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Survival; what's the worst that can happen?

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posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 03:44 AM
Let's have a look at the downside of things from a personal perspective. Having
spent a great deal of time in woods trying out various aboriginal living/survival
skills I figured some folks might want to know just what is the worst you can
expect in a survival situation. Should you spend more than a day for two out in
the woods without camping equipment, building shelter from natural materials,
foraging wild plants for food, I would call that survival. Here's a sample of what
you will probably encounter-

  • You're going to get wet. Moving through the woods or even in a shelter
    during a bad storm things will get sloshy. Sleeping in a leaky shelter will teach
    you quickly to make better ones. Only a very well built shelter will
    keep you dry and that should be the FIRST outdoor skill you learn.
    It is imperative that you keep your body dry to avoid hypothermia in cold
    conditions and various fungal skin infections when it's hot. Dry your clothing
    every chance you get, ESPECIALLY YOUR SOCKS AND BOOTS.
    Goretex clothing is a godsend but expensive. If you got the bux - buy it.
    Polypropylene underwear and socks wick moisture away and keep you dry in
    cold conditions.

  • HUNGER- You will get hungry. Humans can go 3 minutes without air, 3
    days without water and 3 weeks without food. Remember the "rule of 3's" to
    keep your priorities straight. Practice fasting so if you do have to hungry it will
    not be such a major ordeal. It's healthy for you as well.

    Wild plants are very nutritious, you will be amazed at how little it takes to
    satisfy your hunger. greens do boil down considerably so get about twice
    as much leaves as you think you may eat.

    Many wild plants taste...well, awful. Some game and "unmentionable edibles"
    such as earthworms, insects and larvae taste bad as well. Taste won't kill you.
    Save the tastiest part of what you have to eat for last - you don't want a foul
    taste in your mouth all night.

  • THIRST- You will get thirsty. Drink regularly even if your not. Even small
    losses of body water lead to muscle cramps, nausea and confusion. Learning
    to find and filter natural water sources should be the 2nd skill you master. There
    is always water available even in the desert. Learn where to find it in the area
    that you plan to be.

  • BOREDOM- . Nights in a shelter with bugs crawling over you can be
    ever so long - you'll swear the sun is never going to rise. If you are alone it
    can be particularly bad, even debilitating. Always have something to work on
    around your fire at night - wrap cordage, make tools do whatever to keep it
    from setting in on you.

  • FEAR - There are many things out there that one can be afraid of. Myself
    I'm scared of poisonous snakes crawling into my bed at night. You will
    have to face those fears for yourself whatever they are. If you're scared of
    snakes get to know them, go somewhere where they will let you handle one.
    We have the fear reflex for good reasons but education and experience will
    teach us what our real fears should be based on; things like hungry
    bears, ticks, mosquitoes or injuring yourself when there's no help for miles.

  • INJURY- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Multiply
    that by 10x when in the wild. Take a bad step - break your ankle, eat the
    wrong plant or drink bad water - get laid up for days with diarrhea. Caution
    is the byword for everything you do in the bush. Use extreme care with knives,
    a bad cut can get infected and gangrene can set in. Ditto for saws and axes.
    Never walk in the dark if you can avoid it, there's too much chance of a misstep
    or poking your eye out on a limb.

    That's the worst of it. If you learn some basic skills and keep your wits about
    you you'll get through it. You will learn alot about yourself in the process, things
    you never thought you could put up with you did, and that is a feeling of
    accomplishment that is hard to come by.

  • posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 03:54 AM
    Some very good advice here. I appreciate this thread and some of the information you have put forth, especially the rule of 3's. I personally never thought of it like that, but much easier to remember now.

    As for never sweat in cold weather, I have a quick question. If civilization ever hit the fan, someone like me who is dependent on pain medication would have to go through severe withdrawal for about a week or two. This would mean horrible cold sweats weather you like them or not. I'm talking not able to sleep with a shirt on cause it gets soaked. If this is outside in the winter, what do you suggest? There is no way to stop from getting them, so just trying to plan for the worst. I'll always be on pain medication due to certain surgeries, but if something to society happened I'd have a big problem, and freezing to death is actually my worst fear. I can function without my meds, just would be in crazy pain, but that I'd have to tough out. Hypothermia you cant exactly tough out. I need to figure out how to get past while sweating like crazy in freezing weather with no way to prevent it.

    Any suggestions? Odd question, but its something someone might not think of until it happens. I doubt I could find a opium field in the USA to manage my pain with naturally - although isnt that a shame mother nature gives us something and we are forbidden to use it because someone says so.

    posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 04:22 AM
    reply to post by deadline527

    Wow deadlines, we share a similar dilemma. I'm stuck on them too due to an inflamed spinal cord. Every time I've run out I had to go to the hospital, I felt like I was dying. My only plan would be to bring as many as I could and then taper them down slowly to ease the withdrawl issues. As you know, that could take months to accomplish. Going through it you would have to have a very good shelter and all your immediate needs nearby. You know how it is, you're freezing one minute and too hot the next. God it's horrible.
    I'm afraid there are really no good natural substitutes either. You can use willow bark tea for aspirin but that's about it unless you could grow poppies. I'd say we're both in for real trouble should the SHTF honestly. Wish I could be more help on this topic. I'll be looking for solutions though, you can bet on that! Sorry to hear of your situation. Perhaps it would be best for both of us if we could see it coming down the pipeline to start cutting down immediately to ease the change but you know how hard that is. For both our sakes (and others who share our dilemma) I hope that things don't break down.

    Agreed on the shame we can't use what nature provides without all the controls, we are puppets on a string. Good luck with healing, maybe one day neither of us will need these damn things

    [edit on 8-1-2010 by Asktheanimals]

    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 10:16 AM
    Hi Asktheanimals,
    Good post, makes you think. Love the rules of three never heard that one before. Will have to pass that one on to friends and family.

    I guess the worst thing that I could ever imagine happening is what happened to Aron Ralston:

    By Compiled from Times wires
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published May 3, 2003

    Hiking his way through a 3-foot-wide section of Utah's Blue John Canyon, Aron Ralston had no warning before the giant boulder shifted onto him, pinning his right arm in a crack in the canyon wall.
    He had been stuck for four days when his water ran out. On the sixth day, the 27-year-old mountain climber knew there was only one way he could survive.
    Using a pocketknife, Ralston cut off his own arm.

    And I don’t think I have the determination to survive as much as Samson Parker

    I pray to god none of us ever have to find out if we got what it takes survive in situations like these.

    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 10:58 AM
    Great thread ATA....I spent a few years in Uncle Sams Army and got to experiance all of the below in some harsh enviroments and I will just harp on one thing. INJURY!!! Not getting hurt is BY FAR the most important aspect of survival. Depending on how/what you injure your body can actually go through a change, which in turn changes the needs of everything else. Bottom line..DO NOT TAKE CHANCES.

    Watch where you walk, don't try and jump across things, don't trust certain things while ascending/decending/crossing, etc...

    [edit on 1/9/2010 by rcwj1975]

    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:26 PM
    reply to post by murfdog

    Thanks for the reply. the Aron Ralston story is gutwrenching but it goes to show what any of us will do to survive - even cut off your own arm if need be. The will to live is only proven to us in those kinds of extreme situations and as the post below yours says the best way is to not take chances.

    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:29 PM
    I particularly appreciate the fact that you listed "Boredom"....

    In my opinion and experience, poor attitude and Depression is what kills a lot of experienced survivalists and boredom is perhaps the fastest way to a bad attitude..

    Staying busy keeps you positive..

    Great Thread and good work ATA as usual


    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:31 PM
    reply to post by rcwj1975

    You are exactly right my friend. That's what bugs me so much about Bear Grylls survival show - all the chances he takes needlessly. I think overall his show does more harm than good simply because of his attitude. Without the camera crew on hand I sincerely doubt he would take the chances that he does. Les Stroud I like a bit better although I;ve seen him many more than a few mistakes ans suffered needlessly for it. I'm still waiting for anything I would consider to be a GOOD survival show.

    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:40 PM
    reply to post by Asktheanimals


    Sorry could not resist

    (Now back to the serious discussion)


    posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:45 PM
    reply to post by semperfortis

    Thanks Semper. Boredom is the worst enemy I've had to deal with on any of my outings. Simply laying still in a debris hut all night when you can't sleep can be absolute torture! But to get up means losing all that heat in your shelter and you have no fire to warm up to. I suppose I have been fortunate that that's been the worst of it. When I decided to learn survival I did in baby steps and stayed very conscious of not pusing anything faster than I could handle.
    It's very tempting after taking a class to go running off with no knife, sleeping bag or food (macho thinking can be deadly!). Just because you could crank out a bow drill fire at your class doesnt mean you can do it anywhere at anytime.
    If anyone is considering trying out their knowledge I would say take EVERYTHING you normally would to camp while backpacking but then see what you can by without. Maybe you can start a fire with no matches, or build a shelter that will keep you dry in a downpour or find potable water to drink but if you can't you have what you need right there with you. There's no shame in failure, the shame is to never try. Having backup doesn't make one a sissy, it makes you smart.
    Last thing, if you do decide to go solo out in the woods make sure that someone knows WHERE you are and WHEN you plan to come out.
    As always I appreciate your input.

    posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:22 PM
    To me the worst that could happen is that SHTF and you get out of bed one morning and find that it is now a brave new world and you got nothing... literally nothing..... that to me is going to be the worst.

    people are going to at that point get real stupid and they will do things to get anything that looks like food or water... and if you are not ready for that aspect and prepared to put it down hard... then that is number 2 on my list.

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