Rules of 3 to remember
A well know wild edible expert named John Kallas brought up a very important fact that most people refuse to seriously consider in regard to ones health. When I was reading it, it just rang so true his words about the reality of how animals both land and water can and will indeed make your body ill. In the Torah there is a Hebrew word "Tameh" which can literally translated poisonous. And those who eat them will make their bodies filled with disease or also meaning seriously ill by them. The idea that is first portrayed is how it will effect us in a physiological way, brain wise, in that of ones mental state is altered and effected when these creatures are ingested internally. While the secondary point refers to their physical state and affect made upon the human body which thus causes us internally to become ill and this does not have to be immediate for the effects to manifest itself.
Think about it when you eat what ever it is that you swallow once it goes into the esophagus then is absorbed into the walls of the small intestine which is then transmitted into your blood stream. And from there it begins to circulate all over your body, including your brain. When one eats an animal like a rat the actual problems that most survivalist and educators are not telling you as you may have learned but forgot in biology class is that that animal as it is being digested into your small intestine and later broken down into a form that is transferable into the blood stream and what are those things? Try carbohydrates, amino acids, fats, hormones and vitamins. Yeah that right the rat's hormones? And however that rat may have been physically also will impact the reality of how its internal health or lack of it will add to your internal problems.
So what was it John Kallas said which rings so true in relation to these points made above?In his book "Edible WIld Plants (2010)"? In his book page 38-40 he said, "The hidden toxicity demonstrates the difference between an acute toxin and a more subtle or underlying one. An acute toxin is fast-acting and dramatic. You may not die from it, but you feel symptoms as soon as the toxin starts to affect the body. With an acute toxin, you know that you've been poisoned. You may totally recover from an acute toxic incident, you may retain some permanent damage, or you may die from it. An underlying toxin is one that works at a less obvious level. The toxin may build up over time to produce more dramatic symptoms later or may continually damage some organ or physiological process, thereby degrading function. It may also have a temporary effect. That is, your body heals over time if you stop being exposed to it; or the toxin may cause permanent damage even if you stop being exposed to it. An underlying toxin can cause death by damaging vital system over time. These toxins are the reason you cannot assume that just because a plant part taste good, it is edible"
His point being made is so true in regard to what people call false survival food. As the diet people may allow themselves to be put under will indeed affect their physical health and mental state of being. It reminds me of an old saying I once was told growing up "You are what you eat." This literally is so true in every way. What we eat is the cause of many mental altered states most do not even think about let alone attribute to their eating habits and overall health. Being a Jew this is one of the most important physical aspects of life is our diet. The Torah does not just focus upon what creatures are unclean or poisonous and abominable or something that makes you seriously ill, but also how the behavior of these creatures effect the mental state of those who eat these very creatures. And what makes this even more important is the more subtle or underlying effects are the very things most do not even think about. For example a lobster is a creature that will eat dead decaying animals and prey on its own weaker buddy therefore being cannibalistic. Which when ingested, causes a chemical dis-functionality in the brain which is then produces effects in a persons behavior. Very much like drugs do when ingested cause moods and behavioral issues to exist as well as physical affects which drugs are also known to contribute to. Such mental effected behavior would be signs like mental aggression against others, increase feelings of hatred, bulling behavior just to point out some. Where as the eating of pig meat (an animal which eats literally anything and has literally a simple digestive system which causes toxins to remain in the pigs body without being expelled out); such mental effected behavior would be signs like opened mindedness to ideas that are toxic, lack of concentration, struggle to effectively make good decisions and so on.
Its without a doubt people understand that things we ingest such as alcohol when taking in larger doses causes mental impairment, as well as slow motor reflexes and poor decision functionality. Yet despite this knowledge people still chose to become intoxicated none the less. Yet even when we are faced with the facts that mollusks carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Shellfish are known to have tropomyosin which produce allergies. Shrimp carry a parasite called Pleistophora mulleri which is known to increase higher levels of cannibalism in shrimp let alone the affects it would place upon humans ingesting such things. To be brutally honest our society which eats tons of shrimp the literally affects socially are points of proof at how cannibalistic people are at seeking to destroy each others character, and sleazy acts used to humiliate and degrade others at grave proportions. And can be defined as cannibalistic psychological social acts.
So when you think about the normal things people all over are calling food just think about the serious problems people portray out in the field as being called survival food?
Cockroaches and lobsters are literally relatives. In an article written by Albertha Ladina on the site called "bugsinourbackyard" She writes, "The American Lobster, Homarus americanus, is a crustacean found along the Atlantic coast of North America. Crustaceans shares a common ancestor with all insects, including the household cockroach, Blattaria. Insects and crustaceans belong to the phylum Arthropoda. The class Insecta, contains insects (no way!) such as mosquitos, beetles, and ants. Insects all have six legs, two antennae, three body parts, and most have two pairs of wings. The six legs of a cockroach serve as a locomotor system, which gives them the ability to run under couches, refrigerators, or old baseboard molding. Insects breathe through a tracheal system, which brings oxygen in air to their cells, through tiny tubes with openings at on the sides of each body segment. Many insects are short-lived creatures, but some, like cicadas, can live for more than a decade! Lobsters are comparatively very long-lived creatures. They can live up to 50 years in the wild! Although these organisms appear to be very different, plenty of evidence suggests that the lobster and the cockroach are more similar than many people might think! They are both arthropods with segmented bodies, exoskeletons made of chitin, and a need to molt as they grow. Both groups have compound eyes, jointed legs, and muscle fibers gathered into bands. On a more superficial level, lobsters and cockroaches are both active at night and omnivorous, consuming a wide variety of foods. And while the arthropod phylum contains lots of other creatures, such spiders and centipedes, anatomical and DNA evidence all support the idea that insects and crustaceans are more closely related to one another than to the other arthropods. It may therefore not be so weird to think of lobsters as ‘cockroaches of the sea."
When you begin to listen to the wisdom that most animals are not edible and plain toxic to our bodies you can't help but realize how important our health is, and should be the very thing you deem important to yourself as well. I will never forget the impact I underwent when changing my diet. As I myself once thought it was ok to actually eat those things. But once I realized I was being socially programmed and changed I went from eating them to actually being disgusted at even smelling these animals carcasses. I will never forget talking to a lady who was use to eating blood sausages and in her eyes these were such her favorites she would go crazy anytime her friends would bring her this as a gift. Until she learned it was toxic to her eating it. Then one day her friend who had traveled to meet her after her no longer eating it. She thought to herself I know its not good but oh my I haven't had one in a long time and began to think about her enjoyment she once had eating them. The minute she took a bit she immediately was repulsed physically and threw up. She was totally stunned, "How is it possible? How did I once eat this but now my taste buds are completely repulsed by it now?" When she finished telling me her story she said, "I never ever desired to touch let alone eat that again." And she said, "It truly is real that when you stop eating bad things your body recovers from it and no longer wants to have it and is even repulsed by it." Ask any person who removes junk food from their diet, and begins to eat healthy how in truth your body rejects physically those things and functions properly and healthy without it.
So is there a real survival food? Indeed there is, and the only ones which are edible and non-toxic to our bodies are a four types of grasshopper which has wings, four walking legs and two back legs which are used to leap with, as well as their characteristics which are defined by their very names סָלְעָם Salam (swallow up -in reference to their eating up vegetation) אַרְבֶּה Arbeh (to multiply -in reference to their numerous proliferation abilities) חַרְגֹּל Chargol (run right and left, run swiftly -in reference to their characteristic movement) חָגָב Chagav (to veil or conceal, hide- in reference to their covering the sky like a blanket). Thus meaning all other species of insects are completely toxic and will cause harm to our health both mentally as well as physically.
For many who are out there they when they think of what is taught in relation to what is typically regarded as survival food you might be thinking of these ridiculous statements such as, "You can, with relatively few exceptions, eat anything that crawls, swims, walks, or flies." (The Army Survival Manual) Uh? No! Not true unless you want to sincerely neglect and just pass off the idea that an underlying toxin is worth suffering any disease that will make you ill, sick and that which you can eventually die from, you should say to yourself "My life is worth more than that nasty bug being in my belly." Let's be real by falsely calling a grub worm protein is a huge misguided world wide false teaching. Just think a grub eats dead decaying vegetation before turning to root feeding, Would you feast on dead decaying vegetation well eat this and you already have. Yuk!
So what is Protein? It is basically nitrogenous organic compounds of amino acids. And it is the only nutrient that supplies the bodies cells with what they need to grow, build muscle and stay healthy. So let's think here a bit, does this mean if something has protein its inherently edible? No! Even your own poop literally has 2-25% protein in it. Does that mean it's edible? So Why would someone call a worm protein? What about all the other crap it has in its body and cell wall tissues? I mean lets be real, lobster eat dead decaying matter and well what ever drops to the bottom of the sea even. and including, dead human bodies of those who drowned in the ocean. But hey just each 6-ounce serving of lobster contains: 28 grams of protein right? If your not already disgusted by now and or searching for the nearest trash barrel, you at least should be by now. So before you think of taking that first bite just remember it is not worth it in the end.
But if that does not bother you let me continue on this mission to help encourage you from eating these unclean animals like snakes, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake carries what called ectoparasites, such as the iguana tick (Amblyomma dissimile) and a host to endoparasites such as a nematodes (Acaris nuda, Hexametra boddaertii), American colubrid pentastomes (Kiricephalus coarctatus), and North American porocephalus (Porocephalus crotali). But what are you going to just decieve yourself and say but wait it has 16.3 grams of protein and 11.2 grams of fat and 469.1 calories. You see this is how dumb society has become they refuse to outline the parasites and diseased things that are in these filthy animals and try to spoon feed the public a false idea of edibility by merely referring to some small biological points. So if your wise you won't eat the garbage you being feed in survival shows and videos. And you will learn to think smart and eat healthy.
When I was going through my old Marine Corps gear, pictures and other things I accumulated back then, I found a gear list I once used before heading out into the field. I thought to myself that this list is a perfect place to start in relation to a basic pack/gear set-up for long term/short term outings. Back then we called it our "Junk on the Bunk" list which was basically comprised and depended upon, what our mission was and what the needs were at the time. Were we going to the field? Were we being deployed? Was it for an inspection and so forth?
When we went to the field, we always had a gear list which consisted of all the things we needed, or shall I say, the gear that was mandatory. Although we did not always use every item we were required to have, we still had to carry it with us.
A gear list may fluctuate based upon mission needs but these items which are called 'basic" are those we never removed from our packs or LBV list. As you would not go out into the field without those items period. As opposed to those which can fluctuate based upon weather conditions and other possible mission changes and needs are those which are also listed as (optional).
Below is a gear list of those items we had to carry. Those items which were mandatory will be listed as (required); and those listed in which we had the freedom to take of our own accord will be listed as (optional); those items which are things I have added to fit today's needs will be listed as (changed); and those items which where required in regard to our basic needs will have (basic) as these items will express the main core of what we carried at all times.
(1) Flack Jacket
(1) Kevlar Helmet
-On The LBV (Load Bearing Vest)
(Required Gear List)
(1) LBV Load Bearing Vest
(1) Butt Pack
(1) First Aid Kit
(2) Canteen Cups
(2) Canteen Holsters
(1) Compass and Case
(1) Pistol Belt
(1) Bottle of Water Purification Tablets
The vest itself came in two types: the infamous Y-Harness, and the LBV. The LBV was mostly worn because it held eight thirty-round magazines and two hand grenades. Whereas the Y-Harness pouches only held six thirty-round magazines. The butt pack seen in the picture below was where gloves, duct tape, writing gear, MRE's, eating utensils, water purification tablets, and other things were stored.
-Inside Alice Back Pack
(1) Back Pack - Alice Pack
39.52 liters (2412 cubic inches) Load bearing 125 lbs.
(1) Flash Light w/extra batteries
(1) Pair of Gloves w/liners
(1) Pack of Baby Wipes
(1) Cammo Face Paint
(1) Field Mirror
(1) Poncho w/ Poncho Liner
(1) Foot Powder
(2) Pairs of Socks
(1) E-Tool Shovel w/ Case
(1) Writing Gear
(1) Large Black Trash Bag
(1) Waterproof Bag
(1) Sleeping Bags w/outer cover
(1) Shelter Half (Half of a Tent) /with tent pegs
(1) Clothing Repair Kit
(2) Pair of Boot Laces
(2) Pairs of Boot Bands
(1) Hygiene Kit
(1) ISO Mat (Insulation Mat)
(1) Extra Pair of Cammies (Blouse, Pants and Cover)
(1) 5/50 Cordage
(1) Ear protection
(2) Pairs of Underwear
(2) Skivvy Shirts
(2) Bungy Cords (To keep the ISO Mat attached to the bottom of the pack)
(1) Gas Stove or Sterno Fire Gel (If allowed when not training in a tactical environment)
(1) Camel Water Bag
(1) 2 qt Water Bladder Canteen
(1) Leatherman Multi-tool
(1) Bic Lighter w/ Cigarettes (Only if allowed when not training in a tactical environment)
(1) Soap w/case
(1) Mosquito Net
(1) Electrical Tap (To make gear quite for tactical reasons)
(1) Jacket Liner (Only when during cooler seasons)
(1) Gortex All Weather Gear (Only during cooler seasons)
(1) Can Opener (Only if you brought tuna to add extra protein to your diet)
(1) Wrist Watch
(1) Axe w/ Cover
(1) Folding Bucksaw w/ Cover
(1) Bushcraft Knife /w Case
(1) Solar Calculator
(1) Map w/ Case
(1) All-weather writing Gear
(1) Plant and Tree Identification Material
(1) Wrist Watch
For Fire Starting
(1) Firebox Stove
(4) Fire Sticks
(2) Ferro Rods
(2) Magnesium Bars
(1) Stormproof Matches
(1) Bic Lighter
(1) Mag x 5 Lens
You will notice the gear listed above which we used in the Marine Corps Infantry units covers all the 10 C's of survivability which is used by David Canterbury in his Bushcraft Courses.
Cutting Tools: knife, axes, saws
Combustion Devices: ferro rods, lighter, mag lens
Cover Elements: clothing both summer and winter, wool blankets, sleeping systems, tents, hammocks, and tarps
Containers: canteens, water vessels, cooking gear
Cordage: 5/50 Cord, bankline, rope, webbing, tape
Cotton Materials: shemaghs, bandanas, pieces of cloth
Cargo Tape: Duck Tape, Gorilla Tape
Candling Device: lamps, candles, headlamps
Compasses: Lensatic compass, flat protractor compass
Canvus Repair Needle: Speedy stick sewing awl
Mors Kochanski's Tools of Survival which is taught by Karamat Wilderness Living Skills and Survival Course in Canada:
The Tools of Survival
4. First Aid Kit
6. Sleep System
7. Cooking Pot
10. Pack Frame and Bag
11. Saw, Shovel and chopping tools
It makes complete sense why our mission as Marines was to have all the necessities needed to remain self contained out in the field for long periods of time. Some times while training we would literally stay out in the field for a month, and the only thing we got replenished with was food and water. All the other items were all in our packs, or on us.
If you are like me you probably don't even take anything you watch serious. And why? Well unfortunately there is an agenda in much of anything media produced, and well those who desire to pollute their desired agenda upon the masses will use their money to do it at all cost. Sean Penn who both directed and produced this horrible version of the story of Christopher McCandless whose sad life ended do to starvation, desired to pervert the idea that eating wild edibles was the real cause of his young ended life. And well according to this lame movie the bad guy of the story was Mr. Wild Sweet Pea (Hedysarum mackenzii). Why oh why does the public have to continually get feed garbage instead of the truth? The whole focal point is they want to demonize wild edibles so as to no allow people to think "their is gold to be found in them woods."
So how did this all come about? Well according to Wikipedia "On July 30, McCandless wrote a journal entry which read, "Extremely Weak. Fault Of Pot[ato] Seed" Based on this entry, Krakauer hypothesized that McCandless had been eating what he thought was the roots of an edible plant, Hedysarum alpinum, commonly known as wild Eskimo potato, which are sweet and nourishing in the spring but later become too tough to eat. When this happened, McCandless may have attempted to eat the seeds instead. Krakauer first speculated that the seeds were actually from Hedysarum mackenzii, or wild sweet pea, instead of the Eskimo Potato, which contained a poisonous alkaliod, possibly swainsonine (the toxic chemical in locoweed) or something similar. In addition to neurological symptoms, such as weakness and loss of coordination, the poison causes starvation by blocking nutrient metabolism in the body." And well this false idea went raging mad all over thanks to his stupid 1996 book "Into the Wild" which reported this non-factual idea.
But special thanks to Edward M. Treadwell and Thomas P. Clausen who did a study at the Ethnobotany Research and Applications and wrote in their research their wonderful findings, which finally discredited the stupid lie Krakauer who began his version in 1996 and Sean Penn promoted his version in 2007 was finally laid to rest in 2008.
Ethnobotany Research and Applications
Hedysarum mackenzii (wild sweet pea, bear root) is widely regarded as toxic and warnings about confusing it with its edible cousin H. alpinum (Eskimo potato) abound. To find the chemical basis for this claim, we performed an exhaustive comparison of the secondary chemistry between the two plants as well as a search for nitrogen containing metabolites (alkaloids) in both species. No chemical basis for toxicity could be found. These results were consistent with a subsequent cytotoxic assay performed on an extract of H. mackenzii. Finally, a critical examination of the literature could find no credible evidence that H. mackenzii is toxic in spite of these widespread rumors.
What is even sadder is how Sean Penn went about this by falsifying and completely altering reality as he portrayed to the public a book entry which never actually existed in the first place. And we can give thanks to Samuel Thayer for this information as he records in his book Natures Garden pg 43-60
Natures Garden By Samuel Thayer
Tanaina Plantlore (Kari 1987)
The book live found in the movie Into the Wild "The lateral veins, nearly invisible on leaflets of wild sweet pea plants poisonous seedlings. If ingested symptoms include partial motor paralysis, inhibition of digestion, and nausea. If untreated leads to starvation and death. Another way to distinguish is that the stem of the wild sweet pea is mostly unbranched."
The actual book "Tanaina Plantlore (Kari 1987)" page 128 says
"The lateral veins of the leaflets of wild sweet pea are hidden, while those of the wild potato are conspicuous. Another way to distinguish between the two plants is that the stem of the wild sweet pea is mostly unbranched, while that of wild potato is definitely branched."
If your like me you can't help but want to see the actual source I went to my local library and searched for it. And here it is.
Why was this plant ever thought to be toxic? Well in the report from Edward M. Treadwell and Thomas P. Clausen findings they went back into the deep archives to bring to light how this false conclusion ever got started in the first place in saying;
"Statements of H. mackenziei’s toxicity can be traced back to a journal entry by Sir John Richardson of his exploration of the Alaskan interior in the early 1800’s. According to Richardson, H. mackenziei tubers were included in a stew for dinner one night, and the next morning the expedition was so ill that no progress could be made. A published version of this journal is available in University of Alaska’s Rasmunsen library (Houston 1984), and in it the incident is reported, as well as other episodes where the Richardson party included ledum and cranberries in their meals (both of which are known to cause sickness if consumed in large quantities). Even more disturbing, there are descriptions of the party feeding on lichens, leather, rotten meat, warble-fly dung, and fish entails dug up days after the original meal of fish. The party was not well-prepared for boreal exploration, and were often at the point of starvation, and thus any claim of “poisoning” by Richardson is circumspect, to say the least." (Is Hedysarum mackenziei (Wild Sweet Pea) Actually Toxic? by Edward M. Treadwell and Thomas P. Clausen 2008)
So there you have it people don't always believe what you see and hear let the research prove what is and what really isn't.
In my joy of learning trees, plants and mushrooms, I will never forget reading about the infamous Sassafras tree that unfortunately, has been tarnished by the continued misinformation and hearsay about this tree. If you were to google the name sassafras, you would undoubtedly come across this:
"Sassafras contains an element called safrole which is found in the root bark and oil of which can cause cancer and even liver damage. Consuming just 5 mL of sassafras oil can kill an adult. Even “safrole-free” sassafras used in medicinal amounts has been linked with tumors. Thus in 1960 the FDA banned this as a potential carcinogen."
Oh my, this indeed sounds very serious, doesn't it? Why would anyone even want to get near this plant let alone use it? Well, we can be thankful for people like Samuel Thayer who before daring to speak about this plant did his homework, unlike all the people who merely run with the crowd yelling, "Stone her, my lord, stone her!"
It's sad that few people out there actually prefer the truth rather instead prefer regurgitated words passed down with no knowledge or facts to back up the real claims.
As Thayer points out, "The decision to ban safrole was made based upon weak findings and very limited data from the FDA study (Long et al. 1961) in which groups of rats were fed safrole at different doses for two years. Only at the highest dose 5,000 ppm of diet (the equivalent of me drinking about 25 cups of sassafras tea per day), did rats show a significantly elevated frequency of malignant liver tumors. Two other studies were reported about the same time: Homburger et al. (1961) found benign liver tumors in protein-malnourished rats fed safrole as 1% of the diet for 200 days. (To get that does I would have to consume fifty 8 oz. cups of sassafrass tea per day.) Abbott et al. (1961) found that when rats were continuously fed safrole as 1170 ppm of diet, some of them developed cancers after 22 months." (Incredible Wild Edibles by Samuel Thayer pg. 332)
So, if you are like me saying to yourself what the heck is ppm, here is what it means. It is an abbreviation for "parts per million" and also can be expressed as milligrams per liter (mg/L). So, yeah, like it says above, 5ml of sassafras oil can kill an adult, however mind you, this is if your being fed this like a rat for 200 days straight and or how about continuously for 22 months straight, I mean seriously, this is called being scientific?! Hey Bob, want to be told milk is bad for you because someone used this as their sole source of food for a year? Please, these people should seriously be rejected as being anything but a scientist. If they had made sassafras tea and fed it to rats from time to time and gave them a normal diet then we have something worth looking into. Let’s really get to know the facts about what this really means when it comes to producing this stuff.
So what does this 5ml actually mean? Well, as Thayer points out, the 5ml was actually pure safrole, yeah you got it, pure safrole. Which means, they were being given safrole oil that was produced through distillation, a processes that requires a minimum heat of 293-302 degrees Fahrenheit to extract out 100% pure safrole oil. You can’t extract it out at that level if you are only boiling the sassafras root in 212 degrees Fahrenheit water. For a full understanding of the distillation process of safrole oil and how it is achieved, you can click here.
What is so frustrating are those who are purporting all this false information about false dangers while running around screaming to the public things that are not logically sound. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see myself or anyone else for that matter, going and drinking some 25 cups of sassafras tea per day, let alone coffee. LOL!
Anyhow, If you are curious to learn more about this subject then, trust me, buy the book! It is worth every penny as I have greatly enjoyed learning about this as well.
If you want to make a cup of Sassafras tea for yourself, boil the root twice as the first boil will taste bitter, but the second boil will taste awesome and then add the sweetener of your choice with a little creamer.
So, despite all of the crazy claims and information out there, just chill and laugh and well, take a moment to think about those poor rats who died in vain.
When I was serving with 3rd Bn. 7th Marines, Lima Company as a grunt, getting "down and dirty" was normal for me. Having only my pack and essential gear showed me life was best lived simple! Sure, it was nice to get a hot shower here and there or sleep in a nice comfortable bed but I also knew it wasn't essential. I learned that simplicity in life was really what made me feel normal and frankly, happier. The more we went out into the field the more I started to analyze and change what things I carried with me. I started to adjust my gear to what was actually practical to bring, gear-wise as opposed to just the mandatory junk we had to carry..lol!
When I went to go train in Bridgeport, CA for Mountain Warfare Training, it was there that I really got to learn a lot about bushcraft and survival. Being stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA most of my enlistment, which was in the middle of the Mojave Desert, we mainly focused on desert survival and tactics so getting to go train up in the mountains was a nice change of pace and learning experience for me.
When I reflect upon those days and the training I received, a lot comes to mind about the reality of how you define survival. On one hand, I wished we had spent more time out there being able to do more and experience more. On the other hand, the real mission of military training is based on a collaborative and group affect where this just doesn’t transfer over real well into civilian life where you don’t have this massive support system and tons of people to be right there with you working together. As service members, we are dependent upon the government to supply, train, support and take care of all of us who are serving. Whereas, in civilian life, what you know and are able to do or carry out rests completely upon you alone and the resources you are able to get a hold of.
After being in the military, I feel there are a lot of crazy ideas that surround people’s ideas of survival or prepping. Some view it as some kind of preparation for a civil war trying to invade our homes and property or to take away our freedoms. While others have this fear that the government will enact Marshall Law and put people in concentration camps while removing whole groups of people. So they stock up on guns and create these bunkers and so on. And yes, I do think these ideas are completely crazy and unrealistic and fueled by foolish ideas and fear that plague people’s far-out imaginations.
So, when I think about how survival is defined through my own journey and thoughts, I think of it as simply doing the best that you can to survive by educating yourself and preparing for difficult things you might be forced to face. Also, when I think of survival skills, I frankly see them as the skills you need and should have in order to use in any kind of difficult circumstances you could find yourself in. You want to be able to protect your life and those around you such as your family and loved ones.
Mors Kochanski once said, "I have yet to find anyone, even myself, accurately define survival," which makes complete sense. How can we sincerely define it since the variables one could encounter are indeed immeasurable and innumerable? It could be you get caught in a huge winter storm with little resources, or go camping and someone gets injured in the process, it could be losing your home and becoming homeless, the possible variables are just endless but very real.
However, if we were to list the many possible dangers or challenges, one thing would become evident is that compiling a list of skills and gear would be needed in order to lay out how each problem should be solved or what actions should be carried out to help deal with those dangers.
Rethinking things in my own life was what began my own personal journey to earnestly seek these things out for myself. It also became a sincere desire to teach and pass down to my children the real skills they need and can use for the rest of their life and pass down to their children as well. I tell my kids all the time, ignorance is not bliss, it’s what affects your ability to know how to do something, and it’s the disadvantage of not knowing there is a solution that’s the problem.
Teaching my children the Bible has always been my first priority. Helping them learn to live morally and ethically with others has been my passion. But, the more I delved into those things the more I felt I was missing other parts I needed to have as well. As I began to sincerely see and ponder how those in the Bible lived, I began to see the skills they had and we don’t that I began to search out and learn these lost skills. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, King David, the list goes on, were truly the ultimate Bushcrafters! Unfortunately, I realized I had become much like everyone else out there who are a product of their own environment. A generation left to reclaim and learn the skills, we were not taught, nor given by our elders as we ought to have been.
As a whole, my own generation has not been learning nor preserving these skills as those of long ago generations once taught, passed down and lived by. But rather, we have been forced because of our previous generation’s failures to preserve this knowledge and pass down these things down to us to search out these answers for ourselves. And those who have sought out these things have had to toil severely to acquire this knowledge which we owe a sincere gratitude for that. It’s hard to see how the morals and values of each generation can be lifted up one minute then completely gone the next. I thank God for His moving the hearts of people who are out there who aren't following the social norms of life but are teaching people, what some may call primitive skills, and passing them down for others to hold onto and learn.
However, in all this there still lies huge gaps and disconnections in survival methodology. Because of these gaps I have been on a journey to learn and grow and hopefully, if possible, I can help in any way I can with what I have learned and hope to learn to bring about positive change.
One thing I find people do not mention as they ought to is the restrictive qualities you will run across when it comes to kindling. Here are some of the needs and/or weaknesses you will find in these types of kindling methods and when they work best:
1) Friction (bow drill): Your first need is to find dry wood and to determine if the inner bark is damp or not. The longevity and amount of rainfall will determine your ability to successfully acquire dry wood for your bow drill. So if the conditions are too wet in theory they are not the best to use unless in a dry environment. This also will require knife carving skills, paracord, bank line or some rope like material to use to construct the base, the spindle, the bow and the socket for the spindle to rotate freely upon. The good part, however, is most of what you need can be found in the woods and doesn't require you to carry it in your gear bag, except for bank line or paracord and your knife. Remember only use soft wood for your bow drill material!!!
2) Flint and Steel: Although this can be used in windy conditions, the complete downside to this method is that it is completely dependent upon char cloth. Your need to reproduce char cloth will require needing cotton fabric of some sort and a container to burn it in. Also, Rainy conditions will affect it and make it useless if the cloth becomes wet, therefore keeping it covered and protected is paramount. So this method is not very advantageous as it is a source that is very dependent in its needs.
3) 5x Magnifying Lens: This requires a clear day and sun for use which shows its complete dependability on awesome weather conditions. Although usable, repeatable and not needing to be replenished, its required environment makes it vulnerable indeed.
4) Matches: Wind is its enemy and it being easily blown out, cover is its only ally. Seeing that the match head also can rub off making it useless, this form of kindling is very weak. Also something to think about is the amount of matches you have may completely be less than the amount you will be able to actually use. As some may never light and wet conditions can render them useless as they will not strike but smear off.
5) Stormproof Matches: With these matches, wind and rain will not easily blow it out but wind will indeed blow it down faster and lessen the time you might need it to burn depending upon the wind conditions. So cover is also its ally against strong wind. As for wet conditions it will burn but there is a down side in as long as your striking surface is not wet as it will indeed smear and not strike properly. But, if you keep it dry and in the container with the waterproof case you should be fine. Just remember though your limited by the amount you have on you.
6) Bic Lighter: Wind and rain will not easily blow it out unless wind conditions are high. So cover is its ally against strong wind. As for wet conditions it’s great and will burn but the downside is if it gets in direct contact with water drops it will indeed put it out. As long as you keep it under cover or away from direct water contact you should be fine. Just remember though you’re limited by the amount of fuel you have in it.
7) Zippo Lighter: Wind and rain will not easily blow it out unless wind conditions are high. So cover is its ally against strong wind. As for wet conditions it’s great and will burn but the downside is if it gets in direct contact with water drops it will indeed put it out. As long as you keep it under cover or away from direct water contact you should be fine. Just remember though your fuel may dry up as it is completely vulnerable to evaporation and you are also limited by the amount of fuel you have in it. Also, it will require a fuel refueling source.
8) Firesteel: Wind and rain have no effect on this but keep it away from your fire as it will completely disintegrate if it gets in contact with fire. How long it takes to disintegrate will vary depending upon the size and thickness of the firesteel, so keep it safe with you. The amount of fires you can create are only dependent upon the width and size of your firesteel as larger ones will last longer. Literally thousands of fires could potentially be lit with a good firesteel. However, they require wood shavings and feather sticks to use for striking a spark on. Best results are using fat wood, for wood shavings as the oils will burn even when wet.
9) Magnesium Bar: Wind and rain have no effect on this but keep it away from long exposure to rain as it will rust. Since there is a standard size for these the amount of fires are only dependent upon the success of your shaving off enough magnesium and will require a firesteel for striking a spark to ignite it. Seeing they all come with a glued on firesteel it is best to get a firesteel separately to use with this as they tend to come unglued and the striking abilities on the firesteel is limited. But, on the good side it will lesson your firesteel usages as it takes little to nothing to get the magnesium to quickly ignite. Therefore, allowing you two major options in using both for starting a fire, and giving the firesteel and magnesium longer lifespans. Literally thousands of fires could potentially be lit with a good firesteel. However, they require wood shavings and feather sticks to use for striking a spark on. In wet weather the magnesium burns perfectly and wind and rain will not hinder its burn abilities.
Avi Ben Shalom: