Saturday, January 21, 2012

If you are out in the wilderness and suddenly you realize that you are lost, the first thing you must do is stay calm. If you panic you will further lose your way but if you keep your head and stay calm you may be able to see something that you recognize from the path you walked in on. Try to back track but if you can't find your way out and you do find yourself in a survival situation, the following are some basic survival techniques to help you self rescue.

Predicting Weather In The Wilderness

Smoke From A Fire
· When you have a fire going pay attention to the smoke because this can help you determine what the weather may do. If the smoke looks like it is being pushed down instead of rising that is a good indication that low pressure is on its way and low pressure systems usually bring storms with them. If the smoke rises then it means high pressure is there and you don’t have much to worry about weather wise.   
Dawn Or Dusk Red Sky
· A red sky at either dusk or dawn is a very reliable way to predict the weather. At dusk, a red sky indicates that the next day will probably be a good day. This is due to the sun shining through dust particles being pushed ahead of a high pressure system bringing in dry air. A red sky at dawn often means that an approaching low pressure system is bringing in a lot of moisture in the air. This is a good indication that a storm is approaching. A good way to remember this one is, red sky at night shepherds delight, red sky in the morning shepherds warning.

Large/Small Corona
· The circle that you can sometimes see around the sun or the moon will become larger when weather is to be good and becomes smaller when bad weather is on its way.

Southerly Wind
· This one only applies to the Northern hemisphere, if the wind is strong from the south there is a good chance of storms. A good way to remember this is “Wind from the South head to the house.” For the southern hemisphere it’s the exact opposite.

Cirrocumulus Clouds
·    These are smaller rounded clouds but are in lines, looks like ripples in the sand. These clouds usually mean fair weather.

Altocumulus Clouds
· These too are usually fair weather clouds but are a larger scale of the Cirrocumulus Clouds that are puffier looking and not as white.

Cumulonimbus Clouds
· These clouds are also referred to as a thunder head, they are the dark nasty looking clouds that can grow to enormous heights. This cloud tends to bring heavy rain, hail, strong winds, thunder and lightning.  

Medical Plants


· Yarrow has distinctive features about it such as dark feathery like leaves and tiny heads with white or pink flowers.  Use an infusion of the whole plant ( EXCEPT FOR THE ROOTS THEY ARE POISONOUS ) for colds and fevers. Also it can be used to help clot blood faster, or to lower blood pressure.  ( THE HEMLOCK PLANT LOOKS ALOT LIKE YARROW DO NOT USE THE HEMLOCK PLANT BECAUSE IT IS EXTREMELY POISONOUS ONE SMALL BITE WILL BE FATAL. )
Oak Tree
· Extract the liquid from the bark of an oak tree by heating or boiling the bark. Use liquid to clean wounds or rashes.

· The bulb of the garlic plant is a very powerful antiseptic, dilute it with water for external swelling or treating wounds. Eating garlic can help prevent and treat colds.
Elm Tree
· Use a decoction of the bark from a elm tree for diarrhea and skin eruptions.
Poplar Tree
· The inner bark of poplars and other trees related to willows can be used just like aspirin for fevers, as a pain reliever, and to reduce the swelling of injuries. During the spring and early summer it is an easy matter to peel the bark from trees, and either chew it directly or steep it in hot water to make a tea. Simply cut into the bark and strip it off since the interface between the bark of the tree and its woody portion is very slippery, you can peel the bark off in long continuous strips. The smell and taste of poplar bark is very aspirin like and I rather enjoy its bitter taste though some people may find it a bit too much. You can chew a mouthful of bark and swallow the liquid if you are in a hurry and don’t mind the taste. An alternative is to simmer about 2 teaspoons of the inner bark in cup of water for ten minutes and let cool before straining and drinking. Three or four cups of this bark aspirin tea can be consumed daily. I have found that young trees are especially potent.

Edible Wild Plants


· You can boil or eat raw the rootstock, or rhizomes, of the plant. The rootstock is usually found underground. Make sure to wash off all the mud. The best part of the stem is near the bottom where the plant is mainly white. Either boil or eat the stem raw. Boil the leaves like you would spinach. The corn dog-looking female flower spike can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob in the early summer when the plant is first developing. It actually has a corn-like taste to it.
· The dandelion is high in calcium and is rich in vitamins A and C. You can eat the leaves raw or cooked and the roots need to be boiled or roasted. If you boil the roots you can then drink the water like a tea.
Wild Onion
· The bulb in the ground is edible.
· The berries of a blackberries bush are edible.
· This is a wild edible plant everyone knows. The clover leafs are delicious in salads or juices. Clovers are a valuable survival food, as they are high in protein, widespread, and abundant. They are not easy to digest raw, but this can be easily fixed by juicing them. Dried flower heads and seed pods can also be ground up into nutritious flour and mixed with other foods. Dried flower heads can also be steeped in hot water for a healthy, tasty tea.
Sweet honey flavor. Only the flowers are edible. 
NOTE: Berries are highly poisonous - Do not eat them!


Night Navigation Using The Moon
· Just like the sun the moon follows the same trajectory rising in the East and setting in the West. You can use the shadow stick method just like you do with the sun.

Night Navigation Using The Stars
· One of the best ways to navigate through the night is to find the North Star. To locate the North Star find the Big Dipper and from the outer top edge of the dipper go up to the bright star in the sky. That is the North Star and is also the start of the handle of the Little Dipper. 

Magnetizing A Small Piece Of Wire
· Take a small piece of wire and rub it through your hair long enough to magnetize it. Once it becomes magnetized tie a wire to the middle of it and suspend it in mid air. Make sure you are out of the wind so you are not misdirected.

The Shadow Stick Method
· Place a stick upright in the ground so that you can see its shadow. The narrower the tip of the object is, the more accurate the reading will be. Make sure the shadow is cast on a level, brush-free spot.
·  Mark the tip of the shadow with a small object, such as a pebble, or a distinct scratch in the ground. Try to make the mark as small as possible so as to pinpoint the shadow's tip, but make sure you can identify the mark later.
· Wait 10-15 minutes. The shadow tip will move mostly from west to east in a curved line.
· Mark the new position of the shadow's tip with another small object or scratch. It will likely move only a short distance.
· Draw a straight line in the ground between the two marks. This is an approximate east-west line.
· The first mark you made will be west and the second mark you made will be east. Stand were the first mark is on your left and the second mark is on your right and you will be facing mostly towards true north. You can also use the moon at night to do the same thing.
 The Anolog Watch Method
· Find an analog watch that is set accurately. Place it on a level surface, such as the ground, or hold it horizontal in your hand.
· Point the hour hand at the sun.
· Find the center point between the hour hand and the twelve o'clock mark. The center of the angle between the hour hand and twelve o'clock mark is the north-south line. If you don't know which way is north and which south, just remember that no matter where you are, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This Method only works in the northern hemisphere.

Fire Craft

· Matches are one of the easiest and best ways to start a fire. Make sure your matches are waterproof. To ensure your matches stay dry store them in a waterproof container along with a dependable striker pad. (An easy way to waterproof matches is to dip them in nail polish.)  
 Convex Lens

· This method only works on a bright sunny day when the suns rays are intense. You can use a lens from binoculars, camera, telescope, or my favorite a magnifying glass. Angle the lens and focus the suns rays on the tinder to a fine point. Hold the lens there on the same spot until it starts to smolder. Blow on it gently until you get a flame and apply it to your larger tinder pile.  
· This method all depends on the type of batter you have. Attach a wire to each side of the battery terminals and touch the opposite ends of the wires together next to your tinder so that the sparks will ignite it.
Flint and Steel

· The direct spark method is the easiest of the primitive methods to use. The flint and steel method is the most reliable of the direct spark methods. Strike a flint or the sharp edge of a hard rock with a piece of the carbon steel. When a spark has caught in the tinder, blow on it and the sparks will spread and burst into flames.
· Carefully extract the powder from an ammunition shell. Pour the powder on your tinder. The smallest of spark will ignite the powder so be careful and keep your body as far away from the powder as possible while generating a spark.
Fire Plow
· The fire-plow is a friction method of ignition. You rub a hardwood shaft against a softer wood base. To use this method, cut a straight groove in the base and plow the blunt tip of the shaft up and down the groove. The plowing action of the shaft pushes out small particles of wood fibers. Then, as you apply more pressure on each stroke, the friction ignites the wood particles.
Bow and Drill
· The technique of starting a fire with a bow and drill is simple, but you must exert much effort and be persistent to produce a fire. You need the following items to use this method:
Socket – The socket is an easily grasped stone or piece of hardwood or bone with a slight depression in one side. Use it to hold the drill in place and to apply downward pressure.
 Drill – The drill should be a straight, seasoned hardwood stick about 2 centimeters in diameter and 25 centimeters long. The top end is round and the low end blunt (to produce more friction).
 Fire – board. Its size is up to you. A seasoned softwood board about 2.5 centimeters thick and 10 centimeters wide is preferable. Cut a depression about 2 centimeters from the edge on one side of the board. On the underside, make a V-shaped cut from the edge of the board to the depression.
 Bow – The bow is a resilient, green stick about 2.5 centimeters in diameter and a string. The type of wood is not important. The bowstring can be any type of cordage. You tie the bowstring from one end of the bow to the other, without any slack.
To use the bow and drill, first prepare the fire lay. Then place a bundle of tinder under the V-shaped cut in the fire board. Place one foot on the fire board. Loop the bowstring over the drill and place the drill in the precut depression on the fire board. Place the socket, held in one hand, on the top of the drill to hold it in position. Press down on the drill and saw the bow back and forth to twirl the drill. Once you have established a smooth motion, apply more downward pressure and work the bow faster. This action will grind hot black powder into the tinder, causing a spark to catch. Blow on the tinder until it ignites.

Drinking Water

Boiling Water
· Boiling water is an effective way to make water safe to drink. Find something to boil your water in and put it on your fire. Bring the water to a good boil and boil it there for 15 minutes. Let it cool before you drink.
Sand Water Filter
· To start with, you need a container. If you can find a large, empty can, use it. Punch 5-10 holes in the bottom of the can. A large plastic bottle is also fine. Cut the end of the bottle off evenly. If there is no container available, you have to use what material that nature can provide, or that you brought with you. If you find a birch tree, make a cone of birch bark. The cone will need to have a fairly small hole in the bottom. Tie the cone with rope to keep it from opening up. First, you need to stop the sand from getting out of the container. Find some filter material you can place at the bottom. Like a couple of inches of pebbles, a small piece of your cotton shirt or a grass mesh but make sure it’s nonpoisonous grass or cotton material. To improve your water filter, add a layer of charcoal between the gravel and sand layer. Get charcoal from your fire and crush it, not to powder but just fine gravel size. Add a layer of gravel. The main purpose of the gravel layer is to strengthen the filter material and prevent sand mixed with the water you get from the filter. Fill your bottle or cone with sand. Collect some water. Pour your collected water through the filter. Catch it in another container at the bottom. Look at the water that comes out of the filter. It should be clear. If not, you may have to pass the water through the filter more than once. This should be safe to drink now but to improve your water filter, add a layer of charcoal between the gravel and sand layer. Get charcoal from your fire and crush it, not to powder but just fine gravel size. Add a layer of gravel. The main purpose of the gravel layer is to strengthen the filter material and prevent sand from mixing with the water you get from the filter. To insure that this water is 100% free of parasites and bacteria you may want to boil it if you can.
Solar Still
· Build your solar still in the lowest, dampest area you can find. Areas such as dried up creek beds or at the base of a hill were water will accumulate is the best place for gathering it. For this method you will need a large sheet of plastic a cup or container and about six feet of tubing. Dig a large hole in the ground about two feet deep and around three feet in diameter. Place your cup or container in the bottom of the hole in the center then place one end of your tubing in the cup. The tubing will be used as a long straw. Cover the hole with your plastic sheet and place dirt on the outside edges of the plastic to keep it from moving. Now place a small rock in the center of the plastic sheet directly over the cup. This will create a cone over the cup with the point pointing into your cup allowing the water to drip off into your cup. The way this works is as the sun's rays heat up the soil, moisture evaporates and condenses to the plastic. Then the water will run down the cone shape and drip into your cup.  
Rain Water
· A simple way to get drinking water is to catch rain water in a cup. 
Plant Condensation
· You can tie a plastic bag around a tree branch or plant with good leaves that is exposed to direct sunlight and the leaves will excrete drinking water.  

The human body is made up of 75% water. In a survival situation it is vital to replenish your body’s water. You must make finding water one of your top priorities.