Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
“Naked into the wilderness Ch. 1: Priorities”
There are five given priorities/tasks when one finds themselves in a bad situation in a given landscape. And the whole scope of these articles will assume that there is not a lot of hope for immediate rescue as well as the odds of a doable walk-out for whatever reason being low.

The first two priorities will not be what you think, but after large number of case reviews by a large number of institutions & organizations they are proven.

So there you are. Your in the middle of nowhere for any number of reasons- (you make up the scenario.)

You have no clue which way is home or rescue. You have tracked up the place for the last hours on end to the point of backtracking being practically impossible. You denied the actual degree of the complexity of your situation for so long you have depleted you energy levels, your water levels and perhaps your food/snack levels.

Your soaked with sweat from nervous exertion and anxiety. You have stopped now and standing there in sweat soaked clothing. Your shocked you did not realize you were this cold until now.

Regardless of what your pride says about the following statement, estimates as high as 20% of you “seasoned” outdoorsmen have panicked to the point of throwing away your pack and or weapon and ran wildy & blindly in fear, frequently to the point of significant injury, if not off a bluff in the pitch black darkness.

Welcome to the way it really goes down, when things turn scary “in the woods.” The above paragraph is not creative energies of my mind. It is the basic variation of the “lost” theme for average folk who enter the wilds. (“wilds” can easily be the desert, swamp,____, ____.)

As I said previously I have 10 ++ years in (aircraft based) search & rescue, and have been on several missing craft & person searches. In these venues I was ground team commander, head medic, RO and Field skills Instructor, crash site entry instructor & occasionally FAA photographer.

I also have had instruction at many primitive (survival) skills courses: all this to say I have heard the statistics & actual cases as they occurred in real life, & lessons learned from both sides.

Henceforth: The main <span style="font-style: italic">initial concern</span> in all things when “lost” is determined and accepted by the individual is for & of PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFIT.

Do not do yourself the disservice of saying in your best billy-bad-Ass voice that “I’d never panic.” Even as a veteran SAR operator -AND- Primitive skills practitioner there was an occasion I determined I was completely , utterly & hopelessly lost, in failing light, at a most inopportune time, in a most inopportune place during the most inopportune weather. I DID panic. I even broke into a wild run though for only a few paces. I thank God I defaulted to my training and SAT DOWN and proceeded to collect myself. And it was unnerving at what effort that took even. and it happens to many <span style="font-weight: bold">seasoned</span> outdoorsmen yearly.

The priority list:

1.Shelter
Home is where the heart (& mind is.)
The first order of business is to create a shelter. Completion of a shelter establishes a place to exist. It gives some sense of power OVER the circumstances and it provides a home, however temporary and a place to retreat & cope. On the physical plane: statistics show that it is better to create a shelter which preserves internal bodily water & food reserves, (easier to stay warm preserving calories, easier to stay cool preserving hydration) than to fumble around seeking a food & water source in the initial phase.

Once we transition to the instructional sections of this article I’ll give you step by step detail on how to create a water proof, cold proof shelter requiring no tools or string. You’ll only need your hands and what is given freely by the landscape.

2. Fire
Yes in the initial phase Shelter AND Fire are more important than water. Fire really does give some sense of not being alone & a sense of companionship. But the main psychological task of fire is that it incredibly instills a huge sense of confidence to have power over one’s current life and ability to improve one’s current existence. In the movie “Cast Away” actor Tom Hanks started his first fire on the island after failing with a ridiculous hand drill set up and succeeding with the Fire Plow. In the ensuing scene Tom danced gleefully and triumphantly around his fire and made claims & announcement (if you’ll notice –TO- his fire, his companion- directly) of his abilities & achievements in a “conqueror of the world” type demeanor. This was a REALLY WELL researched scene and NOT Hollywood drama. Ask any single person that has created fire by friction (far older than fire by percussion/ spark) and they will tell you they experienced the same EXACT sensation & emotion.

It is simply not describable to explain the emotion of creating something so close to and vital for basic existence. The emotion comes from accomplishing the primeval act VITAL to survival through ancient primitive means.

This sensation is so profound and dramatic that it is the center piece of wilderness therapy for at-risk teens. I worked as a professional backpacker at one of the leading Wilderness Therapy organizations in this country for a few years. I have had countless students tell me that because they created fire (opposed to “lighting” a fire) that they knew they could do anything they set their mind to once back at home in society.

On the physical plain, our fire provides many utilitarian needs. It provides us light and like the lore can protect us from animals. It fire hardens our wooden tools and weapons etc. It burns out our bowls, spoon, cup and even our dugout canoe. But most important in the physical is that it maintains our core temperature as well as cooks our food and boils our water that we would otherwise be STRONGLY tempted to eat/drink in an unsafe condition when obtained had we not ALREADY created fire.
We’ll go over some of the more reliable means of starting fire by primitive means soon.

3. Yes you can finally say it: Water!

4.Food.
Food is good one. So many “cool guy” survivalists will tell you all about snaring techniques. All you have to do is pull wire or string out of your rear end to use those techniques. I again love the look on their faces when I say, yeah, but it’s so much easier to run down a Dandelion! A wise man puts equal or more time into plant knowledge as he does trapping.

6. Utilitarian items.
The one GREAT thing about a survival experience is you have time on your hands. Keeping up with the production of utilitarian items will keep you plenty busy. These include making string, string, string more string and a bunch more string as well as weapons, tools, more trap parts, clothing, footwear, etc.
We’ll touch on these as well. More to come.



 
  • Like
Reactions: goneballistic

Mo_Zam_Beek

Private
Minuteman
Jan 21, 2002
0
2
0
OR_GUN
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

I get so tied of reading about water being number one.

Two experiences I highly recommend to those that shout water above all else - being wet and cold with no hope of pick up any time soon, and navigating in an area with no ambient light on a moonless night - so dark you literally can not see your hand in front of your face (a great way to hurt and go from bad to worse).

A night without water - you'll make it.

A night without shelter - depending on where you are, you might just go to sleep from hypothermia and never wake up.

Good luck
 

jawa

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 9, 2010
586
3
22
Houston, TX
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Its crazy that a sense of panic can cause someone do one of the above situations. I cant wait to read the next write up.
 

scaxeman

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 26, 2008
370
0
0
Oregon
www.usftrclass.com
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Good stuff Tres. Keep it coming!

Core body temp (in extreme situations): 2-4 hours
Water: 2+ days
Food: 1.5+ weeks

Warm (or cool) is our friend!
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


Thanks,

I have to get out and make a tool-less shelter and take pics along the way. I'll try to get it done this week and have the text to go with it.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


always kind man are we?
Thanks Lovetsx.
 

Tburkes

Sergeant
Commercial Supporter
Belligerents
Nov 14, 2002
827
6
0
Bandera, Texas
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

TresMon, your last two posts about this subject have been about the most interesting reading on this site that I've seen in quite a while. I'm really looking forward to your future contributions along these lines.

Thanks for taking the time to post this information.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities



Thanks for your gracious words Tburk..
 

Munimula

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 15, 2010
144
13
22
36
Zillah, WA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

yay. you got sticked. Good info and entertaining at the very least.
 

Dagsta

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 14, 2008
1,346
2
142
64
Louisiana
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

TresMon I actually just saw this. I will reiterate what Tony said earlier. As an avid sportsman and hunter and somewhat seasoned at that, I cherish the important reminders of what we, who have been around take for granted and rarely expect to deal with, in reality it could happen to any of us in a heartbeat.

Thanks for your time and effort in this matter and I'm back in class waiting and looking forward to the next lecture!!!!
 

jasonahull

Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 9, 2009
829
0
0
47
everett washington
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

2. Fire
Yes in the initial phase Shelter AND Fire are more important than water. Fire really does give some sense of not being alone & a sense of companionship. But the main psychological task of fire is that it incredibly instills a huge sense of confidence to have power over one’s current life and ability to improve one’s current existence. In the movie “Cast Away” actor Tom Hanks started his first fire on the island after failing with a ridiculous hand drill set up and succeeding with the Fire Plow. In the ensuing scene Tom danced gleefully and triumphantly around his fire and made claims & announcement (if you’ll notice –TO- his fire, his companion- directly) of his abilities & achievements in a “conqueror of the world” type demeanor. This was a REALLY WELL researched scene and NOT Hollywood drama. Ask any single person that has created fire by friction (far older than fire by percussion/ spark) and they will tell you they experienced the same EXACT sensation & emotion.




i have tried and failed many times to start a fire this way. it is my goal every time i go camping, but one day i will make fire.
 

DaveV

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 23, 2009
703
0
0
58
_
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Great quote from the movie "The Edge"

Charles Morse: <span style="font-style: italic">I once read an interesting bit. Most people who die in the woods die of shame. </span>
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


update:
I was headed out to produce and photograph how to make a tool-less shelter when I found my camera is on strike. With repeated reloads of fresh batteries it refuses to energize. Today I borrowed one and am hoping to get the work done tomorrow if the weather holds. (I am weatherproof, a nice $$ borrowed camera is not)

I'm tryin for you guys...
 

DaveV

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 23, 2009
703
0
0
58
_
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I was headed out to produce and photograph how to make a tool-less shelter when I found my camera is on strike. With repeated reloads of fresh batteries it refuses to energize. </div></div>

The irony of this statement is too sweet to not mention


Keep up the good work!
 

pale horse

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 15, 2006
233
0
0
alaska
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Tres great stuff have you been to Alaska? If not you should try while still young. I always thought the northwest & desert would make me fall apart. But I have been dug in in so many white outs and hard core winter fubar I walked 60 miles in 26 hours and put all that loved by me in focus to live in fact I ruined my feet on that great march my friend picked me up the last 21 miles leg home a native he stated any one else and we would be digging a grave that when the pride of staying alive hit me & a young wife and 4 kids she was sure this time I was gone beaver missing 3 days seeing high line poles on the tundra mountains with spanish gallins on the peaks after the first night I cut grass and stuffed it in my thin snow pants it got uncomon cold that late march first time in my life to be really thirty I told myself son you better get your shit togather or there going to find you out here I never once got excited kept calm as was thought by the old native to survive to old way drink my piss if I had to lucky no its damm great to beat the reapers just one time regards to all a great subject hope a few green boys could learn pm me anytime for I have been walking dead so many times in 30 years I lost count the bering sea was always the most unforgiving Kim
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


Kim,

Crazy living. I have applied for jobs in Alaska and sure would come. Most recently (a mere weeks ago) I applied for some jobs in Denali.

I dream of getting out of the lower 48, but as they say, have a job when you go- you can't eat the scenery

Thanks!
Tres
 

Doc_Navy

Private
Minuteman
Mar 22, 2010
14
0
0
48
Florida
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Tres,

Decent write-up. If I may add a thing or two here from my own experiences. First, I suppose I need to throw out my "qualifications"... as a kid, I lived in places like Washington state, Utah, Northern Cali, and Nevada. I've had my fair share of "roughing it with Dad", and wilderness survival with the Boy Scouts. That said, neither of those activities perpared me in any way for the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare School in Bridgeport, Ca. As a Navy FMF Corpsman I was required to take all of the courses my Marines took (Mountain Ops, Rigging, wilderness survival, etc.), but I was also required to take Cold Weather Medicine, Mountain Medicine, and Winter Mountain Leaders Course. All of these skill were put to use in an eleven month deployment to Afghanistan in the Hindu-Kush Mountains.

Ok, now for my two cents, FWIW.

You are absolutely correct about priorities, and for the most part, have them in the proper order. Here's what I would add:

BEFORE you go off looking for shelter, whether it be to find materials to build one or simply to just dig a hole barely big enough for you to fit in in the side of a grade in the terrain... you need to check yourself for and take stock of any injuries you may have, even minor ones.
This may sound like a "No, duh" kind of thing, but as you probably know, when panic sets in the brain stops working. That minor gash or scratch you got on your face from running (even only a few steps) wildly into the bush, may (read: most likely WILL) become infected and THAT is something that ~will~ kill you fast in a survival situation where your energy is used just to stay alive.

Also, I have a slightly different view of creating fire...
Two words: Bic lighter.
It is all well and good to know a couple of primitive means to start a fire, but if you've ever tried it you know that the amount of energy required to start one with nothing but what mother nature (who is a cold-hearted and cruel bitch) gives you is quite substantial. Remember, you are trying to survive here. Any energy saved is extra time staying alive.

How much easier would it have been for Mr. Hanks if he had just stuffed a disposable Bic lighter in his pocket? Even if the lighter was empty, he'd still have had a decent spark thrower from the flint.

Well, there you go. That's all I've got for the moment. Again, EXCELLENT write-up. I'm looking foreward to the rest.

Hansii
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Hansii,

Thanks for your kind words. You speak from experience. I agree with your taking intial assesment. And practically no one realises that diarrhea (actually the dehydration associated with) is one of the greatest "lost" killers. Also "tunnel vision" is a bad one too. I have had students walk past a great throwing stick only to stumble upon in-range grouse on their way to find a good shelter spot. But they walked right past these and other gifts of the woods because their mind was saying "shelter first ,shelter first, shelter first," Sure shelter is first, but cherry pick along the way!

But I must say I'm completely on a different continent- opinion wise regarding your bic lighter.

I swear even just on average ordinary camp outs Bics have failed me as often as they have worked. But then again I live in the Mountains of E. TN and W. NC- VERY damp environments. In fact SO DAMP that the two years I worked as a backpacker in the Pisgah National forest in WNC, it got so much rain that it qualified as a "decidious rain forest."

You can have your bic. I'd rather have a flint/magnesium bar- yes even when it comes to lighting the Coleman lantern.

I do understand the bulk of people who learn primitive skills find it a neat novelty and good insurance. I know most are not like me- go about it as a highly entertaing thrilling favorite past-time. BUT when primitive skills are MASTERED the knowledge is OWNED. That to say for me to make primitive fire- it is by no means exhausitng. Sure if it's raining I'll have a to do a goof bit of strolling around to find dry materials, but none of it is exhausting, if it is a mastered skill as opposed to a skill one struggles desperately at.

I once came unglued at some a-holes that kept making assinine comments while I was preparing to make a camp fire by friction. It was quite damp, and had rained recently. I was getting tired of all the "bic" and "zippo" comments. Finally when they offered to sell me a road flare for $10, I snapped. I bet them a healthy wager I could build and get a fire established- to the point of it buring steadily untouched for 15 minutes by primitive means quicker than they could using their road flare. I won, and they were the only sweaty ogres in the end. And sweaty ogres eating humble pie is not a pretty sight.

when the skill is OWNED, it is at YOUR command & disposal, instead of the other way around & it is not a calorie consuming act of desperation.

Again you make GREAT points and I thank you for your contribution.

Note to all:
I apologize for the delay of the next chapter. First my camera died, then the rain. I was hoping to bust it out today, but I was just given notice I was shoe horned into a weekend long Hunter Ed. instructors course beginning this afternoon. So I'll have ot push it into next week.

Thanks guys,
Tres

I

 

Doc_Navy

Private
Minuteman
Mar 22, 2010
14
0
0
48
Florida
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Tres,

I couldn't agree more with what you've said. (Although, I've never been unable to start a fire with a Bic lighter, even in snowy or damp conditions. Difficult sometimes, yes. Because of wind, etc.)

On the fire thing, I have probably sacrificed meaning in lieu of being overly concise. What I mean to say is that it is an essential part of "Survival training" to know how to start a primitive fire, and you are 100% correct in that a skill mastered is a skill owned. Once a person has mastered those skills, it's time to use their hard-won human intellect and a sense of preparedness and keep a lighter or magnesium or ferrocerium rod on your keychain.
(I am assuming that a large portion of the folks in this community already carry a knife of some kind with them most, if not all, of the time.)

One other thing that I noticed now that I go back over it... I noticed that you are missing #5. I assume this is for the "Signaling" section since the ultimate goal of surviving is getting home. (In fact, I'd probably put "Signaling" before "food".)

Speaking of food, my policy might differ when it comes to plant life... As a general rule, avoid plant life unless you know for a <span style="font-weight: bold">fact</span> that it is something edible. The easiest rule to remember is that if it walks (on 6 legs or less), swims, crawls, has feathers or slithers… it's edible. Stuff like moss, mushrooms, bark, leaves etc. are almost totally a waste of time IMHO, as they contain little, if any, nutritional value and you stand a VERY large chance of poisoning yourself if you are not a master horticulturalist.
Why do I say this? Well, unless you already know where you are going to get lost, it might be a little burdensome to become an expert on plant life for every region of North America (or elsewhere) you might enter.
I can show you how to make a twitch-up snare or noosing wand out of your shoe/boot laces (or even strips of cloth)that will have you in meat in no time!

The thing about the throwing stick is SOO true. That's one I've seen for myself.

Anyway. Thanks for your reply. Keep up the good work.

Hansii
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Hansii,
I love a good debate! Thank you sir. I still disagree about plants. Yes your correct, what a lot of (arm-chair) survival authors calls edible, is edible, but it's assumed that the words "edible" and "nutritious" are synonymous and they are not.

And don't get me wrong I -LOVE- primtive trapping of all kinds. Heck their (trigger, or the whole) just simple machines- and i'm a machinist. Traps really turn my crank. I have even practiced making deadfalls blindfolded so I could OWN the skill. I love the stuff and you better beleive I will have a net work of trap lines established on the quick-quick.

But I still stand by my statement that a equal energy should be put into learning medicinal and edible (nutritious) plants.

Here's a great example; I was reading over some files of a rescue. A married couple was found and rescued after quite a long duration. (this was years ago I had access to the files, forgive me for not remembering th cite) They had tired to trap (obvious had no clue) etc and was unsuccessful. By the time they were rescued they were malnourished. They reported having ate near NOTHING. When I saw the photos of the crude little camp they made it shocked the daylights out of me. They made camp in a small clearing covered in lush grass. ALL grasses are edible & nutritious! and grow ALL OVER THE WORLD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae

Another good example is the common Dandelion. It is generally hated and attempts made to eradicate it from lawns. But the whole thing above ground and below is good for you. It's quite nutritious, and one of the few US "normalizer" herbs. Normalizer is a term meaning herbally it is good for EVERY system of the body bringing it each system back into good balance.

If you really want to impress an outdoorsey chick invite her on a picnic. Start her out with a salad that is topped with dandelion flowers and Violet flowers. It's "pretty" AND edible! She'll be swooning and have "the vapors!"* and your TRAP will be sprung. (Maybe I should write a chapter on survival romance?)

* "what were "the vapors?""

Agreed- one would have to be a master botanist to be a survival vegetarian. But it is not hard to OWN knowledge of a couple dozen of common WIDELY dispersed edible & medicinal plants. It's just another really handy tool in your toolbox bro.
 

Doc_Navy

Private
Minuteman
Mar 22, 2010
14
0
0
48
Florida
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Tres,

Hrrm, not really trying to "debate", as I pretty much agree with you, in all cases.

Food:
You say that "a equal energy should be put into learning medicinal and edible (nutritious) plants."

to which I totally and whole-heartedly agree. My coveat is:
"As a general rule, avoid plant life unless you know for a <span style="font-weight: bold">fact</span> that it is something edible" (meaning not poisonous)

The moral of my story is, if you haven't put in the time and effort to go out into a given area and learn what plant and fungal life is and isn't good to eat...you are better off whacking a roosting grouse, or eating wood grubs. On the other hand if you can tell the difference between:

Lycoperdon pyriforme (Pear shaped puffball Mushroom) "Yummy."

and

Scleroderma citrinum (Pigskin puffball Mushroom) "Ugh, my tummy hurts, the pain!"

and

Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel Mushroom) "Wow! It makes my tongue ting...ack! gurgle.. thump."

Then go for it.

There's a whole other discussion we could have about meat vs cerals and calorie density and such... but for me it boils down to the fact that I'd rather "survive" on roasted squirrel and opossum (seasoned with wild mint or sage) than a mouthfull of Kentucky Bluegrass or Switchgrass and a Dandelion. If I've got nothing else, I am absolutely gonna make like a cow and start eating grass.


Again, these are just my opinions, and I really don't have the same fieldcraft experience that you do. After reading your other posts I can see where you are coming from, with the whole "you got nothing but the clothes on your back and your attitude." approach to survival. And you would be correct.

Hansii
 

cavemanmoore

Sergeant
Belligerents
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Another good example is the common Dandelion. It is generally hated and attempts made to eradicate it from lawns. But the whole thing above ground and below is good for you. It's quite nutritious, and one of the few US "normalizer" herbs. Normalizer is a term meaning herbally it is good for EVERY system of the body bringing it each system back into good balance.
</div></div>

So I read this and vowed to eat the next Dandelion I saw. Just saw one 10 min ago next to the parking lot at work. Tastes sort of like spinach with a horrible aftertaste. And you're sure about this grass thing right? If so my lawn will be the first target.

Great posts guys. Keep it up!
-Chris
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


WAIT!!! lol...

yeah, dandies and grass are edible. But I can't promise (if) in the urban setting you find them in that they did not just get hosed by RoundUP by some diaper wearing blue hair.

Use discretion!
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


Hey gang,

I got the pics shot and a helluva start on the next chapter. Thanks for your patience. I plan on having it up tomorrow.
 

pascal

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Thanks TresMon,

Lots of good information in your threads.

Learning and applying primitive skills is essential - if all else fail, you have the know-how to make do with what the environment can offer you and this could save your butt.

Like you, regarding food, my own philosophy has been to take a multilateral approach. I think it's the best way to achieve a more complete nutrition in a survival situation. It's not a big deal if a survival situation is short term - I.E. if you manage to procure some meat or edible plants for yourself, it will go a long way to help you.

But in a long term situation ( Weeks - months - a year?) - to keep oneself in good shape, it is essential to have a proper nutrition/diet. Edible plants can provide much needed elements ( lots of vitamins,fiber, etc..)which meat can not always provide.

A meat only diet is a tough one ( Lack for vitamins,fibers, etc..) but the reverse is also true... a wild food (plants)only diet is also a tough one - getting enough fat/proteins is usually the challenge, unless you have nuts, acorn, avocados, etc... available in enough quantity.

So I think learning both skills; the means to acquire meat (trough hunting, trapping, etc...) and knowing wild edible plants is crucial.

Note that, there is also another category worth knowing...BUGS! Some bugs are extremely nutritious and could also save your butt. In fact I'm convinced that knowing which bugs to eat and plants would assure your survival as well, even if meat wasn't available. It's also much easier to get some bugs than the usual wildlife (rabbits, deers, etc...)

I know bugs seems "yuck" but it's really just a culture thing. In fact I think more than 50% of the population in the world eat bugs as part of their diet. Once you get used to it, it's not that big of a deal and it can be a tasty snack.

Everyone in the USA (including anyone reading this) does eat bugs too. You eat bugs when you eat peanut butter, canned vegetables and even Ketchup. Yep! It's in it! A little online search will confirm that.

If you want to start somewhere, eat the next ant you see - it's not too bad and rather peppery
If it's a big ant, crush it between your teeth first before it bites your tongue...trust me on that one, I know


My own take on the subject of this thread would be that after the
SHELTER-FIRE-WATER-FOOD, another EXTREMELY important set of skills to own for longer term survival (weeks,months and more)is how to actually preserve the food.

The ability to forage what's available when it's the most abundant (I.E. Spring/early summer for the wild food and critters like rabbits,lezards,etc.. where I live) and find means to make it available for the "dead" months (winter or even summer in California) is also a crucial survival tool.

Dehydratation (sun/wind), smoking, pickling, canning, salting, jams, etc...should be the part of the sets of skills to own.

And someone settled in a survival situation (basics such as shelter, fire, water are all done..) should also get very busy finding ways to preserve food for the (near) future.

 

oldgrayone

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 28, 2008
646
0
18
62
South East Georgia
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Good write up. I enjoy reading about the things we have grown away from over the many years of having it to easy.
 

Kletzenklueffer

Private
Belligerents
Jan 28, 2005
42
1
12
50
GA, USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

I didn't read all the posts after the first one yet, but something I wanted to throw out there is, if you're in decent physical shape, I think it's a good idea to occasionally fast.

Reason I think it's important is to know what to expect when you don't have food in a survival situation. any one that hunts knows that there are times you see no game, or catch no fish, and while there is food likely all around you , there may be times you're going to go several hours without food, or that eating dandelions isn't suppressing your appetite.

So, I suggest going 24 hours without eating anything. Drink water, but no food. Your body goes through some craving within about 10 hours. After 24 hours is down, go three days with no food. Drink the water, but avoid food.

IIRC, around 18-24 hours, the body hits an alert where it starts to utilize body fat to take up the slack. You can feel it. By the third day, you're not as hungry (you'd like to eat, but you're not looking at your shoes wondering how they'd taste, or if there's any nutrition in the leather)

At the point of 5-7 days you'll begin feeling the weakness of nearly drained body fat and your stomach has shrunken considerably (water fills you up quickly). There is lightheadedness and it's obvious you need to conserve energy.

Anyway, just wanted to throw it out there to see what others thought. I figure it's better to know what to expect ahead of time, than to find out when your emotions are up and anything can cause fear and panic.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


Klentz,

AWESOME points. I have been on many 7 & 10 day, empty handed, no gear survival outings. It is really wise to experiment with water fasts, and it's VERY healthy for the body when done on scheduled occasion.

Once when I was young I had a job and knew there would not be enough money to cover everything. Wednesday was pay-day. So I declared midnight, monday night until I got to the bank on lunch wednesday a scheduled fast/ no food day. After the third week it was business as usual and not a problem in the least.

In my times of fasting and going without in a survival setting I learned that the third day is the hardest. It's tough, but after that third day it gets a lot easier. After that point there is but a constant lull of mild fatigue and a noticed minor decrease in endurance. But it's a more than tolerable state of being.

Again, awesome points and thanks for the contribution.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

DFROG,

Yeah Kudos. I find when I wrote these notes and read the feedback I assumed some basic things were common sense. They were good for me to write to retune myself to students. Bugs are a no brainer!!

Bugs genrally speaking have 300% more protein ounce for ounce over average beef!

I have eaten tons of grubs worms grasshoppers etc. I eat those big lack warrior ants you speak of as trail snacks. Most of them have a great lemon taste- EXACTLY like those old yellow "lemon drops" hard candy.

In times past when I had students, often females that say they would die before they ate a bug (yeah- right, food biases go out the window by the thrid day in the real deal!) I print off the "insect <span style="text-decoration: underline">allowances</span>" guidelines for bulk dried foods as defined by the US FDA and give it to them to look over.

Food preservation is a needed skill. It is one of the ENDLESS topics under "utilitarian" skills/tasks. Of course dehydration & smoking being the most realistic in primitive settings.

Fat can be dificult to come up with. Thank God for walnut trees.IIRC a pound of FRESH walnuts has 3000 calories and enough fat to give you love handles. If you come across a cattail patch and a walnut tree- call that grocery store HOME!

I agree with you 100% sir. Thanks for contributing.
 

Sean1791

Private
Minuteman
Oct 26, 2009
33
0
0
29
Washington
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Can you explain the fire triangle? How about the edibility test? These are core requirement to teach survival.
Ron Long
Class 72-01
USAF
 

ganyana

Private
Minuteman
Nov 12, 2008
83
1
0
Zimbabwe
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Just a comment- depends on the situation...where I live, without shelter you will live for a year, without water you will be in trouble by sunset on the first day. I have often had clients colapse from heat stroke after a morning of poor water management and a lack of salt intake - Americans seem to be unable to understand that in a hot environment you need to start the day by taking a gramme of rehydration salts....And the need to drink large amounts at first light and then slowly throughout the day. Have seen apprentice hunters go down with heat stroke despite taking salt and drinking moderately (3-4 quarts) during a hard days work on elephant recovery when temeratures got above 120 - So, survival books written by the Rhodesian military stress water, water and then water!
 

Juan Valdez

Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 8, 2004
140
0
0
North, TX
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

I had almost stopped coming to the Hide due to the regurgetation of the same stuff over and over (and drama). This is good stuff guys. I appreciate you taking the time.

While I do understand the phycological aspects of the priorities (shelter, fire, water), I am still leaning towards the old reliable "situation dictates". Here in Texas in August (100+ degrees and 20% humidity), I'd think that water would come first. But in January when it's 40 degrees and 80% humidity, hypothermia could get you quick - shelter/fire.

Thoughts?

Thanks again for sharing.
JV
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Scrambler:
No offense sir but any second grader can read of the things you spoke of in a poorly written "wanna-be" survival manual. I'm giving been there done it wisdom for -the basics- of getting through a hairy situation with nothing- experience I have gained, stuff you can't get from a book hence my conversational tone in all this.I guaran-damn-tee ya wheter or not I can spell <span style="color: #FF0000">Pyrolysis</span>[thats a clickable hot link y'all] or satisfy you with how I explain your triangle *TEACHING AID* has nothing to do with me busting out a hot ember with two sticks in a few seconds.

Your edibility test is in the same category. Given the scenario your already initially going to be weak and tired, why take a chance on giving yourself dermatitis or some level of poisoning? No the thing to do is get off your butt and learn as many plants a you can that is distributed world wide. I spoke of a couple of stateside & world wide examples a few posts up: grass & dandies, merely two WIDELY dispersed examples...

Dr. Don, Juan
Shelter is STILL first in the AO you illustrate when you discover your lost and unprepared. Finding yourself lost & UNprepared is what I write about, not an Elephant work detail. However, If I find myself on an Elephant work detail, I hope there is a local knowledgeable person such as yourself on hand to schedule my salts and there is PLENTY of water on hand- and I'll be a good little butcher & pack mule- Promise! When do we hunt??? : ]

And for the seemingly sounds reasons you say- a lot of people die in hot enviornments because water IS so critical. They sweat out what water stores their body has almost immediately trying to find more and A HORRIBLY MISERABLE death follows soon after- More times than not. Things go down hill really really fast with dehydration.

(I would rather die in a fire than die to dehydration. I was seriously (not critically) dehydrated once. It felt like my bones were on fire, EVERYTHING hurt and I was in a bad mental stupor. It was a HORRIBLE experience.)

I mean if their is a tank or pond, sure purify & drink.

The way to go is to STOP when you come to understand your little outing has turned into a bad situation, create a little shelter and get in it until at/near dark. THEN find your water and if feasible your way out when temps are more reasonable.

Documents that follow "been there done that the wrong way dead men" do not lie and are generally not forgotten (a very good thing.)

Doc Don, I'm sure the majority of Americans you receive that did not take a few moments to do their homework are totally unfamiliar with salts. It would have to be a TINY % of our population that lives in that kind of heat, and a microscopic percentage of our population that actually EXERTS themselves in that kind of heat...

<span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">"Water intoxication:"</span> </span> Folks what Doc speaks of in needing salts is to prevent what is called water intoxication in the field. Yes, all things being equal you CAN drink yourself TO DEATH with good clear water. In a really high heat AO amazing amounts of water pass through your flesh to cool you. We must of course keep replacing it right? Yes, or die.
But if we consume to much water, we die. So what are we to do in a VERY hot enviornment? Easy question- we are to die. Just kidding.

With all this water going through our bodies we get our blood-sodium levels out of balance. If we keep dumping water down our throat without replacing the sodium- and do it long enough- seizures, coma and death can occur.

and since salts does not grow on trees..
We are back to to square 1: Shelter is the ultimate priority, regardles of a hot OR cold AO.

"you mean I want to be in a insulted debris hut when it's 115 outside? YES! Why do the natives of SMOKING HOT desert regions wear ALL THAT clothing? to insulate them FROM the heat. Your body operated at 98.6. We hunters think only of insulation as keeping our core heat IN. Insulation works both ways. If it's hotter outside than inside (your body) then insulation will help your body maintain core temp.

I used to ride a motorcycle year round, as in 365 days, come sleet, snow monsoon or high heat. I got to thinking about these issues, and on a blistering hot August day I did an experiment. I wore several layers under my one piece ballistic safety suit. I put on my 13" tall Danner 600gram Thinsulate boots. (my feet are right tight next to a hot engine case when I ride.) I took off for an all day ride. When I got to the first red light, sitting there I thought oh my God I'm gonna burst into flames. Then I felt my sweat pop out. In a few seconds It was noticeably more comfortable than being in normal summer riding attire. I mean it was not like A/C, but it was BETTER than not being insulated from the heat.

I'm shutting up now. If anyone wants to read up on Water Intoxication, google :Hyponatremia.

Thanks so much for contributing everyone!
Thanks so much for the kind regard of time and effort in these pages...
Tres


PS- I'm hoping to have "FIRE" up by monday/tuesday...
 

Sean1791

Private
Minuteman
Oct 26, 2009
33
0
0
29
Washington
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

No offense taken. However if you are going to teach how to light a fire, it might be nice to explain how to get dry tinder, how to get the tinder to ignite the kindling and how to get kindling to ignite the fuel. The biggest problem with bow and drill is determining hardwood from soft wood. You need a hardwood drill. Butane lighters are ok but flame is very cool. I have had students set up a tee pee fire in the rain with tinder, kindling and fuel and light it the first time with issued flint and a pocket knife. Why a tee pee? Focuses flame. Stick to the basics an leave the gadgets for people who shop at Gander Mountain.
Ron Long
Survival USAF
Class 72-01
 

rifleman0321

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jun 10, 2004
193
0
0
midwest/USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Hansii</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Tres,



...Speaking of food, my policy might differ when it comes to plant life... As a general rule, avoid plant life unless you know for a <span style="font-weight: bold">fact</span> that it is something edible. <span style="font-weight: bold">The easiest rule to remember is that if it walks (on 6 legs or less), swims, crawls, has feathers or slithers… it's edible.</span> Stuff like moss, mushrooms, bark, leaves etc. are almost totally a waste of time IMHO, as they contain little, if any, nutritional value and you stand a VERY large chance of poisoning yourself if you are not a master horticulturalist....

Hansii </div></div>

Hansii, I am sure you know your stuff, having been through the schools and out in the hills, and I do not wish to offend. But not all animals are edible. Puffer fish and the poison dart frog come to mind, although there are many more that are deadly in one fashion or another. People do eat puffer fish meat, but if improperly handled, poison from the skin or liver taints the meat and people die. Many species are edible only if properly prepared, and this is not something to be expected of average individuals in a survival situation. I am quite sure you know this, but didn't want folks to think they need not know anything about local fauna because it's all good to eat, which the uninitiated might have inferred from your post.
 

Crazy Dog ll

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Water Intoxacation, very true. This was one of the things we invent at The Indian Boarding Schools,B.I.A. Consume large amounts of water,became kinda intoxacated. Threw up and sometimes passed out. Little did we know the dangers of it. Try this while out in the hot heat,works out here in the southwest,dry heat,wet a peice of white clothings like a shirt or T-shirt and put it on. Feels like you are frezzing! White is good for hot weather.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities



Yeah Scrambler,

The tee-pee fire lay is THE survival fire lay. And it's the only way to go when your lighting a fire from a hand drill, or God forbid bow drilled ember. Your wrong on the "wood determination" and that you "must have a hardwood spindle." I try to not use a hard wood spindle. In fact I try REALLY hard to ensure my spindle is softer than my fireboard. The reason is efficiency.

With hard wood spindle, you wear away the socket of the fireboard really fast. and then you have to burn in a new socket, cut a new notch etc. over and over and over again.

By me using a soft spindle the spindle is consumed at a far higher rate than the fire board, so my sockets and their notches last a really really long time in comparison.
And we both know its a lot easier labor wise to replace a spindle opposed to a fire board, it's sockets & notches.


I learned & teach my primitive skills in a manner that they are universal, landscape wise. And in that I don't teach "get a piece of cottonwood and...." I teach "Do a thumbnail test if the wood in your hand can be dented reasonably easy with your thumbnail, it is friction fire material. If it crushes it is too soft; hard or impossible to dent, it's too hard...."

In the coming article I will cover tender, fire lays, fuel friction fire, the whole bit.

Thanks,
T
 

Crazy Dog ll

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

I'll agreed with you on fire starting. I start with paper or cedar bark,here in the west, cut fine shaving of wood,then build up progressive bigger sticks. The one thing that I have seen is many fail is to put their head down on their fire and gently blow on it. Fanning it with your breath and ,adding bigger sticks to it. Your head will be in the smoke,get use to it.My mouth is about8 inches away from the flame. For the experence,try it when windy or wet,rainy days.
 

ganyana

Private
Minuteman
Nov 12, 2008
83
1
0
Zimbabwe
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

TresMon ... Thank you for that- Water intoxication...never knew the term. I have printed out your post and will have it framed and put up above the bowl of oral rehydration salts...I am tired of explaing to people who are convinced salt is evil and if they walk along sucking from a camelbak all day they will be fine...

I have a crazy argentian doctor who wants me to round up a couple of the old Selous Scout instructors and run a week long survival course (like All us recruits went through) in the Zambezi Valley...you sound like you might be game to join in (I shoot the baboon for dinner on the first night but dine with the other instructors this time thanks)
 

Doc_Navy

Private
Minuteman
Mar 22, 2010
14
0
0
48
Florida
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities

Jolly Roger,

Sorry if my missive was a little lacking on details. I was assuming that we were discussing the continent of North America.

You are absolutely right that on other continents you will find poisonous insects and fish and such around. I believe that the famous poison arrows of the Kalihari Bushmen was made from grubs... definately NOT something you want to eat, and the Amazonian poison blow darts are made from the aptly named "Dart frog". Again, not something you want to just snatch up and eat.

Hansii
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Dec 3, 2007
1,238
95
154
NW USA
Re: Naked into the Wilderness 1: Priorities


Let me mix it up a bit!!
But msny poisons in nature can be gotten around. It's EASY to trap a big mess of yeller jackets. And then you have a great source of protein. Boil'em up and their poision is cooked off.

Poison Ivy vine makes a great bow or handrill fireboard, but agian you have to know how to get around the poison. But yes for the laymen, it is safest to stay away. (All this said to motivate laymen to higher levels)