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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mini Personal Survival Kit

This segment is about making your own mini personal survival kit from items you may already have on hand. I will be using an Altoid candy tin that I save as my container due to its compact size. They fit perfectly in a back pocket or  jacket pocket or even a purse.

When building your survival kit, you want items that will address the need to accomplish the following tasks:

Make Fire
Make Shelter
Obtain Food/Water
Medical needs
Make weapons (if needed)

The container should be sturdy and be made water tight. Your choice of items should able to perform more than one  function, if possible. This saves room to carry more items in your kit. Choose items that are durable. Remember, you get what you pay for. Your life depends on the strength of your equipment.

My mini kit contains the following items with a short explanation of each. The video left out the fishing hooks and sinkers and a few other things that I added later. This kit was made for use in the Southwestern parts of the United States, but can be used  anywhere.

If you know you will be traveling to a tropical place, you may want to design a kit specific for that area.


Altoid Tin- holds your items. Can be used to make charcloth or a tinder box for starting fires. Can boil water and  cook food.
Medical Items: Alcohol pads (2)- cleaning wounds; fire starting/ Band-Aids (2)- would protect; tape/ Butterfly strips (2) for cuts (act as minor stitches)/ Alieve pain pills (4) or your preferred pain and fever reliever/ Imodium (4) for diarrhea
Water Purification Tablets (12) to purify up to 6 quarts of water
Note Paper- to make maps or leave notes behind for rescuers; also for fire starting.
Pencil/Pen- to leave messages (you can burn the end of a twig and make your own pencil by using the black charcoal end.
Lighter- for fire starting; water purification; cooking food.
Fresnel Lens- for fire starting; locating splinters.
Small Knife or razor blade- for cutting; for shelter making; fire starting; weapon making; trap making; medical needs.
Duct Tape- for shelter needs; medical uses; weapons making; clothing and equipment repairs; fire starting.
Electrical Tape- same as Duct Tape.
Compass- for navigation
Para-cord (4 feet)- for shelter making; hunting; traps; fishing; sewing; weapons.
Flashlight- navigating; signaling.
Survival Whistle- signaling
Ferrous Flint Rod- fire starting.
Arrow Heads- for hunting and fishing; protection.
Rubber Band or Ranger Band- for securing survival kit; making weapons; medical needs.
Fishing Kit- (hooks (3), sinkers (3)- for fishing and trapping. ( use para-cord inner cordage for fish line and thread)
Sewing Needles (2)- Mending clothing; medical needs; navigation
Safety Pins (2)- Mending clothing; medical needs; fishing.
Large Paper Clips (2)- trap making; lock picking; tool/equipment repairs.
Aluminum Foil (18 inches length)- cooking; containers; signaling; fishing.

This list is a lot of items that fit within the Altoid container. And as you can see, each item has more than one use. There may be more uses than are listed here.

Practice using your kit items so that when the need arises, you will already be familiar with their uses. Remember, knowledge is power. The saying goes, "that with more survival training and knowledge you have, the less survival items you may have to carry". For example, I can start a fire with rubbing two sticks together.

So, basically, I have less need for a lighter or fire starter in my kit if I can expertly start a fire without them. But, I would rather have the lighter or match to make things faster.

Strive to learn more about basic wilderness survival. Your life and the life of a loved one or friend may depend on it.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


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!