Feb 23, 2014

Using Milkweed Ovum with Flint & Steel

"Although I had lost my rifle and all my plunder, I felt quite rich when I found my knife, flint and steel in my shot pouch, These little fixins make a man feel right peart when he is three or four hundred miles from anybody or any place."
Hugh Glass

The story of Hugh Glass getting mauled by a bear and left for dead is one of my favorites from the fur trade era.      The Story of Hugh Glass

 I've always wondered how he made fire without any charred material to catch the spark from his flint and steel. He may have used Milkweed ovum's, and while it's not quite as easy to catch a spark with an ovum as it is with charred material it can be accomplished with a little more perseverance.

Milkweed ovum's still in the pod and once harvested.

  The tinder bundle was made from the inner bark from a Poplar tree.
 I worked the bark over my haversack to try and catch the fine "crumbs" that fell off so they could be placed in the center where the ember would  be placed.

My mini flint and steel set next to the nest.
 The ovum gets torn in half and placed with the torn end at the edge of the flint where the steel will strike.

The ovum after catching the spark, I wasn't counting but it probably took me 10 to 15 strikes to get a spark to land just right.
 Placing the charring ovum in the prepared tinder bundle.
 After about 30 seconds of blowing and waving it the smoke picked up.
 And this is what it's all about.

Stay safe 

Feb 16, 2014

The Rules Of Three: Food

Priority #4

Three weeks without food

Last but not least is the ability to acquire food. Whether that being hunting, trapping or butchering methods or storing food(or seeds for gardening) for emergencies. There are many excellent references out there and you have to do your own research to find which will work best for you.
One thing to take into account is that when hungry your judgment can get cloudy causing you to make mistakes that can jeopardize your well being.
Another thing to mention is that sleep is necessary along with a positive attitude to make the right decisions and to think on your feet as the priorities can change depending on the circumstances.

In conclusion I can't even begin to touch this subject, there are no givens and the ability to think on your feet and make sound logical decisions will take you far.

One time a piece of machinery broke at the farm and my wife finally became annoyed at how long it was taking for the repair. She asked " Do you know what your doing" My reply was " Hell no, I just make it up as I go".
 And that's what you'll have to do.

In my opinion two of the best references I've read covering these subjects are 98.6 Degrees and When All Hell Breaks Loose both by Cody Lundin.

Stay safe

The Rules of Three: Water

Priority #3

Three days without water.

 So now we've taken care of any medical issues and found a way to maintain our body temperature now we need water.

 More or less we are made of 60 to 70% water and that balance has to be maintained to avoid dehydration. Making sure you have access to water either as a supply or methods of accessing and purifying, filtering or distillation are essential.
Dehydration also plays a part in how efficient your body maintains it's temperature either staying warm or keeping cool as well as the function of your body.
 I've seen a reference that 2% loss of water in the body can impede judgment by 25% and the effects spiral down from there. That coupled with the fact that the majority of people are dehydrated as it is can put us in a predicament depending on the temperature sooner rather than later.

Stay safe

Feb 15, 2014

The Rules of Three: Shelter

Priority #2

-Three hours without shelter.

  Maintaining your core body temperature of 98.6 degrees more or less is of the utmost importance. In my opinion understanding how body heat is lost or gained in it's most rudimentary form is crucial so that it can be controlled(as best as you can) rather quickly.

-Conduction: Heat transferred (either lost or gained) when in direct contact with another object of differing temperature.
In the barn in the winter if you watch the cats they avoid the cold concrete like the plague. When they stop or sit it will be on anything other than the floor so that they are insulated from it to minimize their heat loss through conduction. In contrast our dog in the summertime will flop down on his side and take full advantage of the cool concrete trying to conducting heat into the floor to cool down.

-Convection: Heat transferred (either lost or gained) by currents of air or water. Staying out of the wind will conserve body heat. Whether that be shelter or wearing wind proof clothing or improvised articles of clothing, garbage bag, poncho etc. In contrast a gap in the mountains will provide a cool breeze as the cooler air sinks and flows to the bottom.

-Radiation: The heat coming from your body is a form of radiation, insulating layers of clothing, shelter or reflective (space blankets) to reduce your heat loss. Also using the radiation from a fire or the sun to your advantage when it is cold or avoiding it is hot. An interesting not is that when the temperature was in the single digits recently our darker colored cows would stand out of the wind(convection) and in the sun(radiation) and their hide felt warm to the touch as opposed to the lighter colored cows. The color of your clothing can be used to your advantage to gain radiative heat or reflective to avoid it.

-Perspiration/evaporative cooling can be used to your advantage to stay cool and avoiding perspiring or getting wet when it is cold.

-Respiration : Heat loss can be manipulated to a lesser degree by breathing warm air though an article of clothing or keeping your face covered.

Stay safe

Feb 9, 2014

The Rules of Three: Air

Priority #1
Three minutes without air.

  Any condition or circumstance that is IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) will have to be taken care of first.
If you or someone around you is in the middle of some type of medical crises or any type of IDLH situation this would be a priority. If your the one not breathing though you probably won't have worry about the rest of the rules.
   I carry a simple first aid kit in my vehicle and one in my pack when I'm out but you can improvise. Even more important get some type of first aid/CPR training, a little knowledge can go a long way. Think about situations before they happen and ways you can improvise items around you to get things under control so to speak.

I'm in no position to give any type of first aid advice but here is good article on The ABC's of Trauma By Dr. Mountaintop

Stay Safe

The Rules of Three

    A couple of weekends ago I had a Hazmat refresher class and one of the instructors and I got into a conversation about survival and the importance of  the rules of three came up. Now most people never give it a thought but it reminds me of the quote from Alfred Montepert
"Natures laws are the invisible government of the earth".
You can't escape them, the priorities may change a little depending on the circumstances but they do and will apply whether you want them to or not.

I don't know who first came up with the idea of The Rules but I first heard it from the late wilderness skills instructor Dr. Ron Hood. After I left the class and since then I've been thinking about this and how it applies to what I carry and it is in my opinion the simplest way to set your priorities in a compromised (or not so compromised) situation. It's really so easy a caveman really did do it.

The rules are as follows:
-Three minutes without air.
-Three hours without shelter.
-Three days without water.
-Three weeks without food.

In further writings I will be delving further into each of the rules for my benefit and hopefully it helps someone else out.

Stay safe