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    1. #1
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      Ask and/or tell me about Survival

      Originally I was going to title this thread "Ask me about Survival" but then I figured that even though I've been a survival/bushcraft enthusiast for my whole life, there's always stuff others can teach me.

      So this is basically a group discussion on anything survival/bushcraft related... whether it be firestarting techniques, types of shelters, animal tracking, the psychology of survival or even philosophical ideals about surviving off the land or in harmony with it.

      edit:
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I'll start with a really big misconception about a way to survive.

      When most people hear survival they think "Big guns! Need a shotty and a 30-06 and I'll be fine" There are a few big problems with that, it lacks practicality. I'll try to put everything in point form to simplify...

      -Laws
      -Weight and size
      -Big game
      -Ammunition


      Laws
      Guns are difficult to get (depends on area obviously), and there can be run ins with the law.

      Weight and Size
      Obvious problems, take up lots of room and weigh you down.

      Big Game
      This is one of the most common problems I see in peoples logic. Survival by hunting Big Game. First of all, clearly these people have had little experience hunting... otherwise they'd know you can go weeks without seeing big game. And let's just assume you bag a buck... it's going to be miles from 'camp', so you'll have to make multiple trips to get it back. And in a survival situation, unless it's winter there is no way that deer will last longer than a few hours. Once you start seeing bugs getting on it then it's alright getting to late. Overall, Big Game is not a realistic survival food.

      Ammunition
      tis ones obvious... you only have as many bullets as you leave with. Plus they take up room and are heavy (in decent quantity).

      So wait... if guns are out... then what's the answer?!

      Simple. Slingshots and traps. For every large animal (deer, bear, hog etc) they'll be 50 fold worth of small game (basically 1 deer = 50+ squirrel, bird etc). They're much more plentiful, much easier to get, and easier to prepare and preserve. If you are profficient at making and setting traps as well as good at identifying runs you can get yourself 10+ small game a WEEK... and all you had to do was set the traps and wait! Much more energy efficient then lugging around a gun and dragging a deer piece by piece back to camp. And if you're a good shot with your slingshot you can add another 10 to 15+ a week if you're an active hunter. Plus the slingshots and traps are silent, and are made and used from supplies found in your area meaning no having to carry ammunition etc.

      You couple the skills of trapping, tracking, slinging and gathering then you can live 'comfortably' (food wise at least) in the wild.

      Through in some shelter and fire, then you're set

      When SHTF (shit hits the fan) I'll seem the most unprepared, but I'll make it just fine.

      My 'perfect' survival kit would have:
      My standard Ka-bar straight, a small pocket knife, some paracord or zap straps (though I can make cordage), A pot or metal cup, and the clothes on my back. I can flintknap and make cordage so in good conditions I could survive with nothing... but it's much easier to have a sharp knife and some rope to at least start up.
      Last edited by mindwanderer; 05-27-2010 at 10:27 PM.

    2. #2
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      You know what. I might make this an illustrated guide, where I'll go out and take photos of me uses my various skills, building shelters and traps, as well as identifying local plants and animals...

      If there are any other 'survival enthusiasts' that have anything to share please do, and written is good... but if you have a camera to illustrate whatever your teaching thenthat's even better Of course not all things can be described with photos, but you know what I mean... for making stuff and things like that it'd be nice to have pictures.

      I'll go out this saturday and make some traps and post the guide and photos here!

      edit:
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      As far as traps go, it's best to get really good at as many kinds as possible... because some are better for certain animals than others.

      Simple spring snares are good for rabbits, foxes and other small scurrying ground critters. You can also use them to get squirrels, but that's more complex to do, so until you have basic spring snares perfected don't bother trying to get anything in trees.

      There are also things called 'deadfalls' which basically have a trigger mechanism that holds up something heavy (large rock or log) and once triggers drops down killing and or trapping the animal. These are also good for ground animals, and are better than spring snares (in my opinion) because they can be upsized and down sized while snares can not (since you use saplings). Deadfalls can get you anything from mice to deer (I shit you not). If you've got a good back and some rope you can hoist yourself a big goddamn hefted tree up and using a paiute trigger break a deers back (assuming you've found yourself a run). The only downside is that deadfalls have to be baited, while spring snares can just be set up on a run without bait.

      So learn as many traps as possible, and don't just learn them, practice them. They seem simple, but the first few times I tried to make a figure four deadfall I couldn't get the damn thing to stand or hold a weight let alone catch something so practice practice practice is the key.

      If you get a dozen traps of various types (some baited) and set up all around your camp (at least a 5 minute stroll away, so your camp doesn't scare anything away) you can count on getting a meal a day (again, assuming your a decent tracker and know where the animals are gonna be at).

      edit2:
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Just to give you an idea of what's most plentiful in the wild to rough scale.

      *
      *********************************
      ************************************************** *********
      ************************************************** ************************************************** ******************************
      Large Mammals
      Small Mammals
      Insects
      Plants

      So, another reason why Big Game isn't practical as a food source.

      If you can identify plants and insects, you'll have an easy time keeping your belly full in the wild.
      Last edited by mindwanderer; 05-28-2010 at 12:11 AM.

    3. #3
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      So, hopefully I'll make it out today to make a couple 'tutorials' on a few super basic survival skills.

      Assuming the weather permits I'll do:
      -A figure four deadfall (non-traditional)
      -A Paiute Deadfall
      -Cordage
      -Maybe identify some useful plants in my region

      So if the weather holds till this evening I'll head out and take some picture and post them here. If anyone else has survival/bushcraft stuff they want to add then please do.

    4. #4
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      Vegetation

      In the South East there is a perceived weed that gardeners consider an annoyance. It grows like wild fire. The nickname of the plant is Dollar weed, though I don't know if that is it's true name. What they fail to realize is that the weed is edible. Eat up! If you are looking for protein and desperate, insects are a good source of protein. Gross is meaningless when it comes to survival.

    5. #5
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      Good tips! Various little bugs and grubs can be a good survival food. They have more protien pound for pound than beef, and are abundant if you know where to look and how to get them.
      -Locusts/Crickets are common where I'm around, and I've had a few... but you're really supposed to cook them first because they can have parasites.
      -Worms are good if you give them 15 minutes in a few changes of water to purge, then you can eat them raw.

      *Important*
      Though many 'bugs' are edible, many can also make you sick or kill you.
      Don't eat them:
      -If they are colourful
      -If they are slow moving
      -If they have a potent smell that is peppery, pungent, or otherwise 'off'
      -If they are an adult that bites or stings

      With most creepy crawleys you should cook them to be safe (parasites) but in particularly bad situations they can be eaten raw... BTW most grubs can be eaten raw without worry of parasites.

      And also, where I'm at (and from) dandelions are plentiful, and considered weeds... but everypart of the plant is edible and useful.

      edit:

      On the topic of weeds, you should go to a local bookstore or a library and get a book on local plants... because plants are an even better foodsource than bugs and animals because you don't have to catch them and they don't find back. Just remember to have at least 4 or 5 distinguising characteristics for every plant you know so that you can positively identify it. Eating the wrong plant can kill you in less than a day. And it's pretty bad if you identify a plant that is plentiful as poisonous when it's really edible and you end up starving to death while there's a months worth of food all around you.

      When it comes to survival knowledge truely is power... though skill and technique should definately not be ignored
      Last edited by mindwanderer; 06-01-2010 at 05:10 AM.

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