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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Buffalo Gourd Survival Uses

Cucurbita foetidissima, has numerous common names, including: buffalo gourd, calabazilla, chilicote, coyote gourd, fetid gourd, fetid wild pumpkin, Missouri gourd, prairie gourd, stinking gourd, wild gourd, and wild pumpkin.

The feral perennial buffalo gourd has evolved in the semiarid regions and is well-adapted to desert environments. It contains high amounts of protein and carbohydrates and yields abundant oil. The carbohydrates that are formed in the tap root have led to the idea of growing the plant for biofuel.

The fruit is consumed by both humans and animals. When mature, a stage marked by increasing desiccation of vine, leaves, fruit-stem, and fruit, the fruit begins its final gourd stage.


The buffalo gourd has the potential of being a crop adapted to arid to semiarid lands.

Fresh gourd: The fresh young gourd can be eaten like squash. When the fruit is mature, it is no longer edible due to bitter compounds.

Oil: The extractable oil content in whole seeds reaches from 24.3% to 50%. Linoleic acid, an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid, comprises 38% to 65% of the oil. A characterization of the oils from buffalo gourd indicates that this oil is similar to other common edible oils.

Protein: Whole Buffalo gourd seeds contain approximately 31% crude protein, which is usable for human consumption and for feed. The seeds can be roasted and eaten like pumpkin seeds. The seeds can also be boiled and turned into a mush, or dried into a flour.

Starch: Is mainly located in the tap root which forms after the first year of growth. The starch content in the dried root is between 47.5% and 56%.

Fodder: Fresh leaves or the whole plants can be used as animal food.

Biofuel: Biodiesel can be produced from the oil in the seeds. But the main interest to produce renewable fuels is to produce biofuel with the carbohydrates which are located in the tap root.

Other uses: In many Native American cultures, the fruit and other parts of the plant, buffalo gourd oil, were used for soap. The young leaves can be used as a mild soap. Take few leaves in your hand and add water and then agitate by rubbing between your hands to produce a green soapy froth.

Furthermore, the protein can be used for industrial purposes (water paints, paper coating, adhesives and textile sizing). The Zuni people use a poultice of powdered seeds, flowers and saliva for swellings.

The dried gourd can be turned into containers to hold water or food.

The dried gourds are also used to make ornaments.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bait Stick Twitchup Snare

Materials needed to build this trap:

1 straight stick 1 foot long and 1/2 inch diameter.
1 "V" shaped stick with legs that are 10-12 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter.
1 bait stick that has a side branch coming out that is at least 4-5 inches long.
A young sapling to use as the engine.

Locate a known small game path and assemble the trap in the path as shown in the above diagram.

The baited trigger stick length will be determined on how deep you have to pound the v-stick into the ground. The trigger stick should be at 90 degrees to the long straight stick.

When setting the trigger stick onto the straight stick, leave barely enough edge so that the slightest touch will cause the trigger to release. Also, ensure that the loop of the noose is surrounding the baited trigger and larger enough for the game to enter and get caught.

Set up several of these traps at different game path locations in order to give you a better chance at catching something.

Stay Prepared!  Stay Alive!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Storage Clamp

Squirrel Midden/Larder

Clamping is a technique used to store food for long periods of time without the need for electricity or refrigerators.

Grey and Red Squirrels use a type of clamping when they store large amounts of pine cones. These clamping piles are called larders or middens when squirrels make them and clamping piles or clamping storage when humans make them.

[Storage clamp:  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-  A clamp is a compact heap, mound or pile of materials.[1] A storage clamp is used in the agricultural industry for temporary storage of root crops such as potato, turnip, rutabaga, mangel wurzel, sugar beet etc.

A clamp is formed by excavating a shallow rectangular depression in a field to make a base for the clamp. Root crops are then stacked onto the base up to a height of about 2 meters. When the clamp is full, the earth scraped from the field to make the base is then used to cover the root crops to a depth of several inches. Straw or old hay may be used to protect the upper surface from rain erosion.

A well-made clamp will keep the vegetables cool and dry for many months. Most clamps are relatively long and narrow, allowing the crops to be progressively removed from one end without disturbing the remaining vegetables. The use of a clamp allows a farmer to feed vegetables into market over many months.]

Coming across a large midden in a survival situation can give one a golden opportunity to catch a squirrel or two by setting traps and snares or shooting them with a bow, sling shot, blowgun or rifles.

Keep an eye out for large piles of pine cone debris as this will indicate that there are squirrels in the area. Squirrels will normally start their middens in the late fall to prepare the winter days ahead.

Also, where there are squirrels and large middens, there may be a water source near by. The midden shown in the video above was located in the Sacramento Mountains in Southern New Mexico.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Survival Lean-To Shelter

The lean-to is one of the easiest and most used survival shelter. It can be constructed in less than an hour with different type of materials. This basic, one-sided design will give you shelter from wind and rain.

Tie a long strong pole between two trees. The two trees should be wide enough for you to lay down with the shelter being able to protect the full length of your body. Cover one side with lodge poles, brush and branches. Then, pile leaves, grass or any other vegetation that is available on top. 

This shelter has two drawbacks: 1) it doesn’t hold in heat well; 2) If the wind or rain changes direction you’ll no longer be sheltered.

Building a wooden wall in front of the shelter will assist in blocking out the wind and will reflect a fires heat back into the shelter. Check out my post on Tee-pee Survival Shelter to see how to add a fire wall.

This shelter offers little in the way of insulation; and only deflects wind and reflects the heat of the nearby fire, but it’s quick and easy to build.

Survival shelters like this may be hard to see from a distance, so hang up something that will attract attention to the shelter.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Boy, 10, Reveals Survival Tips That Kept Him Alive in Wilderness Overnight

"I just read this story about kid getting lost on a camping trip. It goes to show you that at least a little retained knowledge of wilderness survival can save a life."

This 10 Year Old Kid Survived In The Wilderness Alone – You’ve Gotta Hear His Story

Boy, 10, Reveals Survival Tips That Kept Him Alive in Wilderness Overnight

Now this is EXACTLY why it is important to teach your children survival skills.

A 10-year-old boy takes the time to share the survival tips that kept him alive overnight while he was alone in the Utah Wilderness.

Malachi Bradley, 10, got lost in the terrain of Ashley National Forest during a camping trip with his family on Sunday and miraculously survived. He was found alive over 30 hours after being lost.

So how did he live to tell the tale? With survival tips he’d been taught by his dad.

“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here,” he told INSIDE EDITION.

Here are a few of his tips:

Malachi knew he could use his hoodie to filter muddy lake water.

Another survival skill came during the bitterly cold night; the boy drew his legs and arms inside his t-shirt to contain the warmth.

One other thing he did was shelter behind rocks that were still warm from the sun.

“I knew I could survive two weeks, maybe less, without food, so I tried to focus mainly on water,” he said.

Malachi was located on Monday afternoon by helicopters.

“I thought, ‘Yay, now I get to see my family,’” he said.

The great thing is that he is now home with his parents with only a few scrapes. His parents are thrilled to have him back.

His mother said: “I thought I would bury my son.”

His pupils and teachers at his school, Sego Lilly Elementary School just outside of Salt Lake City were extremely happy to see him.

Malachi got a hero’s welcome on his first day back at school.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!