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Mike Hall

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7 Things You Should Know About Wilderness Survival

The wilderness is like women, can’t live with ‘em and can’t live without ‘em!

Perhaps that’s why they call it ‘Mother Nature’.

The thing about the wilderness is that as liberating and refreshing as it is, it also can be dangerous and angry, and at such times, it’s best to know a thing or two that might come in handy and maybe save your life.

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People who do indulge in the serenity of nature often are experts and have researched their way through before they had started their journey.

It’s better to know some tricks before you go out traveling, you never know what the future might have in store for you.

Here 7 things you should know about wilderness survival.

7) What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Do you know that there is a tree called Manchinee? It is so poisonous that rain water dripping from its leaves can burn your skin.

That’s one thing you should look out for.

There are books that distinguish poisonous plants from the non poisonous ones and plants are something that you should stay away from if you don’t know which ones they are.

This leaves you with two choices, either stick to animals and fish, or start learning about plants. Insects are tricky too, so before you go out in the field you should have full knowledge about what poisonous insects may lurk in that particular area.

I cannot place enough emphasis on this point, since consuming poisonous plants and/or insects while you are venturing through the wilderness can be fatal.

6) How to Make Your Own Fire

First you would need to fashion a dry wood with a knife or a sharp rock.

The dry wood should be relieved of its outer coating and another dry wood (this one should be smaller but have a good grip) should be used to rub against it to create friction and ultimately, fire.

The bigger piece of wood should have a flat surface on which the other wood can be rubbed against, without slipping off. Once both of the pieces of wood are ready you need some timber nest or the covering of a coconut to get started.

Sit on top of the bigger stick so it wouldn’t move and rub the tip of the smaller stick against the flat side of the wood until you are able to see smoke.

When you do, start rubbing harder and then, when you are certain it’s hot enough, place the timber nest on top of the smoking wood.

Be careful to not suffocate the smoke, fire needs oxygen too you know, so let it breathe.

Blow lightly over the nest until the fire ignites, voila!

5) Insect Danger

There is a type of worm usually found in tropical rainforests that can penetrate through your skin, lay eggs inside you and then after much pain and agony, kill you.

You’re welcome, for the mental image.

Insects are surely one of the main things that you need to look out from.

They can crawl into your tent, in your sleeping bag, lay eggs in your drinks and much more without you ever finding out. They are the perfect criminals with untraceable crimes.

When out in the wilderness, make sure to have mosquito repellent and nets that can hover over you while you sleep.

4) Getting Food and Water

This doesn’t mean all that much if you don’t have enough food and water.

You need to make sure that you’re hydrated well during treks. You will also need to ensure that you have either ration bars to keep you up, or hunting materials like a rifle or fishing rods.

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Water purifiers are essential for you to survive for long.

Many times, you would see ponds and swamps, if you decide to drink the water from it, you could get sick. But with water purifiers, you can sip it all in, and imagine its usefulness the next time you’re thirsty and there’s no clean water.

Just multiply the feeling by hundred, because when you’re alone in the woods, there’s not much you can do and nobody by your side to hug it out with.

3) Animal Danger

There are whistles that produce ultrasound noises which can be very useful when you need to scare away some animals, but I suggest the traditional way; build a fire, because you need to be awake in order to blow a whistle and what if a bear comes halfway through the night?

A rifle can be used both in hunting and for protection against hungry wild beasts.

2) Calling For Help

Sometimes the solitude of nature can be very overwhelming, and when that happens, you can find yourself in desperate need of attention. This is what you do at such times:

Firstly, you would need an eye-catching colored piece of cloth and a stick from which you can make your very own flag and stick it into the ground at a high place from which tourists and helicopters can spot it.

Then you need to go out of your shelter every day to far off places, searching for people and before you come back, write something on the rocks or trees you pass by so if people see them, even when you’re not there, they would still know of your existence.

Write something like:

  • HELP
  • DATE
  • NAME

Also, remember to keep yourself highly visible in every way possible.

1) How to Make Your Own Compass

You’ll need a compass to guide you or else you wouldn’t know whether you’re going out of the forest or further in.

But to do so you’ll need a needle (a wire would also do just fine) and a magnet which you probably won’t have in the middle of the wilderness.

So, you’ll need a piece of cloth made out of silk or wool. You will need to rub the needle from eye to point for a bit and then place it on a leaf.

Let the leaf float on water with the needle on top of it and watch the needle first adjust itself, and then point north. Salvation!

Here’s a bonus for you!
50+ Wilderness Survival Tips

5 Things that Happened in 2015 in Green Power While You Weren’t Paying Attention

Green Power, or alternative energy, has been around since the beginning of time.

However, those which have harnessed the power of natural elements have generally been those which are not corporate minded.

Yet, as more and more people are turning to cost –effective energy and power options, developments are constantly on a global scale concerning Alternative Energy.

Here are 5 developments in Alternative Energy which have occurred since the beginning of 2015.

1) President Obama Announces Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015 President Obama announced that he is implementing a nationwide limit on Carbon Dioxide Emissions from power plants.

According to the report released by the White House, the bill will shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants.

The power which these plants provided will be subsidized with wind and solar power.

President Obama has also stated that “next-generation nuclear plants” may be an option as well.

The report from the White House states that the bill will force a decline in carbon dioxide emissions by 32% by the year 2030. Of course the baseline is not starting this year but will be back dated to 2005 (you get better results that way).

Each state will be responsible for meeting carbon pollution targets. Those states which do not meet the desired targets will be subject to government involvement.

2) REM 2015

REM (Renewable energy markets) will be hosting its 2015 summit in Washington DC October 18-20th.

The Summit has been around since 1996 and has focused on developing clean energy among the top industries.

The summit is the only conference of its kind currently.

Because the summit is internationally based, many of the ideas concerning Alternative Energy and green power legislation are birthed at REM.

The conference boasts that “80% of the top Green Power Purchasers in the US have attended REM”

The REM summit is not just limited to businesses (though that is the primary target) individuals which want to learn more about green energy and alternative power options can attend the two day summit.

Those which are serious about living off grid would do well to see what developments and technologies are being implemented in the coming year.

Technology usually starts at the corporate level and trickles down to the common market.

You can bet that if there is a new method of renewable energy presented at the summit that it will soon be marketed to the public.

3) EDF Closes sale on Catalina Solar Project

The EDF Renewable Energy Company closed the sale of the Catalina Solar 2 Project. 

The solar plant is located in Kern County, CA. 

Through this sale Southern California will be provided with an alternative, renewable energy (under the Southern California Edison) under a 20 year PPA.

Those which are concerned with off the grid living will be pleased to know that EDF is the U.S’s leading independent renewable energy provider.

EDF also has renewable energy plants in Canada and Mexico.

4) India continues to develop more renewable energy facilities as the population rises

India is the third largest energy consumer in the world due to its population of over a billion people. 

Where the country relies primarily on coal (a biomass form of energy), the demand cannot meet with the supply. 

As such the government is adding 15 gigawatts of capacity to its current plants with a expectancy of a total of 60 gigawatts being added by 2022.

Government involvement is still not enough to meet the energy needs and so many of the industries within India have contracted private companies to build solar and other renewable energy facilities within the country.

Such companies include the Welspun Group and the Essel Group.

Where we can hope that these steps will be a step forward in minimizing emissions, if nothing is done to the current situation (which has a 45% coal market and the third largest contributor globally of CO2), the renewable energy may not have much of an effect on the country.

5) Australian Labor party votes for a 50% renewable energy plan

On July 25th, 2015 the ALS (Australian Labor Party) passed a motion to take a 50% renewable energy target to be met by the year 2030.

The trading scheme will go to the 2016 elections in an effort to gain legal support on the commitment. 

Should the commitment get the support of the government, the bill would be around $60 billion to implement.

They would need to build 10,000 additional wind turbines and 80,000 additional gigawatt hours. However, this number is not definitive, as the ACIL has stated.

Current reductions in turbine costs, an increase in individual renewable energy living, reduction of the demand for electricity in the traditional sense, and other factors may drive the projected $60 bill down.

As you can see, there are some very big things to happen in Alternative Energy since 2015.

Survivalist and off the grid living technologies are likely to see a shift as America, Australia, Europe, and Asia commit to lowering their CO2 emissions.

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It is quite likely that countries will try to compete to have the “greener” country (think of the race to the moon just with alternative energy). 

This means that the prices of solar panels are likely to drop in order to gain “residential” investors, major corporations are likely to see incentives for wind turbines (especially tax credit credits) and housing developments will implement renewable energy as a major selling point for new developments.

The downside is that as these developments occur, smaller consumer green products are probably going to see a spike in prices.

As the “green” becomes the new norm, you can bet that retailer will jump on the wagon and try to milk the profits as best as they can. It is advised that you start getting your alternative energy supplies now (before the 2016 election) to avoid higher costs later.

5 Most Important Skills to Keep You Alive

So you think that you can survive on your own in the wild?

I hope so.

However, you may want to consider your disaster plan, your survival kit, and your emergency skills before you venture out on your own.

Don’t worry. You can get yourself fairly prepared for the worst case scenario with 5 essential skills.

1) Self Heimlich maneuver

As a prepper, your focus is to be self-sufficient.

More than likely you have a bug out bag, and a survival kit.

Yet, none of these preparations will do you a bit of good if you choke to death on a piece of beef jerky.

Being as you will more than likely be setting out by yourself in a survival situation, it is critical to know how to keep yourself from choking to death.

To perform the self-Heimlich maneuver:

Try to cough it up. Do not try to gag yourself as you will push down whatever it is you are chocking on.

Make a fist with your strong hand and place it right below the ribcage.

With your other hand hold your fist. Lean forward and drive the fist up.

If needed push your fist against blunt object (which will not impale you) to add to the force of the thrust.

Repeat if necessary.

2) How to treat a cut

There are two main types of cuts which preppers and survivalists will encounter.

There is the brush it off and man up cut (typically referred to as a scratch) and then there are those which require medical attention. 

For minor cuts and scratches just ensure that you clean the wound as you do not want it to get infected. Do not scratch it and let it scab over. For more serious cuts you will need to look in your survival kit and get the first aid kit.

For cuts which are one to perhaps two inches, you may be able to use superglue to hold the wound together.

Before applying the glue, clean out all debris from the wound.

Wash the cut with water and use rubbing alcohol if you have it. 

If the wound continues to bleed, apply pressure until the bleeding stops.

Then add the glue.

Ensure that you hold the cut closed and that you do not glue your fingers to the cut accidently (as you would have to snatch your fingers away from the cut and it would open and hurt twice as bad).

Cuts which are longer than one to two inches will require you to stitch the wound.

It is recommended that you do not try this on your own unless it is necessary.

Put an illustrated guide in your first aid kit as well as a sterile needle and thread for such situations.

3) How to put out a fire that gets out of control

Not all fires are created equal and each one has a different method of extinguishing it. Typically, you will want to cut the oxygen from the fire.

The easiest way to do this is with dirt. Yet, what happens when the fire is quickly spreading? Sure you could try water, but that is one of your key survival items. To put out a fire that is out of control:

If you started it with a grease do not use any type of liquid, you will only spread it

Dig a ditch as quickly as possible to protect contain the fire (throw the dirt on the fire as you dig to kill two birds with one stone)

Remove all large dry branches from the area. The more debris you clear the less it can burn

Reduce the wind to the fire. As fires need oxygen to survive, cutting down the wind will reduce the flame

Once you have made a containment ring and have minimized the oxygen and debris, start piling dirt on the fire. Work from the outside edge inwards

Number Four: Treat a sprained ankle

When in a survival situation, preppers may have to cover large spans of ground quickly.

Therefore, it is paramount that you know how to train a sprained ankle and still remain mobile. Where you will be slowed down in your progress, you will not be immobilized.

Use your emergency first aid kit from your survival kit to get gauze. Bind the leg so that is restricts the movement of the ankle.

If you have prepped for a situation where you can use a crutch by making a topper for your walking stick (similar to a bearing block) attach the topper and use the crutch for support.

If you do not have a crutch adapter made for your walking stick, you will need to find a forked branch about shoulder height to lean upon and serve as a crutch.

The downside to this is that there is no way that you can minimize the weight distribution on the leg really.

Your pack will either have to be rearranged so that the majority of the weight is on one side, that you can carry it by hand, or you will just have to make due.

Ideally, you will want to find a spot to rest for a day or so.

Keep in mind that a sprain can take up to 6 weeks to recover from.

5) Finding water and combating dehydration

Keeping yourself hydrated is the key to survival.

Finding water is relatively easy if you know how to go about finding it.

First, follow the animals. If you can follow deer trails (or other animal trails).

Animals like to stay close to water and so following them will lead you to water.

Secondly, if the temperature is high you will want to drink water every 30 minutes or so to keep from dehydrating.

Walk in shaded areas to keep yourself from overexertion.

8 Survival Gear Items you Literally Can’t Live Without

If you are preparing a survival kit for off grid living, then you need to ensure that you can do so effectively.

Stocking your bag with the proper survival gear is essential to ensuring your survival.

Here are 8 items which are a must.

1) Dehydrated Food

The first few days which you will be surviving will be the hardest. You will need to find food, construct a shelter, and find a source of water.

While you are doing these activities you must have some form of nutrients in order to keep yourself going.

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Dehydrated food can be used as a means to keep you going. Do not eat your entire stock, however, in the first few days.

You will need to reserve some of your dehydrated food for times when the game trail runs thin.

2) Water Purification tablets

Where it is true that you can boil water to purify it to an extent, you need to have a water purifier for the times when the water is clearly not stable.

Water purification tablets are lightweight (which is a critical factor to consider when packing your survival gear) and can be bought in large quantities.

As a survivalist, you will need to ensure that you have at least 3 days’ worth of water at all times.

Even if you have boiled the water, it is best to use a water purifier to kill any bacterium which might have formed throughout the time in storage.

3) A Leatherman Multitool

Apart from your standard buck knife, you will need to have a Leatherman multitool with a large range of tools.

Again, this is for the storage considerations as well as for the functionality.

Consider how much space a saw, screwdriver, knife, file, tweezers, magnifying glass, and scissors would take up in your survival gear if packed separately.

It is recommended that you store your Leatherman in an area where water and dirt cannot get into the crevices and damage it (I would recommend storing it in a rolled up sock).

4) Socks

Ask anyone who has been in the army or in a survivalist situation and they will tell you that the key to keeping yourself healthy is to keep your feet dry and warm.

Wet feet can quickly immobilize anyone, especially in conditions where the foot has sweated and become irritated from walking.

When walking through streams and wet areas, it is advised that you change your socks to keep fungus and other cont Pack plenty of socks in your survival gear.

Not only will you keep your feet safe from developing athlete’s foot and other funguses, but the socks can also be used for storage, strainers, and if needed emergency bandage strips.

5) A hand axe/hatchet

Much of your survival will depend on your ability to utilize nature to your advantage.

However, if you do not have anything in which to make new tools, you are greatly at a disadvantage.

A common knife will not be enough to maintain the tools which you need.

Lumber will need to be cut in order to make shelters, spoons, bowls and fishing spears. 

Also, the axe will be needed when larger game (such as deer or goose for example) needs to be cleaned.

A standard knife simply is not strong enough to cut through some bone and tissue.

The hand axe can also be used as a backup knife if needed. Alongside your axe and knife should be a whetstone to keep it sharp. A blade that is dull is not of any use.

6) Flint and Steel

A survivalist will need to stay warm as well as cook food.

Where you could make a bowdrill, the materials to do so may not be readily available or the weather conditions may not allow for you to get a fire started in that manner.

Flint and steel should be kept in your survival gear as a backup for when you cannot start a fire from other methods.

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Store each separately, not to avoid starting a fire by accident (which is very rare but it could happen), but to avoid chipping of the precious material.

When possible collect additional flint. If you run out of steel, you can use the back of your knife as a substitute.

If you prefer, you can also purchase steel strips or flint and steel packs.

These are great tools to get you started.

However, you do need to know how to identify flint so that should you run out you are not without a fire.

7) A first aid kit

Common sense would dictate that you pack some form of medical treatment.

Yet, for those that need it stated, pack a first aid kit. Ensure that it has gauze, bandages, antibacterial cream, a needle, thread, superglue, aloe for burns, a thermometer (solar powered), tweezers, and fingernail clippers. You may also want to include an arm sling if you can.

Allocating a substantial amount of space to your first aid kit is necessary for your survival gear. Where some would focus on the clothing and the food, it would be more beneficial if the survivalist was well prepared for situations which are uncontrollable and outside of nature.

8 ) A complete guide to Plants and Herbs

When you are in survival mode, especially if you have been a few days without food, your mind may not recognize potential food or toxins.

A plant and herb book will help you to quickly and appropriately identify whether or not a berry bush will provide you with nourishment or with poison.

We all know not to eat the red mushrooms, but which ones can you eat?

What plants can be used for toilet paper?

What plants can be used to help a toothache?

A plant and herb guide should be able to answer some if not all of these questions for you.

11 Things I Wish I Knew About Prepping When I First Started

Modern estimates show that there are as many as 3 million preppers in the United States alone as more people than ever are noticing just how unstable the world can be.

Everyone has their own reasons for prepping and this will affect how they approach this ongoing process, but there are some common mistakes that most beginning preppers tend to make.

For those that are ready to ensure the safety of their family and loved ones in the event of a disaster, here are 11 important tips to keep in mind when setting off on this journey.

1. Start Living Below Your Means

The start of this process is all about taking a hard look at one’s life and figuring out what is necessary and what can be left by the wayside.

Beginning preppers should do everything in their power to not just live within their means, but to start living below their means.

Whether it is putting off a new luxury car or finishing paying off debt, no one wants to begin prepping with huge monthly bills and ongoing debt.

Even something as simple as cutting back on eating out or taking a few movie channels off the cable bill is a great place to start.

2. Remember Those with Special Needs

If you have begun prepping you most likely have at least a handful of family members and close friends that must be taken into consideration.

In addition to the basics such as food, water, and shelter, it is also important to begin planning for any special needs and medical considerations.

Some may need a large supply of insulin shots or other medication while others need to stock up on some extra pairs of glasses or contacts.

3. Stay Healthy

There is nothing as important to prepping as ensuring that you and your family are as healthy as possible.

When a disaster occurs there is simply no way to plan for exactly what will unfold, but a healthy and in-shape individual is going to be at a distinct advantage.

Healthy people are more likely to survive extreme weather changes or even fend off a common cold or flu that can turn deadly when there is no medical infrastructure.

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4. Make Plans for Work and School

In an ideal situation a family is going to be together within a few steps of their essential gear when a catastrophe does take place, but the chances of this are somewhat slim.

Couples and families with children need to consider their options when they are at school, at work, or even across town getting groceries.

At the very least, this should include a place to meet and a timeframe for meeting no matter everyone’s location.

5. Have Access to Important Documents

Every family member should have ready access to important documents including passports, drivers licenses, marriage certificates, and ownership papers for one’s property and vehicles.

The physical papers should ideally be kept in a waterproof bag inside of a water-resistant safe with a combination that immediate family members know.

It is also a good idea to keep a few flash drives around with all of this information lus some digital survival guides.

6. Determine the Most Likely Natural Disasters in Your Area

There is no single style of prepping that is right for every family in every location, and this means that some time must be taken to personalize a plan according to one’s unique needs.

A global food shortage or severe drop in the stock market make affect the entire world, but families should also take a look at localized disasters such as flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, or wildfires that are likely to occur near their home or shelter.

7. Plan for Entertainment

Having some sort of plan for entertainment is nearly as important as any other step in this process.

Many families will cover the essentials of survival, but this could be a major mistake if a long-term disaster takes place.

One major component of survival is optimism, and this is going to require a positive mindset.

There are few ways better to keep one’s spirit up than to have at least some form of entertainment or way to pass the time.

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8. Become a Good Neighbor

Immediate family members are always going to come first, but what happens when you need to rely on your neighbor for something after a disaster?

The most logical step is to prepare for every eventuality, but no matter how well one plans, a friendly, loyal, and helpful neighbor could be invaluable.

Staying on good terms with a neighbor and maybe even getting them into the prepping lifestyle can go a long ways.

9. Always Compare Prices

banner-2One of the biggest issues for most preppers comes down to the overall costs.

Bunkers, defensive gear, food, and other supplies can quickly move into the range of millions, but this is only one extreme end of the spectrum.

Taking the time to compare prices is a great way to keep expenses as low as possible.

Instead of making all of the purchases at once, preppers should keep a running list of goods that they need and then pick up the extras as they go on sale.

 

10. Test Everything Yourself

Prepping is about much more than reading a survival manual or picking up some tips from old preppers.

A true survivalist is going to thoroughly test every single part of their plan and every single piece of equipment before the big day happens.

Some of the survival skills that may be required after a catastrophe will take some time and practice in order to get right amidst chaos.

11. Continue Taking Baby Steps

A final tip for new preppers is to remember that this is an ongoing process and it will often take baby steps as well as some trial-and-error.

Once the basics of food, hydration, self-defense, and shelter have been collected, many of the other items can be picked up over time. Attempting to tackle this project in a single go will often lead to frustration, and frustration will result in mistakes.

Developing a survivalist mindset is the most important part of preparing for any disaster or chaotic mishap. These few tips will help all new preppers on their path towards not only surviving a worldwide event, but to thrive when any of these catastrophes take place in the coming years.

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