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Friday, January 28, 2011

Treating Bee Stings

Plantago Major

A very good plant to use for bee stings and other bug bites when in a survival situation is the "Common Plantain" (Plantago major and Plantago lanceolata varieties).

This is a common plant found anywhere where soil has been disturbed.

You’ll recognize it growing in the cracks of your neighborhood sidewalks. It grows better than most other plants in compacted soils, and is abundant beside paths, roadsides, and other areas with frequent soil compaction. It is also common in grasslands and as a weed in crops.

Historical uses as a wound healer and snakebite remedy have been found to have scientific merit. Plantago major contains the cell proliferant allantoin, and is used as a replacement for hepatotoxic Comfrey in herbal preparations (commercial product Solaray Comfree). It also contains aucubin.

Traditionally used to prevent uterine bleeding after childbirth (made into a tea and inserted via a douche), it was also used to treat a variety of other ailments. There is a contraindication that seems to be missing from most of the current literature, however.

It is a potent coagulant. This can be tested easily by taking some water-based paint, making some plantain tea and mixing the two together. The paint particles will immediately permanently separate from the water.

Because of this unique quality, plantain was used as a wound dressing on the battlefield (it was also called "Soldier's Herb" which referred to this use). Due to these properties, people who take blood thinners or those prone to blood clots should never use plantain internally.

It is also reputed to have a calming effect on insect bites (flea, mosquito, horsefly, wasp).
(source: Wikipedia)

People who are alergic to bee stings may require special injection pen containing epinephrine. It helps dilate their airways.

Treating Bee stings and the like:

1. Remove the stinger if it is still present.
2. Clean the sting/bite area as best a possible.
3. Make a poltice from the Plantain plant and cover the wound with it using duct tape, bandaids or bandages.

You can use this treatment on a cut that you are having a hard time getting the bleeding to stop.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catching and Preparing Squirrel

Abert's Squirrel

The Abert's squirrel (also known as the Tassle Earred Squirrel) is confined to the Colorado Plateau and the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico; its range extends south in the Sierra Madre Occidental to Chihuahua and Durango in Mexico

Albert's squirrels are 46–58 cm long with a tail of 19–25 cm. The most noticeable characteristic would be their hair ear tufts, which extend up from each ear 2–3 cm. They typically have a gray coat with a white underbelly and a very noticeable rusty/reddish colored strip down their back.

The Abert's squirrel typically builds its nest in the branches of the ponderosa pine in groups of twigs infected with dwarf mistletoe. The Abert's squirrel does not store its food like other North American squirrels.


American Red Squirrel

Red squirrels can be easily identified from other North American tree squirrels by their smaller size, territorial behavior and reddish fur with a white venter (under-belly). Red squirrels are also somewhat larger than chipmunks.

American Red Squirrels are widely distributed across North America. Their range includes most of Canada, and extends into the United States in the Rocky Mountains, the North Central and North East. There are 25 recognized sub-species of red squirrels.


Eastern Grey Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel, or grey squirrel (depending on region), (Sciurus carolinensis), is a tree squirrel native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada. The native range of the eastern gray squirrel overlaps with that of the fox squirrel with which it is sometimes confused, although the core of the fox squirrel's range is slightly more to the west.

As the name suggests, the eastern gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur but it can have a reddish color. It has a white underside and a large bushy tail.

Fox Squirrel

The fox squirrel (or eastern fox squirrel, Bryant's fox squirrel, Delmarva fox squirrel) (Sciurus niger) is the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America. They are also sometimes referred to as the stump-eared squirrel, raccoon squirrel, or monkey-faced squirrel. Despite the differences in size and coloration, they are sometimes mistaken for American Red Squirrels or Eastern Gray Squirrels in areas where both species co-exist.

While very versatile in their habitat choices, fox squirrels are most often found in forest patches of 40 hectares or less with an open understory, or in urban neighborhoods with trees. They thrive best among trees such as oak, hickory, walnut and pine that produce winter-storable foods like nuts.
Catching Squirrels

Shown above are just a few of the many types of squirrels that can be found in the Western portions of the United States.

A small calibre rifle, such a .22 cal, is the best way to harvest squirrels. But, when in a survival situation you may not have such luxuries.

A squirrel pole trap can be made to catch squirrels. Several of these pole traps can be placed in areas where there is active squirrel signs or sightings.

Refer to the diagrams below to see how a squirrel pole is made. The loops for the snare should be approximately three fingers in diameter. The wire length should be approximately 4 inches long after being tied off to the pole. This is to allow the squirrel to dangle far enough away from the pole when it falls so that it can not reach the pole with it's feet. If is able to reach the pole, the squirrel can actually chew through the wire and escape.

The loops should be placed at different intervals around the pole. One pole can actually catch more than one squirrel.  The poles should be placed at a angle propped up against a tree that shows signs of squirrel usage. Squirrels are prone to take the easiest path up a tree, which would be the pole trap.

Traps should be checked at regular intervals so as not to leave a dead squirrel for to long of a period making it useless as food.

Squirrel Pole Trap

Cleaning And Cooking Squirrel

Cleaning a squirrel after you have trapped or shot it is a very simple process. Prior to cleaning any animal, ensure that you have any open cuts on your hands covered so that you don't get an infection of some type.

First thing to do is to cut the feet off at the first joint from the toes upward toward the body. Then remove the head.

Next, cut around the mid section of the hide around the diameter of the body as shown in the diagram. Place two fingers under each side of the cut and pull the hide outward toward both ends of the body. This should remove the outer hide like pull off a glove.

Next, cut down the center of the belly side from groin to neck. Remove the innards. You can eat the heart and liver. Ensure the liver has a smooth wet deep red appearance. Any other color may mean the animal is diseased and should be used as bait for larger prey or discarded.

Next, wash the carcass if water is available. When eating meat in a survival situation, it is important that you have water to help digest the meal.

You can then cut the meat into large chunks to make a soup or stew or you can cook it over an open fire like a shishkabob.

It takes about three squirrels to make a full meal with addition to whatever plant food you can find.

It's not squirrel season in my neck of the woods, but when it opens I will attempt to make a video on how to clean and cook a squirrel.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


All Oak acorns (Quercus species) are edible, though some are a good bit sweeter than others. However, if you simply shell one of the seeds and take a bite, it's likely that you'll immediately be turned off by the very astringent, burning quality typical of most oak nuts.

Eating too many acorns that have not been leeched of the tannic acid can cause damge to the kindneys.

Fortunately, you can leach out the tannic acid that makes them bitter, and the easiest way to do so is to shell the acorns, smash them into thirds, wrap the pieces in a cloth, and place them in a stream for a day. If the acorns still have a bitter flavor, you can leave it in the stream a little longer. Another method is to boil the nuts, changing the water frequently, until the bitternes is gone.

Once leached, the acorns can be eaten raw, toasted, added to soups or stews, or pounded fine and mixed with wild-grain flours to make bread. They are a valuable source of proteins and carbohydrates that's available from early fall until well into the next spring. And acorn sprouts can be prepared in the same ways as the nuts themselves, or in the case of most white oak species can be eaten right off the ground.

Nutritional facts:

Acorns have protein (8 percent) and fats (37 percent) and are high in calcium and other minerals. Acorns leave a sweetish aftertaste, making them very good in stews, as well as in breads of all types. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins while they are lower in fat than most other nuts. They are also a good source of fiber.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Yucca Medicine

Yucca Root

A tea made from the root is used internally to treat arthritis, gout, prostatitis, rheumatism and urethritis. The fresh, undried flowers have shown some anti-tumour activity. The has been used to treat Addison's Disease, osteoporosis and some kidney diseases.

Yucca is rich in Vitamin A, B-complex, and contains some Vitamin C. It is also high in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper. Yucca root contains precursors to cortisone, and improves the body's ability to manufacture its own cortisone.

Usual Dosage: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons dried leaves, steep for 10 minutes, strain. Take 1/4 cup up to 3 times per day. Or take 1470mg of standardised supplement up to 3 times per day.

Dosage For Arthritis:

Although the exact dosage of yucca for arthritis is unclear, some sources suggest up to 2 grams of yucca root in capsules per day. Alternatively, 1/4 ounce (7 grams) of the root can be boiled in a pint of water for 15 minutes. Three to five cups of this tea may be taken each day.

Yucca root can be used as a poultice for bone breakages and sprains, and for rheumatism.

The tea can be used to treat dandruff and hair loss when applied topically.

Other Uses: The root can be used for soap, suitable for bathing or laundry. An extract of the root is often included in commercial shampoos.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!