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    UK Avalon Member Ammit's Avatar
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    Default Emergency survival guide

    Hi all

    I have written a small survival guide for a friend, thought it might be of use to you guys and gals, it is a very basic guide so dont expect too much..
    Comments and suggestions are welcomed
    Enjoy....
    Ammit


    Grab bag and very basic survival. V1.0
    This is written by me, Ammit and I do not claim it to be a master survival guide, but more of a need to know explanation. If you have any comments about this or experience that could be added then please feel free to tell me, I can add it to this text and between us all we can produce our own survival guide.



    The thought of being in a survival situation where you will need to draw on any experiences you may have can be daunting. Many believe that they could cope with any situation that may arise. This belief sadly is often far from reality.

    You could get in your car, breakdown with the worst spot ever and be miles away from any real source of help. Yes you could use your trusty mobile phone and call for help, but, what if your battery had died, you had no signal anywhere or something caused all electronic based items to fail….. Not much use now is it.

    Your car could easily breakdown for the same reason, it has a brain (ECU) which would be susceptible to damage, and if it was caused by a EMP then you just got yourself a shelter and nothing else.

    So, you get in your car to go for a nice relaxing drive out in the wilderness where you will find peace and quiet, then….

    *BANG*

    You are now on your own, so, what do you do…….

    A lot of things will depend on the situation, weather and where you are. A few items in a bag and a little book to give advice when you need it could save your life or make things a little easier.

    Just remember survival has 2 paths, one is the situation where you need to gives signs and try to alert someone that you require assistance and the second is you need to keep hidden.

    Both are extremely difficult to achieve.

    The main things you should do is Calm down, relax and let your mind take in your situation. Look around you for any form of shelter, If you are in your car then you have shelter for now. If you are too far away from your car then you need to construct something quickly to protect you from the elements.

    A forest situation is not always the case here in the UK. More often then not, you are surrounded by rolling hills with only grass for miles. This will make fuel collection for a fire hard enough let alone materials to construct anything to shelter you. You cant live on grass for the duration of your situation nor will digging holes collect much water.

    You can help make such an unforeseen event easier to deal with. A little prep time now could make the difference between a survival situation or a full blown emergency.

    So, what can you do to help yourself to prepare in case something did indeed go wrong one day….. Research, practice and learn.

    What can you do?

    Learn techniques to find, collect and make water safe.
    Learn how to forage food, hunt and set traps.
    Learn how to make fires with natural tinder in rain or sunshine.
    Learn how to construct simple but effective shelters.

    I have a grab bag in the boot of my car, always. It contains items that would make easier to survive in most situations for a short time. I will now refer to my grab bag as (GB).

    Books and internet research will give you a good grounding and suggest certain items that will aid in most situations. Personally, I found research coupled with back garden practice worked well. You have the safety of your home if things went wrong and were put at very little risk.

    If you do it out in the open then setup a proper camp first, then practice any skills you need to, again knowing you have the safety of camp if you need it. It always surprises me how not many people try this sort of learning. I have known a few who watch ed a Ray Mears program, grabbed a knife and went out with nothing else but a mobile. I actually got fed up with early morning calls asking if I could pick them up as they were cold and hungry….

    Fires:
    You would be best to practice this during as many varied weather conditions as possible. Learn the best way to build a safe fire, learn the best items to start a fire and learn the best materials to fuel the fire. Many aids to fire lighting are on the market, from lightmyfire steels, flint and striker, piston lighter matches etc. Trial and error along with personal preference will help you decide which tool is best for you.

    Staring the fire: I have a small tobacco tin in my (GB) which has a small self sealing bag with cotton wool smeared with Vaseline, another self seal back with car cloth, sealed pack of wind and water proof matches and the bottom and top of the tin is lined with lengths of dry twigs.

    Vaseline on cotton wool will burn from most sparks and will burn for about 6 minutes, it is a fantastic method and the only one I now use for starting fires when out and about. The whole tin is also very light. You have an instant fire in a tin..

    If the weather was very windy, I would be inclined to put a wall of stones around it or even a wall of soil to try and wind break it. Extreme conditions call for a small hole to be dug, fire built in the hole and with a windbreak around it.

    It’s a strange habit of mine now, I can go for a walk in a local wood or across fields and when I return I have a pocket full of tinder to burn. This is a practice I got into when rough camping, simply because you collect your fire fuel as you walk.



    Shelter:
    In my (GB) I have a black special forces poncho. This is a lovely waterproof garment that when unclipped opens out to produce a large waterproof sheet. This can be fastened to trees or walls, propped up with sticks to construct a very quick but basic shelter. This is an idea to what they are capable of.


    Made of a very lightweight rip stop material, I have spent many nights under mine and they work well. I purchased mine from an ebay supplier some years ago for around £15.00.

    Water:
    This can be a some what tricky subject, There are so many items on the market to make water safe it is now actually hard to decide which method is the best. Some are also very expensive. I tend to prefer the boiling method as it is reported to kill all the nasties that will have you searching for toilets for a week.

    Boiling is the most certain way of killing all microorganisms. Water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So by the time it reaches boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude. To be extra safe, let the water boil rapidly for one minute, especially at higher altitudes since water boils at a lower temperature

    In my (GB) I have another small tobacco tin which contains Aquasafe tablets, a large self sealing bag and 4 tin lengths of bamboo cane. A lump of moss and a small bag of clean sand

    Aquasafe tablets work well. You simply drop a tablet into a liter of water and give it half an hour before you drink. The bag is for collecting any water you can find and the 4 bamboo canes can be used to hold the bag upright to catch water from your poncho during rain and also you can fill the bag with different layers of materials to filter dirty water before boiling or using aquasafe tablets. The moss and sand along with leaves, grass or straw can be a good filter if a small hole is cut in the corner of the bag and then packed full of these material, water is poured into the top of the bag, then allow the filtered water to drain out. This can then be boiled before drinking.

    Finding water is hard unless it is raining or you are next to a stream or lake. I have always dug a hole about a meter away from the edge of either until water fills the hole. This is reported to be cleaner then taking from the stream or lake as it has already been filtered through the soil. Again you could filter it yourself but you would still need to boil it.

    Food:
    Yet again I have another little tin in my (GB) which holds a few food items. A few stock cubes, small sealed pack of oats, an energy bar and 2 packs of soup. No, its not a lot but enough for some hot drink and with my trapping tin could easily be accompanied by some form of meat. Don’t forget, part of your list above was foraging. Learning what certain wild plants are and parts which can be eaten.

    I have been known to cook up rabbit with soup and boiled nettles or even pigeon breasts with nettles. You could just cop up and cook nettles in the soup to enrich it more. If you have a good understanding of plants then the meals you make can be greatly varied.

    The last tin I have in my (GB) is a full survival tin. It has a fishing kit along with other trapping bits which again can help with food acquirement. Survival tins can also be purchased from most camping outlets or you could just make your own to your requirements as I did.

    Mine contains: Button Compass, Candle,, Fishing Set, small Knife, waterproof Matches,
    Pencil, Sewing Kit, Wire Saw, Brass Wire, Water Tablets, Safety Pins, a very small wind up torch, 6 feet of paracord and a few first aid items.

    The paracord is very usefull as you can pull 7 strands of very strong cord out which can be used for aditional traps or to ties things like a shelter. That’s over 42 feet of cord!!
    You can also if needed catch birds with it….

    Besides the 4 small tins in my grab bag, other items it contains are a compass, map of the area I usually drive in, a small blanket, a bottle of water, first aid kit, wind up torch, my poncho and a plastic bivvi bag.

    Some people snigger at carrying such a bag in a car, but why not as it does not hurt to be prepared, does it….
    Love. peace and Blessings to you all.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Very good - I enjoyed reading that!

    Let me add a counterbalance: what we should have stocked up AT HOME for when the lights go out - if they ever do.

    I once lived in a cottage in the Scottish Borders and experienced a 5-day power cut. For the first few hours it was fun. By day 5, it was starting to drag a little.

    Here's my list. Very basic: most households will have many other items which will also be useful. But the things below are pretty essential.
    • Dried food like rice, cereal, flour, pasta - plus tins of fish and vegetables. Don't forget oil, tea, coffee, dried milk, sugar, soy sauce for flavoring rice meals, and plenty of hard candy for morale. Inexpensive, long-lasting, and can always be eaten. Have enough to last everyone for a few weeks if you have to - even if you have to eat rice every day. (Many people in the world do just that!)
    • Wind-up combined flashlight/ radio/ phone charger (there are many of these on the market).
    • Candles (plenty, including a cheap, large bag of long-lasting nightlights).
    • Matches and lighters (you can never have too many).
    • AA and AAA batteries (ditto).
    • Any essential medical supplies, including MMS and colloidal silver (depending on your possible needs).
    • Gas burner + at least one large, full gas bottle (enough for 15-40 hours continuous burning).
    • If anticipating any infrastructure problem, keep your bathtub filled with cold water.
    • Water purifying tablets (iodine is probably best) + several large plastic containers, ideally at least a gallon each.
    • Plenty of wood and kindling... if you have an open fireplace or a wood burning stove.
    With the above, you could sit out a difficult situation for a month or more. Water is always the challenge... I am assuming there is a water source SOMEWHERE near.

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    UK Avalon Member Ammit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Thankyou for your aditions Bill.
    I was actually writing another to include being at home at the time so with your permission would like to add your list to it.
    Many at home forget that they have a loft when they get problems, Mine has a header water tank which fills itself constantly
    during normal daily use, holds about 60 gallons, also the immersion heater makes a good water store.

    Blessings

    Ammit
    Love. peace and Blessings to you all.

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    Avalon Member Kari Lynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    One rule of thumb is to "use what you are comfortable with, and be comfortable with what you are using"

    Meaning, don't pack a flint and steel, or expect to start a fire with a bow, if you don't know how to use it. Starting a fire with something you've never used can be a frustration at the very least. Down right depressing, and hazzardous at others.
    I don't know how many people have seen any of the survival shows out there. But there is a good one that really shows some of the hazzards of starting a fire with something you're not used to. The show is Dual Survival with Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin.
    In this one particular show, Dave decides he will try his hand at lighting a fire using Cody's fire bow. Now I might point out that this bow is one that Cody carry's with him everywhere, like most people carry a lighter. It's tried and true.
    So anyway, Dave set to work with this fire bow, and ends up rubbing multiple open blisters on this hands. His hands are shaking he's in so much pain.
    At home, or near a doctors office, this may not be an issue. Lost in the wilderness for an undisclosed amount of time, could be life threatening, as such injuries could set in with infections, not to mention the difficulty of making shelter, gathering food and water, and the depression that will sent in from being so uncomfortable and in pain.

    And also, know your limits.
    If you are not a person who can handle cold very well, then by all means, don't pack a little emegency blanket, expecting it to keep you warm. Instead, pack a sleeping bag that is rated for the weather you're in.
    And believe me, not all bags are created equal!
    Having been a senior girl scout that went on alot of canoe, and camp trips, I can honestly say, that a summer bag will NOT work during winter or fall weather.
    If a summer bag is rated to 40 degrees. It'll keep you from freezing, however you may not get much sleep. As it won't keep you toasty warm in 40 degree weather.
    My cousin and I found that out when I had a coleman 40 degree bag, and she had an old WWII feather filled Army sleeping bag. She stayed in her bag and slept all night, while I kept running for the heated bath house most of the night, (as well as few other girls in our troupe.)
    Paddling down river the next day another 30 miles to our pick up point was near torture, as we were so exhausted.
    So next time I went camping (a month later, and even colder) on an over night bike trip, I borrowed her sleeping bag.
    That night I would have been the one sleeping cozy all night, excpet for my tent partner, was cold and kept waking me up, to make trips to the heated bathhouse with her. So again, I was exhausted, and had to try to peddle another 30 miles to pick up point.
    So if you need a sleeping bag, by all means pack a sleeping bag.
    One thing I found those little emergency blankets good for, is making a liner for your shelter.
    Again in Dual Survival, somehow Cody and Dave had aquired a few items to build a shelter. One a clear sheet of plastic, the other, they may have carried the emergency blanket with them. It was late fall or early winter night. (Cold at any rate.)
    They built a lean-to shelter. Lined the back and ceiling of the shelter with the emergency blanket, and the front with the clear plastic, the fire being in front of the shelter.
    The heat and light from the fire, traveled into the the front of the shelter, through the sheet of clear plastic, and was reflected back into the shelter by the emergency blacket that lined the back of the wall and ceiling and HEATED the inside of the shelter, toasty warm. I might add the sides were closed/sealed, by branches and such to prevent loss of heat also. they entered through the plastic sheet infront. To me, this was a more effective way of using the emergency blanket, than wrapping oneself up in it. One blanket kept two men warm and comfortable, instead of one man just surviving.

    Practice is essential to any knowledge learned, including survival.
    Take for an example the book based on a true story, "into the wild"
    I haven't read the book to the end yet, but from what I understand, this young man had been treking into wilderness places for about 2 years, But yet, even with what he had learned, he still got into a situation where he got sick and died from lack of proper food water, etc..

    My favorite book so far, is Wilderness survival. I believe the author is Tom Brown. I'll check later for accuracy of that.
    He learned from native american friends from a young man/child while growing up how to live in nature.
    he also teaches it.
    He went out into the Pine Barren of Vermont for a year to survive with just his bowie knife (and sharpener). Friends and family feared he'd died, when he didn't come out after the year he said he would, but he returned finally with in 2 years after entering the forest.
    He said something to the effect that my dad used to say, that I always laughed at.
    "I'm not lost, I just temporarily misplaced myself for awhile"
    Course, Tom misplaced himself for a year past his exit date! lol

    Now one of the things Tom said in his book, is if you're knowledgable enough to go into the wilderness and survive comfortably with just a knife, than do so, If you need a fanny pack full of stuff, than take a fanny pack. If you need a day pack full, then take a day pack.

    Mine is currently a hiking back pack full! lol
    Unfortunately, As fast as I pack these packs full of stuff to be comfortable, my boys unpack them! lol.
    I went down and checked my back pack last week, and found it absolutely empty! Augh!
    I used to have a hiker stove and fuel.
    Water proof match container,
    lighter,
    hatchet,
    small saw. (I believe that broke though, upon testing it's usefulness. Have since gotten what looks like a chain saw chain, with handles on each end, have to check for ease of use of that yet)
    MRE's
    bottles of water
    change of close.
    Mess kit (pans, plate, etc..)
    Sleeping bag.
    Emergency blanket,
    whistle
    compass
    and can't remember all what else.
    But all is gone again, so have to put them together again. sigh.

    My biggest problem now is that with the 5 of us. It's a little difficult to carry all 5 bags in car/truck as very little room. So I suspect some training to be comfortable with less will become necessary soon. lol.
    Last edited by Kari Lynn; 6th November 2010 at 20:01.

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    I thougt I would add that all three of my boys are in scouts now, and we're having to pack their hiking packs and present them to scout master for inspection and a merit badge.
    It has to contain,
    mess kit (cook pans, plates, eating utinsel, cup, etc..)
    first aid kit,
    fire kit,
    change of cloths,
    hygiene kit,
    tent (or shelter)
    sleeping bag,
    food or food aquiring kit.
    location kit (whistle, signaling device, compass, etc.. paper and pencil or pen)

    One thing I found interesting is that they recommend everything be stored and seperated in large gallon size zip lock bags, or dry bags.
    We're working on that now as they have a camp coming up this coming Nov 11.
    I'm also working on a feather liner for their current sleeping bags, as they're only summer bags (40 degree bags)
    Wish I could afford the military's new sleep system. But it's expensive. lol

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    Europe Avalon Member scanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    This is going to sound strange , try not using any of these Items above . Try to use what is to hand ,try practising and see what you can do without assistance while you can in good times . So when push comes to shove you will know instinctively what to look for . A story which gave me inspiration, this guy went flying in his small plane in Canada , it happened the plane engine packed up and he crashed into a lake . He survived the crash but the plane went down so fast he had no time to get anything from the plane , he was stranded with just his clothing he was wearing that day.

    He swam to shore but the weather was very poor heavey rain and high winds . He knew instinctively he had to get some shelter ,so he found a place and made a small shelter for himself .He knew without water he would die even though it was all about him, so with what he had on he made a filter and ate the plants he could find that he knew were edible.He was rescued after a week , he was a very lucky man.

    My point is this ,if you can survive without the above equipment you have a better than average chance with it .If you do get all the very good Items above for your GB, practice practice pratice . There's no point in having it if you don't know how to use it .Did anyone say a good knife ? Bill mentioned water , I've installed water butts connected to the down spouts, I have about 90 gallon of drinking water when it's filtered .
    Last edited by scanner; 6th November 2010 at 21:33.

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    UK Avalon Member Ammit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Kari lynn, why dont you contact your local poultry farmer during the right season and see if you can get a load of feathers to make your own feather liners!, I used to have a load of ducks and slowly saved enough feathers to make a base liner for my hammock, works really well and is very light.

    Blessings

    Ammit
    Love. peace and Blessings to you all.

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    Avalon Member Kari Lynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Actually, I have quite the collection of feather stuffing now.
    I have asked family members and friends to save ANYTHING that has feathers in it for me. I don't care what shape.
    My mom found me two couch type pillows that is stuffed tight with feathers for free.
    And I am hitting all the thrift stores. I found two more pillows. Which I bought for $3 each.
    I probably have enough feathers in the 4 pillows to make at least one winter sleeping bag. (not just a liner. lol)
    And with my oldest son standing at nearly 6'4" .... it's not a small sleeping bag! lol
    I also found a queen size quilt in the thrift store for $18. But still debating on it. It's pretty and white. And I'd be hesitant to give it to the boys. lol
    Also the quilting stitches are all ripped out, so I would have to do some sewing and repairs on it.
    I'm waiting to check on it again on Monday, to see if it'll go on sale for 50% off. If so, I'll definitely buy it. lol


    For my home supplies. I always make sure I have plenty of lamp oil. Firewood stocked up (and seasoned. Boy that green wood puts up a smoke signal! lol) And of course food. (and toilet paper! lol)
    Financial difficulties for the past two years has forced me to dip into my storage, without being able to replenish it much this year. So my canned foods are getting a bit thin. I told kids next year we had better be growing a garden and canning lots if they don't want to starve! lol
    I usually home can meat. Chicken, deer, beef.
    My Aunt also cans cake! Which I have yet to try.
    she'll mix up a cake mix, bake it IN the jars (wide mouth with taper jars, so can be removed easily) when done, she puts a sterile lid and ring on and it seals.
    I asked her the shelf life of it. She said she knows at least 6 months, but how much longer she didn't know, as they always were eatten up before then. lol
    The cake, would ensure that during an outage of a long period of time, you have some comfort food to help keep moral up.
    My mother has a wood cook stove in her kitchen. Her house is designed around it! I really wish I could purchase one, and put it in my kitchen, but won't fit. (Have to build a new house! Sounds like a good reason to me! lol)
    I did find a small wood cook stove, with oven, water resovour and all, that is a fireplace insert! I want to get it sooo bad, but it's $1,500. And, the previous owner says it's not operationally safe. So if I bought it I'd have to find out if it's repairable or not. And that'd likely get into some serious money.
    So I'll keep looking.

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    UK Avalon Member Ammit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    I understand about money, its very tight for me too as I expect for most.
    Yiolas did a thread about oil lamps if that is any use to you, I was sceptical but got some wire and tried it. It works fantastic, so much so that I now have many sat in strategic places around my home, just in case. It also is a very good way to re-use old cooking oils. I had saved a lot of oil over the last year for making bio diesal, but have still got a petrol car, the oil now is in the lights and each is almost full giving about 25hrs each fill. I have even rendered animal fat from meat to get the oil from it, just save all your pork or other meat fat in the freezer and do it all in one hit.

    As for the wicks, I bought different types but the best were mop head strands, last quite a while and here I can buy a mop head for 50p which has about 100 strands in it. Thats a lot of wicks....

    I am curious about your meat canning, maybe you could email or post instructions for doing this!!
    Love. peace and Blessings to you all.

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Hi Ammit do you have a link for the oil lamps please ? I have a stack of solar powered lights a solar panel to top my 12v batt up which is always on trickle charge with lights connected ready to just switch on looks great at night on tests .
    Last edited by scanner; 7th November 2010 at 10:29.

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    UK Avalon Member Ammit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    To add to the list if you were at home and wanted to produce things for storage as a preparation:

    Make your own charcoal
    Make your own soap
    Make your own Jerky
    Make your own alcohol

    Ammit
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Love. peace and Blessings to you all.

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    Avalon Member Kari Lynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Thanks for the link Ammit.
    I have a ton of purchased new and antique oil lamps.
    We have upon occasion what we call "non electric night"
    (or used to when I lived back home.)
    Mom would cook on the wood cook stove, light candles, or oil lamps, TV gets shut off, and we have a totally electric free night. (Until dad wanted to watch his news. lol)
    I have tried it a few times with my kids. Cooking in the fireplace, oil lamps on tables and round about for light. Kids love it. But again, getting hubby away from TV is a problem.

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    UK Avalon Member Ammit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    I have a similar problem with my wife, its funny as I do the same thing occasionally. No electric or gas, lights by reused oil, cooking by home made charcoal in my outside home made brick oven. Bread and rolls are first, then pizzas and garlic french sticks. Then its transformed into a bbq.

    If you eat pork you can also render the fat for use in lamps.


    Ammit
    Love. peace and Blessings to you all.

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Ok so you have your food, water and general supplies. What you need to do next is learn to defend yourself, you may not have access to a gun and killing someone is not the best option. Start to train and become physical strong and fit, you may have to run, move objects, carry objects or even people. Just because there has been a global event or crisis doesn’t mean there won’t be looters, thieves and killers around.

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    The two most important items you can have in a survival situation is your mind and a good knife (fixed blade is the best).

    practice everything even the most unlikely that you can think up.

    Brad

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    so true gryphynsclaw. Even the simplest of tasks can become a depressing and frustrating chore, if you have lack of knowledge of how to perform them adequately.
    I love going to historic villages where they have people dressed in period cloths, performing period tasks, and the one here even holds classes. how to cook over a fireplace, open pit fire. How to make soap, black smithing. Medicinal plants, gardening, animal husbandry, etc... Everything they did that was essential back then.

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    Historic villages are a lot of fun, I have demonstrated at several as well as to school groups. However, I admit my experience is more along the primitive survival line.
    If a person is not well practiced in use of survival tools and practices things can get a bit frustrating. In such a case or even when you are well practiced the absolute most important things are to NOT panic, not give into fear and TO THINK. If you do panic you can put your self in a far worse position then you started out in.

    Brad

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    in the military, its fairly common to use carbineers and rope to attach a ruck outside a vehicle, simply tie a rope taught from cab to tailgate and have carbineers pre attached, bags with the molle system make it easier but i doubt it look cool on the hiway heading off to hike lol

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    Default Re: Emergency survival guide

    That sounds like an interesting solution to lack of space inside the vehicle. My hubby has a pickup truck, which normally we just throw everything in the back. But my Durango doesn't have that much space behind the back seat. But do you ever loose anything out of the sacks from wind while on highway or high speeds?

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