Why Trapping Is Essential for Long-Term Survival

We’ve all seen those “survival” shows, claiming that one dude can wildly run around the woods, procuring all the necessities of sustenance through fashioning a makeshift spear from an old boat propeller and skewering a 10-point buck …but entertaining as that is, it just doesn’t work like that.

Securing meat sources is not one of those parts of bugout life you simply leave to chance “because we saw them do it on TV”, so thinking that we’ll be able to remain fat and happy only off an abundance of hares might not be productive. And, even if this were possible for the best of the backwoods experts, the rest of us need to consider the fact that we may not be that good. Being forced to learn such a craft during a survival situation is certainly not an optimal scenario.

However, even thinking that we’ll be able to make the tree line by the crack of dawn, carrying only ye olde’ Ruger 10/22, and taking home enough meals to feed the mobile homestead may probably be a disappointing fallacy, as well. Depending on where you live and how abundant game may be in your area, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to throw out all the stops in your quest to feed you and especially your loved ones.

trap

This is why learning the ancient art, wilderness methods, and backwoods traditions of trapping should be one of your top priorities. That is, if you want to sustain yourself on more than just the MREs you brought along for the ride.

Trapping Depends on Your Kit

It should be said right off the bat that not every type of bugout bag requires a comprehensive trapping kit. In fact, you might even be doing more harm than good if you load up your 72-hour emergency bag with heavy traps, depending on your fitness level and skill.

The reason I would not ordinarily advocate bringing along a long-term trapping kit in your 72-hour bag is simply because of the philosophy behind the scenario. Your 72-hour bag is simply meant for a temporary survival situation, in which you are hoping to be found and rescued shortly thereafter. Carrying along a large trapping kit doesn’t make sense, and that weight would better serve you if it were replaced by medical supplies, food, and signaling options.

However, that’s not to say that a modestly small trapping kit isn’t worth the weight entirely. Though, snares are considered a ‘low-probability’ trap, meaning that it is unlikely you’ll snag Peter Rabbit with one…if you set 20, you might just snag his brother too.

The strength of using lightweight snares is that these traps are nothing but rigged metal wires or cables (depending on what cable-weight suits your strategy). This shouldn’t take up large amounts of space and won’t weigh you down. In addition, they can also be used for other applications.

In the event that you lose your cordage, snares would do just fine in a pinch. They can be great for making shelter, trip cords, hafting, and if you were good enough to bring only stainless steel containers, you can use snares to hang your water bottle over the fire for boiling and cooking.

The weakness of using snares is their tendency to serve as a ‘one-time-use-only’, kind of trap. If the wrong critter happens to wander into the snare, which was set to catch a meal half its size, then you can pretty much say goodbye to that setup. Especially in freezing temperature scenarios, snares can even become brittle. When that happens, all bets are off.

Long-Term Sustenance and Heavier Traps

While snares are a great way to go in a short-term scenario, your long-term strategy should include substantially more trapping gear than that. Remember, even if you brought along 30 snares, depending on the kind of game wandering through your area (which isn’t always possible to know off the bat), you might tear up all your snares within a week.

One of my favorite kinds of traps is the Conibear, which is considered a ‘body grip’ trap. Fortunately for those of us who are lovers of the backwoods and of the creatures who dwell therein, Conibear traps offer one of the most humane methods of the craft, offering almost a total likelihood of instant dispatch for the critter. Simply put, it wanders into the trap, trips it, and our furry MRE wakes up in small game heaven.

In addition, these traps are considered a ‘high probability’ trap, meaning that if something wanders into it – well, then that critter’s goose is definitely cooked. Unlike snares, where the animal has a fairly high chance of escaping (or being taken by a hawk, who’s probably laughing all the way back to its nest), Conibear traps will kill instantly, and secure the animal until you come and harvest.

It is usually recommended that you carry an assortment of #110, #120, and #220 Conibear traps, as each number indicates its size and spring-strength. The smaller #110’s are usually good for little critters, such as squirrels and rabbits, but the heftier #220’s will even snag a beaver. Strategize accordingly, but be aware that the bigger the trap, the harder it snaps, which increases your likelihood of broken fingers and lots of cussing–if handled carelessly, that is.

Also, bear in mind that if you bring along a trapping kit for sustained wilderness self-reliance, then you will need to be mentally and physically prepared to carry the additional weight. While the #110’s are a pound, and #220’s only weigh in at 2lbs, that weight can add up quickly.

Trapping Beauty

In this glorious age of modern trapping methods and gear, we now have traps that are rather easy to set, will last two decades if maintained, and are far more reliable than in the olden days. Of course, we’ve all heard the legends of Davy Crockett-types, ramblin’ through the woods with a musket and moccasins–but even these guys trapped to survive and make a living.

Simply put, trapping offers the survivalist, backwoodsman, bushcrafter, and explorer the means by which to hunt… without being present. Set enough traps (the proper way of course), and you’ve increased your chances of harvesting meat from the land. Do this while hunting or fishing, and you’ve increased your chances even higher. If you don’t use traps and rely only on hunting, then you’ve left your survival to the hard chance that game will just so happen to blunder into your sights–within range–and present you with a somewhat clean shot.

By the way, it might also be worthy to mention: traps will kill silently. Food for thought.

The understanding behind trapping is that it’s based on the concept of residual returns through increasing your chances, elevating your probability of acquiring meat sources. The more traps you bring, the better your chances. If frontiersmen thought this was important, then it must have been. Of course, I’d trust a Davy Crockett over “survival dude” any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

 

[source] – American Preppers Network

Staying Safe in an Earthquake – How to Be Prepared

Nobody wants to confront a major natural disaster. Yet some disasters – hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, to name a few – come with warning signs, allowing for minor preparation and escape.

Earthquakes, on the other hand, happen immediately and with no warning. They are so all-consuming and widespread that you cannot jump in the car and escape them.

If you are in the impact zone, you will be affected. But the degree to which you are affected can be minimized. It all depends on how prepared you are for the quake. Preparation does take some time, but you will reap the benefits many times over in the event of a major earthquake.

What Is a Quake Like?

Ordinary life immediately precedes an earthquake. You are washing the dishes, watching TV, doing homework, or putting on a helmet for a bike ride. Then you feel that initial jolt.

You may not realize it at first, thinking that it is something else – that someone dropped something heavy. Then you become aware of the noises, of chandeliers rattling, the house frame squeaking, glasses dropping and breaking, car alarms going off.

If you are indoors, items that are not secured – books, TVs, glassware, and lamps – will topple and fall. Hanging items will begin to swing. As these things are falling, you become aware that you might just become the victim of one of these falling things.

If you are outdoors, trees sway and water sloshes out of swimming pools.

The first jerk is followed by several more back-and-forth jerks. You may find it hard to stand.

Even though most earthquakes last only seconds – rarely more than thirty seconds – it will feel like forever.

Right after the shaking stops, the noise continues: dogs barking, people shouting, alarms ringing. Milder aftershocks continue for minutes or hours. Your electricity has probably gone out. Water may not be safe to drink, or water mains may be broken. Gas lines may erupt.

You have just experienced an earthquake measuring 7.0 or greater on the Richter scale.1

Predicting Quakes

Unfortunately, no one can predict earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake, nor are any scientists expected to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.

The best that scientists can do is produce tables that calculate the probability that an earthquake may occur. The milder the earthquake, the greater the probability that it will occur within the next 30 years. More severe quakes measuring 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale – those truly life-altering, disastrous quakes – are less probable to happen.

For example, because Southern California already experiences quakes between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale about four times per year, there is a 100 percent chance of another quake of similar strength happening within the next 30 years. However, because major magnitude-7.5 quakes have happened about once every 87 years, Southern California has only a 36 percent chance of another one happening in the next 30 years.2

Be Ready: Making an Earthquake Preparedness Kit

To help make your recovery from an earthquake safer and more comfortable, you should stock up your home with a set of essential preparedness items. Keep these items stored in a clean, dry place.3

Essential Items

  • Water: One gallon per person for every day. Provide for a two-week supply of water.
  • Food: Non-perishable items such as canned food or dry camping food that can be reconstituted with water. Be sure to have a can opener as well.
  • Gas/Water Shutoff Tool: This specialized wrench fits gas and water shutoff valves and can be purchased at your local home improvement or hardware store.
  • Flashlight: Have both battery-powered and crank flashlights. Keep a full set of fresh batteries on hand, too.
  • Radio: Purchase a hand-crank radio.
  • Medications: These are essential daily prescription items that are needed to maintain regular health.
  • First-Aid Kit: Basic kit that has gauze, adhesive bandages, antiseptic, aspirin or ibuprofen, and heat packs.
  • Tool Kit: Small tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer. If you wish, you may substitute a multipurpose tool.
  • Eyewear: Extra glasses, contact lenses, and solution.
  • Personal Documents: Assemble a fireproof lockbox with prescription slips, home and car titles, birth certificates, passports, and all insurance policies, including homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Contact List: Written spreadsheet or other type of list of phone numbers and addresses of relatives, close associates, local hospitals, and police and fire stations.
  • Cash: Several hundred dollars in small bills.
  • Thick Blankets
  • Paper Maps: Detailed maps of your local area.

Extra or Optional Items

  • Baby Supplies: Bottles, formula, diapers, food.
  • Pet Supplies: Food, ID, collar, carrier.
  • Entertainment: Books, cards, board games.
  • Signal Devices: Whistle, air horn, flares.
  • Feminine Sanitary Items
  • Rain Gear
  • Camping Stove: Stove with extra propane canisters and waterproof matches.
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Duct Tape
  • Gloves
  • Towels
  • Knife and Scissors
  • Water Purification: Tablets or bleach.
  • Sleeping Bags

How to Make Your Home Safer in Case the Big One Strikes

Chances are good that your home is not prepared for an earthquake. While your house may seem solid and safe, it is likely not ready for the rigors of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake. Undertake these projects now for a safer home:4

Secure Water Heaters

Secure heaters to walls with metal straps. These bands can be purchased as part of a kit, available at home improvement stores.

Attach Bookcases, Filing Cabinets, and Tall Cabinets to Wall

Affix any kind of furniture that can tip over to a wall stud, using a metal L-brace or a nylon strap.

Create Barriers on Shelves

Attach ledge barriers along the edges of shelves to prevent items from sliding off and falling.

Secure Gas Appliances

Attach flexible connections to allow appliances to shift without breaking their lines. As with the water heater, attach large gas appliances to the nearest wall.

Minimize Shattered Glass on Windows

Install clear or shaded safety film on windows. This will prevent glass from scattering across the floor.

Secure House to Foundation

Consult a contractor to install anchor bolts between the house framing and the foundation.

Strap Down Chimney

Attach reinforcing bars or metal straps to the chimney to prevent it from snapping and breaking off in the event of an earthquake.

During and After an Earthquake: Keeping Yourself and Your Family Safe

During The Quake5

DO:

  • Drop to the ground and take cover under the nearest strong piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
  • Stay indoors. Even though open outdoor spaces are safer than being indoors, falling objects can injure you as you try to move outside.
  • If you are driving, stop at the nearest clear, open area, away from buildings. Remain in the car.

DO NOT:

  • Stand under a door frame. Once standard advice, this is now outdated, as modern door frames are rarely stronger than other parts of the house.
  • Stand next to buildings, trees, or power lines, which could collapse and injure you.
  • Go to a window, as glass may break and hurt you.
  • Stand next to book cases, high pantry cabinets, refrigerators, or other top-heavy items that may fall.

After The Quake

Even though the earthquake may last only seconds, the aftermath may go on for days or weeks to come. Follow these fifteen steps, in this order:

  1. Wait for the aftershocks to end.
  2. Check yourself for injuries first before assisting others.
  3. Put on shoes to protect yourself against broken glass.
  4. Check for fires and extinguish them immediately.
  5. Shut off natural gas and water lines.
  6. Move yourself and your family to the nearest open area.
  7. Open windows to ventilate your home.
  8. Check your house for structural damage.
  9. Begin gathering water from the water heater release valve, ice cube trays, and toilet tanks.
  10. Check sewer lines for damage before flushing the toilet.
  11. Inspect the chimney for cracks that may indicate potential collapse.
  12. Keep the freezer closed for as long as possible to retain the cold.
  13. Set up charcoal grill outside for cooking.
  14. Stay at home if at all possible. Roads will be impassable.
  15. Check your emergency radio for information.

Earthquakes are devastating events. Fortunately, you and your family can remain safe by following basic safety plans.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Sources:

  1. How Long Earthquakes Last – http://quake.utah.edu/regional-info/earthquake-faq
  2. Earthquake Probability – https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2015/3009/pdf/fs2015-3009.pdf
  3. Red Cross Earthquake Preparedness Kit – http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
  4. 6. Prepare House for Earthquake – http://www.military.com/money/home-ownership/maintaining-your-home/tips-to-make-home-earthquake-ready.html
  5. Quake: Do This / Do Not Do This – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/earthquake-safety-tips/

Home Emergency & Disaster Safety Resource List

be ready for major storms and disasters

Weather can change dramatically and often quite suddenly too, causing severe destruction, injuries, and even fatalities. In the last few years especially, we have been witnessing increasingly violent weather phenomena. Fortunately, today’s improved weather services are often able to warn us of impending natural disasters well before they occur. This advance warning allows people to prepare themselves and their homes so that they can come out alive and safe.

In some cases, the best means of defense is to evacuate the area. This is often done when the scale of the disaster seems too tremendous to cope with. However, at other times people may not be able to evacuate, or during lesser emergencies, they may choose to stay at home and wait it out. In the latter situation, being properly prepared is essential. This means that at least some stages of preparation should be done well in advance, even before there is any warning about a natural disaster.

A key part of disaster safety is having a sufficient amount of supplies, as well as an emergency kit. A basic version is usually built to sustain each member of the household for a minimum of three days. The purpose of this is that people can very easily be trapped within a building without any signs of help for quite some time. A disaster kit typically includes a bountiful supply of water for drinking and cleaning, along with non-perishable canned or packaged foods, a can opener, a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, cell phones and chargers, emergency phone numbers, and a radio. Other useful items to have are prescription medications, supplies for infants and pets, cash, matches, and personal hygiene items.

Get Started with a Disaster Survival Kit

By creating this kit and packing it ahead of time, emergency preparation becomes much easier and quicker when a natural disaster is announced. It is equally important to have a predetermined action plan so that each person in the house knows exactly what to do when a disaster strikes. Without a proper action plan, people often tend to first panic, and then act illogically, which may put them directly in the path of danger. Examples of emergency plans include fire drills or deciding on an emergency meeting spot. At least two people in the household should be trained in CPR and know how to deliver first aid in case of medical emergencies. Learn more about home preparedness during natural disasters with some of these helpful resources.

Floods

Hurricanes

Tornadoes

Earthquakes

Heat Waves

Fires

Severe Thunderstorms

Winter Storms & Blizzards

General Disaster Preparedness

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32 Survival Uses For Trash Bags

 

Heavy-duty plastic bags, like those meant for trash and yard debris, can be used in a surprisingly wide variety of ways to help ensure your survival during a disaster situation like an earthquake, hurricane, or even Zombie outbreak. These light-weight, extremely low cost, readily available, and incredibly versatile tools should be in every B.O.B. and Emergency kit.

Trash Bags

We’ve listed a few of our favorite survival uses for plastic bags, but keep in mind that this everyday item is only limited by your imagination… and whether or not you happen to have a few on hand.

MEDICAL: While it might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trash bag or yard debris bag; a clean, unused bag can be used for a wide variety of medical purposes.

Waterproof bandages – After applying the appropriate bandage to a wound, place a layer of plastic bag over the bandage to protect it from outside moisture and contamination. Secure the protective covering properly, and remove and change the bandage and covering as needed.

Fight hypothermia – The potentially deadly effects of hypothermia can be battled by utilizing a large plastic bag as a “hot box” or additional layer to trap heat next to the body. Simply cut a hole for your head (and arms if needed), and wear the bag as a pullover. You can also simply drape the bag over your body, as you might a survival blanket.

Cold Compress – Fill with snow, ice, or cold water. Fold or tie off bag and apply as needed.

Handle medical waste – Plastic bags can be utilized as gloves for handling medical waste and contaminates such as blood, organs, vomit, and fecal matter… though we’re not sure why you’d handle the last two, unless you’re cleaning up a mess. Check the bag for punctures and/or rips BEFORE you try them on as gloves.

Tourniquet – Like many other flexible materials, large plastic bags can be used as a makeshift tourniquet. While it wont be the best thing for long term use, it can make a world of difference for the short run… remember it’s all about surviving the moment, you can worry about the long-term later.

Sling – Plastic bags can be used to support and immobilize a broken or wounded arm.

WATER: Containers come in handy when you need to collect, transport, and/or treat water, but there’s even more that you can use them for when it comes to water.

Collection/Storage – Lining a trash can, hole in the ground, or other receptacle with a clean plastic bag makes the collection of rainwater safer than simply letting it fill into a potentially contaminated container. Plastic bags can also be used as scoops for collecting water from pools, streams, and other bodies of water.

Solar Still – Fully enclose the leafy green area of a tree branch, securing the plastic bag tightly at the opening. Let it sit in the sun for a few hours as the condensation builds within the bag . Carefully remove the bag when ready, and repeat the process as needed. This method doesn’t typically result in large amounts of liquid, but every little bit counts… especially during a survival situation.

Transport – Creating a sturdy double walled bag for transporting water can be done in just a few steps. Cut or tear open the sealed end of a plastic bag so you are left with a tube. Twist or tie a knot in the center of the bag so you are left with two open ends and a shape like an hourglass. Fold one side over the other and you’re left with a double walled water carrying device.

Filter/Purify – Water isn’t any good to you if it isn’t safe to drink, but a simple plastic bag can go a long way to making water potable. Learn other important tips and tricks for water filtration and purification here: H20 (Water).

Gravity Filter – Gravity filters are simple multi-layer systems that remove the majority of contaminates, and you can easily make one at home. Double wall a plastic bag as seen in the WATER: Transportation portion of this article. Cut a small “spout” hole into the lowest point possible, without destroying the integrity of the bag too much. Reinforce the spout with a bit of duct tape so it doesn’t split when filled. Next, place a coffee filter, bandana, or similar cloth or material for filtering inside the bag and up against the spout. Then carefully pack and layer the following materials into the lower portion of the bag: 2″-3″ finely crushed charcoal, 2″ fine sand, 1″ small stones, 1″fine sand, and 1″ moss, grass, or other porous material. Gently fill the bag with water, tie a knot into the top, hang it up, and allow it to do the job.

Solar Treatment / SODIS – This can be a fairly unpredictable method for treating water, especially during cloudy or winter weather, but when done properly, it can work like a charm. The SODIS method relies on the power of solar rays to purify water; this is only helpful if larger contaminates have first been removed with basic filtration methods like the one listed above. Utilizing a large plastic bag for this method should be a last resort, as not all bags are made from food grade materials. This method is only effective when using CLEAR plastic, tinted or colored materials will not work. 

Solar Shower – Fill a darkly colored plastic bag with water, hang it above head height, let it sit in the sun for a bit to warm up, poke a couple of small holes in the bottom, and enjoy a nice warm shower.

FOOD: Collecting, capturing, and storing food can be difficult during a survival situation, but a trash bag can make the task a whole lot easier.

Collection – Whether you’re raiding the wilds, a nearby farm, or grocery store, containers come in handy… and that’s just what a trash bag is, a container. No matter what you find or where you find it, you’ll need a way to carry your collected goods.

Storage – Just like with water, lining a trash can, hole in the ground, or other receptacle with a clean plastic bag makes the storage of food much safer than placing it into a potentially contaminated or uncovered container. Plastic bags can be sealed by twisting the top and adding a bit of cordage, or simply by tying a knot in the top of the bag itself.

In addition to being a great lightweight container for food items, plastic bags can be tied and hung away from the ground and the prying hands of Zombies, other survivors, and wild animals. A well-sealed bag can offer the advantage of a longer shelf-life of some foods… as long as you store it in a cool dry place.

Trapping – Set them as netting for bugs and fish, or use them as sacks to quickly and more easily bag a bird, squirrel, or other small animal that lends itself to capture.

SHELTER: From additional security to being used as shelters themselves, heavy-duty plastic bags can be utilized in a number of ways when it comes to provide protection from the elements and the undead.

Tarp Tent – Just like an emergency blanket, poncho, or tarp, a plastic bag can be used to create basic Tarp Tent style shelters and protective covers. Cutting the bag down the length of one side, and slicing it along the bottom, can double the square feet of material available for your shelter or cover. Make sure to carry a bit of paracord with you to help when securing your shelter.

Tube Tent – Tear or cut open the sealed end of a large plastic bag, duct tape the tube to another bag, slide yourself inside, and rest well. The ambient heat from your body will build and help to keep your body warm… even in wet and windy weather.

Ground Cover – This one is as simple as it sounds, but it’s important too… especially when you’re sleeping in the wild. Keeping your body away from moisture and the cold of the ground can greatly increase your chances of survival.

Window Black Out – Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you have to look like you are. Blacking out your windows is an important step to ensuring you aren’t hassled by outsiders or spotted by Zombies in a post apocalyptic world. Covering your windows with black trash bags can keep the light from getting out, and you from being seen.

Quarantine – Duct tape and plastic bags can be used to create a fairly effective quarantine area, whether at home or in the field. Simply seal off an area with the bags and duct tape, and make sure it isn’t breached. You’ll need to fully cover any potential areas of transmission, such as heating vents, windows, doorways, etc. 

GEAR/OTHER: Beyond water and food collection, medical assistance, and shelter; plastic trash bags can be utilized as a substitute for many types of gear.

Rain Poncho – The only downside to wearing a plastic bag as a rain poncho is that they don’t breathe. This means that while it will hold the rain and snow out, it will also hold your sweat in. Pay close attention to your body temperature and water-loss when wearing a non-permeable covering like this.

Gear Bag / Dry Bag– Twist the bag a few times just above the line of the gear inside. Fold the excess over top of the bag and carry it upside down. This should create a relatively water-tight seal that still allows for somewhat easy access to important gear and supplies.

Water-proof Boots/Gaiters – Applied over boots, and even bare or minimally covered feet, plastic bags make an excellent material for water-proofing and protection from the elements. They can also be wrapped around the shins or legs as makeshift gaiters for travel through swampy or other exceedingly wet areas.

Flotation Device – Filled with air and twisted shut, heavy-duty trash bags are extremely lightweight and buoyant. They can be used to assist in crossing deep water by simply being held onto, or they can be applied to a raft or other flotation device.

Sleeping Bag / Mattress – Similar to being used as a Tube Tent, large plastic bags make great sleeping bags when stuff with materials like leaves, fabric, stuffing, packing peanuts, etc. Fill the bag as full as possible and crawl in, or use it as a sleeping surface for the night. Not only will this method protect you from the cold, it will help to keep away potential contaminates as well.

Washing Machine – Placing garments into a plastic bag that has been partially filled with water and soap, can actually make a world of difference when attempting to get your clothes clean. Once everything is in there, just jostle it around, empty it out, rinse your clothing, and hang them to dry. Remember, proper hygiene can go a long way to keeping you alive.

Restroom – Sometimes the plumbing goes out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use the bathroom. Placed into a drained toilet or into a 5 gallon bucket, plastic bags can make dealing with waste, a much cleaner and easier process. These can also be used to line latrines when you’re worried about contaminating a nearby water source.

OTHER MISC USES: Creating smoke for signal fires, lashing, patches for clothing and other gear, And of course… collecting and removing refuse, among about a million other uses.

Because not all trash bags are made with the intent of heavy-duty use, it’s a good idea to grab a few construction grade bags from your local hardware store or garden center. Keep a few on hand in your Bug Out Bag and E-kits and utilize them as needed… though we hope you never have to.

 

[source]

10 Tips On How To Survive In The Woods

10 Tips to survive in the woods. - YearZeroSurvival.com

Camping and outdoor adventures are a treasured pastime of this great nation. Unfortunately, you cannot always account for something going wrong when you are out alone in the woods. Survival can be very difficult in more unforgiving circumstances that can be found in the wild, and you should get yourself prepared for this possibility with these survival wilderness tips:

  1. Remain Calm

The absolute worst thing that you can do when things go sideways on a hike or camping trip is to panic. With a clear head, you can make rational decisions and better plan your next thing that has to be done in order to stay alive and stay alert for potential rescue.

  1. Get A Fire Going

Another critical aspect of your survival is going to be warmth and food preparation. This is done through building a fire. While you don’t need a substantial burning inferno, you should have a decent flame going so that you don’t have to constantly be babysitting it to prevent it from going out. An ideal fire can last for a couple of hours without you having to adjust it or add on to it.

  1. Find A Source of Drinkable Water

Likely you have brought along enough water for the time that you intended to be out in the wilderness, but that is about it. When you become stranded or lost, you have to be thinking about water sources to keep yourself hydrated. Streams and creeks can be a good source of water in a pinch, so scope out your surroundings and find a spot to get a steady drinking source.

  1. Start Thinking Shelter

If you were just out in the woods for a hike or a day-long excursion, you are not likely toting around a tent with you. Creating a shelter might seem like a tall order, but sites like https://www.survivalenvy.com can help you get some lightweight portable gear that can make a quality short-term shelter until help arrives.

  1. Take Note of Your Supplies

Understanding what you have and how much of it you have can be the difference in your survival. Rationing out the food, for instance, ensures that you are able to stay nourished over longer periods of time rather than eating all of your available food well before being rescued or making it back to civilization.

  1. Know Ahead of Time What Plants Are Edible

It is always sound advice to understand the vegetation in the area well ahead of your trip. Know what kinds of plants that you can eat, and which ones will cause you harm or make you sick. If you find yourself without food to eat, this knowledge can keep you alive.

  1. Put Your Multi-Tool To Work

Your multi-tool can have a number of great purposes when you find yourself stranded. Pliers can prove a helpful implement for creating a shelter and a knife can help create a spear to skewer fish from brooks and creeks.

  1. Get Your Bearings

Whether you have a compass or not, you should be able to find north at any time of the day by the position of the sun or certain stars in the sky. This can help you determine a definitive direction to travel to end up back where you came from.

  1. Prepare A Distress Signal

If the direction cannot help you find your way back home, you have to think of a way to signal from great distances where you are when help arrives. This can be another important reason for keeping your fire going all hours of the day and night.

  1. Talk To Your Friends and Family Ahead of Time

You can avoid the panic of not being found by talking out your planned excursion with friends and family. If they know where you are, and where you planned to go, finding you should go a lot more quickly.

These are some quality tips to help you survive out in the woods. While no one can anticipate this kind of emergency situation happening, mentally preparing for the possibility and keeping your cool through this trying time can help you to stay alive.

10 Tips to Creating a Comfortable Mattress Outdoors

Long before orthopedic beds and latex mattresses were invented, people slept on the ground, on animal fur, on leaves or straws. History teaches us that the ancient Romans used straw for their mattresses, and in Asia, inhabitants opted for rice chaff (the non-edible husks). Oat chaff was the primary material for beds in Scotland. Leaves, reeds or seaweed were also considered good mattress-fillers in other parts of the world.

Nowadays, people who live off-grid often choose to handmade their beds and mattresses, using whatever they have at their disposal: straw, feathers, wool. Creating a bedstead with natural elements may seem challenging, but it only takes creativity, some manual labor, basic tools and a few tips, which I have already prepared for you.

 

Straw is better than hay

It may be easier to find hay when being outdoors, but straws are better suited for a mattress. Many people are allergic to hay, and sometimes they don’t even know it. Therefore straw is the safer choice. Besides, there’s often plenty of it available after cereal crops have been harvested.

Straw Bed

Carry a tick

Whether you’re just going camping or you’re in a critical situation, make sure you have a tick in your backpack or survival kit. It is a mattress cover, and you can make it from any material you like – usually, they were made from canvas woven from hemp, but presently any resistant material can be an option. When you’re out there, you’ll just unpack the tick and fill it with local stuffing – straw, fallen leaves, even grass.

 

Stuff tightly

The secret is to stuff evenly and tightly, so you won’t have lumps in your mattress. You can use a stick to push the straws into corners or even get inside the tick and arrange them properly, as trymattres.com suggests.

 

Get dry ingredients

Whether you’re using straw, leaves, grass or even hay, make sure they are dry. If it’s raining and everything is wet, try finding dry moss (on trees or rocks) and fill the tick with it.

 

Go freestyle

What if you don’t have a tick? You’ll be just fine sleeping on the ground! Get together as many leaves as you can, moss, hay, straws, anything you can find. Make a pile and give it the shape of a mattress, to fit your whole body. Your bed is made.

Laef Bed

Check for bugs

Even if you are extremely brave, you don’t want to wake up because something is moving through your handmade mattress! So before stuffing the natural elements into the tick (if this is how you’ll create your bed), I advise you to check for crawling beings.

 

Be a caveman

If you’re a hunter and your prey is a big animal, remember that its skin or fur can be a warm and comfortable bed for you. But this is something that requires a particular set of skills. Skinning an animal is not an easy job, and not anyone can do it.

 

Make a water mattress

If you’re near a water source, take advantage of it. You’ll need a few essential items for this: thick plastic foil, transfer or baking paper, a flat iron, adhesive tape and a hose. That’s why this distinct type of mattress is not something you could make in the wild, but it’s an excellent choice for outdoor camping. Tutorials can be found on the web, and the outcome will be a hit.

water bed

Braided twigs

Get all the twigs you can find and braid a mat. It may take a while, but you don’t need other tools than your hands. You can sleep directly on the mesh, or you can put leaves, straw or hay on it.

 

Do some digging

Dig a four-square or round hole in the ground, big enough to fit you and several inches deep. Put the leaves, grass, straw or hay in it and prepare for a warm sleep. Mother Earth is there to provide for you.

 

Hurricane Irma Disaster – A Huge Damage to the Economy

RMA is the name of a category 5 hurricane, one of the worst hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2017. The last horrible hurricane of such intensity, experienced by the U.S in 2005, was when Katrina shook its coastal areas.

Hurricane Irma Damages

It started on the 30th of August 2017 and raged at 185 miles/per hour for 37 hours. It is recorded to be the longest and fiercest hurricane of the Atlantic Ocean.

Irma originated in the deep tropics near the islands of Cape Verde and quickly intensified.

Regions Affected by Hurricane Irma:

The most catastrophic damage caused by Irma as a category 5 hurricane was experienced by the following regions:

  • Barbuda
  • Saint Martin
  • Anguilla
  • Virgin Islands
  • Saint Barthelemy

Impact of the Tropical Hurricane Irma

Overall Damage of this hurricane is calculated at more than $30 billion in 11 days. Some of the Catastrophes are mentioned below along with regions:

  • Florida: 3 million Floridan lost the power supply. And more than 6.5 million people migrated.
  • Irma caused a massive destruction in the Caribbean.
  • Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in British and American Virgin Islands.
  • The ST Martin, Islands on the Dutch half, Island of Barbuda were devastated.
  • Puerto Rico was safe from the direct encounter, but still suffered from electricity and power shortage.

For more detailed facts and figures, check very comprehensive infographic produced by HuntingMark.com.

HuntingMark
 

Irma Broke the Records:

 

This tropical hurricane broke many global records:

  1. This was the first storm with wind speed of 185 miles/HR in the Atlantic Ocean, and it remained for more than a day. (1 day and 17 hours to be exact).
  2. It broke the records of low pressure, that is, 914 millibars.
  3. 7th September was the most active day for the Atlantic hurricanes on record.
  4. Storm Irma raged as 5th category storm for 3 days turning into the 4th category.
  5. This hurricane turned into a category 2 storm and finally dissipated on the evening 12th of September.

How to Live Off the Grid: a Guide to Freedom

We live such hectic lives, filled with absolute non-sense that we forget what it is we’re actually living for. Most of us have 60 hours’ work weeks so we can pay rent, taxes and buy food. We don’t even have time for our loved ones, and we seem too busy or too tired even when we take a day off. That’s when leaving it all behind and starting a new life in the middle of nowhere starts to sound like an awesome idea.

Give it all up

The first thing is renouncing your old life and habits. That sounds pretty terrifying, but it’s liberating at the same time. Ask yourself this: if a tornado were to take you to Oz, what would you miss the most about your life now?

Giving up your life starts by prioritizing the essential things and relationships. After that, you’ll find there are plenty of things you would gladly let go of, if, in exchange, you could have peace, tranquility, and love.

Find a place

Cabin-in-the-woods

After deciding you really need to take off, you can’t simply do it without a plan. That’s why you should find somewhere to stay first. Maybe you have a cabin in the woods or a property in an isolated territory, and that could be your starting point.

But if you have to find your own place, things can get complicated. For instance, you can either buy or rent a piece of land. You should make sure the place is isolated enough so you won’t have any nosy Nellies around, but still, have some neighbors at convenient distances. You should also check that a nearby town doesn’t have future plans to extend closer to your property if you want to live a more solitary life.

After that, you can set up a camp, maybe even move in your trailer and start building your own home. If you have some money saved, you can commission the work to a professional, but you also have the option of turning this into your first DIY project.

Learn survival skills

You can’t move off in the wilderness without learning some survival skills first. The first one would be how to find water if there are limited water sources near your property. If you have very hot summer days when springs peter out, you might need to use other techniques like placing plastic bags on tree branches or digging for water.

making-fire

You should also learn how to build a fire, but that’s the easy part. After all, you can leave home equipped with 20 pounds of waterproof matches. The hardest part is to learn which trees you can cut down, how to chop them and how to store the wood properly. If you cut green trees and the wood gets too wet, you’ll have fewer chances of building a lasting fire.

Grow your own food

This can mean different things depending on where your property is. If you’ve moved off to a deep, damp forest in the mountains, your only options might be hunting, fishing and eating wild fruits. Of course, learning some hunting and fishing skills, along with buying proper equipment is useful no matter where you might end up. And you need to recognize which plants are edible, and which aren’t.

If you’re moving to a friendlier environment, you can always build a greenhouse with basic equipment. So you might need nothing more than some sturdy cellophane and a few pallets, along with plenty of water and the right seeds.

Apart from that, you can farm certain animals, depending on how large your property is. Chicken is the easiest when you take into account all the logistics, like space and food, plus they give you nutritious meat and eggs. Otherwise, you can consider raising cows for their milk, maybe buy a couple of horses if you own a bigger farmstead.

Arrange your amenities

You also need some degree of comfort, especially for keeping a clean environment. So you’ll want a toilet and some sort of washing facilities, and you have plenty of options here too. The easiest would be to buy a camp toilet and a camp shower, which can easily be transported and used no matter where you are.

Or, you can build your own bath, and improvise if you don’t have any running water. For instance, your toilet can be an outhouse, but you have to place it at some distance from your house and greenhouse.

Your shower can be a barrel of warm water with a valve attached to it and a hose with a showerhead for the warmer summer days. Or you can get a bathtub for indoor use, and that would help you relax after a long day’s work.

Earn the money you need

You might still need some money even if you’re living in a remote location for paying the rent or for buying the things you can’t produce on your own, but that doesn’t mean you should get a day job in the city.

One idea is to sell or trade the things you produce in surplus. So if you have lots of eggs or meat, you can sell that to your neighbors, or trade with them for clothes or different tools.

Another idea is to focus on a skill you already have, and sell the results of your work on the Internet. For instance, you might be into crafting and learn how to make interesting sculptures. Or decorate axes. Or make origami. The world is your oyster.

Learn to enjoy solitude

prepare-to-be-alone

This might prove to be difficult enough, especially if you’re all alone. We’re so accustomed to noise (even white noise) that eating a meal by ourselves without constantly checking our social media accounts seems impossible. But if you’ve chosen to live off the grid, you can find pleasure in loneliness.

So after all that, what seems like the most difficult to do? What plan do you have? Tell us all about that in the comments.

 

About the author: Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com

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