After the Blizzard Survival offer I move onto How to choose a BOL, Survival Mistakes, Preserving your Food, Support these companies, Surviving SHTF, more companies to support, Eating Road Kill, Crayfish Trap Guidelines, Surviving in the Woods, Having some fun with Basic and Simple Cooking Methods, further companies to support, The Threat of Wild Dogs Post SHTF, Tips for Over Night Survival, Wilderness Gathering, Wilderness Survival Cooking,
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How to Choose a BOL
When disaster strikes, you need a safe place for you and the ones you care about to keep your heads down: your bug out location.
The basic idea is to get out of harm’s way to a prepared area with supplies and gear which can sustain you. Choosing where to locate this prepared area is an important decision that requires planning
Before getting into your personal remote location belonging to you, it is important to note that depending on the kind of disaster and its reach, your best bet may be to drive to another county to stay with a relative.
Your bug out location does not need to be an isolated piece of owned property, and if you do have family connections you can leverage, it may be your best bet.
This is one of the first things you need to consider carefully.
At first thought, a bug out location would be as far away as possible from your home to ensure the best odds that whatever disaster it is will not impact you. While there are definitely some merits to the very remote location, there are some drawbacks to consider.
First, if your intention is to stock this location with supplies, you have to understand how difficult stocking it will be if you live extremely far away. If it’s too remote, stocking it from the nearest shop may also be an ordeal.
While you should have extra fuel anyway, an extra-long journey presents greater fuel risks, and at minimum, forces you to carry a little more.
If your location is very far from your house, you may be very unlikely to ever want to go to it when there is no disaster.
If you are spending hard-earned money on rural land, you should want to be able to take advantage of it as a quiet, natural holiday space, and so if it’s prohibitively far away, you lose that advantage.
If there is a disaster where you’re on the fence about whether or not to bug out, the pain in the bum distance might dangerously deter you from leaving.
That said, quite obviously the location has to be a decent distance away from your main home, otherwise there’s a risk that whatever disaster has convinced you to bug out will impact your bug out location as well.
Depending on where you like, a good two hour drive is probably sufficient.
How you choose you’re Bug-Out-Location will depend on further factors, such as:
Can you afford to purchase your own location?
Do you have a trusted group of people that can purchase a location together?
Is it easy for you to get to?
Can you get there if you had to walk?
Is it safe from the same or other potential hazards?
If you’re lucky enough that you can afford to purchase your own location or to get in on one with some other people you will want to look for a location that is preferably in a different region from your main living location.
The best site will be property you can purchase that also has access to water, hunting, wood, and enough space to grow your own food. Also take into consideration the security of the location as well.
If others can find it or know where it is, and you have supplies stocked up there is the chance that they could be gone before you get there or even worse taken over and occupied.
Again, as I have already said consider how long it would take for you to get to the location. If you’re traveling alone and have the knowhow to survive the more remote and further away you can make your location.
If you have a family that you need to take care of you MUST consider locating your Bug-Out-Location closer and will likely have to make it more accessible.
What if you’re not lucky enough to be able to afford your own property? The first thing I would do is find a relative or even a friend who lives in a remote rural location.
At the very least find a relative or friend that lives outside of the region in which you live that will not be impacted by the same event that would cause you to leave and seek shelter.
Once you choose the relative or friend, talk to them about your plans, and as a start offer to set them up at your location if something should happen to cause them the need to leave their location.
Once you agree to work together in this respect, you can work together to get supplies and set up your Bug-Out-Location.
As a last resort you can always use the option of Bugging-In which is when you choose to stay put and wait out any event.
Not the best option especially in a fire or flood situation and you’ll be taking your life into your own hands.
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 happens you could be saving your life and other's.
According to some of the top wilderness survival websites, there are eight common mistakes that can cost you big in the wild. The first is no 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, especially the wind.
The second biggest wilderness survival mistake 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.
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.
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 filters.
Finally, be sure to have a signal plan and know how to create and maintain a fire. Almost any outdoor/camping supplier has sections dedicated to signal devices. Whistles, mirrors, high beam
torch, 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 tackle whatever kinks come your way.
When it comes to survival skills, the smallest of mistakes could have a huge impact on your ability to stay safe.
However, there are a few things which can help to avoid making such mistakes, and will ensure that your survival skills are as effective as possible.
If you find your survival skills being put to the test unexpectedly, then the natural reaction can be to panic.
However, this is often the worst thing you can do, as you need to be thinking as clearly as possible in such situations.
You might not be able to simply google ‘survival techniques’ whilst checking your facebook page and playing cheeky bingo, but if you have done your research, then you will already be well prepared.
You simply need to keep a clear head, and remember all the skills which you have learnt.
Often, people panic the most when it comes to putting up a shelter, and tend to rush the process. In actual fact, it is worth spending extra time making sure that your shelter is safe and secure, and unlikely to collapse without warning, OH! And water and wind proof as well.
Preserving your Food
I would like to cover some of the traditional food preservation methods that are available to the prepper.
Most people don’t immediately associate food and burial, but it just goes to show you that assumptions don’t get you anywhere useful in life. The constant temperatures, darkness, and humidity levels associated with burial are ideal for preventing spoilage of root crops in particular, but also foods like onions and cabbages and foods that have been previously dried.
The root cellar, a wonderful way to preserve root vegetables and other hardy vegetables such as cabbages.
Cache pits used by Native Americans is a form of food preservation via burial.
Other forms of burial storage include the storage clamp and the cache pit. Storage clamps recreate the conditions found in a root cellar where top soil is scraped to create a shallow, rectangular depression, food such as potatoes are piled into a ridge-shaped heap, then covered with about six inches of straw or hay. On top of this is placed the soil that was removed during scraping.
The cache pit, used by agricultural Native American tribes such as the Mandan and Hidatsa, is a combination of a root cellar and a storage clamp that was used for winter food storage. Pits were dug into the ground to store the important crops of corn, beans, sunflower seeds, and dried squash.
Burial has been used in conjunction with fermentation, and was common in the making of kimchi and sauerkraut. Desiccation (drying) has also been associated with burial in deserts, such as in Egypt.
In fact, drying was first used in ancient Egypt as a food preservation method after it was noticed that burial of food caused it to be dried and, therefore, preserved.
Ultimately this method included mummification of humans and not just food.
Candied fruits can take a fair amount of time, but it is a sweet way to preserve treats.
Candying fruits, also known as Glacé or crystallized fruit, involves placing whole or pieces of fruit in a heated syrup, then draining it, and repeating this cycle using increasingly strong concentrations of syrup over weeks or even months. It is the intense saturation of the fruit in sugar that enhances desiccation and creates an environment unfavourable for bacterial growth. Plus, it’s tasty!
Canning is probably the best known method of home food preservation using glass jars (or metal cans) with pressure-sealed lids, and includes processing by water bath or pressure canner.
The water bath method of canning can be used with foods such as high-sugar jams and jellies or acidic tomato products and pickles.
Water bath canning is accessible to most preppers who have the desire to dip their toe in food preservation methods. Canning a fruit jam is a recommended first step for the beginner who is interested in stepping into the world of home food preservation.
Pressure canning of foods is needed for non-acid foods including many vegetables like beans and potatoes, and meats. A pressure canner (as opposed to a pressure cooker) is required for canning these items, and it is recommended that someone have some water-bath canning experience under their belt before purchasing and using a pressure canner. But the versatility a pressure canner brings to the home storage kitchen is worth its weight in gold.
Curing involves using salt (sometimes in combination with sugar) to preserve meats and fish. Curing is one popular way to make sure meat is available in winter for the home larder. Salt at different concentrations inhibits the growth of dangerous food bacteria such as Listeria, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella.
Salt can be added to meats as a liquid brine (strong enough to float an egg), or as a dry cure, such as with sausage making. Dry salting is also known as corning, because in early British history Anglo Saxons preserved meats with “corns” (coarse pieces) of salt.
Irish corned beef is the most famous example of this, but any meat can be corned in this way for preservation.
Nitrites can also be used in meat curing because they allow meats to retain a pink colour, and they help to prevent the growth of bacteria such as botulism. However, nitrite use can be a tricky business as it is toxic at high enough levels.
(Note: nitrates are no longer allowed for commercial meat curing, with the exception of dry-cured, uncooked meats. It is a suspected carcinogen.)
But not all salt curing can prevent the growth of bacteria; because of this it is recommended that home meat curers start out their curing adventures by using pre-made mixes, which have been tested for food safety.
Potential sources for ready-made curing mixes include sites like http://www.homecuring.co.uk
But there are other sources for cures, and I encouraged you to seek out other trusted sources.
There are several ways to dry food, and drying food is arguably the most efficient, and oldest, method to preserve food.
It is not uncommon to find dried fruits and vegetables in Egyptian tombs that are thousands of years old, and still edible.
Dehydrating food removes enough moisture to prevent decay. The secret to good drying include heating the food so the moisture is eliminated quickly enough to not affect food flavour, but not so hot that it cooks the food.
But getting the heat to the right point is important; if the temperature is too low bacteria can grow, yet if it’s too high the food may harden on the surface before the inside has had a chance to dry. Air circulation is also paramount when it comes to properly drying foods.
Hanging herbs must have good air circulation to dry properly.
Dried food can come in many forms — from fruit to jerky — and they can all be dried using the power of the sun, electric dehydrators, or the oven.
But all methods must have good air circulation to carry the moisture away from your food. If you live in a drier climate, the sun may be all you need to dry foods.
If solar dehydration won’t work for you, you can always purchase an electric food dehydrator.
Electric food dehydrators can cost anywhere between £30 and £100 on Amazon for example. You can also use your oven to dehydrate foods, though this method can be tricky as ovens can run too warm.
The oven should be about 140F and the oven door should remain open the entire time to allow moisture to escape. And since ovens frequently don’t hold the temperature accurately, the use of an oven thermometer (and frequent checking) is advised.
One last method of dehydrating food involves just leaving the food “on the vine.” Beans such as lentils, lima beans, kidney beans and more can be left in their pods on the plants until the plants and pods are dried and shrivelled.
At this point, the beans can be shelled and stored, but be sure that the beans are completely dry before storage, or they will mould.
If you feel the beans are not dried enough, dehydrate them more using one of the methods I have already mentioned.
This might be one of the all-time favourite methods of preserving nature’s bounty! From beer to wine and spirits, fermentation can be our friend.
But most people don’t realize that there is a huge array of food preservation via fermenting; even sourdough starter is considered a fermented, preserved food (it lasts for hundreds of years)!
Alcohol is just one form of fermentation, but fermentation by different types of bacteria include lactic acid, alkaline, and acetic fermentation.
Lactic acid fermentation produces foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Vinegars are the most common form of acetic acid fermentation, and include apple cider vinegar and wine vinegar.
In alkaline fermentation, protein in foods is broken down into amino acids and peptides, and during the process ammonia is released giving the foods a distinct smell.
Alkali fermentation is popular in countries in Southeast Asia and Africa, such as a soybean dish called natto in Japan, or dawadawa from African locust beans.
Jellying does not refer to the making of sweet fruit jelly (that’s a form of canning). Instead, jellying is a form of food preservation where the food to be preserved is cooked in a substance that forms a natural gel, thereby inhibiting bacterial growth by decreasing oxygen levels.
The gelatinous substance is typically something like gelatine, arrowroot, or agar. Aspic is probably the best known form of jellying, where meat is potted in a combination of gelatine and meat broth.
Pickling is the use of an anti-microbial brew to preserve produce and meats. Typical pickling liquids include vinegar, brines, alcohol, and oils, and additional ingredients to flavour the food include salts, herbs, and spices. (Note: pickling in oil is not recommended for canning.)
Pickling can be a form of fermentation for foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, but in these cases the food itself is the preservative.
Popular forms of pickles include just straight-up cucumber pickles, but also delectable dishes from all over the world pickled onions and eggs in British fish and chips shops, pickled herring in Scandinavia, and Achar in India, a pickle made from mangos, lime, vegetables, and an assortment of other ingredients.
Pickling, hot peppers, can be accomplished with vinegar, oil, or alcohol.
Cooked meats were sometimes placed in hot earthenware crocks and pressed to eliminate as much oxygen as possible to preserve them.
Then the meat was covered with a hot fat that hardened at room temperature, such as lard. The fat prevented oxygen from reaching the meats.
Duck confit, potted shrimp, and Pâté are forms of potting, though potted meats traditionally were eaten by the British.
It is crucial that as much oxygen as possible is eliminated from the meat, or bacteria will grow.
No discussion on food preservation would be complete without smoking, where meats and fish are cure-smoked with smouldering wood, which also serves to add a layer of desiccation to the preserving qualities of the smoke itself.
Smoking is one of the oldest food preservation methods along with drying and burial, when food was cooked over open fires.
Smoked meats traditionally were sliced thin and placed over a fire where three modes of preservation took place:
The heat of the fire killed harmful microorganisms, some of the chemical compounds in the wood being used for smoking had an anti-microbial actions, and dehydration prevented degradation.
I have not ventured to deep into this subject and that is something I see as a failing to be honest, perhaps this is born out of living in a plentiful society.
However then the brown stuff hits the propeller and I find myself with too much of one type of food then it preservation would play its part, so it is something I must practice with.
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You are listening to the UK preppers Radio network on KPRNDB-UK I’m your host Tom Linden
Nuclear warfare is not necessary to cause a breakdown of our society. You take a large city like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Leeds— their water supply comes from hundreds of miles away and any interruption of that, or food, or power for any period of time you're going to have riots in the streets.
Our society is so fragile, so dependent on the interworking of things to provide us with the goods and services that you don't need nuclear warfare to fragment us anymore than the Romans needed it to cause their eventual downfall.
While some may consider such a discussion a waste of time, more and more people are coming to the conclusion that preparations of some sort are warranted in our current troubled environment — on many fronts.
Surviving Economic Collapse is about how much preparation individuals are willing to do and is usually in direct correlation to their belief that something catastrophic could happen, making life as we know it a much more difficult task.
It is a proven fact throughout history that when disruptions of any kind occur, those who made even the smallest preparations typically fare much better than those who gave no thought at all in this regard.
I want to share with you a list I have compiled of the things that could potentially happen — and that threaten our way of life in a small or large degree.
There is no way to predict these things, but anyone with common sense can see that the possibility is likely we could experience one or more of these events at some point in the future...
Any single event or combination of events could cause terrible and debilitating circumstances for a short or long period of time:
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, volcanic eruptions, solar flares, earthquakes, and other geophysical events happen across our world daily.
There is the every present possibility of wars, nuclear wars, nuclear reactor meltdowns, and radiation fallout.
Then we have the coming financial meltdown (derivative, debt crisis, economic collapse and/or bond implosion) causing currencies to implode and governments to topple
There are problems with the exploration, delivery, or production of oil, the lifeblood of modern economies
We are seeing a spread of disease such as the Black Plague or a bird flu pandemic more and more often
We have frequent Power cuts
And you could even say that political anarchy or revolution is a possibility too.
Racial strife or civil war is on the cards that is for sure
Electromagnetic pulse events are in the news even more now.
With any of these scenarios listed above (and there is a host of others I have probably not even thought about), you could have localized, national, or global unrest and even war for an indefinite period of time depending on the scope and duration of the event(s).
An item that is not on the list — but could be equally devastating to individual families — is the loss of a job.
Losing a job can be a catastrophic event if one is not properly prepared. Most families find themselves living pay day to pay day with little in the way of savings and almost nothing in the way of preparations.
For years, I had brought up the issue of preparedness to a close friend of mine.
When I first started talking about it, my friend and his wife basically blew me off... but I kept bringing the topic up.
Eventually they thought it prudent to at least get some sort of food storage together. Their family was accustomed to an upper middle class income and living comfortably in suburbia with their three children...
About a year after making their food preparations, the breadwinner of the family lost his job and ended up working a series of almost minimum wage jobs trying to make ends meet.
He kept applying for better-paying jobs in his field of expertise — but no matter how qualified he was nobody was interested in hiring someone at his previous salary level or his age (late fifties).
The family's lifestyle was devastated and they eventually lost their home...
In a recent conversation with this friend, he told me that without their food storage, things would have been immeasurably more difficult. He thanked me for being a good friend and pushing the issue when he and his wife weren’t listening.
The family is now living a greatly reduced lifestyle, but keeping their heads above water and continuing with their preparations.
I share this story because on an individual basis, there is a host of things that can happen in which being prepared could make a huge difference.
We often, as a people in general, terms take things for granted and think 'this' or 'that' will never happen to us. In addition to a major job loss due to a myriad of reasons, you could lose your health or the ability to do your job.
Unfortunately, things of this nature are happening to more and more people every day. In fact, I'm certain all of us have been affected to some degree by similar stories of friends and relatives.
Our Current State of Affairs
The world in general seems afflicted on so many different fronts.
When you look at the list above, any rational person could easily see one or more of these scenarios occur within their lifetime.
Aside from the geophysical things that seem to be going haywire, and could be explained simply as the planet’s cycles, there are plenty of man-made catastrophes that loom on the horizon...
Never has the planet had as many people as it does now. With increased population numbers, there is increased pressure for resources.
More countries seek nuclear devices than ever before and recent advancements in technology make this much easier than any time before in history.
Biological and chemical weapons are also much easier to manufacture — and are being stored by an increasing number of very scary countries.
Oil markets are tighter than ever as demand from countries like China and India increases, but new supply cannot keep up with the increasing demand.
The financial debacle of the world economies needs no introduction to my listeners. In short, bad times — really bad times — for any number of reasons could and probably will be coming to a location near you.
Unless you and your family take this possibility quite seriously, if and when something does happen, you could very well find yourself in some extremely difficult circumstances...
Just look at the latest news coming out of Greece, as reported by Reuters.
This is happening right now — and it’s only going to spread.
When the political and economic systems of entire nations collapse the consequences are devastating.
Earlier this year pharmacies and hospitals in Greece were unable to provide lifesaving medicines due to a shortages caused by a freeze in the flow of credit from manufacturers to distributors to patients.
A collapse in the country’s economy has forced many Greeks to turn to black market barter economies and has left millions financially devastated, with no hope of finding an income stream for the foreseeable future.
The credit system of the entire country is in shambles. So much so that reports are emerging about food shortages and hunger within the Greek prison system, suggesting that serious problems in the food delivery chain have begun to materialize.
Today the news gets even worse. Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) announced an emergency meeting to deal with what can only be construed as a tell-tale sign that this crisis is very rapidly reaching critical mass and may spiral out of control in the very near future:
Greece’s power regulator RAE told Reuters on Friday it was calling an emergency meeting next week to avert a collapse of the debt-stricken country’s electricity and natural gas system.
You may have thought the financial collapse of 2008 was bad.
That was just a warm-up.
The main event is staring us in the face, and the whole of Europe has front-row seats.
What is happening in Europe is just a precursor for what will eventually be happening to the United States..
The following are Items to consider that I feel are prudent as you make your own preparations based on the problems that could potentially threaten our way of life.
Each of the items below could fill a book... but my intent is to at least get you thinking about the most important things related to being prepared.
Should I stay or should I go?
Many have already decided where they will go if and when any such disaster occurs. I hope they get there but…
Personally, I know many who have already left the United Kingdom — and they have never looked back. I have been invited to their retreats in Spain, Australian, New Zealand, and the Greek Islands, and they seem very happy with their decision to leave.
This is a huge decision. My hope is that the following discussion may be of some help when thinking about this topic.
Because I have travelled internationally so much in my previous life I often compare notes on my trips with other folks (Drivers, tourists etc.) about their travels...
One of the realizations you see first-hand as you travel extensively worldwide is the extreme wealth, extreme poverty, and extreme corruption that exists in all of its world flavours.
If you think the United Kingdom is corrupt, you should try going to Peru, or Bolivia, or Panama. And if you think those countries are corrupt, you haven’t see anything compared to Russia, Haiti, India, or some places in Africa...
The fact is corruption and the growing global police state is EVERYWHERE!
So while we certainly see much to complain about in the United Kingdom, which is definitely going the wrong way fast, from what I have seen in most other places on the planet, the U.K. is still less corrupt than most.
There are bad apples everywhere throughout politics, local police, special agents, and most certainly the court system — but for every bad apple, there are probably three times as many honourable people who are truly just trying to do their jobs.
Leaving the country is a decision you must make before the event takes place due to the sheer amount of time and effort it takes to accomplish such a task.
You must also think about being away from family and friends who don’t share your enthusiasm to leave the country and what affect that could have on everyone over time.
For most, I think it’s probably best to just hunker down in your own country and prepare as much as you can. If you can afford a retreat cabin somewhere far away from the big cities, that would probably be best — but again, you still need to get there once the event occurs.
Studies have clearly shown that once a SHTF event occurs, you have two to three days to get to where you ultimately want to hunker down. After that, travel becomes extremely dangerous and it is unlikely you will reach your final destination.
Highways will become kill zones targeted by the bad guys. To a gang of armed looters who forgot to prepare or plan ahead before the event, there is not a better target than an RV loaded down with stored food, ammo, and gold.
Don’t be foolish and attempt travel once things have gone south: If you need to get somewhere, plan to leave the moment the event happens and arrive where you want to be within 72 hours.
This may require several false starts (meaning the situation looked bad at first, but didn’t materialize, and you need to return home) on your part as events start to unfold. But it's better to be safe than sorry if you are planning to get somewhere when an event happens.
Military strategists know from historical accounts of what happens when governments fail or when SHTF events affect a country: The rule of thumb is that roads are to be avoided at all costs.
If you cannot afford a retreat cabin of some sort, there are things you can do to hunker down in your own home...
First, you need to stock up and find a way to defend it.
Like-minded friends and neighbours can be a huge support network — as long as they have prepared as well.
There is a great book (it's not well-edited, but has solid content) on how to live in your home and defend it called
Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart by Joe Nobody, which in itself is a lesson in laying low.
This book isn’t about turning your home into a concrete bunker armed to the teeth; it's more about using cosmetic deception to fool would-be marauders into thinking your place has already been hit. It includes plenty of clever techniques that go far beyond "shooting back."
Ultimately, everyone must decide for themselves based on finances, family concerns, and individual preferences what he can or cannot do in his preparations.
Hopefully, this discussion will help you make the best choices for what is in your best interest.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
This is a good motto to live by, despite how you think about things.
Individuals can still hope for the best (that things can and will eventually work out), but what good is your prosperity going to do if you don’t have anything to eat or a safe place to hang out for an extended period of time?
Why not prepare while you still can — when things are readily available and can still be purchased at cheap prices? The coming hyper-inflation will make any such purchases beforehand look very intelligent...
To prepare for the worst, you need a plan. Why are most people so against doing basic preparations that could be the difference on how they survive — or whether they survive?
History shows time and again that those who prepare always fare better than those who did not. Having a plan and being determined to act on that plan will always be the best way to handle any contingencies, should they occur.
After disaster strikes, your mind is going to be racing around like a car on a race track. Pre-planning and having a written set of measures to take will make someone’s life go much smoother when the SHTF.
Your own personal plan is ONLY what best fits what you are going to do during and after a disaster.
People should also have back-up plans — Plans B and C, at least — because nothing ever seems to go as planned.
Haphazard approaches to the aftermaths of catastrophes are kind of like a chicken running around without its head.
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You are listening to the UK preppers Radio network on KPRNDB-UK I’m your host Tom Linden
Eating Road Kill
Road kill is edible and people have been living off it since horse coaches and cars have been killing wildlife in the hundreds of thousands. If you're squeamish about the idea of consuming road kill, then it's not going to be for you but for a growing number of freegans, foragers, back-to-nature life stylers, and for those with budgetary constraints, eating road kill can be a great source of nourishment, as well as being a form of treating the killed animal with respect by using its meat, skin, and fur rather than leaving it to rot unceremoniously by the roadside.
Plenty of people are doing it, it's not wrongheaded or bizarre, and it's a good way to not let good meat go to waste. If you're interested, here's what to do.
Overcome your squeamishness. While eating road kill isn't going to seem like an attractive option for many people, look if you're the slightest bit curious, at least learn about it and then make up your mind.
Road kill has been consumed by people in impoverished situations or for ethical, environmental, and pragmatic reasons for as long as there have been roads and human vehicles to knock over animals.
Eating road kill offers an affordable means of obtaining meat it's a plentiful food source. It can be a chance to eat meat you'd never normally contemplate, like rabbit or squirrel meat.
And for a growing number of people around the world, it's an environmentally responsible and considerate way to dispose of animals killed on our many roads. Even vegetarians and vegans have been known to enjoy a feast of road kill.
Finally, for those who are still feeling squeamish, there are people who argue that knowing how to eat road kill is an essential survival skill for those times when disaster strikes or you're hopelessly lost and hungry.
As one commentator has stated: "As long as the meat is reasonably fresh and well cooked, it will not matter one iota how the animal met its end." In fact I would say that you are very lucky as someone has done the hunting for you.
Investigate the possibilities. The best thing you can do at the start is to get to know people already foraging for road kill and learn off them.
They can show you how to find the road kill opportunities in your area and they can teach you the signs of what to look for to assess the safety or otherwise of the road kill for consumption.
Look for adverts in local papers or ask around for skill-sharing workshops which are enthusiastically promoted by those who believe in the value of eating road kill. Such workshops teach you about how to spot good road kill, how to skin it, how to cook it, and how to store it.
Know which animals are probably the most suitable. Road kill animals that are considered edible include:
Badger, hedgehog, otter, rabbit, pheasant, fox, beaver, squirrel, deer (venison) and rabbit, etc.
Rats may carry Weil's disease and are therefore best avoided as with feral pigeons.
The grey area is eating cats and dogs; for some, this is too squeamish as these are pets (especially when they have their collars on); but for others, they're not really concerned.
On balance, it's probably the kindest to pull the pet off the road and to alert the owners to come and collect it that is what I would do if I could.
Know the law. It's important to check the laws as to road kill collection and eating. For example, it isn't legal to eat road kill if you ran it over yourself, in other words if you hit it you cannot legally pick it up and remove it. Learn the signs of healthy road kill.
Learn the signs of healthy road kill. Road kill is safe to eat in many instances but there are risks of rotting, rabies, and disease. You can avoid these risks by knowing what signs to look for and using common sense.
Look for freshness. Obviously, if you have witnessed the animal being hit, it's fresh. In terms of coming across road kill, signs of freshness include clear eyes, fleas still active on the fur or hide of the animal and general signs of it looking fresh. Rigor mortis sets in quickly, so stiffness of the body does not mean that the animal is not fresh.
Use the temperature as a guide. Road kill in winter is likely to remain fresher longer than road kill in summer.
Avoid road kill that has maggots, fly, or other scavenging insect infestations, as this indicates a lack of freshness. However, the presence of fleas is a good sign and means that the animal is probably still edible.
If the animal's eyes are milky, clouded, or white, it is less fresh but may still be edible.
If it stinks of rotting flesh, trust your nose but be aware that there will be some stench just as a result of the impact, as wind, excrement, etc. is forced rapidly through the body.
This odour may release when moving the carcass too, so odour isn't the sole indicator of the state of the meat.
Look for whole road kill. Road kill that has to be scraped off the road because it has been flattened or is so crushed up as to be unrecognizable is not worth it and won't be healthy for you to consume. Avoid road kill in the middle of roads. Instead, look along the side of roads, on the hard shoulders and beyond, where bodies often end up from impact or after crawling away from the hit point.
In a survival situation, don't eat road kill you aren't sure is fresh. Why risk your health? If the road kill seems to be in good shape, you could still use the hide though.
Avoid getting rabies.
Avoid getting rabies. Although rabies dies quickly once the host is dead, it's advisable to wear gloves when handling, gutting, and skinning warm-blooded animals and to ensure that you don't have open wounds that could be infected.
The cooking process kills rabies but it is probably a good idea to boil known rabies carriers first including foxes in the UK.
Butcher the carcass. Field Dress a Deer or other large animal to cool it promptly so it doesn't spoil.
You'll need an easily-cleaned place such as the back of a truck to put it.
Whether the animal is big, like a deer, or small, like a squirrel, or even a bird, like a Pheasant, you'll need to skin and gut it before cooking.
You could tan or even stuff the skin for a unique souvenir or practice for making a proper hunting trophy in the future. The organs are often just thrown away, but the heart and liver are often eaten. Organs spoil quickly, so do not eat them unless the meat is absolutely fresh.
Cook the meat thoroughly. This step is vital to ensure that you kill off pathogens or parasites (such as worms) that might be present in the meat. Use a temperature that's higher than usual to ensure that the meat is well cooked. (Always beyond "well done".) Use a Meat Thermometer. Make it a part of the occasion; have a Bar-B-Q party while the meat cooks well. Enjoy
In a SHTF scenario you will have to think outside the box concerning this subject matter, as there will be a number of people out there trying to do the same thing that you are doing, trying to hunt, fish, trap and gather food from any source that they can find or locate.
This will entail a whole new set of skill sets to incorporate, as well as your basic hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering skills that have been mentioned by all the other fine writers on this subject.
One important item to look at is the population density of the area that you live. Look at the population of your county or that of your BOL County then do a Google search on the number of game animals in that county or one specific animal.
As an example the UK human population is about 63M and the estimated deer population is around 1.5m
Also do a search for the population density per square mile for your county and this will give you a picture of the number of people you may have to deal with.
Once people start getting hungry, these people are going to be out there, a very high number of people, depending on the county that you live in doing what you are doing, hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering and any other way they can think of to get food and water.
Once they get hungry enough, and much of the game be it either wild or domestic is gone, many of these people depending on how they view life, their criminal factors, etc. will be looking at you as a game animal. There are many documented cases of this and one case in point of a localized SHTF event is the battle of Stalingrad during WW II, do a Google search; Stalingrad cannibalism.
Other points to consider are;
Where you live, are their areas close by to do this hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering?
Because chances are high that after a total SHTF event there will not be any fuel to get you to areas to find this food, unless you have stored fuel in advance.
Then you will have to weigh the factor of will it be in your benefit to use this precious fuel to travel to these places. Do you have bikes or horses to travel on, or maybe a street legal dirt bike that gets 70 to 80 or more mpg?
What will be your security arrangements for this endeavour due to other very hungry people being out their along with refugees.
They may not be at the point yet to eat you, but if you do take some type of game they may sure be to the point of killing you for it be it a big deer or small squirrel or even for what you are carrying down to the water in your canteen and your weapon and ammo.
Obviously the lower the population density of the county that you live in, then the higher your chances of survival will be after a total SHTF event. Less people equal fewer problems you will have to deal with and more animals for food. Also take into consideration that the military may take over certain areas, such as all available fuels, and they may have roadblocks set up restricting movement and your ability to obtain food by hunting, trapping, fishing, and foraging. From FM 19-25;
You may want to have plans or an SOP in place to deal with all of the items covered in this write-up. Some items to consider including in your skill set are. Have at least 15 to 20 salt blocks at your place so that after a SHTF event you can set 1 or 2 out at a time and have the game come to you with a plan in place for taking of this game that come into the salt blocks.
This plan may entail the use of bow, crossbow, a .22 with accurate fire to the head for large game or other calibre you may own.
Other items that may come in handy are 2 way handheld radios, night-vision gear and hunting dogs. Look to see if there are cattle that are there feeding. You may want to take these first as fat will be hard to come by in a SHTF type of event.
Realize that depending on what causes this SHTF type of event there will be a large number of people that will die.
They will die from dehydration, cold, disease, i.e. typhoid, dysentery, cholera, etc. starvation, gunshot wounds and any number of other things that will happen.
If you have a store of food that can get you by till these people are gone then your chance of survival will go way up. This is another area that you could look at in depth due to the fact that once the population goes down there will be more game available in certain areas.
Many of the items I have written about are illegal and you may be held responsible so act accordingly.
Even in a SHTF event there will be witnesses, and things may get back to a normal state with a fully functioning criminal justice system and law enforcement. If you are prepared with a plan for water, food, fuel, guns, ammo, security, et. then the chances that you will have to break the law will go down.
Look at it this way as an example; take an average family with 3 or 4 kids and the father is watching his family slowly starve to death, how far would most people go to feed their family in this type of situation?
Now is the time to begin prepping.
Crayfish Trap Guidelines
As you need the Environment Agency’s written consent to use a crayfish trap, it’s sensible to get permission from them before you buy a crayfish trap. You must make sure that the trap you buy is legal for crayfish trapping.
There are strict rules about the size and design. This is to protect other wildlife such as otters.
The entrance to the trap must be no more than 9.5 cm across
If the entrance is more than 9.5 cm across, there must be an otter guard or restriction on the funnel leading into the trap
The holes in the mesh must not be more than 3 cm across
The trap itself must not be more than 60 cm long or 35 cm wide
If you want to use a trap that does not comply with these rules, you will need written permission from the EA. Phone the National Customer Call Centre on 0370 8506506 and ask to speak to your local Fisheries Officer. They refuse many applications because of the risks to otters and water voles. These are protected species. Don’t break the law.
Please note: The owners of fish farms, and their employees, do not need our written consent to use crayfish traps on their fish farms. However all traps have to comply with these rules so please contact your local fisheries officer before you start trapping.
If there are water voles nearby, the EA may refuse your application to trap crayfish. This is because trapping can put these protected animals in danger.
You are breaking the law if you:
Use illegal traps, recklessly allow water voles to drown in crayfish traps place traps in the entrances to water vole tunnels
Sites with lots of water voles are unlikely to have many crayfish – they prefer different habitats. But if there are water voles where you want to trap, we may ask you to use baited drop nets. These are open traps that are safe for water voles, unlike the more traditional, funnelled, closed traps.
You must not block a water vole burrow with a crayfish trap If it is safe to do so, position your traps away from the banks. (Traps in the middle of a stream or watercourse are less likely to catch voles)
If you do accidentally catch a water vole, stop trapping immediately and let your local Fisheries Officer know
You can modify your trap by cutting escape holes into the roof. Holes that are 6–8 cm across will be Remember:
Do not put traps near water vole burrows
Crayfish are generally suitable for the same treatment as large prawns or langoustines. With such sweet meat, simplicity is key: eat cooked fresh crayfish with mayonnaise and a dash of lemon juice, or fry them in paprika, garlic and plenty of olive oil and stir into pasta.
Why not try boiling crayfish in salted water with a healthy dose of bronze fennel, for flavour, and serving them alongside thin slices of buttered granary bread. Crayfish are also delicious in risottos, soups and stews.
I enjoy mine in a fresh rocket salad with crispy Parma ham and a chilli sauce.
However in England recipes for cooking crayfish are few and far between since they are a comparatively unknown delicacy.
It is to France that one has to go seek out the finer points since in that country the crayfish is considered a great subject for culinary art. So check out the internet for recipes.
Surviving in the Woods
Ever been on a hike admiring the wild flowers, gazing up at the tips of the trees--and suddenly found yourself completely alone and lost?
No of course you have not, but what if? What would happen to you if you couldn't find your way back to safety? While being lost in the woods can be a frightening experience, surviving alone in the
wild is generally a matter of common sense, patience, and wisely using the gifts that nature provides.
To survive in the woods, you must use these guidelines and tips.
Plan ahead. Don't just trek off into the wilderness; do some research first. There are a lot of resources regarding survival, both online and in libraries.
Knowledge of the local plants and animals can save your life! If you need any medication or injections, bring them along – even if you don’t plan to be gone for long enough to need them.
Every time you go into the wilderness, make sure someone knows where you are going and how long you intend to be gone. That way someone will realize that you are missing, quickly alert rescuers, and be able to tell them where to start looking for you (much like a “flight plan,” which pilots always file before leaving).
Similarly, don't forget to call the person(s) you notified to tell them when you are back. Like the boy who cried wolf, a false alarm wastes rescue resources and may be.
Bring survival gear. Basic survival tools such as a knife, a fire steel (metal match), some matches (in a waterproof canister), some cord (550 paracord is best), a Whistle, a space blanket, a signalling mirror, water purifying tablets, a compass, etc. this can mean the difference between life and death.
However if you decide to bring something like a knife make sure you have permission and don't give people the wrong impression. Even if you are only out on a day hike, be sure to bring the essentials.
Having all this equipment is nothing if you cannot use it properly. Make sure to practice many times in a safe environment before venturing into the wilderness, somewhere like your back garden Also, know how to catch and cook fish if the need arises.
Forget about catching game; this is a painstakingly slow, energy-consuming process that will divert your attention from your real goal, trying to get home.
Learn how to use a compass. If you have a map and can spot a few prominent landscapes, you can actually use the compass to triangulate your position and, from there, figure out where you need to go.
When choosing a space blanket (a light, thin sheet of extremely reflective Mylar), spend a little extra to buy a larger, more durable model.
A space blanket can be used to block wind and water, wrapped around the body prevent and counteract hypothermia, or even placed behind you to reflect a fire’s heat onto your back, but none of this is useful if the blanket is too small or tears the moment you unwrap it.
Bring a means of communication. A mobile phone with spare battery or a portable CB radio can be your best, quickest means of rescue if you are truly lost or injured.
A mobile signal may only be obtainable from a hill or tree (be safe if contemplating a climb) but it is better than nothing.
Don't panic if you’re lost. Panic is more dangerous than almost anything else, because it interferes with the operation of your single best, most useful and versatile survival tool: your mind.
The moment you realize that you are lost, before you do anything else, stop. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Even if you're hanging from a rope halfway down a mountainside with a broken leg, remind yourself that people have survived exactly this situation.
Stand still and look around carefully! Wherever you are will become your "point zero." Find a way to mark it using a spare piece of clothing, a pile of rocks, a sheet of paper, or anything else easily visible from a distance.
Stay in one place. This not only increases your chances of being found, but also reduces the energy your body expends and the amount of water and food you will need. Hunker down and stay put.
Chances are that someone will be looking for you, especially if you let someone know your plans
Build a good-sized fire with sufficient coals to stay hot for many hours, and make sure that you have plenty of extra dry wood.
Start the fire before you think you need it, even if the weather is warm; fires are easier to make under stress less conditions than in a panic as the sun sets – to say nothing of the fact that having a fire nearby will give you a sense of comfort and safety as you get your bearings.
A good rule of thumb is to gather wood until you think you have enough to last the night, then gather three more piles of the same size, after which you might have enough to get through the night.
In the wilderness, you should have access to dry wood in the understory of the forest. You can also use bark or dried dung.
If you build a fire that is hot enough, you can also burn green wood, brush, or tree boughs to make a signalling fire (one that makes a lot of smoke).
The best wood for maintaining a fire is dead wood that you pull off a standing tree. Regardless of what type of woods you are in, there will certainly be some dry wood available.
Remember that a small fire is easier to keep burning than a big fire, though, because it requires less fuel. Once you have sufficient embers, keep the fire to a manageable size so you don't spend too much time looking for fuel.
Don't build a fire in an area where it is unsafe to do so. Your fire should be well away from flammable trees and brush, preferably in a clearing. Be careful with your fire. While you want to feed it, you shouldn't overdo it.
Consider the weather and other factors and remember, a forest fire is a lot harder to survive than just being lost!
Signal your location to maximize the odds that someone finds you. Make noise by whistling, shouting, singing, or banging rocks together. If you can, mark your location in such a way that it's visible from the air.
If you're in a mountain meadow, make three piles of dark leaves or branches in a triangle. In sandy areas, make a large triangle in the sand. In a forest, you might want to prepare three small fires ready to ignite at a moment's notice, with heaps of wet leaves nearby in order to make smoke.
Three of anything in the wilderness is a standard distress signal. The space blanket can also be used as a signalling device.
Start scouting your area, carefully keeping track of your location. In your immediate area, make sure you look around carefully for anything useful. You could find things someone left there before, be it a tin can or small lighter, it can be helpful significantly.
Be sure you can always find your way back to your "point zero" as you search for water, shelter, or your way home.
Find a good source of water. In a survival situation, you can last up to three days without water, but by the end of the second day you're not going to be in very good shape; find water before then.
The best source of water is a spring, but the chances of finding one are slim.
A running stream is your next best bet; the movement of the water reduces sediment. Be advised that drinking water from streams can lead to some sicknesses, but when you're in a life-or-death situation, the risk of illness is a secondary consideration and anything you may get can be treated when you return.
You must purify your water. A crude method of water purification is to take your handy pot and heat the water. For this to effectively kill bacteria, it must come to a boil.
You can also put (clear) water in a clear plastic bottle and set it in the sun for six hours to kill most of the organisms.
However, if the water is so full of sediment that the sun can’t penetrate it, this method will not work. If you have any, add a pinch of salt to the water to try to bring the sediment to the bottom.
Find or create shelter. Without adequate shelter, you will be fully exposed to the elements and will risk hypothermia or heatstroke, depending on the weather.
If you are not properly dressed for the conditions, finding shelter is all the more important. Luckily, the woods are filled with tools and resources to make both shelters and fires (for warmth, safety, and signalling purposes).
Here are some things you can use:
Look for a fallen or leaning tree. You can build an A-frame shelter by by stacking branches along both side a fallen tree, then over the branches with brush, palm fronds, leaves, or other plants.
Use brush or green branches (boughs) from trees to repel water, block wind, keep out snow, or create shade.
Remember you must close in your shelter on as many sides as possible.
Having some fun with Basic and Simple Cooking Methods
Egg in an Orange
Cut an orange in half. Scoop out the flesh inside and eat it – be careful not to cut through the skin!
Now crack an egg into the skin and place on the embers of the fire until the egg is cooked.
Cut the onion in half after removing the outer skin. Remove internal contents except for the remaining three outer layers. Break egg into shell and place on embers. When cooked eat the onion container as well as its contents after removing the outer scorched layer.
Cut the top off a potato of and scoop a hole in the middle. Crack the egg into the hole, put the top back in place and secure with small wooden pegs. Bake until the potato is cooked.
To make spud-eggs, cut potato across short axis, hollow out both halves, break egg into it, replace top and spike in place with sharpened match stick, bake in embers for about 15 minutes.
Perhaps the easiest to cook in the field. Take a potato and place it in the embers of the fire. When it
is cooked , after about 25 - 30 mins slice open the skin and place a piece of cheese or butter on top.
You can cook mincemeat inside all sorts of vegetable containers: orange peels, hollowed-out
Potatoes, onions, gem squash, butternut, or even cabbage leaves.
Use a green stick to spear slices of bacon, mushrooms, sausage, carrot, tomato, peppers, and
Pieces of pork. Support the skewer over glowing embers turning occasionally. Eat when the meat is
Crisp and golden brown.
Alternate thin slices of apple, bacon, potato, spiked on a thin green stick and roasted slowly over
Hardwoods. (Potato generally takes longest to cook).
Cut any type of meat into cubes, place onto a long peeled green stick add onion, mushrooms,
Pepper, pineapple etc. to taste, cook till ready turning frequently
Use the same method as above using fruits add a syrup sauce before eating
Cabbage hot dogs
Lay sliced onion on a cabbage leaf, add a sausage or two and place more onions on top. Wrap up
The cabbage leaf tightly and secure with a number of small green sticks. Place in embers for about 7
To 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
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 Threat of Wild Dogs Post SHTF
I have seen with my own eyes packs of wild semi feral dogs roaming around two very different European countries.
The first was on the island of Corfu where the tourist feeds the pups of these dogs “they actually time their breeding to coincide with the tourist season” and every open air restaurant had feral dogs under the tables begging for food scraps, these dogs roam wild on the island in the winter attacking sheep and goats.
The second time was in Italy on the Adriatic coast near the town of Atessa where packs of wild dogs roamed industrial estates and the outskirts of towns and villages.
This was of course pre-SHTF but imagine what would happen to these dogs and how they would act post SHTF.
In any kind of a large-scale emergency, whether financial, EMP or some something else that causes large scale disruptions, a lot of people will turn their pets lose. Now I know that many of you will suggest that they should eat them and I am with you.
However many of the animal loving liberals will turn their pets lose because they won’t have the heart to kill them. In addition if there are wide spread deaths many animals will escape.
Now most animals don’t present too much of a problem, except maybe around zoos or exotic animal farms, but dogs can easily go feral. Feral dog packs are already a problem in areas of the U.S. and Mexico. Look at the following from just a few news items I checked.
Mexico City killings are blamed on pack of wild dogs. The pack of marauding wild dogs is blamed for deaths of five people found with horrific flesh injuries.
St. LOUIS, Mo. – Ten years after a fourth-grade boy was attacked and nearly eaten alive by wild dogs in north St. Louis, city leaders are scrambling to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Aldermanic President Lewis Reed is sounding the alarm.
“I’ve witnessed packs of dogs, 10 and 15 dogs running together, and all these dogs I’m talking about don’t have collars, they don’t have tags, these are truly wild dogs,” he said.
Detroit, City of Strays an epidemic of 50,000 abandoned dogs – In Detroit, packs of free-roaming dogs have posed such a danger that a postal service spokesman said they considered stopping mail delivery to some areas last year because carriers were “constantly being bitten” or injured eluding vicious animals.
Maryland – Pack of vicious wild dogs killing other dogs
Canada – Volunteers struggle to reduce wild dog population plaguing native reserves
In appearance, most feral dogs are difficult to distinguish from domestic dogs. Like domestic dogs, feral dogs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and even breeds.
German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, and collies are breeds that often become feral. It is not just pit bulls as most people think.
Feral dogs are usually secretive and wary of people. They are active during dawn, dusk, and at night much like other wild members of the canine family. They often travel in packs and may have rendezvous sites like wolves. Travel routes to and from the gathering or den sites may be well defined.
Food scraps and other evidence of concentrated activity may be observed at gathering sites.
A survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in the USA in 1999 found that feral dogs were partly responsible for killing cows, sheep, and goats worth about U.S. 37 million dollars.
Farms aren’t the only place where these animals may be found. Low-income, high-crime neighbourhoods in cities like Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York, Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, are being overrun by tens of thousands of unwanted dogs, says Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue in St. Louis, a non-profit organization that saves street dogs.
We in the UK “A nation of pet lovers” have a very high population of dogs, In April 2011 there were approximately 10.5 million owned dogs in the UK and 39% of UK households own at least one dog.
Packs of feral dogs will be a danger to your family and animals, in particular young children. If they are hungry, they will stalk and hunt you.
I strongly suggest that you have adequate fencing for animals and the means to defend yourself and your property from packs of feral dogs. Methods of controlling feral dogs include shooting, trapping, fencing and baiting.
Tips for Over Night Survival
In the UK, most people who become lost are often day hikers or climbers who fully expect to sleep in their own bed (or at least in their own sleeping bag) that night.
But a turn onto the wrong trail or an extra twenty minutes of late afternoon climbing can result in an unexpected overnight stay. Not forgetting an injury event either.
If you don’t carry a “survival kit” as such, there are a few inexpensive yet essential items I seldom venture far from home without.
Among these are:
A reliable, sturdy knife (I recommend the Chris Cain Survival knife).
A good-quality multi-tool.
A length of Parachute cord.
A competent knowledge of how to use these three items will allow you to cut poles, prepare kindling, lash together a shelter, make a bow-drill fire, and perform a host of other tasks.
Other items include:
A foil emergency blanket can also be used as an improvised poncho, ground cloth, or tarp.
First aid kit. It should include gauze, bandages, butterflies, antibiotic cream, plasters etc.
Compass: Worthwhile if you know how to use it, or know the approximate direction of nearby major landmarks.
A Woolley hat (even in warm weather). In addition to keeping you warm, it can be used as a bag.
A magnesium striker
A method of water purification (such as a Purificup or lifesaver Bottle).
A whistle. In really remote areas, a signal mirror is also a worthy addition.
Learn to construct a simple cold-weather survival shelter. It doesn’t take a freezing night to bring about fatal hypothermia. Temperatures even in the fifties can be disastrous if you are improperly dressed or wet.
Always carry or wear a bandana. It can be used as a bandage, sling, or carrying bundle. A belt is useful, too.
Wrap a quantity of duct tape around your water bottle. Use good quality tape.
Stay put: You arrive at “lostness” from one direction, a single degree out of 360.
You have 359 chances to depart your situation in the wrong direction.
Make a base camp: As humans, our sense of well-being is improved when we have a place to call home, even if it is a temporary one.
Locate it in an area that is out of the wind, and where it won’t be flooded during a rainstorm.
Learn how to tie and use half a dozen or so simple but useful knots. Overhand knot, square knot, clove hitch, bowline, sheet bend, lark’s head, timber hitch, and variations on the half-hitch are good suggestions.
Customize your list: Include items specific to your needs such as daily or emergency medications, inhalers, or epi-pens.
Practice your skills and become familiar with your gear before you need them, so you know what to expect! When the time comes to use them, as it is then too late to learn them.
Having to night –out even with what some would see as sub-standard kit is not the end of the world so don’t panic.
Having clothes on is better than being naked, being behind a wall, hedge or tree is better than being exposed to the elements.
Being under a poncho is better than being wet, being in a cheap tent is better than being in a poncho, being in a sleeping is better than being without one, I think you get the message.
Any shelter is better than none.
You main priority in finding shelter is to defend your body from the weather that is it you must keep dry and warm to have a chance of survival.
And as long as you understand the basic principles you can go on survival exercises even without the top of the range designer kit, because people have survived with far less before they were invented and I promise people will continue to do so in the future.
THE ELEVENTH WILDERNESS GATHERING 2013 15th to 18th August
The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills. The previous ten years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.
The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.
The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.
The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.
There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha boat building, bowmaking, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few. There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.
You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.
There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools. The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.
There are local scout and explorer group’s onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.
The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks. The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.
Check out www.wildernessgathering.co.uk or call 0845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.
Wilderness Survival Cooking
Wilderness survival camping is a skill that is useful to know and is even fun to practice. Here are 10 tips to provide you with information on cooking when in a wilderness survival setting.
Obviously the most important wilderness survival skill is to be able to make a fire. A small magnesium sparker can be carried on a keychain or placed into a pocket. Practice with it in the back garden before relying on it in a wilderness survival situation.
Both fairly stiff, thick wire and thinner, more flexible wire is always a good thing to have in your survival kit. The stiffer wire can be used to impale an object to be placed over the fire, such as a fish.
The more flexible wire can be used to wrap and dangle less secure items over the fire, such as a piece of meat. Both types of wire can be utilized for other wilderness survival skills other than cooking of course from snares to shelter construction.
In a wilderness survival situation, always be certain to properly cook any meat that you are going to eat. Minor illness such as diarrhoea can quickly dehydrate you in a wilderness setting, while more serious illnesses can be deadly.
Overcooking meat is much better than undercooking.
If you have ingredients to make bread, pancakes, or anything like them here is a wilderness survival tip. With bread dough, roll it into a strip and wrap it around a stick to cook. Pancakes can be made in the same way with a little less efficiency.
Try to thicken the batter as much as possible. Dip in a stick and place it over the fire while rolling it fairly quickly to keep as much as possible from dripping off. A heated rock could also be used to make pancakes or bread. Scavenging a piece of metal to cook on is best if possible.
Use you fire to clean your wilderness survival cooking utensils. Clean water may be at a premium but fire will kill germs well.
Learn about edible plants that exist in your area. Just eating what other animals eat will not work as their digestive system is different than ours. This is knowledge that you must gain in the field (with a proper guide!).
Canned food can be warmed up (though not necessary) simply by ripping off the label and placing it beside the fire. Stir the contents often to avoid scorching.
While it is best to cook them in aluminium foil, potatoes and other vegetables can be cooked by placing them directly on or near hot coals. Honestly, I think that the potatoes cooked in its skin and not foil tastes better.
The skin is not fit to eat if cooked bare (unless you are starving!).
If you are lucky enough to find corn to eat, do not remove the husk. Place the entire ear, husk and all as close as possible to the coals. You can also suspend it above the coals. Try to avoid catching the husk on fire.
Field corn (grown for livestock) is edible as well.
An important skill in cooking in the wild is being able to dry meat. Dried meat can be carried in pockets for a quick and easy meal.
Remember, practice these skills now and hope to never have to use them. But if you ever find yourself in a wilderness survival situation you will be ready.
Now this may be stating the obvious, but survival cooking is about survival. We are not talking the type of cooking you see in cookery books and magazines.
You can forget any fancy ideas about recipes. The word “recipe” means “take thou”, as in “take thou a dozen eggs and half a pound of flour”. If you can get to the supermarket and buy the stuff demanded by a recipe, then it’s not survival.
When you are in the wilderness, surrounded by sheep, cows, pigeon, water fowl etc.s, you could starve to death looking at recipes instructing you to take lemon grass, raspberry leaf vinegar and organic tofu cutlets.
On the other hand you can be realistic and say, “I have access to all this food, which shall I eat first and how shall I cook it?”
Survival cooking is realistic cooking, and realistic cooking relies on a basic understanding of the FACTS about food and an accurate analysis of your own situation.
A really good big mushroom identification book is a great aid to survival preparation. Tear out the pages one by one, crumple them into little balls and practice lighting fires. Lighting fires is a useful skill. Identifying mushrooms isn’t.
Mushrooms are delicious but they got their name, “the food of the gods” when the Emperor Claudius died after eating poisonous mushrooms, thus becoming a god. The French, who go in for wild mushrooms in a big way, peg out with monotonous regularity.
The risk might be worth it if mushrooms had some nutritional value. They don’t. You will expend more energy carrying a pound of mushrooms 100yds than you will get from eating them.
Add in the genuine risk of snuffing it, or at least being “hors de combat” for a couple of days, and eating wild mushrooms becomes the survival cook’s equivalent of shooting off your toes.
Remember, in the real world, calories are good. Only a society ludicrously preoccupied with the shape of celebrities’ bodies could come up with idiotic concepts like empty calories. A calorie is a measure of the energy available in a food. This is your personal fuel we are talking about. No calories = no energy = death.
So forget all the health crap you hear. Look at the guys doing hard physical work without the benefit of million pound salaries and personal trainers.
When they want energy they get stuck into some calories.
Lesson one in survival cooking: assess the nutritional energy against the energy used in collection and preparation. To assess the energy level of an ingredient, ask yourself if a women’s magazine would recommend the product. If they would, forget it – you’ll starve.
If you are hungry in an inhabited area, the most energy efficient way to gather food is to go and raid somebody’s larder to be honest.
The skill lies in taking the right things when you raid the larder. Number one priority is fat. Fat gives 9,000 calories per kilogram. That means half a kilo per day will keep a man doing heavy physical work.
Tinned tomatoes on the other hand, while an invaluable kitchen product, only produce 160 calories per kilogram. So thirty kilos a day should keep you going (and they would!).
Sugar has half the calories of fat, but is a lot more palatable and digestible than fat. However as a long term diet it can get boring.
Flour gives 3500 calories per kilo and about 10% protein. Dried beans, peas, lentils etc. give about 3,000 calories and 25% protein.
But before you start worrying about protein levels, cholesterol, vitamins, free radicals and all that crap, think how long you are going to need to survive before you can get back to civilisation and a few pints.
If it’s less than six months before that badly needed pint, the only relevant factor is calories.
When raiding the larder, take fat, sugar, flour, lentils and salt. Salt has no calorific value but is a useful preservative and flavour enhancer. You are also more likely to suffer from salt deficiency than from an excess.
Forget any romantic notions of setting horse hair traps for rabbits in the pale dawn and then settling down to tickle trout from the mossy banks of the stream. This makes great television but the sheep or cow in the next field will make better food for less effort.
I don’t intend to waste any time on how to catch prey. When you get hungry enough you’ll figure out a way. If I was hungry and carrying an SA80 I would shoot it.
Herding it into a corner or driving it off a cliff work equally well. Essentially what you will catch and eat depends on how hungry you are and how squeamish.Squeamishness is a luxury you can’t afford in a survival situation. Snails, worms, insects and slugs are all good sources of precious calories.
Before you start saying “yeugh, slugs”, I strongly recommend you study the dietary habits of lobsters. Now few people would say “yeugh, lobster” – but lobsters are remarkably partial to corpses.
I am still looking for a business partner for my company combining burials at sea with a lobster fishery. I like the idea of charging 500 quid to chuck lobster bait over one side of the boat while I haul up lobster pots the other side.
While my idea may be tasteless, I assure you the lobsters would be delicious. Remember, your food’s eating habits have little or no bearing on the taste of the end product.
No-one worries about throwing large quantities of dung on the fields to feed the wheat which, when turned into bread, does not taste of sh1t (OK, sliced white is pretty bad, but that’s another story).
Cooking is simple. So why is so much effort put into making it sound complicated?
Where can you learn survival cooking? In the kitchen. There’s no point trying out techniques outside until you are competent indoors.
You learn to shoot a rifle on a range first. The flash stuff – running around shooting from the hip and all the other ways of missing the target – follow on from when you are competent with firing a rifle from a rest.
Non cooks want details that are meaningless and unnecessary. You should select a cooking method which holds good for ever, and which you can adapt to whatever ingredients you have.
I have eaten fish and rice cooked in vines in Greece and trout cooked in wet newspaper in England. They use the same technique. Sweetcorn cooked in the husk is the same. This is one of those classic techniques which works almost whatever you use.
Be careful to judge when it is done, and don’t burn it up…
In survival cooking you do not need to consider the heat of the fire or the weight of the food being cooked. God gave you a nose and a memory. Try using them.
On the whole, if it smells cooked, it is. So try it. If you are right, you have learned how to judge when it is done. Congratulations. Now you are a cook.
If it’s not ready, try again and see if you can work out how much longer it needs. The only way to judge is from experience.