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Absolute Minimalist Survival

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posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:20 PM
What I am going to describe for you now is a blueprint for absolute minimalist survival, ensuring quickest reaction time, smallest calorie expenditure, fastest shelter building with zero exposure to cold, maximum freedom in time and space making one almost completely invisible and inaudible.

We begin with shelter.

Shelter should always be dug on a hillside. Digging on flat ground means with the first rain you're getting swamped. What you need for perfect long term shelter is lots of tough cord, a tent, a large plastic tarp (or several smaller ones), a knife, an axe and a shovel.

The strategy here is to protect your tent from all the elements, instead of letting it protect you from them. Even the best of tents won't be comfortable long term in the winter, because it's almost impossible to heat from the inside (the exception being with the use of a very small portable rocket stove), and it bleeds heat to the outside at a faster rate than it's possible/comfortable to replace over weeks and days. It's a negative calorie experience, requiring constant work, and on top of that you're on the surface, for anyone to see.

The solution is to dig an opening into a hillside, on the side that gets sun in the winter. Pick a spot that is surround by trees, but that isn't impossible to dig into because of roots. You want your tent to fit in completely and then some. Next, you axe a good number of thick branches and lay them on top of your "hole", then tie them together with cord. Basically, you're making a sort of woven raft out of branches, which will act as a roof and will be strong enough for human and animals to walk on top of it without feeling any difference. When the structure is strong
and stable enough, you now cover it the plastic tarp/s, and then with numerous smaller branches, making a very thick layer. Then come leaves on top of that and soil on top of the leaves.

In the end, the structure will be supremely stable - interwoven branches of different shapes and sizes, tied together with tough rope is a barrier that no animal can get through. A bear couldn't get through it, because the pattern of branches is too thick and varied, and it doesn't know what rope is and that it holds the whole together.

An axe and a spear can defend against bears even out in the open, it's been done for centuries in Russia and old-time USA, inside the kind of shelter that we're discussing here, even if an animal does manage to find the small and concealed entry-way, it will have no way in but you'll have plenty of opportunity to spear them and defend yourself.

Being underground, you can expect to survive winter even without heating. You have the inside of the tent, which is the first space, then you have the air space between the tent and the thick branches, the branches themselves, the thick layer of small branches, the leaves and the soil. This is far more insulation than almost any house, except an underground house. Of which there are plenty.

Now, when you build your shelter you should ram the earth all around, both the walls and the floor. This will help with any water infiltration, and with general comfort. The way to heat the shelter comfortably is to dig a hole right at the entrance to the tent. You can make it quite large, fill it up with rocks, and even make a 40-50 cm raised rock wall that will reflect heat back to your tent. You can slowly build a small fire inside that hole, and the rocks will absorb the heat. A small fire doesn't cause too much smoke. Another solution is to build a fire elsewhere, gather the
burning coals inside a large metal contained of some sort, then place it inside the hole, covering it with rocks. This will give off heat for a long time. Both ways work, I prefer building a very small fire and letting it burn for hours - there's an art to creating heat without smoke.

You can also build a thermally safe shelter within hours using two or three living trees. You place your tent between them, then tie a structure of thick branches to the trees, protecting the tent, and then you start insulating it with smaller branches, leaves, and soil. It's not invisible, but it can be quite hard to spot if you pick the right place to build it, and it will keep you perfectly warm in the harshest winter, and will protect you
from wild animals. I can't stress this enough. If your tent gets trashed by an animal, even if you survive, you've just found yourself in a really bad spot.

On the topic of heat, apart from several layers all over your body, you need a full-face textile mask for winter, sky goggles or tactical googles, two more hats on top of the mask, and at least one good hood. Also, two pairs of gloves, the inner pair wool, and the outer has to be tough and waterproof.

Next comes food.

This is where my approach is even more different from the norm. And I believe at least in terms of caloric mathematics and military strategy, it's also far more effective. First I'll introduce an uncommon thought to you - leaves are edible. There are countless varieties of edible leaves, and some of them are evergreen. Meaning easy food with protein and quickly digestible sugars, and you can pick it anytime as long as you know what's what.

Here's a search for edible leaves available in the 6 cold months of the year.

But the main survival food crop are acorns. Find an area with many oaks, gather a couple hundred kilos of acorns, sprout them and they lose much of their acridity and become much easier to cook.

As for a calorie crop you can plant anywhere, this is the potato. Put potatoes into the ground, come back months later, and you're set for winter. This is a kind of forest gardening. Google "hugelkultur" - it's a technique for making mounds out of plant material (leaves, grass, wood), covering it with a layer of soil, and you have a medium which retains water and heat that you can garden on.

Here are alternatives to potatoes.

Plenty of root crops to plant.

But for immediate survival, you need a timeline for available wild foods, with photos and descriptions. Longer term, you need seeds and a timeline for planting. If you manage to learn these two things, then you can know ahead what food will be available, and you can plan a very varied diet of vegetables that you plant yourself, year-round. But this means you have to have seeds.

Another advantage of eating plants is that you do not make any noise as you travel through the landscape. you don't have to chase anything, sneak up on anything, so you can move stealthily and in your own rhythm, picking a path with perfect cover while every other living creature around you is hurrying about and making noise. it also makes you a perfect soldier, but more on that later.

Now imagine the root system of a forest, or a meadow. there is an infinite amount of chemical and biological interactions going on between the plants. the minerals and elements of the soil, the air, water and sun are being constantly transformed. it's like a natural symphony performed by perfect little food factories, and all you have to do is be like the native indians - or countless other ancient

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:23 PM
people, to whom any wild landscape was a buffet. and far more so the spaces where two ecosystems meet and intertwine, such as the edge where a forest meets a meadow.

Compare that to animal food. animals, like humans, have emotions and hormonal processes, are constantly moving around in search of food or trying to escape predators. this is not the recipe for building perfect food, which is why after a while a balanced plant diet leads to better athletic performance. this is a fact more and more MMA fighter are discovering, for example. but in a survival situation you're not a fighter, you're mind trying to find the best solution to moving through space, to gaining calorie surplus, and keeping safe at all times. for these ends, plants win hands down at all times.

You biggest passive quality/ally is meditation.

Meditation gives you the ability to rest whenever you want and take limitless pauses while keeping mentally aware.

the biggest killer in the wild is agitation combined with lack of awareness. if you can pause at will and still your mind, while being at peace and prepared, then you have already gone a long way towards being hard to find in space and hard to track in time.

Skills and Communities.

while being able to set up a renewable energy system or an aqaponics or hydroponics facility seems like an attractive skill, these are enterprises that require vast amounts of delicate mechanical and electric structures, an energy storage medium - that is, deep cycle batteries, and they are easily broken, hard to repair without spare parts, and paint a big target on any community.

the problem with complex electrical and mechanical skills is that they are evolved within a complex society that dedicates a large amount of time and resources to training these skills and manufacturing the very refined materials that they require. outside of this high-end scenario, you'd have to be able to recreate the entire production ecosystem of a 21st century state in order to be truly sustainable over the years.

this is not going to happen. we're talking complex chemistry, the ability to melt and cast metals at precise temperatures, the work required to find and extract those metals, and an immense and ready-to go knowledge base.

even if we imagine an ugly scenario in which phones and the internet are still working, being able to use them won't give you any higher chances of regional survivability. world news would matter little, the military and other armed group will not broadcast their intentions, and it's unlikely that any sort of regional effort to cooperate will be based on phones or internet, because even in the unlikely event in which they are still functional, it simply won't be the most common or reliable technology. a simple HAM radio is easier to repair, faster to operate, and is actually more real-time than the internet since it requires no dialing or log-ins.

technology itself will re-emerge naturally when some form of balanced government is attained and the people with the know-how are safely put together with the resources to make it happen. it's not anyone's personal endeavour, although it can certainly come in handy. the point I am getting across here is that it's not essential.

the ability to grow food year-round, with good knowledge of edible wild foods, first aid, herbal medicine and basic surgery (for deep surface wounds mostly), building with earth, straw and wood, and physical strenght and endurance - that is, the ability to carry things and especially to dig, will be far more attractive to any community you interact with.

Other essential skills, in no particular order:

Making Rope

Making Footwear

Forest Navigation. Orienteering. Camouflage



Having Seeds, Propagating Seeds, Gathering Seeds Of Wild Edibles

Water and Food storage

Knowledge of Knots

Food drying, canning, preservation

Short and Long term Shelter building.

Water Filtration

Fire Making

Metal-working, bicycle and car repair and mechanics

Tool and Furniture Making

Soap and Candle-Making

There are also complex long term skills that are likely to pay off - indefinitely - I'll start with the most exotic:

geopolymer chemistry for making ultra-tough cements without the thermal costs, aluminum extraction from soil, simple plastic chemistry for making textiles,

more likely to be pulled off are traditional textile-making skills, the ability to build a water pump or a gravity fed water system, and true soldier skills.

in a long-term survival situation, defending others is a nearly full-time job. the idea that you can defend a perimeter from within it is only true as long as potential attackers aren't organized or skilled. you wouldn't be running a bunker, but a loosely knit community with stretched out resources and a hectic schedule. being a soldier becomes more about being able to survey a perimeter around the community from the outside while staying invisible. if people

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:24 PM
go hunting in the vicinity of wherever you are, then your perimeter has just increased several-fold,
as gun-shots will alert any intruders from a distance, and when you are playing stealthy protector you have no way of knowing when someone will decide to go hunting. this is a worst case scenario, but imagine egos and tensions, and you can see that it wouldn't be easy to keep a lid on people's tendency to do whatever they want whenever they want.

if you choose to survive by yourself or with a small group, inside a shelter constructed in the woods, then it becomes easier to protect nearby communities. this would be, of course, a very noble and needful thing, and would go a long way towards creating regional trust.

going back to the theme of absolute stealth, when you live in an underground shelter and don't have to shoot to eat, you could feasibly use terrain and surprise to overpower a gunman who doesn't know you're there, even if you yourself don't have a gun. this is also a way of gaining access to a gun, but as to how just it is, depends on the actions and intentions of the gunman. of course, it's a lot more comfortable taking shots from 800 yards away with a Tikka rifle, from perfect cover and with the woods to disguise the direction of the sound, but don't let anyone tell you guns reign supreme in the forest. it's rhythm, cover, tactics and home-turf advantage that are the real killers. when someone has to build a fire or shelter, cook food or rest out in the open, you have an advantage no rifle can match.

enough about soldiering, those who know know, and those who don't would be better served to train endurance and basic weapon skills, but most of all, never get caught out in the open. if you can do these, then you can start protecting others.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:41 PM
For knowledge of wild edibles, apart from the Plants for a Future site, there's

and you can go to and find a book on the topic that was written as close as possible to your home area.

or just get a good book and make selections.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 04:21 PM
anyway, if anyone wants to thank me for this, give a meal to a homeless man or woman.

do this and I'll be thanking you subconsciously, for sure.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:32 PM
15 flags and no responses! I guess there's not much to say.. as I am now demonstrating..

Well done OP, thanks

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:43 PM
No food from animals?

That makes you automatically defeciant on B-12.

"Vitamin B12 is found in foods that come from animals, including fish and shellfish, meat (especially liver), poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products".

"Vitamin B12 deficiency can potentially cause severe and irreversible damage, especially to the brain and nervous system. At levels only slightly lower than normal, a range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and poor memory may be experienced. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms of mania and psychosis.Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by the metabolic disorder pernicious anemia".

Not what you want when trying to survive.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:41 PM
Excellent thread, and thank you for the suggestions and your prospective. I would not have thought of a few things you mentioned. S&F for all the great website you listed with edible plants.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:44 PM
Very good info. Thank you.

Even tho many of us will not use all of it, just a few pointers can help. People that read this may not know it, but when the time comes some of this will resurface from the back of the mind and be put to good use.


edit on 17-11-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:48 PM
Just came across this, too tired to read it now, so marking it for future reading

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 02:00 AM
I was wondering what the deal is with basic dental care as in I am guessing it might be a good skill and idea to have a basic cleaning kit for your pearly whites.

We would surely have a few dentists around but the availability of tools and sheer numbers needing the service would create some problems.

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 02:41 AM
reply to post by Fevrier

One of the best put together survival threads I have seen, grateful to you for this one will be saving it

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 06:59 AM

Originally posted by survivalcat
I was wondering what the deal is with basic dental care as in I am guessing it might be a good skill and idea to have a basic cleaning kit for your pearly whites.

We would surely have a few dentists around but the availability of tools and sheer numbers needing the service would create some problems.

Dental work is a definite must, but I count that within the first-aid, basic surgery, herbal medicine category.

Mostly because pulling teeth in a survival situation will require good knowledge of herbal antibiotics and painkillers, and perhaps herbs to balance the mind, heart and kidneys (kidneys are related to the teeth).

Two books you should be able to find online (on probably) are

Where there is no doctor


Austere Medicine

there is also

Where there is no dentist

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 07:09 AM
Good thread.

My minimalist kit is knife/billycan/firesteel/wool blanket.

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 09:01 AM
Something else that can not be stressed enough from survival training.

A sudden, and extreme, change in your diet will most likely cause diarrhea and upset stomach, which can lead to dehydration and severe illness and death.

It is imperative to stay hydrated while keeping yourself sanitary and dry.

I.E. NO WET SOCKS, NO SWEATY UNDIES, NO BACKDOOR TROTS. This will finish you quicker than being hungry.

Another huge point, is when you have to go relieve yourself you will need a field latrine.
Where and how to build one when camping is one thing, but in a survival situation you need to consider concealment and your safety, as well as health and sanitation, without contamination of your campsite. (Don't want to get caught with your pants down.)

I've had the lovely honor of building many of these during our long stints in the field. Here are a few sources to build a base line:
edit on 18-11-2012 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 09:10 AM
I really liked the essential skills list, the one that hit home the hardest for me was footwear.

Semper: What are your thoughts on long duration emergency footwear?

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 09:52 AM
All useful topics and information. I'm 61 now, and all through my life I was influenced by survival methods. Where I lived, the Vehicles I owned, and the skills I picked up. And in the back of my mind, thinking the day would come when I would use it. I don't believe that day will come in my lifetime however, or maybe if I had another to start again. I relate it to these "end of the world" rants. They have been saying the end is coming for centuries....literally.

What confounds me, is the survivalist who lives in the Burbs, who gets a SUV or ex-military truck and outfits it al survivalist in the event everything collapses.... First off, where are you going to go...???? Out to the country? The desert...? (not much cover there) (and cold at night) not a good choice. To the forest...? The forest would likely be the best because of all the likelyhood of these leaf and root things, along with animals and the most important, water. Still if everyone's doing it, you still didn't escape anything. If You live in the country, at least you can put together a vigilante group with weapons and co-op together, and protect your 'AO' ...(area of operation) Your not going to get much useful out of the city, and fuel and firewood will be precious, along with medicines, even as simple as aspirin. Femenine hygene, TP, soap, SALT, vitamins..... But as the OP has described, what he has put together is very useful and valuable knowledge. STILL, I don't think it's gonn'a happen..

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 10:04 AM
Excellent write-up.

This is merely a glimpse into the necessities of survival.
Putting this to the test is the best way to make it a permanent memory.
Far too often people think that just reading an article makes them a professional.
Getting out there and digging in, or finding some of the plants is what counts!
I especially appreciate all the links provided.

My only addition would be to make good use of your environment.
Every location is different and they all have their pros/cons.
If possible, stay within walking distance to's a life saver.
Find rock shelters or outcroppings like the natives did years ago.
Do not get used to most luxuries from able to use the bare minimum.
Practice! Can't stress that enough!
(And learn how to build/use an AtlAtl)
Learn how to make things from the woods.
Use what the Earth provides as tools.
Mostly every gadget you buy now will break later.

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 10:40 AM
We could use a thread on natural alternatives to common prescription drugs. There are many people who's health relies on prescriptions. Are there known natural alternatives for some of these drugs?

We need natural alternatives for each of the listed below drugs. I bet there's a natural store in China that has all of these alternatives.

Soar throat?
Anything help with electrolytes?

edit on 18-11-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 10:49 AM
consider it done. i give to the homeless quite often but the next time will be in your honor.

Excellent post. Much I knew already. But this is a one-stop shop for superb information. Thanks again!

Originally posted by Fevrier
anyway, if anyone wants to thank me for this, give a meal to a homeless man or woman.

do this and I'll be thanking you subconsciously, for sure.

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