Tag Archives: survival

SHTF School Blog Entry

by Woodsbum

Although I spend a lot of time reading about woodsman related subjects, I do include a lot of the SHTF and prepper sources. Some of these sources actually touch upon more than just the “survival” aspect of woodsmanship. Many really push old school skills and natural remedies. The amount of knowledge that these corporate “survivalists” push out there is truly amazing and can be adapted to many different situations.

This article that I ran across really struck me as more than just a doomsday rant. It showed the parallels between the USA and what took place in the Balkans. For those of you who do not do much research beyond new restaurants and what new shows are coming on the TV, this might be a surprise. The Balkans had a very nasty war take place back in the 1990’s. I actually know a few people that lived through this horror and 1 that was lucky enough to get out right before it got bad. This guy Selco, from SHTF School, actually lived through the nastiness and became a “survival expert” due to his experiences. The blog/site is worth a read just to let you know how bad things can get when the infrastructure breaks.

In this article, Selco talks about how the polarization of once unified people really was one of the many indicators of the upcoming violence. He draws some pretty interesting lines between what took place there and what is taking place here in the States. No matter what political leanings you have, this article is really worth a look.

Selco also talks about how the removal of what are commonly considered a right that cannot be taken away, can and will be removed from the general population. Here in the USA we believe that the rights in the Bill of Rights are set in stone. Selco says that the same type rights that they thought were set in stone were taken away by the government in a single day. Since the US has been living a certain lifestyle for so long, he believes that any fall in the US will be very devastating. His perspective is quite the departure from what the US media is pushing down our throats.

It doesn’t matter if you are a prepper, conspiracty theorist, lifelong liberal Democrat or anarchist. Your “label” doesn’t really matter. It would behove you to take the time to read this article just so you can see how an entire nation’s world changed almost overnight and their media sources were covering it up.

Sound familiar?

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Willow Bark Tea

by Woodsbum

I recently started using willow bark tea to help out with my constant ache and pains associated with the over abundance of injuries that I have sustained over the years. It doesn’t taste bad and when mixed with nettles and local honey, it is quite tasty.

The use of willow bark is not something that is new. Natives have used it for hundreds of years for pain relief. All you have to do is harvest the bark at the right time and then boil it up. Willow can be either ingested as a tea or turned into a tincture, so that is another option if you so choose. I have never used the tincture because the tea is perfectly fine with me.

Of the whole process, it is always the harvesting of the medicine that seems to be the rub. What you are looking for is the live, bendy twigs at the end of branches or year old saplings. Either way you want to gather it in spring when the twigs turn to a bright color and start to bud new leaves. Once you identify and harvest your willow bark, just take a vegetable peeler and strip off the bark. Don’t get any of the pith or your tea will taste funny. Also try to keep the buds out of your harvest.

Once you have your bark stripped, dry the bits out on a plate or bowl. I built a drying rack out of screen so that whatever I am drying does so more evenly. If you do use a plate or bowl just make sure that you turn it every so often to keep the bark from trapping moisture between the bark and the plate.

If you are having issues finding willow just take a trip down to your nearest river or stream. Here in the PNW, there tends to be a plethora of willow somewhere along every year round waterway. It won’t take too much of a hike to find. Worst case take a trip to Sauvie Island or walk along the Lewis River for a bit. When you get to the point where the brush and trees are too thick to navigate there is a high probably that willow is what has stopped your forward progress.

When you get ready to make your tea, I am much less than scientific. What I do is take what I can pinch between my thumb, fore and middle fingers and then toss it into a tea pot. After it whistles at me I remove it from heat and put in some local honey and let it sit for about 10 – 15 minutes. This allows the bark to completely soak and it seems to bring out the best flavor for the tea.

Now is time for the science of what willow bark does for you: From my research willow has a varying amount of salicin, which is an active pain reliever that is similar to aspirin. If you ingest too much salicin, it can do harm and even cause Reyes syndrome in much the same way that aspirin can.

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Living Off The Land in Alaska

by Woodsbum

This morning I ran across a website that journalled the time this guy spent living off the land on Admiralty Island in Alaska. Many people think that running up and into the woods to live off the land is an easy feat. The problem really revolves around food preservation for those lean times of the year where game and plants are not as plentiful.

This guy did a great job with his canning and planning ahead. I have not read his entire journal, but from the several months of his excursion that I read I found it to be quite informative.

His website can be found here and the direct link to his journal can be found here.

One of the great things that this guy did involved truly planning ahead. He brought a wood stove and good tent so that he could withstand the colder months. He also brought numerous different ways to catch game.

The writing and descriptions seem to be very well done so this should be an easy read for you guys. Let me know what you think!

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Fish Trap

by Woodsbum

This last week’s episode of Alone showed Alan making a fish trap. I have seen various versions of fish traps before, most being very similar to what he made. I did run across a very simple and effective trap made with only sticks driven into the ground with a “V” shaped opening like the fish trap openings that Alan made. This type of trap seems that it would be quite effective for a multitude of different species as well as being quite easy to build. Easy build is VERY important because I hate expending calories when I don’t need to. Winter is coming, you know.

Here is the video. Although it is a bit shaky with regard to sound you should be able to get a good idea of what is going on. Enjoy!!

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Australian Dad Survives the Bush – Why I say you should always be prepared

by Woodsbum

I stumbled across an article that discusses how a father and his two young sons survived 10 days in the Australian Outback. Apparently he was taking back roads as a scenic route with his sons and they somehow missed a turn and got stuck. They then spent 10 days surviving until someone came by and saved them.

Here is the article:

A 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother were recovering in a hospital Monday after surviving with their father for 10 days in the Australian wilderness with little food and in weather conditions that ranged from stormy to scorching.

Their ordeal began Dec. 11 when dad Steven Van Lonkhuyzen took a wrong turn during a family road trip and then got his four-wheel-drive vehicle bogged in mud. The family was rescued Sunday after farmer Tom Wagner went searching and found them in the remote Expedition National Park.

“They were pretty hungry by the time I got to them, and pretty happy to see me,” Wagner said.

He said the younger boy, Timothy, kept asking him if he had any eggs, while the older one, Ethan, appeared dehydrated. He said the father had given the limited food he had to his sons, who themselves had gone with little or nothing to eat for a week.

“Luckily it rained,” he said. “Otherwise they would have perished.”

Queensland Police Acting Superintendent Mick Bianchi says Van Lonkhuyzen had planned to drive from his home in Brisbane to Cairns using an inland route.

“Quite simply, he took a wrong turn,” Bianchi said.

He said the boys were getting their strength back after their ordeal, during which temperatures rose to about 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). The boys were both listed as being in a stable condition at the Taroom Hospital.

Bianchi said the family had limited provisions but luckily it was stormy at times and they were able to collect rainwater in a plastic container. He said the father had tried to attract attention by laying out high-visibility items around his vehicle and lighting fires. He said Van Lonkhuyzen made the right choice by staying with his vehicle.

“They were very trying conditions, and it would have tested the family’s relationship,” Bianchi said.

He said the father attempted to establish routines with his children and keep them occupied.

He said there was little or no cellphone reception in the park and so the trio hadn’t been able to contact anybody. Bianchi said the boys’ mother had raised the alarm when the trio didn’t arrive at a friend’s home in Cairns.

He said the national park is not usually visited at this time of year because of the extreme weather conditions.

One of the first things I would like to point out is that the father put his sons first and gave them what food that they had brought with them. This was very noble and I am always happy to see parents who behave in such a selfless fashion. Kudos to this guy for his sacrifice and how much he loves his kids, especially since this didn’t kill him and leave his sons to fend for themselves. In the bush water is life, but calories are king. If you intake food without enough water you will not be able to digest the calories. If you don’t have enough calories for your body to function, you might not be able to do the work required to gather and purify the water needed to survive. It is a slippery slope. You have to eat enough to be able to do the work needed to keep alive so giving all your calories to someone else might have actually killed them all…..

Second thing I would like to point out is that you should ALWAYS have several days of rations on you when you travel. I don’t care if you are going via Interstate or down the Pacific Coast Trail. You should always have several days of food with you. Foraging/hunting can and will extend those meals if you get stuck, but having those calories available to give you the energy to: build shelters, gather firewood, create some sort of signaling system for rescue, finding and purifying water, etc. If you don’t have the energy to do those things, you may not pull through.

Last thing I will mention is the fact that they did not have enough water with them. If it had not rained, they might not have survived. Depending upon the weather or ground water to keep you hydrated is not a good idea unless you live some place like Western Washington where even the slugs wear rain coats. Most places do not have enough fresh water that you can purify within 1 mile of every place you could ever imagine like Western Washington does. This being said, also keep a way to purify or distill your water. If you live near the ocean distilling sea water will provide you will drinkable water so learn how and bring the supplies. If you live other places you should bring a water filtration system as a way to make any water you find drinkable.

These things are really second nature to those of us who spend as much time in the woods as we can. Knowing how to live in the woods versus surviving an outdoors mishap is really the difference between bushcrafting and being a survivalist. Like Mors Kochanski says, “The more you know, the less you carry.” Learn as much as possible and carry the right equipment.

Again, I am really glad that they made it through and did so well. It really is awesome and I bet the kids learned a TON due to this extended camping trip.

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