Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

By: Sebastian Berry


DISCLAIMER: Fire is hot. As such it can burn you. It can also burn down your house. Don't be dumb and burn yourself or burn down your house. Also all pictures and video after this point are credited to the author.

Friends, in my never ending quest for survival skills and knowledge. One of my favorite things to learn and teach about is fire building. There is almost nothing more satisfying in the family survival situation than being able to produce fire. I can only imagine how cavemen felt when they were able to produce and contain fire. I'm pretty certain that if they were to see me as I build and contain fire my emotions and theirs would be pretty similar.

Of course, everyone knows about the importance of fire. The things it can be used for are numerous. Defense, heat, and cooking are my top three reasons and in that order. I won't elaborate heavily on my reasons but generally speaking a fire keeps things that go bump in the night away from you.  In the family survival scenario there is no telling what conditions or climate you may be in, making heat (along with shelter) important. Safe and warm are great things but do you little good if you are not able to prepare any food that you might have. Yes, I understand that a great many things can be eaten uncooked or raw but having a hot meal does wonders for personal comfort and mindset.

Fire needs three things in order to be fire...
  • Heat
  • Oxygen
  • Fuel
If either one of these three things is missing or taken away once a fire is established, the fire dies.

We all know there are many ways to start fire. Matches, lighters, fire strikers, magnesium bars, friction, or simply transporting a smolder from a previous location. In this post I am going to share my favorite family survival fire widget. I love wax dipped strike-anywhere matches.


In videos below you will be able to see the difference between a naked match and dipped matches. The difference in burn time is pretty drastic.
  • Single naked match burn time =   15-30 seconds
  • Single dipped match burn time=  2:30-3+ minutes
Dipping matches provides a couple of enhancements.
  • Waterproofing
  • Extra fuel
The dipping process takes a little bit of practice and a lot more patience.





I like to "soak" the matches in the wax to get a little base layer built up and let them cool. The real secret to dipping matches is to let the wax cool down to the point where it starts to solidify.


The wax as pictured above is almost too cool to dip but still worked well for me. I also have experimented with cotton and toilet paper wrapping with mixed results. I did not test the burn time on cotton wrapped and toilet paper wrapped.





You'll notice that I bundled matches together. This is what I like so much. A single dipped match provides a significantly longer burn time and burn stability as opposed to a naked match. I've found that for actual ease of making a fire, a bundle of four matches dipped together provides an enhanced profile for actually starting a fire.

Pro Tip: the wax must be completely removed down to the wood before striking
Here are the burn time videos: 
Spoiler alert: these are probably boring and you probably will hear my kids and neighbors in the background. I still think they are informative enough to show.

Single undipped match: ~20 second burn time

Single dipped match: ~3:30 burn time

4 match dipped bundle: able to build fire in less than 2 minutes

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. This next video is two parts both are about 1:30 a piece. Total burn time on this mega match was about 12:30. It was 12 matches dipped together.



A few things I didn't mention earlier. I sourced the pot and the candle wax from a local thrift store for a total cost of $2. The strike anywhere matches came in a 3 pack at a local store for just under $5. Total project cost of less than $7 and I have enough survival matches for a while.

What are your favorite ways to start a fire? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Surviving MacGyver Style: Duct Tape Survival Tips

By Karen Roguski




MacGyver, televised from 1985 - 1992, gave millions a sneak peek of using unconventional items in an entirely different manner than they were intended. Almost every episode showcased MacGyver in a survival necessary situation that he was able to escape, survive, and thrive.


One product that was highlighted numerous time and in hundreds of ways was duct tape. Here is our very own MacGyver style list of ways to help survivors with the use of the fix-all duct tape.

Twenty-Three Survival Uses For Duct Tape

Originally invented in 1942, for military waterproofing, “duck tape” has inspired many a person in the art of quick fixing. Later the name was changed to duct tape, but the many practical uses remained the same.  

Blister Protection

Reduce the friction of blisters, especially on the feet, by covering the blister with moleskin and duct tape.


Clothing Repair

A quick way in which to patch a snag or hole in garments is to make a patch out of duct tape.

Off- Ground Sleeping

To avoid bugs, water, or any other potential ground issues a quick solution could be an inexpensive hammock.

Location Marker

Wishing to mark the trail back to home or camp is easy with the use of duct tape as it easily adheres to almost any source.

Tent Fix

To prevent bugs, water, or other issues from bothering you or your belongings no matter the material duct tape is one of the best ways to go in a pinch. For best results place tape on both sides of the hole.

Hang A Light

In the event of electrical power failure, one can attach a flashlight to the wall to allow a better light cast throughout the space.

Bandage Wrap

Duct tape bandage wrap can be used for keeping the dressing dry, wrapping a sprain, covering stitches, or so many more medical means.

Drying Clothes

Clothesline made out of duct tape can be done by twisting or braiding until strong. This same technique can be used to create rope, belts, or even means to hang supplies.

Animal Treatment

Just like with humans, animals are often in need of medical or support like means of attention. Duct tape can be used for hundreds of various animal needs.

Tiki Torch

Wrapping duct tape on the end of a large stick and setting the duct tape on fire is a great means of extra light.

Mending Patch

Duct tape is an awesome way in which to patch a leaking hose, duct work, or virtually any object in need of a temporary patch.

Spear Creation

Need a tool, weapon, or food hunting source make a quick and easy spear.

Injury Sling

The following images show just how simplistically making a sling out of duct tape can be created.

Frostbite Prevention

By placing duct tape directly on exposed areas of skin in cold, windy, and snowy conditions can help prevent frostbite and help with overall warmth.

Arrow Fletching

Duct tape can make arrow fletching quickly and easily. One will be easily surprised at how far your arrow can fly.

Weather Preparation

Sealing cracks, stopping air leaks, or even hanging plastic over windows is a perfect use for duct tape.

Sprain Support

Keep a sprain or potential break from getting worse by wrapping the area with duct tape. You can even add sticks, bark, or other items to help support the area in question.

S.O.S.

The use of bright or fluorescent duct tape can help save a life or allow help to find you much easier. Create a giant S.O.S. or a large arrow to guide rescuers or help in your direction.

Waterproofing

Nothing is worse than having to walk about with wet socks. To remedy this add or cover shoe or the hole with duct tape.

Restrain Someone

Strong means in which to bind someone’s hands and feet until you come up with a plan or means to contact authorities.

Stop Leak

Fix a leaking water bottle, Camelbak, bowl, or any other container by placing duct tape over the hole or crack.

Butterfly Stitches

First aid in a pinch is a must when off the grid. The use of duct tape can help seal, cover, or protect a wound.

Bug Catch


Fly or flying bug catcher use duct tape to make flypaper. Hang duct tape from the ceiling, the inside of the tent, or anywhere around the camp site.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The power of distraction...

By: Sebastian Berry

DISCLAIMER: Instructions and information here is not a substitute for professional medical care and treatment. If you are having an emergency call 911 or your local emergency number for assistance.

I do not claim credit to any of the images used unless specifically indicated. All rights and credits remain with the original owners

Ladies and gentlemen, FOOTBALL IS BACK!



I crave distraction. I love having things to do. As the old saying goes, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” I work incredibly hard, to the tune of 65+ hour weeks, regularly. I work full time in one emergency room, as needed at the other emergency room in the same town; I’m a substitute instructor at our local technical college, and other side jobs like this one.

We all need distraction in our lives. In the family survival situation, yes, there is a ton of work to be done but as another old saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” There is such a thing as “burnout”. There are several articles and studies that speak to this. Herehere, and here as well as many others.

Burnout is detrimental to productivity and overall health, which in the family survival scenario can be disastrous. I acknowledge that if society as we know it crumbles, football is probably not going to be around and I’m going to have to find a different distraction/hobby. Another of our illustrious contributors here at Family Survival Farm, Karen Roguski, wrote about fun and games with the survival family when the power is out. Read it here.

I am a religious man, a Christian. As such I do try to hold my sabbath day holy as best I can and not work. I also am employed in healthcare, at a hospital no less, and sometimes I have to work. There is something to be said about setting aside a day or two here and there to rest from our labors.

Sometimes we just have to stop and smell the roses, slow down, and take some time to ourselves. This time to ourselves has many names. Younger kids call it a mental health day. For those of a certain vintage, I like to say that I work for the weekend. With my schedule as it is, sometimes my weekend is in the middle of the traditional work week. I think my sentiment is pretty well summed up with the song of the same title that you can listen to here.

The point I'm trying to make here is simple, sometimes we just have to do something different than we are currently doing to break up the monotony. There is nothing wrong in doing something other than work. Again, several studies have shown the positive effects of taking vacation or holiday as some might call it. You can read a couple here and here.

In the survival family and even at Family Survival Farm you just have to have a little fun sometimes. I know that this posting is a break from my other writings. I hope that you can take the hint that it's okay to do that every once in a while.

What do you do to take a break from your everyday routine? Tell us in the comments. Also, make sure that you have signed up for our monthly giveaway here.




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

No Power Needed Fun and Game Ideas

No Power Needed Fun and Game Ideas  
By Karen Roguski


The latest natural disaster we are facing, Hurricane Harvey, got me to thinking about ways in which to entertain oneself and family, especially since so many of us have grown to rely on electronics. Thus, finding ways to unwind, have a bit of fun, or even keeping the little ones entertained isn’t always the easiest.


Today we hope to offer some inventive and enjoyable options to help ignite the imagination, while getting one's mind off of life’s grind and stress, in a way that does not require electricity. For items that require props we have also tried to utilize and focus on using and repurposed items to help maintain a “greener lifestyle”.

Fun and Games For All Ages

Sack Racing-

Oldie but a goodie for loads of laughter can be found in the classic sack racing. No need to buy a potato sack when you can use pillow cases or even sleeping bags for the same effect.

Board Games-

Family game night can resurface to fulfill this super fun option. Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game of Life, Candyland, or you can even create your very own imaginative board game.


Outdoor Gaming-

Here we have some additional old school ideas such as Dodge Ball, Hide and Seek, Tag, Mother May I, Tug Of War, or anything else the mind can create.


Card Games-  

No matter if your favorite is Poker, Go Fish, Blackjack, Spades, Rummy, Solitaire, or a card variety that only your family knows. Card games are an all time winner.

Bubbles-

One tablespoon soap to one cup of water and walla, fun and laughter is the guest of the hour. Bubbles can be fun for kids of all ages.


Mad Libs-

No need to purchase Mad Libs books when you can easily create your very own. Shhhh...these are also a great way to help teach in a fun manner.


Scavenger Hunt-

The world is an oyster, the sky's the limit, the boundaries are only those you make when it comes to scavenger hunting. Simply make a list, set a time limit, ensure a boundary, and take off running.


Puzzles-

Yet another classic way in which to pass the time that needs no power of any kind. Don’t forget you can even create your very own puzzles in a number of different ways.


Paper and Pen-

Using these items one can do so many different things such as Tic Tac Toe, journaling, story writing, hang man, draw, card making, or so much more.

Books-

Books come in many shapes and sizes from those to be read to crosswords, mad libs, joke books, riddle books, and even sudoku. The often not thought of book can be found in the good old coloring books that have become so popular recently.  


Ghost Stories-

Although ghost stories are usually used around the campfire they can actually be done whenever the mood fits, though in the dark is always the best.

Music-

Time to break out the guitar, harmonica, drums, or even just the pots and pans. Music has been said to calm the savage beast, so why not have it help to erase the boredom as well.


Tire Swing-

A great old school outdoor idea that is easy to make and utilizes recycling in a huge fun, power free manner, is the classic tire swing. Again a super fun time passing adventure for the kid of any age.


Collecting-

Creating custom collections dates back to the old ages. For many, these collections might be options such as bugs, stamps, rocks, butterflies, or absolutely any item that strikes you fancy and catches your eye. The fun continues when one takes the time to create the perfect way in which to highlight their showcase collection.


The Sky-

The sky can be such an enormously gratifying thing in which to look at, admire, study, relax and have fun. One can incorporate pastimes such as naming cloud creatures, naming the star clusters, following the moon phases, or even bird watching to name a few.


Crafts-

Crafting can include so many various means, textiles, and items. Some examples can be scrapbooking, paper mache, pillow making, doll making, creating musical instruments, and so much more.


Building Toys-

Think Lego, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, cardboard boxes, or any other item that can be used to build. No matter the medium being used hours of fun can be had with almost anything.


Forts-

Building forts require breaking out the sheets and blankets. Toss them over some furniture and open the imagination.


More Family Favorites

What are some of your family favorites? We would love to hear about them. Feel free to comment them below, upload your video, or share a picture. Who knows you might start a new and innovative trend.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Top 10 Must See Survival Movies

By Karen Roguski

Every time new movies come to the big screen we are reminded how box office numbers continue to hit record numbers. Okay, so these numbers include movies in every style, genre, and type one might possibly imagine from remakes, animated, fictitious, based on true events, disasters, catastrophe, and of course survival.

Inspiration Behind Of The Top 10

The Top 10 Must See Survival Movies idea came to me after stumbling across an amazing documentary, Return To The Wild. I had grabbed the disc at my local library not realizing it to be a documentary or even a look back at the true story of Christopher McCandless, AKA Alexander Supertramp.

Watching Return To The Wild pulled at the heartstrings in a way I will never forget in so many ways that I ran right out and found a copy of Into The Wild. The outcome of watching both is the true inspiration into this must see movie listing. Many you may have already seen, or like me hope, you shall stumble across one you have yet to view. That being said it should come as no surprise to that we, without further ado, in no particular order, begin our top 10 must see survival movies…...


Into The Wild

One man’s journey into the Alaskan frontier. This is the true story of Christopher McCandless highlighting why he gives up life as he knew it to find peaceful happiness as Alexander Supertramp.

Cast Away

The Pacific Ocean can get a bit rough. Chuck Noland discovers this once he becomes stranded on a desert island with only one companion, Wilson the Volleyball.

Grizzly Adams

One man’s escape into the wild to prevent wrongful imprisonment. James “Grizzly” Adams finds companionship with his new Ben, the bear.

127 Hours

The canyons of Utah can be a bit tricky. This is the true life account of Aron Ralston and his 127 hours confinement by a boulder that showcases his will to live.

Adventures of The Wilderness Family

The true story of the Robinson family comes alive on the big screen when they decide to give up the life they grew bored of in Los Angeles. Along with their children, the Robinson family moved to the Rocky Mountains.

Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors

Becoming stranded in the Andes Mountains this movie brings us the survival of an Uruguayan rugby team. After their plane goes down this group of men show us how they survive at all costs.

The Shallows

This film showcases the survival and will to live of Nancy Adams. As if the grief of losing her mother wasn’t enough now she must do all within her power to return to safety.

Jeremiah Johnson

Growing tired of civilization and wishing for a bit of solitude, Jeremiah Johnson discovers that he will need help if he is to survive his wilderness stay.

All Is Lost

Here we have the privilege of watching one man’s survival while stranded alone in the Indian Ocean.

A Cry In The Wild

The world is unaware of the downed plane and its sole survivor, thirteen-year-old Ben. Now stranded in the Canadian wilderness Brian must learn to survive in order to live.

In Conclusion

There are hundreds if not thousands of movies currently on the market in regards to survival, some real and some not. This listing is by no means near all of the great titles one may wish to see. However, as you might notice with this gathering many various timescapes are awaiting your viewing pleasure.


Our goal here at Family Survival Farm Blog from the start has been to help, teach, and even entertain those interested in the areas of Outdoors, Prepper, Farm, Survival, and more. I take it upon myself to say that every writer here hopes that you are enjoying all of our hard work and efforts to date.

Please comment below allowing us a bit of insight as to what you have loved, what you didn’t previously know, or what other topics you would enjoy seeing in the future. We look forward to hearing from each and every reader.