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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Andris Ikstrums (email@example.com), Greater Alabama Council
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 Objectives Feel free to… Ask questions Enhance discussion Give examples Debate content Contribute Have fun!
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. Television 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 Movies 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. Books 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.
Separated and Lost WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 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.
Wilderness survival is a part of Scout and Venturing. Wilderness Survival OutdoorBronze / Ranger Wilderness Survival Merit Badge 33494 35966
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.)
Survival Priorities – In Order MB-2 OB-B The survival imperative: positive mental attitude S.T.O.P. First aid Shelter Fire Signaling Water Food
Survival Priorities CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... The #1 resource you can’t control in ALL survival situations is? TIME
Risk Management An injury that doesn't happen needs no treatment. MB-x OB-a
Potential causes of wilderness survival situations… MB-x OB-x 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
Survival Priorities CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... Name the two primary reasons an emergency escalates into a wilderness survival situation: DENIAL and PANIC
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 BE PREPARED Notify your contact when plans change with “W’s”:
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. MB-x OB-A 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.
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 MB-x OB-x When do you bring them – ALWAYS! Who brings them– EVERYONE!
Survival Priorities CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... The single most important tool you must ALWAYS take with you is: YOUR BRAIN 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.
Emergency Wilderness / Personal Survival Kit MB-5 OB-J1 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 Whistle 50 feet fishing line w/hooks & shots Extra required medications Safety pins, large needle, cable ties Aluminum foil – 10 feet (cooking/signaling) Water purification Bandana Mosquito head-net Large knife/hatchet Spoon ESK:
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 MB-5 OB-J1
Crash WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 2 Jackets Canteen Matches Map & compass 2 Boxes of pop tarts First aid kit Plastic tarp Knife 50 feet nylon rope .22 caliber pistol 2 cans of beans Signal flares Walkie-talkie 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.
7 Survival Priorities MB-2 OB-B 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
Survival Priorities CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... True or False: Survival is a democratic process – everyone has a vote? FALSE! A survival situation is a life-threatening! Pick a leader: Clear thinking, determined, most experienced
The imperative: keep a positive mental attitude MB-x OB-x 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.
1. S. T. O. P.: stop, think, observe, and plan Stop 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. Think 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! Observe 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? Plan Assess conditions, people, gear, location. Develop a new plan based on your observations. Analyze risks vs. benefits of changing the original plan. MB-2 OB-B
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 MB-1 OB-D
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. MB-8 OB-K1
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. MB-6 OB-F1 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.
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: Candle Some string Pocket lint 3 Corn chips A Dry paper napkin Which do you light first? One match WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
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 MB-7 OB-C1
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. MB-10 OB-C2
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 MB-12 OB-I1
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 ...
Survival Priorities – Recap MB-2 CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... OB-B The Survival Imperative: Positive Mental Attitude Survival priorities: S.T.O.P. First Aid Shelter Fire Signaling Water Food
Some stress is helpful Too Much Stress Causes: Difficulty Making Decisions Forgetfulness 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 Environment Hunger/Thirst Isolation MB-x OB-x Goal to survival is to Reduce stress enhancers
First Aid A few winter, summer, and marine-specific issues that may arise in survival situations.
* 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*
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. MB-1 OB-D1
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 MB-1 OB-E1
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 MB-1 OB-D2
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 MB-x OB-x
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. MB-x OB-x
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 MB-x OB-x
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 MB-1 OB-D4
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! MB-1 OB-D6
Animal hazards CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... The deadliest animal in North America is? Grizzly (brown) bear Black bear Cougar Mosquito Coyote Brown recluse spider Rattle snake Wasps/hornets THE ONE IN THE MIRROR
Shelters MB-8 OB-K3 Protection from the elements Heat Cold Rain Wind Sun Animals/insects (limited) Natural shelters Caves Fallen trees Heavy-limbed evergreens Rock outcroppings Other shelters Lean-to Ponchos/emergency blankets Snow shelters - caves, igloos Garbage bag Things to consider
Check natural shelters for signs of animals, snakes.
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 MB-6 OB-F2 How many ways have you started a fire? This is a great activity to practice on any trip!
This lens is too small! Fire Starting MB-6 OB-F2
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 MB-6 OB-F2
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 MB-6 OB-F1
“Three equal spaced” means: “need help” Whistle blasts, gun shots, banging pots Fire and/or smoke Fire at night Smoke during the day Mirror Other signals: Ground to air signals Flags: “use that orange tube tent!” Markers: logs, drawings Straight lines 90 degree angles Signaling, rule of “3” MB-7A OB-C1
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 MB OB-E2
Water Procurement Where to obtain Lakes, streams Trickles from cliffs / overhangs Solar stills Condensation/dew Puddles 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 MB OB-E2
Water Treatment Boiling 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 Pregnant small children women over 50 liver or kidney disease Bleach 5 drops per quart and shake 10-30 min wait Limited shelf life Pumps/filters 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 MB-10 OB-E2
(Don’t worry about) Food Eat primarily to maintain a positive attitude.
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 MB OB-I1
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 MB-12 OB-I1
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! MB-12 OB-I1
Cook it! Cook meat and plants: Kills bacteria Kills parasites, diseases Boiling removes some toxins from plants Easier to digest Hot food improves morale. MB-x OB-x
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 MB OB-G
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 MB-x OB-x
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 Moon Side lit is east before midnight; west after midnight Moss thicker on north side of trees Snow melts more on the south side Navigation MB OB X X
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 MB-x OB-x
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 MB-x OB-x
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 Food 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. MB-x OB-C3
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 MB-x OB-C3
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
Resources BSA 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, www.backpacker.com The Backwoodsman Magazine, www.backwoodsmanmag.com Outdoor Life Magazine, www.outdoorlife.com