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Your mad survival skills: busted

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posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 12:26 PM
reply to post by phoenixhasrisin

Having worked in a grocery store, I can definately see where you are coming from. People go nuts and everyone has to shop before a statutory holiday... people seem incapable of planning for the store being closed for a day... what would happen when they're closed for a week or more.

Seeds from plants grown from "store seeds", in my experience, do produce fruit. Tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and even chives that were bought in seed form from a store have all produced plants again the next year for people I know. I am having a little doubt about corn, however, as neither I or the Dr could get corn to grow from dried kernal form. But once you buy seeds or a vegetable from the store, you can generally get viable plants from them. You can even grow a new pineapple plant from the top of a pineapple, although it takes several years.

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 12:34 PM
Fantastic post, Doc, and a humbling one as well.

Something I would add to your list would be water procurement and treatment. It's one thing for us to list how we might obtain water and make it potable. It's another thing altogether to actually figure out how to make that magic "solar still", or how to boil water when you have no cookpot or metal container. I've got a thread in the works on this subject, but sounds like field testing would be a very solid idea.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

To be perfectly honest, I've never hunted and killed wild game before. I've helped butcher, prepare, cook, and eaten tons of it, but never actually did the killing myself. I'm a great shot with a .22 rifle, but I've never tried to take down prey with it. And it's doubtful that in a real survival situation, a .22 would even be an option available to me. Most likely I'd have a throwing stick or a spear, or a trap.

I've done a fair amoung of wild food gathering though. So while I might not be a fair meat provider at first, I know the theory, and I can provide gathered food sources until I manage to get hunting right. Still, you make an excellent case for practicing a wild hunt.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

I suck at fishing with a rod and reel, even with the best bait or lures in that "government stocked river". But I can crab-fish and crawdad fish easily with nothing more than string and tripe. I did this all through my youth, and I still do it on occasion. Trap fishing and net fishing are also a lot easier than using a reel, and they're not as difficult to make, IMHO, as an effective improvised rod and line. I reckon if my life depended on learning how to succeed in making a rod and reel, I could catch enough via crab, crawdad, net, and trap fishing (plus the aforementioned gathering skills) to keep me fed long enough to learn how to rod-fish correctly.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Yes, I can start start fires with a bow, even as recently as a year ago. It sucks, however, and can take hours. Do it wrong, and you get nothing but blisters. Do it right, and you might still get blisters. Or splinters. However, the attempt alone will make you very warm indeed. It is a lot of work. I have not ever gotten the alleged "trough fire" to work, though I have tried. With nothing but a narrow trough carved in the wood and rubbing another stick through it, I either get it wrong, or the wood is too wet. Having glasses, I've got a fairly decent firestarter already on-hand, which I occasionally use to great amusement when bored. Flint and steel is terribly easy. If someone can't get a fire started with a flint and steel kit, there's no helping them. But finding and identifying flint in the wild is another matter altogether, much less using "raw" flint and a piece of actual steel to use, and striking them together in a way that doesn't destroy your fingers and produces ample sparks is not remotely easy at all.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Yep. Trained, occasionally use these skills, and just recently re-upped on my CPR training about a week ago. Now I've never had to attempt field surgery before, but I know how to treat most wounds, bites, breaks, sprains, breathing problems, and so forth in at least a temporary fashion, solo. I'm the go-to guy for this stuff in our camping group and at work. If you've got congenital heart failure, well, you're probably going to die on my watch, but I at least know enough not to suck on a snake bite, and use a knife and pressure instead.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Survival food prep

Yep, though don't be looking for any gourmet meals from me. I think more important than food prep is the process of testing foreign plants for edibility (not an easy or quick task, btw). Boiling, spit-cooking, pit-baking, etc.

As for preserving meat without electricity, I have very little practice with this. I know the general "theory" of preserving meat in vinegar, salt, or smoking it, but I'd most likely waste a ton. You're right, this would be an -essential- skill to learn, and one I need to pick up.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Survival gardening.

I'm currently in the process of learning this one. It's a long process. However, our topsoil is extremely poor in this area. Right now, I'm learning how to create my own soil (compost) and building an adequate supply so that I can catch the next planting season next spring. To date, I probably have about 100 cu. feet of compost made. In the meanwhile, I'm trying to learn how to preserve my own seeds, rotate crops, avoid crop diseases (like replanting your garlic in the same spot), as well as testing crops that don't work well in our area (figs, for instance, fail miserably here in the soil, but can be grown in a pot).

Yeah, this is a hard one, but very important to learn, IMHO, and I'm still learning about it every day.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
I also am watering from captured rainwater. Thing is, I'm doing it in a record-rainfall year here in Texas, so it hasn't exactly taught me much.

Money supply and demand at our house is preventing me from building a cistern, but I intend to try. I've a mind to basically throw an occasional kegger, and then just not return the keg. Voila! Stainless steel water storage container. In the meantime, I've learned a number of water purification techniques which admittedly, I have not put most of them to practice.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
BTW, I'm in the process of getting some chickens, to raise my own eggs and fryers . . . I'll let you know about the survival implications in a future thread.

I've never raised livestock. That's a whole other challenge in and of itself. Really good idea though. Chickens and sheep are probably the two single most useful livestock I can think of, as every single part is usable, and they breed very quickly.

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
We need more threads about people investigating survival topics, and less about what people have seen on cable TV.

I 100% agree. I'm bucking for ATS To be able to do video podcasts. Most survival skills really need accompanying visuals to go by if you don't have someone right there training you. I'd love to do some on what knowledge I know and can practice, and those I only "think" I know, and see just how much more difficult it is in practice than in theory. My guess is, even the stuff I think I know could be 50% wrong, and 50% in need of better refinement.

Great thread. Starred and flagged.

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:07 PM
If civilization breaks down and it's chaos everywhere I think the worst place to live would be in towns. Sorry, but I'm off into the wild with my memory bank of Ray Mears TV shows and my own inventiveness (which I have an abundance of). Canning? Great idea for later on when the dust settles but I thought we were talking about survival, not kitchen garden hobbies. Gardening comes later, and you can keep seeds for years if you know how. Winter crops are easy too if you know what to plant.I can start a fire with wire wool and an old battery and with a magnifying glass. I plan on buying a firestick for myself and each of my kids along with a pocketbook of survival ideas before all this happens. I know nettles make the greatest healthy soup and dandelions are good too. I'd love to learn how to make charcoal so when I'm cooking my nettle soup in the forest, the enemy (gangs of starving yobs) don't see my smoke. If my kids are hungry I'll have no problem killing cute little bunny rabbits or anything else for dinner.

[edit on 19-8-2007 by wigit]

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 02:49 PM

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Why will "most of us" be "heading out into the wild?"

I don’t think most of us will be, but definitely some of us will be. Some of us were just built that way. I’ve had it in my head for over a decade that I would be happier living in the woods than in civilization. While I don’t think it would be an easy transition or all some kind of bug fantasy camping trip, I know it would be a nice break.

We didn’t all grow up the same, Dr Strange. I grew up in the foothills of the cascades in Oregon. I spent my weekends exploring wilderness areas. I spent an entire cold wet and hungry summer in the Detroit Lake Wilderness Area with only what I brought in on my back when I was 16.

I would be more comfortable in a little cabin in the mountains than in the suburbs and if civilization provided a reason to go up there by destroying itself I would welcome the opportunity.

There is an incredible amount of survival equipment, ready-made in suburbia.
and part being prepared is having that survival equipment ready to go at a monets notice.

How many shovels, hoes, and roto-tillers are there, lying around in the woods.
I dont think anyone is planning on cultivating acres of mountain land.

Oh, and hungry survivalists, with no food but plenty of ammo.
Again, you seem to be applying your situation to all of us. There are areas of the country where people will be scarce. Where my land is (1000 miles away from me, though) most people own a house with a barn and a well on 10 or 15 acres. They don’t plan on buggin out, and no one is buggin in. It is easy to stay away from areas that everyone will be heading to. Take a look at a map, see where the large wilderness areas are around your city, and avoid them like the plague. The idea is to get far away. This aint no camping trip. Most people think of the wilderness that can be found within 1 hours drive of most Western American cities, and this is where your "Rambos" will go.

And you know that you cannot burn green wood, right.

Thats a great piece of conventional wisdom for someone buying wood for their fireplace.

You can burn any wood.

Step one: Get your fire burning with dead fall.
Step two: Quarter green or wet logs logs and stack them, green side exposed to the fire, as close as you can to the fire (don’t worry, they will just smoke and sizzle as they heat up, not burn, but you want to keep them out of fire so they don’t smolder away).
Step Three: Let those logs cure as long as you can before use. Usually a few hours for wood soaked in water will do it and a day for green logs. They will burn. Try and get your coals as hot as possible. Cedar is a great choice for burning green wood.

Most of the accessible wilderness will be hunted and fished out in a couple of weeks, by all the rambo types.

More likely, just as in hunting season, most of the older, smarter big game will just go where "Rambo" isnt. White collar Rambo wont cross a river or hike more than a mile off of a road. A deer will.

Most importantly, the suburbs have people.
And what about when our sit. x is plague? Around people is where you don’t want to be. When FEMA comes around to put people in cams, around other people is again where you don’t want to be.

Most of them law-biding.
Only when the law is looking. You said in your post that you would loot or protect from looters. Who is going to hire you as protection when you are surrounded by good law abiding folk?

Nurses, doctors, dentists, pipefitters, scientists, gardeners, and musicians.

What 1950's town do you live in? Maybe one in 1000 people are involved in one of the above professions. My neighbor to the left is a card dealer and to the right is a lawyer. Don’t need either, thanks.

All kinds of people, and most of them looking to share their skills with you.
No one wants to share their skills with you any real disaster except the cops and maybe a handful of medical professionals. And the milk man wont start making deliveries again either.

In short, the wilderness will turn a tense situation into a life-threatening one. Why, why, why would you leave all your resources and your social safety network, in the middle of a catastrophe, to go live in the woods.

Just think back to Katrina. The social safety network failed. Neighbors weren’t looking to share skills with each other. Wal-mart wasnt hiring boys fromt he neighborhood to guard their stuff.

You want to be in one of those FEMA shelters they put Katrina victims in or do you want to give it a go in the woods?

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 09:20 PM
As far as canning, I live in the Appalachian mountains and its something we have just always done. You'll want to learn how (and practice) before things go down the tubes. You'll want to stock up on supplies beforehand as well. In fact, if you want to stock up on a trading good that is very inexpensive now, will command a high barter value during tough times, doesn't perish, and wont raise a single eyebrow when you buy it in quantity, consider 1 qt mason-type jars, self-sealing lids, and rings. The jars are reusable, as are the rings. The self-sealing lids are NOT.

I'm lucky because the farm I own has many fruit trees, a good spring, more red oak than I'll ever use for firewood, is in the southern Appalachian (temperate climate), and is quite out of the way. My survival strategy should times get tough is to stay right where I am.


posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 09:20 PM
None of you folks pack a lifestraw in your kit ?

With a 2 litre a day limit, your good for 12 months of filtered water, good down to 2 microns....

Hand held, very light and effective, and unless you know you have beaver fever in your area (1 micron across, defeats the filter), in my humble opinion the best you can get.
Works on suction, so you just dip it in your source, and suck.

(HINT: do not lean over a water source if you even suspect crocodiles are in your area!)

Here, this is a lifestraw.

[edit on 19-8-2007 by D4rk Kn1ght]

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 09:54 PM
reply to post by D4rk Kn1ght

I’ve seen similar products but haven’t purchased one. Approx. cost?

Its nasty old iodine tabs for me if the SHTF today.

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 10:15 PM
these are on Ebay for $13, or the UK version for £7.

thats their web home address, well worth a look.

LifeStraw® personal – Specifications

Name LifeStraw® personal
Description Portable water purifier
Composition Outer shell made of high impact polystyrene
String to hang around the neck
Active Ingredients Halogenated resin
Elutes active halogen into influent water for inactivation of bacteria
Dwell Chamber
Extends the exposure of active halogen (contact time with water)
Strong base anion exchange resin
Adsorbs negatively-charged halogen residuals
Granular activated carbon (silver-impregnated)
Adsorbs residual active halogen
Efficacy Effective against waterborne bacteria and viruses (see test results).
Safety Residual iodine levels: non-existent/ within WHO limits (see test results)
Residual silver levels: below WHO guideline value and the US EPA MCL of 100 ppb
Top and bottom cap connected to LifeStraw® personal for prevention of choking
hazard for children
String with high tension release feature for prevention of strangling hazard
Capacity Minimum 700 litres or 1 year*
(*calculated approximately on consumption of 2 litre water/day)
Filters 2 stage particle filtration – filters particles from 125 micron down to minimal 15
Size 31 cm long, 2.9 cm in diameter
Weight 140 grams (dry)
160 grams (wet)
Shelf Life 3 years when stored in shade and exposed to maximum 30º C
Packing Type PE barrier pack
Qty per carton 100 pcs

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 11:02 PM
Edited to remove ebay link...

@ that mad link ! omg my net skills are slacking here...

Any how, this is what I use for my day to day use - Prevents Giardia and other 2 micron parasites.

My straws are for real emergencies where washing is going to not be an option.

Now, as for what I use daily...
. Right, go to ebay, search for drinksafe systems store. Great folks, and if needs be can get hold of large volumes of kit for you quickly.

[edit on 19-8-2007 by D4rk Kn1ght]

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 06:58 PM
I just spent 2 months at a military survival training center and you wouldn't beleive some of the bull # I saw walk through the door.

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 07:15 PM
Trust no one. That is the final word on survival.

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 07:36 PM
reply to post by thelibra

American beer kegs are stainless steel?

That can`t be right. They`re all aluminium out here. Stainless would weigh a ton.

Good call on trap and net fishing though - I can never figure out why someone would want to think about survival with a flyfishing rod, when net can be bought for cheap. Even a badminton net would be adaptable - and they`re quite portable, as long as you don`t bring the poles and raquets along.

I`ve learned a lot about seaweed recently. Collecting, cleaning, drying and prepping. Keeps forever when dry, good source of vitamins and so forth. Nice and salty too. I`m finding (from talking to the people who collect it for a living out here) that just about all of it is edible once dried - as long as it`s fresh when you "pick" it. The japanese style of drying is to wash it (fresh or salt water, depending on what you`re trying to achieve), rolling and pounding it until you`ve got a big sheet of paper thin seaweed. Lay that flat in the sun for an afternoon, and it`ll keep for months in the dry.

Larger seaweed (konbu, for example) tends to get dried in stalks. Beautiful salty stuff. Put it in hot water for a few minutes and you`ve got soup stock. Grind it into powder and you`ve got a very healthy tea - like substance that will make you wish to christ you`d remembered to pack the real tea.

Best tip for foraging is this: Go to your local university library (usually the best) and find a good encyclopedia or field guide of your region`s flora. Good ones will have everything you need to know, including whether or not it will kill you or give you explosive diarrhea or just need a bit of salt. Wikipedia is also your friend in this case - there a lot of very very good pages on wild plants and their uses.

Oh, and talk to the geezers who remember how to do all of this stuff. I went out collecting fiddleheads with an old guy a little while ago, because I mentioned I was homesick for them - he taught me a few new ways of preparing them, pointed out a few other plants that were tasty, and in short took me to school.

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 11:08 PM

Originally posted by vox2442
Oh, and talk to the geezers who remember how to do all of this stuff.

Yeah, that is good advice. I learned how to eat ants from an old timer. Not that there is much to it, just pull off their heads, but I would never have thought about them as a food source otherwise.

FYI: they taste like lemon drops.

[edit on 20-8-2007 by cavscout]

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 11:23 PM

Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
None of you folks pack a lifestraw in your kit ?

With a 2 litre a day limit, your good for 12 months of filtered water, good down to 2 microns....

Hand held, very light and effective, and unless you know you have beaver fever in your area (1 micron across, defeats the filter), in my humble opinion the best you can get.

If you need to make a water filter this may help (uses coffee grounds), it's been proven to remove 94.6 and 99.8% of e-coli from water.

[edit on 20/8/07 by evilCorgi]

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 09:24 AM

Originally posted by vox2442
American beer kegs are stainless steel?

That can`t be right. They`re all aluminium out here. Stainless would weigh a ton.

Argh... I think you're right, mate. Damn.
I'd always just assumed they were stainless steel, but apparently not. Guess I really will have to shell out the money for a stainless steel drum. That sucks.

In the menatime, you can use 2-liter soda bottles (don't use juice or milk cartons, or any other drink that would have proteins in it), couple of drops of bleach, and then it'll store for about 6 months before you need to toss it. As long as they're taped and dated, should be fine and no worries about plastic leeching.

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:21 PM
I've taught survival skills to cadets and kids for years. I grew up on the farm and spent every minute I could out in the bush. My friends and I would go to Northern Ontario and disappear up stream for a couple weeks each summer. On our trips, I've dealt with broken legs and arms, my arm slashed open on a nail some dummy pounded into a tree and a nasty protruding chunk of tree limb in my buddies leg. And we all survived to tell the tale. The thing that I find hardest to teach people is to think. Everyone tends to react to a situation, instead of thinking it through. If we had reacted to that chunk of protruding tree limb instead of thinking, we would have been bringing a body down river. A sliver had hooked the femoral artery, and would have torn it if we attempted to remove it. He wasn't comfortable for the two days it took to get to the Hospital, but he lived.

The most important things that I can think of for a survival kit are a good sharp knife, a decent sharpening stone, and a spool of 40 lb test monofiliment fishing line. With these three things you can build almost anything that you need. Shelter, traps, fire bow,hamock,Taj Mahal.
It was a fishing hook and 40 lb test that sewed up the slash in my arm. Although not a fun proceedure, it worked and allowed me to get downstream to the hospital.
I used to teach a weekend course on caveman survival. The kids would bring a sleeping bag and a good knife and stone. I'd bring the food so we wern't hunting unnessarily, but I had a stuffed toy rabbit on a stick to check their traps with. Everything else came from the bush. They had to learn how to make tools and use them, how to build shelter and fire. And no one ate until they had trapped that toy rabbit. It finally succumb to a rather ingenious deadfall trap that made it into a cotton fluff pancake.

Urban survival seems to me to be a matter of knowing where the resources are. Where do you get salt, sugar and flour? Where can I get the proper recepticles to store it away from the mice and weavils? Food grade 45 gal plastic drums for water storage and candle wax or lantern oil.Supplies are what will determine your survival, not the money in the bank. And a good knife is worth quite a few cans of veg soup.

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:19 PM
I plan on most people staying attached to civilization enough that most won't just go out and live in the woods with whatever's in their pockets at the time, and be able to physically and psychologically handle it. If a worldwide SHTF WCS happens, i'm disappearing off into the wilderness, and you'll have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot than seeing me. I figure right after the first few weeks all the "Rambo" bodies (and their gear) will be scattered around after they mostly self eliminate, so there'd be gear to be found if you look in the right places. The way I see it, if a true EOTW happens, the shallow and easily traveled wilderness will be like the suburbs with a lot more trees. A few miles deeper and on more rugged terrain, you'll find the nlimit of how far the people with 100lbs of gear are going to travel. Past that there'd be a few minimalists and nothingists in the deepest canyons, the highest peaks, and through the most formidable terrain. Not many people have the will and endurance to traverse miles of dense acacia, and get out to the most remote regions.

For almost all but a complete doomsday, i'd be most useful for my community as a leader when it comes to stuff like leading a skilled workforce. I've been in kitchen maangement roles in this town for years as well as having a tight network of esoterics who also have the same level of skills, and between the few "generals" a small army of loyal people who will give 110% if I ordered it to be done. I can organize an efficient and motivated workforce with attention to detail that can get things done right the first time. My team knows I demand nothing short of disciplined perfection when it comes to results and safety yet they know they're free to be creative and take initiative, not be punished for thinking outside the box even if it results in failure. We'd all analyze the 'forensics" of OTB on the fly idea failures and most times by figuring out what went wrong we find an efficient alternate method to be discussed and utilized in a similar situation. Maybe I should have mentioned leadership a while ago as a survival skill, for the survival of the colony.

Foe me, it would depend on they type of situation whether i'd leave town or not. If troops were in town enforcing martial law i'm gathering the generals and esoterics and heading for higher ground.

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 06:48 PM
I really really wish you well when it hits the fan. You sound like you have alot of it covered !

The people we live around are mountain natives and really, really know how to make like metohkangmi and dabinu !

(make like the dirty snowman and vanish!)

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 06:58 PM
I'm not so sure that heading for the great outdoors for good in a post-X situation would be the best idea. I can understand why in the US, when the average-joe will be armed to the teeth with wal-mart size XXXL camo-hardware and prepared to fill you with hot-lead in the battle for the last cheeseburger...but the urban scenario offers the best chance.

The myriad of 'stuff' (multiplied by 20-50 houses) that the average household contains is more than able to supply an organised neighbourhood with raw materials if you have the know-how to adapt them. No matter what the event, even a limited nuclear-strike with ensuing EMP effects, our current consumer-industries have evolved to such an extent that standardised-unit mass-production of items is a given, therefore mass-produced recycled equipment can be made utilising that same standardisation IE: Bicycle components with their standardised nuts/bolts/washers/bearings can easily be replaced from another source with a little ingenuity.

Even weaponry...recycled mass-produced non-firearms when the bullets run out, such as crossbows, can be made using standardised leaf-springs for the limbs, hand-brake cable for the bowstrings, and trigger-mechs from firearms...or for the more diabolical, vehicle-airbag detonators for home-made claymores

Community and neighbourhoods can and frequently do bond together (assuming good leadership) in adverse circumstances which makes everyone's chances all the greater of pulling through

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:00 PM
reply to post by citizen smith

The ginger headed kids thing works, starting a fire!

[edit on 21-8-2007 by thefatlady]

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