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Outdoor to the Core – Survival

A quick grip to the local creek or across the continent to a wilderness area, both require some degree of awareness as to what you might unexpectedly encounter. Don’t give up your dreams for outdoor activity out of fear, the unknown is part of the excitement. My adventures have taken me into the jungles of Mexico, the Canadian wilderness and places not easily accessible. Preparation is your friend and as you gain experience you will feel more comfortable adding or subtracting necessaries.

Preparation – Anticipate your adventure and do a little research as to the possible scenarios you might face. Being mentally prepared is one key to feeling comfortable, being physically prepared for the physical demands of your outing is also high on the list. As important as anything is to realistically access your situation but under no circumstances panic. Consider what time you plan to spend on your trip and also the amount of time you could be required to spend by unexpected circumstances.
Needs – You can last only three days without water, there’s a limit to how much water you can carry, but water purification is much easier now with instant filters, tablets or just boiling water collected. As for food your body needs protein, know the edible elements in the area. You could go weeks without food but the body starts to break down, muscle tissue is absorbed as is the heart. The amount of time for survival actually depends on general health, age and amount of built up body fat reserves. Plants, berries (most wild red berries are toxic) and even bugs, worms, most bugs and grubs are all edible) or other wild creatures are all on the menu when you’re in survival mode. At eight to ten days without sleep the normal limit for the average human, with the loss of sleep you are not functioning well, altered perception, slowed reaction time and diminished mental processes all come from long term lack of sleep.

Arm Yourself – a good knife and or a multi-tool is critical to your survival. Cutting, preparing food, camp chores and in extreme conditions protection all can come from the knife or tool.
Shelter – simple or ornate the need for a shelter form the elements is important and even more so when the weather is extreme. A lean-to can be constructed easily suing natural materials all around you.
“Come on Baby Light My Fire” – Critical to comfort, food prep, signaling and keeping wild creatures at bay there is a sense of wellness that comes with a controlled fire. A disposable lighter, waterproof matches or a magnifying glass to provide a flame are essential. Cotton ball soaked in Vaseline are super fire starter, several stored in a resalable plastic bag gives you fire starter, first aid and a bag for multi-purpose uses.
* In my survival kit are the relighting candles used as a joke on birthday cakes. They will once lit not be extinguished by wind a moisture.
Rescue – Stay or try to walk out? Conventional wisdom is to stay put and signal. Green vegetation makes a smoke fire that can be seen form miles away. In an opening spell out HELP with rocks, use a large bright piece of cloth as a flag (I carry a red bandana). If you decide to walk out follow steams, paths or mountains likely to lead you to a form of civilization. If you are lucky enough to have a signal GPS your way back.
Power – A small powerful light source, mini Maglite should be on your list of “must have” items. Carry spare batteries and when possible if you have a solar charger for phone or other electronics it’s a huge plus.
First Aid – A small first aid kit can be assembled with surgical tape, gauze, band aids, antibacterial ointment to prevent infection and a tube of super glue. This gives you all need to deal with at least temporarily with cuts, scrapes and burns. The glue can be used in place of stitches to close a wound.
Extras – 30 feet of rope, double face Velcro, insulted clothing, fish hooks and a length of line, the afore mention brightly colored bandana, a mirror, power bars, safety pins, a small pocket knife and zip ties are just a few of the additional items I’ve carried with me. Think small, lightweight, multi-purpose and useful. An old fashioned paper map can be helpful. There’s no substitute for being comfortable and confident but the most important thing in survival is preparation and a well thought out plan. It’s all part of being, “Outdoor to the Core.”