Friday, February 16, 2018

6 Essential Things For Your Survival Backpack

Education Articles | March 28, 2012
Premium Author Justin Mountford

It sounds a bit dramatic but a survival backpack could mean the difference between life and death. In this article I share my 6 essential survival backpack ideas covering everything from food and shelter right through to essential first aid things.

Life and death-It sounds a bit dramatic, but a survival backpack could mean the difference between life and death. In a critical situation where you have to flee your house, workplace or local area, a backpack filled with survival gear transforms from being a "nice to have" and becomes your life in a bag. Imagine running for your life with your family only to discover you have no food, no water and no shelter. Not a good situation. Now imagine you have some basics, it could just be enough to get you through until help arrives.

Forget Armageddon-Armageddon is not really the reason I prepare. I like to be prepared for things like massive bush fires (really common where I live), floods, and man made disasters. I live in a quiet part of the world and it's easy to think "It won't                                                      happen to me"…..

6 Essential Ideas-I'm a survival enthusiast and love researching survival related ideas, theories tips and tricks. After extensive research, my own experimentation and years of camping I've created my own "essential survival backpack" checklist.

Checkout my 6 essential survival backpack ideas:

Water-To put it bluntly we need water to survive even for 1 day. For this reason, water is top priority. If you don't want to carry water you need ways to purify it, or boil it.Ideas:-Way to boil water e.g. portable stove -Purification System-Mechanical Filtration System like a Pocket Water Microfilter

Clothing-While you can certainly live with the clothes on your back, it's morale boosting to put on a fresh pair of socks while you clean the others. Pack a spare set of everything, you'll really appreciate this when the time comes. Ideas:-Waterproof coat with hood-Spare socks-Long sleeve shirt with quick dry- Quick dry pants

Shelter-Shelter is part of our basic human needs. Shelter can often be made from rubble, forest or natural features however, you can make things easier on yourself if you have a basic tent at the ready.Ideas:-Basic lightweight tent-Sleeping System-Mummy sleeping bag-Sleeping pad

Food-Not as important as water, however the morale effects of a little snack cannot be underestimated. It's easy to throw in a few MREs and some energy bars. Go for food that doesn't require much water to prepare.Ideas:-Energy bars- MRE- Freeze dried foods

Essentials-Many experts agree that the ability to make fire is extremely important. With fire you can cook, boil water and signal help. For this reason I suggest you pack a sparking device in your survival backpack. While multi tools (the plier type) a pocket chain saw and a flashlight (the wind up type) may not be considered critically essential, it will definitely help you in your survival attempts.

First Aid-Kit Nothing can assist a genuine survival situation more than a fully trained medicComputer Technology Articles, however since most of us don't get around with one of these we have to make do with a first aid kit. Ideas:- Bandaids- Insect repellent- Cloth Tape- Bandage- Large Safety Pins- Large Gauze Pads A survival backpack could make the difference between life and death. Keep one in your car and at home and be ready no matter what life throws at you.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Chimney Trap System 1

By:Stephen M. Vantassel

     It was a beautiful Saturday Summer day in Western Massachusetts. I had lined up three chimney raccoon jobs and thankfully I was able to get my wife to come along and help. I am not very good on roofs and chimneys, let alone handling so many fireplaces in one day. Some of my colleagues talk about handling these jobs in an hour, I can only wish to be that fast. My chimney raccoon removal method at the time was Rich Daniotti’s Chimney Trap System 1. This is the trap system without the chimney brushes. You are supposed to set the trap and come back the next day. I never felt confident enough with that method, so I would just drive the female up the chimney and catch her the same day.

Chimney Trap System 1 hanging by bungee cords. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

     The first two jobs went okay despite being rather long. The sun was shinning and the temperature was beginning to rise. I felt good about the money I was making but I was beginning to feel rather tired. The last job of the day was two floor house in a nearby town. We didn’t start there till after 3:00 pm. Already the sweat was pouring out of my body and it was not at all comfortable. After greeting the client and checking out the fireplace, I accessed the roof and installed the chimney trap. The roof was a little more pitched than I like and the tiles were beginning to get soft. I knew I had to move quickly in order to finish the job today. With the trap installed, I began to harass the mother to get her to climb the chimney and enter the trap. She was a little stubborn at first but in a couple of minutes, I heard the pleasant sound of the metal trap door closing. I thought it was a bit strange that it sounded so loud. I am partially deaf in my left ear, but I figured the acoustics were right. Feeling kind a proud of myself, I exit the building looking for the chimney to see my trapped raccoon. I was a bit surprised that I didn’t see the trap. I guessed that the roof line was blocking my view, so I stepped further away from the house to get a clearer ground view of the chimney. My stomach sank when I saw the top of the chimney with no raccoon and worst of all no trap. I felt even worse knowing that the chimney was surrounded by building so if my trap fell it would not fall harmlessly to the ground. I started getting worried about the cost of potential damages. By the way, did I mention that the client was a lawyer?

     I swung around the building looking for my trap. I passed a corner, looked up and there was my trap and trapped raccoon hanging by the bungee cords against the chimney. On the roof below, urine and feces were sprayed. It seems that the trap wasn’t stabilized enough or she flew out of the chimney so fast that the trap lifted up dislodging it from the chimney. Feeling that she was falling, she literally messed herself she was so scared. Thankfully, the bungee cords stopped the trap from falling on the asphalt shingled roof below. The house wasn’t damaged by the impact either because the trap only hit the side of the brick chimney. Thank God, I had truly dodged a bullet on this one. The client didn’t even notice my mistake. He was just glad that the job was getting done.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. He has written the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. Reach him at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.

Family Survival of Cold Weather Injuries

By: Sebastian Berry

DISCLAIMER: Instructions and information provided 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 images used unless specifically indicated. 

Stacey Lynn, in her previous post, wrote about some general winter safety/survival tips. In this most recent installment of knowledge building, let's talk cold weather injuries (CWI). These kinds of injuries go beyond what the general public would think of. Obviously we have to remember hypothermia and frostbite. We also have to keep in mind those injuries that are related to the cold weather and not just simply caused by the cold.

Thinking outside the box:

  • Injuries from heaters/stoves
  • Cold thermal burns
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning
  • Injuries/accidents due to reduced physical/mental capacity from cold stress
  • Dehydration
  • Sunburn
  • Snow Blindness
Believe it or not the Army actually knows some stuff about the various types of weather related injuries. Cold weather injuries slide show. The link with the slide show comes from the Army and is a general overview of various CWI and what to do to survive.

Let's start with the obvious-hypothermia. Hypothermia is defined as a core temperature of less than 95F/35C. The gold standard core temperature measurement is a rectal temperature. Believe me, when you tell someone that the first thing to check is a rectal temp, they will do whatever necessary to avoid that. Everyone knew what the silver bullet was, and it wasn't that cold can of Coors Light from the commercials

The premier treatment for hypothermia is rewarming and drying. This is accomplished by almost any method imaginable-from exercise to hot food to warm clothing and shelter. Rewarming must be done slowly however so as not to shock the body with too rapid a change. Getting and staying dry are just as important as getting and staying warm. If you get out of wet clothing to get warm and then get in wet clothing again, you are setting yourself up for failure and becoming a CWI.

If you talk to older folks about what they did to treat hypothermia, many might tell you that you needed to have a shot of brandy or rum. You may feel warmer for a moment from the flush that the alcohol might give but it actually does nothing to help you get warmer. While rewarming, avoidance of alcohol and nicotine are recommended.

Dehydration may seem  easy to prevent but in actuality we as humans suck at realizing we are getting dehydrated. Dehydration is much more sneaky in colder environments. There are many things that contribute to dehydration. Physical activity is probably the easiest to control. As we exert ourselves we use our hydration stores and we also sweat (which can also contribute to hypothermia). By the time you feel thirsty, you are already behind the curve when it comes to keeping hydrated.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration:
  • Increasingly dark color of urine. Clear-->Yellow-->Orange-->Brown
  • Thirst
  • Excessive sweating
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cramps
In the way back, we used to be given salt tablets to mix in a canteen of water. A simple Google search shows that you can still find re-hydration salts. That has long since gone away in favor of sports drinks or other electrolyte replacements. Of course, the easiest treatment for dehydration is oral re-hydration if it can be tolerated. If not, then IV hydration needs to be accomplished and that is best left to the professionals.

Cold stress is exactly that-the increased stress put on your body by the cold. We hear all the time about folks that keel over and die of heart attacks while shoveling snow. It's more common than you think. So what do we do about it? You have to know your limitations and understand that being in the cold can limit your physical capability significantly.

Keep in mind that the type and amount of clothing you wear is important as well. I'll keep it simple- cotton kills! Yes, cotton is comfy and cozy when it is dry. As you begin to sweat though cotton will hold on to all that moisture making you a prime candidate for hypothermia via conduction and over exertion.

Something that people forget about in the cold are burns. In a previous post I wrote about burns here, any type of "hot" burn can also be caused by the cold. It doesn't matter the type of burn the initial treatment is the same-remove the source of the burn. You may not want to believe it but wearing sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. Some of the worst sunburns I have ever had were on my face after a day on the slopes.

One specific thing to the cold weather is snow blindness. Imagine a sunburn on your eye. It is incredibly irritating and can be very painful. It happens as UV rays are reflected off of snow and into the eye. The simple way to avoid snow blindness is to protect your eyes. I prefer polarized sunglasses and wear them regularly in almost every condition. This is the reason most skiers wear full goggles. Snow blindness is usually temporary and treated with prescription eye ointments.

Here's a breakdown of how to avoid CWI:

  • Stay warm and dry
  • Layer clothing
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid over exertion
  • Protect your skin and eyes
Here's the breakdown of how to treat CWI:
  • Get warm and dry
  • Re-hydrate with oral fluids if possible
  • Rest

I've only covered a few things here related to cold weather injuries and how to survive in the cold. What things do you have or do to survive the cold? Tell us in the comments.

Family Survival Christmas List...

Ladies and gentlemen, MERRY CHRISTMAS! This installment of practical wisdom may not really be classified as wisdom. However, I hope that my writing may give you some insight this giving season.

Have a person that is hard to shop for? Look no further, below is a list of things that any person might appreciate.

Being who I am the first thing that comes to mind to give to anyone is a simple first aid kit. Now, depending on the kind of giver you happen to be may determine how large or what kind of kit you give. In a couple of my previous posts, here and here, talk about things to include if you would like to build your own and make it personal. Otherwise you can buy a commercially available one using the following links:

First Aid Kit Hard Red Case 326 Pieces Exceeds OSHA and ANSI Guidelines 100 People - Office, Home, Car, School, Emergency, Survival, Camping, Hunting, and Sports

First Aid Kit Emergency Response Trauma Bag Complete

First Aid Kit - 163 Piece Waterproof Portable Essential Injuries & Red Cross Medical Emergency equipment kits : For Car Kitchen Camping Travel Office Sports And Home

Notice, I used all Amazon links. This is simply for my convenience. I trust you to be able to do your own research and shopping.

What is the Christmas season without some lights? Some of the staff here at Family Survival Farm were provided some light sources to test and review.

Tactical Flashlight, ThorFire 1100 Lumen Ultra Bright XPL2 Led Light with 5 Modes, VG10S Perfect for Camping,Hunting,Cycling, Powered by 18650 battery Not Included, VG10 Upgraded Version

ThorFire 18650 Flashlight with Battery and Charger, 1070 Lumen XML2 Led Ultra Bright EDC Pocket Light(VG15S) with 5 Modes for Camping, Hiking,Cycling

I really like both of these lights. They have been tough and the light is very bright, yet adjustable. I personally like the VG10 a little more only as a matter of preference. It is a little bit larger than the VG15. The VG15, to me, seems for suited for wear on a duty belt or a uniform and the VG10 is more of a worklight in the toolbox.

What survival-minded person couldn't appreciate a good multi-tool as a gift. Personally, it all comes down to preference. As a child I was gifted a Leatherman when I became an Eagle Scout. It has since seen several iterations due to damage and use (Leatherman has an awesome warranty policy). In the army they like to issue Gerber tools.  I think for ease of use and being tacti-cool, Gerber is a fine item to have in your kit. Leatherman is a classic, no frills, and no nonsense tool. As a nurse the Leatherman RAPTOR Emergency Medical Tool is my new gear crush. I have colleagues that have these and let's just say that I'm a little jealous. Even though these are marketed to Fire and EMS this kind of tool could see valuable use in the Family Survival situation.

Friends, what are you hoping to get for Christmas this year. Any new gear? Let us know what's on your list. Let us know what you get, send us some pictures in the comments.