracking skills, you can hunt game for nourishment, find fresh water and food sources and even keep tabs on other people in your area.
Animals generally keep to set patterns of travel unless acted upon by outside forces and experienced trackers can tell how long ago something passed by and the general size and weight of the animal based on print erosion and depth and size of the impression.
Foraging for edible plants is a primary skill that is essential for survival.
Wild greens, berries, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms can be found in most temperate zones.
Knowing what is edible and what is toxic can be tricky because some plants and mushrooms look very similar to each other. Never eat a plant or berry because it was eaten by a bird or deer because they can tolerate things that are poisonous to humans.
One of the most common edible plants is the dandelion. Dandelions are easily recognizable and every part of the dandelion is edible. The leaves make a great green salad and the stems and roots can be cooked into just about any dish.
Clover is another common edible plant and is great as a salad and the flowers can be dried and used to make a refreshing tea.
I recommend picking up a field guide for plants that are specific to your area or region and that has been published in the last five years.
Probably the most primal of all the bushcraft skills, hunting is a way to add protein to your diet. The success of your hunt depends on your ability to observe prey or evidence of its presence, and then create a plan to either track it down or trap it.
Keeping tabs on an animal’s daily movements will allow you to know when and where your prey should be in the near future. Inspecting the animal’s droppings is another way to indicate what, and possibly where, the animal has been grazing.
Tracking and killing an animal can be very resource intensive. You could spend hours or even days and still come home with an empty stomach. One way to avoid such a large expenditure of time and resources is the use of snares.
The main advantage of using a snare is that it frees you up to address other essential daily tasks while your dinner is caught.
Snares can be as simple as little loops of wire on a tree branch to capture birds or squirrels or as complex as a spring loaded trigger snare for larger game like rabbits.
One thing to keep in mind is that snares do not discern between animals and humans. It’s highly advisable to clearly mark you snares to avoid harm to other people in the area.
The Bushcraft Brain Exposed – 20 Fascinating Facts
A bushcraft survivalist does not simply rely on tools and a few tricks to keep themselves alive in an unforeseen emergency.
Bushcraft isn’t an extended camping trip. It involves survival using what you have on hand and the environment surrounding you.
You are not trying to keep yourself going until you are rescued. You are building a livable space for yourself among the wilderness, harnessing nature’s vast resources for your own purposes.
2. You Start With a Good Knife
Any serious bushcraft survivalist won’t skimp on a quality knife.
A knife is a tool of many uses when wielded properly and efficiently. Bushcraft knives are sturdy and sharp, and can be used for everything from slicing materials for a fire to hunting and killing an animal when necessary.
3. Fire Can Be Made Numerous Ways
In bushcraft, matches and lighters are luxury, but not unheard of entirely. Other methods should always be in your arsenal of knowledge, too.
Bushcrafters learn how to make fire from a fire drill, striking rocks to form a spark, and the use of a mirror to reflect sunlight on tinder until it smolders.
4. You Must Respect Nature
Bushcrafters respect their environment and understand that they may not be the apex predator in the wilderness.
Blithely exploring a natural environment can get you hurt or killed. Be mindful of your surroundings including, animals, plants, insects, natural formations, water sources, and weather. Underestimating the wild is not just dangerous it’s stupid.
5. Your Clothing is Your Shelter
Building a shelter may be on the top of the list for an inexperienced survivalist, but you should consider shelter when you dress before heading out into the wilderness.
Your choice of clothing should keep you warm if necessary, protect your skin from sun, poisonous leaves, and poor weather conditions.
Clothing isn’t meant to be anything more than a temporary measure for shelter, but it should be fully utilized.
6. Hunting and Trapping Provides More Than a Meal
Part of bushcraft focuses on hunting and building trap devices to catch game and fish.
Without protein, the body has a more difficult time keeping up the energy needed to continue surviving in a harsh environment.
You should also learn skills on how to gut and break down different animals for food preparation and reusing certain parts of the animal like tendons and bones.
7. You Need To Be a Hunter-Gatherer
Hunting is useful, but is not guaranteed to result in a substantial meal every time out.
Foraging is an excellent way to sustain your diet when meat is unavailable. Edible plants and berries can be good sources of much needed vitamins that meat cannot provide.
8. Tracking Provides You With Information
Tracking animals is essential when hunting, but bushcrafters will tell you that you learn more than where an animal is located.
Animals can lead you to a viable water source or a food source you can forage. Keep in mind, animals need to eat and drink as well, and they are probably more familiar with their surroundings than you are.
9. Knot tying is a Versatile and Necessary Skill
Learning to tie a variety of knots can make or break your survival experience.
Knots are used to build shelters, fashioning tools or weapons, constructing rafts and traps, or creating equipment like baskets or sleds.
10. Water is Your Lifeblood
The need for a viable water cannot be overstated. Bushcrafters must know how to find, purify, filter, and store water.
Different methods can be employed to make water safe to drink, but boiling is among the most popular.
Traveling with a pot to boil and store water in is a good idea, but you should also have another vessel to collect rainwater, which doesn’t need to be filtered before drinking.
11. Waste Can Do You Harm
If you are fortunate enough to hunt down an animal, but there is too much meat to eat in one sitting, it is important that the meat does not go to waste.
Learn how to preserve the meat safely by drying or smoking the leftovers into jerky for later meals.
By allowing meat to rot, you could be throwing the only source of food you have away until more is obtained and that is easier said than done in the wilderness.
12. Food Attracts Other Predators
Bushcrafters are mindful that they are surrounded by living things. Butchered animals, cooking meat, or rotting flesh can attract other hungry animals to your camp.
Always keep food properly stored and discard unusable material far away, from where you’ve set up your camp.
13. Knowledge Can Keep You in Good Health
First aid skills are important because you are likely to be injured in some way while out in the wilderness. Without immediate access to help, you have only yourself to rely upon.
Natural remedies found in the environment can provide treatments for pain, fever, stomach upset, and other ailments, so do your homework!
14. Bleach Can Purify Water
A couple drops of bleach per pint of water can purify the water and make it safe to drink. The dirtier the water, the more drops you can add.
15. Dehydration Can Hit You Unexpectedly
You can become dehydrated without even realizing anything is wrong. Many body functions use water, using up what is already inside your body.
Drink water often and rest frequently, especially in hot weather.
16. Bushcrafting Requires Research
Learning about the environment you will bushcraft in is vital to your success in the wilderness.
Understanding a certain area allows you to get to know the layout of the area, the animals and plants, and which tools will be the most useful to you.
17. Packing Light Keeps You Nimble
Bringing tools you don’t need or are wrong for an environment is a waste of space and can weigh you down. You will move much faster if you are not encumbered by useless items.
18. Pine Needles Make a Great Tea
Fresh, green pine needles can be steeped in boiling water to drink for a Vitamin C boost. This is especially helpful if you are feeling under the weather.
19. Bushcrafting With a Partner Can Keep You Sane
A bushcraft experience can become lonely after awhile. Bringing a partner gives you someone to commiserate with and share the workload.
20. Documenting Your Experience is Part of the Learning
Keep an accurate account of your experiences as they happen in a journal.
Bushcraft is a collection of skills that take time to hone and mistakes will inevitably be made.
You will learn faster if you teach yourself how and what to improve upon.
Survival Gear; 10 Must Have Items to Survive When SHTF
Whether you have a family or are an individual, there are certain things that are crucial to your survival in the event of a local, national, or worldwide calamity. You will need to provide food, water and shelter; those are the big three you will need for you and your family to survive.
Any creature comfort-related items beyond that won’t be absolutely necessary in an emergency. If you have the ability and resources to satisfy additional needs and desires, that is fine, but the primary three needs are what will help you survive and what deserve your focus.
The following list of basic items should be included in your survival kit, or bug out bag.
This item should be of substantial size to accommodate cutting or chopping down trees for cooking, warmth, and possibly even shelter requirements.
Some survival knives even have tools in the handle, things like: compass, string saw, light fishing tackle and even a small sewing kit.
A multi-purpose tool has a number of elements that go beyond simple cutting, making the multi-purpose tool an exceptional item to have.
The additional tools can be used for animal skinning and constructing or maintaining a functional shelter.
Fresh water may be contaminated; that will require purifying or desalinating water to satisfy hydration needs.
It is highly recommended that your survival kit includes several.
Matches are fine, but they can be easily ruined by water or even humidity and mildew. It is best to go with what is called a permanent match, or a flint or magnesium rod.
In the eventuality that you do not have any tinder or paper, cotton balls soaked with petroleum jelly will work exceptionally well.
There are far too many practical, helpful uses for duct tape to list here.
There are entire websites devoted to the use of duct tape for a vast array of uses. Include as much duct tape in your survival kit as you possibly can; you will not regret it.
Include basics like band aids, material for tourniquets, eye pads and cloth compresses, safety pins, thermometer, compass, antibiotics and painkillers.
A double-zippered plastic bag is one option to consider.
Para-cord is the cord that keeps parachutists safely attached to their parachutes when jumping.
FYI – paracord doesn’t work as a suitable replacement for climbing rope, however in an emergency situation it may be a last resort that you can use while still keeping your bug out bag light enough to carry. If you have extra room, we highly recommend adding climbing rope if you absolutely believe you’ll need it.
If you have enough room for a fishing rod and reel, that’s great. However, only the basics are really necessary: lures, fish eggs, and fishing line will work.
If you can dig up worms with a flat stone, or even your axe or knife, that will help too. Grubs, caterpillars and other bugs also make great bait.
In addition to being good as rain gear, a poncho can also be used for shelter and even for warmth if necessary.
It can also be used as an over-the-shoulder bag for carrying stuff, or it can be used to construct a travois, or litter, to carry wood, supplies, or an injured person.
A reliable, compact LED flashlight is indispensable for the purposes discussed here.
This is part 3 of the 7 Habits of People With Remarkable Mental Toughness series..
Being mentally tough is a very impressive way to live.
People that have this extraordinary ability have trained themselves to behave in this particular way.
Since it takes concentration and focus, you will need to understand that there are habits that these people utilize.
They practice these habits on a regular basis. It becomes second nature for them to be on top of things in order to get more done on a regular basis.
When you use the 7 habits of the mentally tough, you will able to have your life in order.
Mentally tough people have priorities that they stick to, and they continue to handle their responsibilities making them very successful in all areas of their life.
Here are the 7 habits that you can use to increase your mental toughness. You should begin to do them on a regular basis and practice them thoroughly.
Developing the ability to focus on certain issues takes training.
It’s important to write down your goals and attain them.
In order to reach your goals, you need to focus on them at all times so that you can succeed in getting what you want in life.
Take a small notebook and write down your goals.
As you achieve them, you can mark them off. Once you develop other goals write them down to.
Always strive to have a variety of goals that you want to achieve in your life so that you work hard to attain them at all times.
The people that can see that they aren’t perfect have been able to continue to try to improve on their positive traits.
This allows them to leave the failures behind them and move on.
When you have something that goes wrong, and you inevitably will, it’s important to put it behind you.
Not everyone just goes through life getting everything that they want, but the trick is to not dwell on the bad aspects, but to totally increase your ability to see how well you have completed several accomplishments in your life.
Take a notebook and write down all of your accomplishments.
Concentrate on them so that you can always use them as a basis for your continuing successes.
This exercise is simple and works well.
You will know what all you have done and feel better about yourself in the process.
Never spend any time dwelling on your failures because it will lead to a lack of energy to increase the positive aspects into your life.
If someone you know or love has a problem with focusing on their successes and always complaining about their failures, you can have them practice concentrating on their successes too.
Sometimes having more people involved can lead to a great amount of positive energy.
Since brain matter doesn’t retain everything all the time, you will want to let the unimportant things go.
When they are freed from the brain matter, there will be many more thoughts and processes that can enter the space.
Keep the great information, and what is outdated and from the past will be let go.
Once you get used to doing this, it becomes easier to let those unnecessary aspects out of your mind so that you don’t think of them.
Think of it like cleaning out your closet and getting rid of older clothes.
It’s the same kind of process with letting the older and outdated issues to leave your mind.
If it’s difficult for to do at first, just keep trying to let those parts of your memory leave and gradually they will.
It’s important to remember that there are always other avenues to take when something needs to be accomplished.
Mentally tough people know this. They are always looking for other ways to complete tasks in the fastest way possible. It’s a good habit to get into. Always look for other ways that will allow you to fit more into your life in an easy way.
A good way to put this into perspective is to think about a computer.
There is more than one way to save your projects, and they accomplish the same goal. This type of behavior is necessary in order to move onto bigger and better things in your life.
Learning more and staying interested is a must for the mentally tough. You will fare batter by striving to achieve more and more brainpower by doing mental exercises every day.
Crossword and word search puzzles are extremely beneficial for keeping the brain working and engaged. Lots of people enjoy gathering family and friends around them when they want to get involved in these types of puzzles to add power to their brains.
Reading the latest events will also keep your brain functioning well. Newspapers and the Internet provide excellent sources for having the information that you need right on hand.
Getting bored will lead to complacency. Mentally tough people are never bored.
They create new and interesting things to do in their life in order to stay engaged in the present and look forward to the future.
They constantly strive to encourage themselves to find new and better pastimes that challenge themselves.
You will want to make sure that you have interesting things to do. If you do find yourself bored, strive to attain something else in your life that you can work at to bring back your interest in obtaining a healthier attitude.
Taking a class is a great way to develop a better mental attitude and keeping yourself from getting bored. You can take classes online so you can fit it in when it is convenient for you.
If you want to teach a class, is another way to keep from getting bored in your life. Helping others to learn something that you’re good at is a way to give to others and know that you are capable in that area.
Having a negative attitude will bring you down in many areas of your life.
Make sure that you continue to look to the future with an open mind and heart. Mentally tough people see adversity as a catalyst to bring about changes that will benefit their life.
They don’t dwell on what is negative, but use it to help them to achieve even greater things in life.
Since this can be a difficult thing to do, you need to make sure that you’re constantly putting positive influences in your life instead of the negative issues that will always be present in life at one point or another.
This will get you in the habit of looking on the brighter side of things versus the opposite way. Having the ability to do this is something that you should strive for on a daily basis.
You can use positive affirmations on a daily basis to keep the negative aspects from taking over.
Have your positive affirmation somewhere that you will see them.
Good places to put them are your desk, your dresser or on a bathroom mirror.
Take a look at this video of Jessica’s Daily Affirmations and you’ll get the idea!
At work, you can keep them next to your workspace in order to be able to read them often. These positive affirmations allow you to be constantly giving yourself a boost and believing in the better aspects of life will increase your ability to handle the daily pressures in your life.
Practice these positive affirmations with other members of the family too. Allow them to get the advantages too.
Practicing reading them as a family is a good idea because it will develop family unity and encourage all members of the family to strive to make the most out of their lives too.
Being absolutely stringent on following these 7 habits will allow you to become a mentally tough person.
Since you can do these things on a regular basis, once you develop these habits, they will come easy and natural for you.
In all cases, becoming mentally tough can lead to remarkable successes in your life. It is something that you will want to strive for to increase the enjoyment you will have in all areas of your life.
A mentally tough person is a happy and healthy person too.
You can and will be able to be this type of person when you practice the 7 habits regularly.
If you’ve ever prepared for an extreme expedition — scaling one of the Seven Summits or traipsing the wilds of the Amazon — then you know that things will go wrong all of the time.
A courageous adventure into the wild means that you have to be prepared to face the challenges and the obstacles that come from being in a remote part of the world without the conveniences of the modern world.
That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead as much as you can and to anticipate the mishaps that could occur.
I’ve been through enough situations out in the wilderness to know that if something is going to wrong, it probably will.
Sometimes you can’t change the fact that danger or extreme conditions are ahead.
What you can do is prepare for the worst and be happy you can survive with the very best of them when the situation presents itself.
If you are ready to prepare for your adventure of a lifetime, then follow my guide listing the “Top 10 Survival Gear Mistakes To Avoid.”
When you find yourself lost in the Arctic tundra, you’ll be happy you packed the right gear to get you through the night and into the next day of trekking.
This guide will get you there, so let’s get started with these tips to avoid disaster with your gear!
The first mistake many novice trekkers make when they are planning their first expedition is to not fully think through their emergency plan.
You can mitigate disaster simply by having the right gear to get you out of a terrible situation.
That means purchasing a Personal Beacon Locator (PBL), a small battery-operate device that you can activate with the push of a button.
It communicates with global satellites, and let’s emergency responders know where to find you. Hopefully nothing will go wrong.
But if it does, your PBL will get you out of a hairy situation.
Don’t skimp on the rain gear. It’s going to rain most locales you go — at some point.
It’s better to have a weather-resistant outer layer, a rain jacket, rain pants and weather-resistant boots packed in your backpack for the times when the thunderstorms wreak havoc on your campsite.
You don’t want to be wet and cold.
You can get hypothermia, and at the very least, you’ll be miserable.
It takes a long time for drenched camping clothes to dry out — especially if it is damp for several days.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is fail to pack too little food. You need food to keep up your energy.
There are resourceful ways you can pack high-energy food that does not take up a lot of room and that is lightweight.
For example, pack a mix of energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit, vitamins and dehydrated food that comes alive when boiled.
If you are going to overpack anything, then overpacking lightweight food that is high in energy and protein is always Okay.
Invest in water bottles and water filtration systems. You can’t rely on just one water bottle.
Pack at least two traditional water bottles — some have built-in purification systems. Also consider a water pack that you can wear on your back.
It has tubes that you can use to drink water as you walk.
Finally, have a backup supply of water purification tablets or a water purification wand that literally can turn dirty freshwater into clean drinking water.
Another big mistake you can make with your gear is to fail to pack the clothing and gear that will keep you warm.
That means everything from a sub-zero sleeping bag that helps to regulate your body temperature, to warm wool socks, to hand and toe warmers for emergency situations.
Always prepare for the onslaught of a chilly night.
You don’t want to risk hypothermia or frostbite — especially if you are out on the trail all alone.
Prepare ahead to stay warm.
Don’t leave home with without several gadgets and tools that can give you light in the midst of darkness.
For example, consider packing a headlamp, a solar-powered lantern, a batch of strike-anywhere matches, a lighter, and a battery-operated heater.
You’ll want to be able to light a fire and see what you are doing no matter what the conditions are.
Sometimes you will find yourself at a rainy campsite and you won’t be able to start a blazing fire.
That’s where your mini, battery-operated heater will come in handy.
You’ll also be loving your situation when you can just flip on your handy headlamp to read, prepare dinner in the darkness, set up your tent, and do a myriad other activities that require more hands than you have to spare.
It’s likely that at some point you will get lost.
Two of the most economical and important gear items you can pack is a compass and a set up maps.
Compasses are lightweight and crucial. They can always get you back on the right track. Paper maps are easy to pack and to pull out — just make sure you are protecting them.
Either buy foldable plastic ones that cannot get damaged by water, or pack your paper maps in a plastic baggie.
You may not think of it at first, but packing some simple items like duct tape, rope, a hunting knife and a small toolkit with a hammer, nails and fish hooks will be helpful to you when your gear ruptures or breaks.
There is nothing worse than to get to your campsite only to find a raccoon ate through part of your sleeping bag.
Patch up that hole with duct tape! Find that your tent is swaying in a gusty wind? Secure it with a length of rope.
You may think it’s trivial at first, but it’s really important to make sure a personal memento is on your gear list.
When you get lonely out in the woods or when you face a real disaster that forces you to consider whether you are willing to fight for your life, your personal memento (photos of loved ones, a sentimental item, a love letter) will motivate you to continue working hard to get out of your current situation.
Many people have endured extreme conditions by the sheer motivation of a photo that reminds them that love is worth fighting for — so don’t forget the memento.
It may have more power than you think in the long run.
Now that I’ve given you a list of gear mistakes to avoid and told you the top things you need to pack, I want to remind you that there is something as packing too much.
One novice mistake is to overpack your gear.
Sometimes it takes more than one go-around to get the right mix of gear and to get your pack to feel manageable. Remember that it is going to be on your back and you have to carry it for hours at a time for many days. So choose your gear wisely.
Does the thrill of a new adventure keep you traveling the world — planning your next expedition to far-flung locales?
Do you plan for months for your big adventures only to find something goes wrong while scaling that mountain or hiking that trail?
If you’ve encountered a mishap while out in the wild, you’re certainly not alone.
When you traverse remote terrain, it’s almost inevitable that something will go wrong at some point — and that’s why you need to be as prepared as possible to take on the challenge and to improvise when it really counts.
One way you can immediately change your current wilderness obstacles around is to know how to improve your survival food supply.
With a little creative thinking and a little research ahead of your trip, you will be able to live off the land until you can make it out of the proverbial and literal woods.
If we want to learn how to survive in the wild, we need only look back to the very first survivalists — our ancestors made it through life eating the plants of the forest and later fishing and hunting animals.
You can do the same with a little practice.
Follow our guide of “10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Survival Food Supply,” and you’ll be prepared to take on any food insecurity challenge during your next big adventure.
Let’s start hunting and gathering:
Because of the strenuous exercise you’ll endure during your expedition, you always need to be eating and hydrating.
One of the easiest ways to supplement your food supply is to make a batch of high-energy trail mix.
Not only is trail mix healthy and boosts your energy levels, it’s fairly cheap. Make a big batch using unsalted nuts of your living, dried fruit and karob chips.
Pack the high-energy trail mix in small bags and pack them in your backpack. Whenever you need a little boost, grab a bag and eat.
Pack energy bars to ensure that you always have access to a healthy snack.
The best feature of energy bars is that they are lightweight and packable.
You can slip them into the nooks and crannies of your backpack so that you always have something to satiate your hunger until you can get to your campsite to start the fire and cook dinner.
At some point you may find yourself in a remote forest without an animal in sight. This is where your gathering instincts will need to come in.
You can forage any forest for delicious mushrooms and green plants.
The key is knowing which ones you can safely digest. If you’re going solo on your trip, you especially don’t want to get sick and poisoned by eating a plant that is not edible.
So study the forest plants in the area where you will be traveling.
Consider purchasing a pocket guide that identifies the plants that are safe to eat. When your food supply is getting low, you literally can live off the bounty of the forest.
As your travel, you are likely to happen upon a river or body of water with fish. This is where a rudimentary fishing pole can really help you out.
So pack a small fishing kit that includes a few hooks and fishing line.
You can attach the line to a sturdy stick, tie it to a large branch stretching over the water, or use just the fishing line to catch a fish or two for your campsite dinner.
A beginner’s tip: You’ll want to make sure these items are in a hard plastic case instead of a flimsy plastic bag.
You don’t want an injury from hooks poking out of your pack.
Once you’ve caught your fish for dinner, you’ll need to be able to prepare them for the open-fire skillet.
So make sure you’ve prepared a mini chef’s kit.
This can be very simple — a hunting knife, some aluminum foil or parchment paper, and a meat/fish thermometer.
Of course, not all of these items are essential.
You probably can cook fish without a thermometer. But it’s also nice to be safer than sorry when cooking fish and meat, so bring it along if you can make room.
A mini chef’s kit sounds luxurious, and it will feel that way if you get the opportunity to eat something other than trail mix and forest mushrooms.
Your survival food supply is not complete without an endless amount of clean water.
You need water to stay hydrated so you can continue on with your expedition, and that’s why this is one component of your food supply that you really have to pay attention to and prepare for, as you don’t know what kinds of conditions you ultimately will meet out on the trail.
Food will only go so far.
Without water you can get very sick.
Dehydration sneaks up on you quickly, so prepare ahead of time to be able to transform any freshwater into safe drinking water by investing in some kind of packable water purification solution — such as a wand or purification tablets.
Every now and then, it will feel good to drink something other than water.
Packing a few flavored water tablets that you can just add to your bottled water will feel like a treat. In addition, many flavored water tablets also can be good for you.
Look for tablets that include a dose of Vitamin C, for example. You probably can’t drink OJ on the trail, but this solution is a good second option.
When you are eating a limited amount of food — and a limited kind of food — your body may not be getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Your iron levels, for example, can drop very low if you are eating mostly vegetables and plants, and low iron can lead to all kinds of health problems including depression.
To mitigate this risk, consider investing in a multi-vitamin. It will boost your food supply by giving your body the vitamins you are missing in your daily trail diet.
Have a lighter on hand at all times. This is important because you always want access to fire.
When you have the option to cook a meal you’ve collected from the wild, you’ll want to take it. Forest mushrooms can be delicious — but even more so when cooked on an open fire.
If you catch a fish but can’t cook it, you may be in trouble if you eat it raw.
So prepare ahead by packing a lighter. You’ll diversify your food supply in innumerable ways with this simple gadget.
After a while, all trail food can taste a little bland.
If you’ve got room, through in a bottle of all spice.
This works well on everything you might gather from the forest — from making a salad of forest plants and flowers to seasoning fish.
It’s a small luxury that will make reaching the campsite each night even sweeter.
What would you include? Let us know in the comments section below:
For the avid survival enthusiast and the novice camper alike, proper equipment can make or break your outdoor experience in a hurry. Making sure you have quality equipment that’s built to last is a great start for planning any outdoor trip, be it camping, hunting, exploring, or even an afternoon of hiking.
One important thing to remember while preparing to go on a trek is to be prepared, but not be bogged down. Minimalist camping is a big trend for a reason with survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world figuring out just what it takes to get by and packing accordingly.
If you’re planning to go camping or just looking to get prepared for the next time you’d like to enjoy nature on a whim, here are 20 websites that offer a wide variety of survival products.
The folks over at www.majorsurplus.com have done a terrific job of providing an online marketplace catering to every need for the avid survivalist.
From military surplus to actual camping gear, they’ve compiled an enormous amount of equipment for anybody looking to do any outdoor activity.
They also offer coupons and discounts in their newsletter, so you can get email alerts for specific brands and products.
Offthegrid.com goes the extra mile in terms of survival gear.
They sell camping equipment and out door supplies, but they also put a strong emphasis on actual survival situations.
When it comes to outdoor activity, Off the Grid has a great selection of items for any emergency or survival experience.
They also offer how-to videos and blogs for a wide variety of situations.
Fire starting kits, hand turbines for phone charging, and a myriad of other survival and home defense items are available at the www.nrastore.com.
In addition to camping and outdoor gear, they also have a sister site at www.nratactical.com for hunting and self defense equipment including firearms.
While Forge Survival Supply has an online marketplace for different equipment, they also offer guides and survival tips for an enormous amount of situations.
Bug out bag check lists, blogs and email newsletters with survival information, and an easy to use website really make www.forgesurvivalsupply.com worth checking out.
At www.survivalcache.com you’ll find much more than just a marketplace selling goods.
They have an active community of survivalists, survival book reviews, and quite a few guides outlining the essentials of certain types of equipment.
They do have a great store as well, and combined with the knowledge to be gained is a terrific starting point for any outdoor enthusiast.
Another website offering not just products but also learning resources, www.surviveoutdoorslonger.com really does a great job of providing information.
They don’t just look at the basic equipment or focus on having the widest variety, but also at smaller items that many people may not consider.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your equipment in terms of efficiency and preparedness, S.O.L. is a good jumping off point.
A very large marketplace for survival gear, www.campingsurvival.com is an online store that focuses on selling equipment.
Great if you’re looking to compare brands and prices, they have a large array of items in quite a few different categories.
They don’t offer any other benefits like blogs or instructional videos, however.
In addition to survival gear and outdoor activity items, www.bepreparedtosurvive.com puts a lot of focus on being ready to deal with any major catastrophe or emergency situation.
Providing instructional videos, books, and guides while also having an online store sets this website apart from quite a few others.
Learning how to use tools can make a significant difference in terms of surviving in the wild or during a major catastrophe.
Gerber is known worldwide for their wide selection of high quality cutlery and blades, but they also sell varying types of survival equipment.
Small emergency kits and fire starting tools are just the tip of the iceberg at www.gerbergear.com.
They mostly offer tools small equipment, so if you’re looking for a one stop shop this might not be the best choice.
Don’t underestimate the quality of a good hatchet or skinning knife, however.
While not a traditional marketplace, www.graywolfsurvival.com is a great resource for finding reviews and information.
If you’re serious about the equipment you’ll be using for a survival experience, Gray Wolf Survival can be a way to find out the ups and downs of products you may have been previously considering, as well as recommendations for gear you never thought of in the first place.
Specializing in complete survival bags and bug out bags, www.survivalkit.com really sticks to their name.
The first thing you’ll notice upon visiting the site are featured bug out bags that come fully stocked with everything you’d need, as well as blogs and tips for dealing with any emergency.
Not a typical camping or survival goods store, www.mypatriotsupply.com puts emphasis on being self sufficient and prepared for any emergency situation.
With heirloom seeds for growing your own food and water filtration as a few examples, they’re determined to help customers be ready for anything.
Reviews, how to guides, kits, product reviews, and an online store are just a few of the things www.survivallife.com has to offer.
For learning tips and tricks, there are few sites that provide as much information.
Another website specializing in survival kits and pre-packed bug out bags, www.thereadystore.com has an enormous variety of different packages available.
No matter the emergency or outdoor situation you’re looking to cope with, you’ll be able to find guides and equipment here.
Less emphasis on outdoor survival equipment and more on tactical and hunting gear, www.brigadeqm.com offers a moderately wide selection of gear that leans more towards military surplus than survival.
While www.equipped.org doesn’t have their own direct marketplace, they do provide reviews and guides on different products.
They also have direct breakdowns if you’d like to make your own bug out bags or survival kits.
Not so much a market as it is a good place to figure out what you’d need in an emergency or survival scenario, www.redcross.org really goes above and beyond in terms of how to make your own emergency kits.
They’ll help you figure out how you can make your own bug out bags with a lot of ‘just in case’ mentality while not overdoing it.
Another website that offers camping gear and military surplus alike, www.uscav.com has a great store and not much else.
Any piece of survival equipment you can imagine is available here, and their prices are very fair.
At www.adventuremedicalkits.com you’ll find some great medical equipment for emergency situations.
Ranging from single items to advanced medical packs, this website is very similar to other pre-made kit websites but with an emphasis on medical preparedness.
It would be disingenuous not to recommend www.amazon.com for the more fiscally conscious outdoor enthusiasts. While there are countless sites offering guides, piles of equipment and premade kits, Amazon is one of the best resources for price comparing and reading item reviews.
Before you make any purchases, try to see if you can find the item on Amazon to see how the it’s held up in actual survival situations.
Any outdoor activity can be an exciting and rewarding experience, especially if you’ve packed well and with a bit of thought.
Putting consideration into consideration will help you save precious space, while research can show you a few neat tips or tricks that you may not have considered otherwise.