Author Topic: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.  (Read 10973 times)

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Online madmax

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2014, 06:49:53 AM »
I agree most survival shows are bunk.  I quit watching them and I'm out of the loop.  I do believe that we can practice survival skills on the practical and mental level. ...and do it. 

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2014, 07:44:55 AM »

 But I do disagree with you on several points,  and here's where we view things a bit differently, my OP started out discussing those times when we don't expect to be camping,  just spending a few hours out small game hunting,  or by a fishing spot a half mile into the woods, all we've taken is a shotgun and a few rounds of ammo,  or a fishing pole and a pocket tackle box, and maybe a pocket survival kit,  most experienced outdoorsmen do.
 It also talks about those unexpected things like weather changes, injuries of some kind, your canoe gets upset and now you're wet and your canoe is washed away downstream with your gear,  now you're in trouble if the weather doesn't cooperate.
 You're right in that you can't prepare or train for every situation that might turn into a survival mission, but you can take measures to be better prepared for most general situations that an outdoorsman might find himself in if something goes really wrong.
 As an example, in my case I wasn't counting on getting lost while hunting, I have a good sense of direction, I'm not frightened of the woods, the morning stared out fairly clear and not too cold,  I had a compass,  I walked in to the woods and walked north,  the area I was hunting in was farming country,  even if I lost my way, as long as I headed south to get out I'd hit the town, a farm, or Rt.US-1, but if I walked in a northerly direction it wouldn't take but a half hour and I'd be in Canada and from there close to a hundred miles of forrest before hitting any major residential areas.
 Normally it shouldn't have been a problem,  but the temp dropped, a blizzard started, my compass chose that time to fail me,  and I was disoriented by the situation,  but it was before noon,  I did, with the help of my hunting knife manage to use blowdown material to build a small shelter, collect fire wood, and build a decent fire within the space of a couple of hours,  I was ready to spend the night,  but not until the initial panic of being lost wore off, it only lasted about five minutes,  but the memory will remain with me for a life time.
 As for learning from watching survival TV or videos,  I think there's a lot of BS out there, but I have also seen a lot of good stuff being shown that can help people work their way out of tight spots,  if they experiment with what they watch.

Well, that's my point. No one says you shouldn't be prepared, but once you are in the survival situation, it is usually because something for which you have not prepared has happened. At some point, we can just say that we should carry our full kit with us all the time, but we know that's not going to happen. I'm certainly not going to carry a "survival" pack that weighs as much as my regular backpacking gear. Most of us will have the basics with us in a small day pack, and we'll have to scramble to do the best we can if we are forced into that situation. You spend enough time in the woods, it is bound to happen. When we do train for those situations, we should try to make it realistic, i.e. an hour of daylight left after a day of trying to get out of the forest with minimal gear; not what we usually see of "survival" shelters which take a full day to build with an axe, and a fire which requires four hours of wood gathering. Sadly that's mostly what we see on forums, blogs, and even TV shows.

  I think we're on the same page,  one need not be a survival expert or carry a full camping kit,  we are talking about being caught in a survival situation,  not a comfortable overnighter,  and I also agree that it all depends on where you end up getting into trouble,  in my area of the country (like yours), we are blessed with a lot of natural resources such as water and wood, where there's water there are usually fish and other wetland wildlife,  where there's wood there's usually ready access to shelter and fire.
  The problem as I see it is that even with all the available resources,  if you have no quick way to make those resources work for you, or you don't have the skills to assemble them you are pretty much out of luck.
  An emergency shelter can be as little as a place out of the wind if it's too late to do anything else,  and fire may be far more critical in some instances than a shelter in an emergency situation,  it can provide heat, security, companionship, and purify water.
  I'm not suggesting that it's a must to have a basic kit with you every time you leave home,  only that it's a good idea to have some minimalist kit with you when you plan to enter the woods or any remote area where help may not always be quickly available.
 
  IMHO,  there is some knowledge to be gained in some of the TV survival shows,  but there are far better choices to pick from if one wants to try to learn by viewing or by reading,  and if one combines what they've seen with some practical experience they stand a much better chance of surviving their adventure.
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Offline abo4ster

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2014, 11:40:30 AM »

   Do you pack enough in your minimalist survival kit to survive an unexpected stay in the woods ?

  When one thinks about it,  if you keep calm and use what ever skills you have as a woodsman,  you should be able to survive a night or two in the woods even in extreme conditions if you have some resources,  some basic skills,  and the right mental attitude.
 

Just thought I would throw out there I saw no mention (unless I missed it, sorry) of telling someone where you are going.  The 5Ws... who, what, where, when, and why.

And most everyone here mentioned what they carry in the their kit and fire/shelter skills and how they would use the content of their kit to survive.  I didn't see anyone mention clothing, which knowing how to dress is probably the most important skill because if you are dressed properly to begin with, anything that happens to you becomes more manageable.   The original scenario being a prime example.

As for the falling water deal, you lose your heat 25X faster in water than air.  If the vehicle was a reasonable distance, sounds like a good idea going for it with the hope the  physical exercise in getting there would keep you warm and blood flowing to all extremities giving you the dexterity to unlock and start.

Online madmax

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2014, 12:17:12 PM »
I'm sweatin my ass off at the put in for our Pot and Machetes.  Everybody learned a big lesson on the second one and was grateful for their e-bags.

'course you don't wear long pants or shoes... tough guy.  ;)

Kelly keeps close tabs on my whereabouts.  For obvious reasons.  I'm just not responsible.  :)
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline hayshaker

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #54 on: December 31, 2016, 06:47:28 PM »
n regards to the too cold fingers to start a fire'
i have for some time now carry a couple of OLIN mini flares
they are for worst case senario like some mentioned here.
not only will they start a fire they provide light and aat as a signaling device,

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2017, 09:20:43 AM »
n regards to the too cold fingers to start a fire'
i have for some time now carry a couple of OLIN mini flares
they are for worst case senario like some mentioned here.
not only will they start a fire they provide light and aat as a signaling device,

  Thanks for resurrecting this thread,  and for the tip on Olin mini flares,  I'd forgotten about this thread,  though it was only a couple of years ago that it started I'm reminded that much has changed in my life and in my kit over the years.
  In my youth I used to take off by myself for a day of hunting or fishing some wild stream,  I rarely told anyone where I was going,  my gear was usually what ever I carried in my pocket and perhaps a canteen, and my gun or fishing gear,  when you're young you really don't think anything exists that can hurt you or that you can't overcome.
  Later in my mid thirties I found myself in a real life survival situation that only lasted a short time but was a big learning experience,  I learned that I wasn't bullet proof,  I wasn't properly equipped gear wise or experience wise to meet a real life wilderness survival threat,  however, I did survive, but mostly because of luck,  I was wet, cold, scared and lacked the confidence in myself that I had always assumed I'd have.
  After that experience I revamped my emergency kit,  practiced my survival skills until I owned them,  and have been refining my kit and my skills ever since,  as I get older my abilities, skills, and kit change to meet the challenges of aging,  I read somewhere that wisdom comes with age,  that may have some truth,  I believe wisdom has more to do with life experiences that teach us to overcome potential problems before they get bad enough to bite us on the ass,  and if we get blindsided, gives us the confidence to think before we act,  then make the best possible choices. 

  I'm also reminded of three incidents that happened since this thread died and your recent post,  one was of a woman,  she was in her sixties, an experienced hiker and backpacker from New York who was hiking a portion of the AT near Mount Kathadin in Maine,  somehow she got lost, Game wardens searched for several weeks before ending the search, that was  three years ago, her remains were found this year by hunters.
  In another last year, in MA. another experienced woman hiker was on a three day hike alone climbing MT. Washington,  the weather turned bad and she also was lost,  her remains were found by other hikers almost a year later, she had injured her leg,  they think she lived for over a week curled up in her one person tent inside of her down sleeping bag,  she apparently died of starvation and thirst,  she was found just 80 feet off an established hiking trail.
  The third was just a couple of weeks ago,  a team of five people were doing some kind of environmental research near a small body of water,  they were gathered around an evening campfire and the conversation turned to the iced over water,  one, a young man in his mid twenties stated that he thought the ice was safe enough for him to walk to the opposite shore,  his team mates warned him that it wasn't a good idea,  but he went out on the thin ice anyway,  he had crossed about halfway when the ice gave way,  his team mates had no means to safely rescue him,  his body was recovered the next morning by the local fire and police dept.
  In the first two incidents the women were elderly,  but they were experienced and in good health,  had they carried a satellite GPS emergency signaling device they probably would not have perished,  and if the young man had heeded the words of his team mates he would not have gone out on the thin ice,  a bit of extra gear and a little fore thought and common sense could have saved three lives.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2017, 11:15:58 AM »
There were two hunters just a few weeks ago that needed help. They were in a wood lot of 45 acres. Part of it was swamp. They got separated. One fell into the water. Instead of following his tracks back to the car, He went searching for his friend's help.

There was snow on the ground. He got wet early morning. The rescue crew got to him about 5pm.

He could have followed the rail rod track in either direction to find the main roads and help.


Considering winter canoeing, That flare idea is a good one. As well as a small bundle of wood.  Another good survival tactic in winter and wet is a Palmer Furnace. Just a blanket or insulating wrap and a candle you squat over.
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2017, 07:37:16 PM »
They say, "Familiarity breeds contempt."
Famous Last Words: "Don't worry...I've done this a hundred times."

My Grandfather's Rules: "Don't step on something you can step over; don't climb over something you can climb under; and don't go through something you can go around."
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline Chekmate

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2017, 09:50:33 PM »
There are so many good points being brought up here.  Practice is something I feel is the most important.  Also in all conditions.   But, I feel everyone should carry a small basic kit to get them through at least 24 hours.  When I go to the woods even for a short walk.  I step out of my truck and put my belt on with my fixed blade knife and belt pouch.   I do this even to walk in for a couple of branches to bring home.    In the belt pouch is a 500 ml flat pot with lid, trash bags, tinder, whistle, survival blanket, cordage, snare wire, multi-tool, 6" Ferro rod, fishing line and hooks, spare compass, head lamp, saw blade, tin foil, tinder, lighter, char tin with flint and steel, signal mirror and a couple of bouillon packets and hot cocoa. With these items, I'm set for almost any condition I find myself in.  I don't even notice I have it on my waist.   I also practice with the items in the kit.  Like building a shelter out of the trash bags.   It doesn't take much gear to survive, but you have to come up with something you'll carry all the time.

Great thread everyone!  Keep it goin.

Keep Your Tinder Dry
Chekmate
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 09:57:54 PM by Chekmate »
Keep Your Tinder Dry
Chekmate

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2017, 11:03:29 PM »
Murphy's Law: "If something can go wrong, it will."
O'l P's Axiom: "Murphy was an optimist."
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline Orbean

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2017, 05:53:10 AM »
People find themselves lost in the Sandia mountains every year. I am always amazed that this happens, there aren't too many places where you can't see Albuquerque and if you get lost all one has to do is move west, downhill.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2017, 09:21:07 AM »
So it turns out ol' Horace Greeley was right.......who knew? :shrug:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2017, 09:49:22 AM »
 :rofl:
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2017, 10:11:46 AM »
:rofl:

  LOL, I had a feeling that was coming.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Survival, when fun turns into serious business.
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2017, 03:53:14 PM »
"Go into the Light! Go into the Light!"
Little known orienteering trick when lost a stone's throw from civilization:  Wait until dark. Look for the glow of the city lights on the horizon. Draw an arrow in the dirt. When the sun comes up, start walking in that direction.   :doh:
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.