Before i start, i want to highlight that the first places you shoud check are;
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..)
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.
I'm starting with a few tips, and continue to update as much as i can.
Lets learn from each other .
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a YouTube channel devoted to survival skills. Excellent, from what I've heard.
Via email, this excellent website with downloadable digital books.
More homesteading than survival- Youtube channel of a 91 year old woman who has some videos on "great depression-era" cooking
Highly recommend this for anyone who feels new to all this. Or after the announcement, if you have friends & relatives who take the announcement seriously, but have no idea what to go about it, this is an excellent starting point. It goes over all the routes possible for aftertime diet. (w/o sounding alarmist, etc.)
Victory Garden's Edible Feast presented on PBS, you can watch the series free here: https://vimeo.com/ediblefeast/videos
Maybe we will see Anthony Bourdain do something like this on CNN, with a bigger budget... Maybe the first lady could co-host or guest host with him. idk
While lighting a campfire is often the most tricky thing, getting its shape right is crucial.
Damp twigs, soggy matchsticks and wet tinder have all left campers less than happy down the ages, but assuming you can manage to get the flame started, scientists have come up with the perfect shape for a fire.
For the ideal balance between generating heat and without burning too quickly, the trick is to make it as wide as it is high - and it turns out that this pyramid or cone shape is best.
Professor Adrian Bejan from Duke University, said that, all other variables being equal, the best fires are roughly as tall as they are wide to offer the most efficient air and heat flow (pictured)
Too tall and there will be too much air coming into contact with too little fuel; too broad and the firestarter will have too much fuel and too little air.
While our ancestors may not have known that they have been following strict scientific principles all along; this in fact is the shape that mankind has been making fires since the dawn of time, according to scientsts at Duke University.
‘The reason is that this shape is the most efficient for air and heat flow. Our success in building fires in turn made it possible for humans to migrate and spread across the globe.’
Fires are designed in line with the so-called golden ratio.
Also known as the divine proportion, it is a geometric proportion said to be the most aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
It describes a rectangle with a length roughly one and a half times its width.
The Egyptians supposedly used it to guide the construction the Pyramids, while the architecture of ancient Athens is thought to have been based on it.
And Professor Bejan added that the reason it appears everywhere is because the eyes scan an image the fastest when it is shaped as a golden-ratio rectangle.
'When you look at what so many people have been drawing and building, you see these proportions everywhere,' Professor Bejan said. 'It is well known that the eyes take in information more efficiently when they scan side-to-side, as opposed to up and down.'
Professor Bejan argued that the world - whether it is a human looking at a painting or a gazelle on the open plain scanning the horizon - is basically oriented on the horizontal.
For the gazelle, danger primarily comes from the sides or from behind, not from above or below, so their scope of vision evolved to go side-to-side.
As vision developed, he continued, the animals got 'smarter' by seeing better and moving faster and more safely.
Professor Bejan continued, ‘Our bonfires are shaped as cones and pyramids, as tall as they are wide at the base.’
So a tall, skinny fire reaches its optimal point when it burns down to a pyramid as wide as it is tall.
And if you want a hotter, wider fire then you need to pile on a few more logs.
Professor Bejan stressed that more research is needed to look at other factors in building a fire.
He said: ‘Important to keep in perspective is that the model described in the preceding analysis is perhaps the simplest imaginable.
'The model is an invitation to more focused studies aimed at additional effects that may affect the pile shape sensibly: the wind speed and direction, the type of fuel (coal, wood), and the packing (fine, coarse).’
In 1996, Professor Bejan penned the Constructal Law that states the movement - or 'flow' - of systems such as trees, rivers or air currents evolve into ways that provide easier access to such flows.
Put more simply, they evolve their shapes in such a way that makes them more efficient at their various tasks.
Now internationally recognised, the law is being used to find applications in improving design and maximising efficiency of manmade systems.
Professor Bejan continued: '[Bonfires] look the same in all sizes, from the firewood in the chimney, to the tree logs and wooden benches in the center of the university campus after the big game.
'They look the same as the pile of charcoal we make to grill meat. And now we know why.'
‘Finding twigs and dry wood is a pain. The question is how to make the hottest fire with the smallest amount of wood.
‘You do that by organising the twigs in the way I describe. This is what people like us millions of years ago learned to do.’
Professor Bejan said that he was himself a keen camper.
Originally from Romania, he said that ‘I don’t make fires for entertainment, but for cooking and warmth when spending nights on the banks of the Danube.’
He added that he believed that the business card is also an ideal shape as it ‘is the shape the human eye scans fastest.’
And part of this design for fires - and this business card - is in line with what's known as the golden ratio.
Professor Bejan saidL ‘Our bonfires are shaped as cones and pyramids, as tall as they are wide at the base. So a tall, skinny fire reaches its optimal point when it burns down to a pyramid as wide as it is tall. And if you want a hotter, wider fire then you need to pile on a few more logs' (stock image pictured)