Natures Band-Aid

If you ever are lost in the wild and get a cut thats not too deep, place some cobwebs over it,sprinkle some hot water, and mold the mixture to form your affected area. Next, sprinkle some (NON POISONOUS) puff ball spores on the cobweb. There you have it, a natural band-aid!

“Puffballs that resepuffballmble hard boiled eggs are decaying, and not edible. Discolored puffballs should also be avoided.”

“Farmers in central Europe used to prevent infection by packing open wounds with fistfuls of cobwebs laced with fungus-grown penicillin.”

The healing cells (granulocytes and others) migrate into the middle of the wound, usually under a scab which forms over top to protect the site. In fact wounds heal much better if they are kept clean and moist and there is some sort of fabric for the cells to migrate along.

cobweb

How Poo Can Save You!

Did you know you can use animal dung as fuel blocks? Find preferably cow or camel dung (depending on where you are) mix it up well with grass and leave it to dry for a few days in the hot sun or near your fire. Once dried, this ball will act as an amazing fuel for your fire! You will be amazed by the amount of time it takes for one reasonably sized block to burn through.

fuel

THE WILL TO SURVIVE (The Psychology of Survival)

“The will to survive, The refusal to give up!”

It takes much more than knowledge and skills to survive! Some people with little survival training have managed to survive life  threatening situations while others with professional survival training have not used their skills and died. Why does this happen?

Answers: The mental attitude of the individual(s) involved. Having survival skills is important but having the will to survive is essential! In a survival situation, you will face many stresses that impact your mind. These stresses can produce thoughts and emotions that, if poorly understood, can transform a confident, well-trained individual into an indecisive, ineffective individual with questionable ability to survive.

Fear: is our emotional response to dangerous circumstances that we believe have the potential to cause death, injury, or illness. Affects physical,emotional, and mental well-being. It can cause you to become so scared that you fail to perform activities essential for survival. Fear can also have a positive function! I can encourage you to be cautious in situations where recklessness could result in injury.

Solution: Through realistic training for instance with Peak Survival Intro- Intermediate courses, you can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to increase your confidence and manage your fears!

Anxiety: is normal!  You are lost in an unfamiliar place and have never experienced this before. Anxiety can overwhelm you to the point where you become confused and makes it difficult for you to think clearly. Once this happens, it becomes more difficult for you to make good judgments and decisions.

Solution: Hug a tree. (its proven to calm you) Talk yourself throughout what you are feeling. Visualize yourself getting through it! Use this anxious energy to get things done like building a shelter, fire,and  finding water. It is perfectly normal to be anxious and scared BUT when used in a healthy way, anxiety motivates you to act!

Anger and Frustration: You will have to complete tasks with minimal resources and this reality will most likely become frustrating. It is inevitable, something, if not everything, will go wrong and this is beyond your control. With your life, or that of someone else being at stake, every mistake feels magnified. A few moments of frustration can easily turn into anger.

Solution: The quicker you can cope with your frustrations and your new reality, the higher your chances of survival. Frustration and anger can encourage impulsive reactions, irrational behavior, poor decision making which can lead you to the “I quit” mentality.  Use your emotional intensity to act in a productive manner! Transfer that energy into doing something. Just think about when you have a cold, if you sit around doing nothing, all you think about is how horrible you feel. By getting up and doing something, anything, your actions distract you from how you are feeling.

Depression: It is very normal to get sad when faced with the reality of survival. A frustrated person becomes more and more angry as he fails to reach his goals. If the anger does not help you to succeed, then the frustration level goes even higher, leading to depression. When a person reaches this point, he starts to give up! The focus goes from a proactive “What can I do” to “There is nothing I can do.” Depression is a feeling of hopelessness.

Solution: You can allow yourself  to be sad momentarily. Do not let it consume you to the point where you want to give up easily. Think of your family, or anything that can raise your spirits because such thoughts can give you the desire to try harder and live one more day!

Boredom: With every task done (shelter building, water, fire built etc) Loneliness and boredom will overcome you. You don’t have board games, no television or Internet but that does not mean you cannot get creative!

Solution: You may discover some hidden talents and abilities as you continue to add neat inventions to your shelter, or build traps for catching food. You can create games by digging a hole and throwing stones into it from a distance. By doing something other than worrying,you develop a degree of self-sufficiency and confidence. Tap into your imagination and inner creativity. Who knows, you might even find a new strength you never knew you had.

Guilt: The circumstances leading to your survival situation are sometimes very dramatic!  You were the only survivor and are questioning why you are the only one alive? It is common for survivors to feel guilty about being alive while others are dead. Acknowledge them these feeling but do not allow them to hinder you in surviving.

Solution: When used in a positive way, guilt can encourage you to work harder to survive! You are alive for some greater purpose in life that you may not understand at first. Whatever reason you give yourself, please do not allow any of these dark feelings to prevent you from living!!!!

Be Prepared: No one knows when (or IF)  they will be in a survival situation but having the knowledge and tools ahead of time will strongly improve your chances of survival!

1)Education: Attend a Survival Wilderness Training program or workshops, read, practice and apply your new found knowledge to build confidence and strengthen your skills. Don’t forget, you have this in you already. Human beings used to live in the wilderness! By practicing wilderness survival, it will become second nature to you!

NEWS: The newly established PEAK SURVIVAL in Vermont is an excellent choice if you live in the Montreal, Vermont, New York, or Boston areas. If you enjoy longer road trips you should definitely check it out! Peaksurvival or write to peaksurvial@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/peaksurvival

Look to The Stars

Lost and don’t have a compass?

No worries, just turn to nature. Nature has amazing natural ways to help you find your way. First thing to do when you go out anywhere is to tell someone where you are going so IF you get lost the search team will know where to begin. The second most important thing to remember is knowing what direction you have been traveling or are heading. This can be done through celestial navigation or astronavigation. Identifying true north is crucial and the North Star or Polaris will show you the way.

The key to locating the North Star is to find the Big Dipper, a constellation of stars known as Ursa Major (AKA the Great Bear) and the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor). Once you have found those two constellations, draw an imaginary line straight through the two stars of the dipper edge toward the Little Dipper. The line will point very close to the handle of the Little Dipper.The brightest star in the Little Dipper is at the end of its handle and This is the North Star!!!

How to Find the North Star

Look to the Sky: Lost during the day? No problem! You can also find your way through the position of the sun. Remember this: the sun rises in the east and sets in the west! Look to the Trees Nature can also give you a few clues as to which direction you are heading.

Look at the trees, the ones with more lichen, moss and less full leaves enjoy less sunlight therefore North but beware…in a forest where little sunlight gets through the canopy the moss will grow anywhere!

Look to the Ants! Notice Ant nest mounds in relation to the position of the sun. They will always be facing South, the direction where there is the most exposure to sun because the position of the sun accelerates the incubation period for ants.

How to find the north star:

How to find the north star

What to have in a Survival Kit

Think less is more and keep it small. Too often I have seen people purchasing bulky and heavy survival packs that simply have too many bells and whistles for too much a price! Find a tin can like the Altoids mints one and everything you need to survive can fit in that container.  If you want to go abit more high tech with containers, for 5$ you can purchase water proof highlander plastic container or a waterproof dry bag which has abit more space. You want to carry something that will fit in your jacket pocket so you can easily carry it around. Get in the habit of having it on you when you hike,ski or do any type of outdoor adventures.Keep in mind, in a survival situation it is possible that you may not be found for at least a week.

You can make your very own basic kit for less than 20$. That is cheap for something that can save your life! Keep in mind this is situational dependant! This kit will help you in most situations.All you really need in your survival kit is:

Note: This is with the assumption you are lost in an area with trees around you.

  • Sweedish fire steel: : They are better than matches and have more strikes in them. They last much longer too
  • Signal mirror
  • Whistle (whistle- pause- whistle- pause- whistle is the the code for s.o.s)
  • Razor blade or sharp knife (building shelter, hunting tools, cutting meat)
  • Fishing hooks and wire
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Snare wire ( catching rabbits or squirrels)
  • Tinder like Birch bark in a small zip lock bag (This way it remains dry even if it is raining)

Next blog : nature navigation and celestial navigation and order of things to do when you are lost.

Yummy Yummy Yummy I’ve Got Worms in my Tummy

Lost? Need to eat? Survival foraging can be easier than you think…it you can conquer some of your fears! You have seen it on Survivor and various other tv shows challenging people to eat nasty juicy grubs and insects, but guess what, it might be your turn one day. There are some pretty hardy things you can eat in the wild and you don’t have to eat them alive either. Use your imagination with what you find and create a wild stir fry with worms and ants. Before you eat anything, follow these basic guidelines.

If its pretty do not eat it! Sorry, I wish I had better news for you. It turns out that those pretty brightly coloured or fuzzy/ hairy insects should be avoided! Best trick when eating insects, just close your eyes and imagine something scrumptious.

If it looks menacing, it probably is! Avoid insects that bite or sting. They may carry poison or they may harm you as you try to catch them. Make it easier for yourself. After all, food is not your primary concern when you are lost. A human can survive an average of 30 days without food… but water is essential!

Only eat fresh, healthy insects. Insect Buffet, most worms and grubs provide an excclent source of protein!. I suggest you toast them until they are dried. View it as a healthy substitute to chips! Get creative with what you find and mix it up. Maybe toss a roasted grub salad with wild growing ferns.
Some ants are good food. Dip a stick in water, insert it into an ant nest, let it be coated by ants, and eat.Honey ants, or sugar bags, store their food in the form of sugars in their abdomen. Because of the stored nectar, these ants
taste great and are considered a treat. Most ants taste bitter.

Remove the wings and legs before eating grasshoppers and crickets,They scratch ALL the way down.

Challenghe to see who gets to eat the worm

Enjoy!

Stinging Nettles Meet your Match!

Have you ever come in contact with a stinging nettle? The itchy rash you get may vary in shape and size. It usually goes away within 24 hours. That stinging is cause by the little hairs or stingers located on the stem of the plant, the young ones are the worst!
That stinging sensation is due to the formic acid being released into your skin and the rash occurs because your body’s natural reaction to release a chemical called histamine by the cells in your skin.

How to cure the rash
There are two natural ways to cure the rash by using the dock leaf or the jewel weed. Find a dock leaf (which ironically usually grows near the nettle) and crush the leaf in order to stimulate its natural oils, rub on the affected area and within a few minutes the sting disappears. The leaves and the juice from the stem of Jewelweed is also a common remedy. If the rash persists and spreads, it would be wise to move onto antihistamines, most commonly used for nettle rash.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz34AEsXXMc&feature=channel

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