Author Topic: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?  (Read 33637 times)

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Offline WI_Woodsman

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What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:16:43 PM »
I know that each scenario dictates a different priority but what I'm getting at is, in a situation where you were hundreds of miles from civilization and you had nothing but the cloths on your back and the knowledge in your head; What would be the highest priority to effect you survival?

Or, what's the first "project" you would commit calories, hydration and brain power to in order to effect survival?

I've never been in a survival situation (and hope never to be) so I'm looking forward to seeing your responses...   :)

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 11:15:55 PM »
...What would be the highest priority to effect you survival?

Or, what's the first "project" you would commit calories, hydration and brain power to in order to effect survival?...
Finding a water source, and then the means to make it safe to drink.
I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 11:40:57 PM »
I think it's a toss up between water and shelter, with a bias toward water. In almost every situation, if you need shelter first, it means your clothing isn't adequate for the conditions. But there are rare cases where the weather is unseasonably hot, cold, or windy that aren't easily anticipated. Then perhaps shelter might take priority over water.

It really depends on the conditions and the circumstances surrounding the situation as far as what projects one might need to undertake first. For example in a snowy winter situation, shelter and fire might come first, because you will need fire to make water when it's all frozen. But since you have a relatively abundant source (the snow) you wouldn't need to go to great lengths to find it.

 In a hot desert situation, you might need to decide if searching for an elusive and possibly non-existent water source is a better expenditure of limited resources than staying put and sheltering from the sun while signalling for help with a fire or other means.

The middle of the ocean with no boat means no fire, no shelter and no drinkable water. :shrug:

There really is no one priority that can work for every situation, unless it is to plan ahead before a survival situation happens, and decide beforehand what your priorities will need to be for the likely survival scenarios given your location and time of year.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 12:03:51 AM »
...
There really is no one priority that can work for every situation, unless it is to plan ahead before a survival situation happens, and decide beforehand what your priorities will need to be for the likely survival scenarios given your location and time of year.
That pretty much sums it up. These conversations always seem to get overly specific and scenario oriented before too many posts.
Other than finding yourself buck naked in a blizzard, or under the topical sun, what's the greatest threat to life? Dehydration. Okay...I'm in a blizzard. Water problem solved itself...now for some shelter from the elements.
Personally, I think it's a tossup as to which is going to degrade your survival chances faster: dehydration, or hypothermia. Both lead to loss of mental acuity, and motor skills. The ability to hydrate safely depends upon being able to sanitize your water source, so fire is an integral part of the equation, not only for hydration, but to prevent hypothermia.
I agree with PW that the situation dictates priorities, but over a 72+ hour period, I don't know that it's possible to say one is always more important than the other...unless it's water. You can be warm and out of the elements in a shelter, but you still can't go without water for very long.

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Offline mac

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 12:06:56 AM »
really depends on the location and the season.
Canadian winters would require shelter to be a high priority, however building a shelter would be difficult without drinking water.
Fire would also be of great importance for warmth as well as purifying water.

see you on the trails...

Offline xj35s

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 06:31:13 AM »
Part of any survival situation is knowing what to do.

 For an example, do you know what to do if your in a flash mob and people are getting knocked down and trampled to death? You cross your arms in front of your chest and push out. lift your legs and "float" with the mob until it disperses.

The Military and other manuals state it best. 3 hours without shelter, 3 day's without water, and 3 weeks without food.

Even in the desert when you think the heat and sun are so dangerous you have to find water, you're wrong. Shelter should still be number one. what you are forgetting is that the nights dip down very low.
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 06:35:44 AM »
I suppose I would go with fire...  Provides warmth, boost moral, wards off potential predators, hardens clay pots (which can hold water), coals burn out wooden bowls (which can also hold water), and can be used as a rescue signal.  I know that this isn't universal priority but if I were caught out in the boreal forest I'd have to say fire would be my highest priority... 

Offline wolfy

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 07:27:48 AM »
I'm going to vote with xj35s & Cody Lundin on this one :P
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 08:20:43 AM »
My highest priority is to stay out of survival situations.

An ounce of prevention...

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline madmax

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2013, 08:48:34 AM »
LOL WB.

In FL, most of the year it would be water.  However,  you can't get hundreds of miles from civilization down here.  There are many places that you may not see another human being for awhile.  We work at finding them.   ;)
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Offline DomC

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2013, 09:17:16 AM »
Fire, water, shelter in that order. Florida is at sea level or below so water is abundant dig a few feet you can usually hit water near a swamp, pond, or lake, but you still need to purify it so knowing how to start a fire is top priority in my book. But true survival is dependent on proper mindset of the individual and their physical capabilities/fitness.

DomC :) ;)
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2013, 09:25:29 AM »
Part of any survival situation is knowing what to do.
.....
The Military and other manuals state it best. 3 hours without shelter, 3 day's without water, and 3 weeks without food.

Even in the desert when you think the heat and sun are so dangerous you have to find water, you're wrong. Shelter should still be number one. what you are forgetting is that the nights dip down very low.
While the Rule of Threes has a sound basis, I question the 3 hours without shelter part, unless you count adequate clothing as 'shelter'. And out in the desert sun, even the shade of a mesquite bush could be considered 'shelter' in that situation. If you're caught in a rain storm in the rainforests of the PNW, you put on your poncho, or go stand under a tree. You've just found 'shelter' in a sense.
So back to what PW said about every situation can change your immediate priorities.
I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.

Offline hunter63

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2013, 12:41:23 PM »
IMO....You need to keep core heat/cool in balance or all other aspects are irrelevant ......so,

Shelter/fire.....this can go either way......
Fire/shelter
Water
Food
Rule of threes does apply........
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2013, 06:12:56 PM »
I agree knowledge is priority that is why this thread was started...   ;)

I also agree every situation may dictates different priorities and there is no one single priority than should be mandated in every situation.  I guess I was hoping by not defining the wilderness survival situation that people would insert it themselves (considering B&B members are found in every climate and terrain in the world).   ;D

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2013, 08:34:00 PM »
I think for me it would be fire.   The comfort, the warmth, water purification and I can get it smokey enough for bug control.   Mosquitoes can drive a man/woman insane ...

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2013, 06:18:45 AM »
I think for me it would be fire.   The comfort, the warmth, water purification and I can get it smokey enough for bug control.   Mosquitoes can drive a man/woman insane ...

WW.

Yeah, I forgot to mention mosquito control...  Fire's got a lot of benefits!   :D

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2013, 09:31:26 AM »
I still believe that if you need supplemental shelter to survive, then you aren't dressed properly for the conditions in the first place. Shelter is a band aid fix for inadequate clothing in most (not all) circumstances. Clothing should be selected for temperature and climate extremes for the area, not how it feels at 2:00 in the afternoon. You should be packing enough extra layers to ensure comfort in case of cold and wet conditions. If you have adequate clothing, you can spend a night out without building shelter.

Since shelter construction isn't always possible, having the right clothes is important. You wouldn't go on a hike without shoes. Why go without extra layers?


Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2013, 11:04:53 AM »
Can I play?

In winter around here (and I'm sure lots of places on the continent) it might not be realistic to be able to carry enough clothing to survive, outside of a lot of specialized gear. I don't know if I own clothes that could allow me to stay the night exposed during one of our colder winter nights. I know I wouldn't want to try it... When the animals aren't moving and the tree branches are snapping like rifle shots, I'd hate to have only the clothes on my back (or in my backpack for that matter)... But if you have the stuff to stay out without a fire or shelter, is that really a "survival" situation, or just a 'forced camp out'? I dunno... (unless you've other 'survival' concerns.) i think there are times of the year when being outside with only what you are wearing is sketchy - unless you've got equipment and a shelter OR shelter and a fire. Thats why i think most peope i know would opt for some kind of a shelter and a fire asap. Again, just my opinion.

As far as the original question, I think if I was ever in a true survival situation, I would personally assess my current need to stay healthy. It might vary from climate to climate and circumstance to circumstance, but the first thing in my book is to take a look at the immediate and first threat to my safety/life. I'd get that threat neutralized and move on o the next upcoming one. That way, you're adapting to the situation and not wasting calories doing what you think you need, but might not really need.

Again, just my $.02.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2013, 11:42:51 AM »
KK I want to jump in here and add another thought to your 'winter survival' thought.   Don't forget that for us we can use the snow to our advantage for shelter.   Getting out of the wind would be my first priority if in that situation and I'm poorly dressed.   

There's been a lot of survivors over many years that have survived just by burrowing down into the snow over night.

So for me, those first calories burned in winter would be shelter..and then fire near the shelter.  :)   Snow is my water so that would be one less worry. 

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline wolfy

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2013, 04:36:39 PM »
I was able to get a 'loaner' copy of Cody Lundin's book on this very subject & I tend to agree with WW, KK and him when it comes to keeping that core-temperature at 98.6, so I recommend reading his thoughts on the matter......it's well done, if not a bit 'quirky' ;)



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Offline Draco

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2013, 04:38:27 PM »
I think, as others have said, it all depends.  Probably in the desert water could be considered most important.  In cold and snow shelter rises to the top.  What is going to kill you first?  That is what you need to solve.

I also found Cody's book very good but if people are offended by bawdy humor then you might want to pass. 

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2013, 09:05:51 PM »
I think, as others have said, it all depends.  Probably in the desert water could be considered most important.  In cold and snow shelter rises to the top.  What is going to kill you first?  That is what you need to solve.

I also found Cody's book very good but if people are offended by bawdy humor then you might want to pass.
I totally agree with that^ especially the bit which I've emphasised.  I might find myself in a true survival situation with one of the main things already taken care of (say for example, stranded in a vehicle), so I'd then move on to the next potential threat to my life, and so on.  I think when people suffer the most is often because they've not properly prioritized their dilemma.  It's always the one thing that you didn't see coming that gets you, isn't it?

I'm offended by Cody's book because he said he'd eat me... sorta... indirectly, kinda... ;)
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Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2013, 09:15:59 PM »
KK I want to jump in here and add another thought to your 'winter survival' thought.   Don't forget that for us we can use the snow to our advantage for shelter.   Getting out of the wind would be my first priority if in that situation and I'm poorly dressed.   

There's been a lot of survivors over many years that have survived just by burrowing down into the snow over night.

So for me, those first calories burned in winter would be shelter..and then fire near the shelter.  :)   Snow is my water so that would be one less worry. 

WW.
  Amen sista! :) A quinsy (sp?) or good snowtrench could save your life in the coldest nights without a sleeping bag... I guess.  But you know from where you live how cold it can get out there at night...  Imagine being out there in a snow cave with no fire... Here's hoping no one here ever needs to find that out.  :-\

I dunno, though, I just have a hard time picturing me coming home after a night in the dead of winter without both a fire AND shelter... (or like I said, a sleeping system and shelter).  In real cold weather I think I'm first out of the wind, IMMEDIATELY followed by building a fire, third snugging up my shelter all the while making drastic life-altering deals with God... ;) 
What if you woke up today, with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Offline Saintnick001

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2013, 09:20:11 AM »
Down here I'm going to say water first. TP comes in at a close second.
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Offline madmax

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2013, 09:29:05 AM »
[quote ...all the while making drastic life-altering deals with God... ;)
[/quote]

oh my.  How many times have I been there.
"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 kanukkarhu

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2013, 03:34:50 PM »
[quote ...all the while making drastic life-altering deals with God... ;)

oh my.  How many times have I been there.
[/quote]I know, eh? :)
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2013, 06:05:32 AM »
I have been thinking on this.  I think your body will dictate what you need to do in any given survival situation.  If you are cold, it will tell you that you need shelter and fire.  If you are hungry and thirsty, it will tell you that you need food and water.  If are hot, it will tell you to find some way to cool off.
Now just because your body is telling you things DOES NOT MEAN you are listening to your body.  Obviously, you need to know your body and "listen" to it.

I know this is not exactly the answer that was probably anticipated but I think if you listen to your body (any time) (and have a good head on your shoulders especially how to cope in the outdoors) things should work out and you should be able to pull through any situation.
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Offline abo4ster

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2013, 06:30:57 PM »
I wrote about this recently on my blog as it relates to the Secrets of Survival TV show with Les Stroud and a book of a similar name that has a specific plan of wilderness survival priorities starting with Fire right after First Aid.  I have spoken with several full-time survival instructors about "priorities" and even specifically about this book which calls out a specific plan.  Bottom-line is being able to adapt.

However, in cold weather, reducing heat loss is very likely going to be your number one strategy.  Most relate this to shelter, but reducing heat loss maybe something as simple as removing wet clothes, getting off the ground, getting out of the wind, and/or changing elevation.  After that, FIRE.

Quote
NEXT TO KNOWING HOW TO DRESS WELL, FIRE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSH SKILLS THERE ARE, BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF THE FEW MEANS AVAILABLE TO MAKE UP MOST GREAT DEFICIENCIES.  -- Mors Kochanski

You can state the priorities many different ways...

Rule of 3's (w/fire)

OR

Quote
The essence of survival is to be able to sleep comfortably when you need to and to drink enough water to maintain the bodily functions at an optimum level. Outside of life threatening injury, an immediate concern is maintaining a comfortable body temperature. In cold conditions this is accomplished by dressing adequately, knowing how to preserve or maintain the insulative integrity of your clothing and supplementing any inadequacy with fire and shelter.  -- Mors Kochanski, Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook from Karamat Wilderness Ways.

OR

Quote
If it's COLD outside
- Reduce heat loss: get out of the wind, off the ground, and remove wet clothing.
- Put on dry, insulated clothing and seek or make shelter. Pay special attention to protecting your head, neck, and torso.
- Build a fire if necessary. Gather extra wood for the night.
- Drink your water (hot if possible with a few dissolved hard candies or sugar). Clear urine means your body has enough water.
- Eat high-energy foods (carbs) throughout the day.
- Get familiar with your area and make camp early before it gets dark.
- Rest and conserve your energy unless you are performing vital tasks or exercising to keep warm.
- Maintain a calm, positive attitude.
- Be prepared to signal rescuers at all times.
-- Cody Lundin, 98.6 Degrees, The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive

Personally, I like the way Lundin outlines the Cold-Weather Bottom-Line, which can be found on Page 75 of his book in detail.  Again, these are the bottom-line considerations, NOT priorities.  I simplified them here...

COLD-WEATHER BOTTOM LINE
1. Produce Heat - only 3 ways; food, exercise, and fire.
2. Decrease Heat Loss - understand the five heat-loss mechanisms.
3. Avoid becoming exhausted (60 percent rule). Working at 60 percent allows the body to burn fat reserves instead of using up glucose and oxygen stores. Get adequate sleep and rest.
4. Reduce internal and external constriction -  Avoid ingesting vasoconstricting substances; tight clothing, equipment, and footwear.
5. Stay Hydrated - Drink warm to hot liquids if possible; urine should appear ?clear.?
6. Stay aware of what's happening.  Be conservative. 

Understanding the Cold-Weather Bottom-Line before you "go out" is the best preparation in my opinion.

Offline madmax

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2013, 06:44:05 PM »
I think somebody mentioned locality before.  When it's 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity, you won't stay dry and won't get cold.  Good luck getting a friction fire going.

Chris knows this.  He doesn't even wear shoes. Doesn't use a headlamp either. LOL.  My kinda guy. :)

Down south a lot of the year it's all about making water safe to drink...or just getting to it.  I HAVE gone for many days on just water down here.
 
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2013, 07:05:46 PM »
Interesting that Mors puts clothing right at the top.

Offline madmax

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2013, 07:12:07 PM »
Interesting that Mors puts clothing right at the top.

hmmm. a naked pot and machete...

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Putting this in perspective... My little brother ran off into the northern MN woods in a pair of Speedos and an stocking cap after Mom cut his hair.  He was 8.  It was the late 60's or early 70's.  He was such a little bastard we didn't go looking for him.  He came back 3 days later with about 1000 skeeter bites.  Meaner than ever.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 07:22:17 PM by madmax »
"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 ncnurseryman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2013, 08:14:06 PM »
I'm going to say shelter for protection against the elements and a feeling of security at night.  Water would be a very close second but here's a question.  if you were faced with a survival situation and had nothing to start a fire with and was unable to start a friction fire, would you drink untreated water in the hopes that you would be rescued soon.

Offline ncnurseryman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2013, 08:18:11 PM »
I would if I became severely dehydrated, I don't know if you would have a viable choice.

Offline abo4ster

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2013, 10:19:58 PM »
Interesting that Mors puts clothing right at the top.

= reducing heat loss (shelter)

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2013, 08:12:25 AM »
Cody's book has been mentioned quite a bit in this thread I'm going to have to pick up a copy!

A lot of people have been saying build a shelter especially if you don't have proper clothing for the climate.  I agree that a shelter is high on the list of priorities the problem is that most people find themselves in a survival situation late in the day which doesn't give you a lot of day light to build an adequate shelter to provide for your needs.

Although most shelter building requires a lot of time and calories so I suppose it would be prudent to use 'em while you have 'em...

Mad Max, you had mentioned that in Florida potable water is the highest priority, in a wilderness survival situation how would you purify water without fire?   

Offline Alaskan Bushman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2013, 09:28:13 AM »
There is no one answer, different regions have different priority's and people are going to have there own opinions.
I can tell you for me, were I live without a doubt, fire is priority #1

Now, there are always exceptions to the rule.
If I were to get caught out above timberline up on a pass and there was no fuel for priority #1 then I would be looking for a natural wind block and hunker down.

Offline Draco

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2013, 09:37:53 AM »
Cody's book has been mentioned quite a bit in this thread I'm going to have to pick up a copy!

I think you will enjoy it.  Cody gets slammed a lot for his hippie attitude but I think if you read his book you will see that is totally unfounded.  Sure he has that look but there is no entitlement attitude in his writing and he specifically says that you are responsible for your own survival.  I totally agree with his survival philosophy.  It is not man vs. mother nature.  Mother nature does not care a bit about you.  It simply is what it is and you have to be able to adapt to what you need to survive. 

Offline madmax

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2013, 09:54:57 AM »


Mad Max, you had mentioned that in Florida potable water is the highest priority, in a wilderness survival situation how would you purify water without fire?   

Central FL has a great many fresh water springs.  We just had this conversation at a swamp camp.  If I couldn't purify water I'ld paddle or swim to the middle of the lake or river and collect water there.

You supposedly can also purify water by scavenging a plastic bottle and using sunlight.  I'm still on the fence on this one.  I'ld do the swim before the bottle.

Disclaimer.  If it's Feb, in the 40's, and raining here...whole 'nother ball game.  Hypothermia will incapacitate you very quickly even down here.
"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 ncnurseryman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2013, 10:52:06 AM »
Max, what's the reason for going to the middle of a lake or river?  Why would the water be more pure there on a microscopic level verses any where else?

Offline madmax

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2013, 11:21:25 AM »
Max, what's the reason for going to the middle of a lake or river?  Why would the water be more pure there on a microscopic level verses any where else?

This is more my beliefs than science.  I think in shallow water the microbes and that nasty amoeba feed on the stuff that gets stirred up from the bottom.  That's why the kids get the amoeba mostly down here. They thrash around in the shallow water and stir up a MUCH larger concentration of bad things than and adult who swims out to deeper water.  It's about the concentration of the little boogers.  :shrug:

I always boil, filter or treat water unless I'm at the source.  I've had giardia and my brother was very sick for months after getting crypto on Kauai (from swimming).  These are NOT something you want to deal with.  But dehydration is frickin' horrible.  And most people get out of the "survival" situation within three days.

Just FYI. I was shown to take water from the middle of the lake in the Boundary Waters as a kid, not FL.  Both local folks believe the same. 

« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 11:33:32 AM by madmax »
"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 abo4ster

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2013, 12:25:34 PM »

A lot of people have been saying build a shelter especially if you don't have proper clothing for the climate.  I agree that a shelter is high on the list of priorities the problem is that most people find themselves in a survival situation late in the day which doesn't give you a lot of day light to build an adequate shelter to provide for your needs.

Although most shelter building requires a lot of time and calories so I suppose it would be prudent to use 'em while you have 'em...

That's why I always carry a couple trash bags in my kit.  So many ways to reduce heat loss...  You can use it as a shelter, poncho, insulated jacket, mattress, duvet, and more...

Offline wolfy

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2013, 12:56:49 PM »

A lot of people have been saying build a shelter especially if you don't have proper clothing for the climate.  I agree that a shelter is high on the list of priorities the problem is that most people find themselves in a survival situation late in the day which doesn't give you a lot of day light to build an adequate shelter to provide for your needs.

Although most shelter building requires a lot of time and calories so I suppose it would be prudent to use 'em while you have 'em...

That's why I always carry a couple trash bags in my kit.  So many ways to reduce heat loss...  You can use it as a shelter, poncho, insulated jacket, mattress, duvet, and more...
Great post!  I agree with you completely on the necessity of reducing or maintaining heat loss and its importance in staying alive.  The garbage bags are about the easiest and best simple solution to a lot of VERY important measures in keeping that core temperature at 98.6......heat or cold can kill you fast if you aren't prepared to deal with it!   I don't know of anyone in my immediate area that has succumbed due to dehydration, but it is more common than one might think to perish from exposure here!  It happens every year, mainly to kids and older people that get stranded in their cars in very cold or very hot conditions.  Those garbage bags (and knowing how to utilize them) could save your bacon in a severe and extreme temperature or weather condition!
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Offline abo4ster

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2013, 06:30:58 PM »
Thanks Wolfy.

Good feedback Tony.  Good water can be a tough proposition sometimes in Florida -- no doubt!

Offline Moe M.

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2013, 08:20:58 AM »

  Personally I like to stick with the KISS theory,  for me it's Core temp., hydration, and food,  so the first on my priority list is maintaining core temp by having the right clothing,  then some sort of shelter and a fire.
  Second is a water source and a way to make it safe to drink,  again, that's where the fire plays such an important role.
  Since I can go more than a few days without food before weakness sets in in a survival situation I need to do those things that take dexterity and energy first.

  Where we are is key,  trying to come up with a "what's more important" list for every situation is not practical since someone stranded in the desert is going to have very different basic needs than someone stuck in the woods of northern Maine in winter.
  That's why it's so critical to be prepared with a general knowledge of the area you'll be in and a have  a basic survival kit that will allow those needs to be met.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Trekster

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2013, 09:04:03 PM »
Water, or shelter depending on your situation.

In most temperate climates (even on cold nights) chances are you'll dehydrate before you die of hypothermia as long as you're dressed properly for the occasion. Maybe even if you're not as long as you have enough body fat on you haha.

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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2013, 07:56:03 AM »
I've heard of exposing water (in a plastic bottle to) sunlight as a means of purifying water but I share your skepticism Max, Cryptosporidium and Giardia are nothing to mess around with especially in a survival situation.

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2013, 08:48:16 AM »
This is an interesting topic.

:)


Lots of things to think on...
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 09:30:40 PM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Draco

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2013, 02:28:33 PM »
Good post NmSportsman.  I have always assumed that chlorine dioxide would kill just about anything and that regular chlorine was just as effective.  A closer look from the CDC website is also a interesting read and gives much better detail as to what kills what.

http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/backcountry_water_treatment.html

I would say that all the survival experts who told us just to use chlorine are not seeing the CDC results.  I still feel pretty good about my AquaMira drops but boiling or filtering is more effective. 

Great one page pdf from CDC
http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/drinking/Backcountry_Water_Treatment.pdf

Offline abo4ster

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2013, 07:20:42 PM »
Symptoms for Giardia take 1 to 3 weeks to show up.

Symptoms for the more rare Cyptospridium cyst can be as soon as 2 days, but average is about a week.

Average survival scenario is less than 72 hours.  If I can't treat my water, I'll play the odds, drink the water, and get treatment for bad water after rescue (if necessary).  No reason to suffer dehydration and the associated effects which lead to diminished physical performance and mental capacity which ultimately contribute one's demise via hypothermia.

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SODIS is the UV method.  It's popularity started with third world countries.

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FWIW, I like micro pur tabs, which are chlorine dioxide.  The CDC gives it a rough time because the contact time is high to address crypto if the water is really cold.

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: What is the highest priority in a wilderness survival situation?
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2013, 07:38:10 PM »

FWIW, I like micro pur tabs, which are chlorine dioxide.  The CDC gives it a rough time because the contact time is high to address crypto if the water is really cold.

Thanks for the info Chris, I have only use iodine tablets once, I'll have to give the micro pur tabs a try...