Going into the winderness with a big sharp knife, firestarting tools, a gun, and pleny of ammo so you can play with sharp sticks, fire, and other neato things without the skills to use them is almost asking for an accident. Make sure you a first aid kit with you and the skills to use it. When journeying into the wilderness it’s important to carry a first aid kit along with the knowledge to use it. It’s always a wise investment to take a first aid course, and you can even find free course in your community.
Here’s a few tips for a wilderness first aid emergency…..
First, check if the casualty is in any danger, or will put you into a dangerous position by helping them. Avoid moving a casualty with unknown injuries, unless there is a greater danger in leaving the casualty where he or she is. If necessary, make the area safe, but put your own safety first. Do not move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury, unless difficulties in breathing make this necessary.
1. Check breathing
Check that the airway is open and the casualty is breathing. A person who is unconscious has no control over their muscles, therefore, their tongue is the single most common cause of an airway obstruction. The airway can be cleared by simply using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique, see the figure. This action pulls the tongue away from the air passage in the throat.
The Recovery position
Place an unconscious but breathing person in the recovery position- Place the casualty on his or her side, with their uppermost leg at a right angle to the body. Once again, do not move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury. Support the head by the hand of the uppermost arm. Tilt the head back to ensure that the airway is clear.
Stop any bleeding. All types of external bleeding, such as open wounds, are treated in the same way- Squeeze together the sides of the wound. Apply direct pressure to the wound with your fingers, or preferably a sterile dressing. In an emergency, an article of clean clothing will do. Lie the casualty down and lift the wounded part above the level of the heart. This slows the bleeding. Bandage the wound firmly but take care not to cut off the circulation to the area. If you suspect that an injury may have caused internal bleeding, the most important thing you can do is to prevent shock from occurring. Urgent medical attention is necessary.
Shock is a condition of general body weakness, and is present in all cases of accidents, to a varying degree. The shocked casualty may feel weak, faint, giddy, anxious or restless. Keep the casualty warm and quiet and give all the reassurance you can.
Wilderness first aid kit
Do not forget to bring your own Wilderness First Aid Kit. Make sure you know what your kit contains and how to use the materials for effective first aid. A good idea is to add an easy-to-read basic first aid instruction book.
Please keep in mind that the information presented here are only general guidelines. There’s no way I could ever possibly cover everything in this article. My intention here is to get your mind thinking and headed in the right direction.
For real medical training TAKE A WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER COURSE!!!! Also, please consult a physician, or take a first aid class at a minimum before attempting any of this.
It’s getting close to the anniversary of 9/11 so I want to cover an important survival and preparedness topic that most of us overlook, I’m going to show you how to make a Work Emergency Bag (WEB) that you should store at work in the event of an emergency to keep you safe and prepared.. An emergency situation can happen at any time. It doesn’t matter where you are, you may be on your own and forced to improvise. Natural, terroristic, and man made disasters can force offices full of workers to evacuate. In big cities a disaster may also affect public transportation and congest the streets. Your workplace emergency kit should be in a single, easy-to-carry container in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
Discuss with your family what you may do in an emergency if they can’t reach you by cell phone and make sure you write down a list of emergency contact numbers. Evaluate where you work and how far you live from work. Coordinate with your trusted co-workers and exchange ideas for creating individual WEB’s ideal for your situation, urban area, and workplace.
Preparing Your Work Emergency Bag (WEB)
- Canvas Bookbag - Get a large, canvas, water resistant backpack with several compartments and padded shoulder straps. Attach a luggage tag with your name, address, and phone number.
- Water - Keep one gallon of water, preferably in a something easy to carry like a Camelbak or High Sierra Hydration Pack.
- Food - Your food stores should be simple and require no cooking. S.O.S. Food Bars taste great, are full of calories and nutrients, and store for up to 5 years. They’re cheap too!
- Flashlight - You need a small, powerful, and dependable flashlight. The Nebo Redline Tactical Flashlight With S.O.S Strobe fits the bill perfectly. It’s one of my favorite flashlights and is super tough! Also the American Red Cross Hand Crank Weather Radio with Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger is a great combo item that can provide you with light, information, and power in one little package.
- GloSticks - Having a couple of glow sticks is a nice extra in most kits, but it’s important to have them in a WEB. Gas leaks could be everywhere in an urban enviroment and using a flashlight or other electronic device could spark an explosion. Make sure you grab a few as you’ll need a new one every night. The 12 Hour Emergency Glow Sticks (4 Pack) are cheap, made for emergencies, and glow very brightly.
- Emergency Radio - Having a way to communicate to the outside world and keep up to date with what’s going on is vital in an emergency situation. The best emergency radios are hand crank and the best one I have seen is the American Red Cross Hand Crank Weather Radio I mentioned above. It’s really a little marvel.
- Emergency Blanket - Mylar sheets (a.k.a. space blankets, emergency blankets) are lightweight, waterproof and very thin. They come tightly packed (they come in insanely small boxes), and should be left in their original packaging until you need to use them. They’re very hard to refold once opened and you’ll end up just stuffing it in your pack.
- Whistle - A whistle will allow you to make noise for hours if you become trapped. Yelling for long periods of time will dry out your throat and force you to use up your water, if you have any. The higher pitch will also carry better than your voice. The Storm Safety Whistle (a.k.a. the worlds loudest whistle) is the way to go. At $5 and some change it’s no dollar store toy, but neither is your emergency kit.
- PryBar - A prybar is a great tool for your kit and no WEB should be without one. Not only is it great for getting yourself out of a building, but it also makes a decent weapon against a would be assailant. The Big Ugly Emergency Combo gives you a prybar, hammer, and razor sharp axe all in one. A note here, there’s a cheapo chinese copy of the Big Ugly that you can find for about $5. Use it at your own risk, it’s a real work of crap and is known to snap very easily…the last thing you want your one and only prybar to do.
- Running Shoes And Socks - Most dress shoes are so uncomfortable it’s impossible to walk several miles in them. You could even end up with feet so blistered you simply could not walk any more. Don’t believe me? Try running a mile in them and see for yourself! Make sure you have some good athletic running shoes and socks in your bag ready to go or you’ll regret it later, don’t take this one for granted.
- First aid Kit - You can make your own first aid kit or buy a pre-packaged kit. A pre-made kit will usually cover a wide range of emergencies. The best thing to do is buy a pre-made first aid kit and then add to it with your own items.
- Poncho - A poncho is easy to carry and super light. Protecting yourself from getting wet is important and a poncho is all you need. Hypothermia can set in faster than you think and having wet clothes can be a death sentence in cold weather.
- Dust Mask - Make sure you pick up a pack of dust masks. As 9/11 proved there is ALOT of dust and smoke during most emergencies. A dust mask can protect your lungs from cancer causing particles such as abestos and also keep some smoke out too. The best masks form to fit your face and have a valve for breathing, such as the 3M Valved Dust Mask. You can also go for a full Civilian Gas Mask if you don’t mind the odd looks. I pack a full gas mask because I know those at Ground Zero would have given anything for a full mask. The odd looks by stranges mean nothing when the entire sky is grey with posionous dust and smoke.
- Maps - Ever tried walking miles home from work during a total SHTF moment? I bet not. Imagine for a moment your disoriented and in shock, and maybe hurt too. Everything is covered in grey dust (including road signs)…Can you remember to count how many roads there are or pick out any landmarks (which could have been destroyed too) until your next turn? If your work is in the city but your house is in suburbia, what if you have to get off the road and into the woods? Don’t count on your cell phone GPS working during an emergency. Not only could your providor be overwhelmed but an EMP or solar flare could render it useless. Pull up Google Maps and print out a map from your work back to your house. highlight the route and also note any important places, such as a hospital, police station, or some place where you can safely rest at night. If you can find a map of your building make a copy of it too, espeically any building with more than 5 floors.
- Cell Phone - You’ll probably have this on you already, just make sure it’s handy and charged.
- Cell Phone Charger - A dead cell phone is useless and luck always has it that it will be dead right when you need it. Plus a two day walk out of town can be enough to finish off your phone. The best cell phone charger works every time and can be used for more than charging a phone. Again the American Red Cross Hand Crank Weather Radio fits both these needs. Told ya it’s a real marvel.
- Money - Keep a few dollars in your WEB, about $20-50 in small bills. Make sure you hide your money in your bag somewhere. The cardboard bottom of your backpack is a great place. Fold your money up and tape it to the bottom of the cardboard, no one will think to look there.
- Moist Wipes - A pack of baby wipes works well. Make sure you don’t open them untill you need them or they will dry out.
- MultiTool Knife - You need a knife, don’t underestimate it’s uses. Getting a multitool instead of a tatical knife gives you a lot of options, like having a screwdriver and pliers. A good multitool can be expensive though, upwards of $150, but you can get a decent Leatherman (the creators of the multitool) for under $30 on Amazon that fits all your needs. This is another place where you wouldn’t want to buy a cheapo china-made version. You can put a good multitool through hell, but a chinese made one will bend or dull with just a few minutes use. Check out the Leatherman Pocket Multi-Tool with Leather Sheath for example.
- Extra Keys - Keep extra keys to your house and car in your kit. You should tape these to the same place you put your cash, the bottom of the hard coardboard piece in the bottom of your backpack. Make sure you don’t mark them in any way.
- Documents - Make sure you have some form of identification on you. Also grab any special papers or photos you may have at your desk.
I’ve often found that no matter how well you try to prepare there will always be something you wished you had once it’s too late. Here’s a list of my top 10 most forgotten preps. While some of these may seem a little obscure, in all reality every item here would be quite useful in the right circumstance.
1. Dental floss: Dental floss is strong, tough, and makes great cordage, plus it’s important to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible especially when you may no longer have access to a dentist. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
2. Batteries: What are you going to resort to when the batteries die in your flashlight or your handheld radio? You will want to have a supply of back-up batteries in your 72 hour kit to be sure you can keep your most useful electronic gadgets, survival tools and digital optics up and running.
3. Tarpaulin: One of the most sought after item that was in very short supply during the Haitian earthquake was a basic polymer tarp. A tarp is shelter from both the sun and precipitation, and can be utilized as a tool to catch rain water for consumption. They can also be used to cover a hole in a roof or as a makeshift fix for a broken window. With the widespread destruction that occurred in Haiti, these quickly became a form of emergency currency and were extremely hard to come by.
4. Pain Reliever: There is truly one thing worse than dealing with a disaster situation, and that is dealing with it while enduring the effects of a screaming head or back ache. Be sure to pack some of your favorite over-the-counter pain medication.
5. Underwear: Pack a few extra pair of clean underwear for each family member in a plastic press-and-seal bag and drop it into your 72 hour kit. When you find yourself separated from your bedroom closet for whatever reason, at some point, you are likely going to be very glad you had access to one or more pair of clean and dry underwear.
6. Toilet paper: Sure, you can just use leaves, but even a partial roll of TP is very light to carry, takes up little space even in a press-and-seal plastic bag, and it sure beats old dirty leaves.
7. Pen & Paper: This is an all too often forgotten addition to your 72 hour kit. You never know when you will need to jot down an address, phone number, a list of instructions, or who knows what else. Be sure you have your paper packed into something waterproof and the pen you choose is reliable.
8. Local maps: Fancy GPS devices are all the rage, but what if the unit becomes damaged, or the batteries die and you forgot to back extra (see above)? It’s wise to have a few maps of the local area packed into your 72 hour kit so you can navigate the land around you in old-school style. Also, it’s of great importance you know how to read a map and correctly navigate using a map and compass. To learn more about this particular skill set, you can read and study U.S. Army Field Manual 3-25.26 – Map Reading and Land Navigation.
9. Antiperspirant: It’s not just for arm pit stink; another handy use for antiperspirant is to help prevent your feet from becoming overly damp with perspiration. Simply covering your feet in product will help to keep your socks dry even in heavy boots.
10. Razor: Body and facial hair allow bacteria and resulting odors to stay on your person. Generally, the more effort you put into keeping yourself neat and clean, the less chances you have to acquire bacteria related skin conditions and to carry and transmit parasites.
Mouse traps are one of the most overlooked but essential survival tools. Maybe it’s so overlooked because no one really wants to think about eating a rat. The truth is in SHTF anything goes, and a rat trap (homemade or store bought) can be used to catch alot more than common mice. Depending on the bait you use you can catch snakes, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, armadillos, racoons, and even birds. Mouse traps are also vitally important for keeping your food stores clean and rodent free. If you don’t want to eat them at least use them for bait for bigger animals.
The easiest way is to buy a couple of the large Wooden Rat Snap Traps from amazon or home depot. To give yourself the most variety of meat make sure you buy the large traps and not the small ones made for mice only. Drill a hole in one corner large enough to run about a 10′ section of Paracord through and tie it up. Secure the other end of the paracord to a tree or post, apply a small dab of bait on the trap, camouflage it the best you can, and set it. A trap like this will work for you while you do something else, like tend your fire or collect water.
Different types of animals like different types of baits. The best all around bait is peanut butter. You can catch mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and armadillos with peanut butter. A small piece of meat or fish will also work wonders for opossum, racoons, and armadillo’s and even turtles. Some grass, seeds and berries will attract rabbits and birds. Snakes are a bit finicky but can be caught. If you hate the thought of eating a mouse then try catching one and setting it as bait for another animal such as a snake or coon.
A note on eating armadillo meat. They have been shown to spread leprosy to humans so eat with caution. The armadillo may have no outward signs of leprosy and still spread it to humans. The same can be said for eating racoon meat. They are know carriers of rabies so you have to be careful and make sure you cook your meat thoroughly. I would not eat an armadillo or racoon unless I had no choice. But if it’s either eat or starve then you’re better off taking your chances and eating the dang thing.
No Traps? No Problem!
If you don’t have a mouse trap then you can improvise. All you can really catch are mice but it’s very simple to build. All you need is a 5 gallon bucket, a piece of wood to act as a ramp (optionally you can bury the bucket flush with the ground), some peanut butter, a 1 liter bottle or aluminum can, and some wire.
Run a legnth of wire through an aluminum can and attach each end of the wire to the top of the bucket. Smear peanut butter on the can and fill the bucket with about 3-4″ of water. Then either bury the bucket flush with the ground or prop a piece of wood against the bucket to act as a ramp for the mice. The mice will come in to get the peanut butter then fall in the water and drown. It’s simple and very effective.
You can catch one to two mice a day with such a trap if you set it up in the right place. Around food stores, in attics, and around grassy fields are great places.
Don’t Take My Word For It
Here’s a great video from Dave Canterbury of http://www.wildernessoutfittersarchery.com (you probably also know him from the hit show Dual Survival) explaining how he always carries two large mouse traps with him, or as he likes to call them “common man traps”.
The Small Common Man Trapping Kit
As I write this Hurricane Irene is blasting up the east coast on a path that you don’t see too often. People who have never experienced a hurricane are going to be hit and most of them have no idea what to do. If you are in the path of Irene or any hurricane for that matter here are a few things you should know.
If you live on the coast board up your house with plywood and go inland. Don’t even think about riding it out. Do not go to a FEMA camp unless you have no other choice. You will be much better off if you can stay with a relative or rent a hotel that is out of the storms path. Don’t plan on coming back for 2-3 days (longer if your house is damaged). Make sure you have important papers such as your home owners insurance policy. Take as much ready-to-eat food and water that you can carry and having a Garrity Power 3 LED Crank Flashlight can be helpful. If you are not staying with a relative your biggest prep item during a hurricane is money. You will need enough to eat out for several day, to pay for a hotel and to put gas in your vehicle. $400-$500 should be enough unless your home is damaged and you cannot return for several weeks. In such a case most home owners insurance policies will reimburse you for all of your expences but this can take months and you need the money now.
If you live farther inland and plan to stay then make sure your house is secure and get your supplies ready. Plan to be without power, food and water for up to two weeks. You will need at least 2 gallons of water per person per day. If you live in a house your hot water heater will have about 40 gallons of water in it. Hook a short hose to the bottom drain and put the water in containers. The rest of your water you can store in 5 gallon buckets or plastic 55 gallon drums.
You’ll need a way to cook and have a fire. This can be done outside on the ground or in a charcoal or gas grill. Just remeber to store enough gas or charcoal to last at least two weeks and a lighter or box of matches. After your water sits for a few days remember to bring it to a gentle boil in a pot with a lid before drinking. This will kill any harmful bacteria and freshen the taste of the water. For emergencies I like to keep a 12″ Portable Grill handy at all times. It beats cooking on the ground any day and it can be fueled with charcoal, sticks, pine cones, or whatever you can find. You can also buy prepared food bars such as Datrex 3600 Emergency Food Bars. These are great becuase you don’t have to cook them and they are super portable. Each food bar has a self life of 5 years and provides enough calories for 3 days.
Next on the list is food. Look for easy to prepare foods that make very little mess. You’ll need at least 2 weeks worth as your local grocery store will probably be closed or the roads blocked off. Some good foods to stock up on are Ramen soup, rice, beans, canned tuna, mac and cheese, and canned pasta. These are all cheap, plentiful, and nutritious. If you hate all these foods that’s fine. Don’t buy what you won’t eat no matter how cheap it is. Just look for foods that can be dumped in a pot and heated and don’t plan any five course meals. try to provide 3 square means a day with at least 400-500 calories each meal.
You’re also going to need a Garrity Power 3 LED Crank Light and a 12 LED Hand Crank And Solar Powered Lantern. The American Red Cross Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio is also worth it’s weight in gold (don’t even think about waiting it out without one!). Don’t forget your cell phone either. Chances are you will still be able to call your family and let them know you are ok and the Red Cross radio also comes with a cell phone charger to keep it all juiced up. Also make sure you stock up on a few 3″ pillar candles. You’ll need 1-2 for each room you use the most (living room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom). A 3″ pillar candle will burn for days before going out.
Last but not least is a Adventure Medical First Aid Kit. Never underestimate nature or the situation you are in. Having a simple first aid kit can save your life or maybe even your neighbors. Just like the emergency radio, don’t plan on bugging in without a first aid kit.
You have to keep your wits about you in situations like there. Your best bet is usually to get out of the path of the storm but if you’ve made up your mind that you’re going to stay then be prepared. There’s simply no excuse for not being prepared for a hurricane. Make sure you beat the crowds to the store as food, water and emergency supplies sell out quickly. Stay away from doors and windows and make a “base camp” in the interior of your home. With a little bit of preparedness you can make yoursel much safer.
I have seen a ton of different survival kits on the market, and most of them are total crap. Just a few china-made items threw together in a container with the word “survival” slapped on it for marketing. Anyone who has ever bought a pre-made kit online knows what I am talking about. How many times have you bought a cool looking kit, only to find out that what you bought was completely worthless in any real survival situation. Well that’s not the case with the Ultimate Survival Deluxe Survival Kit.
Recently, I started carrying the Ultimate Survival Deluxe Survival Kit by Ultimate Survival Technologies in my EDC (every day carry). While I haven’t threw my homemade kit out the door yet, this deluxe survival kit is definitely a great addition to anyones gear and is well worth the money. It’s major selling point for me was the ability to get a fire going in just about any conditions you can imagine.
- Blast Match Fire Starter: The blast match is amazing. The sparks it makes are 3 times hotter that a regular match. It can also be used with just one hand and is a lot easier to use than a standard magnesium fire tool.
- Wet Fire Tinder: This stuff can be used to start a fire even in the rain. It even burns while floating in water!
- Star Flash Signal Mirror: The mirror that comes with the kit is great. It’s extremely durable and can be used to signal from distances. The Star Flash signal mirror is even used by the U.S. Air Force.
- Jet Scream Whistle: One word: LOUD!! This whistle is extremely loud and is great for signaling.
- Saber Cut Saw: A really cool addition to any survival kit is this flexible hand chain saw. This is one of the better “rope saws” out there and I highly recommend it.
But don’t take my word for it, watch this video and decide if the Ultimate Survival Deluxe Survival Kit is right for you.