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Survival Foods For Hikers

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Survival Foods For Hikers

Survival foods are not the most important thing in most emergency situations in the wilderness. You survive weeks without eating if you have to, so it is usually more important to find shelter, water, and stay dry and uninjured. On the other hand, just knowing you can find food out there, and having something in your stomach, can do wonders for your state of mind, which CAN be crucial to your survival.

What then, do you need to know about survival foods? First forget the idea that you need to learn every last edible wild plant. I love learning about new edible plants, but very few of them provide enough calories to be worth the effort in a survival situation. What you need s to know a few basic categories of animals you can eat, and some of the most abundant and calorie-rich plants.

Survival Foods – The Animals

Mammals in North America can all be eaten (except for the livers of some arctic mammals). Since many carry parasites, wash your hands after handling them, and cook the meat if possible.

North American birds are all edible, and there eggs are too. I’ve even eaten seagull eggs cooked on a hot rock, and they tasted fine.

Fresh water fish in North America are all edible. Catching the fish is the difficult part, but they can be quickly and easily cooked over a fire.

Amphibians and reptiles are usually safe to eat – if you remove the skin. I have cooked snake in a stew and over a fire, and I recommend the latter.

Survival Foods – The Plants

Cattail is one of the most abundant and calorie-rich foods in the wilderness. The white part of the stalk at the bottom, and the new shoots, can be eaten raw or cooked. Flower spikes can be cooked like corn-on-the-cob when green. Roots can be mashed in water to release the starch, which can be added to soups. Pollen from the flower spike can be shaken into a bag and used in soups. Cattails grow in swamps or wet soil, and you really should get to know this plant.

The inner bark of pine trees is edible. It’s a good survival food to remember, because it is available year-round. That white spongy layer between the outer bark and the wood is what you want. Although it is mostly fiber, it contains enough carbohydrates to be worth boiling into a soup if nothing else is available.

Edible berries can be a delicious and filling survival food in the right season. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries all have their wild forms. If it looks like the domestic one (usually smaller) and smells and tastes like it, it’s safe to eat.

Of course, it’s fun to know which mushrooms you can eat, and even which flowers are edible, but both of these have almost no calories. To quickly learn what you need to survive, concentrate first on the common animals and the most abundant and calorie-rich edible plants. Those are the survival foods that will most likely save your life.

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Survival

Unveiling the Versatility of Wool Blankets in Survival Situations

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In the realm of survivalism, preparedness is paramount. The ability to adapt and thrive in challenging environments hinges on the possession of essential tools, among which wool blankets stand out as indispensable. Renowned for their warmth-retaining properties and multifunctionality, wool blankets are not just for keeping cozy; they serve as versatile assets in various survival scenarios. This guide delves into the history, composition, and myriad applications of wool blankets, shedding light on their enduring relevance in the wilderness.

A Brief History of the Wool Blanket

The lineage of wool blankets traces back through centuries of human history, evolving from rudimentary coverings fashioned from animal skins and woven reeds to the finely crafted blankets we know today. Originating in the 14th century, the modern wool blanket owes its name not to serendipity but to the Flemish weaver Thomas Blanket, whose innovation revolutionized bedding. 

Embraced by cultures worldwide, wool blankets found favor in the North American fur trade, where they became essential attire for enduring harsh winters. From military campaigns to civilian households, wool blankets became synonymous with warmth, durability, and utility, earning their place as quintessential survival gear.

What Is a Wool Blanket Made From?

At the heart of every wool blanket lies a testament to nature’s ingenuity: wool, harvested from a diverse array of animals including sheep, goats, and alpacas. The process begins with shearing, wherein wool-bearing animals undergo gentle grooming to procure their fleece. Subsequent steps involve cleaning, sorting, carding, spinning, and weaving, culminating in the production of resilient woolen textiles. Boasting microbial, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating properties, wool blankets epitomize the marriage of functionality and sustainability. With variations such as merino, cashmere, and alpaca wool, each blanket offers a unique blend of comfort and performance tailored to diverse needs.

Why Choose Wool Blankets for Survival?

Wool blankets emerge as quintessential companions for survivalists seeking reliable protection against the elements. Their inherent qualities render them indispensable in adverse conditions:

  • Temperature Regulation: Wool’s natural insulating properties, bolstered by a layer of keratin, facilitate optimal thermoregulation, keeping users warm in cold climates without causing overheating.
  • Water and Fire Resistance: Highly absorbent yet flame-retardant, wool blankets offer unparalleled protection against moisture and fire hazards, making them invaluable assets in unpredictable environments.
  • Environmental Friendliness: Sourced from renewable materials and biodegradable in nature, wool blankets epitomize eco-consciousness, ensuring minimal environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

Best Survival Uses for a Wool Blanket

The versatility of wool blankets transcends mere warmth, extending to a myriad of survival applications:

  • Sleeping Bag: Folded and secured, a wool blanket transforms into an improvised sleeping bag, providing essential insulation and comfort during cold nights.
  • Poncho or Coat: Fashioned into a poncho or coat, a wool blanket offers on-the-go warmth and protection, guarding against hypothermia and inclement weather.
  • Insulated Seat or Pillow: Folded or rolled, a wool blanket serves as a cushioned seat or pillow, enhancing comfort and warmth during outdoor activities and rest breaks.
  • Traveling Pack: Wrapped around gear, a wool blanket doubles as a makeshift pack, safeguarding belongings and optimizing portability in transit.
  • Shielded Temporary Shelter: Deployed as a windbreak or overhead shelter, a wool blanket fortifies makeshift shelters, enhancing thermal insulation and weather resistance.
  • Emergency Signal Panel: With its conspicuous coloration, a wool blanket can serve as a signaling device, enhancing visibility and facilitating rescue efforts in emergency situations.
  • Protection for Firewood: Enveloping firewood bundles, a wool blanket shields against moisture, ensuring dry, readily combustible fuel for maintaining fires in adverse conditions.

In the tapestry of survival gear, wool blankets stand as enduring symbols of resilience and resourcefulness. From their humble origins to their modern-day applications, wool blankets epitomize the marriage of tradition and innovation, offering unparalleled warmth, durability, and versatility in the wilderness. 

As stalwart companions on the path to self-reliance, wool blankets empower adventurers to brave the elements, adapt to adversity, and emerge triumphant in the face of uncertainty. With their timeless appeal and unmatched utility, wool blankets remain steadfast allies in the pursuit of survival, beckoning explorers to embrace their warmth and embrace the wild with confidence.

Will you be stocking up on wool blankets? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Emergency

DIY Emergency Shelter Building: Family Projects for Preparedness

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When it comes to survival preparedness, having the skills to build emergency shelters can be invaluable. Whether you’re camping in the wilderness or facing unexpected situations at home, knowing how to construct a shelter using basic materials can provide protection and comfort for your family. In this article, we’ll explore DIY emergency shelter building as a family project for preparedness.

Understanding the Importance of Shelter

Shelter is essential in any survival situation. It provides protection from the elements such as rain, wind, and extreme temperatures, helping to maintain body temperature and prevent hypothermia or heat-related illnesses. In emergencies, having a shelter can also offer a sense of security and peace of mind for you and your family.

Choosing the Right Location

Before building a shelter, it’s essential to select a suitable location. Look for flat ground away from potential hazards such as falling branches, flooding areas, or insect nests. Take advantage of natural features such as rock formations or tree cover for added protection. Additionally, consider factors like sunlight exposure and wind direction when positioning your shelter.

Basic Shelter Designs

There are several simple shelter designs that you can build with minimal materials and tools. One common type is the lean-to shelter, which involves propping a sturdy branch or pole against a tree and laying smaller branches or foliage against it to create a sloped roof. Another option is the A-frame shelter, constructed by leaning two branches or poles together and covering them with foliage or a tarp.

Gathering Materials

For DIY emergency shelters, utilize readily available materials from your surroundings. Collect sturdy branches, sticks, and foliage such as leaves, grass, or pine needles for insulation. If you have a tarp or emergency blanket in your survival kit, it can serve as a waterproof cover for your shelter. Be resourceful and creative with your materials, making the most of what nature provides.

Building the Shelter

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to start building your shelter. Begin by securing the main support structure, whether it’s a tree branch or poles, firmly into the ground. Then, layer smaller branches or foliage across the frame, ensuring a tight and overlapping arrangement to provide insulation and protection from the elements. If using a tarp or emergency blanket, drape it over the frame and secure it with ropes or weights.

Testing and Improving

After completing your shelter, take some time to test its durability and comfort. Spend a night or simulate adverse weather conditions to see how well it holds up. Take note of any weaknesses or areas for improvement, such as reinforcing the structure or adding additional insulation. Use this experience as a learning opportunity to refine your shelter-building skills for future projects.

Safety Considerations

While building emergency shelters can be a fun and educational family activity, it’s essential to prioritize safety at all times. Watch out for sharp objects, unstable terrain, and wildlife in your surroundings. Ensure everyone participating in the project understands proper handling of tools and materials to prevent accidents or injuries.

DIY emergency shelter building offers an excellent opportunity for families to learn valuable survival skills while spending quality time together outdoors. By understanding the importance of shelter, choosing suitable locations, gathering materials, and building basic structures, you can enhance your preparedness for emergencies. Remember to prioritize safety and practice your shelter-building skills regularly to stay ready for whatever challenges may arise.

Does your family do shelter projects? What have you learned? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Emergency

Ten Survival Items You NEED To Save Your Family’s Life

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In times of uncertainty or disaster, having a well-prepared emergency survival kit can make all the difference for your family’s safety and well-being. Whether facing natural disasters, power outages, or other unexpected emergencies, being equipped with essential items is crucial. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 10 items that every family should include in their emergency survival kit.

Water and Water Purification

Water is essential for survival, so it’s crucial to have an ample supply in your emergency kit. A good target to go for is at least one gallon of water for every person in your family per day for both drinking and sanitation. Additionally, include water purification tablets or a portable water filter to ensure access to clean water in case your supply runs low or becomes contaminated.

Non-Perishable Food

Stock your emergency kit with non-perishable food items that require minimal preparation and have a long shelf life. Canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, and ready-to-eat meals are excellent options. Make sure to rotate your food supply periodically to maintain freshness.

First Aid Kit

 

First aid kit

A comprehensive first aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries and managing medical emergencies until professional help arrives. Include items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, pain relievers, tweezers, scissors, and a thermometer. Customize the kit to meet the specific needs of your family, including any prescription medications.

Emergency Shelter

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In the event of displacement or loss of shelter, having a means to protect your family from the elements is vital. Pack lightweight and compact items like a tent, tarp, or emergency blankets to provide shelter and insulation. Consider the size of your family when selecting shelter options.

Multi-Tool and Basic Supplies

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A multi-tool can serve multiple functions in emergency situations, such as cutting, prying, and opening canned goods. Additionally, include basic supplies like duct tape, rope, matches or lighters, a whistle, and a flashlight with extra batteries. These versatile tools can help you address various challenges that may arise during an emergency.

Communication Devices

Maintaining communication with family members and emergency services is crucial during a crisis. Include items such as a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, a fully charged cell phone with a portable charger, and a list of emergency contacts. Consider investing in a satellite phone or two-way radio for areas with limited or disrupted communication networks.

Personal Hygiene and Sanitation

Maintaining hygiene and sanitation standards is essential for preventing illness and maintaining morale during emergencies. Pack items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and garbage bags for waste disposal. Remember to include any specific hygiene products needed for infants, children, or individuals with special needs.

Protective Gear

Protecting your family from potential hazards and injuries is paramount. Include items such as sturdy shoes, work gloves, dust masks, safety goggles, and a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your emergency kit. Tailor the protective gear to the potential risks in your region, such as earthquakes, wildfires, or severe storms.

Important Documents and Cash

Keep copies of essential documents such as identification, insurance policies, medical records, and contact information in a waterproof and portable container. Additionally, include some cash in small denominations, as electronic payment systems may be inaccessible during emergencies. Store these items in a secure location within your emergency kit.

Comfort and Entertainment

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Maintaining a sense of normalcy and comfort during challenging times can help alleviate stress and anxiety for your family. Include items such as comfort foods, books, games, puzzles, or toys to provide distraction and entertainment. Consider the preferences and ages of your family members when selecting these items.

By assembling a well-rounded emergency survival kit with these essential items, you can significantly enhance your family’s readiness and resilience in the face of unexpected emergencies. Regularly review and update your kit to ensure that it remains fully stocked and meets the evolving needs of your family. Remember, being prepared today can make all the difference tomorrow.

How many of these do you have in your family’s supplies? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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