Desert Survival Tips – Stay Alive When the Heat Rises

Desert Survival Tips – Stay Alive When the Heat Rises

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation in the middle of the desert, or any other hot climate for that matter, you need to know a few basic tips to help you increase your chance of survival. The heat can take quite a toll on the body, and you need to be extremely careful if you hope to stay healthy. The following tips can help. Stay Out of the Sun as Much as Possible One of the first and most important things to do in these situations is to keep out of the sun. Try to find a […]

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Wilderness Emergency Cast   

Wilderness Emergency Cast  

  Covering uneven ground, in varying weather, and while carrying a pack, can easily lead to a stumble or a slip.  And when falling on uneven ground while carrying a pack getting a sprang or even a fracture is not out of the question.  While a sprang or a fracture in and of itself is not a deadly injury, it can lead to a life threatening situation life-threatenings through diminishing your abilities to perform necessary tasks or remove yourself from the wilderness.  Stabilizing the site of the injury as much as possible will increase your ability to move, and therefore […]

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Purslane   

Purslane  

Purslane or Portulaca oleracea, is an annual succulent wild edible green that is usually considered a weed.  It can be identified by its thick, succulent leaves that alternate on its tender, reddish stems.  It has small yellow flowers that can be found year round depending on the weather conditions of the region. While the unappreciative may spray purslane with herbicide, the hungry wilderness survivor will be happy to see this nutritious food source.  Here are some of the characteristics and nutrition information of purslane that makes it so valuable to those in the wild.   Purslane can be found all […]

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Learn the Animal Dangers in Your Area

Learn the Animal Dangers in Your Area

If you are planning for bugging out and surviving, you need to know as much as possible about the environment where you will be traveling and where you will be settling in your bugout location. This includes knowing things about the terrain, the average temperatures through the year, rainfall, and the locations of lakes and streams. The more you know about the area, the easier it will be to train and to prepare to survive in that area when needed. One of the things you need to do is learn about the various animals in the area that could pose […]

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Top 5 Wilderness Survival Skills   

Top 5 Wilderness Survival Skills  

  Wilderness survival is a near endless skillset, it can be hard to know where to focus your attention and what skills you should hone before moving on to less essential skills that fall more under the broad term of “bushcraft” rather than survival.  The main difference between bushcraft and survival is that bushcraft is more intentional, whereas survival is more responsive.  Here is a list of the 5 most important survival skills that you should “master” before moving on to other skills.   Fire Starting While building a shelter should be higher on your priority list in most situations, […]

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Dressing for Survival   

Dressing for Survival  

  We’ve all probably heard the phrase “dressed for success”, and while it’s doubtful that the phrase originated from anything to do with survival, it certainly holds true for survival.  Your clothing will be your primary shelter in a survival scenario, and it might be your only shelter.  The wrong clothing could get you killed, and what works in one scenario might not work in another.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when about what you might need out of your clothing to increase your chances of survival.   Cotton kills. The hoodie that you wear to stay […]

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Trout Lily   

Trout Lily  

  Trout lilies are in the Erythronium genus along with 30 other species of flowers.  They grow in temperate forests and meadows throughout the Northern Hemisphere, typically flowering in the spring.  They can vary greatly in flower color, but they tend to have a six petal flower with a speckled center, two oblong leaves with brown speckles, a lower stem with reddish color, and a root bulb that looks similar to a dog’s canine tooth (which is why some species are known as dog’s-tooth violets).  These flowers can be a real sight for sore eyes to anyone surviving in the […]

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Self-Feeding Fire   

Self-Feeding Fire  

Most of the time, fires are going to require some level of attention and maintenance on your part to continue to burn.  But this won’t always be possible or practical.  Having a fire that requires no maintenance to burn through the night when inclement weather is rolling in and might make starting a new fire in the cold morning difficult could make the difference between hypothermia and a warm morning.  This is one method of building a self-feeding fire.   Usually, you will see this done with the logs feeding in from two sides, but it is possible to build […]

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Hog Peanuts

Hog Peanuts

Hog peanut is the common name of Amphicarpaea bracteate.  It is a wild edible that grows in the forests of North America.  Hog peanut produces both an edible root and edible seeds.  Hog peanut is a member of the Legume family, same as beans and peas (and peanuts, which are not technically nuts).  The vines can be either annual or perineal depending on the type and location.  They tend to grow in quantities that are large enough to justify a little digging to harvest the roots along with the seeds.   Seeds The seeds from in the flowers which are […]

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Indian Cucumber

Indian Cucumber

It is possible to walk right past food in the forest without ever knowing it.  Not every wild edible is as noticeable as a tree full of ripe apples.  One such plant that might be passed by without taking note of it despite its edibility is Medeola virginiana, better known as Indian cucumber. The edible portion of Indian cucumber is the tuberous root which tastes somewhat like a cucumber, hence the  name. It does not require cooking to be edible, though since it grows in the dirt you probably do want to clean it thoroughly before eating it. Though the […]

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How to Make Sure Camping Doesn’t Become Survival

How to Make Sure Camping Doesn’t Become Survival

Outside of bug out scenarios or soldiers getting lost behind enemy lines, most wilderness survival situations begin by people willingly entering into the wilderness to enjoy themselves.  For many, the more remote, the more enjoyable the experience.  The concrete parking lot, hot shower, flush toilet, “camp” site is just not the same as a site that you hike to, where no other human can be heard or seen.  But it is in these places that a simple mistake or poor planning can quickly change your camping trip into a struggle to stay alive in the wilderness.  Here are some tips […]

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Broadleaf Arrowhead

Broadleaf Arrowhead

Broadleaf Arrowhead, or Sagittaria latifolia is a shallow wetland plant that can be found all over the globe.  Broadleaf arrowhead produces green leaves which are edible, best when they are young and still curled, and more importantly an edible tuber.  Even with nothing else available this plant offers enough nutrition, and can usually be found in such numbers, that it alone could keep you alive for and extended time.   The leaves are available during the entire growing season but are best in the early spring while they are still curled. In summer they will produce an edible bud above […]

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Fastest Snow Cave Build (Video)

Fastest Snow Cave Build (Video)

This is the fastest I have ever seen anyone construct a snow cave.  There is some editing in the video so I’m sure it took longer than the run time of the video, but it gives you a good idea of the speed that this tool makes constructing a snow shelter possible.  I’m not getting any compensation for “endorsing” this tool, so I don’t have any problem saying that something of comparable functionality could probably be manufactured cheaper than it retails for.  But if you live in an area that receives a lot of snowfall, this is a tool to […]

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Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

  Japanese Knotweed, or Fallopia japonica, is now an invasive weed that grows all over the earth.  It’s stems and new shoots look similar to bamboo, though it is not related, while its leaves are much larger than bamboo leaves and are oval with truncated base.  The new shoots can be harvested as a spring vegetable while there is not much else available yet for wilderness survival, and the roots can also be eaten or used to make tea that is said to have medicinal benefits.   Japanese knotweed can be found all over the world now, and usually grows near […]

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Wilderness Insulation Materials

Wilderness Insulation Materials

  This time of year protection from the cold is your utmost concern in a wilderness survival scenario.  Even if you are dressed for the elements it is not likely to be enough to keep you warm all night long when temperatures drop.  These are a few materials that are widely available in the wilderness during the cold season that can be used to protect you from the cold.   Evergreen Boughs Evergreen boughs can be used both as roofing material for your shelter and as bedding material.  Don’t underestimate the need for a thick bed on a cold night, […]

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Survival Cooking   

Survival Cooking  

  If you are surviving in the wilderness protein from small game is going to be invaluable to you.  The last thing you need after trapping or hunting an animal successfully, which won’t be easy, is to waste your kill and end up with less food than you could have had.  Here are some tips for getting the most out of your meat with primitive cooking skills.   Spit Cooking Cooking on a spit is one of the oldest and simplest methods of preparing meat over fire.  Other than the obvious fire, you will need to get two strong green […]

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Tips for Desert Survival

Tips for Desert Survival

With approximately 1/5 of the world’s land area being classified as a desert, it’s worth considering when learning about survival even if you don’t live in the desert.  As with all survival scenarios, you will first need to take care of shelter, then water, and last of all food.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you find yourself stranded in the desert fighting for survival.   Shelter Shelter in the desert, like everywhere else is mainly to regulate body temperature.  In the desert, this will usually be to keep from over-heating.  Find any possible shade during […]

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Create a Fast and Easy Emergency Shelter

Create a Fast and Easy Emergency Shelter

Even if you have all the food and items you need to bug out in a hurry, are you ready to survive in a wilderness survival scenario right now? How would you create a shelter if you don’t have a tent with you? It’s very important that you take the time to learn how to make a variety of different shelters based on different locales. Today, you can learn how to make a very basic and simple shelter in the woods. This type of shelter shouldn’t take more than an hour or so to construct, and it requires minimal effort […]

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Heal All

Heal All

While it might come just short of fulfilling the expectations one might have given it’s common name, Prunella Vulgaris, or “heal all”, is a great source of both wilderness survival food, and medicine.  It is widely distributed throughout the world, being found in North American, Europe, and Asia.  It can be found in grasslands, or on the edge of forested areas, especially in moist areas.   Food The leaves can be eaten raw, or cooked.  Younger leaves are tastier but the plant remains edible throughout its life.  The leaves can be used to brew tea, or soaked in water and […]

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Fish Snare

Fish Snare

Fishing is a great way to get meat in a survival scenario.  But it can be difficult to do if you need to spend your time tending to your other needs like gathering wood, building shelter, or hauling water.  You could always just tie a line to a stick and leave it with bait in the water.  It’s likely that if there are fish in the water that you will get a bite, unfortunately, it’s also likely that before you come back to check on the line that the fish has gotten itself free and stolen your bait.  To prevent […]

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Debris Shelter

Debris Shelter

  In most cases of wilderness survival shelter will be your number one concern since hypothermia can kill you much faster than starvation or even dehydration.  One of the easiest and fastest shelters that can be built in the wilderness is the debris shelter.  One person, with no equipment, can put one together in less than two hours with the material that is available in most forested areas.  If you find yourself stranded in the woods facing a cold night, before thinking about a fire, get a quick debris shelter built, here’s how.   Locate a health tree that doesn’t […]

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Transpiration Bag

Transpiration Bag

Water is one of the three most important elements for survival, and in some circumstances, it might be the most important.  Even in temperate environments with plenty of vegetation, it can be hard to find sources of water.  But if you have a plastic bag, all you need to do is find the vegetation.  I have already written about in-ground stills that use vegetation and sunlight to harvest water, here is an easier way, that can yield greater results.  It’s called a transpiration bag and this is how to use one.   The only piece of gear that you will […]

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Upside-Down Fire

Upside-Down Fire

As I’ve said before, if all you know about fire is the tee-pee camp fire, then you don’t know enough about fire to survive in anything be the most ideal scenario.  The more versatile your fire building skills are, the better chance of survival you have in a variety of scenarios.  The amount of, and the type of fuel available to you in the wilderness will not always be the same.  Likewise, the purpose of your fire, and the weather conditions that you are going to be using it in will change.  For times when you will need a slow […]

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Wilderness Toothbrush

Wilderness Toothbrush

If you are stranded in the wilderness for any length of time, hygiene will quickly become an issue.  It won’t matter so much how you smell, since nobody ever died of body odor.  But poor dental hygiene can lead to serious issues that could have you incapacitated and dying a slow, painful death. As always, being able to use the material available to you in the wilderness for whatever needs may arise will increase your chances of survival, and elevate your standard of living while you do it.  Being able to make a toothbrush in the wild is one example […]

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Pignut: Wilderness Survival Food

Pignut: Wilderness Survival Food

Pig nuts is not the most appetizing name, but Conopodium majus doesn’t sound that tasty either.  Regardless of what you want to call them, pig nuts can be a great source of survival food  in the wilderness.  They can be found all over Europe and North America.  You can gather then using only your fingers, and they can be eaten raw after peeling the skin around the “nut”, which is actually part of the root.  Here is a short video that shows the plant at various stages of growth, making it easier to identify, and at the end it shows […]

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Fishing for Birds

Fishing for Birds

If you are surviving in the wilderness, especially in the forest, you are likely to have greater access to plant based food than meat.  But meat is going to be crucial to provide you with protein, fat, and the energy you need to perform exhausting tasks like covering miles of rough terrain, gathering wood, and building shelter.  But it is possible to use some of the available vegetation to acquire meat.  Here is one possible method to catch birds with berries or nuts, and a little paracord.   The first and most important step is observing birds in the area […]

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Caring for Your Ax

Caring for Your Ax

Having an ax in the wilderness can be the difference between surviving or thriving.  But like all gear, it can’t take care of you if you don’t take care of it.  To keep your ax in optimal shape for a long life (of both your ax and you), follow these easy steps.   Handle These days there are plenty of survival axes and hatches on the market that have “indestructible” handles made from synthetic materials, and some of them come pretty close to living up to the hype of being unbreakable.  But for those that opt for a wooden handled […]

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Coconuts for Survival

Coconuts for Survival

The main advantages to survival in the tropics are warmer weather, higher availability of water, and higher availability of food.  But simply because water and food are available doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to access them.  Having the right equipment helps, but having the knowledge of what to look for and how to use it is even more important.  One of the best sources of both food and water in the tropics are coconuts, but getting to those life-giving resources isn’t easy if you don’t know how.   What to Look For Not all coconuts offer the […]

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Pipe Fishing

Pipe Fishing

Fishing is a great way to get food for survival.  But one drawback to fishing for survival is that the most common method of angling requires specialized equipment.  A pole without line won’t catch any fish, and in a long term grid down scenario fishing gear will not be widely available.  Even if you do have fishing equipment you should have alternate methods to supplement angling to make your gear last longer and keep the fish guessing.  One great survival fishing method that can be done with salvageable material is pipe fishing.  Here’s how.   You will need to get […]

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Drying Clothes in the Cold

Drying Clothes in the Cold

Wilderness survival in the cold means heat retention above all else.  You can last for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but can die in 3 hours from exposure.  Your clothing is going to be your primary protection against the elements.  But what happens if your clothing gets wet?  Wet clothes will not insulate, you will need to dry them.  Here are some tips on how to get your clothes dry and stay alive in cold weather.   Boots Boots can be difficult to get dry, they can’t be spread out or hung like clothing.  But don’t place […]

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Swamp Survival Tips

Swamp Survival Tips

When most people imagine themselves in a survival situation, they picture themselves in a beautiful forest at the edge of a lake. While that might be nice, it might not be the reality for everyone. You might find that you need to survive in the swamp, which is one of the most dangerous and difficult places in the world to survive. The swamp is full of problems. It’s always wet, so it’s hard to get the materials you need to make a fire. The terrain is dangerous, and you never know what dangerous creatures might be lurking around. If you […]

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Tracking Without Tracks

Tracking Without Tracks

Being able to properly identify animal tracks and determine their approximate age is a great skill to have for wilderness survival.  It can help you to hunt or trap game, find water, and avoid potentially dangerous animals.  But what about the times when tracks aren’t present?  Well, even when the ground or weather makes tracks hard to find, or impossible, there is something that all animals do that will help you get a positive identification on the species, the approximate size of the animal, and tell you how long ago that animal was in the area.  Scat, or poop.  It […]

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How to Manufacture a Bow Drill (Video)

How to Manufacture a Bow Drill (Video)

Given that these days you can get a paracord bracelet that has a fire rod incorporated into the design for less than $10, I don’t usually write much about primitive friction fire techniques.  However, knowing how to start a fire from only the material in the wilderness is a valuable knowledge and a skill that is worth developing, even with the market full of survival fire starting devices. You simply don’t know when you will need to survive, and you can’t guarantee that you will have your gear with you, or that it will last forever and work properly.  Of […]

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Tree Identification Guide

Tree Identification Guide

Trees are a valuable source of wilderness survival necessities.  From firewood, shelter material, cordage, food, and even water, trees can provide nearly all of your needs in a wilderness survival scenario.  But not all trees offer the same resources, or any at all.  In order to get the most out of the trees in your surroundings you need to know which trees are best for which resources, and how to identify them.  This is an infographic that has depictions of various leaves labeled to the trees they correspond to.  Knowing this information can be a real life safer.   If […]

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The Incredible Edible Pine

The Incredible Edible Pine

Pine isn’t usually the first tree that comes to mind for wilderness survival, especially for food.  But the humble pine tree doesn’t always get the credit it deserves.  Nearly every part of the tree contains edible material, from the root to the needles. Pines are full of food!  That being said, the amount of food contained within each part of the tree can differ widely based upon species, but if you are hungry in the wilderness, a pine is always worth a look.   Roots The pencil thin portions of a pine tree’s roots can be eaten.  The outer bark […]

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Tapping Trees for Water

Tapping Trees for Water

Clear, clean-flowing steams will not always be available to you if you are in a wilderness survival situation.  Even if you do come across a source of water that looks clean, you would still have to boil, filter, or treat the water before consuming it to avoid dangerous parasites such as cryptosporidium.  This may be difficult if you need to spend your time on other necessities like making shelter, finding food, or gathering firewood.  But there is a way that you can get clean, nutrient enriched water passively in the wilderness: tap a tree. Before we get started with the […]

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Preserving Meat in the Wilderness

Preserving Meat in the Wilderness

  If you kill anything much larger than a squirrel you won’t be eating it all at once.  If you manage to kill large game like deer, you could have meat enough for months.  But without a refrigerator, the meat will spoil if you don’t properly preserve it.  One of the oldest methods of preserving meat in the wilderness is jerking.  Here’s how to jerk your meat and get the most out of your kill. Be prepared prior to hunting. You don’t want to drag a deer carcass through the woods, butcher it, and then have to build a rack, […]

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How to Build an Arctic Survival Shelter

How to Build an Arctic Survival Shelter

When most people think of arctic shelter they probably think of an igloo.  Igloos are great shelters for arctic conditions, but they require just the right snow, tools, and specified skills to build.  An easier survival shelter that can be built with only a shovel, and without any prior experience is a quinzhee.  A quinzhee is basically a hollowed out mound of snow.  Here are the basic instructions on how to build one.   First select a location that has deep snow for building material. Start shoveling the snow into a round pile until it is about 8 feet high. […]

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Acorns for Survival Food

Acorns for Survival Food

Winter can be a tough time to survive in the wilderness.  Not only will you initially face the dangers of hypothermia, but forests will seem to be completely barren and devoid of any source of food. While many wild edibles are going to be off the menu in winter, one of the best sources of survival food will just be coming into season: acorns.  Depending on the variety of oak the acorn comes from it could be over 30% fatty oils, or 10% protein, and in some cases almost 90% carbohydrates.  In all In all cases, they will be full of […]

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Safety in Bear Country

Safety in Bear Country

In a survival situation, one is much more likely to die from hypothermia or dehydration than from animal attack, but that’s not the case for backpackers.  Backpackers should have the gear necessary to protect them from the elements and a water filter keeping them safe from the two biggest dangers of the wilderness.  They also have food on them, which is why they will be at a greater risk for bear attack.  Whether surviving or backpacking, here are a few tips for safety while in bear country.   Never Bring Food to Camp Never bringing food to camp doesn’t just mean […]

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