Considerations to help you maximize your food survival skills
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Once your survival gear has used all of the food content, you will have to find other methods of collecting and sustaining food.
Yes, you can gather nuts and berries, but if you are used to having meat in your diet you will need to maintain some form of protein or your body will suffer for it.
As wild game will not just walk into your camp in most situations, you will need to hunt and fish. One of the best ways in which to hunt is to set a tree stand.
Here are 5 things to consider when building your tree stand.
5) Is the stand along a game trail?
The first thing that you need to determine is the location.
Ideally, you want to have your tree stand in a location that has a few game trails (or at least one visible trail and possible others) in order to maximize your potential for having a successful hunt.
You need to determine the type of game which is using the trail as well as monitor the tracks and signs of the trail to predict how often it is used by wild game.
It would do you no good to set up a tree stand on a game trail which is primarily traveled by squirrels and possums or on a deer trail that has gone dry.
4) Look for a sturdy tree with branches
You will have to get in and out of your tree stand.
You need to have a tree with branches to do this.
Avoid brittle tree types, such as the pine, which are known for having branches which snap off at a moment’s notice. You want to find a tree that is close to the trail and has sturdy branches.
If you need to trim back some of the foliage to provide you with easier access then do so.
DO NOT use a dead tree or a tree whose branches cannot support your weight without bending.
3) How good is the view?
You may have the ideal tree and the perfect path for your hunt, but if the view of the trail is bad from the tree stand then you really have not accomplished much.
The best tree stands will not only provide a view of the game trail, but will allow you a nice panoramic view of the surrounding area.
I would venture to say that if you cannot see at least 180 degrees (being that you can look all the way to the left and right without any major blockage to the view) that you need to find a new location.
The reason for this is that you will want to maximize the area that you can hunt in.
You need to be able to see the game as it approaches and be able to prepare for the kill. If the only area which can be viewed is 30 degrees or less, then you have greatly minimized the area and the probability of a successful hunt.
2) Can you be seen easily?
Keep in mind that where you may be hunting, you may also be spotted by another survivalist if your location is close to open fields.
Granted, in an ideal situation you will not have other survivalists within a close proximity of you.
However, in a wilderness situation caused by a natural or manmade disaster you may not have the option of being completely away from others.
In this scenario, it is critical that you pick a location which is far enough away from your camp as not to give away the location.
When building your tree stand, try to camouflage the tree stand as much as possible so that it appears to be part of the tree and the surroundings.
What you do not want is to have a tree stand which is too open and spotted by a desperate person.
1) Harnesses and safety equipment
Regardless of how well you build your tree stand, you should use a harness and implement some safety mechanism into the design.
I have seen men who have hunted for 20 years slip in their stands and become paralyzed from the neck down all because they were too stubborn to tie themselves to the tree.
You do not have to make it so tight as to disable movement, but take into consideration that you will more than likely be up in the air on a platform made from wood and bound together by rope and clothing.
Unless you have specifically packed a tree stand, your design is very apt to have some flaws in the design.
Depending on the height in which you set your stand, this can be a life threatening risk.
It is recommended that you:
- Do not climb the tree with a gun which does not have a safety or a gun whose safety is off
- That you do not climb branches after a rain or freezing weather as they are very likely to cause you to slip and fall
- That you consistently check the tree stand for any signs of rot and weathering
- That you re-secure all knots and binding material before every use
- That you asses the risk of the hunt prior to committing to it
The best solution
The best solution is to add a small tree stand to your tactical gear or to your survival pack.
You can easily find one that will fold down or one that needs minimal assembly. Of course, you can always stick to hunting from the ground and fishing as well.
The point is that your food survival is your personal responsibility as a survivalist. Your gear will not sustain you, a game trail is not definitive, only you can determine your food sustainability by utilizing the survival skills, common sense, and bushcrafts you have leared.