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Friday, July 31, 2015

Raised Platform Survival Shelter- Three Leg Support

Knowing how to build a raised platform survival shelter can make living conditions a whole lot better when in a survival situation. Although, a lot of calories will be spent building one. You must have a least some basic tools in order to build one. You need a way to cut the wood, like a hatchet, ax or saw. You need some cordage to tie the logs into place. You need access to wood long enough and strong enough to hold your weight. And you need bedding material. Bedding material could be a sleeping bag and poncho, or grasses and pine boughs if no other items are available.

The advantages of having a raised shelter is being able to stay off the wet ground if it rains a lot. A raised shelter will help keep the ants and other crawlies off you. The area under the shelter will provide a dry area to store wood and food if needed. The raised shelter would provide a mental uplift in a desperate time.

Knowing how to build this type of shelter can give one ideas on how to use the technique in other different ways. In this video training, three tree were used as the base legs for the shelter. You can make one using four trees for a square platform, verses a triangular platform. This would make a larger shelter if there were two survivors.

If no trees were available for elevating the shelter, larger logs laid on the ground could be used to elevate the platform. The logs could be laid flat on the ground and  the platform could be laid on top of that.

This type of shelter would be used if you were staying in one area long term in hopes of being rescued. Long term would be like if you were stranded on an island, or at a plane crash to where it would be more likely that someone is looking for you.

Of course being prepared and having basic survival equipment with you and having the basic knowledge to use that equipment or knowledge of basic wilderness survival would mean the difference in making it out alive should you find yourself in such a situation.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hickory Nuts For Survival Food

Hickory nuts are edible with an excellent flavor, and are a popular food among people and squirrels alike. They are unsuitable to commercial or orchard production due to the long time it takes for a tree to produce sizable crops and unpredictable output from year to year. Shagbark hickories can grow to enormous sizes but are unreliable bearers. The nuts can be used as a substitute for the pecan in colder climates and have nearly the same culinary function.

C. ovata begins producing seeds at about 10 years of age, but large quantities are not produced until 40 years and will continue for at least 100. Nut production is erratic, with good crops every 3 to 5 years, in between which few or none appear and the entire crop may be lost to animal predation.

"Hickory" is derived from pawcohiccora, an Algonquian Indian word for the tree's oily nutmeat. The nuts were a food source for Native Americans.

Shagbark hickory wood is used for smoking meat and for making the bows of Native Americans of the northern area. The lumber is heavy, hard, and tough, weighing 63 lb/ cu ft when air-dried, and has been employed for implements and tools that require strength. These include axles, axe handles, ploughs, and skis.

The bark of the shagbark hickory is also used to flavor a bitter maple-style syrup.

Carya ovata, the shagbark hickory, is a common hickory in the eastern United States and southeast Canada. It is a large, deciduous tree, growing well over 100 feet tall, and will live over 350 years. The tallest measured Shagbark, located in Savage Gulf, TN, is over 150 feet tall. Mature shagbarks are easy to recognize because, as their name implies, they have shaggy bark. This characteristic is, however, only found on mature trees; young specimens have smooth bark.

The shagbark hickory's nut is edible and has a very sweet taste.

The leaves are 30–60 cm (12–24 in) long, pinnate, with five (rarely three or seven) leaflets, the terminal three leaflets much larger than the basal pair. The shagbark hickory is monoecious. Staminate flowers are borne on long-stalked catkins at the tip of old wood or in the axils of the previous season's leaves. Pistillate flowers occur in short terminal spikes. The fruit is a drupe 2.5 to 4.0 cm (1.0 to 1.6 in) long, an edible nut with a hard, bony shell, contained in a thick, green four-sectioned husk which turns dark and splits off at maturity in the fall.

The terminal buds on the shagbark hickory are large and covered with loose scales. The word hickory is an aphetic form from earlier pohickory, short for even earlier pokahickory, borrowed from the Virginia Algonquian word pawcohiccora, referring to a milky drink made from ground hickory nuts. Shagbark hickory nuts were a significant food source for the Algonquins.

Red squirrels, gray squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, and mice are consumers of hickory nuts. Other consumers include black bears, gray and red foxes, rabbits, and bird species such as mallards, wood ducks, bobwhites, and wild turkey.

Hickory wood is very hard, stiff, dense and shock resistant. There are woods that are stronger than hickory and woods that are harder, but the combination of strength, toughness, hardness and stiffness found in hickory wood is not found in any other commercial wood. It is used for tool handles, bows, wheel spokes, carts, drumsticks, lacrosse stick handles, golf club shafts (sometimes still called hickory stick, even though made of steel or graphite), the bottom of skis, walking sticks and for punitive use as a switch (like hazel), and especially as a cane-like hickory stick in schools and use by parents. Paddles are often made from hickory.

This property of hickory wood has left a trace in some Native American languages: in Ojibwe, hickory is called "mitigwaabaak", a compound of mitigwaab "bow" and the final -aakw "hardwood tree".

Hickory is also highly prized for wood-burning stoves and chimineas, because of its high energy content. Hickory wood is also a preferred type for smoking cured meats. In the Southern United States, hickory is popular for cooking barbecue, as hickory grows abundantly in the region, and adds flavor to the meat.

A bark extract from shagbark hickory is also used in an edible syrup similar to maple syrup, with a slightly bitter, smoky taste.

The nuts of some species are palatable, while others are bitter and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and shellbark hickory, along with pecan, are regarded by some as the finest nut trees.

Shagbark Hickory Nuts Health Benefits:

Many health benefits can be derived from these nuts:

  • They are rich in vitamin B1 which helps in the proper functioning of the heart, muscles and the Central Nervous System.
  • A major portion of the recommended daily Phosphorus intake can be obtained from one ounce of these nuts.
  • It is also rich in Magnesium which helps the kidneys, muscles and heart to function properly.
  • The risk of coronary heart disease is low as the nuts contain low amounts of saturated fat.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Teenage Girl and a Plane Crash- Another Survival Story

A teenage girl who survived a small-plane crash in the craggy, thickly forested mountains of north-central Washington state emerged from the wilderness after hiking "for a couple of days" and was picked up by a motorist who drove her to safety, authorities said Monday. But the fate of her two step-grandparents, who were also on board, remained unclear.

Family members alerted authorities after the Beech A-35 failed to complete its flight from Kalispell, Montana, to Lynden, Washington, on Saturday afternoon. Rescuers narrowed down a search area based on cellphone data and typical flight patterns. But there was no sign of the aircraft or its occupants until Autumn Veatch, 16, followed a trail to state Route 20, near the east entrance to North Cascades National Park.

A motorist picked her up Monday afternoon and drove her 30 miles east to a general store in Mazama, where employees called 911. The Aero Methow Rescue Service sent a paramedic team to check her out before she was taken to a hospital in Brewster for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries, said Cindy Button, director of services at the organization.

"Our initial information is she sustained no life-threatening injuries and is somewhat dehydrated due to being out in the elements," said Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers Hospital.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Monday afternoon that the girl had been "walking for a couple of days." He declined to comment on the status of the other two people aboard the plane.

Serena Lockwood, the manager at the Mazama Store, said the girl and a motorist came in Monday afternoon, saying she had been in a plane crash.

"She was obviously pretty traumatized," Lockwood said.

Rescuers celebrated Veatch's survival, but they immediately returned their focus to finding the wreckage, aided by Veatch's description of the crash site, said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol. Lustick said he could not confirm any details about the condition of the grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, Montana.

"We're so happy about this," Lustick said. "I've spent 30 years in the Civil Air Patrol and in search-and-rescue. Moments of joy like this can be hard to find."

Lustick said he had spoken with Veatch's father, who said his daughter told him the plane crashed and caught fire after flying into a bank of clouds. She remained at the crash site for a day before deciding to hike down, eventually finding a trail and following it to the trailhead on Highway 20.

Five aircraft equipped with special radios for detecting the missing plane's emergency-locator transmitter searched the mountains Monday, while ground crews focused on areas between Mazama and Rainy Pass, officials said. The planes halted their search for the night by 8 p.m. while a couple of Navy helicopters from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station continued to sweep the area, said Barbara LaBoe, a state Transportation Department spokeswoman.

The crashed plane crossed the Idaho-Washington border about 2:20 p.m. PDT Saturday, but it dropped off the radar near Omak, Washington, about an hour later, transportation officials said. The last phone signal from one of the plane's occupants was detected around 3:50 p.m.

Charlie's Comments: Surviving a plane crash often presents the decision to remain at the crash site in case Air Traffic tracked the plane prior to crashing and condensing the search area, or if the plane had an automatic beacon pinging on 406 MHz for rescue. The crash site often presents a large ground to air signal for any airborne searchers. The crash site may also provide burning debris which could be maintained for heat, a signal and to purify water. The crash site debris may also provide other survival items use ful for a shelter, ground insulation, building snares and tools. A person should only try and walk out if they have a reasonable belief that they know which direction help or civilization is and have the physical stamina and survival items to survive the hike out. If hiking out, then leaving a note at the crash site, listing your intentions and direction, and marking a trail would increase your odds of being found.

[Source: Article from the Associated Press]

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lost In The Wilderness- A Case Study

"I just watched a news clip of three sisters getting themselves lost in the Wyoming wilderness, thus finding themselves in a survival situation. Please watch the video and then read the below article in reference to the incident. 

I will, within the article, interject some important tips and information that would have prevented this incident, or lessen the impact on the time they were in survival mode. These are my opinions on the incident as there are many other tips that may not be mentioned here that would have been helpful as well.

I will leave this post open for comments. If you would like to add serious comments on how this incident could have been done better I will add them. Childish comments will not be included.


Three Midwestern sisters who were missing for days in a rugged Wyoming wilderness area were found alive in a remote area and airlifted to safety Thursday.

Working on a tip from a back country guide, a helicopter spotted the three at about 10 a.m. in Bridger-Teton National Forest, about 15 miles southeast of the resort town of Jackson, said Lori Iverson, spokeswoman for the multi-agency task force conducting the search. They were cold and hungry but otherwise OK, she said.

"This was a positive note that all three made it out alive. It shows that they were prepared minimally and some type of experience that helped them make it through this ordeal. Score 1 point for these ladies."

"It was also mentioned that the sisters were cold and hungry. It would have been a good idea to ration what food they had once they realized they were lost. Since they were prepared, I assume they had enough food for the number of days they were going to spend in the wilderness. Rationing what they had left would have gotten them further along food wise. It also appears they did not have survival knowledge for living off the land. With adequate knowledge, they could have foraged for food."

"A properly packed survival kit would have assisted the sisters during their ordeal."

The helicopter flew the sisters to a trail-head where their father was waiting while the search was conducted, Iverson said. Their mother was notified by telephone while on her way to Jackson.

Searchers had been looking since Tuesday for Megan Margaret Andrews-Sharer, 25, of Milwaukee; Erin Andrews-Sharer, 22, and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer, 16, both of Columbus, Ohio. The three were scheduled to be back in Chicago then after leaving for a back country excursion June 28, Iverson said.

The sisters were at the Jackson Hole Airport when their mother, Shirley Andrews-Sharer, arrived. In brief remarks, they thanked the rescuers, the Jackson Hole News and Guide reported (

"We just want to give a shout-out to those guys," Erin said. "You really can't praise them enough for us."

The sisters had experience in the back country so searchers were hopeful about finding them. "They were well-prepared for the trip," Iverson said. "They had the appropriate clothing. They had the appropriate gear." They also also stayed together.

"They stayed rational and utilized their experience," Iverson said. "The problem, of course, with splitting up is if one person gets injured then that person has no assistance."

However, they did not tell anyone where they were planning to hike, leaving officials uncertain where to start searching in the vast rugged area in and around Jackson Hole.

"It appears the sisters may not have left an itinerary with friends or family as to where they were going to be, thus causing the wide area search. Leaving behind a detail itinerary as to where you will be traveling will greatly assist rescuers in locating the lost." 

Earlier Thursday, authorities doubled the number of people combing the wilderness to more than 60, and they searched on horseback, on foot and with help from tracking dogs and two helicopters.

The sisters' vehicle was found Wednesday at a wilderness trail-head popular for hiking. But people and wildlife have carved out many alternate trails that can confuse hikers, Iverson said.

"It's very easy, even for experienced people, to get off-course and make a wrong turn," she said.

"The above statement leads me to believe the sisters did not have a map or GPS to navigate by. Or, if they did, they were not proficient in their use. With today's technology, GPS locators/trackers are now very affordable. If you need assistance or get lost, the push of a button sends help and locates where you are at, via satellite. They work where cell phone wont. Here is what one looks like and its functions:

Click photo to purchase one

Its called the SPOT 3 and here is what it can do: With the SPOT Gen3 GPS Messenger Personal Tracker, help is only the push of a button away. SOS button alerts GEOS International Response Coordination Center of emergency situations and initiates your rescue. Help-assist button allows you to ask for help from your friends and family and send them your location. Check-in button lets your contacts know where you are and that you are OK. Track button allows your contacts to track your progress using Google Maps. Custom-message button sends a pre-programmed message with your GPS location. GPS uses satellites to communicate where cell phones can't. Custom track rates refresh your location every 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes. Vibration sensor tells Spot to send your location when you start and stop moving. With the enhanced tracking plan you can track your progress continuously.

Search and rescue officials declined to immediately discuss how the sisters became lost. A search helicopter spotted the three about 7 miles from where they left their car.

Searchers directed the helicopter to the area after a guide called Thursday morning to say he saw a person in an area with no trails the day before. The sisters were found 20 minutes later. "His accurate description of their location proved critical," Iverson said.

Nate Suter, a guide for Trophy Mountain Outfitters, said he and another employee were clearing a trail to the company's hunting camp Wednesday when he spotted one of the girls on a ridge nearly a mile away. "I'm plumb tickled that's where they were and I could help," he told the News & Guide.

Suter noted the weather was stormy in the area where the sisters were. "There were flash floods, and part of our trail got washed out," Suter said. "I am very impressed they toughed it out last night."

Friends of the family welcomed news of the sisters' rescue. "When there's uncertainty, people are always worried," the Rev. Susan Patterson-Sumwalt of the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview.

"But there was this incredible trust and hope that the girls would be OK and found, both in people's faith and in the knowledge of how strong and resourceful the girls are." Patterson-Sumwalt said the sisters worshiped at her church as children and Megan worked at the church until recently.

"In this survival situation, the three sisters were ahead of the game. They were at least minimally prepared, but with a little more preparation as mentioned above, this event could have been avoided or at least minimized to how long it took to find them. 

If you like hiking and backpacking, especially overnight, it is highly recommended that you be well trained in wilderness survival techniques, first aid, map reading and navigational skills. And always have at least the basic items to survive on in the area you will be in."

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!