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Has anyone really Tried their survival techniques?

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 04:15 PM
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I've been reading the survival threads with great interest since, like everyone else, I want to live the TSHTF, and I've been wondering how many of us have tested our survival skills.
I don't necessarily mean going out in the wilderness and surviving on berries and grubs for a month, but basic skills such as purifying water, trapping food, starting a fire(without matches or a lighter)?
For those of you who haven't, I would suggest trying to start a fire with a flint and steel in your bar-b-que grill. But don't wait until everyone is hungry. You might have a riot on your hands.
How about building a shelter. A lot of us live near state or national parks that have wilderness areas in them. Have you attempted to build a shelter with natural materials?
Have you set a trap for a rabbit?
If you think I'm kidding, I suggest you give it a try. I did, and I was amazed at what I thought I knew and could do, and what I don't know, and can't do, or haven't practiced enough.
Just for starters, get yourself a firesteel and and don't put the burgers on until you have the fire going, completely from scratch. That means starting the tender with a spark, adding small amounts of fuel until you have a real fire going, and then let it settle to coals to cook the burgers. (Forget the charcoal. find yourself some hardwood for the cooking process.) Then let us all know how it turns out.

Mod Edit: All Caps – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 15 May 09 by Gools]




posted on May, 15 2009 @ 04:18 PM
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Can't say I've worked on my fire starting skills recent but just about every year that I hunt I end up making an improvised shelter to keep wind, snow and rain off of me while waiting on my four-legged meal to walk by. If my luck in accidentally starting fires is any indicator hopefully I won't have much difficulty starting on when I actually _want_ to.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 04:23 PM
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We used to go camping a lot with my family and my father is as country as a mason jar. He would always try and do things by scratch. If he started a fire, he would do it without matches and we would always fish or shoot squirrel as we were hiking to our destination and that would be dinner. Lunch was always whatever we picked on the way in as well.

Now, when I go hiking/camping, I bring everything with me. I have all my food, stove, water purifier, tent, etc. And I know for sure I couldn't do half the stuff my father did when we went camping. Hell, I haven't even gone fishing in years. I am going to try and incorporate some survival the next time I go!



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by kettlebellysmith
 


Well i would bring my "gear" with me , and try not to use it if possible .

Fire starting bow drill /hand drill..... almost always . (hand drill/ summer)

Water purification etc ........ nearly always .

Shelter .... emmm , ahhhh..... i like my hammock too much , i know i`m soft .


Food ...... dependant on season , supplementary berries, ground nuts etc .etc. No access to game , except fish , which i am not partial too .

I would try not to use my knife from time to time , but with very mixed results . Nothing like a sharp stone to blunt ones enthusiasm .



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by kettlebellysmith
 


Survivalism is just that.. Surviving. If you're talking about a "SHTF" situation which will probably not happen unless you want it to, would be INCREDIBLY difficult. Average people will more than likely die off in droves if they plan on "read as you go survivalism" with no gear.

Shelter - Probably the easiest part. Building/digging/gathering are all common sense things, and shelter building is even fun. Even in snow, a nice quinzee will only take a matter of hours to build and will last a week even unfortified through-out it.

Food - In my experience is the hardest part. It takes incredible skill to catch even small prey, and you'll use up most your energy as an inexperienced hunter trying to earn a meager meal. Spring, summer, and fall are a lot easier, but I couldn't imagine looking for food where I'm from in the winter. They're harsh and unforgiving. The past two winters have caused havoc among the most evolutionary sound. And the most important part, is fresh water, which if you know your area and are familiar with the terrain, it's easy enough to remember, and springs are a never ending supply of ready to drink water. The heat from summer can dry them up, so prepare to dig, and dig a lot!

Fire - Easy as pie. If you master a bow/drill, it's like riding a bike. The hardest part is tending the coals, but if you get a rager going coals can burn for weeks under the soot if burned hot enough and for a long duration. Fire is a double edged sword. If you're going to use it, it gives away your location and registers on almost all common senses. You can smell it from a distance, you see the smoke in the day/flame or ember at night/ and if you leave in a hurry people can come by and feel it to get a timetable on your departure. Also being burned can turn your outting into a blunder with burns having a good chance of getting infected and limiting your mobility.

Gear has never hindered me, only the opposite. It wouldn't hurt to carry 60 pounds around and ensure your survival recreationally or your "SHTF" situation.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by kettlebellysmith
 


Hey, check this out...

Survival Essentials!

This might be helpful, it might not.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by DeadFlagBlues
 


Don't get me wrong. I'm asking these things based on my own experience in trying to test my abilities. I discovered that book sense and practical application are vastly different. I have the book sense, and some practical knowledge, which I am working on expanding. I'm sure there are a lot of others out there who are in the same boat I am.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by UmbraSumus
reply to post by kettlebellysmithShelter .... emmm , ahhhh..... i like my hammock too much , i know i`m soft .


I have a mosquito netted portable hammock that I like to use for long forays into the deep forest. It's much more comfortable and significantly safer sleeping 10 feet above the ground than on the ground itself. I already have a problem with attracting Rattlesnakes. I don't need the added surprise of waking up with a couple sharing my bag with me.


I have had limited forays with using my survival skills. My dad ingrained that into me as a young child, often heading out for a week at a time with nothing more than a wineskin and a knife and the clothes on our backs. Running the gamut of Cub/Wolf/Webelos/Boy/Eagle/Explorer Scouts didn't hurt either. However, to be honest, ever since then I have had just a few weekends a year going on Search & Rescue missions to put my skills to the test. I know from my bi-annual certifications that I still suck at doing stitches on a raw chicken thigh...so I can only imagine how poorly my stitches would be on a real wound.

It's also one thing to know how and have the experience of building an Igloo and gathering and drying fuel for a fire, and starting one from bow and drill, but living like that is another thing. Knowing that you only have to make it through two or three days in that kind of environment is cake. Knowing that the comforts of a warm meal and bed are waiting for you at home makes it endurable. Under a SHTF scenario, you don't have that to fall back on. I'm not really sure surviving under those conditions would classify as living. That opens up a whole new can of worms, with Depression becoming your greatest enemy.

Food is another issue. I know I need my red meat at least once a week or two or I start getting aggro. I have no qualms with hunting and killing for food, but I know I do not have it in me to dress and skin what I kill. I've gone veggie for as much as 9 months before, but it's not something I'd like to do again, but I know in a SHTF scenario, I'll have little choice but to live with it or find the strength within me to dress & skin what I can hunt.

OP, I think you have brought up a very important and valid point. It's one thing to be an arm-chair survivalist or a weekend survivalist, but giving up living for surviving as a life-style is another thing altogether. The only person I know who has ever tried that was Chris McCandless (met him when he passed through the town I lived in long ago), and well, anyone who has read the book Into the Wild (or Death of an Innocent) knows how that turned out.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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i want to go test my BOB and other kit i have but theres not many places in england where you can go hunting or go make your own shelter or build a fire and cook what you have caught unless i am wrong please some one prove me wrong.


Thanks



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 
Can't do the veggie route. Probably due to growing up in the south and gnawing on bar-b-qued ribs (LOL)! Seriously, I decided to test some of my skills at home, befor I have to do it on the run. Ever cook a pot of dried beans over a camp fire? Try it at home first. What about baking bread in a dutch oven?
There are a lot of people on this site who really kn ow what to do, how to survive when it comes down to it. But there are a lot of people on this site who are blowing smoke. If they reay want to take care of their families, they need to be practice.
If you think I'm right on this, please star and flag.
Frat, I'd think long and hard about learning how to dress game. Rabbit, squirel, deer, it makes no difference. You need to know how to dress game so the meat is not accidentaly contaminated. (My dad saw to it that I knew how to dress small game at least. His attitude was simple. "Boy, if you ain't gonna eat it, you don't need to kill it."]



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by thecrow001
 
Sorry crow, can't speak to the laws in GB. However, I might suggest a fishing trip, and cooking your catch by the stream or lake, and doing it the hard way.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:25 PM
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yeah looks like it. i'll do some research on my local area. i have a little woodlands which is nice to just do a light test off my skills i spose.

Theres the peak district pretty close to me couple hours drive might practice down there soon.

also i am stuck on how to make traps for catching small prey like rats,rabbits birds ect. can any one provide a site or information for me to read up on and test out. many thanks



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by kettlebellysmith
 


I think this is a great idea for a post. I have been doing this for the past month or so. My family has a lot of planning done, but we had not practiced. One day I decided to try my firesteel, and it was more difficult than I expected. Although I did get it started eventually.

Now every weekend, I at least take my wife and kids on a nature walk looking for edible plants, nuts, berries, or set up a shelter in the backyard, or build a little campfire from scratch. It is a lot of fun, it is good practice, and it is reassuring to know they are gaining the skills also.

I hadn't thought of cleaning game or fish. I used to do that as a kid, maybe I should get the family involved in that as well.

I also plan to practice my water finding and purifying skill while there is an ER close by! The squirts could kill you in a real situation.

I highly recommend practicing your skills and making it fun to involve other people in.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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If you want to know if you'll "survive" or not, try being hunted. Living in the woods is nothing. Surviving in the woods is a whole different matter.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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A good exercise would be to go on an extended hike. Many people hike hundreds of miles at a time and carry everything they need except water and food resupply. It takes a lot of trial and error as well as hands on experience to get comfortable with this type of activity.
Everybody should give it a try. It can be a very eye opening experience.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:27 AM
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You absolutely need to try working with various materials and techniques that will help you to survive. Reading it in a book only lets you know that it's possible to learn. Actually going out and doing it is a whole different thing, and you'll quickly figure out that the book probably didn't mention everything.

You'd be real surprised at how a small difference in the size, shape and depth of the notch has a drastic effect on rotary friction firelighting methods. Do you think you can get enough pressure out of your hand drill? How big around should the tip be? What happens when the tip gets shiny black and squeaks?

How easy is it to hold an arrowhead sized piece of jasper or obsidian on your leg and knap it down to a useful tool? How about without cutting or smashing your fingers? Any shards of obsidian in your eyeballs?

Can you gut and bone a fish using one finger? Ever had to dig a hole to get water? How comfy can you really sleep on a bed of pine boughs when stuck up on the mountain?

I'll admit there's still i need to learn but at least i know how to learn it, based on my experience of learning other skills. Also, learning by practical application of skills has an advantage of the opportunity to apply your own ingenuity to the task. You learn a LOT more than how to rub two sticks together really fast, you learn about where certain wood grows, under what conditions it's best, and a whole host of environmental intricacies like making sure there's no agave bees still hidden in that stalk of sotol you're splitting.

From being in the environment and utilizing it's tools and methods, you'll also make completely unrelated discoveries, and have epiphanies when you see how most ways of survival are instinctive and commonsense.

As far as long term comfort, you can be as comfortable as you want to be. Can you twist fiber? You can then make string and rope to weave into a comfy hammock using whatever fiber the environment yields. I can't see how depression would be a problem to anybody who's already interested enough in survival to go out and learn it. What's more depressing, having to plod your way through a grey concrete hell bearing the loads of your masters for the illusion of successor having to walk through trees and nature and check traps, gather water, pick fruits and berries, and flowing with the tides of nature? I'm already depressed that this once beautiful world is now scarred with concrete, slavery, and injustice.

As soon as i can finish freeing myself of all belongings i plan to just walk off and go live completely primitive. I'm not too far away from that goal now.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:46 AM
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Originally posted by kettlebellysmith
reply to post by DeadFlagBlues
 


Don't get me wrong. I'm asking these things based on my own experience in trying to test my abilities. I discovered that book sense and practical application are vastly different. I have the book sense, and some practical knowledge, which I am working on expanding. I'm sure there are a lot of others out there who are in the same boat I am.


Expand away, man. All I know is I on/off guide for a living and survivalism is a miserable thing. Especially if you're talking about evasion survivalism, further more complicating the whole thing would be evasion survivalism with a family.

And in your case, there's nothing like having all your bases covered. Good job.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by kettlebellysmith
I've been reading the survival threads with great interest since, like everyone else, I want to live the TSHTF, and I've been wondering how many of us have tested our survival skills.
I don't necessarily mean going out in the wilderness and surviving on berries and grubs for a month, but basic skills such as purifying water, trapping food, starting a fire(without matches or a lighter)?
For those of you who haven't, I would suggest trying to start a fire with a flint and steel in your bar-b-que grill. But don't wait until everyone is hungry. You might have a riot on your hands.
How about building a shelter. A lot of us live near state or national parks that have wilderness areas in them. Have you attempted to build a shelter with natural materials?
Have you set a trap for a rabbit?
If you think I'm kidding, I suggest you give it a try. I did, and I was amazed at what I thought I knew and could do, and what I don't know, and can't do, or haven't practiced enough.
Just for starters, get yourself a firesteel and and don't put the burgers on until you have the fire going, completely from scratch. That means starting the tender with a spark, adding small amounts of fuel until you have a real fire going, and then let it settle to coals to cook the burgers. (Forget the charcoal. find yourself some hardwood for the cooking process.) Then let us all know how it turns out.

Mod Edit: All Caps – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 15 May 09 by Gools]



well i do not know if it qualifies as to being actual survival tech or skill... but for us...we all got together for 7 days and nights and stayed in the shelter... Mostly to get a feel of what it is going to be like if and when it comes to that aspect.... we all learned a great deal about ourselves during that 1 week period...

clearly we needed to work a few bugs out but since we do this several times a year now.... we are gaining ground...



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 

I wouldn't worry too much about the skinning. Learn by watching if nothing else, but learn the basic mechanics. There's not much difference between skinning a squirrel and a cow.

Just a bigger gut pile.

Snakes? I usually remove the head, slit up the belly, take my finger and run it down the backbone, and the snake is gutted, right up to it's bunghole, which you can just cut off if you wish.

But to me, there's nothing to put fire in your gut like snake ass and grits.

Try ordering that at the Waffle House.

You get hungry enough, and your sensitivities will be overwhelmed by necessity. But do learn HOW it's done.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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hello,
a couple things come to mind.
go to the store, buy a whole chicken or whatever, take it home cut it up. the joints etc.. this way you can learn and teach your children without actually having to ring the birds neck and pluck the feathers. remembering such birds do sleep at night time in the wild.

you can talk to the local butcher for rabbit, whatever else. not the real deal but it is close.

for us who have glasses to see. glasses start fires......

foraging for food. good thing to remember are the critters around you. most of what they eat, you can too. not all but quite a lot. for every edible plant, a good thing to keep in mind is there is a plant similar that will kill you.

snakes- rattlers, step on there head. cut it off and flick it out a distance. people may not believe it, but snakes when killed do still have reflexes and you don't want bitten. baby rattlers can not control yet there venom, stay clear. they also sun themselves in the heat of the day on rocks, where ever dry, they really do make good eating like the one poster posted.

water has always been my hardest thing. clean water.boiling water will kill bacteria but have i ever went without my camping pots,pans (they fold up), or water that i have bottled, no. what a critter can drink and what we can drink is different. in our society we are clean freaks and have not built up a tolerance for such water. no bugs, is not a good sign, stay clear away.

fish is easy to cook/clean, catching the fish is the hard part..... if someone is hungry enough there are of things to eat, but who wants to eat them is another story (bugs)... crawfish can be caught with your hands, they hide under rocks etc.. and taste real good!! just eat there tails . snails are quite tasty (look in moss or any damp place), mussels if you can find them....there are fresh water clams, crabs as well. i am not good enough at identifying mushrooms to attempt to eat those.

dried milk,dried eggs, flower can sustain a human. many things can be made from this concoction. beer is not only a drink, but food as well. if that is you just happen to have some....... many grains grow wild, wheat,oats etc.. dandelion root grow many places and dont taste real good but they are very good for you.

reading up of life of the old native American cultures can teach one something..... then apply it. not everything taste good that we can eat, but some things one does get used to and or finds it is quite tasty.

ok well i can go on forever, hope this gave you something to think about?



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