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Tips for surviving a wild animal encounter

It’s a situation you never want to find yourself in. You’re on vacation, peacefully enjoying the planet’s natural wonders and then – out of nowhere – a wild creature attacks.

While these encounters are usually very rare, Kyle Patterson, spokeswoman at Rocky Mountain National Park, say it’s because people aren’t aware of their surroundings or don’t use common sense.

“Any wildlife can be unpredictable,” she said. “Sometimes you see a visitor who sees an animal and think, ‘they’re close to the road, I’ll just get out and a take a picture.’ This isn’t a zoo where it is fenced off.”

Every animal responds differently to human interaction, but a general rule of thumb for any wildlife encounter is be prepared and look for signs.

“If the animal is reacting to you, you’re too close. All wildlife will give you a sign.  Some species will put their ears back.  Some will scrape their paws.  Some will give verbal cues,” said Patterson.

In order to help you, we’ve come up with a list of tips for surviving all kinds of animal encounters, from bison to sharks.

Even with this list handy, remember that it is illegal to approach wildlife at the national parks and no matter how prepared you are, expect the unexpected.

1. Bear

North America’s recent rash of bear attacks should be inspiration enough to want to know how to survive a mauling. At least six people in five states have been mauled by black and brown bears recently. There was the Alaskan hunter who was attacked on Saturday, the hikers in Yellowstone National Park who were attacked by a grizzly last Thursday and 12-year-old Abigail Wetherell who was mauled by a black bear on the very same day, while out on an evening jog in northern Michigan.

“These are two species that you shouldn’t never run from: Black bear or mountain lion,” said Patterson. “You should make yourself big, as much as you can.  Whether it’s taking your jacket and putting it over your head, or picking up sticks or just waving your arms, you need to fight back.”

Here’s a list of bear attack survival tips from Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources:

1.) If you see a bear that is far away or doesn’t see you turn around and go back, or circle far around. Don’t disturb it.

2.) If you see a bear that is close or it does see you STAY CALM. Attacks are rare. Bears may approach or stand on their hind legs to get a better look at you. These are curious, not aggressive, bears. BE HUMAN. Stand tall, wave your arms, and speak in a loud and low voice. DO NOT RUN! Stand your ground or back away slowly and diagonally. If the bear follows, STOP.

3.) If a bear is charging almost all charges are “bluff charges”. DO NOT RUN! Olympic sprinters cannot outrun a bear and running may trigger an instinctive reaction to “chase”. Do not try to climb a tree unless it is literally right next to you and you can quickly get at least 30 feet up. STAND YOUR GROUND. Wave your arms and speak in a loud low voice. Many times charging bears have come within a few feet of a person and then veered off at the last second.

4.) If a bear approaches your campsite aggressively chase it away. Make noise with pots and pans, throw rocks, and if needed, hit the bear. Do not let the bear get any food.

5.) If you have surprised a bear and are contacted or attacked and making noise or struggling has not discouraged an attack, play dead. Curl up in a ball with your hands laced behind your neck. The fetal position protects your vital organs. Lie still and be silent. Surprised bears usually stop attacking once you are no longer a threat (i.e. “dead”).

6.) If you have been stalked by a bear, a bear is approaching your campsite, or an attack is continuing long after you have ceased struggling, fight back! Predatory bears are often young bears that can be successfully intimidated or chased away. Use a stick, rocks or your hands and feet.

2. Elk

Migrating elk are known to take over towns, especially this time of year. For example, Estes Park, a popular resort town in the Rocky Mountains hosts nearly 2,000 elk for the summer months, and much of the year. With a population of only 5,858 inhabitants, the town is literally overrun by elk.

Rocky Mountain National Park also has a large population of elk.  Patterson said the dangerous times are in the spring, when they’re protective of their calves, and the fall mating season, known as the rut. “Sometimes the bulls can be very aggressive,” she said. “During the rut, elk are in big groups.  You want to make sure you’re not in between  the aggressive bull elk and the focus of his attention.”

That’s why the park takes preventative measures such as closing meadows and sending out teams of volunteers to patrol.

Here are some tips from The Payson Roundup, a small paper that covers Rim Country in central Arizona, an area that has had its fair share of elk invasions.

1.) Always keep a safe distance and if driving, stay in your car.

2.) Never approach a baby calf; they are not abandoned even if the cow is not in sight. The cow is close by or very likely has gone to water and will return. The maternal instinct could produce an aggressive behavior if something might come between her and her calf, so play it safe.

3.) Elks travel in the reduced light of early morning or late afternoon — so if you want to avoid an elk, don’t go out during dawn or dusk.

3. Bison

Bison are the largest indigenous land mammal in North America. The bulls can often weigh as much as one ton. Not only are they huge, bison are fast. They can quickly accelerate to speeds up to 35 mph. So if they look majestic and docile out on that plain, just remember bison are beasts and they are much faster than you.

If you encounter a bison, here are some tips from Canada’s National Park Service:

1.) If you encounter bison along the roadway, drive slowly and they will eventually move. Do not honk, become impatient or proceed too quickly. Bison attacks on vehicles are rare, but can happen. Bison may spook if you get out of your vehicle. Therefore, remain inside or stay very close.

2.) If you are on foot or horseback: Never startle bison. Always let them know you are there. Never try to chase or scare bison away. It is best to just cautiously walk away. Always try to stay a minimum of 100 meters (approximately the size of a football field) from the bison.

3.) Please take extra caution as bison may be more aggressive: During the rutting season (mid July-mid August) as bulls can become more aggressive during this time. After bison cows have calved. Moms may be a little over-protective during this time. When cycling near bison, as cyclists often startle unknowing herds. When hiking with pets. Dogs may provoke a bison attack and should be kept on a leash. On hot spring days when bison have heavy winter coats.

4.) Use extreme caution if they display any of the following signs: Shaking the head. Pawing. Short charges or running toward you. Loud snorting. Raising the tail.

4. Mountain Lion

Attacks from mountain lions are very rare, Patterson said, and they’re going to prey on elk and deer–not humans.

But she said the danger arises when people hike alone or families with children let the kids run ahead and make noises.

“If a child is running along a trail they can mimic prey,” she said.  This is why they tell visitors to ‘”make like a sandwich” when walking along the trails.

“Families and adults should think like a sandwich and the parents should be like a piece of bread and the children should be the filling.  Have an adult should be leading the pack and should be in the back.”

Here is a list of tips for a mountain lion encounter from the conservation advocacy group, The Cougar Fund:

1.) Be especially alert when recreating at dawn or dusk, which are peak times for cougar activity.

2.) Consider recreating with others. When in groups, you are less likely to surprise a lion. If alone, consider carrying bear spray or attaching a bell to yourself or your backpack. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. In general cougars are shy and will rarely approach noise or other human activities.

3.) Supervise children and pets. Keep them close to you. Teach children about cougars and how to recreate responsibly. Instruct them about how to behave in the event of an encounter.

4.) If you come into contact with a cougar that does not run away, stay calm, stand your ground and don’t back down! Back away slowly if possible and safe to do so. Pick up children, but DO NOT BEND DOWN, TURN YOUR BACK, OR RUN. Running triggers an innate predatory response in cougars which could lead to an attack.

5.) Raise your voice and speak firmly. Raise your arms to make yourself look larger, clap your hands, and throw something you might have in your hands, like a water bottle. Again, do not bend over to pick up a stone off the ground. This action may trigger a pounce response in a cougar.

6.) If in the very unusual event that a lion attacks you, fight back. People have successfully fought off lions with rocks and sticks. Try to remain standing and get up if you fall to the ground.

7.) If you believe an encounter to be a valid public safety concern, contact your state game agency and any local wildlife organizations.

5. Shark

While shark sightings are on the rise, shark attacks are still relatively rare. Last year only seven people were killed in shark attacks. Although, in 2011, the number of shark-related deaths was 13. On the off chance you come face to face with Jaws, you should be prepared.

Here are some shark encounter survival tips from Discovery’s Alexander Davies:

1.) Don’t panic. If you find yourself face to face with a shark, you’re going to need your wits about you to get away with your life. So keep calm; remember that while sharks are deadly animals, they’re not invincible. Thrashing and flailing is more likely to gain its attention than to drive it away.

2.) Play dead. If you see a shark approaching, this is a last ditch effort to stave off an attack. A shark is more likely to go after a lively target than an immobile one. But once Jaws goes in for the kill, it’s time to fight — he’ll be as happy to eat you dead as alive. From here on out, you’ll have to fight if you want to survive.

3.) Fight back. Once a shark takes hold, the only way you’re getting out alive is to prove that it’s not worth the effort to eat you — because you’re going to cause it pain. Look for a weapon: You’ll probably have to improvise. But any blunt object — a camera, nearby floating wood — will make you a more formidable opponent. Often repeated advice has it that a good punch to a shark’s snout will send it packing. In fact, the nose is just one of several weak points to aim for. A shark’s head is mostly cartilage, so the gills and eyes are also vulnerable.

4.) Fight smart. Unless you’re Rocky Balboa, you’re not going to knock out a shark with a single punch. Not only will a huge swing slow down in the water due to drag, it’s unlikely to hit a rapidly moving target. Stick with short, direct jabs, so you increase your chances of landing a few in quick succession.

5.) Play defense. Open water, where a shark can come at you from any angle, is the worst position place you can be. Get anything you can to back up against, ideally a reef or a jetty. If there are two of you, line up back to back, so you’ll always have eyes on an approaching attack. Don’t worry about limiting your escape routes- you won’t out swim a shark, better to improve your chances of sending him away.

6.) Call for backup. Call out to nearby boats, swimmers and anyone on shore for help. Even if they can’t reach you right away, they’ll know you’re in trouble, and will be there to help if you suffer some injuries but escape the worst fate.  Who knows, maybe a group of sympathetic dolphins will help you out – they’re fierce animals in their own right.

7.) Fight to the end. Giving up won’t make a shark less interested in eating you, so fight as long as you can. If the animal has a hold on you, he’s unlikely to let go. You have to show him you’re not worth the effort to eat.

6. Stingray

While stingray attacks are not usually deadly, they are painful and warrant close medical attention. With a recent stingray invasion along the Alabama coast, now is an important time to learn about the barb-tailed sea creature. The animals often bury themselves in shallow water, so even if you are just wading in the ocean, you are still at risk of being stung.

Here are some tips from Jake Howard, a lifeguard at Seal Beach, Calif. on how to handle a stingray encounter:

1.) Always shuffle your feet when walking out to the surf, sting rays are shy and skitish creatures and will generally flutter away at the first sign of danger. The sting is a self-defense mechanism when they get stepped on or threatened. The Sting Ray Shuffle is your first line of defense.

2.) If you do feel something soft and squishy under your foot step off of it as quick as possible. I stepped on a sting ray last weekend, but got off it in time that it didn’t get me…Step lightly in other words.

3.) In the case that you do get stung come to the beach as quick as possible, don’t panic because it will only increase your circulation, thus aiding in the movement of the toxin through your body. Also you want to try and limit anything that may bring on symptoms of shock.

4.) Go home, or to the nearest lifeguard or fire station to treat it. The wound can vary in pain. I’ve had a woman compare it to child birth and seen full-on tattooed gang bangers cry like little sissys, conversly I’ve seen little girls walk away with relatively little discomfort. Either way it’s not going to be fun. Pretty much the only real thing you can do for the pain is soak the sting in hot water, as hot as you can stand, but don’t go burnin’ yourself. You can also take Advil or something, but no asprin. Asprin thins the blood and allows the toxin to travel easier.

5.) Soak the foot until it feels significantly better. The pain probably won’t go completely away, but it should feel dramatically better. A little swelling is normal. Be sure to clean the wound as best as possible. If it looks like the sting ray barb is still in your foot see a doctor for treatment. Actually if anything weird at all goes on go see a doctor.

First published on http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/08/22/tips-for-surviving-wild-animal-encounter.html

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A Few Hard-Learned Lessons- Part 2, by Grey Woman

I am continuing to share some of my hard-learned lessons as a single woman who moved out into the country. My story and lessons that follow, provided in no particular order, might save you money, time, injury, and humiliation as you make this journey towards self-sufficiency and preparedness. Yesterday, the lessons were on chainsaw, firewood, and wood stoves. Bears, Birds and Bullets One part of moving out of the suburbs and into “the country” that I was really excited about was being more in touch with nature, especially birds. I have always loved watching wild birds and hearing them sing …

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90 Days part two

What you have to look forward to in a collapse situation:
Black Friday madness reveals animalistic behavior of modern people
Multiply this x everywhere!

I left off in Part 1 talking about mapping software.  There is other software out there but this is what I use. This software will let me print my maps as well. Use your mapping software to plan the locations of your caches as well as your AO of relocation for the 90 days.

Include a good field guide to edible plants, with actual photos rather than drawings. Get one with plants native to your geographical area. Don’t leave a path of destruction behind you, leave some to re-populate the area. Outdoor Life has a good book on edible plants titled: Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide.

Learn and practice Bushcraft skills. If you lose your main pack, these can sustain you until you retrieve your next cache. Keep your maps and compass upon your person, as well as your GPS if you use one. Store your map in a Gallon size Ziploc bag. Have a “Survival” kit that never leaves your person except to sleep, and is then kept by or under your pillow (a rolled up M-65 field jacket) and tethered to your belt. Learn to identify at least 10 wild edible plants.

The minimum for your “Survival” kit is the means to: Start a fire – matches, firesteel or butane lighter (3 methods is great), medium folding knife (suggest Buck 110) and small knife sharpener, water purification tablets or Frontier Straw, ziplock bag or soda bottle – to carry water, Mylar space blanket (x2) – shelter and warmth, 20 feet of Duct tape, and bug repellant.

A deck of Wild Edible Plant Playing Cards would be a great addition also. Currently available on Amazon, Camping Survival , US games Systems, Inc.  and others. Do a web search and find even more links at a variety of prices.

Many hikers advocate traveling with a minimalist pack, using ultralight equipment. This would allow you to move quickly if pursued. A light pack also means sacrificing comfort, so there is a need to balance utility with ease. You don’t want to make the experience any worse than it is. If you can afford it, get the U.S. Army surplus bivvy cover (or the the complete sleeping setup). They can be purchased for a reasonable price and are made from Gore-Tex (no relation to Al Gore thankfully) a waterproof breathable fabric. I have heard claims that you can sleep in a mud puddle without getting wet using one. This would eliminate the need to carry a tent, just bring a 6’x8′ or 8’x10′ tarp to cover your gear and make a small shelter when you are not in your bivvy. Don’t forget bug repellant and mosquito netting for the warmer months.

When traveling the backwoods, it is prudent to be prepared for an encounter with bears. This means cooking and eating away from where you will be sleeping. There are specific containers that are made for storing your food in when traveling in bear country. Whether you use one or not is your personal choice, but be prepared to suspend your food in a heavy contractors trash bag from a tree limb more than ten feet off the ground. Other pesky critters might make a try for your food so be prepared to trap them and add them to your food supply. Bring several snares or 220 Conibears to catch them.

Encountering a bear on the trail, or worse yet, in your camp can be a very scary and dangerous experience. Purchase at least two canisters of bear spray for each person, hanging one from your pack straps when hiking, and have a holster to hold the canister when you are moving about camp or foraging for food or firewood.

One such supplier of pepper spray and bear spray is Buy Pepper Spray Today. They have other self defense items for sale also, such as stun guns, batons and kubotans.

It would be advisable to have a powerful handgun also if you are traversing known bear territory. The smallest caliber I would personally carry would be a .357 Mag with hot loads. A .40 caliber or larger weapon would be better yet. No handgun? Then a shotgun with slugs and 00 buckshot alternated in the magazine.

A newer development that I have been following is the Mexican drug cartels are moving into the wilderness areas closer to their markets and setting up shop growing weed for the surrounding areas. There have been several record busts in Washington and Oregon of late.

This creates a twofold problem. If you are looking to setup caches, you may run into the cartel operations or the DEA out looking for them. Neither one is a good encounter.

By: Selous Scout

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THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF MOTHER NATURE (I): HOW TO TELL APART POISONOUS AND VENOMOUS ANIMALS

poisonous

Nature is continuously evolving. Everything around you / me / us is evolving as well. In order to adapt themselves to the environment as good as possible, living things succumbed to the natural order of things. Most organisms today are far from what their ancestors used to be thousands, even millions of years ago. The morphological and structural changes in a living cell happen, when in order to survive, it needs to change itself, to adapt, and (on a larger scale) to ensure the survival of the species. Some even develop the ability to hurt, kill or repulse dangerous factors or potential pray by means of poison or venom (mostly neurotoxins).

I’m sure that most of you, like me, have heard many-a-time while growing up (but not only): DON’T TOUCH THAT! DON’T EAT IT! KEEP AWAY FROM THIS OR THAT! IT WILL: BITE / STING / SCRATCH / POISON / YOU! Many of you (again, like a younger, more naive me) were at some point or another about to commit an act out of ignorance that could have had dire consequences. When outdoors, it’s most important to know what you’re dealing with and what’s about to deal with you. Because sometimes your existence may depend on it.

First thing’s first: what’s POISONOUS and what’s VENOMOUS? That which injects venom in its prey or aggressor through special mechanisms (fangs, stingers etc.) is VENOMOUS. What is going to poison you if you eat it (the blow-fish, the golden poison frog etc.) is POISONOUS.

Most dangerous plants and animals show signs that “they’re packing heat”. In nature, strong bright colors mean KEEP AWAY. The brighter the color, the bigger the danger. Although, in some cases, harmless beings will mimic the patterns or colors as a defense mechanism, without having the ability to secrete deadly substances. The hornet moth (Sesia apiformis) mimics the appearance of hornets, making them look menacing despite the fact that their lack of venomous glands or stingers makes them completely harmless.

Hornet moth (Sesia apiformis) Hornet moth (Sesia apiformis)

Let’s have a look at various representatives of the Animalia regnum and, by comparison, determine what’s to be feared and what’s not.

SPIDERS

Spiders have gained the reputation of being biters, and with good reason. For humans, the venom effect from most species can be painful, can cause infection-related complications, and in other cases can be lethal. They inject the poison via fangs called chelicerae that are connected to venomous glands located in the mandible.

The European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) is one of the most common spiders in Europe and North America. He is potentially dangerous for human beings, but never lethal under normal conditions. He’s easily identifiable by a pattern resembling a large cross on his back (abdomen). They’re specialized in spinning orb-webs (circular web patterns).

The European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) The European garden spider (Araneus diadematus)

The jumping spider of North America (Phidippus audax) is a non-venomous spider. Despite having strong, brightly-colored chelicerae, they do not possess venomous sacks. They are easily recognizable by their bright colored pattern of spots and stripes on the abdomen, contrasting with the overall color, black. They can jump over 50 times their own body length. But don’t worry, the best they can do is scare you out of their territory.

The jumping spider of North America (Phidippus audax) The jumping spider of North America (Phidippus audax)

Recently determined in 2010 as the world’s most venomous spider, the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer) is the most dangerous representative of the Araneae order. It can grow to have a leg spam of maximum 15 cm and body length of 48 mm. Be on the lookout for this cream-colored spider, with several rows of black or red dots on the underside of the abdomen, contrasting mid segments and lighter joints. His defensive posture consists in raising his frontal legs in the air. Do not approach this spider in any way; his bite is 100% lethal!

The Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer) The Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer)

SNAKES

Snakes are reptilians (order Reptilia, suborder Ophidia) that have lost their limbs throughout the evolutionary course. They have adapted to crawling on the surface thanks to special muscles found on their ventral side, protected by scaly plaques. They are easily identified thanks to their scaly bodies, hissing sounds, and limbless bodies. They too have the reputation of being nasty biters. The snakes with long fangs have the ability to fold them back in their mouth, thanks to hinge-like structures. This prevents the fangs of getting in the way of feeding or crawling. The venom is released from venom sacks that are located in the head, behind the eyes. While most snakes are potentially deadly to humans , some are not.

The rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus) is a small, harmless snake, that doesn’t poses venom glands. Despite his bright greenish color, it has no real biochemical weapon in his arsenal, their diet consisting mostly in small prey (invertebrates and insects). It can grow to up to 1.7m. It’s easily distinguishable because of the bright green scales and bright yellow sideline, running all the way from the sides of his head to his tail.

Rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus) Rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus)

The Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepydotus) is the most venomous snake known to man (so far). A single spray can release 110mg of venom. The neurotoxin complex found in this quantity is sufficient to kill 100 people. Its usual length is 1.8 meters, and the color pattern varies from dark brown (on his head) to a litter brown, towards the tail. These snakes are not aggressive, with 0 human casualties on record so far. However, all form of contact with these snakes is strongly unadvised.

poisonous7 Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepydotus)

Just because a snake isn’t venomous, doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous. The members of thePythonidae family lack venomous glands, but are still predators. They have adapted to the predatory life by overcompensating and developing stronger than average muscles. They are big snakes, able to ingurgitate voluminous animals. They kill by constriction, wrapping themselves around the pray and strangulating it. The python (Python molurus molurus) is the most representative species, easily recognizable by his size (3 – 4m on average). He is fully covered in a mosaic-like pattern.

poisonous8 The python (Python molurus molurus)

FROGS

To some it may come as a surprise to find frogs amongst some of the deadliest creatures known to men. I can assure you, they’re place in the spot-light is well deserved. While most of these tiny amphibians pose little to no threat to human kind, some of them are more than enough to kill a human ten times over.

Many rumors and myths have circled throughout history around frogs like the Yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata), whose scaly and rough skin have classified it in popular culture as an ill omen and bringer of skin afflictions (warts etc.). Despite his monstrous appearance, this creature poses 0 threats to humans. Feel free to kiss away as many toads as you like. You’ll get no prince charming, true. But neither will you get incurable skin diseases!

poisonous9 Yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata)

Kissing a golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis) however, may result in grave consequences. This tiny member of the Anura order is highly toxic even to the slightest touch. His bright yellow (even green or orange, according to specie) outer coating is a pertinent signal for what’s underneath his epidermis: thousands of glands that secrete (as a defense mechanism) one of the most potent natural toxins ever discovered (LD50). 1mg is more than enough to easily kill 20 – 25 humans. The Embera tribe (Colombia) captured and restrain these frogs in order to deep their hunting arrows in their skin, making them more efficient. The poison can maintain its deadly effect for up to 2.5 years on the arrow’s tip.

poisonous10 The golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis)

FISH

The first thing to come to mind related to underwater predators is most likely sharp teeth and strong jaws able to tare ones limbs apart. But there are plenty of fish in the sea. And with numbers, comes diversity.

If you happen to stumble across a Red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa) and you get stung by one of its dorsal spines, it could very well be the last thing you’ll ever do. They pack a strong poison capable of rapidly afflicting vital organs. It can result in swelling, fever, vomiting, delirium, fainting and cardiac or respiratory collapse.

poisonous11 Red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa)

The Australian bull ray (Mylliobatis australis) is the stingray responsible for one the most covered deaths in modern culture, as in early September 2006 was claiming the life of nature-nut and animal enthusiast, Steve Irwin. Its tail packs a needle capable of injecting a potent toxin that can result in immediate paralysis and death due to heart failure. The patterns on its dorsal side may vary from grey to light beige (with or without patterns), while is ventral side is almost always white.

poisonous12 The Australian bull ray (Mylliobatis australis)

Although most jellyfish are nothing more than gentle roamers of the seas, not to be feared in way, encountering the wrong type and not being able to recognize it may prove fatal. Some jellyfish feed with the help of tentacles cover in thousands of micro-stingers, paralyzing and killing most of the living organism that happen to pass through their deadly wail. The Box jellyfish a.k.a. the Sea Wasp (Carukia Barnesi) has more than enough potency in its sting to put down even the strongest people.

poisonous13 The Box jellyfish a.k.a. the Sea Wasp (Carukia Barnesi)

When it comes to nature’s children, some will hurt, some will not. Some will scare, some will kill. Know the difference! It’s the only thing standing between you and natural selection.

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Living Outdoors Can and Will Hurt You.

Following some simple rules can save your life.

In an emergency survival situation the very first priority is clean drinking water. One can impractically, but survive for weeks without food, but 3 days in a warm climate is just about the human body’s limit without water. When collecting water in your environment always assume the water is NOT drinkable until either, boiled, filtered, or chemically treated. Here’s a small list of just some of the water borne diseases and pathogens you can contract by drinking untreated water. The best course of action is to  always choose caution and avoiding health concerns.   Avoid contracting the disease in the first place.

 Water Borne Diseases

water

Adenovirus Infection (Adenoviridae virus)

  • Vary depending on which part of the body is infected
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Incubation 5-8 days

water-2

Amebiasis (Entamoeba histolytica parasite)

  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, and stomach cramping
  • Fecal matter of an infected person (usually ingested from a pool or an infected water supply)
  • Incubation 2 to 4 weeks

water3

Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter jejuni bacteria)

  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, and stomach cramping
  • Chicken, unpasteurized milk, water
  • Incubation 2 to 10 days

Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidiumparasite)

  • Stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, weight loss
  • Fecal matter of an infected person (can survive for days in chlorinated pools)
  • Incubation 2 to 10 days

Cholera (Vibrio choleraebacteria)

  • Watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps
  • Contaminated drinking water, rivers and coastal waters
  • Incubation 2 hours to 5 days

E. Coli 0157:H7 (Escherichia colibacteria)

  • Diarrhea (may be bloody), abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, HUS
  • Undercooked ground beef, imported cheeses, unpasteurized milk or juice, cider, alfalfa sprouts
  • Incubation 1 to 8 days

Giardiasis (Giardia lambliaparasite)

  • Diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, and upset stomach or nausea
  • Swallowing recreational water contaminated with Giardia
  • Incubation 1 to 2 weeks

Hepatitis A (Hepatitis A virus)

  • Fever, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine, jaundice
  • Ready-to-eat foods, fruit and juice, milk products, shellfish, salads, vegetables, sandwiches, water
  • Incubation 28 days

Legionellosis (Legionella pneumophilabacteria)

  • Fever, chills, pneumonia, anorexia, muscle aches, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Contaminated water
  • Incubation 2-10 days

Salmonellosis (Salmonellabacteria)

  • Abdominal pain, headache, fever, nausea, diarrhea, chills, cramps
  • Poultry, eggs, meat, meat products, milk, smoked fish, protein foods, juice
  • Incubation 1-3 days

Vibrio Infection (Vibrio parahaemolyticus,Vibrio vulnificusbacteria)

  • Nausea, vomiting, headache (a quarter of patients experience dysentery-like symptoms)
  • Raw shellfish, oysters
  • Incubation 1 to 7+ days

Viral Gastroenteritis (Calicivirus virus)

  • Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, cramps, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, slight fever
  • Water, ready-to-eat foods (salad, sandwiches, bread) shellfish
  • Incubation 24 to 48 hours

If you don’t want any of these diseases it’s best that you plan for emergencies by having a way to either sterilized or filter your water sources. Boiling water, using a filtering system that removes particles down to .5 microns, or chemically treating water with 3-4 drops of bleach per gallon of water will provide protection. Obviously none of these processes will allow you to drink salt water. The only way to process and sterilize salt water is to distill it. This process through boiling and condensing will both kill any pathogens and remove minerals.

Ok we’ve got water now.

What else can make you sick? Well the answer is more annoying and dangerous than any lion, tiger, or bear. They outnumber us billions to one and they are relentless….Insects

From the annoying buzzing of mosquitoes to the sting of the creepy scorpion. Through out history, insects have been responsible for the collapse of entire societies.

Protections from insects can include a number of solutions.

  • Long sleeve clothing
  • Long pants
  • Hats and Head Nets
  • Netting covering opening in shelters
  • Chemical Sprays (Deet, Paricardin, Eucalyptus, Gamma CyhalothrinSprays)
  • Fire

If you are bitten or stung by any insect. To reduce the possibility of allergic reaction one should either take an antihistamine such as Benadryl or some other brand. If you know you have a severe reaction to stings such as bees or wasps an epipen is definitely something you’re going to want to pack in you bug out.

Fleas

Yersinia pestis:plague

Lice

Lice Infestation

Mosquitos

  • Arboviral Encephalitides
  • Mosquito-transmitted viral diseases causing brain inflammation/encephalitis
  • Eastern equine encephalitis
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • La Crosse encephalitis
  • St. Louis encephalitis
  • West Nile virus
  • Western equine encephalitis
  • dengue fever
  • malaria
  • Rift Valley fever
  • West Nile encephalitis (West Nile virus infection)
  • yellow fever

Ticks

  • babesiosis
  • Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
  • ehrlichiosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Southern tick-associated rash illness
  • tick-borne relapsing fever
  • tularemia

Scorpion

Stings result in numbness or tingling, blurry vision and twitching muscles. For children, hyperactivity and erratic eye movement can manifest.

Spider Bites

Mild stinging, followed by local redness and severe pain that usually develops within eight hours. Necrosis of tissue is common among some species and poisonous spiders. Some spiders such as the Brown Recluse and Black Widow are poisonous and can result in severe illness and/or death. Anti-Venom treatments in some cases may be the only way to survive.

Bee and Wasp Stings

Sharp pain or burning at the sting site. Redness, minor swelling, and itching. Those with severe allergic reactions need medical attention immediately or self-administered epipen treatment (strong antihistamine)

Ants

Sharp pain or burning at the sting site. Redness, minor swelling, and itching. Those with severe allergic reactions need medical attention immediately or strong antihistamine treatments.

Wild Animals, especially the Human kind can harm you and your family

It’s an unfortunate reality that in emergency and survival situations we are sometimes forcibly placed in predicaments that we would have never imagined. Animals have innate instinct to survive by hunting for food. If you are prepared for an emergency and have food, animals will try to take it from you.

Bears

  • They will eat your unprotected food.
  • Do not climb a tree to get away, they are excellent climbers.
  • Pepper Spray or Firearm can/will deter them.
  • Be loud.
  • Do not run away. They will consider you prey.
  • Bears are good to eat.

Mountain Lion

  • They will lay in wait for hours.
  • Make a lot of noise.
  • Firearm can/will deter them.
  • Do not run away. They will consider you prey.
  • Can be eaten for emergency food

Racoons

  • They will steal your food
  • Can’t harm you.
  • Lock down or hang food stores
  • Be loud
  • Can be eaten

Alligators

  • Do not camp right on water sources they frequent
  • Be aware of surrounding
  • If chased, run at 45 degree angle from them.
  • Excellent food source.

Poisonous Snakes

  • Wear long pants and boots if you walking through tall grass.
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Crawling around larger rocks and or logs may upset snakes
  • If bitten:
  • Stay calm. Apply a compression wrap to area.
  • Do not try to suck out venom. This does absolutely nothing. You may end up causing more necrosis of the tissue and at best you’ll remove 1/1000th of the venom injected.
  • Receiving professional medical attention and the proper anti-venom is the best option.
  • If no medical support is available, there really isn’t anything to do but wait. Healthy and strong individuals have a much better chance of survival.
  • Can be eaten

Humans

  • The most dangerous of all animals
  • They will eat your food
  • They will steal everything valuable
  • They will hunt you
  • They will kill you and your family (or worse)
  • In Survival situation trust no one other than family and people you know well.
  • Protect yourself with firearms, pepper spray, knives.
  • Be prepared to pack up and run. (avoidance is the safest option)

When SHTF be Prepared to GO

Be Prepared, Plan for Emergencies, Protect your Loved Ones.

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