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  • 1. Wilderness SurvivalBSA StyleB117, University of Scouting, New Michigan Council, October 2009
    Steve Lagreca
    Philmont Contingent Leader, New Michigan Council
    Associate Advisor, Venturing Crew 1716
    Original material provided by Mike Doubleday (, and
    Andris Ikstrums (, Greater Alabama Council
  • 2. Know how to prepare for wilderness survival
    Learn something new about wilderness survival
    Focus on information required for merit badge
    Explain distinctions for venture crews
    Provide practical examples and situations
    Suggest ideas for wilderness survival training
    Feel free to…
    Ask questions
    Enhance discussion
    Give examples
    Debate content
    Have fun!
  • 3.
  • 4. centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his long journey home following the fall of Troy. It
    Wilderness survival is a timeless theme – capitalize on it.
    No food, no shelter, no fresh water — one man alone in the wild for seven days with only his wits and stamina to sustain him - Survivorman
    In each episode of Bear Grylls strands himself in popular wilderness destinations where tourists often find themselves lost or in danger.
    Adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive and ultimately escape from a previously uninhabited island where they were shipwrecked. I
    A middle aged man survives a plane crash and finds himself stranded on a tropical island where he must learn to survive alone.
    An Australian crocodile hunter who lives in the Australian outback and runs a safari business with his trusted friend and mentor Walter Reilly.
    Professor Challenger leads team of scientists and adventurers to a remote plateau deep within the Amazonian jungle to investigate reports that dinosaurs still live there.
    Set in the Catskill Mountains near Delhi, New York, My Side of the Mountain tells the fictional account of how Sam Gribley survives in the wilderness of upstate New York.
    A castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Venezuela, encountering Native Americans, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.
    Centers on the Greek hero Ulysses, and his long journey home following the fall of Troy.
  • 5. Separated and Lost
    You and your hunting partner Fred have become separated in the Big Hole Mountains southwest of Yellowstone during a late-season elk hunt. The truck is several miles away. Night is coming on fast and it’s beginning to snow. You’ve worked your way to a brush-covered ridge and can see the lights of Teton Valley way off in the distance. Fred is nowhere in sight. Yelling his name brings no response.
    A. Stop and make camp where you are.
    B. Since you can now see the lights of town, keep going.
    C. Retrace your route and try to find Fred.
    D. Hike back to the truck, drive to town, alert local search & rescue.
  • 6. Wilderness survival is a part of Scout and Venturing.
    Wilderness Survival OutdoorBronze / Ranger
    Wilderness Survival Merit Badge
  • 7. Wilderness Survival OutdoorBronze / Ranger
    Wilderness Survival Merit Badge
    1. Show that you know FIRST AIDfor, and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur in backcountry settings, including
    - hypothermia - blisters
    - heat reactions - insect stings
    - frostbite - tick bites
    - dehydration - snakebites
    2. From memory, list the seven priorities for SURVIVAL in a backcountry or wilderness location. Explain the importance of each one with your counselor.
    3. Discuss ways to AVOID PANIC and MAINTAIN a high level of MORALE when lost, and explain why this is important.
    4. Describe the steps you would take to SURVIVE in the following CONDITIONS:
    a. Cold and snowy
    b. Wet (forest)
    c. Hot and dry (desert)
    d. Windy (mountains or plains)
    e. Water (ocean, lake, or river)
    5. Put together a PERSONAL SURVIVAL KIT and explain how each item in it could be useful .
    6. Using three different methods (other than matches), BUILD and LIGHT three FIRES.
    7. Do the following:
    a. Show five different ways to attract attention when lost.
    b. Demonstrate how to use a signal mirror.
    c. Describe from memory five ground-to-air SIGNALS and tell what they mean.
    8. Improvise a natural shelter. For the purpose of this demonstration, use techniques that have little negative impact on the environment. Spend a NIGHT IN your SHELTER.
    9. Explain how to PROTECT YOURSELF from insects, reptiles, and bears.
    10. Demonstrate three ways to TREAT WATER found in the outdoors to prepare it for drinking.
    11. Show that you know the PROPER CLOTHING to wear in your area on an overnight in extremely hot weather and in extremely cold weather.
    12. Explain why it usually NOT WISE to eat EDIBLE wild PLANTS or WILDLIFE in a wilderness survival situation.
    (Before you begin wilderness survival, you must have completed the cooking, land navigation, and first aid core requirements.)
    a. Write a RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN for an upcoming crew high adventure activity such as a whitewater canoeing or rock-climbing trip. The plan should include:
    - nutrition - insurance - in-service training
    - health - safety rules & regulations - environmental considerations
    - first aid - proper equipment - emergency & evacuation procedures
    - supervision - maps & compass - emergency contacts
    b. From memory, list the SURVIVAL PRIORITIES and explain your use of each in a survival situation.
    c. Learn about and then make a tabletop display or presentation for your crew, another crew, a Cub or Boy Scout group, or another youth group on the following subjects:
    1. Emergency SIGNALSused in the outdoors
    2. Search and rescue patterns
    3. Evacuation procedures and value of WHEN TO MOVEand when not to move in a wilderness emergency
    d. Explain the following environmental exposure problems. Discuss what causes them, signs and symptoms, and treatment. FIRST AID
    1. Hypothermia 4. Heat exhaustion
    2. Frostbite 5. Heat cramps
    3. Sunburn 6. Heat stroke
    e. 1. Explain dehydration and the necessity of conserving fluids in a survival situation.
    2. Explain at least four methods of OBTAINING WATER in the outdoors and demonstrate at least two ways to PURIFY that water.
    f. 1. Demonstrate at least two different FIRE LAYS-one for cooking and one for warmth.
    2. Learn and discuss the use of fire starters, tinder, kindling, softwoods, and hardwoods in fire making.
    g. Explain and demonstrate how you can gain knowledge of WEATHER patterns using VHF band radio and other radios, winds, barometric pressure, air masses and their movements, clouds, and other indicators.
    h. 1. Explain the different ROPE materials and thicknesses that are best for wilderness use and how to care for them.
    2. Know the use of and demonstrate how to tie the following KNOTS and LASHINGS:
    a. Sheet bend f. Clove hitch
    b. Fisherman's knot g. Timber hitch
    c. Bowline h. Taut-line hitch
    d. Bowline on a bight i. Square lashing
    e. Two half hitches j. Shear lashing
    i. 1. Explain the usefulness and drawbacks of obtaining FOOD in the wilderness, including things to avoid.
    2. Prepare and eat at least one meal with food you have found in the outdoors.
    j. 1. Make a list of items you would include in a WILDERNESS SURVIVAL KIT and then make copies to hand out to visitors to your wilderness survival outpost camp.
    2. Using your list, make a wilderness survival kit. Explain the use of each item you have included.
    k. 1. Set up a wilderness survival outpost CAMP and spend at least TWO NIGHTS and two days in your site.
    2. Use and demonstrate several knots and lashings from requirement (h) in your wilderness survival campsite demonstration.
    3. Know how to plan a wilderness SHELTERfor three different environments and then build a shelter as part of your wilderness survival campsite demonstration.
    4. Have your crew, another crew, a Cub or Boy Scout group, or another youth group visit you in your outpost for a presentation you make on wilderness survival (at least one hour).
    (Note: Remember to use the Leave No Trace principles you learned.)
  • 8. Survival Priorities – In Order
    The survival imperative: positive mental attitude
    First aid
  • 9. Survival Priorities
    The #1 resource you can’t control
    in ALL survival situations is?
  • 10. Risk Management
    An injury that doesn't happen needs no treatment.
  • 11. Potential causes of wilderness survival situations…
    Lost hiking in the woods
    Sudden storm comes up and you won’t make your destination
    Someone is injured and requires immediate medical attention
    A sick / injured person can not move and requires evacuation
    Your vehicle breaks down in a remote location
    Your boatcapsizes, gets damaged or suffers engine failure
    An unplanned swim causes immediate risk of hypothermia
    Exacerbating Circumstances:
    In dealing with an emergency, additional injuries occur
    After dealing with an emergency, darkness falls
  • 12. Survival Priorities
    Name the two primary reasons an emergency escalates into a
    wilderness survival situation:
  • 13. Risk management reduces the potential for an emergency, and if one occurs, improving your odds for survival.
    Share plans with others who care - leave a copy at home
    Maps, routes, timetables, check-ins
    Identify water sources
    Know how to navigate and use a compass
    Prepare emergency items and take them along
    Analyze the route to identify dangerous points
    Evaluate skill/experience level of participants
    Identify special equipment requirements
    Take extra required medications
    Leave a note in the parking lot
    Notify your contact when plans change with “W’s”:
    • WHERE going, and by what route
    • 14. WHEN will we return
    • 15. WHO is going along
    • 16. WHY are we going
    • 17. WHAT are we taking with us.
    More: BSA Fieldbook, Ch. 6
  • 18. Risk is inherent in everything we do in the outdoors, but it is the actions we take to reduce the risk that are important:
    We drink from a stream, which has parasites and crud, but we filter and treat to reduce risk.
    We share the outdoors with animals, but we protect ourselves by hanging food and “smellables…
    Plan ahead when getting ready for a trip – to identify hazards and mitigate the risk. Do a map RECON.
    Perceived risk can energize us to be cautious: climbing, guns, bows/arrows, cold, etc.
    To eliminate risk is never to venture into the wilderness; instead heighten awareness at critical points.
    Guide to safe Scouting helps define the hazards and reduce risk.
    Put faith in your “Gut Feel” – Avoid denial when hazards or accidents happen!
    Risk management reduces the potential for an emergency, and if one occurs, improving your odds for survival.
    Three keys to effective risk management:
    Everyone in the group commits to having a safe experience.
    Everyone knows risks and follows guidelinesestablished to minimize risk.
    Everyone is involved in recognizing and dealing with risks that arise on an outing.
  • 19. Plenty of Water
    Extra Food
    Extra Clothing
    Matches/Lighter and Fire Starters
    Map & Compass
    Rain Gear
    Pocket Knife
    First Aid Kit
    Flashlight or Headlamp
    Sunscreen / insect repellant
    Everyone should always bring the 10 essentials
    When do you bring them – ALWAYS!
    Who brings them– EVERYONE!
  • 20. Survival Priorities
    The single most important tool you must ALWAYS take with you is:
    Don’t leave home without it!
    Clear-minded thinking, determination, the will to live, creativity, positive mental attitude, skills, deliberate actions, experience make the difference between survival and disaster.
  • 21. Emergency Wilderness / Personal Survival Kit
    Small paper/pencil
    Small paper with your ID & medical needs
    50 feet – 1/8 inch nylon cord
    Plastic garbage bag
    Small Zip-loc bag
    Duct tape (small roll)
    Signal mirror
    Snare wire – 24 gauge
    Emergency blanket
    Metal cup, pot or coffee can
    50 feet fishing line w/hooks & shots
    Extra required medications
    Safety pins, large needle, cable ties
    Aluminum foil – 10 feet (cooking/signaling)
    Water purification
    Mosquito head-net
    Large knife/hatchet
    • Is in addition to the outdoor essentials
    • 22. Is personal preference and situation related
    • 23. When do you bring a kit – ALWAYS!
    • 24. Who brings a kit – EVERYONE!
    • 25. Where is the kit – ATTACHED TO YOU!
  • Special purpose gear depending on type and remoteness of adventure
    Desert - solar still equipment, tarp
    Winter - layers, gloves, balaclava, sleeping bag
    Marine - flares, life jackets, tools, water
    Climbing - climbing equipment, rope, specialized footwear, helmet
    Each item should have multiple uses.
    It must be waterproof.
    Know how to use everything.
    Test everything.
    Add special purpose gear depending on type and remoteness of adventure
  • 26. Crash
    2 Jackets
    Map & compass
    2 Boxes of pop tarts
    First aid kit
    Plastic tarp
    50 feet nylon rope
    .22 caliber pistol
    2 cans of beans
    Signal flares
    Comic books
    AM/FM radio
    You and a friend are in a small plane going to a July Fourth celebration near Denver, CO. Your plane has electrical problems. The radio stops working before you can get out a distress message. You manage to land safely. Below is a list of gear on the plane. Your task is to rank order them in terms of their importance. Place the number 1 by the most important item, the number 2 by the second most important, and so on, through 15, the least important.
  • 27. Survival Priorities
  • 28. 7 Survival Priorities
    STOP – don’t make the situation worse! Stop , think , observe , plan
    First aid – take care of serious problems
    Shelter – protection from heat, cold, rain,…
    Fire – warmth, security, signaling, …
    Signaling – mark X, signal in 3’s, change terrain
    Don't yell, it doesn't carry far and is tiring
    Use a whistle
    Smoke, flag/bandana, mirror, flashlight, …
    Draw / make an arrow or sign on the ground
    Water – you survive only a short time without it
    Boil – 5-10 minutes
    5 drops chlorine per quart (double if water is cloudy) - let set for 10-30 minutes
    5 drops iodine per quart (double if water is cloudy) - let set for 30 minutes
    (don’t worry about) food – you can survive weeks without it
    All healthy mammals, birds, insects are edible
    Anything seen eaten by rabbits, rodents, beavers, squirrels, raccoons.
    Not things eaten by birds
    No plants with soapy, bitter, acid, burning taste
    No plants with milky saps, or sickly looking; cook
    Imperative: Positive Mental Attitude:
    Decide to survive
    Anticipate panic
    Control peripheral danger
    Be deliberate
    Keep doing
  • 29. Survival Priorities
    True or False: Survival is a democratic process – everyone has a vote?
    A survival situation is a life-threatening!
    Pick a leader: Clear thinking, determined, most experienced
  • 30. The imperative: keep a positive mental attitude
    Fear/panic - natural reaction to being lost is fear and panic – acknowledge and control the feelings; relax.
    Think about your situation. Is it dangerous or life threatening? What's the possibility of getting out on your own (be honest)? Where is help located? How far is it? Are there barriers (rivers, ravines, cliffs)? How long before someone misses you and starts searching? Can you sustain yourself until help arrives? When in doubt, STAY PUT.
    Assess - determine what you need, improvise the best you can in a way that takes the least amount of time, energy, and resources.
    Keep busy (you'll be less miserable), make improvements (better shelter, backrest or chair, woven fiber sleeping bag, trap, tools).
    Live moment to moment - survive this moment, enjoy your success, then prepare for the next moment.
    Prioritize - what do you need the most first aid, shelter, fire, signal, water? Consider how long it might take to build a shelter or fire.
    Be curious, explore nearby. Observe your surroundings - look for high places where you could be seen; natural resources for protection from weather, shelter or fire; water.
    Don't ever give up. Develop survivor pride.
    Conserve energy, strength, fluids, and heat. Move as little as possible; avoid exercise, work, shivering and sweating.
    Use your head, not your feet.
    Your enemies are: cold, heat, thirst, hunger, tired, sick, hurt, boredom, and loneliness. Any one of these can make you think irrationally and make bad decisions.
    Your advantages are: knowledge, experience, improvising, adapting, staying calm, optimistic attitude, patience.
  • 31. 1. S. T. O. P.: stop, think, observe, and plan
    Hug a tree / relax
    Seek safety (from weather, water, animals)
    Seek shelter (from cold, rain, heat)
    Seek visibility (so you can see and be seen).
    Drink some water and eat a snack. Stay put if you are lost! A stationary person is easier to find than a moving one.
    You have a good mind; start using it!
    What went wrong?
    How can I help myself?
    Are there any immediate dangers?
    Can I help others find me?
    Don't make quick decisions.
    Don’t go anywhere, yet!
    Am I hurt?
    What equipment do I have that may help me?
    What's the weather going to do?
    What natural resources are available?
    What other hazards are around me? How much time do I have?
    Assess conditions, people, gear, location.
    Develop a new plan based on your observations.
    Analyze risks vs. benefits of changing the original plan.
  • 32. Trauma Injuries – broken bones, sprains
    Immobilize the injury, treat for shock, prepare to move the victim
    Bleeding - weakness, shock
    Apply pressure, elevate cut above your heart, cleanse wound and cover
    Dehydration - poor judgment, fatigue
    Drink fluids, stay in the shade
    Hypothermia - fatigue, shivering, uncoordinated, blue skin, poor thinking
    Stay out of wind and rain, stay dry, don't sit on the ground/rock sit on leaves, avoid sweating, eat and drink
    Heat Exhaustion – fatigue, nausea, head ache, impaired judgment
    Cool down, drink water, rest during heat – move during cool, shelter, breeze
    2. First aid, treat the conditions you find
  • 33. Look for natural cover - beneath the bottom branches of a tree or a rock overhang.
    Protect yourself from wind, rain, sun, dead limbs, and rock falls.
    Not in a low spot where water puddles.
    Not next to water where there's a chance of flooding.
    Away from fire hazards - you will have a fire nearby.
    Away from ants, animal dens, poisonous plants, and sharp rocks.
    Next to a clearing so more easily seen from the air; on north side in winter or rainy conditions for more sun; on south side in summer for protection from sun.
    Plenty of resources nearby - building materials (frame work, insulation, roofing), water, plants, and animals.
    Make use of what nature gives you - caves, logs, and rocks.
    3. Shelter: a good shelter in a bad location = bad shelter.
  • 34. 4. Fire: helps maintain a positive mental attitude, keeps you in one place, provides warmth, smoke for signaling, and heat for purifying water, cooking and making tools.
    Choose a location that is dry and out of the wind.
    Dig a shallow pit or dish to protect it from the wind. Pit should be at least 6 feet to the east of the shelter.
    Clear an area at least 4 feet around the pit.
    Build a rock wall about 2 feet high in a "C" shape on east side of pit to reflect heat back toward shelter.
    Collect enough fuel to last the night.
    Keep fires small so you can keep them under control.
    Heat dry rocks in a fire for boiling water and cooking food.
    Bury large, hot rocks 6 inches under ground inside shelter to keep it warmer.
  • 35. You have finished gutting a fine looking buck, but you realize that it is almost dark and you decide it will be too dangerous to drag the deer out in the dark. Using your time wisely, you collect a big pile of fire wood, which is damp from the rain. You have made a fire lay, when you realize that you only have one match, so it will have to count! Digging though your pockets, you find:
    Some string
    Pocket lint
    3 Corn chips
    A Dry paper napkin
    Which do you light first?
    One match
  • 36. Three in a row is distress signal – three fires, three piles of rock, three circles in field, three X’s, …
    Make your fire smoke, build it larger and add green or wet leaves.
    Whistling carries further and takes less energy than shouting.
    Change terrain features – nature doesn’t have right angles or straight lines
    Scratch out a message in sand, dirt, grass, etc.
    Signal mirrors reflect sunlight for miles
    Make contrasting colors, shapes, etc.
    Be creative, use as many ways as possible.
    #5 - Signaling
  • 37. 6. Water
    Clean/Safe Sources
    Rain before it hits the ground - collect in a plastic sheet.
    Dew - collect with a cloth early in the morning
    Solar Still
    Other sources need to be treated with iodine, chlorine, a filter or boiled to kill bacteria:
    Water flows downhill, so look for it in low areas.
    Polluted water can cause severe diarrhea and nausea; both can be deadly in the wilderness.
    Don't take chances; there may be a dead animal or chemicals from farms upstream.
    Best sources are fast moving, clear streams with healthy plants and animals in and around.
    Ponds and lakes are more polluted; look for the stream that feeds it.
    Filter with cloth or sand.
    Boil for 5-10 minutes
    The colder and cloudier the water is the more time and iodine or chlorine must be allowed to work.
    When using chlorine (bleach), make sure the only ingredient is hypochlorite and there are no other soaps or scents added. Add 5 drops per quart, shake well and let it sit for 10-30 minutes. If there isn't a faint odor of chlorine, repeat.
    If only polluted or salty water is available, boil it and catch the steam with a piece of plastic or aluminum foil or cloth.
  • 38. WARNING: Do not eat ANY plant or animal unless you are absolutely positive what it is.
    Go with an expert into the field and learn to identify edible as well as poisonous plants. Many poisonous plants look similar to edible plants. Learn how to prepare and cook them.
    It can take more energy to get food than you will gain from it. Seek only easily acquired food. Eat small amounts to avoid an upset stomach. Diarrhea or vomiting will leave you worse off.
    Grass - no grass is poisonous, but don't eat too much (especially mature stems) as it is hard to digest. Choose tender young shoots; cooking for several minutes will help. Brown or green grass seeds should be toasted. Do not eat purple or black seeds; they contain a poisonous fungus.
    Cattail - young shoots, roots; seed (tinder), leaves (insulation, weaving)
    Acorns - boil in several changes of water to remove bitter taste.
    Pine needles - finely chop needles and boil to make a tea.
    Dandelion, Sunflower, Grass Seeds
    Insects - remove stingers, legs, hard shells, and wings. Look for them in moist shady areas like in rotting logs and under bark and leaves.
    7. (Don’t worry about) Food
  • 39. In seconds from lack of thinking (panic)
    In minutes from lack of oxygen
    In hours from lack of shelter
    In days from lack of water
    In weeks from lack of food
    Injury/death can occur ...
  • 40. Survival PrioritiesA Deeper Look
  • 41. Survival Priorities – Recap
    The Survival Imperative:
    Positive Mental Attitude
    Survival priorities:
    First Aid
  • 42. Some stress is helpful
    Too Much Stress Causes:
    Difficulty Making Decisions
    Low Energy Level
    Propensity for Mistakes
    Thoughts of Suicide
    Difficulty Getting Along With Others
    Hiding From Responsibilities
    Stress Enhancers:
    Injury, Illness, or Death
    Uncertainty or Lack of Control
    Goal to survival is to
    Reduce stress enhancers
  • 43. First Aid
    A few winter, summer, and marine-specific issues that may arise in survival situations.
  • 44. * Yosemite National Park experiences the highest call-volume for technical rescues of any National Park Service area. YOSAR averages 200 calls per year. 
    For 2,328 rescues, YOSAR's statistics show:
    50% trauma emergencies,
    24% medical,
    15% searches for missing people,
    11% assists of uninjured lost or stranded people.
    Most common trauma injuries: 49% were fractures / sprains.
    The top 3 medical injuries:
    Hypothermia/frostbite (14%),
    Fatigue/dizziness (12%),
    Dehydration/hunger (12%).
    First Aid Yosemite Search And Rescue perspective*
  • 45. Body’s core temperature has dropped to 95F; body can not function
    Symptoms: slurred speech, irritability, clumsiness, uncontrolled shivering, sleepiness. Shivering stops at 91 F (severe) cases, unconsciousness
    Treatment: shelter, re-warm, warm/sweet liquids internally or externally (armpit/groin), get into 2 sleeping bags, share body heat
    Hypothermia can occur in any season, and at higher altitudes.
  • 46. Body needs water for digestion, respiration, brain activity, and regulation of body temperature
    Prevention: conserve energy, avoid sweating, pace yourself:
    Rationing water will not help.
    Dehydration is an exacerbating condition in 80% of all illness in extreme hot and extreme cold weather
    Symptoms: dark yellow urine, fatigue, headache, body aches, confusion
    All Seasons - Dehydration
  • 47. Frozen flesh, extremities are most at risk
    Symptoms: first painful, then numb, grayish/white skin, blisters may appear
    Treatment: warm affected area and keep warm, exercise injured areas to keep blood flow. Prevent re-freezing injured area
    It is possible to walk on frozen feet, but you will not be able to travel once they are warmed
    Winter - frostbite
  • 48. Prevention: Never fall asleep in enclosed area with fire or stove/lamp burning
    Symptoms: headache, drowsiness, nausea, cherry/red coloring of lips, mouth, eyelids
    Treatment: get into fresh air, proper ventilation of enclosed areas
    Carbon monoxide is primarily a winter emergency
  • 49. C keep clothing Clean
    O avoid Overheating
    L wear clothes Loose and in Layers
    D keep clothing Dry
    Think C.O.L.D. to stay warm.
  • 50. Cover extremities
    Lose 40% of body heat from unprotected head
    More from neck, wrist, ankles
    Gone with the wind
    Wind draws heat away from body
    Protective layers/windbreakers
    Insulate from the ground
    Use natural insulation to keep ground from absorbing body heat
    Winter - preventive measures
  • 51. Continual sweating in hot weather causes loss of water and electrolytes
    Symptoms: Often non-specific; headache, fatigue, weakness, nausea, dizziness, fainting, muscle cramps, pale/clammy skin, temperature normal to moderately raised up to 105F
    Treatment: lie in cool shady place on back with feet raised, loosen tight clothes, cool with wet cloths, drink water and salty fluids (soup/bouillon) or salty snacks
    Summer - heat exhaustion
  • 52. Body’s cooling system stops functioning, body temperature rises to unsafe levels (105+ degrees)
    Symptoms: red/hot skin, rapid pulse, noisy breathing, confusion, vomiting. May be sweating or dry.
    Treatment: Take immediate action – Death in 30 minutes
    Remove from source of heat - shady place
    Remove excess clothes
    Sprinkle with water, apply wet cloths
    Consider placing in stream/cool water
    Evacuate to definitive medical care - Hospital
    Continue to monitor temperature – watch for relapses during EVAC
    Summer - heat stroke is a life threatening emergency!
  • 53. Animal hazards
    The deadliest animal in North America is?
    Grizzly (brown) bear
    Black bear
    Brown recluse spider
    Rattle snake
  • 54. Shelter
  • 55. Shelters
    Protection from the elements
    Animals/insects (limited)
    Natural shelters
    Fallen trees
    Heavy-limbed evergreens
    Rock outcroppings
    Other shelters
    Ponchos/emergency blankets
    Snow shelters - caves, igloos
    Garbage bag
    Things to consider
    • Check natural shelters for signs of animals, snakes.
    • 56. Don’t place food in shelters
    • 57. Don’t build a fire in your shelter, unless it’s very well ventilated
    • 58. Be sure to put signals or signs out as shelters are difficult to see
  • Gimme shelter*
    * Rolling Stones
  • 59. Gimme shelter
  • 60. Fire
  • 61. Fire Starting
    Matches / butane lighter
    Flint & steel
    Metal match or “fire striker” and magnesium bar
    Magnifying glass / fresnel lens
    Bottom of a coke can
    Ice lens
    Camera lens, binoculars, etc.
    9 volt battery spark…and “0000” steel wool
    Fire plow
    Bow and drill
    Hand drill
    Fire drill
    Fire bow
    Fire piston
    Glycerin and potassium permanganate (old-fashioned 1st aid kit items)
    Brake fluid and bleach
    An ember from last night’s fire!
    Borrow a light from a smoker
    How many ways have you started a fire?
    This is a great activity to practice on any trip!
  • 62. This lens is too small!
    Fire Starting
  • 63. Tinder - dry material that ignites easily
    Cotton char cloth wax paper
    Dryer lint dried grasses
    Cat tail fuzz cotton ball w/Vaseline
    Tinder fungus from birch trees
    Inner bark shredded from birch or cedar
    Insect repellent is flammable 
    Kindling - material that can be added to burning tinder
    Small sticks
    Pine cones
    Pine tree nodules
    Fuel - burns slowly and steadily once ignited
    Fire starting requires tinder, kindling and fuel
  • 64. Fire building styles
  • 65. Collect 3x morewood than you need.
    You will need it!!!!
    Build a dry foundation for wet ground or deep snow.
    Place tinder on a dry surface, a split log!
    Don’t build fire in dry creek bed or rain run-off point.
    Consider wind direction.
    Consider visibility of fire/smoke - attract searchers.
    Create a fire ring (especially in windy/dry conditions.)
    Enclosed ring or a trench uses less wood!
    Don’t burn down the forest.
    Fire building considerations
  • 66. Signaling
  • 67. “Three equal spaced” means: “need help”
    Whistle blasts, gun shots, banging pots
    Fire and/or smoke
    Fire at night
    Smoke during the day
    Other signals:
    Ground to air signals
    Flags: “use that orange tube tent!”
    Markers: logs, drawings
    Straight lines
    90 degree angles
    Signaling, rule of “3”
  • 68. Signaling
  • 69. Water
  • 70. Becomes essential within one day during survival
    15% or more loss of body weight from fluids can be fatal
    Minor loss reduces energy, thinking skills, attitude
    Need 3-4 quarts per day per person:
    Cannot “condition” body to use less water
    More in hot or humid conditions
    More during heavy activity (backpacking)
    More in extreme cold conditions
    Eating increases water requirements
    Do not eat in the desert/open sea unless you have adequate water
    Protein and fatty foods require more water to digest
    Water Procurement
  • 71. Water Procurement
    Where to obtain
    Lakes, streams
    Trickles from cliffs / overhangs
    Solar stills
    Sap from maple or edible succulent plants
    Where NOT to obtain
    Don’t eat snow - burns energy, loses body heat
    Don’t drink urine
    Body needs fluids to rid itself of waste;
    Urine is high waste, salt
    Don’t suck plants that are not edible
    Cactus pulp - be careful of sickness/vomiting
    Don’t drink sea water
  • 72. Water Treatment
    Requires fire/fuel (5-10 minute boil)
    Iodine tabs/Polar Pure
    Temperature dependent, 30+ min
    Does not kill all pathogens
    Limited shelf life / tastes bad
    Do not use if:
    allergic to shellfish
    take Lithium
    thyroid problems
    small children
    women over 50
    liver or kidney disease
    5 drops per quart and shake
    10-30 min wait
    Limited shelf life
    Can clog/break – bring spare parts
    Tripod “filters”
    Remove sediment and improve flavor, DO NOT remove dangerous bacteria / toxins!
    Better to drink impure water than to dehydrate
  • 73. (Don’t worry about) Food
    Eat primarily to maintain a positive attitude.
  • 74. Smaller animals are easier to kill and prepare
    Overcome personal bias against foods
    Eating bugs, wild animals like raccoons, skunks, road kill
    Animals can attack and inflict injury
    Reptiles are generally edible
    Don’t eat box turtles, due to their diet of mushrooms
    Amphibians are generally edible
    Don’t eat frogs with bright colors or a visible X on back
    Don’t eat or handle toads
    Cook freshwater fish to kill parasites
    Most flying, crawling, walking or swimming animals can be eaten
  • 75. Milky or discolored sap.
    Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.
    Bitter or soapy taste.
    Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
    Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage.
    "Almond" scent in woody parts and leaves.
    Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.
    Three-leaved growth pattern.
    Red fruit
    Many commercial fruits and vegetables violate the general rules for identifying poisonous wild plants!
    Stay away from unknown plants
  • 76. No room to experiment
    Negligible nutritional value:
    You need 54 grams of protein per day
    1 cup of raw mushrooms = 2 grams
    Can affect central nervous system
    Symptoms may show up several days later:
    Too late to reverse effects
    For most mushrooms, there are no antidotes
    Do not eat mushrooms. Eating the smallest piece can result in DEATH!
  • 77. Cook it!
    Cook meat and plants:
    Kills bacteria
    Kills parasites, diseases
    Boiling removes some toxins from plants
    Easier to digest
    Hot food improves morale.
  • 78. Other topics
  • 79. Cold front storms come on rapidly but pass quicker than warm
    Violent weather is typically localized – keep your eyes to sky
    Monitor temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure
    High humidity with falling temperature = dew point = rain, fog
    Rising barometer – stable weather coming
    Falling barometer – variable weather coming
    Falling barometer with rising humidity – violent storm
    Weather Forecasting
  • 80. Lightning can strike from a cloud several miles away.
    Lightning storms can approach with extreme speed.
    If metal objects begin to make a buzzing sound or your hair stands on end, immediately descend.
    Stay away from isolated trees.
    Squat down with your feet close together.
    Avoid overhangs, caves, ridges, and summits.
    Spread out if with others.
    Have a lightning plan, and make sure everyone understands it
  • 81. Compass/GPS
    Remember sun rises in east, sets in west
    Shadow stick method
    Watch method
    Align hour with shadow from sun
    Halfway to 12 is south
    North star
    Side lit is east before midnight; west after midnight
    Moss thicker on north side of trees
    Snow melts more on the south side
  • 82. Always wear a personal floatation device (PFD)
    Stay with boat, climb back in or on top of it
    Don’t overload your boat
    Keep emergency gear accessible
    Check weather before departure
    Carry maps in unfamiliar territories
    Tie everything down
    Carry extra water
    Marine survival, on the water
  • 83. Don’t swim against a strong current
    Swim toward shore with current or cross-wise to the current.
    Go down rapids feet first
    In cold water, assume HELP position
    head out of water, legs drawn up to body
    Huddle together in cold water
    Marine survival, in the water
  • 84. Deciding to move
  • 85. Decision to Stay or Go
    Best advice - stay put
    Is the emergency resolved?
    Can you move?
    Why leave?
    Waiting days and no help has arrived
    Dangerous area
    Urgent need for Definitive medical care
    Limited provisions and conditions to sustain life
    You are getting weaker / sick, and may lose the option
    What to consider?
    Physical condition of yourself and others
    Environmental conditions
    Health and body care – camp sanitation
    Rest and shelter
    Water supplies
    What else?
    Direction of travel and why
    Travel plan
    Equipment needed/available to move
    Before departing leave information such as departure time, direction of travel, intended destination, route, condition of everyone, and supplies.
  • 86. Considerations that apply regardless of the circumstances:
    The most experienced person should assume leadership and everyone must work as a team.
    Keep physical activity to a respectable, realistic, and consistent pace (pace to the slowest member
    Travel Technique
    Land travel technique is based largely on experience – the novice follows the compass heading where the experience navigator follows lines of least resistance.
    Experience can be overcome by proper application of technique and observation. Which ways the birds are flying, terrain, etc.
    Route Finding: Use game trails, you should have at least a general idea of where you are and where your destination will be (road, stream, etc.). Goal is to use the minimal amount of energy while traveling.
    Land Travel
  • 87. Running a WS program
  • 88. Minimal troop meeting time:
    Hit the preparatory topics, then train in the woods
    Conduct classes during troop meetings:
    Develop a scenario for the outing:
    “Reason” for the trip
    Create some stressful moments
    Develop a time-phased script
    Plan competitions
    Provide little morale boosters
    Be creative – brainstorm an “event!”
    Calibrate intensity to # of participants and experience level.
    At meetings, do 15 minute discussions
    Work a survival skill on every trip!
    WS Program Management
  • 89. Resources
    Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Handbook, 2007
    How to Stay Alive in the Woods, Bradford Angier, 2001
    Wilderness First Aid, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005
    Participating in Nature, 5th Ed Thomas J. Elpel, 2002
    Outdoor Safety and Survival, Paul H. Risk, 1983
    Keller’s Outdoor Survival Guide, William Keller, 2001
    FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual
    Wildwood Wisdom, Ellsworth Jaeger, 1945
    Feasting Free on Wild Edibles, Bradford Angier, 1972
    Backpacker Magazine,
    The Backwoodsman Magazine,
    Outdoor Life Magazine,
  • 90. --- Learn–Survive–Return ---