Firstly I want to thank all my listeners for their loyalty, best wishes and get well soon comments and prayers.
I have been in the Yorkshire Heart Centre the L.G.I. in Leeds for three weeks and underwent two heart operations.
One of which was to fit a pace maker and despite a major set back last week I do feel some what better.
I will do my best to put a show together for next week.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
I start this week with the Blizzard Survival Discount Offer, Ribz Discount Offer, Wilderness121 Discount Offer, This Year’s wilderness Gathering, then move on to -How to Clean a Hydration Pack, 'Support these companies, Bug-Out Checklist, The myFC Powertrekk Review, DIY Survival Candles, Heat wave be prepared, More companies to support, My EDC, What I Carry Daily-My EDC, Camp Safety, Summer Survival Tips, Let’s look at Nuclear Threats, Natural Insect Repellents, Wilderness Survival Techniques to Remember, Making Cordage from Natural Fibres,
I wish also to welcome my listeners from Healthradio.com who join us again, please feel free to contact me and offer your suggestions, ask questions or have a go at me, I can take it.
I have sorted out some great discount offers for you dear listener so many thanks to those companies for offering special discounts just for you.
Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer
Blizzard Survival .com have a fantastic offer for you the listener they are offering a 20% discount on all goods bought from them at www.blizzardsurvival.com
The Ultimate in Lightweight Thermal Protection.
The Blizzard Survival Brand incorporating Reflexcell™ material has become the new standard wherever thermal performance in a lightweight compact package is essential - for military use, casualty care, emergency preparedness, disaster relief, personal survival, outdoor activities...and more.
Reflexcell™ products are totally unique: weight-for-weight far warmer than goose down, yet 100% weatherproof, tough, ultra-portable and re-usable.
Life-saving technology has never been so affordable.
Their product represents a step change in the way both civilian and military users prepare for emergencies and treat trauma cases.
Here is an exciting New Product from Blizzard Survival
Blizzard has launched the Blizzard Heat Blanket an insulated and active warming system for the whole body. Utilising its unique 3-ply Reflexcell™ material in a reflective insulating blanket with self-activating heating pads it incorporates front & side vents for easy access, and integral hood for head protection. Now is the time to visit www.blizzardsurvival.com
All you have to do to get a 20% discount is enter the code “PREPPER” at the checkout, it is that simple. Thank you Blizzard Survival.
30% DISCOUNT FROM RIBZ
A front pack is a pack or bag that allows for access of equipment from the persons chest. Front packs first and foremost allow for easy access of gear without the removal of any equipment.
In many adventure outdoor activities it can be critical to the sport to have the ability to reach essential gear fast without the removal of a backpack. Simplicity is the foremost purpose of the front pack but there are many additional benefits as well.
Weight distribution and balance is a key element in the utility of the front pack. Shifting weight forward in situations when carrying heavy loads can be critical to the comfort and balance of an individual.
Backpacking is a sport where in many situations it is critical to both minimize and maximize the contents of your load for a longer or lighter duration of stay. The ability to move small amounts of weight to the frontal region significantly reduces overall stress on a person’s shoulders and back.
Moving a small amount of heavy equipment forward to a front pack can allow for an individual to either maximize or minimize the overall load contained in a backpack.
In all there are unlimited uses for the front pack. Front packs are the best compliment to any outdoorsman’s gear when accessibility, functionality, mobility and simplicity are required.
From horseback riding, long distance biking, motorcycling and kayaking. All sports where fast and easy access of gear is essential, a front pack is your best solution and as you can imagine it is going down a storm within the prepping and survivalist community.
RIBZ VIP TEAM DISCONT
Here's your code for 30% off all RIBZ
Your summer code is "TRAILBLAZE" and can be used in the coupon section within the Store. http://www.ribzwear.com/store/ Have a Great Summer!
Wilderness121’s 10% discount
The new supplier of Purificup to the UK is Wilderness121 and they really mean business, having spoken to the director Rob Williams he has agreed to offer you dear listener a 10% discount just by putting the letters UKPRN into the code box it is that simple.
Now pop along to www.wilderness121.co.uk and check out their great range of survival related products.
So a big thank you to Blizzard Survival, Ribz front pack and Wilderness121 for their great offers to listeners of this programme.
This Year’s wilderness Gathering
Well that was another Wilderness Gathering and it was the usual fantastically organised and run event. I wish to offer my grateful thanks to Roger and Dom for their very kind invitation, I am already looking forward to next year’s show.
I would also like to say hello to my good friend Chris Caine his wife and daughter, Fraser Christian from Coastal Survival, Duncan Chandler from Dorset Blades, Karate and defence expert Carl, and Peter and Tony thanks for the laugh guys, to Charles griffin and the Purple Frodo it was great to meet you at last guys please keep in touch.
A big sorry to Sherry who could not make the WG due to family problems I hope to meet up with you in the future.
As usual the Purificup amazed visitors as I sat and drank from the dirty brown lake, the Luci light did the same and the Powertrek simply charged my blackberry using hydrogen transfer to do so.
The cider was its usual self tasty and strong and the food was first class from a cooked breakfast to bison burgers and venison stew and the musical entertainment in the evenings ended the day perfectly.
If you could not make the WG this year I urge you to book the time off work and plan to go next year, where I might even have a stall-watch this space as they say.
How to Clean a Hydration Pack
With our recent heat wave and the oppressiveness of it all even sitting in the garden can be un-pleasant, but prepping, bugging-out practice and survival training must continue, and as we have recently seen with the recent deaths of two British soldiers on SAS selection training in temperatures of 29.5c carrying a 100lb pack I think you will find that de-hydration was the main cause of their deaths.
Hands-free hydration packs are used by many long distance skaters. Here's how to keep your hydration water reservoir, plastic tube, and cloth outside pack fresh and clean.
How to Clean the Water Reservoir
Remove the reservoir from the cloth pack
Clean the reservoir with mild soap and hot water
Scrub the inside with a baby bottle brush
Air dry the reservoir, leaving the top opened
A little mild liquid dish soap (cleaning)
2 teaspoons of liquid bleach (disinfecting)
2 teaspoons baking soda (removing odors)
If you are only using dish soap to clean the water reservoir, you can immediately. wash, rinse, and dry the reservoir and tube. If you added bleach or baking soda to disinfect or deodorize the water reservoir, let the cleaning solutions sit in the water reservoir over night, and thoroughly rinse and dry them the next day.
How to Clean the Tube
Run one of the above cleaning solutions through the tube, and scrub it with (a) a long pipe cleaner, (b) a flexible wire covered with cloth, or (c) one of the specially-made brushes. Be careful not to puncture the tube.
How to Remove Odors
Fill the reservoir with water and add 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Let it sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
How to Clean the Cloth Pack
Many manufacturers recommend machine washing packs in cold water with a mild detergent, and then letting them air dry. If your pack did not come with cleaning instructions, it's safer to hand wash.
How to Store a Hydration Pack
Two different options for storing a hydration pack to keep it clean and smelling fresh between usings.
Hydration Pack Cleaning Tips
The most important thing you can do to keep your hydration pack safe and sanitary, is dry it thoroughly after each use to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria.
You can purchase special soaps, reservoir brushes, hose brushes, and air-drying hangers for hydration systems. You don't need to buy these products, but some of them will make the cleaning process easier.
It is best to use only water in your hydration pack. If you do use a sports-type hydration or nutrition drink in your pack, it is critical to clean and disinfect the hose and the reservoir afterward.
Some of the soaps people use to clean their reservoirs are dish (not dishwasher) detergent, denture cleaning products, and soaps made for cleaning baby bottles.
If your hydraton pack reservoir develops a leak, you can seal it using a water bed patch, or similar product.
Hydration bladders are best filled with water and slipped into a backpack to provide an easy-to-reach source of fluid when on-the-go. Yet new bladders can taste like plastic while older ones can grow mildew.
The secret to avoiding a bad taste is in the prevention. Cleaning and drying out your hydration bladder is key to keeping your water tasting fresh. A number of methods can remove bad tastes from your hydration pack.
Things you need
1/4 cup baking soda
2 Sterident denture tablets
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Fill the bladder with water until it is 75 per cent full. Add 1/4 cup baking soda, seal and massage around the bladder. Ensure the water mixture moves into the drinking tube and the mouth piece. Leave to rest for 30 minutes
The open the bladder. Add a dash of lemon juice. The chemical reaction should flush any bad tastes and odours.
Empty the mixture. Rinse.
However with Sterident denture Tablets
Fill the bladder halfway with warm water this time.
Insert 2 denture tablets and allow time to dissolve. Seal the bladder. Swill the liquid around so it reaches the interior, including the tube and mouth piece.
With chlorine Bleach
Fill the bladder halfway with water. Add a maximum of 3 drops of chlorine bleach.
Swill the liquid around to reach all components of the hydration bladder. This will sterilise the bladder and remove any bad tastes or odours.
Rinse several times to ensure you remove the chlorine bleach before use.
Water for Survival
Your body loses water through normal body processes (sweating, urinating, defecating and even breathing). During average daily exertion when the atmospheric temperature is 20 degrees Celsius (C) (68 degrees Fahrenheit), the average adult loses and therefore requires 2 to 3 litres of water daily.
Other factors, such as heat exposure, cold exposure, intense activity, high altitude, burns, or illness, can cause your body to lose more water. You must replace this water.
Our body consists of 60% water, 75% of our brain and lean muscles is water, and 83% of water in our blood. Dehydration results from inadequate replacement of lost body fluids.
It decreases your efficiency and, if injured, increases your susceptibility to severe shock. Consider the following results of body fluid loss:
A 2% dehydration, results in a feeling of thirst.
A 5% dehydration, results in a feeling of being hot and tired, and strength and endurance decrease.
A 10% dehydration, results in a feeling of delirium and blurred vision.
A 20% dehydration, results in death.
The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration are:
Dark urine with a very strong odor.
Low urine output.
Dark, sunken eyes.
Loss of skin elasticity.
Delayed capillary refill in fingernail beds.
Trench line down centre of tongue.
Thirst. Last on the list because you are already 2 per cent dehydrated by the time you crave fluids.
In any situation where food intake is low, drink 6 to 8 litres of water per day. In an extreme climate, especially an arid one, the average person can lose 2.5 to 3.5 litres of water per hour. In this type of climate, you should drink 14 to 30 litres of water per day.
With the loss of water there is also a loss of electrolytes (body salts). The average diet can usually keep up with these losses but in an extreme situation or illness, additional sources need to be provided. A mixture of 0.25 teaspoon of salt to 1 litre of water will provide a concentration that the body tissues can readily absorb.
Of all the physical problems encountered in a survival situation, the loss of water is the most preventable. The following are basic guidelines for the prevention of dehydration:
Always drink water when eating. Water is used and consumed as a part of the digestion process and can lead to dehydration.
Acclimatize. The body performs more efficiently in extreme conditions when acclimatized.
Conserve sweat not water. Limit sweat-producing activities but drink water.
Ration water. Until you find a suitable source, ration your water sensibly. A daily intake of 500 cubic centimetre (0.5 litre) of a sugar-water mixture (2 teaspoons per litre) will suffice to prevent severe dehydration for at least a week, provided you keep water losses to a minimum by limiting activity and heat gain or loss.
You can estimate fluid loss by several means. A standard field dressing holds about 0.25 litre (one-fourth canteen) of blood. A soaked T-shirt holds 0.5 to 0.75 litres.
You can also use the pulse and breathing rate to estimate fluid loss. Use the following as a guide:
With a 0.75 litre loss the wrist pulse rate will be under 100 beats per minute and the breathing rate 12 to 20 breaths per minute.
With a 0.75 to 1.5 litre loss the pulse rate will be 100 to 120 beats per minute and 20 to 30 breaths per minute.
With a 1.5 to 2 litre loss the pulse rate will be 120 to 140 beats per minute and 30 to 40 breaths per minute. Vital signs above these rates require more advanced care.
Don't eat (especially dry food) if you cannot find water, because to digest food your body will need water.
If you're very thirsty and find water, drink it slowly, don't overload your system, and try to drink every 10 minutes until you don't feel thirsty anymore.
Ways to Find Water
Water is one of your most urgent needs in a survival situation. You can’t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 litres of water each day to maintain efficiency.
More than three-fourths of your body is composed of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress, and exertion. To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses. So, one of your first goals is to obtain an adequate supply of water.
Almost any environment has water present to some degree, here are some?
Frigid Areas: Snow and ice can be melted. Warning: Do not eat snow or ice without melting! Eating snow and ice can reduce body temperature and will lead to more dehydration. Sea ice that is grey in colour or opaque is salty. Do not use it without desalting it. Sea ice that is crystalline with a bluish cast has little salt in it.
For sea water you need to use desalted kit, do not drink seawater without desalting.
Rain Water: Rain water is not the main source in survival situation but in case it rains and you're short of water it would be of a big help, try to find a wide container, because the width in this case is more important than the depth especially if it's going to rain only for a short time, you may want to occupy the widest surface possible to take advantage of every drop of rain the wider the better (a kids inflatable swimming pool would be nice). Also you can spread a big clean sheet of plastic and make a hole in the middle, place it about 2 feet above the ground, place a bucket underneath the plastic sheet, exactly underneath the hole, so that the rain collected from the big plastic would pour rain water through the hole into the bucket, you may need to empty the bucket to a bigger container and place it again under the hole. (Try to make the centre of the plastic form a V so that the rain water will accumulate only in the centre by placing a clean stone in the centre).
Water at the Beach: Dig a hole deep enough to allow water to seep in, obtain rocks, build fire and heat rocks, drop hot rocks in water, hold cloth over hole to absorb steam, wring water from cloth. The rocks will make the water evaporate; the cloth will capture the evaporated water and convert it into water.
Alternate method if a container or bark pot is available, fill container or pot with seawater, build fire and boil water to produce steam, hold cloth over container to absorb steam; wring water from cloth.
Water in the Desert: In deserts you can find water in:
Valleys and low areas
Foot of concave banks of dry river beads
Foot of cliffs or rock outcrops.
First depression behind first sand dune of dry desert lakes.
Wherever you find damp surface sand
Wherever you find green vegetation
After you spot one of the options above dig holes deep enough to allow water to seep in.
In a sand dune belt, any available water will be found beneath the original valley floor at the edge of dunes.
Cacti can contain a good source of water, once a barrel cactus is found cut off the top and mash or squeeze the pulp. Caution: do not eat pulp, place pulp in mouth, suck out juice and discard pulp. Without a machete cutting into a cactus is difficult and takes time since you must get past the long strong spines and cut through the tough rind.
Stills (Solar Stills): You can use stills in various areas of the world. They draw moisture from the ground and from plant material. You need certain materials to build a still, and you need time to let it collect the water. It takes about 24 hours to get 0.5 to 1 litre of water.
To make a belowground still, you need a digging tool, a container, a clear plastic sheet, a drinking tube, and a rock (See image below).
Select a site where you believe the soil will contain moisture (such as a dry stream bed or a low spot where rainwater has collected). The soil at this site should be easy to dig, and sunlight must hit the site most of the day.
To construct the still:
Dig a bowl-shaped hole about 1 meter across and 60 centimetres deep.
Dig a sump in the centre of the hole. The sump's depth and perimeter will depend on the size of the container that you have to place in it. The bottom of the sump should allow the container to stand upright.
Anchor the tubing to the container's bottom by forming a loose overhand knot in the tubing.
Place the container upright in the sump.
Extend the unanchored end of the tubing up, over, and beyond the lip of the hole.
Place the plastic sheet over the hole, covering its edges with soil to hold it in place.
Place a rock in the centre of the plastic sheet.
Lower the plastic sheet into the hole until it is about 40 centimetres below ground level. It now forms an inverted cone with the rock at its apex. Make sure that the cone's apex is directly over your container. Also make sure the plastic cone does not touch the sides of the hole because the earth will absorb the condensed water.
Put more soil on the edges of the plastic to hold it securely in place and to prevent the loss of moisture.
Plug the tube when not in use so that the moisture will not evaporate.
You can drink water without disturbing the still by using the tube as a straw. You may want to use plants in the hole as a moisture source. If so, dig out additional soil from the sides of the hole to form a slope on which to place the plants. Then proceed as above. If polluted water is your only moisture source, dig a small trough outside the hole about 25 centimetres from the still's lip the trough about 25 centimetres deep and 8 centimetres wide. Pour the polluted water in the trough. Be sure you do not spill any polluted water around the rim of the hole where the plastic sheet touches the soil. The trough holds the polluted water and the soil filters it as the still draws it. The water then condenses on the plastic and drains into the container. This process works extremely well when your only water source is salt water. Note: This can only be done as a last resort in absence of other water sources.
Rainwater collected in clean containers or in plants is usually safe for drinking. However, purify water from lakes, ponds, swamps, springs, or streams, especially the water near human settlements or in the tropics.
When possible, purify all water you got from vegetation or from the ground by using iodine or chlorine, or by boiling.
Purify water by:
Using water purification tablets.
Placing 5 drops of 2 per cent tincture of iodine in a canteen full of clear water. If the canteen is full of cloudy or cold water, use 10 drops. (Let the canteen of water stand for 30 minutes before drinking.)
Once water is boiling it is safe to drink
By drinking non potable water you may contract diseases or swallow organisms that can harm you. Examples of such diseases or organisms are:
Severe, prolonged diarrhea with bloody stools, fever, and weakness.
Cholera and typhoid. You may be susceptible to these diseases regardless of inoculations.
Flukes. Stagnant, polluted water--especially in tropical areas--often contains blood flukes. If you swallow flukes, they will bore into the bloodstream, live as parasites, and cause disease.
Leeches. If you swallow a leech, it can hook onto the throat passage or inside the nose. It will suck blood, create a wound, and move to another area. Each bleeding wound may become infected.
By using a Purificup you eliminate the problems above
Water Filtration Devices
If the water you find is also muddy, stagnant, and foul smelling, you can clear the water:
By placing it in a container and letting it stand for 12 hours.
By pouring it through a filtering system.
Note: These procedures only clear the water and make it more palatable. You will have to purify it.
To make a filtering system, place several centimetres or layers of filtering material such as sand, crushed rock, charcoal, or cloth in bamboo, a hollow log, or an article of clothing.
Remove the odour from water by adding charcoal from your fire. Let the water stand for 45 minutes before drinking it.
What not to Drink:
Alcoholic beverages: dehydrate the body and cloud judgment.
Urine: contains harmful body wastes and is 2 per cent salt.
Blood: is salty and considered a food, therefore requires additional body fluids to digest, and may transmit disease.
Seawater: is about 4 per cent salt. It takes about 2 litres of body fluids to rid the body of waste from 1 litre of seawater, therefore by drinking seawater you deplete your body's water supply, which can cause death.
If you are looking for some new kit then please Support these Companies
The following companies have supported this station and I will support them they are:
You will never need to boil water again
For I-shields UV Protection
For top quality 550 Paracord
For Survival Knives and Survival Kits
For the Nano Striker fire starter
For tasty MX3 Meals
The Lifesaver bottle
For the Knot Bone Lacelock
For the Wild and Edible Nutrition E Book
Browning Night Seeker Cap Light RGB
Multi lite Multi-tool
For the Ghillie Kettle
For the Blackbird SK-5 or his handmade leather sheaths http://www.hedgehogleatherworks.com
For the Farside Outdoor Meals
The Survivor knife
For the Chris Caine companion survival tool
Day Ration Pack
Vango Storm Shelter 400
What exactly do you need to take with you if you need to leave home in a rush? Perhaps a disaster is coming your way and you need to get out before it hits, or something has already happened and the world is falling apart around you and you need to get to somewhere safer.
What would you take with you?
Most people don’t even know where to start. So here is a checklist of the things you will you need to bring if you need to get out quickly:
Survival Kit/ Bug-Out Bag
You basically need the essentials to survive.
Water - Water storage as well as filters.
Food - Ideally enough to last you for at least 3-5 days.
Clothes - Staying warm is a top priority.
Shelter - You need sleep, without it you can’t think or act as well.
First-Aid - Just the basics to help patch up injuries.
Medicines - Prescription and over the counter.
Weapons - Lethal and non-lethal weapons for protection and hunting.
Others - General supplies for cooking, fire making, lighting, hunting/fishing, trapping etc.
A Survival Knife - The most important and useful tool that you can have.
Make sure you have all of the paperwork you may need for you and your family.
Any Important Contacts
Medical Records and Information
Family & Pet Information
Copies! - Have a backup in a safe place in case anything happens to the originals.
Guns / Ammo
Non-Lethal Protection like pepper spray, tazers, stun guns, etc.
Walkie Talkies (mobile phone service may go down)
Wind-up/solar Radio / Wind-up/solar torch
Camera - It might be a good idea to document some of what is going on to try to share with the outside world.
Laptop - Keep up to date on news and what is happening. Assuming you can get internet service.
Mobile Phone - Again, don’t count on this for communication as service either goes down or is totally overwhelmed by volume in a severe crisis.
You should have at least 3 days of food in your Bug-Out Bag.
Load up whatever extra food you can carry.
Hopefully you have stored food in your house so it is easily accessible.
Have a plan for when your food runs out (Hunting, fishing, growing.)
Water Storage Containers
Bring as much water as you can carry. This is more important than food.
Make sure your water containers are easy to carry with you and can be easily refilled.
Water filters should work easily and provide good, clean water.
The myFC PowerTrekk? Review
Firstly let me say that this is not a full review by me as I did review it while away at the Wilderness Gathering. However this product is so exciting that I feel that I should tell you about it now and have a follow up review post the later.
myFC PowerTrekk uses green fuel cell technology, which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity.
The ability to simply insert a myFC Puck and add water provides you with instant and limitless power on the go.
Unlike solar chargers, fuel cell power is generated quickly (no waiting for sunlight harvesting) and reliably (charging speed not impacted by weather, solar position etc. and no power degradation like with batteries).
At the heart of the myFC PowerTrekk is myFC's proprietary FuelCellStickers technology. Made from foils and adhesives, the FuelCellStickers form a flexible unit, less than 2.75mm thick.
The fuel cell inside myFC PowerTrekk is a completely passive system. Without fans or pumps, the fuel cell silently converts hydrogen into electricity via its Proton Exchange Membrane.
The chemical process is safe, controllable and eco-friendly, and the only bi-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapour. To operate, hydrogen must be supplied to the fuel cell, and the fuel cell must be exposed to air.
myFC PowerTrekk and the myFC Puck meet industry security standards and can be brought on airplanes in the passenger cabin.
myFC offers instant energy to people who love the value their electronic gadgets give them, but hate being dependent on the electricity grid.
myFC PowerTrekk is the preferred alternative portable power source for outdoor enthusiasts, travellers and other people who spend time away from the grid. myFC PowerTrekk is also the ideal safety kit option, since it gives you access to instant power.
So how does it actually work?
1. Fill with water
The myfc PowerTrekk is a revolutionary mobile charger that runs on ordinary water – based on Fuel Cell technology. It is by itself producing the electricity needed to charge a smartphone. If you add water, a myfc Puck and let it start, you will be completely independent of the power grid.
2. Insert a Puck
It is excellent for people who spend time away from the power grid, as you never have to go back to recharge in a power socket. It is a hybrid – both a fuel cell charger and a portable battery (can be charged via a laptop or power socket). You choose how to charge depending on if you have access to electricity or not.
3. Ready to charge
The myFC PowerTrekk charges USB compatible consumer electronics like mobile phones, action cameras and GPS units – regardless if you are travelling in business or pleasure, if you are hiking, fishing or sailing, want to be prepared for the next tornado, or just like technical gadgets and ground breaking technology.
4. Connect & Charge
With its unique fuel-cell technology, myFC PowerTrekk converts hydrogen gas into electricity and delivers instant, reliable energy. Anywhere, anytime. The product is recently launched worldwide and has attracted very high attention – in the press section you can find the latest reviews.
DIY Survival Candles
Candles are an easy-to-use source of emergency lighting and a little bit of heat. I'm shocked to see some of the prices that are charged for long burning candles sold for survival or emergency preparedness - if you want to buy a dozen or so candles, the cost really starts to add up.
Don’t worry! You can make your own survival candles at home very cheaply, using high-quality, long burning soy wax. It's an easy project - the materials are easy to buy and you won't need any specialized tools.
The materials you will need are:
Soy wax flakes. These are commonly used in making scented candles and are sold in craft stores or Amazon and Ebay. I bought a 5 pound bag from Amazon for 12.79 delivered.
You can use other wax, but soy is affordable, typically has a longer burn time than other waxes and has some other beneficial qualities (all-natural, renewable, etc.).
I purchased a dozen 8 ounce jars from my local pound shop for £2.40. If you have jars around the house, no need to buy 'them.
You can use jars from jams, sauces and so on for candles in the past.
You can find wicks on Amazon, eBay and at your craft stores. You'll want your wicks to be a bit longer than your candle holder is tall. I found 100 nine inch wicks on eBay for About £5 total.
The tools you will need are:
Scissors: For cutting the wicks to size
Double Boiler: For melting the wax. I don't have an actual double boiler, so I just get a large pot, fill it about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way with water, and then nest a slightly smaller pot inside.
A Pouring Device: I use a pyrex measuring cup.
Protective Gloves: We'll be using boiling water and hot wax, so you want to keep your hands safe.
The steps are simple.
First, you'll want to get your wicks ready. If your wicks are way too long for your container, you'll want to trim them down to approximate size. I had 9" wicks here. Put your wicks in the jars. Don't worry if they're not centred - we'll fix that after we pour the wax.
Now it's melting' time!
Carefully transfer the melted wax into your pouring container. Then, pour away! Don't worry about the container - soy wax is all natural, non-toxic and cleans up fairly easily. Beware if you have a soy allergy, though.
Don't fill the jar up the whole way - leave some room between the wax and the top of the container. You'll want to centre the wicks at this point. Then, take a break and let the wax cool and harden up.
Last step. After the wax has cooled, trim the wicks as needed--you want the wick to be about 1/4" above the wax. Then, screw the lids on and you're ready for storage!
While some advertise 70+ hours of burn time for 8 ounce candles like this, they're more in the ballpark of 40 to 50 hours, and you'll get the most life out of them if you burn the candles four hours at a time.
Since you would only use the candle for about 4 hours every evening, a single candle should last for around 10 days of regular use.
Not bad! You can of course use different sized jars--bigger for longer burn time, or multiple wicks for more light.
Including the purchase of new jars, my cost per candle is around £80p. With recycled jars, it's around 35 to 40p.
These aren't crap materials, either--these are the same quality of materials used for high-end aromatherapy candles that sell for £12 each. Another plus - the combination of soy wax's lower melting point and the protective glass jar make this a safer source of light when compared to other candles, oil lanterns and so on.
One modification that I plan to make it to include a booklet of matches inside of each jar – it’s cheap and makes sure you've got a way to light the candle if it's pulled out of storage during a power outage, etc.
Heat Wave: be prepared
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heat wave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know.
The very young, the elderly and the seriously ill are the groups who are particularly at risk of health problems when the weather is very hot. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.
There is considerable evidence that heat waves are dangerous and can kill, says Graham Bickler of the Health Protection Agency. In August 2003, temperatures hit 38C (101F) during a nine-day heat wave, the highest recorded in the UK.
In the 2003 heat wave there were 2,000 to 3,000 excess deaths (more than usual) in England. Across Europe, there were round 30,000 excess deaths.
The Public Health England's heat wave plan 2013 (PDF, 923kb) has advice on how to cope during a heat wave. Knowing how to keep cool during long periods of hot weather can help save lives.
Most of the information is common sense, it’s not rocket science but it can have a dramatic effect.
When heat becomes a problem
An average temperature of 30°C by day and 15°C overnight would trigger a health alert (this figure varies slightly around the UK). These temperatures can have a significant effect on people's health if they last for at least two days and the night in between.
The Meteorological Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heat wave is likely. Level one is the minimum alert and is in place from June 1 until September 15 (which is the period that heat wave alerts are likely to be raised).
The minimum alert simply means that people should be aware of what to do if the alert level is raised.
If a level two alert is issued, there is a high chance that a heat wave will occur within the next few days.
The level three alert is when a heat wave is happening.
The level four alert is when a heat wave is severe.
Why is a heat wave a problem?
Well the main risks posed by a heat wave are:
Dehydration (not having enough water)
Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing heat exhaustion heatstroke
So who is most at risk?
A heat wave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people in extreme heat are older people, especially those over 70 babies and young children people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems people with mobility problems, for example people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke, people with serious mental health problems people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control people who misuse alcohol or drugs people who are physically active, for example laborers or those doing sports
Here are some tips for coping in hot weather
The following advice applies to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable and reducing health risks:
Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
Remember the old saying "Only Mad dogs and English men go out in the mid-day sun)
Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.
Check up on friends, relatives and neighbors who may be less able to look after themselves.
Find out more about what to do during a heat wave alert level two, level three or level four.
If you’re worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the local environmental health office at your local authority. Environmental health workers can visit a home to inspect it for hazards to health, including excess heat.
Find your local authority on the Direct Gov website at https://www.gov.uk/
How do I know if someone needs help?
If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink.
If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, seek medical help. And be careful out there.
Here are some more companies to support
72 hour survival pack
Blizzard Survival jacket
Survival Ration Packs
SOL Complete Survival Kit and SOL Bivy Bag
The answer to rough ground sleeping
For all your military equipment needs
The Fire Piston
Great tasty MRE’s
The 95 Puukko Survival Knife
Gold Standard Whey Protein isolates which are 90% pure protein by weight
The RIBZ Front Pack
Further Companies to Support
Uses natural fuel
EDC steel tools
Highlander Trojan Hydration Pack – Multicam
CUDEMAN HEAVY DUTY OLIVE WOOD BUSHCRAFT KNIFE - 111L
Alum Crystal and natural spa products
Tool logic Survival 11 Credit Card
BackHawk Web duty Belt
Go Survival Pack
Beautiful Handmade Catapults
1 Person BASIC Backpack Survival Kit, the back pack that does it all
DD Hammock –The ultimate in Travel Hammocks
Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical Weapon-Grade LED Torch
Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit everything in one kit
Adjustable Knife Lanyard Review
Handmade knives by James D. Sanders
Mini alarm Device with an Ultra bright White LED
The LUCI light
The Solar Kettle
What is the goal of EDC gear?
I think the goal of EDC gear is to increase your quality of life.
Every piece of EDC gear should work toward that end. Using EDC to increase your quality of life is an ambitious goal, but there are a variety of ways to achieve that goal. Your EDC gear can increase your quality of life by:
Increasing your self-reliance
Increasing your security
Increasing your comfort
Increasing your safety
Everyone has different goals -
People place varying amounts of emphasis on the different aspects that relate to quality of life. What is important to one person could be trivial to another.
Some people are supremely concerned about safety. Because of this, an investment in a defensive tool would dramatically increase their quality of life.
Others aren’t that concerned about safety, but having something on hand to listen to or read makes their life much more enjoyable.
Some people gain supreme enjoyment from not having to rely on others. They have their pen ready when the cashier rips the receipt from the till. They have their torch ready when the power unexpectedly dies in the restaurant.
Some people would go nuts if they didn’t have a pen and paper to write down an idea that popped into their head.
Some people are constantly worried about how they would cut a seat-belt if they were in a vehicle accident or how they would treat someone with a medical issue. Simple tools could help to alleviate those worries and dramatically increase their quality of life.
Maybe you plead guilty to all of the above. Maybe you are thinking of something totally different that I didn’t mention. Perfect! That’s the idea. Think about YOUR priorities!
You will never be satisfied with EDC gear that caters to someone else’s needs, wants, and goals!
It’s easy to look at someone else’s gear and try to copy it for ourselves, but it’s not the right way to go about it. You have an intricate combination of personal priorities that are different from anyone else in the world.
It takes some thought to arrange these priorities and properly apply them to your gear. For now, let’s figure out what your goals are!
What I Carry Daily-My EDC
So what is EDC?
“EDC” is an acronym for “Everyday Carry”. EDC refers to the gear that is carried on your person or with you all the time. This normally includes gear in your pockets, backpack, briefcase, etc.
Most EDC gear I think is carried for one of the following reasons:
Security - Defensive tools, keys for example
Convenience - Mobile, torch, wallet, pen/paper
Style - Watch
Comfort - Handkerchief, breath mints
Entertainment - MP3 player, e-reader
Job/Legal Requirements - Identification
Health/Safety - Medical gear, water bottle, medication
A person’s choice of EDC (everyday carry) gear is intensely personal and for that reason, people often take great pride in the EDC gear that they have chosen. EDC gear should be chosen based on your individual lifestyle, environment, and individual needs. Everyday carry gear philosophy varies widely. Some approach EDC gear with an emphasis on minimalism, while others want to have equipment on hand for every possible situation.
Typical EDC (Everyday Carry) gear can include:
Defensive tools (impact weapons, etc.)
Medical Kit/First Aid
Emergency Escape Mask
Child care products
So everything in that list is normal and things that most people already carry and the difference between them and what I carry is not only the quality but the fact that my EDC has multi-purpose uses.
For example my tactical pen writes and my tactical torch lights up the dark and even my Timex e expedition watch tells the time as well.
Firstly I have my Timex Expedition E-Instruments Compass Tide and temp chronograph Watch T45601which is waterproof to 100mtrs or in old money 333ft on my left wrist and my 550 paracord bracelet from paracord.com on my other.
Depending on what I am wearing I could have my Black Hawk web duty belt with the True utility multi-tool +lite and a Stoppa Red marker spray on it which I carry whatever belt I have on.
On my key ring I have the kaufmann-mercantile.com EDC steel tools including a mini lighter and on my feet a pair of Regatta Mens Ad-Scursion Boots which are completely waterproof and offer total protection and comfort.
In my wallet is a Tool logic survival 11 credit card
A Matthew Martin Tactical Pen in my personal planner
On my back or in the car with me I carry the 1 Person BASIC Backpack Survival Kit from More prepared .com supplemented as it is designed to be by additional kit to make it what I call complete.
That kit is
A UK motorway map and two local OS maps
Elzeta ZFL tactical Torch
A SOL Bivy bag
The Solo Stove with cotton wool and Vaseline balls stored inside
A Nano fire starter
Emergency Escape Mask
My own survival meals, tea, 3 in 1 Nescafe coffee sachets,
So what do you think is it too much? Is it not enough? You know whatever you think will not change what I carry just in case, for the what if’s and oh no’s.
Have fun designing you EDC and remember multi-function and quality.
Make sure you follow a few simple guidelines for a safe camping experience.
For many people, camping is a traditional part of how they spend their summer, heading away for a week or two in this country or Europe, or fitting in a couple of weekend trips.
Or if a prepper or survivalist practicing bugging-out or on survival training.
For others, it might be a new experience.
Camping can be a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors. But in the excitement of a trip and because of the unfamiliar surroundings and ways of doing things (e.g. camp cooking is likely to be a vastly different experience to preparing food in the comfort of your own kitchen), accidents can easily happen.
Following some simple safety advice means your camping trip should be a memorable experience for all the right reasons.
Fire is a significant risk when you are camping. To reduce the risk:
Check the rules regarding open fires and barbecues at your campsite; some will not allow them at all and others will restrict them to designated areas, if in the wilderness use your common sense and be prepared for a fire getting out of control
Assess the site before you pitch your tent, so try to avoid doing it in the dark. Ideally, be at your site before sunset so you can see where other campers may have fires, barbecues, stoves and heaters
Cooking inside a tent is not recommended. Apart from the fact that you can get lots of condensation inside your tent, even a fire-resistant tent may burn. Be particularly mindful of the risk of fire inside smaller tents with only one exit
Don’t change gas canisters or refuel petrol or meths stoves inside your tent and, if possible, store them outside
Practise using your stove before you go on your trip - and make sure the stove or barbecue is sited on a solid surface to reduce the risk of it falling over
Keep matches and lighters in a waterproof container and away from children
Make sure tents are positioned well apart from each other to prevent the risk of a fire spreading. Check the specific rules at your campsite; some recommend that tents are pitched six metres apart
For illumination, it is preferable to use torches instead of naked flames such as candles and cigarette lighters, and certainly do not use naked flames inside a tent
Make sure all fires are damped down and that stoves, gas lamps, barbecues etc. are out before you go to bed
Have a plan for if a fire gets out of hand e.g. do you have a fire escape plan and where is the nearest source of water?
The burning of all fossil fuels produces carbon monoxide (CO) and there have been deaths and serious injuries from CO poisoning in tents and caravans.
Do not use stoves or disposable barbecues (for cooking or warmth) in an enclosed space with poor ventilation. Caravanners should have gas-powered appliances serviced annually and should consider using an audible carbon monoxide alarm inside their caravan.
Some other camp safety tips:
If possible, choose a tent with guy ropes which are a bright colour or have fluorescent tags attached to them so people can see them in the dark
Try pitching your tent before you go away so you won’t get stressed when you arrive
Make sure you’ve got all the equipment you need before you set off on your trip. That way, you won’t be tempted to improvise with other items that might not be suitable for the task in hand e.g. have you packed the mallet?
Avoid pitching your tent right under a tree (in case of falling branches) or on the banks of a river or lake (be aware that children may rush out of the tent straight into the water)
Don’t obstruct walkways/tracks with your tent’s guy lines
Familiarise yourself with the campsite shortly after you arrive, particularly if you have children e.g. where are the campsite exits, is there a lake, river, pond or swimming pool?
The last time annual accident figures were collected (in 2002), more than 1,500 people visited A&E in the UK following an accident involving a tent, tent pole or peg.
Common accidents were people tripping over guy ropes or treading on tent pegs. It might sound simple, but remembering to give tents a wide berth when you’re walking around is one easy way to avoid those inconvenient visits to A&E.
General Holiday safety tip:
Many serious accidents involving young children on holiday, including drowning, happen on either the first or last day when there are lots of distractions.
Ensure that the supervision of young children does not break down during these busy times. If a child wanders off, check water sites e.g. ponds, lakes and swimming pools first.
For us the prepper/ survivalist we must consider all of the above while remembering the dangers of ticks, river crossings, working with survival blades, traps, cooking wild food correctly, recognising edible plants and fungi which if wrong could kill us, being injured and alone, and a;; this while we carry our survival on our backs.
Summer Survival Tips
How to predict weather
When you are on your wilderness trip, some basic knowledge about how to predict weather will help you to take appropriate action for not getting into trouble and risking your safety.
Changing weather means changing air pressure. Decreasing air pressure indicates the approach of a low pressure area, which often brings clouds and precipitation. Increasing air pressure often means that a high pressure area is approaching, bringing a fine and clear day.
A barometer measures air pressure and is a well-known instrument to predict weather.
There are also nature signs of changing air pressure that can be used to forecast weather. For example, on a fine and clear day, the smoke from the campfire rises steadily. If it starts swirling and descending, the air pressure decreases and bad weather will be expected.
An ability to accurately read cloud formations is important when you want to understand how to predict weather. Clouds are classified into different types, according to height and shape. Not all clouds bring rain, some are signs of fine weather.
During a fine day the clouds are white and the higher the finer. Storm clouds are generally black, low, and massed in large clusters. If wet weather is approaching, the cloud will form a greyish veil. This means it is time to take shelter.
How to predict weather
A red sky at either dusk or dawn is one of the most beautiful natural signs you can use to predict the weather. At dusk, a red sky indicates that the next day will probably be a dry and fine day.
This is due to the sun shining through dust particles being pushed ahead of a high pressure system bringing in dry air. A red sky at dawn often means that an approaching low pressure system is bringing in a lot of moisture in the air. This is a fair indication that a storm is approaching.
How animals predict the weather
Animals sense the movements in air pressure that precede all weather changes. Watch the animals around you and see if you notice changes in their behavior with various types of weather.
Humans have used animal behavior to predict weather and storms for centuries.
Right before a rain, insect-eating birds, such as swallows, have a tendency to fly much lower to the ground, and bees and butterflies seem to disappear from the flower beds they usually visit.
I must stress having plenty of reserves and enough water for everyone in case of what if or an Oh No. With today’s modern transportation, it’s quite a simple thing to get stranded 45 miles from nowhere and no water. Make sure you’ve got a few gallons of it before you go.
Control loss of body fluids. Urinate as little as possible. Save it for when it can be recycled through a solar still. Don’t depend on them to provide your party with water.
In optimum conditions, a solar still can provide a pint or two of water a day, not adequate by any means to keep one alive. Diarrhoea in a temperate climate can quickly lead to death by dehydration.
Remember we live in a temperate climate
Avoid alcohol, which contributes to dehydration, and any diuretics such as coffee and caffeinated sodas.
Avoid Sweating. Control your level of perspiration as much as possible. This means avoiding the sun. Stay in the shade. Save shelter construction, water collection, and all other tasks for night time if possible.
Construct a bed that keeps you off the ground and allows air to circulate under you if possible. Do not lie on the ground. Try to keep fully clothed as clothing holds the sweat in so it will evaporate slower, cooling the body and decreasing perspiration. You may feel cooler without a shirt, but will perspire more and also risk a debilitating and dehydrating painful sunburn.
It gets cold in the desert at night, sometimes, uncomfortably cold. During the day, I’d try to sack out on something that circulates air underneath me, but at night, I’d look for insulation. Some of this depends on the time of year and good old common sense. So use what you have.
Avoid Smoking. Smoking tobacco will dry the throat and add to your thirst.
Suck on a pebble. It’s an “old Indian trick” but it works. Sucking on a pebble helps produce saliva, keeping your mouth moist and diminishing the sensation of thirst.
Avoid Salt Water. Should you find yourself on a coastline do not drink the sea water. Recycle it through a solar still. Have several solar stills. One is not nearly enough.
Do not drink Urine. This would obviously be a last resort, but it will only cause you more problems as your kidneys attempt to process waste products you are re-introducing to the body.
The more dehydrated you are the more toxic your urine will be. Recycle it through a solar still. Drinking alcohol, salt water, blood, and urine will only increase the effects of dehydration. Water that is more than 50% salt will increase dehydration while that which is less than 50% contaminated will increase the body’s relative water content.
Eat Sparingly. Digestion requires water. Proteins require more water than complex carbohydrates, starches, and sugars. Raw fruits and vegetation contain greater water content than many processed foods.
Avoid salty foods. I’ve often seen Mediterranean people eating melons, especially watermelon, in the mountains and valleys of Greek islands. This idea has a lot of merit to it. Watermelon has a pronounced diuretic effect.
Breathe through your nose and limit talking.
Avoid rationing. If you attempt to ration water at the rate of one or two quarts a day you will not avoid dehydration any longer than if you drank a full gallon. Although you might psychologically alleviate thirst, in high temperatures your body will still dehydrate at a constant rate.
Perspiration should be rationed.
As dehydration increases, the ability to think clearly decreases.
Better to try to stay reasonably alert than try to ration water and stumble past water sources in a daze. Depending on heat and humidity, “rationing physical activity” can mean “no activity in any possible shade”.
Though the material that gives seawater its salty flavour is composed of many substances, sodium chloride, or common salt, is by far the predominant compound. On the assumption that 1 gallon (about 4 litres) of seawater contains 0.231 pound (about 105 grams) of salt and that rock salt on the average is 2.17 times as dense as water, it has been estimated that if the oceans of the world were completely dried up they would yield at least 4.5 million cubic miles of rock salt, or about 14.5 times the bulk of the entire continent of Europe above the high-water mark.
Seawater contains on the average about 3 percent salt, although the actual concentration varies from about 1 percent (in the polar seas) to 5 percent. Enclosed waters such as the Mediterranean and Red seas contain a higher proportion of salt than does the open ocean at the same latitude.
Suppose the sea water had a lower salt concentration from a large inflowing river, tropical storm, etc. At what level of salt would it be worthwhile drinking? I would hate to guess, personally.
Both the magnesium chloride and magnesium sulphate are used as cathartic effects and are used as purgatives. [Extreme laxatives] Which means if you drank much of it you would get extreme diarrhoea which would empty the stomach and intestines of both food and fluid, leaving you worse off.
Sea water would be fine for solar stills, though.
You need more than one or two. If warm and sunny enough to make the stills work well, the survivor will probably be dehydrating faster than the stills produce water. Thin plastic is OK for solar stills, is lightweight and cheap, and has other uses.
Dehydration, the loss of water from the body; is almost invariably associated with some loss of salt (sodium chloride) as well. The treatment of any form of dehydration, therefore, requires not only the replacement of the water lost from the body but also the restoration of the normal concentration of salt within the body fluid.
Dehydration may be caused by restriction of water intake or by excessive water loss. The commonest cause of dehydration is failure to drink liquids.
The deprivation of water is far more serious than the deprivation of food. The average person loses approximately 2.5 percent of total body water per day (about 1,200 millilitres [1.25 quarts]) in urine, in expired air, by insensible perspiration, and from the gastrointestinal tract.
If, in addition to this loss, the loss through perspiration is greatly increased–as is demonstrated in the case of the shipwrecked sailor in tropical seas or the traveller lost in the desert–within only a few hours the dehydration may result in shock and death.
When swallowing is difficult in extremely ill persons, or when people cannot respond to a sense of thirst because of age or illness or dulling of consciousness, the failure to compensate for the daily loss of body water will rapidly result in dehydration and its consequences, death.
The dangers of lake, river and pond swimming
Water can be very dangerous so have fun but always keep safe. There are dangers that can kill in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, canals, ponds and the sea.
Learn to swim
Swimming pools are the safest place to swim. Water is fun and if you’re sensible and follow the water safety rules you can have a brilliant time with your family and friends.
Remember learning to swim could save your life.
There are however invisible dangers
Even if you are a strong swimmer there are lots of invisible dangers to be aware of:
Fast currents, rapids, weirs and rip tides.
Rubbish such as broken glass, scrap metal, bottles and cans.
Slippery banks and rocks.
• Plants and reeds.
• Very cold water.
Rat urine - if you develop flu like symptoms three to 19 days after playing in untreated water go to your doctor and ask to be tested for Weil's Disease. This is carried in the urine of rats and can be fatal.
If someone else is in trouble?
What should you do? Stop, think and keep calm.
Don't jump in after them - a drowning person is very strong and will cling to anything that they can. They could quickly push you under water and you do not want to become a casualty too!
Shout for assistance, and send for the emergency service (either by dialling 999 on your mobile phone or by getting a volunteer to go to the nearest phone).
Shout to the casualty ’to keep their arms in the water and kick their legs’.
Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else that can extend your reach.
When reaching from the bank lie down to avoid being pulled into the water.
If you cannot reach them then throw something for them to hold onto to stay afloat such as a plastic container, life belt or football.
If the casualty is too far away, do not attempt to rescue them. Wait for the emergency services while
Calming and reassuring the casualty.
If you are in trouble?
Keep calm and call for help.
Try to stand up. If the water is too deep but near land try to swim to safety.
If you cannot get to land keep signalling for help while slowly treading water to preserve heat and energy.
Once you are safe, go to hospital immediately for a check-up.
Never go near water if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs – this is the number one cause of water-related deaths.
Stay clear of strong currents, weirs, rapids, reservoirs edges and canal locks.
Watch out for slippery banks, soft sand and rocks.
Don’t jump or dive in - you don’t know how deep it is going to be.
Wear something on your feet. There may be sharp rocks, rubbish, broken glass etc. under the water.
Don’t splash water at other people or push them over - messing around can be dangerous.
Never go deeper than welly height when playing in rivers as the strong current can easily knock you over.
Cover any cuts and scratches with water proof plasters.
Learn to swim it could save your life.
Let’s look at Nuclear Threats
Just because you don't live next to a nuclear power station does not mean that you are free from any possible nuclear radiation threats. There are several facts and factors you need to know:
Look at Nuclear power plants - As the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 demonstrated, even if you are several hundred miles or away from a nuclear power station, if an unlikely but possible major nuclear accident happens and you are downwind of it at the time, your safety would be seriously at risk.
Then there could be Nuclear material accidents - These can happen at a plant that works with nuclear material or nuclear waste or during the transportation of radioactive material in your area.
Don’t forget Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDDs) - These include terrorist attacks with radioactive material devices, as in "dirty bombs", which are caused by conventional and not nuclear explosions.
Nuclear weapons attack - You may say: "But the cold war is over". Yes, but the world is still full of crazy people, and there are now more nuclear weapons in the hands of more countries and terrorist groups than during the cold war.
Take this news report for example: On June 24 2009, a news report from the Associated Press started with: "North Korea threatened Wednesday to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and its allies watched for signs the regime will launch a series of missiles in the coming days." Plus there is still great animosity between many nations with nuclear capabilities.
The other factor that we have learned from the past is that historically, war has followed the collapse of the economy of a nation. I hope there are no economy collapses anywhere in the world. But if it happens, war is possible, and it could quite likely be nuclear.
There is also the possibility of a terrorist attack with a portable nuclear device like a "suitcase bomb".
There are 2 main dangers of a nuclear bomb: the initial blast effect and the radioactive fall-out afterwards. Fall-out is sometimes misunderstood.
There are different types of fall-out radiation, and its dispersal will depend on several factors, but it is basically fine dust from the explosion that continuously gives off invisible radiation as it falls to earth.
The largest, most dangerous particles will reach the ground first, closer to ground zero.
According to the research those particles that are concentrated and dangerous enough to require the use of fall-out shelters to protect you, will fall to earth within a few hours.
The finer particles will be carried by the wind, some taking months to settle to earth.
Fortunately the radiation from radioactive particles reduces with time, which helps man and nature to recover.
The initial radiation, which is fatal with one hour of exposure, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it's only 1/100th as strong.
Is a nuclear attack survivable? Absolutely - contrary to popular opinion! There are many myths about nuclear war, including this big one that no one will be able to survive it. To the contrary; nuclear wars are very survivable, IF people are prepared, excluding a small percentage of people near ground zero (the point directly below the explosion).
In fact, in Nagasaki during the atomic bomb attack, some people who were far inside tunnel shelters built for conventional air raids located as close as one-third of a mile from ground zero, survived uninjured.
This was true even though these long, large shelters lacked blast doors and were deep inside the zone within which all buildings were destroyed.
Another myth is that fall-out radiation penetrates everything and will kill all those who survived the initial blast.
Again, this is not true.
Adequate preparation can protect you from any harmful doses. And even minor preparations can save your life, even though your health may be adversely affected.
If nuclear wars are not survivable, then it would not make any sense to build nuclear fall-out shelters, and governments would not spend large amounts of money doing so for their citizens.
Some countries have done just that, including Russia, Switzerland and some Scandinavian countries. And, some countries have built them only for their leadership and not for their citizens!
There have been 100’s of nuclear detonation tests so we have actually had a nuclear war in real terms and we have all survived.
Natural Insect Repellents
There are midges all over Europe, but the midge that lives in the Scottish Highlands is particularly ferocious. The female midge is the one that bites, as she requires a meal of blood before laying her eggs, between June and September.
Midges love warm humid weather, still water or wet ground and the indirect sunlight of dawn and dusk (or in the shade).
Midges dislike wind and strong sunlight, therefore standing on top of a hill in the mid-day sun is a very natural form of midge repellent. But for those of us who do not live on the top of a windy hill there are a number of natural things we can do to minimise the nuisance.
Certain types of clothing are recommended as deterrents: a midge hood (a fine mesh covering the head and face) may be worn to physically prevent the midges onto your skin; long sleeves and trouser legs will also help; dark coloured clothing is preferred by midges, therefore wear light coloured clothing.
Thiamine / Vitamin B1
Research has shown that biting insects (such as mosquitoes, midges and flies) hate vitamin B1. People who had consumed quantities of food containing it were much less likely to be bitten. When there is too much vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine) in the body for its needs it is naturally excreted in the sweat, urine and breath; this has protective effects, keeping the midges at bay.
Its odour and flavour are similar to those of yeast. 50-100mg a day is recommended for use as an insect repellent, this may be as taken as part of a B-complex.
1.5mg is required to prevent signs of deficiency. Foods high in B1 include wheat germ and bran, the outer portion (husk) of rice and grains, brewer's yeast, black molasses. Oats, spinach, nuts, sunflower seeds, avocado (although only about 0.13mg in an average avocado). Vitamin B1 is depleted in the body by the use of sugar, coffee, and tanning in black tea, nicotine and alcohol.
Smokers may use the fact that the cigarette smoke keeps midges away for a while as a good reason to smoke, however the nicotine in the cigarette will reduce the amount of vitamin B1 in the body, reducing the longer term deterrent effects.
Garlic is another food item that is suggested to be useful, apparently it is not only vampires who do not like the smell of it on your breath and skin.
I found when living in Corfu that putting eucalyptus leaves in your room or on the table when eating outside kept the mossies away.
Essential Oils and Perfumes
Many people have their own favourite midge repellent recipe, I have been told about favourite after-shaves, Eau de Colognes or perfumes which never fail. These would have been the favourite midge repellent 30 years ago.
Since then there have been a number of theories as to which is the best scent to repel midges and other insects. It was suggested that a number of scents were superior over all others in repelling insects, in particular Citronella was used in most natural insect repellents.
Then people preferred to use plants native to the local area:
Lavender in the Mediterranean, Neem in India and Bog Myrtle in Scotland. The most recent opinion is that many different strong smells will work, the traditional plants used as insects repellents varied between countries because different smelly plants were available, therefore you can use whichever one, or mix, you want!
Bog Myrtle a plant native to Scotland, seems to have had the strongest traditional use as a repellent against the Scottish midge. As the name implies it grows in damp, boggy, ground; very handy as that is where the midges like to hang around.
You may ask why the midges live in areas where bog myrtle grows if it is an effective repellent. Because you have to crush the plant to release its scent.
Citronella is an exotic lemony smelling plant, related to Lemongrass. It has been used for many years as an insect repellent. Citronella essential oil is added to many oils, creams and sprays to apply on the skin, and added to candles for burning.
Lavender has many qualities. I personally like it as an insect repellent for 2 reasons: it can be used neat on adult skin (most essential oils have to be diluted), meaning I only have to carry a 10ml bottle around with me; and it is also useful to apply on the insect bites, yet again reducing the amount I have to carry.
You don't have to use the essential oil though, rubbing the flowers between the hands will release the aroma, or use a lavender eau de cologne.
Rosemary and Catnip are 2 more Mediterranean plants which have insect repelling qualities. But be careful that no cats find you if you have sprayed yourself with Catnip perfume (they will follow you everywhere!).
Neem oil is used in India as an insect repellent (as well as for many other reasons). It has a pungent odour, smelling yeasty, almost Marmite like, so it is often mixed with other scents to make it more palatable.
Eucalyptus oil, in particular a variety called lemon eucalyptus, has been shown to be effective in keeping Mediterranean biting insects at bay, as I have mentioned so could be used for insects in other parts of the world.
Avon's Skin So Soft Currently one of the best known natural insect repellents is a moisturising cream made by Avon. It is said to work because of the essential oils it contains.
Treatments for Bites
There are many natural remedies for insect bites. The main symptom that you need to treat is the itch, if the skin becomes broken though you may also have to use something that is antiseptic.
Lavender is anti-itch and antiseptic. An Eau de Cologne made with lavender will be particularly good as an anti-itch remedy as the evaporation of the alcohol will cool the bite.
Chamomile can be used to reduce the redness (inflammation) and itch from the bites. A cool chamomile tea applied to the skin will be very soothing.
Tea Tree essential oil is a very popular natural antiseptic, many people also find it useful to reduce the itch out of bites.
Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda are both useful kitchen remedies for insect bites. Apply vinegar directly to the bites as a cooling antiseptic, or make a paste with the bicarbonate of soda (with a little water) and apply to the bites to cool the itch.
Natural Antihistamines are all around the fields and gardens during the summer. Nettles and plantain are weeds that grow all over Scotland, both have a natural anti-histamine action, useful when you have been bitten a number of times.
Both may be taken as a herbal tea, nettles may be eaten as a soup, or you could rub the juice of the plants onto the skin.
Wilderness Survival Techniques to Remember
Wilderness survival techniques are arguably a matter of life and death. Turning into a self-sufficient survivor does not happen at the snap of a finger. It takes knowledge, proper gear, and preparation. By planning for the worst before it happen you could be saving your life and other's.
The first thing to remember is not having a shelter, which really turns into a double barrelled mistake. If you do not have a proper shelter with you or lack the knowledge to build one with what is around you-you might be in trouble.
It is vital to create a shelter that keeps you dry and limits exposure to the elements.
The second thing to remember is being caught without a working navigational tool. It is easy to get turned around in the middle of thick bushes and trees. A map and a compass are failsafe standards any wilderness adventurer should pack. Remember to practice using them
Thanks to technology, a GPS is a handy tool as well. GPS devices are small, compact, and generally able to work for a descent time period if kept at full charge. Keep navigational tools with you at all times
But do not rely on them as they can be dropped or the batteries can run flat.
You must learn how to utilize cardinal directions by the sun and stars.
Another common mistake that can cost you is lack of knowledge and preparation. There are five key things you should be knowledgeable of first:
How to build shelter
How to signal for assistance
What is safe to eat and how to find it
How to build and maintain a fire
How to locate water and safely prepare it
Never underestimate the risk factor. The most innocent of outdoor excursions-fishing, hiking, hunting-can turn into a wilderness survival situation. Always be prepared.
Don't be caught with the wrong clothing. A rule of thumb is to always dress in layers, making the outer layer warmer than what you should need. Research indicates that most hypothermia cases develop in temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to lack of proper clothing.
Water is essential to survive. The problem is finding drinkable water. Waterborne organisms can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, which increases dehydration.
Carry a supply of pure drinking water along with the ability to filter water by boiling, chemical tablets, or buy a Purificup.
Finally, be sure to have a signal plan and know how to create and maintain a fire. Almost any outdoor store has sections dedicated to signal devices. Whistles, mirrors, high beam flashlights, and fire starting devices are all easy to carry signal devices.
Couple these with learning how to create your own emergency signal by using trees, rocks, dirt, or even snow.
Fire is vital to wilderness survival. It can warm, protect, and heat food or boil water. You can even use it to signal for help. Do not underestimate learning how to make and maintain a fire. Take time to prepare for your outdoor excursions and you will be able to enjoy your wilderness trip and survive whatever may come your way.
Making Cordage from Natural Fibres
In these modern days in our throwaway society, cordage, whether its string, cord or rope is taken for granted. Not much thought is given to it. A piece of string is used and when its job is done it will probably be discarded. When a piece of string is needed again, a fresh piece is cut from the ball and so it goes on.
However, to produce a length of cordage in the field from natural fibres can take a significant amount of time. Especially if a long, thin strong length of cordage needs to be produced. There are two main methods of producing cordage, twisting and plaiting.
Normally twisting is used to create an initial length of cordage. Then plaiting can be used with several of these twisted lengths to produce stronger, larger diameter cordage (cord or rope).
Lots of different natural fibres can be used to produce cordage. For example nettles, inner willow bark etc. Bear in mind that the cordage produced from natural fibres such as these are not as strong as commercial cordage which is now available.
To prevent cracking and breaking care should be taken not to bend natural cordage too sharply when using it in lashings or tying knots. One solution is to moisten the cordage to improve its flexibility but, one disadvantage of this is that water, as well as softening the natural fibres causes them to swell increasing the diameter of the cordage.
This is fine until the cordage starts to dry out then any lashings or knots you have tied will become loose.
The outer fibres of the common nettle can be used to produce relatively strong thin cordage. First of all you must remove the leaves. This can be done by running your hand from the bottom to the top of the stem.
Grasp the nettle firmly and you should not get stung. If you are worried about getting stung you can do this process wearing gloves.
Once all the leaves and stings have been removed you can crush the stem with the butt of your knife then run your thumb nail down the length of the nettle to open and flatten the stem out? Now take the stem and bend it over a finger. The outer fibres should now be able to be gently removed from the hard inner core. The outer fibres should then be put somewhere to dry until needed.
Take one of the nettle fibres and hold it tightly between finger and thumb at one end of the fibre. Then twist the fibre from the other end, rolling it over and over until it kinks, usually somewhere in the middle.
The fibre will now be half the original length. It will be doubled at one end. Continue to hold this end tightly between fingers and thumb while rolling the two tail ends around one another.
When one of the tail ends ‘runs out’ add a new fibre in and continue twisting. Continue this process until your cordage reaches the length you require, to finish tie an overhand knot to stop the cord unwrapping.
The roots of many trees and plants can be used to produce cordage for example pine, alder and birch. Luckily the best roots for cordage tend to be found near the surface of the ground where they are thin and flexible. Using a digging stick or spade gently dig down until a suitable root is found.
Then follow the root along, exposing as much of its length as possible. This can sometimes be tricky as roots tend to interlace and can sometimes be quite a complicated puzzle. Don’t be lazy and try to pull on the root to remove it from the ground as it’ll just snap.
In general it’s best to remove the roots outer bark but, it’s not always required. You can remove this bark by using a brake.
A brake is a thin stick which has a split at the end. You basically pull the root through the split stick (brake) and this scrapes the bark off the root. Larger diameter roots can be split in half or even quartered to produce the required diameter cordage.
Splitting also gives the advantage of giving cordage with a flat edge, giving a lashing more contact area and therefore greater strength. To split a root start the split with your knife. Then pull the two halves apart to continue the split. If the split starts to run off centre, bend the thicker half more (at a greater angle to the split).
Pay particular attention when approaching knots or bends with the split as these may have to be cut with a knife to stop them from running off.
As I mentioned at the beginning. We tend to use cordage without a thought.
The old saying “Easy come, Easy go” springs to mind. However, being able to produce cordage from natural fibres is an important skill which should not be overlooked.
It is time consuming but a skill well worth learning. One thing is for sure, after making a reasonable length of cordage from natural fibres you will certainly have new found appreciation for a humble piece of string.