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dry and warm. * Water - you can live three days without water. * Fire - fire is necessary for purifying water, providing warmth, and cooking food. * Food - you can live several weeks without food. * Artificial Light SHELTER: Location, Location, Location: AVOID Wind, high-water lines, poor drainage, insects, falling limbs, rocks, mud slides, poisonous plants (poison oak, sumac, etc). Vent to AVOID carbon monoxide. NATURAL SHELTER: Caves, overhangs, between rocks, snow banks, under trees with tops tied together, sand burrow, hollow tree, or hole in snow around tree. LEAN-TO: Tarp or bark, snow blocks cut with knife or stick from trench. Build sleep platform inside, drainage, air vents. Candle heat about 32 Fahrenheit. Build the shelter just large enough to accomadate you because you are going to have to heat it and the bigger it is, the more you will have to heat with a fire (which means more work). The open end of shelter should face AWAY from prevailing wind. Wind blowing toward the entrance will take heat away from the shelter. The frame is built by laying or lashing a long pole (ridge pole) across two trees, and long limbs (ribs) lying on top of the pole reaching the ground spaced about a hands width apart. Criss-cross smaller limbs in between the ribs to help make it sturdier. Insulate the shelter by using a forked stick to rake up dead leaves, fallen pine needles, grasses and mosses and put them on the structure of the shelter. Good insulation should be thick enough to block daylight (about one foot thick). The insulation should be checked and repaired daily. Place a layer of pine burroughs on top of the insulation in order to keep it in place. Peeled tree bark strips, if you can get it, also makes the ideal top layer for a shelter. Find a tree (birch is best) that is relatively smooth for several feet up the tree. Cut a circle at the top and the bottom around the tree, and a long cut between the two circles from top to bottom. Fashion a chisel from wood, and using the wooden chissel, strip the bark from the tree. This type of bark layer works best if dried flat for a couple of days. Mud can be used to thatch the insulation to make it more air tight. A fire can be built between the shelter and a reflector in order to diflect the heat in the direction of the shelter making it heat more efficiently. The fire reflector can be straight, or L shaped to accomadate your particular situation. Make sure that the fire is placed far enough away from the shelter to prevent it from becoming a fire hazard but close enough to provide warmth. Put a layer of thick GREEN grass in the bottom of the shelter to help insulate you from the ground. If you can get cedar shavings, it will help keep insects out of the shelter and provide extra insulation. The thicker the bottom layer, the better. Your body heat can be lost very quickly when lying directly on the ground.
WHERE TO FIND WATER: Rivers, streams and creeks. ANIMALS:Trails usually intersect at angle toward water, follow downhill. Birds fly to water early morning & evening. Water from Vines: Cut a vine at its highest end (as high as you can reach.) Have a container ready, then cut the vine at a lower end. Water will flow out the bottom. Rain: Stretch a waterproof sheet tightly over a wide area. Peg down its corners with sticks and tilt it so that rainwater flows into a container. Solar Still: Dig a reasonably large hole in the ground. Place vegetation and/or muddy water in the hole, and then a container in the middle of the hole (at its base). You can place a piece of hollow reed or tygon tubing in the cup if you have some so that you do not have to disturb the still in order to drink the water. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole, and secure the edges (with sticks as pegs or stones) then place a stone in the middle of the sheet, above the container. The stone should be directly above the container, because the condensation will gather here and into container. The sun will cause water in the plants to evaporate; the evaporation will be caught by the plastic, and run down the sheet to its center - the lowest part - and drip into the container. Vegitation will probably need to be replaced as it dries out. You may need several solar stills (3-4) per person for enough water per day to survive. DEW: Collecting dew is probably the simplest, and safest, way to obtain potable water in a survival situation. The only equipment needed to gather dew is a clean wash rag or piece of clothing ... or a handful of dried, nontoxic, grasses. Get up early in the morning when the dew is on the ground and just wipe the moisture from the landscape and wring the liquid into a container or your mouth. Collect the condensed droplets from grass, rocks, leaves, and even sand. (Do not, of course, gather moisture from poisonous plants, near a highway or a city, or in area that's been sprayed with chemicals.) You'll have to get up early and work hard (dew doesn't stay around very long!), but don't let the simplicity of this method lead you to believe that it's ineffective. You can collect more than a quart a day even in some of the hottest
Southwest deserts. In non desert areas, you may be able to collect enough water to last you all day! Transpiration: Water can be obtained by placing clear plastic bags over the leafy branch of a non-poisonous tree and securing the end of the branch. Ensure there are no holes in the bag [seal these with black tape, band-aids, etc.]. The action of the sun on the plastic will cause water to be drawn from the leaves and run to the lowest part of the bag.
Do not disturb the bag to collect the water, simply cut a small hole in the bag then reseal it. The leaves will continue to produce water as the roots draw it from the ground. The water should be drained off every two hours and stored. Tests indicate that if this is not done the leaves stop producing water. Probably the heavy concentration of moisture-laden air reduces the effectiveness of the sun. If there are no large trees in the area, you can break up clumps of grass or small bushes and place them inside the bag. The same effect will take place. If this is done the foliage will have to be replaced at regular intervals when water production is reduced. Ensure these bags receive maximum sunshine at all times.
SNOW: Do not ingest frozen snow. The fact is that it takes a lot of body energy to melt snow ... and, in cold weather, a survivalist can't afford any extra drain on his or her stamina. It's best to melt snow or ice and warm the water slightly before ingesting it. You can do so by building a fire and digging depressions in the snow nearby to collect the fluid ... dropping a heated rock into a container of snow ... or just putting a flake-filled cup in a snow pit and covering it over with pine or fir boughs (sunlight on the dark needles will eventually melt the snow in the cup). Sap from trees: In the spring, birch trees are full of water, and can be drilled and tapped quite easily to produce several quarts of water each.
How to purify water: 1. Fill a pot with water. 2. Let any particles in the water settle to the bottom of the pot, or filter them through a paper towel or clean cloth. If you can, make a charcoal filter from charcoal from your fire, pulvarized and packed in a coffee can type container with holes hammered in the center of the bottom. This will help filter out really nasty water. 3. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes. 4. Pour the water back and forth between two clean containers to restore oxygen, thereby improving taste. 5. Let the water cool before drinking. Can also boil using a tea pot and hook up a copper coil and cork to condense the water coming out as a makeshift still to purify the water.
Or tie a clean cup to the handle of a large pot's lid so that it hangs rightside-up inside the pot when the lid is upside-down. Be sure that the cup is not trailing into the water. The cup will fill with condensed steam and be pure. If you have regular uncented household bleach, you can add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water to insure that it is disinfected. If you have little or no water, don't eat! It takes water for your body to digest and metabolize food. Don't eat unless you have at least two or more quarts of water available per day available. Water Purification Table: Liquid household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochiorite) can be used. Add bleach according to the table below. Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. AMOUNT OF WATER CLEAR WATER CLOUDY WATER
1 Quart 1 Gallon 5 gallons
2 drops 4 drops 8 drops 16 drops 1/2 teaspoon 1 teaspoon
Ration your sweat not your water intake. Try to drink only in the cool of the evening. You can live up to three days without water. Daily water requirements average about two litres per person per day to stay hydrated in a temporate climate in an inactive state.
HOW TO START A FIRE: DO NOT collect from the ground, it is probably wet or very damp. 1) Tinder – the essential first ingredient to get a flame from a spark. Items for use as tinder (must be completely dry): Birch Bark
Tinder Fungus grows on live birch trees and looks like a blotch of blackened wood. It is rather hard. It resembles black bark that has peeled away slightly from the tree and thickened. The part that you use is inside the blackened outer layer, the red-brown material. It crumbles readily, so you can use it as part of tinder when making fire (or in a fire piston), or keep it in a whole piece for carrying a coal. Rabbit tobacco – dry Thistle fluff Shredded inner bark from cedar, chestnut, red elm trees Fine wood shavings Dead grass, ferns, moss, fungi Straw Sawdust Very fine pitch wood scrapings Dead evergreen needles Punk (the completely rotted portion of dead logs or trees) Evergreen tree knots Bird down (fine feathers) Down seed heads (milkweed, dry cattails, bulrush, Cananda thistle, goldenrod, dandelion) Fine dried vegtable fibers Spongy threads of dead puffball Dead palm leaves Skinlike membrane lining of bamboo Lint from pocket and seams Charred cloth Waxed paper Outer bamboo shavings Gunpowder
Cotton Lint Dryer Lint soaked in vasaline works well as tinder. Lint dipped in sterno works even better. 2) Kindling - Kindling is readily combustible material that you add to the burning tinder. Items to be used as kindling (must be completely dry): Small twigs Small strips of wood Split wood Heavy cardboard Pine resin from a wounded tree Pieces of wood removed from the inside of larger peieces Wood that has been doused with highly flammable materials such as gasoline, oil, or wax. 3) Fuel - Once your fire is established you can start adding larger pieces of fire wood. Items to be used as fuel: Dry standing wood and dry dead branches Dry inside (heart) of fallen tree trunks and large branches Green wood that is finely split Dry grasses twisted into bunches Peat dry enough to burn (this may be found at the top of undercut banks) Dried animal dung Animal fats Coal, oil shale, or oil sand lying on the surface Characteristics of various woods Ease of Cooking Species Starting Qualities Sparks Apple Difficult Excellent Few Ash Fair Good Few Aspen Fair Fair Moderate Beech Difficult Good Few Birch Easy Fair Moderate Cedar Easy Poor Many Cherry Difficult Excellent Few Elm Fair Poor Few Fir Easy Poor Many Hickory Difficult Excellent Moderate Locust Difficult Excellent Few Maple Difficult Excellent Few Oak Difficult Excellent Few Pine Easy Poor Many Spruce Easy Poor Many Sycamore Difficult Poor Moderate Imparted Flavors Excellent Good Good Good Good Bad Excellent Bad Bad Excellent Good Excellent Good Bad Bad Bad
Smoke Little Little Little Little Moderate Many Little Heavy Heavy Little Little Little Little Heavy Heavy Heavy
Conserve fuel by making a "star fire" where the ends of large logs meet in the fire only, push inward as more fuel is needed. Less cutting of the wood is required when using the star fire.
4) Magnifying glass (butane lighter or waterproofed matches as backup when the sun is not out). Dark tinder works best, as it readily absorbs energy from the sun. In an emergency kit, keep joke birthday candles that don't blow out. They will work when other things may not. 5) Bow and Drill: Take a piece of dry, sound, balsam-fir wood (or else yucca, cedar, cypress, tamarack, basswood, or cottonwood, in order of choice) and make of it a drill and a block, thus:
The drill should be not more than five eighths of an inch in diameter and 12 to 15 inches long. The larger your drill, the harder you have to work. There is no use in having an immense pile of powder to get a spark. If the drill averages five eighths of an inch in diameter, is perfectly straight, and tapers off at the top nicely, it will revolve smoothly and bring your spark quickly. The drill should be held perpendicularly and should be held solidly by the hand resting firmly against the shin bone. The drill should be placed in the bow so that the loop is on the outside of the thong away from the bow. This prevents the drill from rubbing against the bow. A modified bow drill may be a better alternative if you have the material available:
Block, or board: two inches wide, six or eight inches long, five eighths of an inch thick. In this block, near one end, cut a side notch one half an inch deep, and near its end half an inch from the edge make a little hollow or pit in the top of the block, as in the above illustration (cut 1 b).
The notch should be cut into the board deeper at the bottom than at the top, and wider from a side view at the bottom than at the top. The narrower the notch is, while allowing the powder to drop, the better. The notch should be so cut that when the hole has been drilled, there will be just a little slit running from the side to the center of the hole through which the powder drops down. The wood must be cut smooth, or the spark may stick and not drop below. I have found it best to have the notch face me rather than have it the other side of the board away from me. I have noticed that the average person leans his drill, which causes it to push against the outside rim of the hole and to break the side away. Usually it is better to start your hole above the notch and then open up the notch until it connects with the hole. Tinder: For tinder use a wad of fine, soft, very dry, dead grass mixed with shredded cedar bark, birch bark, or even cedar wood scraped into a soft mass. A meadow mouse's nest does very well for tinder. It is easy to get a number of them after the snow has gone from the wet meadows in spring time. Bow: Make a bow of any bent stick two feet long, with a strong buckskin or belt-lacing thong on it (cut 1c). Socket: Finally, you need a socket. This simple little thing is made in many different ways. Sometimes I use a pine or hemlock knot with a pit one quarter inch deep, made by boring with the knife point. But it is a great help to have a good one made of a piece of smooth, hard stone or marble, set in wood; the stone or marble having in it a smooth, round pit three-eighths inch wide and three-eighths inch deep. The one I use most was made by the Eskimo. A view of the under side is shown in cut 1 (fig. d). The hole in the soapstone should be large enough and deep enough to hold the upper point of the drill solidly without slipping out. The socket itself should not be held in the fingers but in the palm of the hand. Never let a light muscle do what a heavy muscle can do. There is a very general tendency to let the wrist get away from the shin bone, which leaves the hand wobbling, unsupported in the air. The Foot: The foot is placed close to the drill, with all the weight on the ball of the foot, the heel off the floor so that you can regulate the pressure by the raising and lowering of the heel. Now we are ready to make the fire: Under the notch in the fire-block set a thin chip (for transfering the hot coal). Turn the leather thong of the bow once around the drill: the thong should now be quite tight. Put one point of the drill into the pit of the block, and on the upper end put the socket, which is held in the left hand, with the top of the drill in the hole of the stone (as in cut 2). Hold the left wrist against the left shin, and the left foot on the fire-block. Now, draw the right hand back and forth steadily on level and the full length of the bow. This causes the drill to twirl in the pit. Soon it bores in, grinding out powder, which presently begins to smoke. When there is a great volume of smoke from a growing pile of black powder, you know that you have the spark. Cautiously lift the block, leaving the smoking powder on the chip. Fan this with your hand till the live coal appears. Now, put a wad of the tinder gently on the
spark; raise the chip to a convenient height, and blow till it bursts into flame. N. B. The notch must reach the middle of the fire-pit.
You must hold the drill steadily upright, and cannot do so without bracing the left wrist against the left shin, and having the block on a firm foundation. You must begin lightly and slowly, pressing heavily and sawing fast after there is smoke. The Spark: When you get your spark, hold your left hand on the board as you take your foot off, and tap with the right hand (to loosen any spark that might hang onto the notch) before lifting the board. When you put your tinder on the spark, hold it down in the back and on the sides so that you will not blow the spark away. If the fire does not come, it is because you have not followed these instructions.
6) To keep fire overnight, cover hot coals in fire pit with ashes and dry earth. Will smoulder till morning and can be relight with tinder. 7) Split wood burns better than unsplit wood. Splitting wood even if it is wet will increase your odds of starting a fire. WILD FOODS: OAKS: All acorns (Quercus species) are edible when processed, though some are a good bit sweeter than others. However, if you simply shell one of the seeds and take a bite, it's likely that you'll immediately be turned off by the very astringent, burning quality typical of most oak nuts. Fortunately, you can leach out the tannic acid that makes them bitter, and the easiest way to do so is to shell the acorns, smash them (you'll want to break them up but not pulverize them), wrap the pieces in a cloth, and place them in a stream for about half a day (longer, if they haven't lost their unpleasant taste by that time). This processing leaches out the tannin, which gives it it's bitter taste and is a mild poison. You can test theacorns by biting into them to see if the bitter taste is gone. Then they are safe to eat. Once they're leached, the acorns can be eaten raw, toasted, added to stews, or pounded fine and mixed with wild-grain flours to make bread. They're a valuable source of proteins and carbohydrates that's available from early fall until well into the next spring. And acorn sprouts can be prepared in the same ways as the
nuts themselves, or—in the case of most white oak species—can be eaten right off the ground. GRASSES: Of the many grasses found in North America, all but a few are edible, with their SEEDS being the most palatable part. However, it's best to select grasses with large seed heads or clusters, since trying to collect small ones would likely be a waste of vital energy. The seeds should be dried and parched, then winnowed to remove the chaff. The kernels can then be toasted and eaten plain, added to stews, or ground into flour for bread. Some of the best, safest, and most widely available grasses are crab, goose, foxtail, blue, rye, and orchard, plus wild oats and millet. Kudzu: The tuberous roots of the kudzu plant are edible eaten raw or boiled. Also has medicinal uses as a paste on uncers and boils on the skin. Raw leaves are edible for other animals, such as rabbits, cows, etc. Leaves can be fried and eaten. Leaves can be battered before frying if you have any flour (Powdered acorn flower?). Recipe for those lucky ones with all the ingredients: Tempura Batter for Kudzu Leaves 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup cornstarch (or kudzu root powder) pinch of salt 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 2 egg whites 1 cup water, plus one ice cube Mix dry ingredients. Beat egg whites with water, and add to dry mix. Do not over-mix. The batter should be very thin. (Prepare just before frying. Dip clean, dry kudzu leaves in the batter, one by one, drain excess batter, and fry quickly in 350 to 375 degree oil. Drain well and sprinkle a little more salt as well as a little garlic powder on the leaves before you eat them (optional).
CATTAILS: The cattail (either Typha latifolia or T. angustifolia) can be utilized at almost any time of the year, because at each stage of its life cycle it has a number of edible parts. For example, you can mash the root (rhizome) up in cold water to separate the soluble starches, and—once these have settled, and the fibers and water have been removed—add the material to stew or mix it with other wild flours to make bread. The summer rhizomes may be peeled and boiled or fried with onions. The new shoots can be eaten raw, and those up to a foot tall may be prepared like asparagus. The head, before it emerges, can be cooked and eaten like corn on the cob. Finally, it's possible to collect
cattail pollen for use in soup or as a flour. The long leaves are inedible, but make great ground cover mats when woven together.
COMMON PLANTAIN: Look for these plants in lawns and along roads in the North Temperate Zone. This plant is a common weed throughout much of the world. When steamed or boiled, the tender young leaves of the Plantago species can be eaten as a cooked vegetable or added to soup and stew. The very young, unfurling leaves are sometimes eaten raw. Then, too, I like to grind the parched and winnowed seeds into wild flour that has a distinctive taste and a healthful dose of protein.
DANDELIONS AND CHICKORY (FALSE DANDELION): Young leaves harvested before flowers appear can be used in salads or cooked like domestic greens. Should the taste be too bitter a change of cooking water will remove the bitterness. Leaves are a good source for Vitamin’s A and C. A lack of vitamin C for 6 to 8 weeks can cause “Scurvy”, which if not treated can become deadly. Symptoms begin with bleeding gums and end with complete organ failure. Roots are best dug in autumn and should be dried uncut until hard. Like chicory root, dried roots are slowly roasted and ground as a coffee substitute. The roots taken up in the autumn, being then most fitted for this purpose. The prepared powder is said to be almost indistinguishable from real coffee. Dandelions and Chicory are cousins, and are often confused with each other, but both are edible and useable in the same fashion.
DAYLILLIES: The buds and flowers, long a standard in the Orient, have many uses in cookery. Care should be taken not to the flower buds. Boil only a few minutes when prepared as a solo dish with butter. Buds and flowers can both be added to soup or stew a few
vegetable overcook topped minutes
before removing from heat. Perhaps the most delicious part of this plant are the starchy root tubers or swellings which number as many as thirty per plant. Their taste is reminiscent of potatoes although crisper and sweeter. They may be boiled, fried with onions or added raw to the salad. Although they may be harvested at any time, they are best in autumn after a frost. ROSES: It's possible to steep the fresh petals of the Rosa species in hot water to make a very tasty tea. Also, the dried and pitted rose hips can be eaten raw and make an excellent survival food, because they can often be found throughout the winter and are packed with vitamin C.
WAERLILIES: Almost all waterlilies (Nymphaea and Nuphar species) are edible and can be gathered most of the year. During the summer months, when the rootstocks become mushy and rather tasteless, they're still an excellent source of survival food. Additionally, the young, unfurling leaves and unopened buds can be prepared as a potherb. The seeds can be parched, winnowed, and ground into a nutritious flour, and the potato-shaped tubers of the tuberous waterlily (N. tuberosa) can be dug from the mud and prepared like—what else?—potatoes. Two of the more common edible varieties are the yellow pond lily and the fragrant pond lily. (Be careful, though, to collect any such plants from pollution-free waters!)
THISTLE: Yes, despite their spiny defense, thistles are edible. There are many species of Thistle but none of them are poisonous, so it is safe to experiment with them as a food source. When the thistles have grown tall I have sometimes cut them off near the base, then with a hunting knife, hacked off the leaves and outer green layer of the stalk, leaving a whitish interior core that is palatable as a nibble, it can be cooked as a vegetable.Thistles are said to have saved the lives of some early explorers when that was all they could find to eat. The cultivated Artichoke is related to the Thistle, the heart of the Artichoke being the receptacle of the flower head. An interesting experiment might be to try preparing the heads of the various species of Thistles to see how they are similar to Artichokes.
WILD ONION: There are at least three species of onions growing in the mountains of Colorado, the most common (best known) being Allium cernuum Roth. Fortunately, we don't need to be concerned about which is which, all are edible and taste good. It is true that there are some similar looking plants that are poisonous, such as Death Camas, but as a rule to remember, if it smells like an onion, it is an onion. The only problem with this is, that once you have dug up a few wild onions, everything you touch smells like onion, so be careful. Wild onions may be used as you would use onions from the supermarket, but be advised, they are strong flavored and a little goes a long way, and they don't seem to get more tender with cooking. But they are excellent as a seasoning or as a addition to spuds and stews. The pink flowers in their nodding umber are also edible and may be the best part of the plant, and are at least the easiest to collect. Once you have learned to recognize the dried stems of the wild onion they can be found even in winter and so are a valuable emergency food to the outdoorsman.
WILD CARROTS (QUEEN ANNE’S LACE): Root is edible - tastes like carrots. The first year roots are the best. But be very careful not to confuse Wild Carrot with other similar species, some of which are DEADLY POISONOUS. Be sure that the plant you think is WIld Carrot actually smells like carrots and that it is growing in a dry field. The bracts that hang down underneath the flower umbel are characteristic of this species. Most of Wild Carrot's lookalikes do not have these, or at least not as many. Queen Anne’s Lace seeds have been used as a contraceptive by women since the time of the ancient Greeks. The aromatic seeds of wild carrot are collected in the fall and eaten (a heaping teaspoonful a day) to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. In one small study the effectiveness rate after thirteen months of use was 99%. PINES: Not all evergreens are edible, but the Pinus (pine) species are. These trees offer a wide assortment of munchables that are all easily collected and prepared. You can, for instance, add the pollen to stew as a thickener and to bread for flavor. And if you heat the cones gently by a fire until they open, the seeds can be easily extracted. These can then be eaten raw, parched and winnowed, or shelled and baked—depending on the species—and added to soup and
bread. Use pine needles (along with those from spruce and hemlock . . . but be sure you're not gathering the needles from the red-berried, poisonous American yew, Taxus canadensis) to make a nourishing tea. You can use the tea as a base for a stew. You can also dry the inner bark of pine, spruce (Picea species), and hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and add it to stew and bread. The tender roots of pine shoots that are less than six inches tall can also be eaten raw in a pinch. Pine Soup In 1535, the french explorer Jacques Cartier and his men were in desperate condition after a particularly severe winter in Newfoundland. Already 25 lay dead and not one of the remaining survivors was not suffering from the ravages of Scurvy. Fortunately for history a group of local indians took pity on them, and told Cartier that their medicine man had the perfect cure. Shoving their prejudices aside, they went to the medicine man. The miracle brew of this wise man was so simple that Cartier and his men nearly rejected it at first. Without any hocus pocus, the medicine man simply plucked a hand full of pine needles from a nearby tree and boiled them in a pot for a few minutes. Then he gave each one a cup of "soup". Although skeptical, they did as they were told and the soup transformed their health in a matter of 6 days. This is recorded because they lived to tell the tale. Pine needles contain 5 times the vitamin C found in lemons, and is a great preventative for “Scurvy”. Think of it as a herbal tea. A handful of pine needles, or 1/4 cup fresh chopped needles steeped in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes provide 100% of the U.S.R.D.A. of vitamin C. Pine soup (or tea) tastes like the pine forest smells, or add a squeeze of lemon and a little honey to liven it up a bit. In the southwestern deserts of the U.S. grows the Pinion Pine. (California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.) Every few years when comes an abundant rainfall, the trees produce a bumper crop of cones bearing the delicately flavored seeds. They can best be foraged by raiding the messy looking nests of wood rats, who hoard many of the seeds. Certain Indian tribes used to peel young shoots of pine and use them as a green vegetable. The colonists used to make a candy out of these same shoots by boiling them in a heavy sugar syrup until they were nearly transparent and thoroughly crystalized. Ojibway indians made use of the young staminate catkins (little pine cone like growths, covered in soft brown scales and growing at the terminal end of the needle clusters) by cooking them with a chunk of meat. Don't throw on the steak yet. Some varieties of pine have a heavy turpentine flavor. Try some by just boiling before you ruin a piece of meat. When you find a tasty variety, then throw the steak in with them for a really good experience. PINE BARK Don't make the mistake of trying to eat the dead outer layer of the pine tree bark. It is the moist white living inner bark (cambrium layer) we are after.
The cambrium is located just underneath the dead outer layer and it is here where the tree`s girth growth occurs. The best way to get a supply is to peel off some large chunks of bark, being careful not to girdle the tree lest you destroy it, the carefully fillet the moist layer of cambrium clinging to the inside of that. You can prepare it immediately or dry it for later use. If dried, be sure to soak a couple of hours before cooking. Late spring is the best time, when the tree is richest in sugars. Use the largest trees possible. Width is more important than height, the wider the tree, the thicker the cambrium layer. The best way is to find a logging operation and obtain permission to peel the stumps. This is where the cambrium is thickest and best, and you can get the most food with the least work. Boil for a half hour, or until the water turns red from resins. Change water and boil a second time for a half hour. Change water and boil a third time for a half hour. On the last boiling, the bark will be fairly tender and the water will only be light pink. The "bark" will have a color like fresh ham, with a texture exactly like cooked turkey breast. The bark has no particular flavor at all, which makes it an excellent meat substitute with the proper seasonings. If you can’t boil the bark several times, put it in a porous bag and leave it in a running stream for a couple of days to help leech out the tannin before cooking. After the last cooking and draining, add any kind of flavoring that you may have available and simmer for one hour. The medicinal value of the pine goes beyond the vitamin C in it's needles. The White Pine (Pinus Strobus) is officially recognized in the U.S. Pharmacopia. The cambrium layer of the bark is an effective cough remedy, and still finds it's way into cough syrups. To make your own, put a tablespoons of crushed pieces into a jar with 2/3 cup of boiling water. Cover with a loose plastic lid (not metal) and let steep for 2 hours. Add a half cup of brandy and seal. Let the infusion sit overnight. In the morning strain out the bark and add 1 cup of honey to the liquid. Seal and use 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed.
Wild Muscadines STAY AWAY from mushrooms and any plant that has a milky sap. Why take a chance?
Vegitation requires less body fluid to digest than meats, so if your water supply is limited, try to stay with vegitation for meals. ALL fur bearing animals are edible. ALL birds are edible with no exceptions. Head, legs, feathers and intestins should be removed befoe cooking. Here is a simple bird snare. Ground feeding birds can be trapped by placing grass or other bait (such as earth worms) under a cage made from wire netting or green sticks woven together. The cage is propped up with a stick that is pulled out by a hidden observer tugging a string as the bird walks under the cage. The cage falls, trapping the bird.
Fish - Worms dug from along the bank or bugs will generally work fine as bait. A spear can be readily fashioned and spear heads improvised or simply sharpen the end and add a few notches to keep the fish from coming off. In a pinch you can even catch fish with your bare hands. The secret to fishing is to be quiet and patient. Avoid white water, fish the quiet pools and eddies behind rocks or
along banks. Slice open the belly and remove the entrails, cut off the head if it bothers you, and cook. Smoke all excess meat beside the campfire to preserve it. To smoke meat, make a small tipi structure over burning coals that has support beams in the middle that hold the meat. The fire should be in a pit with hot coals, and green/wet wood added to it to produce sufficient smoke. Two days of continuous smoking will preserve meat for 2 to 4 weeks. Snails can also be eaten once boiled sufficently. Grubs found in rotten logs are edible, as are almost all insects (6 legs). Remember do not eat spiders or anything else with more than six legs. Crawdads – Found under rocks and logs on banks and in streams of water less than six feet deep. They are easy to recognize, they look like miniature lobsters. Put a stick in front of the crawdad claws, and it will back up into an empty can or your hand. If you catch them by hand, catch them behind the pinchers. Store the crawdads in water out of direct sunlight until ready to cook. Great source of protein, but only the tail has enough meat worth eating. Boil the crawdads until hey are done (when they turn red just like shrimp or lobster). Snap off the head (or the tail, depending on your perspective), suck the spicy juices, fat and whatever (generally no meat) out of the head, and then crack and peel the tail portion and eat the meat. Sucking the head portion can be very spicy hot, so depending on how desperate you are for protein, which very little is in the head, you can skip this step if you wish. When cooking wild foods, plants or meat, boiling is the preferred method because the resulting broth captures much of the important nutrients and they do not go to waste. But, you have to drink the broth to benefit. Plans for a solar cook stove:
The Foldable Family Panel is neither a "solar oven" or "curved concentrator" but a happy hybrid. Its utter simplicity belies its powerful cooking power. Its low cost brings solar cooking to a much wider market of people. It is handy for cooking food, baking breads, pasteurizing water, and teaching the basics of solar energy. Co-developers are Roger Bernard of France and Barbara Kerr of the USA, with work also by Edwin Pejack, Jay Campbell, and Bev Blum of Solar Cookers International. Extensive field tests in the USA and with refugees in Kenya confirm its performance, convenience, low cost, acceptance, and adaptability to diverse needs.
Construction Start with a big piece of cardboard about 1m x 1.33m (3'x 4'). Cut and fold as shown. The angles and folds shown are best, but small variations are OK.
Hints: To make clean straight folds in cardboard, first make a crease along the line with a blunt edge such as a spoon handle, then fold against a firm straight edge.
Make the slots a little too small and narrow so that they fit snugly to hold up the front panel. Glue aluminum foil on the side that will form the inside surfaces when the oven is set up for cooking. To set up, lay panel flat with shiny side up. Fold up front and back parts and fit back corners into the slots in front. You're ready to cook! Put your food into a dark-colored pot. Then place the pot inside a plastic bag (an oven cooking bag will withstand the heat best). Close the open end of the bag and place pot and bag into the center of the cooker. Dr. Steven Jones found that raising the pot on a wire frame improved cooking in a panel cooker.
"A summary of water pasteurization techniques" by Dale Andreatta. "UNICEF estimates that 60% of rural families and 23% of urban families in developing countries are without safe water. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not necessary to boil water to make it safe to drink... Heating water to 65 deg C (149 deg F) for 6 minutes, or to a higher temperature for a shorter time, will kill all germs, viruses, and parasites" -- this is well within the range of solar box cookers.
Making Rabbit Snares:
Find a well traveled rabbit path. Walk and work BESIDE the trail, not on it as your scent may spook the rabbit. Find a flexible sapling that is close enough to reach the rabbit trail and strip all of the limbs and leaves off of it. This will insure that the spring will work fast enough to trap the rabbit. Make a stake that is notched on one end to use as the trigger. Make another stake
with a notch that is punded into the ground beside the rabbit run. Tie a piece of wire or small rope on the end of the sapling that has a noose on the opposite end and the trigger in the middle. Hook the trigger into the stake then elevate the loop about 3’’ off the ground with small sticks on either side of the noose. When the rabbit gets caught in the noose, it will trip the trigger and raise the rabbit off of the ground and away from preditors until you can retrieve it. You may also want to make a deadfall trap if you can find the right kind of stone to use.
LIGHTING: A Viking Fat Burning Lamp
Not every culture used candles; in fact, most early period peoples used torches or fat lamps to supplement firelight. A fat lamp consists of a shallow dish filed with fat or oil and a wick: simplicity itself. Soapstone lamps were common among the Vikings. A flat sea shell such as a scallop will do, so will a shallow ceramic bowl. Put a layer of oil or melted fat in the dish, add a wick and light (Oil or grease the wick well before lighting it the first time). Vegetable oil can be substituted for animal fat if/when possible. Vikings used wicks of twisted moss. You can use candle wicking or a TIGHTLY TWISTED strip of cloth. Float the wick in the oil with one end resting on the side of the bowl or lamp (some lamps had depressions to hold the wick, rather like an ashtray) and light. The lamp needs to be shallow, because of the poor drawing power of the lamp oil, which means the wick needs to be as close to the oil source as possible. Something like a glass ashtray with the wick hanging over one of the depressions meant for the cigarette is about what it should look like. As the wick burns down, you will have to pull the unburned wick up so the lamp will stay lit. Use a pair or tweezers or a sliver of wood to reach in and pull it up. Make sure to set the lamp where it cannot be knocked over.
The oldest types of olive oil lamps were open Saucer Lamps. They were terra cotta bowls that had one end pinched almost closed to seat the wick. One can be made in about 10 minutes. The pinched end needs to be as low as possible to keep the wick supplied with olive oil but not drain the olive oil out. To increase the flame, just pull out the wick. It is definitely better than a candle in the wind, and better for walking. A little oil goes a long way. Most fuels have pretty similar calorific value (energy content), so oil will last like a candle. This small lamp should easily last several hours (depending on the flame size). That's cheaper than batteries. A wick just long enough to have one end in the fuel, not coiled up in the fuel, is much more efficient, for fuel does not have as far to travel up the wick. You must also keep the flame from being drowned by excess fuel. A wick may be fashioned by simply hand twisting a two-ply strand of cordage from Cedar bark you have stripped from the side of a tree, rubbed between the palms and fluffed up. Lamps like these could easily run all night and provide a permanent flame. It appears this was exactly what they once did. The smoke from olive oil doesn't sting the eyes, but it does make a little soot when the flame is large. The interesting thing about olive oil is that is won't burn except on the wick. I couldn't get the oil to light in a pool on the ground for example. Olive oil seems to be inherently safe in this respect - no flammability problems. If the lamp is kicked over it either carries on as before of goes out. By tilting the lamp, oil can even drip from the wick without burning. Good clay can often be found near river beds. Clay is often strenghtened (or tempered) by adding powdered shards ground from broken pottery. Temper is added to counteract shrinkage of the clay, it facilitates uniform drying and lessens the risk of the vessel cracking when fired. Crushed rock, or sand can also be used as a temper material. The normal ration of clay to temper material is 3:1 but you may want to vary it depending on what your particular clay does. Water is added to the clay and temper mix until the clay can be rolled into coils, which will be used to build the pottery up, and then smoothed on the outside and inside. This technique is used instead of the familiar turning wheel which was developed later for shaping the clay. The thinner the rope coil is rolled out, the more intricate the design that could be created by the potter. The shaped clay is fired in a dug pit under burning limbs for a 4-6 hours in order to make it hard enough to use. Remove from fire when it turns orange-red. Cool very slowly. Simple items can be shaped and "pinched" into shape from a raw piece of clay (items such as the Open Saucer Lamp). CORDAGE: You begin by cutting a few leaves from the plant (yucca, palm leaves, wild rose stems, dogbane, stingint nettle, velvet leaf, hemp, cattail, milkweed, willow tree bark or the fiberous inner layer of a cedar tree). It is best to be
careful with stinging nettle, yucca and wild rose stems as they can cause injury. After harvesting a few leaves, limbs,or stems, you will need to remove the outer green pulp by either scraping with a knife, rubbing over a rock, or by pounding gently with a mallet (don't break the fibers in the process). Then soak the leaves in water for a number of hours (may take up to two days) to separate the pulp from the fiber. This process is called retting. Separate the leaves into narrow strips with about 10-20 fibers per strip. Roll strips between hands to form loose strands of cordage. Make two of these strands of cordage. Then: STEP 1: Holding one strand in either hand, begin to twist each one clockwise.
STEP 2: With the little finger of your right hand, pick up the left strand.
STEP 3: Twist your right hand over to the left, turning both strands in a counter-clockwise direction.
STEP 4: Continue the process until you have a length as long as you like. You'll know you've done it right if, when you let go, it doesn't unravel. If equal twisting force is applied in these steps, your twine will come out looking evenly spaced and uniform. When you begin to run out of fiber (2-3 inches left), get ready to splice in a new length of fiber strand. The key to splicing is to not splice both strands at the same time. Shorten one if you have to, and splice by twisting in a new strand clockwise with your top strand. Fold down and crank counter clockwise like you normally do over the bottom strand. Keep twisting and cranking, and watch your splice disappear into the completed cord. * One fiber you can use to experiment making cordage is raffia, an exotic grass that can be found in most craft stores. (1) Twist the top (right side) strand in a clockwise direction. (2) Twist both strands together in a counter clockwise direction. Small green willow branches are a ready made cordage, although not as strong as one that is produced as above. EMERGENCY POWER: If you have a riding lawn mower with headlights, it may only take some additional wiring to turn it into a light/power source as long as you have gasoline available and can get the mower to crank. List of items needed in order of priority: 1) Good quality large magnifying glass 2) Household bleach 3) Butane lighters 4) Vasaline - large container 5) Dryer lint or cotton balls
6) Sheet of plastic for solar stills 7) Machete
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