Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

"Surviving to Fight means Fighting to Survive"

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Friday, 29 March 2013

Show Content 29th March 2013

Show Notes
I begin this weeks packed show with the Blizzard Survival 20% discount offer then In the news, What’s in a name, Hypothermia, Campfire trout, support these companies, Outdoor Toilet, which wood burns best, Beaufort Scale of Wind Force, Here are some more companies to support, The Will Lord Interview, Further companies to support, shelter, tasty wild duck, Wilderness Medicine and Survival Tips, Steps to Survive & Thrive in ANY Circumstance, Signal Crayfish, Here are two great Bushcraft shows for you to attend this year.

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What’s in a name?
These were first compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891 but have since been revised several times currently totalling 283 Scottish Mountains over 3000ft (914.4m)
Munro Baggers are the name given to those enthusiasts who endeavour to complete the 'circuit' some of whom attempt it as one continuous trip and others who take years. Over 4,500 walkers are now listed as having bagged all the Munros.
These were compiled by John Rooke Corbett and are 220 Scottish hills between 2500 and 2999 feet high with a drop of at least 30 metres on all sides.
Nothing to do with Miss Munro but listed by Alan Dawson as British hills of any height with a drop of at least 150 metres on all sides. The geographical area includes the Isle of Man and the islands of St Kilda.
Also compiled by Alan Dawson, Grahams are 224 Scottish hills which are between 2000 and 2499 feet high with a drop of 150 metres on all sides. He names them after the late Fiona Graham who made her own list about the same time.
These are the 214 fells that Alfred Wainwright loved and immortalised in his 7 Pictoral Guides to the Lakeland Fells.
253 English and 189 Welsh hills over 2000ft. These were listed by John and Anne Nuttall’s Mountains of England and Wales. There are 253 Nuttalls, of which 178 are Hewitts, and 51 are Marilyns
This list by Alan Dawson again and a list of Hills in England, Wales and Ireland over 2000ft.
Technical Definition
Within Great Britain and Ireland, a mountain is now usually defined as any summit at least 2,000 feet (or 610 metres) high, whilst the official UK government's definition of a mountain is a summit of 600 metres or higher. In addition, some definitions also include a topographical prominence requirement, typically 100 feet (30 m) or 500 feet (152 m). For a while, the US defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet (304.8 m) or more tall. Any similar land form lower than this height was considered a hill.
Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted standard definition for the height of a mountain or a hill although a mountain usually has an identifiable summit.
In the United Kingdom, a mountain must be over 600 metres (1969 feet) or over 300 metres (984 feet) if it's an abrupt difference in the local topography. However, some hills can be called mountains and some mountains can be called hills - it's just a matter of the original name given to the relief.
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can generate it, leading to a situation where the body core is unable to maintain sufficient warmth to allow the proper function of vital organs.
Wet, wind and cold are the key environmental factors that cause hypothermia. Any two of these is enough to start the cooling process in earnest.
As you move it is important to vent the moisture your body is creating as you exert yourself. At the same time you will attempt to protect yourself against the wind and rain. It is vital to keep your base layer as dry as possible, as wet or damp clothing against your body will cause you to lose heat 25 times faster than when dry.
A few degrees is all it takes!
Normal body core temperature is 37C. The skin is usually cooler by a few degrees.
Shivering occurs when core temperature drops to 35C. The body is automatically trying to produce warmth by muscular activity.
Below 35C, we start to experience clumsiness, irrational behaviour and generally confused state. A person may appear to be drunk.
At this stage the person suffering is almost exhausted and unable to produce body heat, let alone keep moving. Exercising the person will only increase the hypothermia.
It would be dangerous to take the person suffering from hypothermia into a warm room as it can cause the blood to rush from the core to the extremities which suddenly may send the person into a coma.
At 33C the person will be shivering, incoherent and complain of aching stiff muscles. They are now on the edge of severe hypothermia. If the temperature continues to drop they will slip into unconsciousness and may lose response to painful stimulus.
At 28C the person will give the appearance of death. It is important not to give up on treatment. There have been several cases where the person has made a full recovery having been kept alive by rescue breathing and CPR for several hours! For this reason a doctor will only pronounce the person dead when the body has returned to room temperature.
Campfire Trout
All you need for this very tasty treat are some rocks, a fire, a small but strong stick and of course the fish. The best is hot embers for a fire. No flames because they will burn your fish.
Gut and remove all viscera (leave the head on). If you are lucky enough to have roe, leave it within the fish cavity. See Do You Know How To Clean A Fish?
Place the stick through the cavity you made when you gutted the fish and into the head. It will let the fish hang down. Position the fish so heat will be even on its side, using rocks to hold the stick erect and steady.
Keep a good eye on your fish during the cooking process. Heat can set your fish on fire. Reposition the trout as needed so the other side can cook. This should be done several times during the cooking process.
Quite often the tail catches fire; that is no big deal, just keep the flames to a minimum. It helps to have water handy to sprinkle on the fire if too many flames pop up.
Look inside for colour changes to indicate cooking. Your trout has a red and translucent grey-whitish colour when raw which will change to a solid white and grey brown when cooked, The best area of the fish to check for doneness is within the body cavity around the thick part of the fish back bone. Also, the eye will change colour from a translucent to a solid white.
When done peel back the skin and just remove filets lengthwise.
Thats it!!! enjoy..yummy.. yum.
If you are looking for some new kit then please Support these Companies
The following companies have supported this station and I will support them they are:
You will never need to boil water again
For I-shields UV Protection
For top quality 550 Paracord
For Survival Knives and Survival Kits
For the Nano Striker fire starter
For tasty MX3 Meals
The Lifesaver bottle
For the Knot Bone Lacelock
For the Wild and Edible Nutrition E Book
Browning Night Seeker Cap Light RGB
Multi lite Multi-tool
For the Ghillie Kettle
For the Blackbird SK-5 or his handmade leather sheaths
For the Farside Outdoor Meals
The Survivor knife
For the Chris Caine companion survival tool
Outdoor Toilet
If you are out for more than a day with no access to toilets, you need to be aware of how to defecate, without impacting on the environment.
I generally take with us a Toilet Trowel Bag and keep it within easy reach. This is just a nylon drawstring bag that contains:
A lightweight trowel
Some biodegradable toilet paper if possible, or pack of tissues if not. (This is kept dry and placed inside a zip lock plastic bag.)
A disposable lighter
Wet wipes or hand sanitizing gel
Firstly select a spot away at least 50m from any path and at least 30 from any water source. Always go ‘below’ camp and away from any water source. Water for drinking should then be taken from ‘above’ camp.
Next use your trowel to dig a small hole about 6 inches deep. Under trees the soil is often softer, which makes life easier. Make sure it doesn’t look like a place others might choose to camp or picnic in. The more remote the better.
After you have performed, use the toilet paper and if conditions allow, set it alight. Making sure there is no chance of undergrowth catching fire. Leaves and moss can be used if you don’t have any paper.
If conditions don’t allow you to burn paper, you need to bury it. Biodegradable is therefore preferred. Use soil and leaf litter to cover the hole then place a rock on top to prevent animals digging it up.
If circumstances and conditions make digging a hole impossible, spread the excrement thinly or arrange rocks so air can circulate. Avoid hiding it under a rock as this slows decomposition.

Some wilderness areas require you to pack out ALL waste. In such areas you need to have the appropriate bags to do this!
Remember to use wet wipes or sanitizing gel on your hands after. If you wash your hands, make sure you run your hands under water poured from a bottle, or in a bowl. Putting your hands into a running watercourse is not the answer. The bowl wastewater can then be tipped at a distance from your water source.
Which Wood Burns Best?
There are a myriad of wood types to choose from, all of which have their own burning qualities and properties however for the most efficient and effective burn in your wood burning stove only very dry wood should be used.
Never use green or 'live' wood as this is damaging the environment and produces excess smoke and gases. Here is a brief but by no means comprehensive guide.
Alder:  Produces poor heat output and it does not last well.   Poor
Apple:  A very good wood that burns slow and steady when dry, it has small flame size, and does not produce sparking or spitting.    Good
Ash:  Reckoned by many to be one of best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and good heat output. It can be burnt when green but like all woods, it burns best when dry.   Very Good
Beech:  Burns very much like ash, but does not burn well when green.   Very Good
Birch:  Produces good heat output but it does burn quickly. It can be burnt unseasoned, however the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.     Good
Blackthorn: Has a slow burn, with good heat production.    Good
Cedar: Is a good burning wood that produces a consistent and long heat output. It burns with a small flame, but does tend to crackle and spit and the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.    Good
Cherry:  Is a slow to burn wood that produces a good heat output. Cherry needs to be seasoned well.    Good
Chestnut:  A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output.    Poor
Douglas Fir:  A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output and the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.    Poor
Elder:  A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output.    Poor
Elm:   Is a wood that can follow several burn patterns because of high moisture content, it should be dried for two years for best results. Elm is slow to get going and it may be necessary to use a better burning wood to start it off. Splitting of logs should be done early.     Medium
Eucalyptus:   Is a fast burning wood. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue and can increase the risk of a chimney fire if burned unseasoned.     Poor
Hawthorn:   Is a good traditional firewood that has a slow burn with good heat output.     Very Good
Hazel:   Is a good but fast burning wood and produces best results when allowed to season.     Good
Holly:   Is a fast burning wood that produces good flame but poor heat output. Holly will burn green, but best dried for a minimum of a year.      Poor
Hornbeam:   A good burning wood that burns similar to beech, slow burn with a good heat output.  Good
Horse Chestnut: A good wood for burning in wood stoves but not for open fires as it does tend to spit a lot.  It does however produce a good flame and heat output.  Good (for Stoves)
Laburnum:   A very smokey wood with a poor burn.  Very Poor – Do not use.
Larch:   Produces a reasonable heat output, but it needs to be well seasoned. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.      Medium
Laurel:  Burns with a good flame but only reasonable heat output. It needs to be well seasoned.           Medium
Lilac:  Its smaller branches are good to use as kindling, the wood itself burns well with a good flame.      Good
Lime:   Not a good wood for burning as it produces very little flame or heat output.     Poor
Maple:   Is a good burning wood that produces good flame and heat output.     Good
Oak:   Because of its density, oak produces a small flame and very slow burn, it is best when seasoned for a minimum of two years as it is a wood that requires time to season well.    Good
Pear:   Burns well with good heat output, however it does need to be seasoned well.     Good
Pine Species:   (Including Leylandii) Burns with a good flame, but the resin sap can cause deposits to form in the flue and can increase the risk of a chimney fire must be well seasoned.      Good  (with caution)
Plum:   A good burning wood that produces good heat output.      Good
Poplar:   A very smokey wood with a poor burn.      Very Poor
Rowan: Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output.     Very Good
Rhododendron: The older and thick stems can burn well.     Good
Robinia (Acacia):   Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output. It does produce an acrid and dense smoke but this is of course not a problem in a stove.     Good (for Stoves)
Spruce:   Produces a poor heat output and it does not last well.    Poor
Sycamore:   Produces a good flame, but with only moderate heat output. Should only be used well-seasoned.     Medium
Sweet Chestnut: The wood burns ok when well-seasoned but it does tend to spit a lot. This is of course not a problem in a stove.      Medium (for Stoves)
Thorn:   One of the best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and very good heat output, and produces very little smoke.     Very Good
Walnut:   is a moderate to good burning wood.     Medium
Willow:   A poor fire wood that does not burn well even when seasoned.       Poor
Yew:   A good burning wood as it has a slow burn, and produces a very good heat output.    Very Good
Beaufort Scale of Wind Force

Sometimes people or manufacturers use the Gale Force description to describe the performance potential of products or fabrics in extreme conditions.
The observable land effects is a useful guide to be able to describe conditions more accurately.
Here's a brief breakdown of the scale and the associated wind strength associated with it.
Scale      Force Rating       Observable Land Effects               Speed MPH
0              Calm      Vertical Smoke  1
1              Light Air                Slight smoke drift             1-3
2              Light Breeze       Leaves gently rustle        4-7
3              Gentle Breeze   Leaves and twigs move 8-12
4              Moderate Breeze            Raises paper moves small branches         13-18
5              Fresh Breeze     Sways small leafy trees 19-24
6              Strong Breeze   Sways large branches     25-31
7              Moderate Gale Trees sway         32-38
8              Fresh Gale          Broken twigs, walking impeded 39-46
9              Strong Gale        Chimneys, slates, hoardings damaged    47-54
10           Whole Gale        Trees Blown Down and Considerable damage    55-63
11           Storm    Major Damage  64-75
12           Hurricane            Very dangerous tropical whirling winds  76+
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The 95 Puukko Survival Knife
Gold Standard Whey Protein Isolates which are 90% pure protein by weight
Will Lord Interview
That was very interesting indeed and the good news is that Will has agreed to come back on my show on a monthly basis, which is fantastic news I can tell you.
Further Companies to Support
Uses natural fuel
EDC steel tools
Highlander Trojan Hydration Pack – Multicam
Alum Crystal and natural spa products
Tool logic Survival 11 Credit Card
BackHawk Web duty Belt
Guppie Multi=tool
Go Survival Pack
Beautiful Handmade Catapults
1 Person BASIC Backpack Survival Kit, the back pack that does it all
DD Hammock –The ultimate in Travel Hammocks
Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical Weapon-Grade LED Torch
Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit everything in one kit
Adjustable Knife Lanyard Review
Handmade knives by James D. Sanders
 Your choice of shelter should reflect a balance between your individual needs and the dictates of the environment in which you are surviving. The perfect shelter for all conditions does not exist, however, generally speaking we are looking for something which keeps us dry when it rains, holds up well in high winds, keeps out the bugs and doesn’t weigh the proverbial tonne. There are three principal options: tarp, bivy and tent.
Pro’s: Relatively inexpensive; spacious & lightweight (best space-to-weight ratio); versatile – can be pitched in a multitude of configurations depending on personal preference and the prevailing conditions; can’t be beat for ventilation; when pitched correctly, provides adequate to good protection against the wet; the “open” nature of tarps, promote a heightened feeling of connection with your surrounding environment.
Con’s: No protection against bugs (unless you add some netting); generally not so great in high winds; less privacy if camping at established sites.
Practice multiple pitching configurations (eg. Lean-to, A-Frame, Half-Pyramid and Flying Diamond at home before embarking on an overnight excursion into the wilderness. This is not a skill you want to be learning in driving wind and rain after a long day’s walk.
Versatility: Tarps are more versatile than tents, but they require more creativity on the part of the user. If you don’t hike with poles you will need to rely on trees, sticks, logs or rocks in order to erect your shelter.
Tent pegs and guylines: A tarp should be pitched tautly. The key to a taut pitch is an even distribution of tension. In order for this to be achieved, you should always have sufficient guylines and tent pegs.
Four Keys to a Successful Tarp Pitch:
Campsite selection,
Appropriate configuration for the conditions at hand.
Knot tying proficiency.
Sufficient guylines and tent pegs.
If you are surviving above treeline, your tarp pitching options may be limited unless you are hiking with poles. That being the case, it is essential that you plan ahead. If rain is a possibility, plan on either being below tree line or alternatively carrying with you one or two appropriately sized sturdy sticks with which to erect your shelter.
Poncho Tarp: This is a wonderful multi-purpose item which can act as your shelter (one person), rain protection and pack cover. I have two of them, both of which I would highly recommend: It is worth noting that Poncho Tarps are smaller than your average tarp, and therefore if precipitation is on the cards it is advisable to use them in combination with a lightweight water resistant bivy.
Pro’s: Lightweight and versatile – their small footprint and lack of pegs, ropes and poles, means you can pretty much sleep anywhere; increases the warmth of your sleeping system by 5-10 degrees; when there is no rain or bugs, it’s nice to have the sky, rather than a piece of nylon as your roof.
Con’s: In traditional waterproof bivys’ condensation can be an issue; they can feel a little claustrophobic (particularly when it’s raining); there is usually no room for your pack inside the bivy.
The exception to this final point is if you are traveling in an ultralight fashion, in which case you will probably be able to fit your pack underneath your feet at the bottom end of the bag.
There are two main types of bivy:
The traditional variety which is a stand-alone, waterproof shelter, which usually sports mosquito netting and a hoop to keep the bag off your head. This is the type I always found to be claustrophobic, prone to condensation and generally speaking, just as heavy as a significantly more comfortable one-man tent.
The alternative bivy is much lighter has a waterproof bottom and a water resistant highly breathable top. Its primary advantages are a decrease in both condensation and weight. The catch? During wet weather, it needs to be used in combination with a tarp as the top of the bag is not waterproof.
You can’t beat a tent for all around comfort, protection and privacy. However, when it comes to the question of weight, not all tents are created equal.
For all but consistently wet or sub-zero conditions, I recommend using a single wall tent over a double wall tent. The weight saving can be as much as 2 or 3 kg, without unduly sacrificing comfort or safety. In regards to the performance of single wall shelters, I can only speak as to my own experiences since 2004.
Single Wall Tent
Pro’s:  Cheaper and lighter than their double wall equivalents; easier to put up and pull down; quick drying.
Con’s: Condensation can be an issue; prone to sag in the rain and flap in the wind if not pitched tautly.
Tarptents perform best when a trekking pole is employed as the front pole. This gives you the option of adjusting the height of your shelter according to the conditions at the time. For example, in high winds you will want your shelter to be as aerodynamic as possible. This is achieved by simply lowering the height of your front/trekking pole during pitching
In certain conditions all single wall shelters will be prone to condensation. However, in my years of using tents, I have never found this to be as big an issue as some people make it out to be.
Whenever possible, avoid camping in areas which lend themselves to condensation.
Keep the tent taut,
Avoid excessive contact with the sides of the shelter
Before packing up your tent, wipe the inside with a bandana, sponge or small camp towel
As soon as practical, stop and dry out your shelter.
If the sun is out shelters can dry in a matter of minutes.
Double Wall Tent
In sub-zero temperatures, or in areas where constant rainfall make it unlikely that you will have the opportunity to dry out a single wall shelter, then a double wall tent is probably your best bet.
When it comes to backpacking shelters, there is no one solution which is ideal for all types of conditions.
In consistently sub-zero temperatures or areas in which you are likely to encounter constant rainfall (eg. Scottish Highlands), your best bet is a double wall tent.
In the jungle or during bug season, take a single wall tent or a tarp with bug netting. Alternatively, just sleep in a headnet and bivy.
In developing countries, where it is preferable not to have all your gear on display, take a lightweight tent.
In the desert, if chances of precipitation are virtually zero, sleep under the stars. Carry a bivy or lightweight tarp just in case.
Tasty Wild Duck
Have you tried wild duck if not give these methods a go.
1 duck
1 lemon (sliced into chunks)
1 onion (sliced into chunks)
Or alternative ingredients:
1 duck
Milk (to cover fowl)
Once your duck has been plucked, flamed and cleaned, place the lemon and onion (previously cut up in smaller pieces) inside the fowl. Place the stuffed duck into a cool storage area (cooler or refrigerator) for approximately 24 hours. Then remove and discard the onion and lemon chunks. It is ready to cook.
Alternative: If the onion and lemon are unavailable, try soaking the duck in milk overnight (never use a metal container; I like to use a plastic bag).
The Cooking
Method 1 (skewer or spit)
1 duck (dressed)
Salt, pepper and spices to taste
For us, roasted duck is the primary choice. Since an oven is impractical during a camp out, we use a skewer or spit method over the fire. It is a slow and careful cooking process which will yield some of the best eating.
Method 2 (Dutch oven)
1 duck (quartered)
Oil (to coat bottom of Dutch oven)
1 cup of liquid (wine, water, beer etc.)
Salt, pepper, spices to taste
Brandy (optional)
Another way to cook duck is to use a Dutch oven. Start by sautéing quartered pieces of duck using available fat, grease or oil until they are brown on all sides. If you know how to flambŽ with brandy, do it now.
Then pour a cup of liquid (dry red wine, a soda pop, water...) over the duck and cover. Let it cook slowly for half an hour. Turn the pieces around and cook again for fifteen minutes (baste all pieces each time they are turned).
Repeat turning the pieces after ten more minutes. A sauce can be made separately which will coat the duck at the time of serving.
Wilderness Medicine and Survival Tips
Have you ever spent the weekend enjoying a training weekend or went on an exercise off the beaten path to a less travelled trail?
Perhaps you live near a National Park or what’s left of a National Forest and enjoy your time out in areas far away from the modern world.
Let’s hope that while enjoying the great outdoors nothing serious ever happens but if it does, here are some tips to do the best you can when you have next to nothing.
Tips for your next Adventure
Wilderness medicine is very much an art form. You don’t have to have a PhD in medicine, or years of experience growing up in the outdoors.
First, know your limitations and match them to the location, duration of your outing and weather. Also consider whether you should take someone more experienced than yourself with.
Second, use your environment and be creative. Educate yourself about the vegetation, wildlife, and resources in the area you are about to explore. Varieties of plants are edible and have medicinal properties. If you don’t know which ones, be careful as some can be quite toxic and even deadly.
Third, time can be your friend and your enemy. If you happen to get injured or someone else in your party becomes ill, do the best you can to keep time on your side. This means make maximum use of your resources and remain aware that the food and water you carry may be irreplaceable.
When someone becomes sick or injured out in a remote location everything becomes significantly more challenging. Food and water get used up more frequently. Certain paths or routes become too difficult to negotiate. Backpacks and supplies become harder to carry and manage. Survival, evacuation or transport of the sick and wounded becomes the number one goal.
No matter what, do the best you can to remain calm and keep those that are with you calm. Now is not the time to panic.
Improvised Care
Splints and bandages can be quickly improvised out of spare clothing, gauze in compressed packaging, and a good selection of sticks and tree limbs. In a pinch, safety pins can be used to wrap a t-shirt over an injured arm to make a hasty sling (while the person is wearing the shirt), or used to pin the tongue to the lower lip to keep an airway open, and you might have to do that.
Honey, either found in your surroundings or packed with you can be used both as a snack and for wound care. Some fast food restaurants will have honey in small, easily transportable packages. You can purchase commercially manufactured tubes and containers that will allow you to pack along a manageable amount in a backpack or pocket.
If you run out of antibiotic ointment, apply honey to reduce infection and aid in wound healing. Candle wax can be used as a temporary tooth filling. Tea bags can be used for quick relief of dental pain and bleeding. Just place the moistened tea bag on to the bleeding site or into the socket that is bleeding.
Drops of tea squeezed from a cool, non-herbal tea bag may help to soothe an irritated eye and relieve pain as well. Afrin or Neo-Synephrine nasal spray contain potent blood vessel constrictors and can be used to stop bleeding. Simply moisten some gauze or clean material and pack into the wound.
Transportation out of the area also becomes an art form. Using sturdy tree limbs and a blanket or long sleeve shirt and pants can make for a hasty litter. Belts and nylon webbing can aid in making an improvised harness to assist you in carrying your buddy.
An improvised raft with tree limbs and some rope, lashing or other material may help you down a river or stream. Do not think for a second that if you can’t make it to your vehicle all is lost. The goal for most evacuations is to get to the closest clearing or road.
Roads do not have to be main, paved roads. Forrest service roads are often used by travellers and rescuers.
Clearings can be used to remain visible from the air or allow for helicopters to land or hover for evacuation. Most important is to have a plan and let someone know your plan so in the event you do not return a search can be started.
GPS devices and mobile phones are nice but batteries die and in some locations tower or satellite connections may be weak or lost. Get familiar with a map to easily identify known land marks and pack a compass for directions to major features such as rivers and roads.
A whistle or sports horn can be easily packed and aid in alerting search teams. A mirror can also help reflect light to draw attention to your area. Bright clothing will also help to make you more visible.
Packing List
When considering what to pack in a simple wilderness first aid kit here are some things to keep in mind:
Your medical expertise
Location and environmental extremes
Diseases particular to the area
Duration of travel
Distance away from definitive care and professional rescue
Number of people getting support from the kit
Pre-existing illnesses that you or those with you have
Weight and space limitations in your gear
Pack items in sturdy, doubled up Ziploc bags. This will aid in keeping your supplies protected from the elements and the outer bag can double as a container to irrigate a wound or collect water.
Simple items to pack in your backpack, hydration pack or waist pack include:
Honey, goo or gels (homemade or commercially acquired products endurance fitness enthusiasts and marathoners frequently use)
Sam splint (easily packed, multiple uses)
Bandage scissors
Knife and or multi-tool
Duct tape
Dermabond or superglue
Forceps or tweezers
Antiseptic towelettes
Ace bandage
Triangular bandage and or bandana
Safety pins
Dental floss
Emergency shelter or emergency blanket.
Some common over-the-counter (OTC) medications include:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
Ibuprofen (Motrin)
Aloe vera gel
Hydrocortisone cream
Mylanta or similar tablet for heart burn it indegestion
Antibiotic ointment
Collecting Water
If you find yourself lost, injured or delayed for any reason out in a desolate spot one way to keep your water cool is to use a sock or similar material (the colour doesn’t matter although dark colours may shorten the time needed). Wet the sock and slip the sock or material over/around your water container.
Leave it out in the sunlight to begin the evaporation process (this will also work in the shade it just might take longer). As the moisture in the material dries (evaporates) it will have a cooling effect on your water. Now this won’t give you something ice cold to drink but it will make it cool enough for you to notice a difference and make it easier to keep up your fluid intake.
Of course make sure if you are gathering your water from a local water supply and that you go through a purification process to minimize the potential for other survival/medical hazards. Hydration becomes important and increases the likelihood for survival. Even better still buy a Purificup.
Homemade Rehydration Solutions
Rehydration solutions can be made simply by adding one teaspoon of table salt, four teaspoons of cream of tartar, one-half teaspoon baking soda and four tablespoons of sugar to one litre of drinking water.
An alternate option is to add one-half teaspoon of honey or corn syrup and a pinch of salt to eight ounces of fruit juice and consume and alternate by adding one-fourth teaspoon baking soda with eight ounces of water. You can also pack Gatorade or Powerade at half strength (by mixing half the powder recommended, or dilute the bottles to a 50/50 mix of water and drink)
Before your next adventure invest some time in preparation, have a plan and share it. Also, know your limitations and if you are inexperienced take someone with experience. Don’t forget to take a camera and have fun. Enjoy the adventure and if something happens you will be better prepared to deal with it.
Steps to Survive & Thrive in ANY Circumstance
When we were born, our parents were not given a certificate guaranteeing that
Our lives would be easy and without pain. Unfortunately, most of us go through
Life oblivious to this and are shocked when something surprising, tragic or
Unthinkable happens to us or our loved ones.
But did you know…
A new cancer is diagnosed in the US every 30 seconds
Someone in the US dies in an automobile accident every 15 minutes
On average, 399 people die each year in the US due to a natural disaster
Suicide takes the lives of over 30,000 Americans each year
100% of Americans will die at some point in their lives
Statistics show that we will ALL be influenced by unexpected events; such as the
death of a loved one, a scary medical diagnosis, accidents, natural disasters and more.
So, why are we all so surprised when it happens?
The secret to surviving difficult situations is to be prepared!
But how do you prepare?
10 Steps to Survive & Thrive in ANY Circumstance such as Illness, Death of a Loved One, Natural Disaster, Terrorist Attack, etc.
Be Aware-
Where am I? Always know the address, street, motorway mile marker etc. of your
current location.
Where are the Exits? If you are in a building, plane, train, concert venue, etc. always
know where the closest two exits are located.
Pay attention to your surroundings-Don’t get lost in your phone, movie, and conversation
or life and ignore what is happening around you.
Criminals look for individuals who are pre-occupied, because they are less likely to be able to identify them, and are easy targets.
Look for Warning Flags-
Does something feel “wrong”? Are you having unusual symptoms? Is a loved one or
classmate acting strange? Pay attention to the things that don’t fit.
Assess Risks-
Am I at a higher risk for a disease, illness, or injury due to my lifestyle, genetics, choices,
hobbies, job, etc? If so, is there anything I do to prevent or limit my exposure or
probability of it happening?
Face Reality-
Once you have assessed your risks, you must face reality that it could really happen to you.
It won’t help you one bit to say things like, “ I’m more careful...I’m smarter...I hold my
Booze better...I eat healthy...I exercise...I live in the read the Bible...” Bad things happen to
people that do everything right, period.
We can be the most attentive parents, but we ALL turn our heads for that one second that could mean the difference between life or death.
Wrap your brain around the fact that it could happen to you, your family, your community, your country.
Do your Research-
Once you have identified your weaknesses learn about them. If you have a high risk of
getting breast cancer, research it and learn everything you can about it. If you live in
Tornado Alley, learn about tornadoes & severe storms and how to prepare for them. If
you are concerned about a potential economic collapse, research survival techniques,
growing a garden, etc.
Talk about It-
Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to visit with your friends or loved ones about things that
could happen.
Share with your spouse and discuss their feelings and concerns about how they would handle each scenario.
Make a Plan-
Once you’ve identified your risks and researched them you’re next step is to plan how you
are going to react, if it happens. Think it through. In your mind, walk through each step.
Imagine how you will react, what you will do, who will you call, where you need to go, what
items you need, how you will help others, etc.
Post your plan where everyone can find it, gather necessary supplies, have family or
staff discussions about what to do, take classes, read books, continue learning, and
surround yourself with others who are dealing with the same issues.
Have Faith-
Pray, Read your Bible, Surround yourself with other believers. Know that whatever
difficulty you are going through, you are not alone. God is there with you and will carry
you through the most difficult times.
Execute your Plan-
Don’t hesitate when you have to execute your plan. Don’t second guess your decisions
or plan. Switch to auto-pilot and let your plan work. You spent a great deal of time,
energy, and possibly money preparing for this unthinkable event. Don’t waste your
energy or brain on re-thinking it, just do it!
So here is the question
Are you going to ACT or are you going to sit back and let life happen to you?
You have to take ownership of this one. No one else can do it for you and if the worst
happens, you will be the one to suffer the consequences if you didn’t prepare.
Don’t be a victim, be victorious and expect the unexpected!
Signal Crayfish
We are just about to start the signal crayfish trapping season so I thought I would cover this trapping and cooking of these free tasty delights.
The season is between April to November although they are most prevalent in May, and most of their activity takes place at night.
Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans related to lobsters, and there are two main species in UK - the native white-clawed crayfish and the non-native American signal crayfish which was introduced from Sweden to Britain in the 1970s via crayfish farms, and subsequently escaped.
There are a few other introduced species of crayfish, but they are not very widespread. They are called signal crayfish because the underside of their claws are bright red, making them easy to identify. Signal crayfish can be up to 25cm long with claws extended.
If you're not sure whether what you're looking at is a signal crayfish or a native crayfish, look for the red claws - a sure sign that you're looking at a signal crayfish. Trapping crayfish for food in the UK only involves the signal crayfish. The native crayfish is now becoming rare.
They live on the beds of streams and rivers and are carnivorous, eating mainly dead creatures.
The signal crayfish can walk overland to establish itself in new waterways, and is now widespread throughout Britain.
Getting food from the wild is always a good idea from an environmental perspective (unless we deplete the resource – but this isn't an issue here, as we'll see later). Wild food requires no pesticides, fertilisers, hormones or genetic modification - in fact, no ecological interference at all.
Another benefit is in reducing their numbers. The American crayfish is causing problems for both the native crayfish and for British waterways. Signal crayfish outcompete native crayfish because they are bigger, their eggs hatch earlier in the year, females lay up to 500 eggs (the native crayfish lays around 200), and they are less fussy about what they eat.
Also, the signal crayfish carries a fungal disease commonly called the crayfish plague that kills the native crayfish (it’s not at all harmful to humans though).
Also, American crayfish burrow into the banks of rivers and streams to build their homes, causing erosion of the river banks.
There are bylaws covering the trapping of crayfish, and what you can do depends on local circumstances - especially if there are native crayfish in your area. Contact the Environment Agency to ask about your local circumstances, or you can get a crayfish trapping advice pack from the National Fisheries Laboratory on 01480 483968. You will need Environment Agency tags on your trap for it to be legal.
The Environment Agency's concerns are that if people are allowed to catch crayfish for food, they will be sold to the restaurant trade, and because there is money to be made, some people might 'seed' rivers and streams that don't have signal crayfish, so that they can be harvested in the future. I share this concern, so I would encourage people never to buy or sell crayfish, but to trap them just for their own consumption.
Depending on whether the Environment Agency allow it in your area, you can make your own trap. You can make a cylinder with chicken wire, up to a metre long, and bend the ends over to form a cone that crayfish can climb into but not out of. You can do the same with willow. Trapping crayfish is a summer activity, of course. In winter, they will be hibernating in the river banks.
The trap shouldn't have an entrance of more than 95mm, because if there are otters in the area, they could get caught.
Bait the trap with something tasty for crayfish (like a fish-head), plus a brick to weigh it down, then put it into a stream you suspect has crayfish.
Check the next day. Anything other than signal crayfish, let go, and don't leave a trap in a watercourse for more than 24 hours, in case something other than a crayfish gets trapped in it.
Let any native crayfish go if you've caught any. But if you catch small signal crayfish, don’t put them back (in fact it is illegal to put them back, once caught). Signal crayfish are cannibals, and if you remove only big ones, there will be nothing to keep the numbers of small ones down. The Environment Agency in Scotland have urged fishermen to kill signal crayfish on sight.
Take them out of the trap (keep fingers away from their pincers), and keep them in tubs of tap water for a couple of days to purge them of any food in their intestines.
How to Cook them
Boil a large pan of water and tip them in - they are killed instantly.
Simmer for around 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave in the water for another 2 minutes. They turn pink when they are cooked, and look like mini-lobsters (which they are).
The edible parts are the tail and the claws.
Pull and separate the head and tail. Pull off the legs, then grab the end of the flesh sticking out of the tail casing and pull. Sometimes there will be pink eggs - you can eat those too. But give it a bit of a rinse to get rid of all traces of intestines and food.
Then put the claws on a hard surface and hit sharply with the back of a knife to crack them open. Grab the end of the flesh and pull it out of the claw.
You can serve with rice, toast, mayonnaise and/or any number of sauces. It looks and tastes a bit like prawn. There are plenty of recipes out there (see links).
For a meal for one person, you'd probably need the meat of 5 crayfish. If the crayfish are present in that stretch of water, you can easily catch 10 in a trap each time.
Here are two great Bushcraft shows for you to attend this year
The Bushcraft Show
It’s a jam-packed, three-day event filled will amazing bushcraft activities that will take you, your friends and family on a bushcraft and survival adventure that you’ll never forget. Whether you come for the day or stay for the weekend, you can try your hand at woodland crafts, fire lighting, shelter building, tracking, foraging, woodland games and so much more. Click onto their site to learn more See YOU there between the 25 and the 27th of May
The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills. The previous ten years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.
The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.
The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.
The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.
There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha boat building, bowmaking, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few. There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.
You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.
There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools. The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.
There are local scout and explorer groups onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.
The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks. The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.
Check out or call 0845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.


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