Before i start, i want to highlight that the first places you shoud check are;

  • Survival Solutions (ready to download)
  • Survival TOPICs (linked from the Troubled Times Hub)
  • Make a Plan, following this overview.

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     You can share your survival experiences, skills and tips here (Wilderness survival, bushcraft, extreme weather, homesteading and also in various categories like direction finding, fire starting, shelters etc..)

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     I think information shared here will be useful for everyone. Especially for people who lived his/her whole life in the cities and never experienced wilderness or extereme conditions. Also will be helpful for people had some experience/knowledge on the subject.

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    I'm starting with a few tips, and continue to update as much as i can.
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    Lets learn from each other .

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General - Wilderness Survival Rule of Three's

The Rule of Three's is something that everyone should know before taking any camping or backpacking trip. It could save your life.

So what is the Rule of Three's? Well, here we go.

A person can survive for:

  • Three hours without shelter
  • Three days without water
  • Three weeks without food

It seems pretty obvious what your priorities should be in a wilderness survival situation once it is spelled out like this. However a lot of beginners think that finding food is the first thing they should do. So they spend all of their energy trying to find some berries, and before they know it the sun is setting. It's getting cold. Clouds are rolling in, and it starts raining. They still have no food, and now they don't have any shelter. That is not a situation we would want to be in. How 'bout you?

Your first goal should be to make sure you are sheltered from the elements. Even at 50 degrees you could still get hypothermia - especially if you are wet and the wind is blowing. So you should seek shelter as soon as possible. And in warmer climates, you should seek shelter from the sun as well.

Next you should find water to drink.

Lastly, you need to worry about food.

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Direction Finding - Shadow stick method

To determine East-West Line on a sunny day, place a stick upright in the ground. Mark the end of the shadow with a stone. Wait 15 minutes or so, then mark the end of the shadow again with another stone. Place your left heel on the second stone, with your toes pointing towards the first stone.

Your foot should be pointing due west now and if you put your right arm straight out from your side, it will be pointing due North.

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Direction Finding - Using stump

If you lost in a wooded area, look for a stump from a logged tree. Observe the growth rings. The southerly direction can be determined by the width of rings. The rings will be wider on the part of the stum that faces south.

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Winter weather survival - Coal bed

One of the best ways to stay warm in cold weather is to build a hot coal bed.



- Dig up soil around eight inches deep and as long and as wide as your body.

- Build a fire in the hole. Burn the fire for a certain amount of time. Spread out the coal evenly.

- Fill in the hole with soil and wait about 30 minutes before you place your bed on top. The hot coals will heat up the soil and keep you warm until morning.

You will find that your bed will remain warm throughout the night – even in temperatures below freezing.

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Fire starting - Lighting a Fire in the Rain / Snow

Find a tree, preferably, an evergreen. Look on the trunk, or large branches. Find a sap bulk (called pitch).
On evergreen trees, pitch can usually be found where sap builds up on one area.
Chip it from the tree. This and the bark around it are extremely flammable. It will burn hot for some time.
Find dry wood (rain or snow) in close to tree trunks (this receives the least moisture). Keep some 'pitch (dry sap and bark) with you in your survival pack.
This is the best technique to light a fire; keep a lighter with it in your emergency survival gear. A bic lighter is the best lighter to have.

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clothing in the Aftertime may not come easily with cold weather, but preparation is the key.  Below is a list of items put together that hopefully will help some prepare.  Note that Duvets, and blankets work just as well as jackets tied around the waist or used as ponchos in a pinch for cold weather outfits if nothing else is available.  Boots if not available can also have grass stuffed into them as well to help insulate the feet.

The type of shelter you choose will be of importance, as will your clothes.  Here we have thermal underwear, wool/cotton mix or polyester are cheapest.  And layer the clothing with cotton, T-shirts and sweaters etc.  On a cold day a person can have up to 5 layers of clothing on including the jacket. 

Clothing:

Having some cotton is important, but during the winter it holds the moisture against the body, and if working outside would make a person colder quickly and would not be a good idea to have cotton T’s.  You would end up by having to strip down and take off the T-shirt and putting something else on instead.  Awkward and not convenient.  Polyester mixes are the best, sports wear catalogues offer materials that wick away moisture from the body and allow the body to breath.  But also keep the body warm before during and after exercise if it needs to be done.  Also easy to wear, clean and dry.  

Socks are important too!  Use wool, cotton or polyester mixes that allow feet to breath, as feet get very dry during seriously cold weather.  Using some type of oil, olive or butter etc, to help keep the feet from drying out as well as the hands will help with chapped skin.  Very important!

Footwear is also important.  Insulated foot wear if you get it now, can be a real blessing.  Standing on ice or ice fishing can get really cold, frost bite can set in quickly and without good foot wear, the legs get stiff and swollen and the feet can be damaged after prolonged exposure.   Current boots available that insulate up to -50 are good.  But may not be good for long distance walking or everyday use, they can break down easily.  Sorrels are the best, and investing in a decent pair of boot like this can save on money and other health issues later.

Pants, if you have a good pair of pants that cover the whole body from the ankle up through the waist and partially up to the chest, help keeping the cold out, especially when bending down or working doing something, clothing when bulky shifts and it can irritate or chafe.  Pants with braces that fit over the shoulder are best!

The jacket, depending on what you get, can be a huge asset, quilted and with a bonded fleece that helps blog the wind is best, but speaking from personal experience as well.  Wind proofing on the outside and quilted on the inside can help a great deal. 

Ear muffs, which fit over the ear, help with keeping the ear drums free from aching from the cold

A full covering hat can help, especially when it’s really really cold, and all you need when it’s -40 and wind it blowing and gets to -55 or below only the eyes if that will be showing!

Balaclava is a hat that covers the whole face, (see them all thetime when movies use them for robbers etc)

Face mask which comes in a variety of styles is also a must if outside in the cold, this will prevent the cold air from getting into the lungs and creating health issues.

Glasses, when it blows or is really cold or even with the sun glaring over the snow, (creating snow blindness) sunglasses are a must, they help prevent the eyes from freezing.  But if not available a piece of leather with thin slits for the eyes will do the same job.

Gloves, depending on what you choose will help prevent frost bite from setting in.  On a cold day scraping ice off a car with thin thinsulate gloves doesn’t cut it, but with a double layer, thinsulate and water and wind proof gloves, helps.  The product thinsulate is a thin layer of bonded fleece same as in the jacket and will help  to keep the fingers and hands warm.  Mittens, (cover the whole hand) or gloves (finger are separate) is a personal choice.  Scarves as well can be made out of just about anything and can be used to cover the head and neck in cold weather!

I haven’t done any winter survival stuff, or shelters etc.  Only knowing that when the wind and winter kick in, that it’s better to stay in doors and keep warm as much as possible.  Here are some websites that will hopefully help you.

http://www.21stcenturyadventures.com/advice/lists/winterSurvivalChe...

Is a survival guide to what you will need as the basics.

http://www.google.ca/search?q=winter+survival&hl=en&client=...

 

Health:

Check out this website, it has some really good information:

http://lifehacker.com/5443939/top-10-winter-survival-tools-and-tactics

hands and face get chapped and you need to take care of feet etc.  Cracked skin on the hands is no fun and can feel like a knife even though the skin is just torn from being dry.  During the winter it sometimes feels like it would never heal!

 

Cold weather activities, depends on what you want to do. 

Skiing – cross country skiing, blading and down hill ski’s all help getting around.  Depending on what you want to use.

http://matadornetwork.com/sports/how-to-make-your-own-skis/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzq4R2equ_0

Snow shoes

http://www.google.ca/search?q=making+your+own+snow+shoes&ie=utf...

 

other activities:

During the long cold months when not able to get outside or it’s too cold.  Keeping your sanity is a challenge.  We have theme nights, where each week, one of my boys takes a turn at organizing an activity.  Music, art, crafts, exercise or something else.  Lots of women here choose to do embroidery, making clothes or quilting.  Not sure what the aboriginals did.  Or what the men do either!  Fall or autumn is a time when most people are digging up their gardens and canning etc.    This happens at the end of August and into September.  We plant our gardens in May and have a very short growing season and go for crops like root vegetables or squashes.  Cucumbers and tomatoes don’t do really well unless they are started indoors.  Cold weather varieties of crops will do well with you in the AT.  Spinach and dandelion etc do well in our climate here. 

That’s about all I can think of right now, if there is anything else, will forward you some info. 

Oh! Dont’ use an air mattress, the air gets cold in the mattress if it’s cold outside, and makes for an uncomfortable night (tried that and it was pretty bad!)

Hope all this helps you and your loved ones.  Let me know if I can help any further.

Thank you KM so much!

Your valuable reply above covers many important cold weather survival issues.

Thanks. The rule of three is very useful.

TESTING WILD PLANTS TO SEE IF YOU CAN EAT THEM

In emergency situations you can understand that a plant is eatable or not with the test below. Every plant having white sap is most probably poisonous.Draw the shape of plants/flowers you tested to a paper etc for future using.

 

1- Smash leaves or a bit of the plant and take a wiff. Don't eat any plant smells like rotten, peach or  almond. Discard it as it is most likely poison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2- Rub the plant or a little of it's sap on a soft skin on the inside of your arm. Wait for 20 minutes, then check if any itch, skin blush or rash. Rash = don't eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3- Touch small piece of the plant to your lips for 5 seconds and then wait 20 minutes.If there isn't any sense of itch, burn or numbness, then touch that piece corner of your mouth, the tip of your tongue, and finally place it under your tongue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4- If there isn't any strange sensation under your tongue, swallow that piece and wait for 5 hours. If your body doesn't react, you can eat this plant.

here is a swedish torch for cooking etc:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFKzvWDeiFc&feature=related

Thank you KM. Swedish torch is really very useful.

42 FLOWERS YOU CAN EAT




Eating Flowers Safely
So. As lovely as eating flowers can be, it can also be a little … deadly! Not to scare you off or anything. Follow these tips for eating flowers safely:

  •     Eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on edible flowers and  plants.
  •     Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
  •     Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
  •     Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.
  •     If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.
  •     To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.

1. Allium
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful! Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible.

2. Angelica
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor.

3. Anise hyssop
Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor.

4. Arugula
Blossoms are small with dark centers and with a peppery flavor much like the leaves. They range in color from white to yellow with dark purple streaks.

5. Bachelor’s button
Grassy in flavor, the petals are edible. Avoid the bitter calyx.

6. Basil
Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder.

7. Bee balm
The red flowers have a minty flavor.

8. Borage
Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber!

9. Calendula / marigold
A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy — and their vibrant golden color adds dash to any dish.

10. Carnations / dianthus
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.

11. Chamomile
Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.

12. Chervil
Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.

13. Chicory
Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.

14. Chrysanthemum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.

15. Cilantro
Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.

16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)
Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.

17. Clover
Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.

18. Dandelion
Read a whole post about dandelions here: Eating and Harvesting Dandelions. (I am nuts about dandelions.)

19. Dill
Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.

20. English daisy
These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!

21. Fennel
Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.

22. Fuchsia
Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.

23. Gladiolus
Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.

24. Hibiscus
Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.

25. Hollyhock
Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.

26. Impatiens
Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.

27. Jasmine
These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.

28. Johnny Jump-Up
Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.

29. Lavender
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.

30. Lemon berbena
The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.

31. Lilac
The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.

32. Mint
The flowers are — surprise! — minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.

33. Nasturtium
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.

34. Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.

35. Pansy
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.

36. Radish
Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.

37. Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.

38. Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.

39. Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.

40. Squash and pumpkin
Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.

41. Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.

42. Violets
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.

 

Source

Here is a very useful calculator that you can use for get an idea of how much food you and your family would need to store for 1 years supply.

-The following calculator will help you figure the minimum food storage amounts needed for your family. These amounts are based on the recommendations listed in the LDS Church's Home Production and Storage manual. These figures are recommendations, and are basic year supply minimums only. You will need to choose the best options and foods you should store for your family.-

http://www.thefoodguys.com/foodcalc.html

http://www.thefoodguys.com/foodcalc.html

have found this website to be very useful in identifying herbs and their qualities.

http://www.herbwisdom.com/

USES OF PARACHUTE CORD (PARACORD)

The list is really endless and up to your imagination, but a few ideas include the following.

  • Braiding for even more combined strength
  • Tent and Pole support, building shelters
  • Clothes Line
  • Tow Line
  • Tarp Tie Down
  • Equipment Guy-lines
  • Pack Strap, Fasten, lash and secure gear to backpack
  • Shoe Lace, Boot Lace
  • Garden Lines
  • Shelter Making
  • Fire Bow
  • Lanyard
  • Survival kit
  • Knife Handle Wrap
  • Lifeline, since it will support the weight of a human
  • Inner strands for sewing, fishing line, trapping and snares, dental floss, emergency stitches (boil first)

5 BENEFITS OF PARACHUTE CORD (PARACORD)


Parachute cord, also called Paracord is a highly versatile multi-filament nylon cord whose use seems nearly unlimited and is a must have for any survival and emergency preparedness kit because of its many uses and benefits.

It is made with a flexible outer braided nylon wrapper which holds seven strong nylon cords inside. The combined breaking strength with all seven cords is 550 pounds. For this reason, some call it “550 cord”.

The cord was first introduced and applied in parachute construction during WWII and was quickly recognized for its use in other tasks. Today it is used by both military and civilians for countless general purpose tasks.

There are many copies in the civilian market today but true military grade cord will be designated MIL-C-5040 Type III and rated for 550 pounds. Genuine MIL-SPEC MIL-C-5040 Type III Paracord has 7 inner yarns each made up of 3 strands. Commercial 550 paracord imitations may not have 7 inner yarns or the inner yarns may not have 3 strands each. “According to the actual Mil-C-5040 government document 550 type III Paracord should be made up of between 7 and 9 strands and each strand shall be 3-ply.”

Some of the paracord on the civilian market is very good. Just be sure that there are 7 inner yarns instead of 5. It is apparently very difficult to find the real Mil-spec paracord with 7-inner yarns AND with each yarn being 3-ply (3-strands) (most are 2-ply, which are still very good).

The cord comes in a variety of colors and can be cut to any length (when cut, the ends should be burned or singed to prevent fraying). The inner strands can be easily pulled out for many additional uses.

The 5 Benefits of Parachute Cord

Strength
(In just a 1/8 inch diameter cord, an incredible breaking strength of 550 lbs.)

Durability
(It can be used over and over again while remaining flexible and durable)

Light Weight
(The specifications require that 225 feet of cord only weigh 1 pound or less)

Water and Mildew Resistant
(Outside elements are not a problem and it will dry very quickly)

Inner Strands
(The unique ability to remove the inner strands make this cord extremely versatile)

Source

 

Wildlife safety - Bear attack

Hiking in bear country

I want to add some general bear safety tips and also how to deal with a bear attack. These advices will help you to minimize risk if you are hiking in bear country.

1. Keep alert, avoid surprising bears at close range. Bears tend to be more active at dawn and dusk. If you see signs of bear make plenty of noise or if you want to be on the safe side make noise regularly to alert bears. They will likely move away and you’ll never know they were in the area.

2. Keep a clean camp and cook away from your tent. Store all food away from your campsite. Hang your food out of reach of bears and store your food in plastic. Bears have keen noses and are great diggers.

3. If you come face-to-face with a bear, never run. Bears can run several times faster than humans. Move away slowly. Do not panic or make jerky motions.

4. If the bear attacks - go to the ground, cover the back of your head and neck with your hands – play dead. Do not attempt at any time to take off your backpack it will protect your back.

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Making your own rocket stove

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