There are seven essential wearable EDC survival gear items to consider making part of what you carry all times. The main factors that determine what a person carries is location, experience, and necessity. The everyday gear that you take is as simple as what is on the body like watches or items in pockets. By contrast, EDC survival items can be the more sophisticated gear that you place in the bag, pack, or briefcase that you carry to school or work. However, there are a few essential items that one should consider having on your person regardless of location, experience, and necessity. What are these seven essential EDC items that one should wear or carry at all times?
Microlight or Flashlight
The first survival item to consider carrying on you at all times is some type of flashlight or microlight. Flashlights come in many sizes and configurations. The best EDC flashlight is one that you can place in your pocket. One of the best flashlights to consider is the Nitecore MT1C Flashlight. You can buy this item at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. This flashlight comes with a pocket clip and is roughly 3.5 inches long. It will fit in most trouser pockets or leg cargo pockets. This flashlight can also fit in the shirt pockets of most outdoor or tactical shirts. However, there is another type of flashlight to consider.
Another type of flashlight to think about is the microlight or micro-flashlight. These kinds of lights are sometimes called keychain lights. One recommended microlight is the LRI® Photon Micro-Light with a Covert Nose. This light is one that I personally own and is in the EDC survival kit in the cargo pocket of my pants. The second type of microlight is the ThruNite® Ti3 EDC Cree flashlight. This light has a pocket clip and is about 2.75 inches in length. Microlights are very versatile and convenient to carry on a daily basis. What is the next survival item to carry daily?
The next survival item to carry daily is a lighter. There are many types of lighters on the market. The most recognizable is the Bic® lighter. This is a disposable butane fluid lighter. These lighters come in two basic sizes: the classic and mini. The mini Bic lighter is a favorite to carry among those who do not smoke tobacco products.
Another iconic butane fluid lighter is the Zippo® lighter. The lighter fluid in the Zippo lighter can be replenished through a cotton felt pad in the bottom of the lighter case. The main reason for carrying one of these kinds of lighters as an EDC item is their reliability. The Bic and Zippo lighters will function under most circumstances encountered on a daily basis. What about tools?
The first tool to consider carrying every day is a multitool. Multitools come in various sizes and configurations. The two most reliable multitools are those manufactured by Leatherman® and Gerber®. I personally have owned both Leatherman and Gerber multitools, and each is quality tools. However, I would recommend the Leatherman® Skeletool™ multitool for EDC purposes. It is the right size for carrying on a daily basis without the bulkiness of the Leatherman® Wave™ or Gerber® MP 600™. Yet, the Skeletool offers the same versatility as its larger counterparts.
The second tool to think about carrying every day is a pocket knife. There are many opinions about pocket knives and other folding blade knives. A pocket knife does not have to be an elaborate tactical folder for EDC purposes. The intent for pocket knives is that they are tools and not weapons. There are folding blade knives that function more as weapons than tools. The classic stiletto switchblade knife is an example of a folding knife being a weapon and not a tool.
Furthermore, pocket knives come in many sizes and configurations. The most straightforward pocket knife has a single blade, such as the Gerber® Paraframe™. Most pocket knives have, however, at least two blades, one small and one large. Pocket knives can have various blade shapes. The most common blade shape is the drop point and clip point. There are pocket knives that use 1095 high carbon steel in their blades. The Bear & Son C205 Heritage, Walnut Midsize Lock back Folder, is an example of a pocket knife using 1095 high carbon steel in its blades. These kinds of pocket knives are excellent for bushcrafting and other outdoor applications.
However, some of the best makers of pocket knives are Victorinox® and Case®. The recommended pocket knives to carry on a daily basis are the Victorinox Swiss Army Farmer or the Case 6.5 BoneStag® Medium Stockman. These knives have blade lengths that are legally compliant most anywhere. They need minimal maintenance and will do most cutting jobs, such as cutting cordage, making a trap, stripping wire, cutting bandages, box cutting, or letter opening. The Swiss Army Farmer has more features than the Case knife, such as a saw and awl.
Wrist Watch (Solar-Powered Triple Sensor)
The final survival gear item to consider wearing on a daily basis is a solar battery powered triple sensor watch. A good watch is a valuable piece of gear to wear every day. A triple sensor watch has the features of an altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass, hence ABC. The barometer on these kinds of timepieces gives the current temperature when this feature is engaged. The solar battery that characterizes these outdoor watches keeps the watch working all year in all types of weather. The compass on this type of wrist watch is helpful because you do not have to worry about ambient magnetism affecting its reading. For example, the metal from your belt buckle or wedding band will not influence the direction given by the watch as it would your lensatic, baseplate, or wristband compass.
Furthermore, the best solar-powered triple sensor watches on the market are the Casio® Pro Trek™ Pathfinder™ PRW2500T-7 and PAG240T-7. These watches come with a titanium watch band. This watch band is excellent for rugged outdoor activities. Additionally, the more sophisticated smartwatches are great but have their limitations because of the need to update their software periodically. These two Casio watches can be worn every day in every situation. The solar-powered triple sensor wrist watch is an essential survival gear to wear on a daily basis.
The final item to consider carrying at all times is a tourniquet. These used to be cumbersome to carry so most were stored inside of bags or packs. However, in recent years, manufacturers have started making belt pouches to hold a tourniquet. Blue Force Gear® and Rescue Essentials® sell tourniquet pouches that can be worn on a trouser belt or mounted on MOLLE gear. There are several versions of tourniquets on the market. The two most common are the combat application tourniquet (CAT) and the rapid application tourniquet (RAT). There is a third option available called the ratcheting medical tourniquet. This seems to be growing favorite tourniquet among emergency preppers and SOF personnel. Therefore, carrying a tourniquet should be considered as part of your wearable EDC survival gear.
Modifying your Get-Home-Bag (GHB) is a great way to stay ready for a winter emergency. The Fall is upon us now. Yet, Winter is about to arrive. Moreover, the winter season means traveling in dangerous weather conditions. Thus, it is critical to prepare to handle winter emergencies while on the road.
Therefore, one of the ways to be prepare to face a winter travel emergency is to keep an emergency survival kit in your vehicle. A convenient way to keep an emergency survival kit in your car is through a 72-hour level backpack. For this article, this bag is different from a vehicle emergency kit. This emergency bag is for personal survival while traveling in inclement weather conditions. Some people call this type of emergency bag, a Get-Home-Bag (GHB). This bag is to enable your survival as you get back your home after leaving your car.
Moreover, this article is not about building a Get-Home-Bag. Instead, the purpose of this article is to help you customize the GHB that you already have for the winter. This means examining what contents that are in your bag. What are some factors to consider when winterizing your bag?
Factors Influencing Winterizing Your Get Home Bag
Factor #1: Environment
The first factor to consider when winterizing your Get-Home-bag is your general environment. A more specific environmental consideration is the kind of winters that your area experiences. For example, people living in the Southwest do not have to worry about blizzard or whiteout conditions. By contrast, people living in the upper Midwest or New England have to take into consideration the more harsh conditions of winter. Another environmental factor that influences winterizing your bag are the winter temperatures and wind chill factors.
Factor # 2: Travel Distance
Moreover, the next factor to keep in mind is the distance that you will be traveling. People travelling long distances will have also to consider the winter conditions throughout their travel. Additionally, one should consider the type of infrastructures that can serve as emergency stopping points or emergency shelter while traveling. Additionally , experience with using your gear is important.
Factor # 3: Experience
A third factor you should consider when preparing your Get-Home-Bag is your level of experience. Your experience with the outdoors and survival gear influence what you carry in the bag. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Only place items in your bag that you already know how to use. For example, a Bic® lighter is an item that you already know how to use. However, you may not know to use climbing or rappelling gear. The point here is that being stranded on a major interstate in a blizzard is no place to try something that you have never used. Thus, your attempt to experiment with an unfamiliar skill or gear in the middle of an emergency may jeopardize your life or the life of others of whom you are responsible. Therefore, as you consider modifying your Get-Home bag for winter, what are some things to think about when deciding on survival gear?
Gear Considerations For Winterizing Your Get Home Bag
The strength of the Rush 72 pack is its capability for modularity. Its material is a water repelling (not waterproof) 1050 Denier nylon fabric. The main advantage of the SealLine® pack is that its waterproof 300 Denier TPU-double-coated nylon body with a 400 Denier TPU-coated nylon bottom. The waterproof material of this pack guarantees that clothing items in the bag will stay dry in rain or snow conditions. The main weakness of the Rush 72 pack is that it is not waterproof. Lengthy exposure in rain or snow water will eventually have moisture seep into the bag. The main weakness of the SealLine® pack is that it does not have any attachment points on its exterior. Thus, after selecting a winter-capable backpack, what are some winter survival gear options to place inside the bag?
Fire Making Items
The first survival gear consideration for a winter Get-Home-Bag is a fire making item. Fire is one of the four essentials of survival (Fire, Food, Water, Shelter). A great piece of fire-making gear is the Sigma 3 Fire Kit. Check out my review of this excellent fire kit for more information about this kit. In a winter scenario, being able to build a fire is critical to keep from getting hyperthermia. It allows you to stay warm, dry your wet clothing, sanitize water, melt snow, and cook food. Furthermore, meeting your hydration requirement is critical to surviving in a winter environment.
Water and Hydration Items
The second consideration for survival gear your Get-Home-Bag is hydration. Water is a primary key to survival in winter. Therefore, water procurement, treatment, and consumption are central to surviving in a winter emergency. However, finding fresh running water in a stream may be difficult in the winter. Thus, it is essential to have a capability to melt snow or ice to get fresh drinkable water in the winter. The Sigma 3 Water Kit is an excellent piece of gear to consider putting into any winterized GHB. Check out my review of this water kit for more information this versatile gear.
Shelter and Cover Items
Additionally, a third survival gear consideration for a Get-Home-Bag is that of shelter. One option for meeting your winter shelter needs would be the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock system. The hammock is available at the Sigma 3 Survival store. This hammock system comes with some additional add-on items: a winter top cover and under quilt protector. If you are interested in more information on this hammock system, read my review and video at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. A further consideration for this hammock system would be a sleeping bag. The Snugpak® Tactical 4 winter sleeping bag also would be a great addition to the winter shelter consideration for any GHB. The Snugpak® sleeping bag could be attached to the bottom of the Rush 72 pack.
Food and Food Procurement Items
Additionally, a fourth survival gear consideration for a winter Get-Home-Bag is food and food procurement. Another item to think about putting in a GHB for the winter is the Yoyo Fish Trap fishing Reel or the Emmrod® Kayak King Cast Rod and Reel Kit. These items are available at the Sigma 3 Survival School Store. Pre-made meals such as MREs or Mountain House® pouches are useful items to meet the food requirements for a GHB. You can also build your meal kit by using instant oatmeal, instant rice, beef jerky, energy bars, crackers, and instant electrolyte powder (Gatorade®/Propel®).
Winter Clothing Items
Moreover, a final survival gear consideration for a Get-Home-Bag for the winter is addressing clothing needs. Winter clothing items can be bulky and take up space in the backpack. Therefore, choose winter clothing items carefully. Wool and Gore-Tex should be the kinds of materials that characterize winter clothing. Here are some suggestions for some winter clothing items.
The first winter clothing item to consider are wool socks. Keeping feet warm and dry is a critical consideration when discussing surviving in the winter. The U.S. Army MIL-84K Wool Boot Socks or Smartwool® Men’s Hunt Extra Heavy Over the Calf Socks are the types of socks to consider for winter clothing in a Get-Home Bag. Some other winter clothing considerations could be having a wool-based base layer set in the bag, such as the Meriwool Men’s Merino Wool Midweight Baselayer. A military wool watch cap and Weather Wool Neck Gaiter scarf would also be a great item to consider for one’s emergency bag.
In conclusion, the Get-Home-Bag is a great resource to have available in one’s vehicle. As the winter period of the year dawns, it is prudent to check your bag. You should analyze what winter specific survival items you need. It is possible that a more substantial bag may be necessary to meet your winter needs. For example, the things in my GHB are easily stored in the current pack. There is no requirement where I live to maintain large bulky cold weather gear. However, I do need to preserve some winter gear in my bag for traveling in the mountainous regions of the Southwest. So as you begin to assess your winter needs for your Get-Home-Bag choose carefully and wisely the gear that you will need.
https://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/winter-car.jpg23363500Bill Lavenderhttps://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/inner_header_logo.pngBill Lavender2018-10-17 01:46:272018-11-02 14:26:56Modify Your Get-Home-Bag For Winter
Every culture on the planet has always had some type of obstacle to becoming an adult. People have generally had to go through some difficult and painful experience without flinching. A young Australian aborigine had to survive for up to 6 months on his own. Some native tribes required young men to spend a year alone. Why? My personal opinion is that it is because hardship causes strength. People who have been through rites of passage are stronger than people who have been coddled. They are also wiser. Solving problems and overcoming obstacles is exercise for the brain. I believe this is why our 45 day instructor program is such a success. It’s a modern day Rites of passage.
Winners Don’t Quit
The instructor program is not easy, although the skills are easy enough to learn. A beginner with no previous experience can take the class and successfully graduate while a seasoned pro at survival may tap out when the going gets tough.I don’t get the chance to spend much time with those who tap out but those who push through though are changed forever. They have overcome something big. An obstacle, mostly mental, has been conquered and the graduates are stronger and wiser for it. I consider myself very lucky to have many ongoing relationships with these winners and I learn a lot from them.
Traditionally shame would be brought on the person failing to complete a rite of passage. Sometimes the person was shunned or disowned by their family or tribe. We don’t do go so far, here at Sigma 3, but we do have a bell that participants are supposed to ring before they tap out. So far to date though no one has ever rang it when quitting. I suppose this is because they believe the bell is what causes the shame instead of their mental weakness. In fact quite a few quitters have left in the middle of the night without saying a word to anyone. These People still have to live with themselves when they look in the mirror.
Quitters Don’t Win
Sometimes students who quit realize they do have what it takes and they come back and take the class again. These people are fighters. They lost a battle but refuse to quit so they try again until they make it. I have a lot of respect for these students. In many cultures you have to try repeatedly until you overcome whatever obstacle is deemed adult worthy, sometimes for years.
And then there are students who just refuse to quit regardless of the circumstances. Let me give you an example. A couple years ago, during the winter instructor program, the weather turned bad the first day of Scout. It was pouring rain, the wind was fierce, and the temperatures were in the low 40s. Nine students had made it this far and were about to face the most challenging obstacle yet. They had to survive for 7 days with just a knife in this horrible weather. On the morning of day two 8 of the 9 students tapped out. They fell like dominoes and it’s hard to blame them. The conditions were horrible. They were wet, cold, miserable, and hungry.
But one student refused to quit. Gabriel Estremera struggled on, alone, for 7 days of torture and in so doing, realized that he had what it takes to make it, no matter how bad conditions are. He was the only graduate of this class. I can almost promise you that his feeling of accomplishment far outweighed the misery he felt during that one cold wet week. He will carry that with him for life.
How About You?
How about you? Have you been through some rites of passage that has forever changed you for the better? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments. If not, we can help. Check out our instructor program here at Sigma 3. The benefits will last a lifetime and so will the friendships.
My name is Joshua and I have lived in semi-urban environments for many years. I have traveled this country extensively living in wood lots on the edges of towns. In this article I’m going to tell you a little about myself and how I decided to live homeless by choice. Ill also talk about some of the urban survival skills that were beneficial to me along the way.
I’ve been practicing primitive survival skills my entire life and a little over 15 years ago I decided to test abilities by moving to the wilderness to spend a year living primitively. I ended up spending two years out there and the details are listed here in an article called “Alone in the Wilderness”. When those two years were complete I bought a few gadgets that would change my life. The most important one was a laptop computer. With this laptop I began making YouTube videos which became mildly popular (click here for my YouTube channel). I also started advertising myself as an instructor of wilderness skills and began teaching private lessons all over the country. That’s how my urban survival adventure began.
Whenever someone would contact me for a private lesson, I would travel to their area for the class. When it was over I would find a woodlot or a wilderness area near town, preferably by a river, and set up camp for a while. Sometimes I would go into town, occasionally, to use the internet at a coffee shop or at McDonald’s. I would also take advantage of some of the resources that cities have to offer.
One of those resources is food. We need meat to survive and the city offers us easier meat than the wilderness does.
The rabbits in a city are much different than the rabbits in the wilderness. They are used to seeing people so they don’t flee so frantically like wild rabbits do. For me, this was a godsend. I could stalk a city park after dark and almost guarantee a meal. How I did this was with snares and a rabbit stick. Before dark I would walk the edges of a park and set a snare at every rabbit escape route I could find. Then, after the sun went down I would go into the field and run the rabbits, with a rabbit stick, into the snares. Once a rabbit was caught I would run over, step on its head, and pull the back legs, breaking its neck. I know that sounds cruel but it’s actually pretty instant.
Squirrels are also much tamer in the city than in the wilderness. A squirrel pole with snares on it is almost guaranteed to get you food. However squirrels are active in the daytime so you have to be much more discreet if you are targeting them. I have been accosted and threatened by many people who think they are doing the right thing by protecting these animals. These hypocrites have no problem eating a burger from a factory tortured cow and they are a real danger to the urban survivalist.
Another easy meat source near cities is the highways and roads nearby. If you check your “road kill trap line” every morning you can generally find fresh meat that is not too damaged, albeit slightly tenderized, for very little effort. It is a valuable resource that not enough people take advantage of.
Of course most cities have a homeless population and cities that do generally have resources to feed the hungry. Churches and the Salvation Army offer meals and groceries for the homeless and I’m not ashamed to say I have taken advantage of them to some extent. However I must caution against becoming too familiar with the homeless people at these places, or becoming dependent on a handout.
Homeless people can be dangerous. There is a lot of drug addiction and mental illness in the homeless community. I have personally experienced quite a lot of violence and a few close calls in the homeless community Violence is not the only threat though. There are plenty of nonviolent homeless folks as well but it’s still better to keep your distance. If people find out that your living a comfortable life they might want in on it and deplete your limited resources. SO my recommendation is to be kind but not inviting.
Money is another useful resource in the cities. You won’t find much of it in the wilderness, that’s for sure. there is money to be had in the cities, if you are willing to work for it. There are a million ways to make money on the fly. Maybe, you won’t get rich but you can get by. You can scrap metal, gather pallets, or you can do what I did. You can sell your crafts.
I make money by selling baskets. I have learned that the key to selling baskets is you have to make them in front of the costumer. They want the story. When someone sees their basket and mentions it they have the story of seeing an eccentric homeless guy making them in the park. That goes for arrowheads, bark containers, or anything else you’re making as well. Sales quadruple when they see you making it.
After a while in one location I would eventually sell another class and off across the country I would go. Sometimes I would hitchhike and sometimes I would take a bus. I have always tried to never own more than I could carry. Possessions are anchors that trap people in place and limit freedom and freedom is like a pearl of great worth.
This article is just the beginning of a series I am writing about how to achieve freedom. I’ll be discussing urban survival skills in depth as well as primitive living skills. Finally I’ll be transitioning into homesteading skills as well. Thanks for tagging along.
https://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/featured-image.jpg6401000Joshua Hamlinhttps://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/inner_header_logo.pngJoshua Hamlin2018-09-19 20:12:562018-09-20 19:34:1510 Years Homeless by Choice
Learning how to make char cloth is an essential skill set every woodsman needs to know. Why you ask? Because char cloth is simply one of the best methods for catching a spark. Its better than almost any other natural tinder source you can find. You don’t even need a ferro rod if you know how to make char cloth, because you can use flint stones to knock sparks off your knife and create fire that way. There are so many uses for char cloth it would take forever to list them all here.
First off, I’d like to say that a zippo is a great survival item to carry and has a lot more uses than a bic lighter and it also performs better. And they are super common and can be found in most gas stations for purchase.
When I was doing my Scout Survival training with only a knife at Sigma 3, I came across an old zippo lighter in the woods. I already had a fire, water, and most of my shelter completed. Because I had my basics covered, I felt comfortable spending too much time trying to get the Zippo to make a flame. After failing miserably I was thinking about putting some punk wood into the Zippo and using it to transport a smoldering ember to my next location….then it hit me. I could almost hear Sage and Robs voices in unison, “You’re over thinking it Hutch.” They would have said.
So I discarded the Zippo body into my pocket for future experimentation and used the case to char up the punk wood and later a piece of torn t shirt that I found. Not only does the case work amazingly to make char cloth, but you can store your charred material in it so you do not have a pocket full of dust at your next destination.
SIGMA 3’s training pushes the mindset of becoming very very good at the skills that will work all the time and save the survival hacks for when you get home. They are for playing around with but shouldn’t be depended on. To quote Bruce Lee,”I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times.” This is their mindset about friction fire and the ability to be able to start fires from nothing. No tools, no rope, no nothing. That sums up the entire philosophy of SIGMA 3’s training regimen.
This zippo survival hack should be considered what I call,”Hip Pocket skills”. Hip Pocket skills is a term my grandfather used to use right before he had me hold a flash light while he changed a tire, or fixed a garbage disposal. They are handy techniques to make things a little faster, but shouldn’t be considered bomb proof skills to depend on. But to make char cloth, that is a core skill everyone needs.
Pull out the inner parts of the Zippo and save those. Those parts will be useful later.
Find something organic. Anything 100 percent cotton will work. But so will things like punk wood. The trick with punk wood is to put it into the tin in chunks. Do not powder it like you would if making solar fire.
Close the case. But leave it a bit loose so that gases can escape. Most people do not realize that you have to allow for some gas to escape when causing pyrolysis. That is what we do when charring a material. An actual chemical change is caused in the material. Once performed, the charred material will catch even very tiny sparks and form a viable ember that can easily be blown into flames. You need the case closed to prevent an abundance of air, but it does not need to be held shut or air tight to make char cloth.*Pyrolysis- when we heat a natural organic material in the absence of oxygen. Water and other compounds are burned away leaving us with a carbon rich material with a very low ignition point.
Rest the case on its side so that it does not get knocked over. Build the fire over the case. You do not need a big fire here. I normally use about one branch from something soft and resinous.
Let the fire burn over the case for 3-5 minutes. Usually you can see the gas escaping; it will most likely be aflame, but not always. When the gas no longer escapes the case you have caused pyrolysis on the contents.
LET IT COOL DOWN! This is where I see most students mess up. It is exciting any time you perform a task for the first time. The tendency is to open the case too soon; this sudden air flow will cause a premature ember to form.
Store the charred material in the case for your next fire.
Now, if the inner parts of the Zippo was throwing sparks you have a way to get a very quick and easy ember that can be added to your tinder bundle and blown into flame.
If the Zippo was not throwing sparks, there are tons of other ways to get an ember from charred material. If you have a high carbon knife, grab a flint rock, and do the flint and steel method for fire starting. There are tons of ways to use this material, but remember, just adding this charred material to a tinder bundle is going to substantially help you transfer your ember made from a difficult primitive method.
Charred material is a valuable asset to have on you any time you are going to affect a second fire. Darn near any spark or heat source will give you a viable ember when using well made char material. To see this technique in action, or to see similar skills, visit us at www.survivalschool.us, and check out the Sigma 3 YouTube channel.
https://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Zippo-hack-featured-pic.jpg640960webadminhttps://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/inner_header_logo.pngwebadmin2018-09-03 16:57:122018-09-03 17:37:49Make Char Cloth with a Zippo! Survival Hack
This is kind of a shitty subject to write about but one that seriously needs to be addressed. I cannot count the times that I’ve been walking through the woods and happened upon a white blur on the trail only to find it’s a sock sticking up out of someone’s pile of shit. I mean, who does that? Apparently a lot of people do because I see it quite often. Well you won’t have to use your socks after reading this article because I’m going to show you the top 10 things to wipe your ass with in the woods. A lot of the things on this list are seasonal and regional. For instance, if you are in Florida, snow is going be hard to find. Likewise, if you are in Colorado, you will not have Spanish moss at your disposal. Anyway, here is my list in no specific order.
Most leaves do not work well as toilet paper. A lot of leaves crumble when friction is applied and other leaves are just too smooth to remove any grime. Mullein leaves are one of the exceptions, if they are fresh. They are covered with fine cottony hairs that lift and carry away debris. They are soft and strong especially when doubled up Trust me, do not use dried mullein leaves or those soft cottony hairs will become little itchy prickles that are hard to remove. Imagine itching powder applied directly to the sphincter. It’s not pleasant. I learned this the hard way.
Slippery Elm leaves are quite different than mullein leaves. Elm leaves are not soft, in fact, they could be described as sand papery. They do, however, get you clean. The hairs that cover elm leaves are full of silica crystals and that can and will smooth textured skin, if you know what I mean. Be gentle if you are using elm leaves as toilet paper. It will get you clean but it can get you raw too.
Moss makes one of the best butt wipes ever. Not only is it soft and absorbant but it also contains iodine. Iodine is a germ killer. So moss cleans and dissinfects. Moss can be found near water and on the north side of trees in most of the northern hemisphere.
Spanish moss is not a moss. It’s actually a Tillandsia, in the Bromeliad family, that grows in the tropics of America. If you live in the south you are probably very familiar with this air plant. And although it’s not a true moss it’s still a great ass cleaner. It does not contain iodine like true mosses but it does the job well anyway. Be sure to get rid of any bugs that may make the moss its home, they can tear your ass up.
Reindeer moss is not a moss either. It is an amazing lichen and although it doesn’t contain iodine like true mosses, it does contain many active germ killing acids. It can even wipe out staph. It is very absorbent and a little rough textured but all around does a great job scrubbing the bum. Its also a carbohydrate rich food that can scrub your insides if you can scarf it down but that’s another article.
This one seems silly but it actually works well if conditions are right. Osages oranges, also called hedge apples, are large fruit. They are, in fact, too large to wedge into the crevice for a proper wiping, if they are full grown. But if they are half grown they work wonderfully. The small bumps and channels on the surface of the fruit do a great job of carrying away matter. The fruit does contain a sticky resin that exudes out when the fruit is damaged, so only use undamaged fruits. The resin is not poisonous but it could cause an allergic reaction in some people, though this is very rare.
If you can find the perfect rock, you are golden. Certain rocks do a better job cleaning than most of the things on this list. They naturally scrub you dry as they remove material. The problem is that a good rock is hard to find. The rock must be free of sharp edges with a texture like chalk. It should be roundish and flattish and should fit in the hand comfortably. My favorite stone is Dolomite but cotton rock is a close second.
Now I know when I say pinecones make good toilet paper most of you will think I’m full of it, but they actually do work. The key is to find the right pinecone. You want a fresh one right from the tree before it has opened to drop its seeds. You also want to make sure it’s not covered in resin and has no sharp points on it. If you find one like the one in this picture you will have no problem removing sludge from the rear sector, and deodorize as well.
Snow does a fantastic job of scrubbing the starfish but it does have some serious drawbacks. For one, it is cold, so pucker up. Two, its wet, and it gets wetter when applied. This can cause drips. As you can imagine those drips are not very clean so be careful where your water falls. Also having a wet bum in cold weather is not such a great idea so you are going to want to dry the area. I’m not a big fan of tushy mush so I only use snow in emergencies.
When all else fails you can use a practice, common in the Middle East, called the double wipe. Basically you wipe with your left hand and then you wipe your hand onto something else. This should only be done if there is nothing else available and you have a way to wash your hands immediately. Otherwise you are nasty and no one will shake your hand ever again.
I hope this list is useful to you. If there is one less sock topping a pile of poo in the woods, it was all worth it. Thanks for reading and thanks for not littering dooky socks.
https://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/imageeee.jpg640960Joshua Hamlinhttps://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/inner_header_logo.pngJoshua Hamlin2018-08-31 15:01:322018-09-03 17:49:18Top 10 Things to Wipe Your Ass With in the Woods
What are the TOP 10 Urban Survival Skills to know in a real crisis? My experience in this subject is one that comes from having worked several disasters with either construction aid or humanitarian aid. Disasters can and will happen to you. And almost no one is ever prepared when they happen. People always have this laisez faire attitude of it won’t happen to me. Then it does? Now what do I do?
My recent trip down to Puerto Rico was my best learning experience in urban survival skills to date. And I got to see what it looks like first hand to see every single element of infrastructure go down. The thing that still amazes me is how few people have any urban survival skills at all.
You can’t really understand the magnitude of these events until you’ve seen one first hand. It was like an nuclear bomb went off on the Puerto Rico and all services were gone! Roads were gone! There was no way to get money! It was absolutely the worst disaster I’ve ever seen. It’s why I self deployed down there on my own money. I felt the call to help. So I’ve got a lot of first hand experience in what happens during these disasters and what you’re going to need for long term sustainment in a disaster area.
General Buchanan, (to left) 4 Star in charge of all military disaster operations in PR!
TOP 10 Urban Survival Skills to Survive a Disaster
1. Preparation- Like the old cliche goes, preparation prevents piss poor performance. So you’ll need to prepare ahead of time. That typically means gear or prepping is required. Hard and soft skills are great, but when it comes to urban survival. GEAR HELPS! Bushcrafting things is indeed handy and needed skills, but you can’t help other people very much with no equipment.
Remember that all your basic needs must be met as well as all your family members. That includes the elderly, kids, and dogs that you’re responsible for. And even if you are “The Survival Guru”, its unlikely your family takes an interest in it like you do. So you will be in charge of everything when this happens. Do you want to do that with just your wits, or would you rather have preps?
STOCK UP- Your home needs to be stocked with the most basic necessities to last you for at least 30 days minimum and those necessities need to be mobile capable. Meaning you need to be able to take your preps on the move with you if need be. If you’re bugging out, you can’t take likely take massive amounts of things with you. And if you’re staying in place, then what do you do if you have to go mobile. You need to have several options planned for bugging in versus bugging out. And don’t store all your eggs in one basket!
2. Escape Route Planning- You need to scout out numerous different travel routes that aren’t likely to get bogged down by traffic. These may include off roading, going through ditches, and other inventive means to get around traffic. You need approximately 5-6 escape routes that aren’t contingent upon getting on major highways. Store caches at different points along the route, so that if you can’t get home you’ll have other options for supplies. Store backup EDC and sustainment equipment in these caches. Along with cash or other forms of currency. During disasters, the first thing to go is the internet and power, so there won’t be getting any money out of ATM’s after that.
Main road in Puerto Rico after storm. This is what most roads looked like!
3. Water Procurement- You’ll need to know numerous methods for getting safe drinking water. During my time in Puerto Rico, that was probably one of the single biggest issues. Most of the PR people didn’t know how to purify water without boiling or how to collect it efficiently. You need to know how to collect and then make it safe to drink. Boiling might not be an option, so you’ll need to know how to build charcoal filters and improvised distillers from scavenged parts. You’ll also need to purchase some water filters for your family that will deal with chemical issues as well. The water is easily contaminated by dangerous chemicals in the urban environment, so choose a water filter with a carbon element in it.
4. Medical & Hygiene Skills- Enough can’t be said for having some trauma skills in an urban disaster! People will be hurt all around you and you can either help them or move on. You also might be injured as well and need the skills to fix yourself up. Because no one is coming to save you right after a major disaster. Trust me, they won’t be coming quickly. We met people in PR, that hadn’t seen the government at all even a month after the storm. They were on their own. Not only should you be able to stop bleeding and set broken bones. But you’ll need to know how to keep those wounds clean in an austere and dirty environment. That is easier said than done. A wilderness EMT course will teach you most of what you’ll need to know but a good ditch medicine course will suffice for most people.
Veteran Medics Treating Gangrene infection only 3 weeks after the storm!
5. Communications- Our single biggest issue with organizing in PR, was getting comms with any of our other team members. Even with high priced radios, you still can’t talk very far away. So when we were doing runs into the mountains to deliver disaster supplies, we would have no comms with base. You need some kind of device that will deal with that issue over long distances that doesn’t require cell phone signal. Radios are good but HAM radios are even better. Satellite phones are an expensive option, and not always guaranteed to work. A cell phone signal booster is also a worthy investment and should be mounted to your car somewhere so you can drive to good signal areas.
6. Acquiring Fuel & Transportation- If you plan to leave the area, you had better plan on either walking, cycling or driving a vehicle. Depending on where you are, walking might not be much of an option. You might not be able to drive out either, so you’d better have numerous options for traveling. You can’t carry very much on a bicycle. And vehicles require fuel, so you’ll need to know how to acquire fuel. One thing I learned down in PR, was that the rich people left quick. And they left everything behind to leave the island, no matter the cost. So nice neighborhoods would have vehicles that were unused, and their fuel was up for the grabs. We personally borrowed numerous vehicles during the storm from people leaving the island. I had several different vehicles that were all free during my time there.
Also, a must have urban survival skill is the ability to siphon fuel from gas tanks. Just remember that modern cars have security devices to prevent you from siphoning gas, so you’ll need to know how to get around that. You can bypass this cutting the hose behind the panel and going directly into the the tank. You can also pop a hole in the tank and collect the fuel as it spills out. Older vehicles or in third world countries, this shouldn’t be an issue.
7. Tactical Awareness- I can’t say this enough. The key to avoiding all violent altercations is keeping your head on a swivel and being aware of your surroundings. Once you’ve survived the disaster, its all downhill from there right? Think again. You’re chances of getting attacked after the storm for you preps just went way way up. Hopefully you didn’t tell all your friends that you’re a prepper. Because if you did, they are coming to your house! First rule of prepping, “DON’T TELL ANYONE”. Keep your head on swivel and be aware of the people around you. Anyone approaching you that is a military aged male should be watched and you should be formulating a plan for violence in your mind if something goes wrong.
8. Knife Fighting- Almost all urban encounters of violence happen within close range and the scenario usually goes down like this. Someone approaches with hostile intent, they use deceptive methods to get close, and then they pull a gun or a weapon when least expected. That accounts for a huge majority of the violent situations you might find yourself in.
That being said, you need to learn how to quickly deploy a blade in close quarters and where to stab. You also must be proficient in how to defend against a blade. You’ve heard it said, don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. But almost any gunfighter that has taken some knife fighting training will tell you different. Because the gun is only dangerous in one direction and if you can control that direction, it is worthless. The knife is extremely dangerous in close quarters and more than capable of killing in seconds and almost impossible to control. Pistols on the other hand are extremely easy to take if you can get your hands on them. And if almost all violent encounters happen in close range, then you had better have the skills to create distance to pull your gun, a blade, or be able to defend empty hands.
Also, you won’t have a gun anywhere else in the world. You can’t take your glock with you, but you can find a knife anywhere.And they are legal to own everywhere. Might not be legal to carry, but easy to acquire and simple to use. They are also your most important wilderness survival tool. Learn to be deadly with a knife and you’ll walk with so much more confidence.
9. Leadership and Organizational Skills- The most common thing I saw a lack of in disaster zones, is people with the ability to rally and organize groups efficiently. I can’t stress enough how important leadership and a chain of command will be when SHTF. Everyone will want to do their own thing and they may resent any leadership command. But if you want to get important things done, it will require team work. This is an essential element to all urban survival skills. You will be surviving with other people. Learn how to use them efficiently!
10. Lock-picking, Forced Entry, and Social Engineering- In most disaster areas, you won’t have to worry about covert entry into any buildings. Just pry the door open with a crowbar or knock it in with a sledge hammer because you aren’t worried about anyone knowing you were there. But some facilities may be more difficult to break into with those tools and they most likely hold the most useful supplies. We don’t necessarily suggest you try and pick the locks if other options are available. Its so much easier to just drill them out and remove the lock altogether. Remember that the city already holds everything you need to survive, even in the worst disasters, those items were there before and they are still there now. If you can break in, then you can have them.
Social Engineering- Another essential urban survival skill is social engineering and the art of human hacking. It is the ability to manipulate people into doing things you want them to do. That usually requires a good cover story and some great bullshitting skills. People can be your biggest asset or you worst liability. Either way, in any urban disaster, you’ll have to deal with a lot of people. You need to know how to speak to them in order to get them to do what you want. During my trip to PR, I deployed with a former CIA agent who was a master of talking to people. We showed up and within days we had social engineered vehicles, a place to stay, contacts with FEMA, and almost anything we needed. All by talking to people! This subject is extremely in depth, so here is a list of books to checkout on Social Engineering:
Conclusion: I think being in an urban disaster is much scarier than becoming lost or stranded in the wilderness. You don’t have to worry about much in the wilderness except shelter, water, fire, food, tools and navigation. You still need all those things in the city, but you add a security and tactical element to that equation as well. Your basic needs never change because you always need to thermoregulate, drink water, sleep, and eat food. No matter where you go. So its important to learn how to do those urban survival skills before the disaster happens. I suggest that everyone interested in learning these skills actually go to a disaster zone and help with humanitarian aid. Its the best way to learn how these events go down and what you need to know to prepare for them!
MUST HAVE! Survival and Sustainment Gear for Disasters
Warbonnet Hammock System– We used this all over the island of PR during our disaster relief visit. I slept in between pillars at airports, on beaches, and just about anywhere you could string a hammock up. It was the only thing I slept in while there. Best investment for a shelter system anyone can ever make. I’ve spent upwards of 6 months living out of one and can attest that they are the best in the world!
(SUAOKI Led Camping Lantern)(MPOWERD Luci Lux – Inflatable Solar Light)-Solar lights were absolutely essential for around our sleep area and walking areas. These will stay lit all night and charge easily in a few hours of sun each day. Its an essential piece of any disaster kit and super cheap to purchase. I can’t state enough how important lights become when you won’t have electricity for days or months. It enables you to work at night time efficiently!
Goal Zero Solar Charger- Honestly anything in the Goal Zero line of products could be potentially useful. It really depends on what your individual needs are. One thing I can guarantee though. You’ll want as much solar gear as you can when it comes to a longer term disaster like I saw in PR!
NiteCore Headlamp and P25 Flashlight- There lights will run forever on a single charge. And you can purchase portable mini usb battery chargers from NiteCore as well, to charge these in the field. On their lowest setting, both these lights with run for several hundred hours. I’ve owned them both for several years now and had no issues at all!
Fjallraven Kai Backpack- When you have to hump all your sustainment gear everywhere you go, you better have a good backpack. Otherwise your shoulders and body will be killing you. Invest in a good backpack with good suspension system.
For years we have been using silky saws in the field and they have performed exceptionally well. So this list will heavy on the silkies, but we will cover some other saws as well. There is a ton of different saws out there on the market to choose from, the options can be overwhelming to a newbie. So we have tried everything out there and narrowed it down to a handful of saws for you that will work best for bushcrafters and outdoorsman. All of this equipment has been in use by SIGMA 3 Survival Instructors for years, since it is one of the single most important survival tools we bring to work. Our day job consists of showing up in the woods with a knife, saw, axe, and nothing else. That is what we teach with for most classes, so we use them a LOT!
What to look for?
Folding saws are the best option. Pack-ability is always a concern when carrying woodworking tools. You can only carry so much and you want it to be lightweight, durable, and very efficient at cutting small to medium-sized logs. As well as being able to take something larger down if need be. You’d be surprised how large of a tree you can take down in a short amount of time with a mid sized saw. Well over 12″ trees are possible and as a survivalist, you really shouldn’t have a need to take anything larger down. But if you do, then plan on carrying an axe. Our favorite axe at the moment is the Hults Bruk Akka Forest Axe. You can take down anything you need with an axe this big, and the head is light enough you can choke up on the handle and do light cutting work.
Why a folding saw over a buck saw?
The problem with bucksaws is that the depth of your saw will determine how large of trees you can cut. Which can be a problem if you’re carrying a big clunky buck saw, and it won’t even cut large logs if needed. They tend to be heavier and much bulkier, which makes them an issue to carry in backpacks. Whereas a folding saw can cut larger logs and will slide right into one of your pockets. The Silky Ultra Accel actually fits perfectly into the upper left cargo pocket of the Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants (My favorite outdoor pants of all time).
Some things only a saw can do:
straight cuts for notching, survival traps, shelter building, and much more
Faster cutting and less work than axes. It takes about 1/3 the effort to use a saw versus an axe.
Fit into small pockets.
Cut quickly in confined areas.
Strap it to a pole and cut limbs way out of your normal reach.
Why does a survivalist need a saw more than an axe?
People who travel in the woods often, tend to try and do it lightweight. Tool heavy yes, but as light as they can go to get the job done. Why carry a big 3 lb axe if you don’t need it? I primarily carry an axe for winter trips in colder climates and in places you need to chop lots of standing dead wood to burn. Unless I have to process and split a lot of wood, I don’t really need an axe for most 3 season trips. The saw can do anything I need and then some. Plus it fits in your pocket and the only survival tools that matter are the ones you’ll actually carry regularly.
There issues with almost every folding saw on the market. It isn’t designed to necessarily replace an ax, it should be paired with one. Because of the two items, the axe is far more durable, even though it’s not as efficient. I typically carry both and end up using my saw 80% of the time. Remember that your wood working tools are your survival tools, because they can help you construct items for your longer-term survival. Not to mention a fire is pivotal to survive in any environment and you want a few tools at hand to process wood.
Silky Issues- This saw has the hardest steel by far, meaning it holds an edge much much longer. But the harder a steel, the more brittle it is. The only issue people have with silky’s ever is that if you abuse the blade it will break. You have to use it properly and never force it through wood or allow the blade to bind. If done right it will fly through the wood with very little effort on your arms. The silky also has a very wide kerf (thickness at cutting edge), meaning it binds the least of all the saws. This is a professional tree trimming saw and is by far and away the fastest cutter. Just be careful when using the blade so as not to break it. I’ve never personally broken one after years of use, but I have seen it happen.
Corona Issues- This saw has a thinner kerf and will bind a little more than the silky’s. It also has an issue with the bolt loosening and once you lose the bolt, the saw is almost worthless. The blade is also softer so the edge won’t last as long. And it’s more likely to bend than the silky saws. That being said, it’s durable enough that you can straighten bends in the blade. All in all, this a fantastic saw for the money. It was my go to saw before finding the silky ultra accel.
Bahco Issues- This saw is the slowest cutter of all the saws by far. But it is probably the most popular bushcraft saw in the world. Not sure why they are so popular other than the durability of the blade, which is why it made the top 5 list. You can literally bend the bushcraft saw blade at a 90-degree angle, and then bang it out straight with a log. Its an amazingly tough blade, but it has some drawbacks. The kerf on the saw is very thin, meaning the blade binds a lot. It is also a small saw, and can only process small limbs. You can’t cut even half as large of trees with this bushcraft saw, as you can the silky or corona. You also have to be careful the bolt doesn’t fall out on this saw. It has to have loctite added to the threading or it will come loose in the woods and be rendered useless.
One of the most overlooked Principles of Survival is having the ability to Meet your First Aid and Security Needs. The outdoors are called the wild for a reason. It can be dangerous out there, and accidents are just waiting to happen. Something as simple as a sprained ankle or as serious as an animal attack, it is important that you are always prepared. Inspect your first-aid kit, and establish security protocols while in the field. In an actual survival situation attend to any injuries, and remove yourself from any danger. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
First Aid & Security Could Save Your Life
Four common first aid mistake we see in our classes are:
Gimmicky First Aid Kits
Poor Selection of Medical Supplies (Lacks Trauma Care)
Inadequate First Aid Training
Folk Medicine (Example: Suck poison from a snake bite)
Having a properly stocked IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit), and professional training is vital to your self aid. If you are uncertain of items in your kit then learn what they are or remove them. Be sure your first aid kit treats the most common incidents: sprains, burns, and wounds. After those needs are met then you can add items that will treat blisters, stings/bites, rashes, and so on. Also, be sure to attend a wilderness first aid course, and then begin to regularly practice your skills.
Get your IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) on our store. SurvivalGear.us or build your own.
Security is more than carrying a gun, it is a mindset. It is about having a fine tuned awareness of nature. Make sure you fully understand your surroundings and establish a perimeter around your camp. Be sure you have not set up on a game trail or under a dead fall. If you are in an area that has a high predator population be sure to have a fire and create a barrier between you and the wildlife. This could be as simple as backing up against a rock ledge with a fire out front, surrounding yourself with briers (thorny plants), fully enclosing your shelter, or creating an improvised alarm system. You should always have some form of weapon to defend yourself even if it is nothing more than a sharpened spear.
We recently had a bear come into camp that created a stir. He busted some beer bottles and drank all the beer. Needless to say he was probably a bit tipsy. We were able to run him off by making ourselves look bigger and raising our voices. This could have been avoided by keeping food and drink hung in a bear bag. If the bear continued to be persistent an air horn, bear spray, or offset gun shot would have been enough to scare him off.
A simple improvised alarm system could consist of a trip wire attached to some aluminum cans or other noise maker. Use your imagination. As silly as that may seem, security is no joke.
Check out our latest First Aid Video, share, subscribe, and stay tuned for the 3rd Survival Principle.
https://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/FIRST-AID.png500760webadminhttps://survivalschool.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/inner_header_logo.pngwebadmin2017-07-10 15:32:332018-08-18 14:37:46Principles of Survival – Meet First Aid & Security Needs
One of the most important survival skills may not be what you think. The most important skill is the ability to recognize the need to make personal safety a priority. I have spent years training in the bush, and have developed the 6 Principles of Survival.
Shelter, fire, and water become irrelevant when you do not have the cognitive skills to meet those needs.
The first principle of survival is to Mitigate Risk and Fear. This consist of having an ISOPREP Report and P.A.C.E. Plan in place before you even step into the woods. This will ensure your odds of staying found and avoiding a survival situation in the first place.
Understanding the Principles of Survival will improve your odds.
ISOPREP REPORT (Isolated Personnel Report)
No one goes out into the wilderness planning to get lost or injured, it just happens. Murphy’s Law kicks in, and you better hope you have made proper plans for rescue. The #1 cause for a survival situation is a careless attitude toward personal safety. Ego comes into play, and we step out into the bush with our own wits and skill, only to find out that we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble if we would have only left behind an Isoprep report and estimated return time with a responsible adult. The Isoprep report is a single sheet of paper that includes your personal info, destination of travel, and emergency contacts. You should always carry a copy on yourself, and leave a copy with someone you trust to reach out to authorities in the event you don’t return. We have created this free print friendly ISOPREP REPORT for you to download. (Click image)
The P.A.C.E. PLAN is a simple action response plan that provides you with a back-up plan in the event things go wrong. Always have a Primary plan, Alternate plan, Contingent plan, and Emergency plan. By thinking ahead this will mitigate the fear of uncertainty and will ensure that you take practical steps to avoid unnecessary risk and increase your survival odds.
When all else fails, and survival becomes your only choice it is important that you S.T.O.P. (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan). This simple act will help you with your natural fight or flight response, and will allow you to rationally think through your circumstances. The simple act of slowing down your breathing will help lower your heart rate, and reduce that overwhelming feeling of fear. Confidence in your skill set and a proper action plan will help you effectively evaluate risk vs reward.
Safety has to be a priority. Always cut away from yourself when using a knife, reduce your speed and stride when traversing, stay on the trail, avoid any unnecessary risk, and remember to always stay calm. I also encourage you to get proper land navigation training and a good compass. We offer courses throughout the year.
Be sure to check out Part 1 of our 6 Principles of Survival video, Share, Download Isoprep report, and stay tuned for Principle 2.
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