Archive | May, 2010

Ideal Gear for Your Survival Kit

Here are some simple points that your ideal survival kit gear should have:

  • Comprehensive

Every survival kit needs to have sufficient items that would be required in any emergency situation. It needs to have sufficient provisions for the most essential necessity in emergencies, for example: water. Thirst tends to increase during emergency situations, putting you or anyone with you at risk for possible dehydration.

  • High Quality

Of course you can purchase low quality kits that are cheaper, but would you really wish to get caught in emergencies with damp lighters or flashlights that fail to function? Several people seem to believe that bringing items of low quality would be better than nothing. But there really is no point in bringing emergency kits at all, if they don’t keep you warm, comfortable, and safe until help arrives.

  • Complete

Your set needs to be sufficiently stocked with items that will last you through any emergency. Wilderness kits, for example, need to have sufficient items that will last 36 hours – this is usually how long rescue teams take to arrive. Order forms of survival kits come with pictures of its contents, so count the amount of items to ensure you paid for everything inside the bag.

  • Expensive

You do not have to purchase the most top quality products you see without taking a look, if they fit your personal needs. But be careful when buying cheap things. Keep in mind that flimsy knives and broken systems of GPS are not good items for a survival kit.

  • Easy to Open

During emergencies, you will not want to scramble around just to get your kit unzipped. Also, items need to come in waterproof and durable bags that have compartments that are easy to find. Stay away from kits with difficult clasps and locks.

  • Easy to Use

Survival kits have to be designed with a person’s handling skills in mind. Well-traveled trekkers, for example, won’t have trouble handling cutting-edge, sophisticated survival kits with modern gadgets. But if you are not comfortable with such tools, you may want to keep a lookout for more basic kits that do not require high-tech skills.

  • Versatile

Keep a lookout for kits that have several tools that may be used for various purposes. Duct tape, for example, would be something that can be put to use in various ways; big garbage plastic bags, too. More versions that are high-tech would be compasses that double as torchlight that doubles as whistles.

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How to Keep Warm in the Wilderness

Do you cringe or feel a sudden sense of fear whenever you hear the words “wilderness survival”? However intimidating this topic may be for you, though, you can still prepare yourself with basic skills of survival to help you through any scenario in the great outdoors!

It doesn’t even matter where you have lived for the past decade, you will still be able to survive the most extreme conditions, as long as you are completely prepared for them.

In fact, a homeless woman wandered into the wilderness last winter and survived within those woods until somebody came to find her. The weather was -20 degrees!

Despite the extremely cold weather, she survived simply by huddling under a pine tree along with a small fire. The branches had fallen due to the heavy snow that year, giving her insulated shelter. She was even given warmth by the fire to prevent her from freezing.

Carrying around a shelter or having one inside your survival kits may be the easiest solution, but a wide array of other solutions exist to get emergency wilderness shelters from the surrounding areas.

If you ever fall into a situation where an emergency shelter is needed, various ways exist to do so. What a lot of people fail to realize when in snowy areas is that it is actually easier to make it in the cold compared to areas without snow.

This happens because snow makes for great insulation. If possible, dig out a cave from a huge snow drift to help prepare you for emergencies. You can even turn it into three levels for a fire area, a sleeping area and a storage area for a more pleasant, warm and comfortable shelter.

One other good shelter in the wilderness would be beneath an overhanging cliff or in an open cave. Ensure that there are no animals within the shelter first, though! If the open area doesn’t come with enough shelter against the wind, collect all of the things you can pile up to create a wind break to huddle behind.

If there is no rain, you may even huddle into ground depressions for warmth. Do not do this when there is rain, though, as you will not want to end up in a water puddle.

Huge fallen tree trunks also work very well since smaller branches can be piled up to crawl underneath.

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Which Wild Plants Are Edible?

Knowing several wild plants that are edible could make any trip into the wild or any backpacking trip much more enjoyable.

By eating wild berries each morning, you could leave other foods behind, allowing you to pack lighter. Fight other animals if you must to fill yourself with blueberries. Having to carry less weight will make your back feel a lot better.

You will also enjoy backpacking even more, if you know that losing your backpack won’t make you completely helpless, or if a playful raccoon chooses to empty it out for you. There is no need to be a professional survivalist to realize how valuable it would be to know which wild plants are edible.

A lot of people regularly eat pine nuts, dandelions and wild currants. Tons of calories can be found within wild raspberries during any hike. When on islands, you can fill your stomach with wild blueberries. Foraging for berries can easily help anybody in surviving any trip.

Here are several wild berries that are edible on hikes: blueberries, blackberries, currants, high bush cranberries, raspberries, rose hips, service berries, strawberries, and thimbleberries. Berries are highly convenient, as well as high in calories and nutrition compared to other existing wild plants that are edible. They also happen to be the easiest ones to identify.

If you happen to travel to isolated areas in the wilderness, knowing how to identify several wild plants that are edible could also keep you very safe.  You might get injured or lost someday, or perhaps a bear might push you away to fill itself with the freeze-dried meals you decided to bring. No matter what the survival situation, eating would not be top priority (drinking and keeping warm are); however, piles of roasted cattail hearts could easily warm and cheer you up. Plus, they taste good!

Refrain from eating protected plants, naturally, unless the situation really depends on life or death. Do not eat any beautiful flowers, either, or kill lilies by bulb-eating. Use your common sense. Just keep eating berries, if you are unsure on whether you are causing any harm.

If you’d like to take things even further, keep a look out for some books that focus on wild food harvesting. There is no need to turn into a wilderness survival fanatic, but you should learn how to recognize dozens of abundant, high-calorie wild plants that are edible in order to become safer in the wild and enjoy the experience more.

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How to Find Clean Water in the Wilderness

With nice weather outside, day hikes could transform into meandering hours along various trails. It would be very easy to simply run out of drinking water this way. Who hasn’t forgotten to refill water bottles after taking breaks in the great outdoors? Although ponds and streams may be prevalent where you are, try not to get tempted as you will not know whether their water is safe enough to drink.

Water happens to follow shelter in wilderness survival. And, as long as you know what you are looking for, however, potable water would be available to you at any time.how to find water in the wilderness

1. Grass Grazing
No matter where you are in North America, toxic grasses do not exist. Because of this, it would be possible to chew on grass blades to extract their moisture and simply spit out their pulp.

2. Life-Saving Grape Vines
If you know what grape vines look like, then you are definitely in luck. Liquid that can be obtained from cut vines are drinkable. Replant the cut vine afterwards, so roots can sprout from it.

3. Produce Solar Tree Branch Stills
If possible, wrap pieces of plastic (perhaps you brought plastic bags to hold your personal trail mix) all around green leaves that can be found on tree branches. The produced moisture that will come from condensation would be safe for you to drink.

4. Wipe Dews
If moisture or dew exists on plants that aren’t poisonous, wipe that particular moisture with cotton cloths to get yourself yet another safe water source.

Wiping dews and solar stills are primary reasons why people should always bring cotton bandanas and plastic bags along as parts of their pocket survival kits. Both of these techniques can provide you with drinkable water, no matter which location you are in with vegetation that isn’t poisonous.

The benefit of all of these techniques of collecting water is that there is no need to boil your obtained water. It would be a great idea to put these techniques to use, but make sure you practice them before pulling through with any of them.

There are various other ways that exist from which you can get drinking water; however, these may require some tools as well as some technique in order to actually succeed at getting the water.

Keep in mind never to eat snow during any survival situation. The human body easily loses moisture as it tries to melt snow, leading in even worse dehydration. Water should be added to the snow before it is drunk.

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Light Hiking Shoes VS. Hiking Boots

A lot of people nowadays switch from using boots for hiking to hiking shoes that are more lightweight due to the ongoing trend of lightweight backpacking. Additionally, blisters are prevented.

Aside from keeping everything light, one other essential goal would be spending less money in equipment and clothing. Here are several ways you can follow to keep hiking shoes cheap and light.

For backpacking trips and hikes that are longer, opt for shoes of high quality. In general, good shoes for running which weight around a pound would be good. If weights are listed, you can even buy them online or through catalogs. Otherwise, you will be able to tell just by picking up shoes at local shoe stores within your weight range. If you happen to shop at traditional stores, small kitchen scales could do the trick in checking weights.

Naturally, a lot of top running shoes could cost up to a hundred dollars. A lot of people wouldn’t want to spend too much on shoes, though, so closeouts would be a good option. For some particular reason, people like the newest fashion, despite there being no difference when it comes to performance, so last year’s sales are more difficult to get rid of, giving them steep discounts. Simply check on the internet, get several catalogs and you are sure to find great deals.

A second strategy in keeping hiking shoes cheap and light would be to visit Kmart or Wal-Mart or similar places that sell inexpensive shoes. Shoes here can get so low that they could be available for a mere ten bucks. Although they surely are of low quality, this would only be a problem in longevity and materials used. When they are actually put to use, however, they actually have a better grip when hiking in rockier territory and where climbing is a must compared to expensive shoes.hiking shoes

What is important with hiking shoes that are cheap would be to remember that they should only be used for hikes and backpacking trips that are short and won’t bring you deep into the wild. Otherwise, your shoes could fall apart within a week of walking on rough terrain.

It has to be said, though, that these shoes are comfortable, light, and don’t have to be broken in. Such hiking shoes can be used over and over again, but should be limited to trips that last for a maximum of three days. Ensure that you always have duct tape with you, too, in case you are in need of sudden repairs.

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Survival Kits for Hiking

Survival kits for hiking are packages of simple supplies and tools that are prepared beforehand, in case you need help in wilderness or emergency survival situations. In general, survival kits for hiking comes with important supplies and tools that could aid in offering basic shelter that will work to keep you warm, fight natural hazards, you’re your first aid and health needs, help in getting back home and provide water and food, when necessary.

Here are several tips to put together your own survival kit for hiking:

• Collect items that would be necessary for your kit for outdoor survival. Place them all in a single. This container should be put to use as something to collect water, boil water, cook food and gather water, as well.

• Take your personal needs under consideration. For instance, if you are allergic to bees or dust, or have plans of entering the territory of rattlesnakes, tailor your personal kit to include the required medications.

• Add first aid tools into your survival kit for hiking. First aid needs to include aspiring, bandages, oxytetracycline tablets (for infection and diarrhea) and sterile pads. Also, bring along an additional pair of contact lenses and sunglasses.compass with mirror

• Add mirrors, maps and a mariner’s compass in your survival kit for hiking. The mariner’s compass could aid you in locating the Earth’s magnetic South and North Pole, while maps can guide you, in case you end up getting lost in the wilderness. Maps can also be an aid in locating sources of fresh water if you happen to be in dense forests or arid areas. Mirrors can turn in emergency signaling devices.

• In today’s day and age, GPS devices exist. So, whenever possible, add this device into your survival kit for hiking. GPS devices can highly improve your capability in navigation, as well as prove as an essential tool for survival in the wilderness. GPS devices can help hikers find out their current time, altitude and location and can even be used as emergency signaling devices.

• Bring three days worth of food and water inside your survival kit for hiking. Ensure you can foresee the need for chlorine and iodine tablets for water purification in any emergency.

• A decent amount of money in tiny coins and denominations inside your survival kit for hiking will help in particular situations such as making telephone calls in emergencies or buying mineral water and snacks. If you plan on crossing international boundaries, various currencies could prove to be highly advantageous and beneficial.

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10 Wacky Survival Tips That May Save Your Life!

Here are ten survival tips for the outdoors that aren’t of the regular kind. They stem from unusual tactics that people have come to experiment with. Remember them, in case you ever get lost in the great outdoors.

1. Take pieces of rat nests loose to make use as tinder. They can be located in caves and under rock ledges, so even if it rains, they stay dry. Usually, they are filled with dry grass, plant fuzz and other inflammable materials.

2. Polish bottoms beer or soda cans to use to concentrate sun rays in order to start fires. Chocolate can be used for polishing, but other natural substances may also be used. This is quite hard, though, and won’t work if the sun tends to be low or if the can isn’t very shiny. The can’s bottoms needs to be pointed towards the sun and the rays concentrated towards a tiny point of light onto pieces of paper, natural tinder, or even money.

3. One other great dry tinder source would be old milkweed pods that usually cling on stalks during the winter. Several of them generally come with silky seed fuzz inside that will be dry, even when it rains. Any flame source or spark can ignite it.

4. Glass bottles may be put to use similarly to magnifying glass in order to start fires. When the sun is bright, different kinds of glass are capable of concentrating sun rays to start fires. You can also try out using eyeglasses if you wear them, most of al those with thick prescriptions.

5. One other dry tinder source in wet weather would lie under things, especially under dry leaves or big logs. Just search for something dry and inflammable.

6. Keep batteries with you when the weather is cold since they lose power faster in the cold. Depending what you plan on using them for, they could be essential for survival.

7. In order to cross stream on slippery logs, throw some gravel, grainy dirt or sand onto them to give you some traction. Also, make use of sticks for better balance, if you think this will help you.

8. If you find yourself lost in a desert with a tent, you can use it to gather water. Let rain fly drape directly against it to trap moisture. The condensation that results will collect as small puddles inside the tent that can be drunk directly or scooped up.

9. If you are in need of food, you can find trout where water flows into pools. They can even be chased into shallows or caught by hand.

10. If you have ruined or lost your shoes, look for pine trees which ooze sap and then scrape this off with pieces of wood or bark. Thickly spread onto your soles to glue soft cedar bark strips onto them. It will offer some protection during your walks.

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Must Have Survival Gear For The Outdoors

If you love the wilderness, then you should already know how unexpected being there can be. Regardless of whether you love wilderness survival or simply wish to be ready if worse comes to worst, an essential thing you need to consider would be your survival gear for the outdoors. In terms of survival and safety, owning the right gear could make a big difference, and some preparation could go a long way. Here are some things you will require before heading into the wild:

First and foremost, think about the bare necessities: backpacking gear. It has to be able to withstand tons of abuse and has to be lightweight. Reliability is essential, so take time off to research on the top backpacking gear out there and buy it if it is within your budget.

Tents have to be comfortable, lightweight and sturdy, and easy to pitch. Before going on any trip, practice pitching it several times in an array of various situations you could encounter during the trip. This wouldn’t be something you’d wish to learn in emergency situations. Hang out your tent before going on any trip, take good care of its zippers since they tend to be week and dry out its pegs and poles thoroughly after each time you use it.tent

Your sleeping bag will highly depend on personal situation and preference. Mummy sleeping bags would be ideal for general use, warmth and weight efficiency. They happen to be wider on top and get narrower towards the bottom, getting rid of empty air which could get cold. Rectangular bags happen to be more comfortable, though, because they are roomier in nature. If you plan on coming in the winter or during the fall, keep in mind to get sleeping bags with hoods that can be zip closed to conserve body heat.

Backpacks are also highly essential since it will be used to carry your gear. Daypacks exist; they don’t have a lot of room, but are ideal for shorter trips. Those with external frames come with tons of space for things to get lashed on to and they can slightly carry the pack off the body to give you sufficient ventilation, while those with internal frames come with less space. However, they are ideal for hikers and mountain people.

Keep in mind that first aid kits are essential in the wilderness. Ensure that it comes with an understandable manual, and bandages for blisters, sprains and wounds. On that note, keep in mind to bring antiseptics and painkillers in containers that are waterproof, and ensure they aren’t expired. Other tools for first include razor blades and tweezers.

Although going into the wild is definitely exhilarating, it is still important to always be prepared.

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