Shelter is an important aspect of every outdoor venture or survival situation. Your first layer of shelter is the clothing on your back, this provides you just enough to stay warm and dry for short periods of time. Your second layer of shelter is a stationary structure whether it is a small tent or a full blown log cabin. Knowing how to either aquire or make shelter for you and your family in an emergency is an important skill.
Take shelter in your vehicle if travelling to your family designated meet zone or safe zone. If SHTF it’s best to stay away from urban areas and park or set camp off main roads away from view. Back country roads and crop fields may provide the seclusion needed to avoid possible unwanted human contact. If you’re on foot or traveling with a small group, try to set camp near a secluded water source.
2: Water is Life.
You will need water. The rule is 1 gallon per person per day in warm climates. You and your family can survive on less, but it’s always best to have reserves. You have many options once you find a source of water to treat the water to insure it’s safety and avoid health concerns. If you know the water source is clean such as a well or city storage then it would be safe to assume it is drinkable. If your only option is open water sources, you need to treat the water as unclean until treated.
Safe water treatment options.
Boil water after you have filtered out the large debri. Boiling water will kill any bacteria or protozoa and male the water safer to drink, but will not remove heavy metals or smells. After boiling let the water stand before consuming.
Add 4 drops of bleach per gallon of water and let stand for half an hour stirring occasionally. Then consume. This also will kill bacteria and viruses but not address heavy metals.
Mechanical filtering and carbon filtering will remove all bacteria and viruses. Mechanically treated water can also remove heavy metals, smells and radiation. See SHTFandGO.COM for their line of mechanical filtering systems.
3: Carry a Blade
A blade, machete, hatchet, axe or some other cutting tool is the most important tool to the Bushcrafter. It is as important as the sword to knight. A good Bushcraft blade is sturdy and light and is made from the highest quality materials with the tang running the full length of the knife. With appropriate use, the Bushcrafter can use this blade to give or take life. A Survival Knife is just that, survival. One can clean animals for consumption and make tools for hunting and trapping.
The ability to make fire under almost any condition is essential part of Bushcraft survival. Without Fire modern man is nothing more than a wild animal. There are many techniques to building a fire; a fire drill, smoldering plants and trees, sunlight, striking rock that contains iron such as flint, and of course matches, lighters, and modern fire starting tools. Firecraft in the ability to create, control, and use fire to aid in one’s survival. Another critical skill in Bushcraft is the ability to transport fire, usually by carrying a burning coal around in some type of dry sage grass to keep it smoldering.
5: Rope, Cordage and Knots
The ability to tie or join two or more pieces of natural or man made material is a vital skill for survival. By joining two or more pieces together, you not only increase the strength of the material but also the usability as shelter, a raft, a weapon or a sled. Fishing and trapping are important survival skills and without the ability to tie knots and obtain or create cordage.
6: Hunting and Trapping
Protien and fats are important to sustain nutrition. Hunting and trapping is the pursuit of animals and fish for food. A mastery of many elements in Bushcraft including tracking and ropecraft lead to the ability to hunt for food by use of traps, nets and snares or weapons that stab and cut. The ability to capture and kill animals for food is a essential skill necessary to live in the wild. Once food has be caught and or procured, food storage and treatment is also a skill necessary to store enough food to last harsh winters.
Tracking animals and humans is an important part of Bushcraft survival. Tracks made by humans and animals on the ground, when read correctly, show a pattern of the habits of the animal or human. Once you establish this pattern, you will have the ability to continuously and carefully observe the animal’s movements and patterns. It is important to recognize that animals you find in the forest are as much creatures of habit as human beings. A particular animal you are stalking will follow the same path to and from water each day or to and from a food source. It will hunt and forage in the same area and only leave when it is driven out by an outside force, predator, fire, flood or drought. This pattern forming characteristic of all animals makes it possible for the experienced bushcrafter to predict the animal’s movements, and so he selects the sites for his traps, snares or ambush.
If you are just travelling from an emergency hot spot to your safe zone or to meet family, emergency food stores or food rations will be you best saurce of nutrition while you’re on the go. Once you are settled at a camp or in wild yoi’ll need a source of food.
Have you ever looked at a wild plant or bush, and wondered if you could eat it? For the Bushcrafter, foraging is very important element to survival. All hunters and fisherman know that if it was easy, they would not call it hunting and fishing, they would call it catching. Being able to identify and eat plants without getting sick can make the difference between surviving and not surviving.