1. Cedar Shavings
In my opinion, the stringy shavings from the bark of a cedar tree are the best natural fire tinder. Rub them between your hands quickly to create a small fluff ball of shavings that will light quickly.
Even though you can’t get hold of these in all locations, if you have them at your disposals then they are excellent to use as tinder as the light feathery material inside of them burns like paper. Quick and easy.
3. Birch Bark Shaving
Like cedar, just shave some bark off of a birch tree. The cedar shavings are like stringy wood, whereas birch shavings are basically nature’s paper. Thin, light, and easy to burn. Also very easy to peel off the tree.
Two great products to keep in your Bug Out Bag are “WetFire” and “Fire Paste“. I have tested both of these products and they are ideal for starting fires in any condition.
I’ve been reading the FM 21-76 US ARMY SURVIVAL MANUAL lately and I’ve picked up some wonderful little tid-bits of info.
Here’s one of my favourites on the meaning of the word survival.
S -Size Up the Situation
If you are in a combat situation, find a place where you can conceal yourself from the enemy.
Remember, security takes priority. Use your senses of hearing, smell, and sight to get a feel for the
battlefield. What is the enemy doing? Advancing? Holding in place? Retreating? You will have to
consider what is developing on the battlefield when you make your survival plan.
Size Up Your Surroundings
Determine the pattern of the area. Get a feel for what is going on around you. Every environment,
whether forest, jungle, or desert, has a rhythm or pattern. This rhythm or pattern includes animal and bird
noises and movements and insect sounds. It may also include enemy traffic and civilian movements.
Size Up Your Physical Condition
The pressure of the battle you were in or the trauma of being in a survival situation may have caused you
to overlook wounds you received. Check your wounds and give yourself first aid. Take care to prevent
further bodily harm. For instance, in any climate, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If you are
in a cold or wet climate, put on additional clothing to prevent hypothermia.
Size Up Your Equipment
Perhaps in the heat of battle, you lost or damaged some of your equipment. Check to see what
equipment you have and what condition it is in.
Now that you have sized up your situation, surroundings, physical condition, and equipment, you are
ready to make your survival plan. In doing so, keep in mind your basic physical needs–water, food, and
U -Use All Your Senses, Undue Haste Makes Waste
You may make a wrong move when you react quickly without thinking or planning. That move may result
in your capture or death. Don’t move just for the sake of taking action. Consider all aspects of your
situation (size up your situation) before you make a decision and a move. If you act in haste, you may
forget or lose some of your equipment. In your haste you may also become disoriented so that you don’t
know which way to go. Plan your moves. Be ready to move out quickly without endangering yourself if
the enemy is near you. Use all your senses to evaluate the situation. Note sounds and smells. Be
sensitive to temperature changes. Be observant.
R -Remember Where You Are
Spot your location on your map and relate it to the surrounding terrain. This is a basic principle that you
must always follow. If there are other persons with you, make sure they also know their location. Always
know who in your group, vehicle, or aircraft has a map and compass. If that person is killed, you will have
to get the map and compass from him. Pay close attention to where you are and to where you are going.
Do not rely on others in the group to keep track of the route. Constantly orient yourself. Always try to
determine, as a minimum, how your location relates to–
· The location of enemy units and controlled areas.
· The location of friendly units and controlled areas.
· The location of local water sources (especially important in the desert).
· Areas that will provide good cover and concealment.
This information will allow you to make intelligent decisions when you are in a survival and evasion
V -Vanquish Fear and Panic
The greatest enemies in a combat survival and evasion situation are fear and panic. If uncontrolled, they
can destroy your ability to make an intelligent decision. They may cause you to react to your feelings and
imagination rather than to your situation. They can drain your energy and thereby cause other negative
emotions. Previous survival and evasion training and self-confidence will enable you to vanquish fear
In the United States, we have items available for all our needs. Many of these items are cheap to replace
when damaged. Our easy come, easy go, easy-to-replace culture makes it unnecessary for us to
improvise. This inexperience in improvisation can be an enemy in a survival situation. Learn to improvise.
Take a tool designed for a specific purpose and see how many other uses you can make of it.
Learn to use natural objects around you for different needs. An example is using a rock for a hammer.
No matter how complete a survival kit you have with you, it will run out or wear out after a while. Your
imagination must take over when your kit wears out.
V -Value Living
All of us were born kicking and fighting to live, but we have become used to the soft life. We have
become creatures of comfort. We dislike inconveniences and discomforts. What happens when we are
faced with a survival situation with its stresses, inconveniences, and discomforts? This is when the will to
live- placing a high value on living-is vital. The experience and knowledge you have gained through life
and your Army training will have a bearing on your will to live. Stubbornness, a refusal to give in to
problems and obstacles that face you, will give you the mental and physical strength to endure.
A -Act Like the Natives
The natives and animals of a region have adapted to their environment. To get a feel of the area, watch
how the people go about their daily routine. When and what do they eat? When, where, and how do they
get their food? When and where do they go for water? What time do they usually go to bed and get up?
These actions are important to you when you are trying to avoid capture.
Animal life in the area can also give you clues on how to survive. Animals also require food, water, and
shelter. By watching them, you can find sources of water and food.
WARNING: Animals cannot serve as an absolute guide to what you can eat and drink. Many animals eat
plants that are toxic to humans.
Keep in mind that the reaction of animals can reveal your presence to the enemy.
If in a friendly area, one way you can gain rapport with the natives is to show interest in their tools and
how they get food and water. By studying the people, you learn to respect them, you often make
valuable friends, and, most important, you learn how to adapt to their environment and increase your
chances of survival.
L -Live by Your Wits, But for Now, Learn Basic Skills
Without training in basic skills for surviving and evading on the battlefield, your chances of living through
a combat survival and evasion situation are slight.
Learn these basic skills now–not when you are headed for or are in the battle. How you decide to equip
yourself before deployment will impact on whether or not you survive. You need to know about the
environment to which you are going, and you must practice basic skills geared to that environment. For
instance, if you are going to a desert, you need to know how to get water in the desert.
Practice basic survival skills during all training programs and exercises. Survival training reduces fear of
the unknown and gives you self-confidence. It teaches you to live by your wits.
If your caught out in the wilderness and have limited or no food with you then it is very useful to know what plants you can and can’t eat.
Tasting or swallowing even a small portion of some can cause severe discomfort, extreme internal disorders, and even death.
Therefore, if you have the slightest doubt about a plant’s edibility, apply the Universal Edibility Test below before eating any portion of
Before testing a plant for edibility, make sure there are enough plants to make the testing worth your time
and effort. Each part of a plant (roots, leaves, flowers, and so on) requires more than 24 hours to test.
Do not waste time testing a plant that is not relatively abundant in the area.
Remember, eating large portions of plant food on an empty stomach may cause diarrhea, nausea, or
Two good examples of this are such familiar foods as green apples and wild onions.
Even after testing plant food and finding it safe, eat it in moderation.
You can see from the steps and time involved in testing for edibility just how important it is to be able to
identify edible plants.
To avoid potentially poisonous plants, stay away from any wild or unknown plants that have:
· Milky or discolored sap.
· Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.
· Bitter or soapy taste.
· Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
· Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsleylike foliage.
· “Almond” scent in woody parts and leaves.
· Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.
· Three-leaved growth pattern.
Using the above criteria as eliminators when choosing plants for the Universal Edibility Test will cause you to avoid some edible plants.
More important, these criteria will often help you avoid plants that are potentially toxic to eat or touch.
In a survival situation one of the most important resources that you have to aquire is water.
You can’ t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration.
Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency.
More than three-fourths of your body is composed of fluids.
Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress, and exertion.
To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses.
Therefore, one of your first goals is to obtain an adequate supply of water.
Hear’s some sound advice from the US ARMY SURVIVAL MANUAL on possible sources of water in various enviroments.
I found a wonderful channel the other day on Youtube.
It’s ThePatriotNurse and she covers a wide range of SHTF medical topics.
Check out her channel and subscribe!
Here’s one of her great vids on the psychological impact of a SHTF situation.
It’s just a really catchy song by the Nashville Liverpool Underground Medicine Show.
The video has extracts from the cult film “The Legend of Boggy Creek” and features a reconstruction of the Bigfoot sighting by James Crabtree when out shooting. Crabtree portrays himself in the movie.
The video also features the famous Patterson-Gimlin Film Footage of sasquatch that happened on October 20, 1967 at Bluff Creek, California
Crap!!! The dam song’s stuck in my head now!!!!!
Duct tape is an essential tool to be included in any survival kit or bug out bag.
Invented in the early 1940s by scientists at Permacell (a division of the Johnson & Johnson Co.), duct tape was built to fill the need for a strong, flexible, durable tape that could help the war effort, according to Henkel Consumer Adhesives, one of the world’s largest makers of the stuff.
The main point is that it has a number of uses and can help you make emergency repairs on just about everything.
Ideal for a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation!
Here’s just a couple of things you can do with it in a survival situation:
- Make emergency repairs on, tents, gear, bags, tarps, pack, sleeping bag, clothing, rain gear, etc….
- Medical Uses – making large bandages, adding padding to blisters, and making slings. It can also be used for wrapping sprained ankles in an emergency.
- Sealing Windows and doors
- Making emergency temporary repairs to you vehicle.
- Stopping Leaks
- Repairing Torn Clothing and Warn out shoes.
- Wrapping plastic water bottles to prevent cracking and leaking.