Posts Tagged With: doing the stuff for survival

Wilderness Survival: 3 Core Skills to Keep Your Child Alive

by Todd Walker

Two roads diverged in a wood… and your child is lost!

Wilderness Survival: 3 Core Skills to Keep Your Child Alive - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Hiking and camping season is upon us. Families are hitting the trails to enjoy nature and all its benefits. Nature is neither for you or against you. Nature is neutral. But Mother Nature can also be brutal. Any survival instructor that says otherwise is delusional.

Over the past two years, my 9 year-old grandson and I have spent time together learning survival and self-reliance skills. When he visits now, he usually asks if we can build a fire. The thermometer reading in Georgia matters not, he wants to burn stuff.

Leadership equals influence. Influencing your child to get outside is often easier achieved by you Doing the Stuff. Share your knowledge, demonstrate the skills, and let your child imitate the skills until they become proficient. If your child knows nothing else about survival, the following will keep him alive if ever lost in the backcountry.

3 Core Survival Skills

What is survival? It may be easier defined by stating what survival is not.

Survival isn’t wilderness living, camping, foraging, or bushcraft. Your child won’t have to carve a spoon, make a survival bow, know 21 edible plants, or build an elaborate shelter to stay alive in the unfortunate event he is ever lost in the woods. It’s highly probable that search and rescue will find him before the weekend is over.

Survival is any situation where if you don’t take corrective action, you die.

Train your child in three core survival skills…

Shelter – Hydration – Sleep until rescued.

Core Skill #1: Build a Microclimate

Wilderness Survival: 3 Core Skills to Keep Your Child Alive - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Testing the Kochanski Super Shelter

Clothing: The most important piece of the survival puzzle is having the ability to build a microclimate for core temperature control. The first layer of shelter is the clothing your child wears. Dress appropriately for the weather and location. Cotton is a killer in cold weather survival due to its ability to hold moisture against the body. However, it can be a lifesaver in hot weather by exploiting this same property for evaporative cooling.

Tarp/Cover: Beside clothing, go out prepared to use every shelter option available in your kit. A reusable mylar space blanket is my #1 option to build an emergency microclimate. Add a clear 9 x 12 inch plastic painter’s tarp and you have a lightweight, effective cold weather microclimate called the Kochanski Super Shelter. You’ll need to teach your child to collect enough wood to build a fire in front of this shelter for it to be effective through the night.

Insulation Layer: A closed-cell foam ground pad is what I carry when backpacking or camping. This piece of gear offers a barrier from cold ground (conduction) or helps prevent heat loss from convection when laid in the bottom of my hammock. From my experience of hanging and ground camping in a sleeping bag, this insulation layer is essential to creating a microclimate.

Without a commercial ground pad, two contractor trash bags can be used as an insulation layer. Fill both bags with leaves or fluffy stuff so that, when compressed, you have a 4 to 6 inch barrier of insulation. In a pinch, the forest litter filled bags can be used as a makeshift sleeping bag. There are multiple survival uses for plastic bags. Two bags won’t add much weight but multiply your survival chances.

Fire: The main reason I teach fire craft to my 9 year-old grandson is to reinforce its forgiving nature as a survival tool. Yes, even with no other shelter options, fire can keep you alive. We have many articles parked on our Bombproof Fire Craft Page.

Microclimate Preps

  • Clothing
  • Reusable Emergency Space Blanket/Tarp
  • Clear Painter’s Tarp
  • Two Contractor Trash Bags

Core Skill #2: Hydration

Wilderness Survival: 3 Core Skills to Keep Your Child Alive - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Ways to disinfect water

Find and drink enough water to cause urine to be clear. Remember, even if you don’t have a way to disinfect your water, drink it anyway. You want to die from dehydration or have the trots a week later after being rescued hydrated and logical in the wilderness?

The above statement may seem counter to “proper” survival advice. But if you’re not prepared with water treatment gear, drink the water to stay alive. Food should not be a concern for short-term survival. If you have enough calories to consume daily, eat up. Otherwise, fasting is your best choice. Physiologically, our bodies can go several weeks without food with no ill effects.

Be prepared with water disinfection equipment. My preferred method of water disinfection is boiling. You’ll need a metal container and fire. Fire plays such an important role in survival. Without a suitable metal container, use your garbage bag to boil water using the stone boil method. Practice fire craft! I also like the lightweight Sawyer Mini filters. More detailed information on water treatment can be found here.

Plants and trees are also a source of water and need no filtration. Cut a wild grapevine and water will drip into a container. A clear plastic trash bag can be used to get water from leafy, low-hanging tree branches through transpiration. John McCann has a great article on using this method.

Hydration Preps

  • Metal Container
  • Water Filter
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Trash Bag and Hot Stones
  • Transpiration Bag

Core Skill #3: Sleep

Wilderness Survival: 3 Core Skills to Keep Your Child Alive - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Sleep is a survival tool

“The quality of a survival kit is determined by how much it can help you when you need to sleep.  If you can sleep well at night, you have it made.” ~ Mors Kochanski

When camping, I call sleep the number one skill of a good woodsman. But in a true wilderness survival situation, restorative sleep is key to staying alive. If you’re child has learned to build a proper microclimate and learned at least two methods of disinfecting drinking water, then sleeping 8 hours is his next survival skill.

Scared and alone in the wilderness, I always go back to fire. Beside being a great survival tool for shelter and water disinfection, a fire offers phycological comfort. Kind of like a nightlight in the woods. It not only keeps the boogieman at bay, but gives some peace of mind concerning predators.

Your child should sleep at opportune times. Not all eight hours have to be consecutive like we stress when home. An hour here and there adds up.

With sufficient sleep, your child will be better prepared to deal with the stress of survival. Our physiological body needs sleep for rational thought and decision-making. Sleep deprived, we make stupid mistakes. Use every available resource to make a comfortable microclimate for sleeping and shelter from the elements.

Sleep Preps

  • See Microclimate above – Core Temperature Control
  • Fire
  • Practice in the backyard with minimal gear

Your child can beat the odds of surviving by having the knowledge and practiced skills mentioned here. Spend some time rehearsing the plan before he needs the skills. As the Boy Scout’s motto states, “Be Prepared.”

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Doing the Stuff, equipment, Gear, Preparedness, Survival, Survival Skills, Water | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Regular Folk Taking the Doing The Stuff Challenge

by Todd Walker

Inspiration comes from perspiration. Thought I’d share a few of our fellow Sherpa’s projects.

1.) Crunchy Mama shared with me that her son has begun making paracord survival bracelets. He’s a little entrepreneur. I’ve offered to send her a paracord jig that makes creating bracelets very easy. (Sorry, I don’t have permission to post pics yet)

2.) Here’s a look at Caroline Cooper’s homemade medical kit.

medical kit Healthy Household: Homemade Medical Kits

3.) MI Patriot made these tomato ladders. The ladders are painted primary colors and are very functional. DRG and I just took ours down last week, folded them up, and stored them for next season.

Todd's Tomato Ladders in primary colors

Primary colored tomato ladders

4.) One of my new friends on FB, Perky Prepping Gramma, is learning how to reload ammunition. Check her out. She’s a doing the stuff machine!

 

What new skills are you learning?

Let me know and we’ll add them to our growing Doing The Stuff List! You can submit photos to me via email (survivalsherpa at gmail dot com) or send me a link if you have it published on a blog with permission to reprint it here.

The projects should be relevant to general preparedness, self-sufficiency, homesteading, wilderness survival, self-defense/security, wild food foraging, real food, functional fitness, and self-reliance. I’ve never done a contest with prizes on our site but I’m considering it for a Doing the Stuff Challenge.

What do you think? Interested? If there’s enough interest, I’ll get it organized and started. Let me know.

In the mean time,

Keep doing the stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ DRG and I got our daughter and grandson moved into their new place this weekend. Feeling more secure. Met several of her new neighbors. One of her next door neighbors is an old friend of mine! In case you missed it, you can read about her recent break in here.

P.P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page.

Any information on this site may be shared freely, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Categories: Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Real Food, Resilience, Self Defense, Self-reliance | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

“Doing the Stuff” vs Pretending

by Todd Walker

Are you ‘Doing the Stuff?’

Doing-the-Stuff-vs-Pretending

How well do you know your stuff?

To answer, you need to know what ‘Doing the Stuff’ involves. And how it applies to your individual life, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

In a nutshell…

Doing the stuff of self-reliance and preparedness takes action. Non-living things, like a rock or water, do not take action to exist. The matter they are made of will always exist and can’t be destroyed. Living things, on the other hand, have to take self-directed actions to sustain life and survive.

These life-sustaining actions (Doing the Stuff) take practice.

No amount of social media notoriety can replace Doing the Stuff.

The low profile preppers with 17 followers on Twitter may be the SmartestPreppers on the planet. They’re innovative, hard-working, and focused.

Here’s what I mean…

As my online presence grew, I began to be more concerned with twiends, likes, and shoutouts than actually doing the stuff of preparedness. Ego bait is very alluring.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very thankful, humbled actually, to have friends and followers in cyberspace! But in the end, when it really counts, cyber friends can’t physically be here to help me and my family. That’s on me. As it should be.

Four categories of Doing the Stuff are listed below:

  • Physical Stuff
  • Mental Stuff
  • Emotional Stuff
  • Spiritual Stuff

First, let’s cover physical preparedness. Not because it’s the most important. It happens to land first on my list.

The physical stuff of prepping seems to garner the most attention in the preparedness community. Shelter, gear, gadgets, guns, gold, tools, first aid, food, and various shiny objects are all part of being prepared. But make no mistake, all four areas are intertwined on our journey to preparedness.

Doing the Stuff with Your Stuff (gear/tools/equipment)

Get intimate with your physical stuff. This is the part where you have to actually use your stuff. Whether it’s a gun or pressure canner, spending quality time with equipment builds confidence in you and those depending on your ability.

Hanging a hammock seems like a simple task. Connect the ends to two trees. That’s if you have enough strap or rope in your pack. Until you practice with your equipment, it’s not idiot-proof.

Doing The Stuff vs Pretending

Testing DRG’s new hammock and straps in the safety of our backyard.

I bought DRG commercial straps for her hammock instead of my DiY rope system. The straps come with loops along its length which makes it easier for her to connect the hammock carabiners.

Use the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sherpa) method every chance you get. I like using climbing rope to hang my sleep system. The rope adds another layer of redundancy to my kit. But more importantly, this is the method I practice. My tarp and hammock can be hung in under 5 minutes.

Testing in different conditions brings new challenges. Try these exercises:

  • Wear a pair of winter gloves when testing equipment to simulate cold weather survival. Can you tie a simple truckers knot or figure 8 knot with gloves on?
  • Practice with your off-hand to simulate an injury to your strong hand.
  • Visual aides (glasses) won’t always be available. Practice without your readers on. But keep extras in your kits 😉
  • Doing the stuff in the dark. Yeah, we’re human. We know how to do that in the dark! That’s not what I’m referring to. If having the lights on ever becomes a security risk, being intimately familiar with your gear would be a huge advantage.

I hope I never need to employ our stuff to survive a life or death situation. We practice anyway.

Doing the Stuff in Life or Death Scenarios

The effects of stress in survival situations can turn your practiced skills into mush. Under the stress of life or death threats, our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) takes over as a survival mechanism. We know it as the ‘fight or flight’ response.

The SNS takes over and dumps stress hormones which affects our vision (tunnel vision), thought process (brain shuts down), fine motor skill (loss of dexterity), and sends massive amounts of blood to our large muscle groups (to fight or flight).

You get the picture. Fine motor skills are diminished and the gross motor skills are enhanced. Making your plans as simple as possible, and applying the K.I.S.S. method to your gear, allows you to take advantage of this shift if you’re ever faced with life threatening survival.

Doing the Stuff for Your Body

Doing the stuff involves more than just testing and tweaking equipment. Physical conditioning will play an important role in our survival, both now and after a reset.

The most important place to start doing the stuff for functional fitness is in your kitchen.

  • 90% of the cause of chronic health conditions can be found on America’s dinner plate.
  • Be your own health vigilante. Take your health into your own hands. This past year taught us that modern medicine is run by pharmaceutical companies. There’s a chemical soup in pill form for everything – with horrible side effects.
  • Explore holistic health practices based on plant medicine.
  • Eat nutrient dense foods. Avoid processed junk foods.
  • Get regular exercise without being married to the gym. Develop a mindset of functional fitness. Lift heavy things, move slowly every day, and sprint (max capacity) once every 7 to 10 days.

This barely scratches the surface on doing the physical stuff of preparedness. Hopefully it helps you answer my opening question, “Are you Doing the Stuff?” If not, why not?

Preppers are motivated by the thought of losing or not having things (liberty, food, water, shelter, and all those cool shiny objects) that sustain life – even if they’re not scarce now. We stock up. To add even more value to your stuff, start practicing with it.

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

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Categories: Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , | 26 Comments

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