Showing posts with label off grid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label off grid. Show all posts

Friday, March 16, 2018

Spring Foraging Survival Skills


When you think about sprint time, you may think of things like new wildlife being born or an abundance of new plant life popping up everything. Spring seems to be the highlight of abundance and new life, across the board. However, even though you might not imagine it, it’s just as easy to starve in the spring if you are completely dependant on wild food. In fact, spring is one of the leanest times of year.

In some areas, spring is known as “the starving season”, and for this very reason, the fall stockpile was laid up not only for the winter, but for the spring as well. There may be a great deal of plant life to eat at this time, but there aren’t many calories in what you might find. So if springtime survival becomes key for you, here are some important resources to keep in mind.

Dandelion

You can eat dandelion roots both raw and cooked, but they are incredibly bitter in the raw stage. This often discourages anyone from eating them. They are touch and are usually best used in stir frying, stewing or sliced and turned into snack chips. They are high in iron, boron, potassium, silicon, calcium and vitamin C.

Ounce for ounce, dandelion roots have even more beta carotene than carrots do. If you happen to have a craving for coffee, you can even chop and roast these roots into an alternative. There is no caffeine, but there is a bit of a coffee flavor. True coffee connoisseurs disagree on that flavor. Simply roast the roots beside your fire or in an oven, if you have one, until they become dark and brittle. They can be stored for future use, or you can use it immediately, soaking a teaspoon of the root in scalding hot water for about fifteen minutes. You can then strain it and sweeten it to your taste.



Thistle

Across the Northern Hemisphere of the United States and North America, you will find lots of different thistle species. There are none in the United States that are toxic to humans, but you will find some that taste far more bitter than others. Harvesting them is easy, as you’ll only need to use a shovel or some similar device to pull the roots up, then cut off the tops, which are spiny. The remaining portion of the root can then be washed, chopped up and eaten immediately, if you wish. Or, just like any other root vegetable, they can be fried, stewed or even simmered, and then eaten.

Wild Onion

There are about a dozen wild onion species in North America, some of which even grow well in the winter. They prefer sunny conditions, right out in the open, so you’re more likely to find them in meadows or fields, or maybe even in your very own yard. Some seem more like garlic, both in flavor and looks, while others more closely resemble and taste like chives.

However tasty these plants are to the general population, make sure you don’t just forage and eat everything that seems to be shaped like an onion. The fact is, they still belong to the lily family, and it’s one that does contain some toxic plants. First, make sure you’re really dealing with the onion class of the family by looking for the bulbous roots and round stem. Once you’ve verified the looks, then you can do the scratch and sniff test. Just bruise the bulb or top portion of the plant. If it’s the edible variety, you will immediately smell that familiar onion/garlic smell. You will be able to use these in the same way your would use onions bought from a store, cooked or raw.

Reasons To Consider Foraging

Even if you aren’t in a survival situation, spring foraging can be incredibly beneficial. There are as many economic benefits as there are survival benefits, and well worth knowing about. Consider these factors:

  • Foraged food is free food, and makes an excellent alternative to organic produce that is often overly priced.
  • Foraging is possible almost all year long, if you know what to look for and how to harvest it.
  • Foraging can add to the wealth you harvest from a garden, or replace it all together.
  • Foraging is a great way to get outside and get moving, so it’s beneficial as a means of exercise.
  • Foraging familiarizes you with the immediate surroundings of your location.
  • Food found through foraging is naturally higher in nutrients than foods you find in commercial settings, there is no genetic alterations of any kind, and the soil in which it is grown hasn’t been depleted by years of industrial farming.

Important Foraging Rules

The best way to learn to forage is to do so under the training of someone who is experienced in foraging. If you cannot find one, or a group in your local area, the next best advice is to get yourself a really good-quality edible plant guide book. Once you begin your foraging journey, be sure to adhere to these basic foraging rules:

  • Don’t pick anything you don’t readily recognize and most certainly do not eat it.
  • Take your guidebook with you – preferably a very good one.
  • Never pick a plant that looks as if it has a disease of any kind.
  • Wash everything well before eating it.
  • Keep an eye out for bugs, snakes and other dangerous creatures that often use plants as hideouts.
  • Wear gloves and other protective clothing in case you come in contact with poison ivy or other such plants.
  • Stay in areas you are familiar with, so that you don’t accidentally get lost.
  • Do not forage on private property unless you first get permission from the known landowner.
  • Do not forage in national forests or public parks unless you are sure it’s permissible to do so. Some foraging is banned in areas such as these.

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.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fourteen Everyday Household Items That Can Improve Outdoor Survival

By Karen Roguski


There are so many items that you use everyday that can improve outdoor survival, help achieve a missing item in your camping kit, or make it easier to eat outside. More often than not survival items can be just about anything if you take the time to think outside the box a bit.

That being said here are our top fourteen everyday household items to help make life a bit easier, dryer, safer, and all around more functionable.

  • Shower Curtain or Garbage Bag
An everyday shower curtain or garbage bag can have numerous uses. They can be used as a ground tarp, shelter, a means to catch rainfall, or a watertight means of storing items.

A fun outside the box idea can be digging a hole and then use the shower curtain or garbage bag as a liner - instant outdoor bathtub.

  • Watch
Besides simply a means for telling time watches are great makeshift compasses, timers to ensure water safety, or even a blade when taken apart.


  • Can - Aluminum Or Tin
The aluminum or tin can can be the perfect pan in a pinch, fill with kerosene for a lamp or torch, a popcorn popper, a candle holder, a scoop, when strung can become a noisy alarm, poking a  hole in the sides can make a lantern, or they can even used for a campfire cake pan.

  • Ziplock Bags
Some of the many uses for ziploc bags can be found by reading this article.

When thinking outside the box the ziplock bags can be filled with water and then hung from a tree in the sunlight to warm the water. When ready poke small holes in the bottom for a makeshift shower. For a bit more showering privacy use the shower curtain or trash bag from above to shelter your backside from others.


  • Tool Belt or Apron with Pockets
Yet another item that is often overlooked as a means of outdoor use or survival. They can be attached to trees for clean storage, storing items away from critters and animals, or any other hack one can come up with when thinking outside the box.

  • Rope, Bungee Cord or Shoe Laces
Ropes, bungee cords, and shoe laces can have complete books written about there many outdoor and survival uses, For example these can be used for virtually anything from a  tourniquet, a snare, a splint, a clothesline, or even bundling wood.


  • Dental Floss
Dental floss is great for way more than just great oral hygiene. Dental floss is also great for fishing line, a means to hang food bags, patching or sewing holes, for snares, trip wires, cutting food items, and even for clothesline. Dental floss is a must have in every home, kit, or pack.

An outside the box hack that many look is using dental floss to fix pack or backpack straps.  


  • Bandana
The square cloth bandana can easily make life easier or possibly even save your life. For this list we think bright colored bandanas are the best as they are easier for you to be spotted if hurt, lost or otherwise in need of a quick rescue.

Other uses for the bandana also include water straining, face coverage, bandages, splints, a sling, or a means of keeping the head cool and shaded.

  • Nail Polish
Waterproofing matches can be done by using nail polish. Simply paint the match about halfway down the stick for a guaranteed way to light a fire every time.


  • Gallon Jug
The gallon jug is another item with more uses than many possibly consider. Obviously they can be used for water storage. When cut can become a scoop, or even a spoon.

When thinking outside the box one should consider filling the gallon jug with water and freezing it to make the perfect outdoor refrigerator.

Another creative outside the box idea can be to poke numerous small holes in the cap, add water and place in the sun to warm, hang at an angle for a quick shower.

  • Book
The book is great for reading and helping to pass the time. But thinking outside the box a book can also be used in a pinch for toilet paper, or a great fire starter.

  • Coffee Can
Much like the aluminum can, tin can, or gallon jug the coffee can (the kind with a lid) can be utilized in a number of ways such as a toilet paper holder, food strainer, bowl, utensil holder, or even a scoop.

  • Paperclip
The common paperclip cannot be forgotten when it comes to improving outdoor survival and outdoor hacks. They can be used as fishing hooks, as a hook for hanging items, keeping packages closed, a zipper pull, and even a sewing needle.


  • Duct Tape
Duct tape ideas are too numerous to list. I mean seriously what can you not do with duct tape?


As one can obviously notice this is by far nowhere near all of the items around that can be utilized in a number of ways or for alternative means but merely the top fourteen my family have used personally.

We would love for you all to let us know of any everyday items that you use or have used to help with outdoor living or outdoor survival.

Monday, July 17, 2017

An Earthship Overview

Earthships were first heard of in the 1970’s when Michael Reynolds, an architect, decided to design a home that would do three particular things:

  1. It would be constructed of sustainable materials, recycled materials or materials that came from the local area where the home was being built.
  2. All of its energy sources would be natural, leaving it completely off the grid.
  3. It would be possible for someone with no knowledge of construction to build one.


They are constructed primarily of tires filled with rammed earth and usually built in a U-shape. This method came about since it’s hard to construct ninety-degree angles with tires. Each tire holds an average of an entire wheelbarrow load of dirt, which is put inside the tire, and then rammed into place with a sledgehammer. As such, each tire weighs about three hundred pounds. It’s one of the most secure structures at this point.

Earthship Water
The roof construction is usually based on wooden trusses and heavily insulated so little to no heat will be lost. Water is collected from the roof the local environment, from rain and condensation for example. Normally collected into a cistern, it is used for all water necessities except toilet flushing. That is accomplished by greywater that has been recycled throughout the home.



Earthship Power
Power for these homes comes from both solar and wind sources and then inverted into electricity for use in the home. Batteries are stored in special rooms built just for that purpose and collect the power harvested. This electricity is used for just about anything in the home. However, the Earthship is neither heated nor cooled using electricity.



Earthship Food Production
Part of the home is known as the “Earthship wetlands”. These planters make use of the greywater from sinks, showers and other household uses to grow fresh fruits and vegetables to help feed the family throughout the winter. There is no better way to get organic food you can trust, and have it fresh when others cannot.



Earthship Toilets
All of the sewage from an Earthship is treated and composted for other uses. Whether it is for fertilizer or landscaping, it is treated so that no pollution is created. They are also treated in a way that completely removes the “smell” often associated with the subject.



Earthship Benefits
In addition to growing food in the greenhouse planters that utilize greywater, you can also add other food amenities. For instance, you can install a fish pond and grow your own preference of fish to eat, or you could add a chicken coop for all the eggs and meat you might need.

There’s no self-sufficiency quite like that acquired by living in an Earthship. You will have no monthly bills, you don’t have to work for survival and you are literally making the world a better place by reducing your carbon footprint. Between the natural power options, the extraordinary water recycling abilities and the composting sewage treatment facility, you are creating little to no pollution at all.

Earthships really couldn’t be easier to build. Many people have built them with up to three levels in as little as three months time. Furthermore, there was no hired help nor were there any expensive pieces of specialty equipment used. And there’s no home that’s any cheaper to build. The most basic Earthship, known as the Simple Survival Model, costs about $7,000. But even the most sensational models top out at about $70,000.

Probably the best part about an Earthship is the fact that it causes us to think about the world we live in. Not only are Earthships a model in green living, it can even give back to the environment for cheap, simple, hearty living.


It might be time to think about our own Earthship!