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Tag Archives for: "wilderness survival"

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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Wilderness First-Aid Plants

Wilderness First-Aid Plants

The last thing you need when already fighting for survival in the wilderness is to have your strength and abilities diminished by illness or infection.  Knowing how to make use of some of the plants around you for medicinal use can more beneficial than knowing how to forage for wild edibles since infection can kill you in days but one could last weeks without food.  Here are a few of the common plant sources of medicine that you can find in wild and how to make use of them.   Plantain A common plant usually thought of as a weed […]

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Filtering Water With Nothing

Filtering Water With Nothing

  As I always say, if you have all the gear you need, it’s called camping, not survival.  The same is true when it comes to acquiring water in the wilderness.  Preferably you will have a water filtration device and a container with you, but in reality, you might not have anything with you at all.  If you have been exerting yourself, especially in heat, you might not be able to pass up taking a drink from water you come across just because you don’t have a filter or iodine drops.  But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can […]

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Tips for Crossing a River in the Wild

Tips for Crossing a River in the Wild

 If you are stranded in the wilderness and trying to get to safety, you may come to the point where you need to cross a river.  Or if you are backpacking you may choose to cross a river, but if you don’t do it safely you can quickly find yourself fighting of survival.  Whether you are crossing a river out of need, or want, here are some tips to keep in mind to prevent injury or worse.   Find the right spot Crossing a river may be absolutely necessary for your survival, but don’t let that drive you to jump […]

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Getting Drinking Water from Vines

Getting Drinking Water from Vines

Not every source of ground water that you come across in the wilderness will be drinkable.  It could be stagnant swamp water or contaminated after a flood.  If you do find a clean water source you might not be able to stay near it.  For these reasons and more it is important to know alternative methods of getting your drinking water.  Wild grapevines are a great source of drinking water in situations like this.   First, you need to identify the vine.  I have included pictures of the vine itself and the leaves, these should help, but there might not […]

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Lost in the Wild, What Now?

Lost in the Wild, What Now?

  Being lost in the wild is a serious threat to your survival.  The fear that goes along with it can overwhelm and cloud your mind making you response slow or irrational.  This is the last thing you want when you are already fighting just to stay alive.  Here are some tips on what to do if you find yourself lost in the wild.   Don’t panic because you aren’t sure of your exact location. Finding or building shelter might be a higher priority than determining where you are at the moment. Take a minute to consider where you are […]

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Making a Wilderness Survival Cache

Making a Wilderness Survival Cache

Some disasters come with warnings like hurricanes, but you won’t always have that luxury.  You could be at work or otherwise about your daily life separated from your supplies when disaster find you.  Going home might not be an option, your home might be inaccessible, destroyed, or otherwise too dangerous for you to go to.  If you have to flee, or “bug out” you don’t want to do so empty-handed.  For this reason and others, you might want to consider making a wilderness survival cache.   What Items? The items you want to include in your cache will differ on […]

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Avoiding and Surviving Animal Attacks

Avoiding and Surviving Animal Attacks

Humans are at the top of the food chain due to our intellect and social structure, not necessarily our physical prowess.  When you are in the wilderness, or even outdoors in your neighborhood, you can come in contact with animals that have the potential to kill you.  Here are a few tips on how to avoid, or if necessary how to survive an attack from some potentially deadly predators.   Dogs You don’t have to be in the wilderness to come face to face with a deadly animal.  You could be jogging on the sidewalk in your neighborhood as usual […]

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Surviving a Thunderstorm Without Shelter

Surviving a Thunderstorm Without Shelter

If you are outside when a thunderstorm comes, the safest thing you can do is to get inside a house or a car.  But these options will not always be available to you.  Whether you are hiking, camping, or already struggling for survival while stranded in the wilderness, you will be without any meaningful safe shelter.  The following are some tips on minimizing your risk if you find yourself stuck out in a thunderstorm with no safe shelter available to you.   In a Field If you are in a field during a thunderstorm, look for a low area, but […]

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Cold Weather Survival Shelter

Cold Weather Survival Shelter

It can take 3 weeks to die of starvation, 3 days to die of dehydration, but in cold weather you can die in 3 hours from exposure.  Shelter is the number one priority in any cold weather survival scenario.  Not every situation will offer the same resources or have the same threats, but these are some potential shelters for cold weather survival that have saved lives in the past.   Bed and Blanket Most people think of covering themselves from the cold air to stay warm.  But in reality, more than 60 percent of your heat loss will be caused […]

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Survival Uses for Petroleum Jelly

Survival Uses for Petroleum Jelly

Chances are, you’ve already got a big jar of petroleum jelly in your bathroom.  But did you know that you should have one in your survival stash or bug-out bag as well?  This is a list of a few survival uses for petroleum jelly that might raise your appreciation for the seldom used, 12-year-old jar in your bathroom.   Fire Starter A great addition to your survival preparation is getting fire starters ready in advance.  It’s especially beneficial to have fire starters that can work in wet and windy conditions.  Petroleum jelly is awesome for this.  Simply apply a generous […]

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Three Ways to Stay Warm in the Wilderness Without Fire

Three Ways to Stay Warm in the Wilderness Without Fire

  In a wilderness survival situation, you can’t count on things going your way.  This time of year, cold will be a main concern if you find yourself stranded outdoors, since exposure too cold can kill within hours.  Fire is the obvious solution, but there are a number or reasons why you might not be able to have a fire when you need it.  Here are a few ways that you can stay warm even without a fire: Dry leaves Without external heat from a fire, the first priority should be to keep as much of the heat that your body […]

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Bear Safety Tips

Bear Safety Tips

Bears are common throughout North America, and when camping, hiking, or bugging out, it’s very important to familiarize yourself with basic bear safety tips. Know the difference There are two types of bears in North America: black bears and grizzly, or brown bears. Black bears are obviously often darker, but they also have taller ears, no obvious shoulder hump and a straight face. Brown or grizzly bears are larger, and have a very distinct shoulder hump, short ears, and a “dished” shaped face. Recognizing the difference in their tracks is important as well, so you can tell which bear is […]

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Starting A Fire In Terrible Conditions

Starting A Fire In Terrible Conditions

It’s an ironic twist of life that the situations where you most need a fire for heat and light are often the situations in which it’s hardest to start one. When the weather is wet, windy, cold, icy, or just downright miserable, fire doesn’t like to cooperate. But in these situations, staying warm and getting some hot food or liquid in your body is often a matter of survival. Here are a few tips for getting your fire going in bad weather. The driest part of available kindling with be at the heart of logs, not the smaller dead twigs […]

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Foraging For Beginngers

Foraging For Beginngers

Did you know that the first grocery store only opened its doors 100 years ago? Before then, people bought their food largely from local producers, or they hunted, grew, or found their own. Many people today are getting back to hunting and growing large portions of their food stores, but the practice of foraging hasn’t gained the same kind of popularity. This is a shame, because knowing how to forage for food is not only an essential wilderness survival skill, it’s also a great way to supplement your family’s diet with organic food. Identifying edible wild food is easily done […]

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