Survivalists may borderline as hoarders. Let’s face it, you need enough supplies to survive any conceivable disaster, and prepper gadgets in particular can quickly accumulate. These gadgets are ingenious and resourceful — some decidedly more useful and practical than others. Useful? Practical? Just cool to have? Or not worth a buck?
Are you afraid of the dark? Me either, but darkness brings about a whole new set of challenges you don’t need. When the power goes out and it happens at night-time, I can still get around my house just like most of you could as well, but not as quickly as I do with light. I can still make it out of my bedroom and down the hall to the kitchen, but navigating familiar paths isn’t really crucial. Light is needed for a lot of things more important than walking down the hall and having a plan for light if you lose power is another important step in becoming prepared for any emergency.
Now is a good time to go out and flag the following five trees before the leaves drop (except the pine). Revisit them in the winter and learn how to ID them by the bark alone. Then again in the Spring with the buds and new leaves.
White birch (paper birch)
White birch is easy to identify with its distinctive, white, papery bark. The sycamore tree also has white bark, but it does not sluff off in thin, paper-like furls like the white birch. The sycamore also has large hand-shaped leaves versus the white birch’s smaller, oval-shaped leaves with a pointed tip. The birch leaf is also irregularly toothed. These grow almost exclusively in northern climates.
The driving plot behind some of our best-selling post-apocalyptic fiction novels in America is a looming reality for many people and nations in the world. As droves of Israeli citizens line up at the post office in Israel to pick up their government-issued gas masks, many of us can’t help but ask the depressing question, “Should I buy a gas mask?”
For fire survival, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.
Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.
Although nearly 8,000 people are bit by venomous snakes each year, there are usually no more than eight deaths. However, this should not lead backpackers and hikers to believe it isn’t something to worry about. Snakes do not want to waste their poison on humans, but rather rodents and other small animals to feed on. If a bite victim is not treated quickly, the venom can be deathly. Even a bite from a so-called “harmless” snake can cause infection or allergic reaction.
POISONOUS SPIDERS: THE BLACK WIDOW
When considering poisonous spiders and spider identification, the first one that comes to mind is the black widow. In North America, there are around five species of the Black widow spider. You can easily identify the black widow, especially the female, because of it’s round, bulbous belly.
Grrrrroonk, grrrroooonk is a sound I hear quite frequently near lakes and ponds where I live in Western Washington. It is the telltale sound of a bullfrog. This species is highly invasive to Washington state and they will wipe out any smaller animal in their path so it is legal to hunt bullfrogs here (frog legs are also quite tasty!) This article is about one way of hunting this frog with a fish spear!
Once humans developed a need to travel on water in order to fish, trade and explore, cultures worldwide created lightweight boats consisting of the skin of an animal stretched over a light frame of wooden poles or strips. One such boat is the coracle.
This is a boat of the British Isles and is varied in design depending on the locality. Most coracles are round or boxy in shape, and are more or less a basket with the tarred skin of a bullock or horse stretched over it.
Building a survival shelter is an absolute priority, if you face a survival situation in harsh or unpredictable weather. A good shelter must protect you from the elements and be comfortable enough for resting and sleeping. Most people cannot survive unprotected from rough weather for more than a few hours.
Alright, let’s get this out of the way first: kicking down a door is not the best option for opening a locked door. It will damage the door and cost you lots of money to fix it. It is better to call a locksmith, pick the lock, or attempt to crawl in a window.
But let’s say it’s an emergency. You’re in a burning house and you need to escape and the door is on fire. Or your loved ones are in a burning house and you’re locked out. You can’t stand there fiddling with the lock, you’ve got to break it down! Or perhaps a loved one is stricken with a medical emergency and is locked inside a room or in their house. What to do? Be a man, dammit! Break down that door! You know you’ve always wanted to.