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Wilderness Survival - The BSA Way 11 08 09


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Covers a subset of Wilderness Survival that overlaps the Boy Scout Merit Badge and and Venturing Outdoor Bronze / Ranger requirements:

- Risk management
- 7 survival priorities
- Emergency survival kit

How to prepare for, be safe, and have fun for a high adventure at BSA's Philmont, Northern Tier, or National parks and forests.

Published in: Travel, Sports, Technology
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Wilderness Survival - The BSA Way 11 08 09

  1. 1. Steve Lagreca swtrekker@wo w wa y. com Philmont Contingent Leader, New Michigan Council Associate Advisor, Venturing Crew 1716 Additional information, along with the most recent version, is hosted at Original material provided by Mike Doubleday (, and Andris Ikstrums (, Greater Alabama Council
  2. 2. Television Movies Books 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
  3. 3. Why we What we do do them AGE APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES TEACHABLE MOMENTS Troop outdoor program Council summer camp “fumes” 50-Miler Afoot / Afloat CHARACTER leadership FITNESS Philmont / Rayado CITIZENSHIP Northern Tier National Parks & Forests
  4. 4.  In seconds from lack of  To you thinking (panic)  To your kids  In minutes from lack of  To the kids you’re oxygen responsible for  In hours from lack of shelter  In days from lack of water  In weeks from lack of food
  5. 5. CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... The #1 resource you can’t control in ALL survival situations is? TIME
  6. 6. 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. More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  7. 7.  Knowing how to stay alive and well until the emergency is over.  Working with nature rather than against it.  Maintaining a positive attitude.
  8. 8. What we’re going to do: How we’re going to do it:  Cover a subset of WS that tends  Pop quizzes to emphasize key points to overlap both the MB and  Repetition to retain key points OB/R requirements:  Back references to WS Merit Badge  Risk management and Outdoor Bronze/Ranger  7 survival priorities requirements are on the lower left.  Emergency survival kit  Links to Internet resources (purple).  What you’ll get:  Updated presentation, with add'l reference materials, is avail on  How to prepare / be safe / have fun for a high adventure at  WS 10 Essentials & Personal Survival Kit Philmont, Northern Tier, or  WS Training Scenario, Script & Menu National Parks and Forests  WS Pop Quizzes  WS Tips & Tricks  Materials to use as a scouting WS MB / venturing WS OB counselor
  9. 9. Value of High Adventure • Entices them to “stretch” • Exhilarating outdoor experience • Living and cooperating with others • Overcoming difficulties • Living in harmony with nature • Opportunities for leadership • Emphasizes spirituality • Committed to wildland stewardship • Meaningful and lasting experience • Character, fitness, citizenship Ref: Passport to High Adventure, pg 5
  10. 10. 1. Show that you know FIRST AID for, and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur in (Before you begin wilderness survival, you must have completed the cooking, land navigation, and FIRST AID backcountry settings, including aid core requirements.) - hypothermia - blisters - heat reactions - insect stings a. Write a RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN for an upcoming crew high adventure activity such as a whitewater - frostbite - tick bites canoeing or rock-climbing trip. The plan should include: - dehydration - snakebites - nutrition - insurance - in-service training - health - safety rules & regulations - environmental considerations 2. From memory, list the SEVEN PRIORITIES for SURVIVAL in a backcountry or wilderness - first aid - proper equipment - emergency & evacuation procedures location. Explain the importance of each one with your counselor. - supervision - maps & compass - emergency contacts 3. Discuss ways to AVOID PANIC and MAINTAIN a high level of MORALE when lost, and explain b. From memory, list the SURVIVAL PRIORITIES and explain your use of each in a survival situation. why this is important. c. Learn about and then make a tabletop display or presentation for your crew, another crew, a Cub or Boy 4. Describe the steps you would take to SURVIVE in the following CONDITIONS: Scout group, or another youth group on the following subjects: 1. Emergency SIGNALS used in the outdoors a. Cold and snowy 2. Search and rescue patterns 3. Evacuation procedures and value of WHEN TO MOVE and when not to move in a wilderness emergency b. Wet (forest) d. Explain the following environmental exposure problems. Discuss what causes them, signs and symptoms, c. Hot and dry (desert) and treatment. FIRST AID 1. Hypothermia 4. Heat exhaustion d. Windy (mountains or plains) 2. Frostbite 5. Heat cramps e. Water (ocean, lake, or river) 3. Sunburn 6. Heat stroke 5. Put together a PERSONAL SURVIVAL KIT and explain how each item in it could be useful . 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 6. Using three different methods (other than matches), BUILD and LIGHT three FIRES. to PURIFY that water. 7. Do the following: 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. a. Show five different ways to attract attention when lost. g. Explain and demonstrate how you can gain knowledge of WEATHER patterns using VHF band radio and b. Demonstrate how to use a signal mirror. other radios, winds, barometric pressure, air masses and their movements, clouds, and other indicators. c. Describe from memory five ground-to-air SIGNALS and tell what they mean. h. 1. Explain the different ROPE materials and thicknesses that are best for wilderness use and how to care for them. 8. Improvise a natural shelter. For the purpose of this demonstration, use techniques that have little 2. Know the use of and demonstrate how to tie the following KNOTS and LASHINGS: negative impact on the environment. Spend a NIGHT IN your SHELTER. a. Sheet bend f. Clove hitch b. Fisherman's knot g. Timber hitch 9. Explain how to PROTECT YOURSELF from insects, reptiles, and bears. c. Bowline h. Taut-line hitch 10. Demonstrate three ways to TREAT WATER found in the outdoors to prepare it for drinking. d. Bowline on a bight i. Square lashing e. Two half hitches j. Shear lashing 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. 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. 12. Explain why it usually NOT WISE to eat EDIBLE wild PLANTS or WILDLIFE in a wilderness survival situation. 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 SHELTER for 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.)
  11. 11. …because the best emergency is the one that never happens, and an injury that’s avoided needs no treatment! OB-A
  12. 12. CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... Name the two primary reasons an emergency escalates into a wilderness survival situation: DENIAL and PANIC
  13. 13.  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 boat capsizes, gets damaged or suffers engine failure  An unplanned swim causes immediate risk of hypothermia  Exacerbating Circumstances:  Responding to an emergency causes additional injury.  After dealing with an emergency, darkness falls OB-A
  14. 14.  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 Three keys to effective “smellables” risk management: 1. Everyone in the group  Perceived risk can energize us to be commits to having a cautious: climbing, guns, bows & safe experience. arrows, cold, etc. 2. Everyone knows risks and follows guidelines  Totally eliminating risk requires staying at established to minimize risk. home; a realistic alternative is to heighten 3. Everyone is involved in awareness at critical points. recognizing and dealing with risks that OB-A arise on an outing.
  15. 15.  Ensure qualified, adult supervision: Study the route:  Understands risks of this adventure: BSA  Know how to navigate and use a compass (GPS Handbook, Field book, MBs optional, never relay on batteries)  Takes responsibility for the group’s safety: Trained, G2SS, YPT  Calculate daily mileage, elevation change,  Has relevant skills & certifications, e.g. CPR, identify campsites, water sources and distances WFA, Safe Swim, Safety Afloat, Climb On between them, danger points using trail and topo maps  Get fit & healthy:  Know seasonal temperature, average rainfall,  Evaluate skill/experience level of crew. typical weather patterns, sunrise/sunset, phase Match adventure to crew’s skill level & fitness of moon, high/low tides  Train for it, just like any athletic event  Insist on BSA physical - know who’s allergic /  Research wildlife, predators, poisonous snakes limited / restricted to what / spiders / plants  Gear up:  Call the park ranger for the latest!  Gear appropriate to the terrain and season / Share plans with others who care: identify special equipment requirements  Leave a copy at home, inc. maps, routes,  Take extra required medications timetables, and check-ins  Calculate water storage requirements  Calculate fuel requirements Expect discipline:  Check cell phone coverage, consider satellite  Roles, responsibilities, who makes decisions , phone, GPS transmitter how they are made  Prepare ESK and take it BE PREPARED OB-A More: BSA Fieldbook, Ch. 6
  16. 16. 1. Plenty of water 6. Rain gear 2. Extra food 7. Pocket knife 3. Extra clothing 8. First aid kit 4. Matches/lighter and 9. Flashlight or headlamp fire starters 10. Sunscreen / insect 5. Map & compass repellant When do you bring them – ALWAYS! MB-5 OB-J1 Who brings them – EVERYONE!
  17. 17. WS Merit Badge book:  Duct tape (small roll)  Snare wire – 24 gauge (repairs)  Fishing line w/hooks & shots, 50 ft  Whistle (signaling)  Garbage bag (sleeping bag dry, rain gear) Also recommended by experts:  Medications (extra)  Metal cup, pot or coffee can (cook)  Tinder (fire)  Mosquito head-net  Aluminum foil, 10 ft (cooking/signaling)  Nylon cord, 1/8", 50 ft  Bandana (101 uses)  Paper/pencil (communicate)  Emergency blanket (shelter)  Safety pins, large needle, cable ties  Identification  Spoon (eat)  Large knife/hatchet  Water purification  Zip-loc bag ESK: • Is in addition to the outdoor 10 essentials • Is personal preference and situation related • When do you bring a kit – ALWAYS! • Who brings a kit – EVERYONE! MB-5 OB-J1 • Where is the kit – ATTACHED TO YOU!
  18. 18.  Special purpose gear depending on type and remoteness of adventure  Desert - solar still equipment, tarp  Winter - layers, gloves, balaclava, sleeping bag  Water - flares, life jackets, tools, water  Climbing - climbing equipment, rope, specialized footwear, helmet  Each item should have multiple uses.  Kit must be waterproof.  Know how to use everything.  Stress test everything (before you go). MB-5 OB-J1
  19. 19. What to do when things go wrong.
  20. 20. CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... The single most important tool you must ALWAYS take with you is: YOUR BRAIN Clear-minded thinking, determination, the will to live, creativity, positive mental attitude, skills, deliberate actions, and experience can make the difference between survival and disaster.
  21. 21. CLASSROOM SURVIVAL - POP QUIZ... True or False: Survival is a democratic process – everyone has a vote? FALSE A survival situation is life-threatening! Pick a leader: Clear thinking, determined, most experienced
  22. 22. In order of importance: 1. S.T.O.P.: Stop, Think, Observe, & Plan 2. Provide first aid 3. Seek shelter 4. Build a fire 5. Signal for help 6. Drink water The WS Imperative: 7. (Don’t worry about) food Positive Mental Attitude:  Decide to survive  Anticipate panic & denial  Control peripheral danger  Be deliberate MB-2 OB-B  Keep doing
  23. 23. Do What : How to do it: •Stop • Hug a tree / relax • Drink some water, eat a snack. • Seek safety (from weather, water, animals) • Stay put if you are lost (a stationary • Seek shelter (from cold, rain, heat) person is easier to find than a moving • Seek visibility (so you can see and be seen). one) •Think • Are there any immediate dangers? • Can I help others find me? • What went wrong? • Don't make quick decisions. • How can I help myself? • Don’t go anywhere, yet! •Observe • Am I hurt? • How much time do I have? • What equipment do I have that may help? • What other hazards are around me? • What's the weather going to do? • What natural resources are available? •Plan • Assess conditions, crew, gear, location. • Analyze risks vs. benefits of changing • Develop a new plan based on your the original plan. observations. MB-2 OB-B Panic and haste can make things worse.
  24. 24. This is a quick reference. Ensure your crew has First Aid Merit Badge and Red Cross WFA (Wilderness First Aid) skills MB OB Preparation / Prevention Signs Treatment Treat hot spots quickly. Hot spots created by rubbing or abrasion Moleskin, gel pads ^Shoes/Boots & Socks are a ^Scissors and foot powder. Anti-bacterial ointment for Blisters X System. Know & Practice with wound management. Treat blisters in morning after Your System Recognize potential overnight rest (body re-absorbs blister fluids). beyond feet; hands, shoulders, hips Drink fluids ^ Early sign: Chapped/Drying lips Drink fluids. Stay in the shade ^Understand your travel Later sign: Dark urine, headache, Dehydra- environment. weariness, body ache tion X X Altitude/Humidity/Temperature (Hot & Cold). Drink fluids regularly before thirsty. Clear & copious urine. ^Think C.O.L.D. to stay warm: Pain / numbness on ears, nose, fingers, feet, Get to care quickly. Seek shelter. Avoid rubbing, hold Frostbite X X C -- keep clothing Clean O avoid Overheating grayish-white patches of skin under warm water. Tuck hand under armpit, place toes on belly, palm on ear. L - wear clothes Loose and in ^Do not re-warm if there is a potential for refreezing Layers Body losing more heat than it can generate: Seek shelter. Drink warm liquids. Wear dry, warm D - keep clothing Dry Feel cold, numb, tired, anxious, irritable, clothes & hat. Get in sleeping bag. Hold hot water clumsy, slurred speech, shiver, poor bottles. ^Minimize exposure of skin & Hypo- X X decisions, lose consciousness extremities. (Nose, Ears, Fingers, & ^ Stay dry, sit on leaves, not ground. thermia toes) Minimize wetness ^The symptoms are a progression (perspiration). Use natural depending on decreasing core temperature. insulation to keep ground from absorbing body heat ^Hydrate, drink and eat regularly ^Muscle spasms and contractions (arms, ^Rest, lie flat, and elevate legs. Gentle limb Heat X legs, stomach) straightening. Massage not so helpful. Tums will add cramps calcium and/or slowly drink water & salt mix (¼ tsp per liter). Heat Heavy sweating, cold/clammy skin, nausea, Find shade and breeze. Drink fluids. Place wet cloths. exhaustion X X tiredness, dizziness, fainting, headache, ^Rest during heat – move during cool muscle cramps, weakness ^Hydrate, drink and eat regularly, Body temp rises to life-threatening level, Get to care quickly. Find shade and breeze (fan), loosen reduce strenuous effort in elevated 105 F, hot, sweaty, red skin, confusion, tight clothing, drink water, pour water on victim, use Heat stroke X X temperatures & humidity. disorientation, rapid pulse ice packs. ^Altered mental state ^ Monitor temperature. MB-1 OB-D More: *BSA Fieldbook, Ch. 6, ^EMT
  25. 25. This is a quick reference. Ensure your crew has First Aid Merit Badge and Red Cross WFA (Wilderness First Aid) skills MB OB Preparation / Prevention Signs Treatment ^Know your tolerance to Insect ^Initially Pain and swelling at the site. Check for Anaphylactic shock – EpiPen* Scrape stinger Insect X Bites & Stings Depending on tolerance increasing hives, with edge of knife blade, ice pack (reduce swelling) stings swelling with increasing respiratory/breathing distress, *Use hiking stick. Watch hand ^ Two small Puncture marks, redness and Get to care quickly. Carry victim. Keep wound lower placement when climbing / getting swelling. tingling at site, metallic taste in than heart. Don’t apply ice. Don’t give aspirin. Snake bites X firewood mouth, fever chills, nausea, vomiting, ^. Clean wound; remove rings and constrictive items. Blurred vision & muscle tremors Keep victim quiet, hydrated & comfortable. Broad-brimmed hat, long sleeve ^Exposed skin redness (1st degree burns) *Damp cloths / Aloe vera shirt and pants, sunscreen SPF > 15 and developing blisters (mild 2nd degree ^Burns: cool wet dressings. Pain management with or mud, stay in shade during burns) usually after 24 hours Anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin(adults only), middle of the day. ibuprofen) Anesthetic sprays & ointments. Sunburn X ^ Run sunscreen into skin thoroughly 30 minutes prior to ^Blisters: cool wet sterile dressings, do not break. If exposure. broken, treat as open wound. Wash clean, dry, apply antibiotics and dry clean dressing. Wear long pants & long-sleeve Inspect yourself daily. Lyme disease – red Pull off with tweezers. shirt ring-like rash around bite* Wash with soap and water. Tuck cuffs into socks. Apply antiseptic. Tick bites X Inspect yourself daily. ^Treat outer clothes with Permethrin. MB-1 OB-D More: *BSA Fieldbook, Ch. 6, ^EMT
  26. 26. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You thought you had given yourself enough time for the return hike, but suddenly night is overtaking you as you follow your trail back toward camp, which is still a few miles away. The going is slow as you fight your way through dense foliage in the deep canyon. This broken country is nothing but forested canyons separated by bald ridges. Finally, in utter blackness and feeling the onset of a biting chill, you give up and decide to make camp. You have nothing but the clothes you are wearing. How will you make it through the night? A. Camp in the deepest part of the canyon. B. Climb to the ridge top and camp there. C. Climb two-thirds of the way to the ridge top, find some cover and spend the night there. D. Find the densest bunch of trees and hunker down for warmth. More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  27. 27. Why is this important? How to do it?  Surviving long enough to  Find natural cover – caves, beneath the bottom branches of a tree or a rock overhang be rescued can be summed  Make cover - lean-to, ponchos, emergency up as doing all you can to blanket, snow shelters, garbage bag  Not in a low spot (water puddles) help your body maintain  Not next to water (possible flooding) its ideal temperature  Away from fire hazards (fire is priority #4) without using more energy  Away from ants, animal dens, poisonous plants, and sharp rocks than necessary. That  Next to a clearing (visibility) means … shelter – WSMB  Plenty of resources nearby - building materials (frame work, insulation, roofing), water,  Protection from wind, rain, plants, and animals sun, dead limbs, and rock falls Things to consider • Check natural shelters for signs of animals, snakes. • Don’t place food in shelters. MB-8 OB-K1,3 • Don’t build a fire in your shelter, unless it’s well ventilated. • Put signals or signs out; shelters are difficult to see.
  28. 28. MB-8 OB-K3 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  29. 29. MB-8 OB-K3 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  30. 30. MB-8 OB-K3 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  31. 31. MB-8 OB-K3 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  32. 32. MB-8 OB-K3 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  33. 33. Why is this important? How to do it:  Choose a location that’s dry and out of the wind.  Warmth for comfort and  Wet ground / snow - place tinder on a dry surface, a split log! positive mental attitude  Windy - create a fire ring (requires less wood) Don’t build fire in dry creek bed or rain run-off point.  Keeps you in one place   Dig a shallow pit to protect it from the wind. Clear an area at least 4 feet around the pit.  Smoke for signaling  Build a rock wall about 2 feet high in a "C" shape on the pit, to reflect heat back toward shelter.  Heat for purifying water,  Collect enough fuel (3-4x) to last the night - WSMB  Small fires are controllable, larger, smoky fires are sterilizing bandages, more visible.  Heat dry rocks in a fire for boiling water and cooking protection from animals, food.  Bury large, hot rocks inside shelter to keep it warmer. cooking and making tools MB-6 OB-F1
  34. 34. MB-6 OB-F1 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  35. 35. Ingredients Techniques  Tinder - dry material that ignites easily  Flint & steel  Cotton char cloth wax paper  Metal match or “fire striker” and magnesium  Dryer lint dried grasses bar  Cat tail fuzz cotton ball w/Vaseline  Magnifying glass / Fresnel lens  Fungus from birch trees  Bottom of a coke can  Shred inner bark birch or cedar  Ice lens  Camera lens, binoculars, etc.  Insect repellent is flammable   9 volt battery spark…and “0000” steel wool  Kindling - material that can be added to burning tinder  Bow and drill  Small sticks  Hand drill  Pine cones  Fire drill / bow / plow / piston  Pine tree nodules  Glycerin and potassium permanganate (old-  Fuel - burns slowly and steadily once fashioned 1st aid kit items) ignited  Brake fluid and bleach  An ember from last night’s fire! How many ways have you started a fire? MB-6 OB-F2 Make a game of 1 new method on each campout.
  36. 36. MB-6 OB-F2 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  37. 37. Why is this important? How to do it:  Cell phone / know coverage area / extra  Get your rescuer's battery attention  GPS transmitter  “3 in a row” is a universal distress signal – three  Send a message your fires, three piles of rock, three circles in field, … rescuer understands.  Make your fire smoke, build it larger and add green or wet leaves.  Aircraft signals:  Don't yell - it doesn't carry far and is tiring. Whistling carries further and takes less energy.  Rock wings - message  Change terrain features – nature doesn’t have received and understood right angles or straight lines  Right hand circle -  Scratch out a message in sand, dirt, grass, etc.  Signal mirrors reflect sunlight for miles message received, not  Make contrasting colors, shapes, etc. understood  Be creative, use as many ways as possible. MB-7 OB-C1
  38. 38. MB-7C OB-C1 More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  39. 39. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? It’s late August and you want to do some preseason scouting. You’ve heard that some big bucks hide down on the slick rock desert, so you drive way, way out on flat dirt, the road barely visible. Without warning, your truck utters a death rattle from somewhere down in the crankcase. You’ve lost a rod bearing and now you’re stranded in the most remote half-acre of terra firma you’ve ever seen. It’s 105 degrees in the sun and there’s not a hint of shade anywhere—no outcroppings or trees. Luckily, you brought a gallon of drinking water, and you figure that’ll keep you alive for a day and a half. But what do you do as the water slowly disappears? A. Drink the coolant fluid from the truck’s radiator. B. Urinate in the water bottle and let it sit out in the sun to kill any microbes. Then drink what’s left. C. Ration your water to a cup a day to lengthen your survival time and try to follow your tire tracks back. D. Set out signal devices and then crawl under the truck to get out of the sun to minimize body fluid loss. More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  40. 40. Why is this important? How to do it: Clean/Safe Sources Your body loses fluid as a  Rain - collect in a rain fly / emergency blanket.  Dew - collect with a cloth early in the morning  Solar still: result of heat, cold, stress, Other sources need to be treated (next page): and exertion. To function  Lakes, streams, puddles: Water flows downhill, look in low areas.  Ponds and lakes are more polluted; look for the stream effectively, you must that feeds it.  Trickles from cliffs / overhangs  Best sources are fast moving, clear streams with healthy replace the fluid your body plants and animals in and around.  Polluted water can cause severe diarrhea and nausea; both loses. can be deadly in the wilderness.  Sap from maple or edible succulent plants Avoid:  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 aren’t edible  Don’t drink sea water  Cactus pulp - be careful of sickness/vomiting MB-10 OB-C2
  41. 41.  Boiling  Bleach  Requires fire/fuel (5-10  5 drops per quart and shake minute boil)  10-30 min wait  Iodine tabs/Polar Pure  Limited shelf life  Temperature dependent, 30+  Pumps/filters min  Can clog/break – bring spare  Does not kill all pathogens parts  Limited shelf life / tastes bad  Tripod “filters”  Do not use if:  Removes sediment and  allergic to shellfish improve flavor, DOES NOT  take Lithium remove dangerous bacteria /  thyroid problems toxins!  pregnant  small children Better to drink impure water  women over 50 than to dehydrate  liver or kidney disease MB-10 OB-E2
  42. 42. Why is this important? How to do it:  WARNING: do not eat ANY plant or animal unless you are absolutely positive what In most cases the energy it is.  Many poisonous plants look similar to edible plants. Train with an expert. Learn to identify edible and poisonous plants. Learn how to prepare and cook them. you burn in trying to  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 capture an animal and 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. prepare it to be safely  Cattail - young shoots, roots; also seeds (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. eaten would be better used  Dandelion, sunflower, grass seeds  Insects - remove stingers, legs, hard shells, and wings. Look for them in moist shady improving your shelter, areas like in rotting logs and under bark and leaves.  Healthy mammals, birds, insects are edible  Anything you see eaten by rabbits, rodents, beavers, squirrels, raccoons. gathering water... - WSMB  Do not eat things eaten by birds.  Do not eat plants with soapy, bitter, acid, burning taste.  Do not eat plants with milky saps, or that are sickly looking. MB-12 OB-I1
  43. 43. Animals: Plants:  Most flying, crawling, walking or Stay away from unknown plants and: swimming animals can be eaten  Milky or discolored sap  Smaller animals are easier to kill and  Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods prepare  Bitter or soapy taste  Overcome personal bias against foods  Eating bugs, wild animals like  Spines, fine hairs, or thorns raccoons, skunks, road kill  Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage  Animals can attack and inflict injury  "Almond" scent in woody parts and leaves  Reptiles are generally edible  Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black  Don’t eat box turtles, due to their diet spurs of mushrooms  Three-leaved growth pattern  Amphibians are generally edible  Red fruit  Don’t eat frogs with bright colors or a visible X on back Many commercial fruits and vegetables  Don’t eat or even handle toads violate the general rules for identifying poisonous wild plants!  Cook freshwater fish to kill parasites MB-12 OB-I1
  44. 44. Mushrooms: Cook meat and plants:  Don’t eat mushrooms. Eating the smallest piece can result in DEATH!  Kills bacteria  No room to experiment  Kills parasites, diseases  Negligible nutritional value:  You need 54 grams of protein per  Boiling removes some day  1 cup of raw mushrooms = 2 grams toxins from plants  Can affect central nervous system  Easier to digest  Symptoms may show up several days later:  Hot food improves  Too late to reverse effects  For most mushrooms, there are no morale. antidotes MB-12 OB-I1
  45. 45. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You’re casting for trout along a river in northern Montana when a sudden crash in the bushes spins you around and you find yourself face to face with a big grizzly bear. It rears up to full height, bares its teeth and roars. Then it drops to all fours and rushes you. What would you do to survive this encounter? A. Stand as tall as possible, wave your arms and roar back at the bear in an attempt to convince it that you’re a threat to be avoided. B. Lie face-down on the ground, cover your head with your arms and play dead. C. Climb a nearby tree, preferably one that is small enough that it won’t support the weight of the bear. D. Dash across the river, because bears are often afraid of crossing current. More @ NON-BSA SITE:
  46. 46. Black Bear: 15K – 19K, ~ 90% in UP, 10% in northern LP. Cougar: expatriated at turn of last century, unlikely to encounter Coyote: rarely attack humans Gray Wolf: few, endangered, found at Pictured Rocks, Isle Royale,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12205---,00.html Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake – only venomous snake in MI. Found in wetlands and nearby upland woods throughout the lower peninsula. Shy, sluggish, typically avoids confrontation If bit, get to doctor,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12201-32995--,00.html Brown recluse spider – vary rare,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12204-36491--,00.html Northern Black widow spider – toxic venom but small amount Typically runs rather than bites Found in old stumps, hollow logs, under fallen fence posts, in abandoned animal burrows or piles of brush If bit, get to doctor poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac
  47. 47.  Give it a try:  Choose 1 of the 7 survival priorities, e.g. building a fire w/o matches/lighter.  Give a talk and demo (if permissible) at Troop meeting.  On the next campout.  Create a “story”, a.k.a. reason  Make it a patrol competition  Give the winners a token prize  Have fun, discuss what to try next  Repeat!  Or dive right in:  Use the WS “Scenario, Script & Menu” (separate file) on your next campout.  Script includes a realistic scenario, with 3 related WS situations that require teamwork, knowledge of the 7 WS priorities, and stamina to resolve.”  Calibrate intensity to # of participants and experience level.  Teach the rest of the merit badge.
  48. 48. BSA Non-BSA Internet Sites Backpacking Merit Badge, # 35863 Backpacker Magazine, Camping Merit Badge, #35866 The Backwoodsman Magazine, Canoeing Merit Badge, #35867 Outdoor Life Magazine, First Aid Merit Badge, #35897 Hiking Merit Badge, # 35907 Tags Okpik: Cold-Weather Camping, #34040 BSA, “Boy Scouts of America”, “Venturing Crew 1716” Orienteering Merit Badge, # 35925 “Detroit Area Council”, “Clinton Valley Council, Michigan” Wilderness Survival Merit Badge, #35966 Philmont, “Northern Tier” “wilderness survival”, camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing’ Basic Essentials Series “3 aims of scouting”, character, fitness, citizenship Knots for the Outdoors, ISBN 0-7627-0428-4 Map and Compass, ISBN 0-7627-0481-0 Weather Forecasting, ISBN 0-7627-0478-0 Wilderness First Aid, ISBN 0-7627-0477-2 First Aid Wilderness First Aid, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005 Food Feasting Free on Wild Edibles, Bradford Angier, 1972 General How to Stay Alive in the Woods, Bradford Angier, 2001 Keller’s Outdoor Survival Guide, William Keller, 2001 Outdoor Leadership, John Graham, ISBN 0-89886-502-6 Outdoor Safety and Survival, Paul H. Risk, 1983 Participating in Nature, 5th Ed Thomas J. Elpel, 2002 US Army Survival Manual , FM 21-76 Wildwood Wisdom, Ellsworth Jaeger, 1945 Navigation The Essential Wilderness Navigator, Seidman, ISBN 0-07-056323-3