Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Water From The Yucca Stalk


 




 

Here is another technique for locating water in the desert. If you are able to catch the Yucca plant while the flower stalks are just starting to sprout, you can extract the water from them. The sprouting season for the Southwest is around mid March to mid April.  The photo listed on this blog was taken April 19, 2011. The young stalks look like giant asparagus shoots. These stalks can also be roasted and eaten or boiled like asparagus.
As seen in the video, you can extract the water from the stalk in several different methods. First method is to peel then outer green layer off and then cut the stalk into smaller chunks to be placed in a bandana or t-shirt to me smashed up. Using two rocks, one as a hammer stone and the other for a base, smash and pulp up the pieces. When the pieces are well smashed, twist the bandana and squeeze out the liquid into a container, or straight into your mouth if you no container is available.
The next method is to peel the outer green layer and the take the edge of a knife it sharp stone and scrape the side of the stalk from top to bottom. This will produce stringy like layers of stalk. Once you have a hand full of this material you can extract the moisture by placing the bundle into your mouth and sucking out the juices. Do not swallow the fiber; discard it when moisture is gone.
You can also take a bundle of this material and form it into a ball in one of your hands. With the same hand, make a fist with your thumb extended up as if you were giving the thumbs up to someone. Rotate or thumb upside down and into your mouth. Then squeeze the fiber bundled and the liquid will flow down your thumb and into your mouth.
If you are on the move and don’t have time to do these methods, you can take the stalk with you and cut small chunks to chew on to extract the moisture as you are on the move. This will be some pressure on your teeth, mouth and jaws. So, if you have bad dental work be careful not create a problem in these areas.
You will notice that the fluid will be green to even a blackish color. This is normal due to the chlorophyll located in the plant. Some species of Yucca will have a strong soap flavor to its juices and petals. This is due to saponims, which is used as emergency soap. Yucca saponim was also used in the earlier versions of root beer to give it the foamy head.
If the saponims taste too strong, don’t drink much of it. Try and supplement it with other water sources if possible in order to prevent diarrhea.
But, in case of a survival emergency, you know you can use this method to obtain a quick drink.
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive! 

Charlie

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Starting A Fire Using The Flint And Steel Method








Items needed:

Char cloth (with metal holding container)
Chert, Flint, Quartz or Iron Pyrite stone
Carbon Steel Striker (the one in the photo is made from an old file with the sides ground off to a smooth finish)
A tender bundle made of fine grasses or other material that will catch fire easy and quick




You can make your own Char Cloth. You will need some type of metal container. The one in the photo is an old Altoids candy tin. You can you shoe polish tins or something similar that can be placed in a fire. Next, you will need cotton cloth. I used an old cotton t-shirt. Cut the cloth in 1 inch x 1 inch squares. In a container this size, you don't want to make no more than 8 to 10 squares at a time.





The next step is to punch a small vent hole in the front. The hole should be just below the lip of the bottom portion to where when the lid is closed, the hole gets covered.

Place the cotton squares inside the container and close the lid, bit do not cover the hole. This is where the reside being burnt will escape. Place the container in a small fire. Watch the container. There will be smoke coming out of the small vent hole. When the smoke stops coming out, remove the container and close the lid all the way down covering the vent hole.

Allow the container to cool and then check the cloth. If the top pile of the cloth is still brownish, instead of black, turn the material over and place it back on the fire as you did before. You will not have to leave as long. Remove the container, allow to cool, and then give it a test with your flint and steel.

The Char cloth takes a spark real easy. Watch the video and practice the technique until you can catch a spark in less than a minute.

The stone material can be found in river beds and quarries or on the side of roadways. The stone should have a smooth glassy texture and appearance. Test it with your steel and see if it will throw a good spark. If it does, take it with you. You can split off or Knapp small chunks to keep in your kit. The chunks need to have sharp edges for striking against.

Make sure you keep your Char cloth air tight. Moisture will ruin the whole batch. This technique of fire starting does not work very well in high humidity. So, it is one more reason to learn how to start a survival fire in more than one way.

Once mastered, this technique will be one more skill set in order to survive in the wilderness.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

Charlie

Friday, March 7, 2014

71 Uses For A Bandana



There are over a 100 uses for a bandana. It is about as handy as cordage and duct tape. They are light, compact, and are really inexpensive. A bandana is a must have in your Survival Kits, Bug Out Bag or Urban Survival Gear. Here is just a short list of possible uses for a bandana. There are many more uses, but I listed only a few to save room. Use your imagination for those ideas that are not listed here.

1. Signal
2. Neck Gaiter for cold weather
3. Tourniquet (But for Snake Bites use a Sawyer Extractor)
4. Pot Holder
5. Collecting Wild Edibles
6. Sun block for neck
7. Sling
8. Sling (as in David and Goliath)
9. Sling (for a staff )
10. Cordage  (strips or as is)
11. Washcloth/Towel (Bathe out of a Collapsible Bucket)
12. Sweatband
13. Waist pack/pouch
14. Hobo Pack
15. Padding a hotspot
16. Cleaning Patches for Firearm
17. Bullet Patches for Muzzleloader
18. Gun Wipe Cloth (with oil)
19. Toilet Paper
20. Mark a Trail
21. Dish Rag
22. Napkin
23. Eye patch
24. Pre-water Filter (like Coffee Filters)
25. Clean Glasses and other lens
26. Ear Muffs
27. Bind a stone and toss a line over a limb?
28. Dust Mask
29. Wet and wear for Hot Weather
30. Sneezing
31. Wash/dry feet after fording a creek
32. Clean muddy shoes
33. Wipe mud/rain off ground cloth
34. Wipe up spills of all kinds
35. Plug sink drain
36. Shade head/eyes/neck from burning sun
37. Muff ears from freezing sleet
38. Forehead sweatband hiking up a hill
39. Clean/dry eyeglasses
40. Wipe a tear
41. Blow a nose
42. Muffle a sneeze
43. Cover a cough
44. Cover face to take a forest nap after lunch
45. Neckerchief to dress up going to town
46. Washcloth
47. Towel
48. Pad shoulders carrying a load
49. Pad elbow resting on the ground while eating Roman style
50. All-terrain sitting cloth
51. Pillow stuffer
52. Filter dust/smoke/bright lights
53. Filter water coarsely
54. Apply hot/cold/medicinal compresses
55. Bandage/sling/tourniquet
56. Suppress rattling of jumbled items
57. Collect loose items
58. Forget-me-not reminder for clothes drying on a bush
59. Flag a passing motorist
60. Distract a charging wild animal
61. Whisk pestering insects
62. Coax a spider out of a corner
63. Capture a caterpillar or an assassin bug for non-violent removal elsewhere
64. Bind stone to toss a line over a tree limb
65. Thermal insulator for hot handles/bowls
66. Bib/lap napkin
67. Wash/dry inside of pot/bowl/spoon
68. Tablecloth
69. Cover exposed food
70. Carry out/store leftovers
71. Open a stuck jar

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

Charlie