Archive for the 'Survival' Category



The Diminishing Choices For Americans

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Via WRSA, GoV has a sobering take on the choices Europe (and eventually we) face.

Over at UTT, John explains why work to reform the FedGov is wasted effort.

Eleven years ago I sat in the FBI Washington Field Office with the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Counterterrorism Division and one other agent.  I asked the SAC what she would do when the average American came to a deeper understanding of the Islamic threat than agents in the CT Division, and then those Americans, realizing they were left to fend for themselves, took matters into their own hands.

She froze, turned slightly pale, and told me she never thought about it before.  I had…a lot.

Today, America stands at that place.

The U.S. Islamic jihadi leadership displays gross animus towards America.  Islamic leaders:  openly call for jihad against our President; build weapons training camps for children to learn how to kill people in schools and hospitals knowing judges will let them walk; publicly call for the holocaust of all Jews and then feign shock and surprise when their comments make it into the public realm; teach jihad in Islamic elementary schools then sue the county school board if citizens dare protest; and on it goes.

In response to this, the Marxist party of America – Democrats – defend, support, and collaborate with these enemies while the U.S. Department of Justice sits on its hands.

Colleagues in the Counter-Jihad movement are threatened with death from sharia-adherent muslims (jihadis) while police and the FBI not only do nothing, they threaten the victims for daring to point the finger at muslims, despite facts and evidence.

Thousands of Americans are dead, killed by sharia-adherent muslims in places like Arlington (VA), New York, Shanksville (PA), Little Rock (AR), Boston (MA), Fort Lauderdale (FL), San Bernardino (CA), Orlando (FL), Denver (CO)….

The perpetrators of these acts of violence unanimously tell us they do what they do because Islam commands them to do it, yet most of our leaders tell us Islam is not the problem.

Our military generals/admirals and civilian leaders display no recognition they have a clue about the Islamic threat despite fighting – and losing – wars for nearly 17 years.  Some of our top military leaders – General John Allen for instance – apologized to our enemies for “offending” them when “Islamic religious materials” were mistakenly destroyed.

As of this day, the United States has still not defined the enemy in the global war in which we are engaged.

Catastrophic failure and criminal negligence.

Americans who still possess the ability to reason, discern, and process facts in reality realize the U.S. federal government is incapable of winning this war.

As Understanding the Threat (UTT) has said for over six (6) years, this war will be won or lost at the local level.

The goal is to get as many Americans to understand the threat as quickly as possible so local jurisdictions can organize and begin to dismantle the jihadi networks in the local area.

The infrastructure is crumbling, the inner cities are sewers crawling with drug addicts, homeless and criminals, hard working Americans are watching their ever dwindling wealth be raped by the government (remember that “The good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children”), and the printing presses in Washington roll off more paper money as if they can create wealth by fiat.

Prepare.  You know what’s coming.

Oregon Woman Finds Mountain Lion Napping In Her Home

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

From readers Richard and Michael, Foxnews:

An Oregon woman recently came home to an unusual surprise: a mountain lion, which continued taking a nap for six more hours behind her sofa.

The odd encounter took place on July 8 in the Ashland, Ore., home of Lauren Taylor.

After drinking from a pond in Taylor’s backyard, the cat likely entered her home through an open back door, she explained in Facebook. The post had garnered more than 17,000 reactions and shares as of Tuesday morning.

“This is wild,” she wrote. “The door was open and the room has huge plants and stairs built around real tree branches, so she likely didn’t even realize she was walking indoors until she was inside.”

After entering the home, the cat was startled by Taylor’s roommate, who screamed upon seeing the mountain lion. This prompted the wild animal to hide behind the sofa, where it snoozed for several hours.

Taylor made a noise to wake the feline, but then “gazed lovingly into her eyes, and communicated using feline-speak eye blinking to calm her,” she wrote.

“It was amazing to realize that this worked. I gazed lovingly then blinked hard and then she did it back,” Taylor continued, adding that the cat then went back to sleep. “She clearly felt safe and she showed no inclination to leave.”

When the cat awoke a second time, Taylor said she “again connected in a loving gaze and communicated trust through blinking.”

With just “a couple hours to dawn,” Taylor decided it was time to “prompt her to leave without alarming her so much that she panicked.”

The Oregon woman then used a drum to encourage the lion to exit the home.

“She roused and knew just what to do…. walking out through the open doors, through the yard, across the creek, and through the empty field behind us exactly as we had shown her,” said Taylor, adding she has “extensive experience working with energy and animals.”

“It was a perfect ending to a blessed encounter that could have been dangerous if approached from a lower frequency,” she continued. “May she stay safely in the hills to enjoy a long life as a wild and healthy lion.”

You can go check out the pictures and video yourself.  I just don’t know what to say.  Honestly.

Read again.

Taylor made a noise to wake the feline, but then “gazed lovingly into her eyes, and communicated using feline-speak eye blinking to calm her,” she wrote.

When the cat awoke a second time, Taylor said she “again connected in a loving gaze and communicated trust through blinking.”

“It was a perfect ending to a blessed encounter …

Lovingly.  Calm her.  Trust.  Blessed.

She’s fortunate the lion didn’t scalp her and eat her brains out of her skull.

Severed Rattlesnake Head Bites Man, Nearly Kills Him

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Fox News:

A Texas man is recovering after he claims the head of a rattlesnake bit him — moments after he had just cut it off.

Jennifer Sutcliffe’s husband was reportedly bitten by the beheaded snake on May 27 at his home near Lake Corpus Christi.

Sutcliffe told KIII-TV the two were doing yard work when she came across the four-foot rattlesnake. She said her husband used a shovel to behead the snake, but when he went to dispose of it, it bit him.

The snake, Sutcliffe said, “released all its venom into him at that point” because it no longer had a body, and her husband reportedly began immediately experiencing seizures and internal bleeding, and lost his vision.

The man was transported via helicopter to a hospital, where doctors said there was a chance he wouldn’t make it.

“A normal person who is going to get bit is going to get two to four doses of antivenom,” Sutcliffe told the news station. “He had to have 26 doses.”

Her husband is now in stable condition but is suffering from weak kidney functions, Sutcliffe said.

I’ll tell you what, snakes can lay a wallop on you.  I don’t expect this is something that many folk from the far north can understand, but down South and in the Southwest, you’ve got to be very careful where you step and where you reach.  I’ve been bitten by a Copperhead, and so has my dog.

They usually aren’t deadly if treated, but you can lose fingers, hands, toes, feet or whatever if not treated.  A Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin) is worse, but the king of the pit vipers in America is the rattlesnake.  The worst of them (most venomous pit viper in America) is the Eastern Diamondback, and not far behind is the Eastern Timber.

Be careful out there this summer.

Are You Prepared For Survival?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Puerto Rico today:

All of Puerto Rico has lost power after deadly Hurricane Maria swept through the island on Wednesday – with winds that blew the roofs off homes and flash floods that turned roads into rivers.

Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph.

While the eye of the storm has since moved off the island and weakened to a Category 2 hurricane, it’s expected to continue lashing the island of 3.4million with life-threatening winds, storm surge and rain through this evening.

‘Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed,’ said Abner Gomez, Puerto Rico’s emergency management director. ‘The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything in its path.’

It looks like dystopia, doesn’t it?

Two weeks ago it was a hard week trying to prepare for Hurricane Irma.  We managed to find a Generac 5500 generator when almost all generators had been sent to Texas.  Gas lines were long and prices were elevated, and gas cans were triple the cost from a month prior.  And then they were gone.  So it didn’t matter whether you could buy gas – you couldn’t store it.

We had to think about batteries, perishable food, trying to get non-perishable food, potable water, dog food (have you considered your beasts in the event of something like this?), and on and on the list goes.  To some extent we had the non-perishable food situation handled, but not well enough for my future comfort level.

I lived through Hurricane Hugo, and was without power for two weeks.  I wasn’t prepared for it either.  At the time it rolled through I was preparing for the engineering PE examination.  The exam date in October wasn’t going to change because of the storm, so I had to redeem the time.

I lined my kitchen table with candles and worked PE review problems for two weeks by candlelight (old school, pen and paper).  But I wasn’t going to relive my Hugo experience unprepared, so we worked hard to prepare.  I consider Hurricane Irma yet another warning shot over the bow.

For the future, we need to be thinking about more than just guns and ammunition (although that’s first on the list).  We need to think long term survival in the form of food caches, freeze-dried foods, large scale water filtration rather than the small scale I currently have, and you could probably add endlessly to this list.  Feel free to do so in the comments.

I am of the considered opinion that a hurricane is the least of our worries when considering the ills that may befall us in the future.  Puerto Rico won’t rebuild for years, and won’t have power for more than half a year, if then.  Are you prepared for an attack on our electrical grid?  For civil strife and/or civil war?  For contamination of our water supplies?  For a run on the banks and a completely devalued dollar?

No, neither am I.  Not as well as I ought to be.

Lost In The Smoky Mountains

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Fox8:

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL FOREST, N.C. — A Tennesee teen last seen more than 10 days ago was found Tuesday afternoon after walking out of the Great Smoky Mountains, WLOS reports.

Austin Bohanan was found around 2:30 p.m. after walking out of the remote backcountry area near Tabcat Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to a National Parks Service statement.

He was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital in Maryville, Tennessee.

Bohanan was reportedly last seen hiking off-trail in the remote southwest corner of the park on the evening of Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. He was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13 to Blount County authorities.

On Tuesday, four search teams consisting of rangers from the parks Search and Rescue team, officers with Tennessee Wildlife Resource Authority and individuals with the Backcountry Unit Search and Rescue team (BUSAR) had a total of 19 people searching the area. The search continued with canine teams and other special search teams.

Bohanan “had light food and water and was not anticipating spending the night in the park,” according to park spokeswoman Jamie Sanders.

He spent eleven days in the Southern bush.  He was unprepared for what faced him and he’s blessed to be alive.  The rescue team made an official statement, to the effect that “From day one, we treated the search for Austin as an emergency and appreciate the resources from across the region that came to our aid to help us actively and aggressively search through extremely tough terrain,” said Park Chief Ranger Steve Kloster. “We faced multiple challenges, including a moving target in dense conditions, but our search teams never gave up hope.”

But it was Austin who self-rescued.

On Tuesday morning, rangers explained he woke up on a ridge and saw a boat and some kayaks on Abrams Creek below. He scrambled down to the water and waved to the boaters, who picked him up and gave him a ride to safety.

That’s not to diminish the efforts of the rescue team, but the higher probability rescue in this circumstance is self-rescue.  Even the rescue team had to have water and food assistance from the community to keep going.  The search area was 6700 acres, which is 10.469 square miles.  This may not seem like a lot, but in the back country in the South, it is an eternity of land.

This is what Austin and his rescuers faced.

Steep terrain, dense vegetation, deadfall, blowdown, and almost impenetrable bush.  But we’ve discussed in detail what you should carry with you even if you’re going for a day hike thinking that you’re not going to be far from the beaten path.

(1) heavy rubberized poncho, (2) 550 cord, (3) gun, (4) tactical light, (5) fire starter [redundant means], (6) knife [serrated edge], (7) water and fast food energy, and (8) parka.

I carry this in a day pack.  For eleven days, you can add to this list a container with which you can boil water.  With the rubberized poncho and cordage, you have shelter.  With the gun and tactical light you have protection.  With the knife you have virtually everything (never leave home without a knife).

In the South he could have encountered problems with Copperheads, Timber Rattlers, black bear, feral hogs and Coyotes.  Coyotes in the West may still travel as lone predators, but in the South they have learned to travel in packs.  Many hunters in these parts have gone out at dusk only to find five or six pairs of eyes staring at them and encircling them closer and closer.  Retreat is the best option at that point, but if Austin couldn’t have retreated, he would have needed a firearm, and possibly more ammunition.

If this seems like overkill, just remember when you go into the bush.  You’re not in control of everything – the bush gets a say.  Try to be wise about the things you do control.

Black Bear Attacks Bow Hunter

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

I’ll leave it to readers to fisk this event.  This man is blessed to be alive, as far I can tell.

26 Miles Through The Snow In The Grand Canyon And Almost Dead

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

LA Times:

The snow was at least 3 feet deep and still falling when Tracy Glover and two other men came upon the fee booth at the North Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon.

The door to the booth was always unlocked, according to Glover, the Kane County, Utah, sheriff. Inside were sleeping bags, food, water, matches — items that Karen Klein could have used on this particular Christmas Eve as she and her family found themselves stranded in a remote region of the National Park near the Arizona-Utah border. It was an oasis of warmth within a freezing forest.

“I thought she might’ve made it there,” Glover said.

But after walking 26 miles, dragging a bad left leg with no shoe through the snow, Klein had found another shelter instead — a cabin nestled in the trees about 100 yards away with no power and just a few blankets. She had to break a window to gain entry.

About 5 hours after entering the park, Glover reached the cabin. When he found Klein, she had stripped off her wet beanie and outer layers of clothing and was lying on the bed. She was exhausted. Dehydrated. She had been hallucinating. Frostbite had gotten to her toes and fingers. Glover said they quickly built a fire in the cabin and called a dispatcher to relay the message to her husband and son, who had been rescued hours earlier: Karen Klein was alive.

Klein, 46, of Easton, Pa., was on vacation in Las Vegas with her husband and 10-year-old son when they decided to hit Bryce Canyon and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on Christmas week. But on the drive to the North Rim, their GPS alerted them to the closure of Arizona Highway 67.

It diverted them onto a Forest Service road that is mostly gravel. The car eventually got stuck. Worry settled in.

With no cellphone service and Eric Klein recently recovering from a back injury, Karen Klein, a triathlete, decided to hike for help as snow kept falling. She ended up traversing 26 miles over the course of about 36 hours before Glover found her in the small cabin.

She told “Good Morning America” that as she hiked in search of help, she forced herself to stay awake at night and ate twigs from an aspen tree. She put snow in her cheek to try to stay hydrated.

I don’t care is she was superwoman.  She was unprepared for this, at this time, in these conditions.  We have discussed the bare minimum for being out in the bush: (1) heavy rubberized poncho, (2) 550 cord, (3) gun, (4) tactical light, (5) fire starter, (6) knife [serrated edge], and (7) water and fast food energy.

In these conditions, you can add the right kind of boots (very expensive and not routinely taken on car trips), wool clothing, Gore-Tex, insulated cover (e.g., wool hat), heavy insulated gloves, and eye protection (Goggles and perhaps sun glasses during the daylight hours to prevent snow blindness).

I’m not a big fan of staying where you are, and I’m a much bigger fan of taking what you need or may need.  But in this case, the woman should have stayed where she was.  She’s no good to her family dead.

The Importance Of A Shelter In Survival

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 4 months ago

Outdoor Life has an interesting list of 26 survival myths that can get you killed.  It’s well worth reading all of them.  This one in particular struck me.

14. A big fire beats a shelter
Large-log fires have kept people alive in the cold, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to skip building a shelter. What if it rains or becomes really windy? You never want to sleep out in the open if you can help it. Take the time to build a shelter. It will pay you back every time.

Well yes, there’s the issue of rain, which will kill you if you attempt to sleep in it all night.  The wind is another issue, and is related to the primary reason I would recommend building a shelter.

There are four types of heat transfer: conductive, convective, radiant and evaporative.  In the absence of survival gear, you need to build a bed of pine bows, straw, leaves and other things to lift you off of the ground to prevent conductive heat transfer (which occurs when two bodies are in contact) from your body to the ground.

If the wind is blowing, that means that convective heat transfer is occurring.  But one often overlooked reason for a shelter is the fact that the universe becomes an infinite heat sink at night.  Your body is radiating heat to the universe without a shelter over you.

Even if you only bend branches and use saplings and construct a hemispherical cage over which you throw leaves and mulch (a common emergency shelter in the South), you need to have a shelter at night.  Never travel so long and so far that you forego the construction of a shelter to keep you alive until morning.

Survival Gear

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

It’s that time of year again.  Be careful out there.  This is one man’s take.

Though Falls Creek is a short hike, winter is no time to fool with the elements. Read the harrowing account of Mischelle Hileman of Wallowa, who lost both legs to exposure after what was intended to be a 45-minute elk hunt in 2002, if you’re thinking otherwise.

Regardless of the time of year, I always carry matches, kindling, water, a compass, whistle, survival blanket, poncho, flashlight and lots of power bars — and generally the dog. Off-leash Well=behaved dogs are allowed off-leash throughout Eagle Cap.

I have my own list, similar to but slightly more robust than above.  I’ve discussed it before.

550 cord, a tarp or rubberized rain poncho, trekking poles, a gun, water, protein bars, a tactical light, redundant means of fire starting, a small water filtration device or a small container of household bleach, a tactical knife, clothing for warmth (e.g., parka, emergency Mylar thermal blankets), and a compass.

With this simple list you can have shelter, fire, self protection, warmth, light, and ability to stay dry.  And if you’re going out in the woods, stop and buy a lighter or Ferrocerium rod.  Do this whether you’re going in the wilderness for one hour, one afternoon, or one week.  Do it regardless of how long you intend to be in the wilderness.

I’ve also explained what I do for fire when intending to go into the wilderness.  For every night I expect to be in the wild, I put a briquette of match light charcoal and a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline into a waterproof container (one piece of charcoal and one cotton ball for each night).  The cotton ball starts immediately, and helps the charcoal to start within seconds.  This makes fire starting quick in the event that you get wet when it’s cold or in the case of wet wood.

As I’ve implied, with 550 cordage and a poncho or tarp, along with trekking poles, you can have shelter in under two minutes if needed.  With redundant means of fire starting along with charcoal or char-cloth, you can have fire even when everything is wet.  With a parka and mylar blanket, you can have warmth when you need it (I have many parkas, my all-time favorite is Simms).  With a handgun (and an additional magazine or a few loaded moon clips) you have protection, and with a good tactical knife, you have a cutting tool or a chopping tool.  I carry a heavy folder, such as a Ka-Bar Mule, or CRKT M16-14DSFG-Tanto, always something with serrated edge.  Otherwise I carry a Ka-Bar straight edge fighting/utility knife, again, with a serrated edge.

This is my version of ultralight.  This list doesn’t weigh more than 10-15 lbs.  In case I haven’t mentioned it before, unless something has gone badly wrong, I will always have my baby with me, like the writer above.

Equipped For Survival

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

First, a wonderful example of being equipped and prepared for survival:

A young teenager lost on a hunting trip is safe with his family Sunday night after he was missing for more than 24 hours in the Southern Colorado wilderness outside Custer County.

Clayton Jones, 13, was found by family friends Sunday morning just after 10:30 a.m.

Jones spent 27 hours on his own in the woods after getting separated from his father and grandfather around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

“I was a bit freaked out,” Clayton said. “It was a little scary, I just wanted to get home.”

This teenager got thanks to his savvy survival skills. More than 12 hours after his ordeal began with no sign of another person let alone his family, Clayton had to seek shelter.

“I did build a fire,” Clayton said. “After I got warm, I saw a cabin and slept the night on their deck. The next morning, I found a road, kept going and ran into friends and they brought me back.”

When he received word his son was safe, Barry Jones started balling.

“I cried for 10 minutes,” Jones said. “I couldn’t even talk. To have a kid missing for that much time, whew, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. I taught him good, but I don’t care how much experience he has. I don’t care if he’s 35, I’m going to worry about him.

Clayton’s survival kit included food, water, rain gear, gloves and a knife.

Barry Jones teaches wilderness survival classes.

The smart lad got off the cold ground, built a fire, had food, water, rain gear and a knife.  I only recommend a few more things.  He did well.

Now for an extremely bad example from some adults.

Three hunters caught out by a snowstorm got a lucky break early this morning.

The trio had returned to their vehicle last night but became stuck. However, they were later airlifted out of the Te Papanui conservation block, 50km west of Dunedin, suffering from mild hypothermia.

Police were alerted about 5pm yesterday and a search and rescue team, which included three four-wheel-drive vehicles and a helicopter, tried to get into the area. However, poor weather stopped them from reaching the stranded hunters.

At 2am, the weather improved enough to allow a helicopter to get into the area and the men were airlifted out.

Constable Donald Peat said that the hunters were not properly equipped for the hunting trip.

”They were not carrying any survival equipment, such as extra clothing, extra food, sleeping bags or a personal emergency locator beacon,” Peat said.

It just doesn’t take much to be prepared: 550 cord, a tarp or rubberized rain poncho, trekking poles, a gun, water, protein bars, a tactical light, redundant means of fire starting, a small water filtration device or a small container of household bleach, a tactical knife, clothing for warmth (e.g., parka, emergency Mylar thermal blankets), and a compass.

With this simple list you can have shelter, fire, self protection, warmth, light, and ability to stay dry.  And if you’re going out in the woods, stop and buy a lighter or Ferrocerium rod.  Do this whether you’re going in the wilderness for one hour, one afternoon, or one week.  Do it regardless of how long you intend to be in the wilderness.

I’ve also explained what I do for fire when intending to go into the wilderness.  For every night I expect to be in the wild, I put a briquette of match light charcoal and a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline into a waterproof container (one piece of charcoal and one cotton ball for each night).  The cotton ball starts immediately, and helps the charcoal to start within seconds.  This makes fire starting quick in the event that you get wet when it’s cold or in the case of wet wood.

Prior: Wilderness Survival


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