Wilderness Survival Tips

Crossing a stream safely

crossing stream

The narrowest point in a stream may be the most tempting but is probably the most dangerous point to cross because the current is more powerful there. The widest part is perhaps the safest. At any rate, going for the slow and deep is usually safer than shallow and fast.

Always release your hip belt before crossing a stream in case you are knocked off your feet. This way, you can easily rid yourself of the pack if you are washed downstream.

This could save you from drowning, and it is better to lose your pack than your life.

If you are trying to cross a snow-fed river near the end of the day, consider waiting until morning. Pitch camp and spend the night there.

The stream’s flow will be reduced during the cool evening, and it will be easier to cross the stream before things heat up during the day.

Long pants have more drag on you than shorts—Cross in shorts or even nude or underwear. Once across, you can warm up by redonning your clothes.

Some crossings are safe enough to do barefoot, but why take chances? Wear your boots or camp shoes, if you have them.

When crossing rapids, face upstream and move sideways like a crab.

Using a hiking stick or pole will help you maintain your balance.

Frostbite Treatment

frostbite

Frostbite is a freezing of the skin and deeper body tissues. There are varying degrees, but the treatment is similar for all of them. In any case, the frostbite’s real degree usually won’t be known until after it is treated and the damage can be determined.  The first sign of frostbite may be a loss of feeling in the affected area. White patches on the skin are the next obvious symptom. Watch for a white tip of the nose. The skin will appear pale and waxy. The fingers may even clack together like pieces of wood in serious cases.

Frostbite TreatmentQuick rewarming of the affected areas is the usual treatment. This can be as simple as putting your frostbitten fingers under your arms in mild cases. In more serious cases, the treatment of choice is hot water. Frostbitten toes can be effectively warmed against the bare stomach of a good friend.

Refreezing of thawed body parts can cause substantial tissue loss. Therefore, it is important to treat the affected areas and plan to protect them from the cold after that. For this reason, there are times when it may be best to leave the affected parts frozen.

One such instance is when a foot is seriously frozen but is needed to walk to safety. Thawing it out before you can easily keep it thawed not only might result in more damage, but a thawed foot may be impossible to walk on due to the pain. More than one person has had to leave a foot frozen to hike out to safety – even when this has meant the loss of the foot.

Rattlesnake Bite Help

Rattlesnake Bite

Don’t waste time trying to catch the snake — this may result in another bite or another victim. Please do NOT bring the snake to the Emergency Room.

What NOT to do…There are many myths about the treatment of rattler bites. Here is a shortlist of what not to do if someone is bitten. All these actions may worsen tissue damage or cause complications from a rattlesnake bite.

* DO NOT APPLY TOURNIQUET OR TIGHT BAND.
* DO NOT APPLY COLD PACKS OR ICE TO THE SKIN. IT DOES NOT PREVENT OR SLOW SPREAD OF VENOM.
* DO NOT MAKE INCISIONS OVER FANG WOUNDS OR USE MOUTH SUCTION.
* DO NOT APPLY PRESSURE DRESSINGS.
* DO NOT APPLY ELECTRIC SHOCK.
* DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE, ASPIRIN, OR ANYTHING BY MOUTH. This is what to do with a snake bite.
* KEEP VICTIM DOWN, STILL, AND CALM.
* REMOVE ALL CONSTRICTIVE CLOTHING OR JEWELRY FROM EXTREMITIES AS SWELLING WILL BE A PROBLEM.
* LOOSELY IMMOBILIZE EXTREMITY.
* KEEP BITTEN AREA BELOW HEART LEVEL, BUT DON’T ALLOW IT TO HANG DOWN.
* TRANSPORT VICTIM IMMEDIATELY TO THE NEAREST MEDICAL FACILITY WITH
* RATTLESNAKE ANTIVENIN.
* MARK ADVANCEMENT OF SWELLING WITH INDELIBLE MARKER EVERY 15 MINUTES.
* IF ABLE, CALL 911 TO ALERT HOSPITAL AND OTHER EMERGENCY PERSONNEL
* TO YOUR SITUATION. THEY CAN GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS, ADVICE AND PREPARE FOR YOUR ARRIVAL.

Making a friction fire in the wilderness

friction fire
 

1.Gather tools

You’ll need to find or make four tools Bow: a two-part lever made by tying a shoelace or skinny pack strap to the ends of a strong but flexible piece of wood

Drill: a thin spike made of softwood like cedar or basswood

Board: a flat piece of hardwood split from a branch or trunk

Block: a small piece of wood, stone, or bone to put pressure on the drill.

2.Prepare the board

Use a knife or sharp stone to bore a circular hole in the board, about halfway into its total thickness. Now cut a 30-degree notch through the entire board connecting the circle to the plank’s closest edge. This will allow sawdust from the wooden parts to collect and ignite.

3.Align the parts

Wind the drill into the bowstring, and fit the pointy edge into the depression on the board. Kneel close and use your opposite foot to stabilize the plank. Press the block tightly on top of the drill.

4.Begin drilling

Slowly maneuver the bow back and forth to spin the drill and warm up the pieces. Increase speed until heavy smoke appears. You need to wear off and compact enough hot sawdust from the wooden components to create a small, glowing ember in the board’s notch.

5.Light the tinder

Once an ember has formed, gently fan it — or blow on it as if you were whistling. Tap the board to transfer it to a nest of dry, dead plant matter, like paper, bark, or grass. Add wood, and you should have yourself a fire.

How To Start A Camp Fire

 

camp fire

– Collect twice as much firewood as you think you’ll need for the night.

– Blow vigorously on the hot coals to restart the flames of a dying fire (and add fuel).

– Spray kindling with insect repellent or other flammable liquids to make it burn more easily.

– Use a large piece of birch bark to shelter a fire if starting it in the rain.

– Wood on the ground is usually wet. Look for standing deadwood or trees and branches that are leaning against other trees or rocks.

– You can break a long wood piece by inserting the end between two close trees and pushing on the far end. Be careful not to fall when the wood breaks.

– Don’t break wood over your knee or by jumping on it. Lean it up on a rock and step on the middle of the piece.

– Unbreakable pieces can be burnt in half in the fire.

– Use a base of green logs or sticks for a fire on the snow.

– If firewood is scarce, use as small a fire as possible to extend your fuel supply.

– Collect and carry dry tinder in your pocket if it is raining when you need to start a fire.

Key Points

  1. The best way to learn how to start a fire is to practice.
  2. A fire requires a tinder, kindling, and fuel.
  3. A balance of air, heat, and fuel is necessary for a fire to burn well.
  4. Fire starting without matches or a lighter is very difficult – bring a lighter and matches.

Edged weapons from wood camping tip

wooden weapon

 

You can make suitable edged weapons from wood. Use these only to puncture. Bamboo is the only wood that will hold a suitable edge.

First, to make a knife using wood, select a straight-grained piece of hardwood about 12 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Fashion the blade about 6 inches long. Shave it down to a point. Use only the straight-grained portions of the wood. Do not use the core or pith, as it would make a weak point.

Harden the point by a process known as fire hardening. If a fire is possible, dry the blade portion over the fire slowly until lightly charred. The drier the wood, the harder the point. After lightly charring the blade portion, sharpen it on a coarse stone. If using bamboo and after fashioning the blade, remove any other wood to make the blade thinner from the bamboo’s inside portion. Removal is done this way because bamboo’s hardest part is its outer layer. Keep as much of this layer as possible to ensure the hardest blade possible. When charring bamboo over a fire, char only the inside wood; do not char the outside.

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