Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When All Hell Breaks Loose

If you've ever watched Discovery Channel's "Dual Survival," you'd know who Cody Lundin is. If not, he's a down-to-earth hippie with a good sense of humor and a wealth of survival knowledge. My buddy bought me this book for Christmas and I decided to take it along with my on my stay in the woods. I've read some other survival oriented books before and I got to say, this one is a great read. Cody has a no bullshit, no frills attitude that permeates throughout the over 400 pages. His writing style is unique and entertaining, something which is awesome for a subject like this because it's stuff everyone should know but some won't because they find it boring for whatever reason.

The book covers a broad range of skills, anywhere from having a good survival mindset to trapping animals for food and making makeshift sleeping bags, and, when his book doesn't cover something fully he admits it and says to do some more research on that specific area. I like this approach WAY better than somebody claiming their book teaches everything in the world in 20 pages. The advice and skills contained in this book seem to be more focused on urban survival such as how to be prepared if your city's water/electricity shuts down for an extended period of time which is actually a more realistic scenario for a majority of readers, although it does have some great outdoor material.

Here are a couple Youtube vids of the guy sharing some of his wisdom.

Definitely check it out if you're up for a read with substance.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The MAN is back in TOWN, so don't you MESS around!

Hey guys, I'm finally back. Feels good to sleep in a bed again. Expect some updates soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Survival Skills 101: Camoflauge

I figured I'd be nice and give you guys one more skill to check out before I return to the woods. Obviously not the MOST important skill to have for survival but it can prove useful and lets face facts. It's badass. It's also been on my mind since I've been practicing it lately while bow hunting. The object is to make yourself, or something, less visible to the naked eye, be it that of your enemy or your prey.

Top Ways to Give Away Position
  • shine
  • shape
  • shadow
  • sound
  • movement
  • color
So with that, what we want to do is break those up to make things less distinguishable. Base things off your surroundings. If you're in the woods, use natural colors you'd find in the woods, etc. If your surroundings are dark, use darker camo. Stay as still and quiet as possible. Wear camo clothing if you have access. Feel free to let your creativity get the better of you. If you're a history buff or have ever seen a movie about Nam, you probably know how soldiers would often literally attach pieces of the local vegetation to themselves and their gear. Beyond that, practice using proper face camo because the human face is one of the most distinguishable physical features there is.

Make Your Face Disappear
  • Create a thin layer over the entire face, ears and neck with green or brown camo paint, mud or whatever dark, natural colors you can find. This kills the shine.
  • Break up naturally recognized shapes like the nose, ears, cheekbones, by using dark and light lines of varying thicknesses and shapes. I like to cover the top half of my ears with black and put black stripes down through the eyes and cheeks to help blend the irises/pupils. Put some through the lips to break up your mouth shape. Remember to cover the neck too.
  • Use green and brown smudges to help break up the face shape and give it some nonhuman coloring.
Here's a couple pics to give you an idea:

Also, try watching the movie Predator. Arnie's camo might give ideas. It's not the best but it'll do. Have fun with it. Practice hiding from people. Even if you can't effectively dissappear, remind yourself how awesome you probably look. Mindset is the key to survival. We'll come back to this later.

Uses For Camo
  • Hunting
  • Breaking curfew
  • Military operations
  • Hiding stuff
  • Zombie invasions
  • Red Dawn?
 The point is, camouflage is one of nature's oldest deceptions and it's about time you learn how to use it! If these methods sound too complex you could always go the lazy route and just use camo netting found at a military surplus store and/or a ghillie suit. A lot of snipers wear th-

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Survival Skills 101: Clothes

I'm back! For now. I wanted to return for a bit and support my fellow bloggers, then it's back to the mountains. It's been a pretty amazing adventure so far. In only one week, I've been stalked by cougars, seen some humongous elk, followed bear prints, been eaten by the world's biggest mosquitoes, and eaten a shitload of wild huckleberries. The woods are peaceful, almost eerily so. In a time when people often have the TV or radio running constantly to produce background noise, silence can take some getting used to. It all reminds me of how hardened people used to be, and how far removed from self-sustainability we've become as a nation. Everyone should know how to live in the wild, I don't care who you are, because you never know what's around the next bend.

I'm going to start a series of random bits of survival wisdom, tips and techniques I've picked up that could prove useful if you ever find yourself out in the wilderness. Note: these are generalizations, and while knowledge is helpful in a survival scenario, it will not guarantee your ultimate survival. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice! Go out and actually try some of these things in a safe environment so that you have the confidence to use them when you have to rely on them.

The Rule of 3's

You can live...
  • 3 minutes without air
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food
How to Dress

Your body needs a regulated 98.6 temp to survive. Learning to properly layer clothes is a MUST! What you want:

  • A base layer
    • Remember this, folks: "Cotton Kills." Use smartwool, polypropylene, silk. NO COTTON!
    • Should cover most if not all the body.
    • Should be somewhat snug to help pull moisture away from your skin (Wicking action)

  • An insulating layer
    • Just as it sounds, this layer goes over the base layer to keep you warm.
    • Use fleece, polyester, or wool. Something warmer that still helps wick moisture away while keeping you warm even when wet. I also like Primaloft but it can be spendy.
    • Should fit a little looser that base layer to trap warm air.
    • Multiple thin layers works better than one heavy layer here. Traps more air.

  • A shell layer
    • This outer layer protects the inner 2 layers from the elements.
    • Waterproof, windproof, etc. is nice. Gore-tex seems to be highly recommended here.

*Extra clothing tips: Dress for the weather. If it's hot out, wear less. If it's cold out, wear more. Sweating can be deadly in cold climates so always pay attention to your body signals and remove or add layers when necessary. Also, here's an interesting fact. While the rest of your body's outer blood vessels get smaller to avoid heat loss, the ones in your scalp do not! So wear a good hat. Another thing to keep in mind is the more skin you have showing, the more heat you lose.

Stay tuned. Let me know if you're interested in this stuff guys.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Into the Wild...

Hello to all my subscribers. This could be my last post for a bit. I've decided to leave my life of comfort and luxury and live in the wilds of the local mountains for some time, not sure how long. I am only taking with me the following:
  • water bottle
  • minimal amount of food
  • weapon (in this case a crossbow with broadheaded bolts)
  • clothing
  • tent
  • a few tools (rope, knife, etc)
  • camera
  • notebook and pen
It should prove to be a great adventure which I am eager to begin. An escape from all society's pressures thrust upon us from birth and a one-way ticket back to a simple, instinctual existence. Who knows, I might be inspired à la Henry Thoreau and write some profound material for the blog while out there so stay posted! Please continue the support as I continue mine from afar.

"No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild." ~McCandless

Friday, September 3, 2010

If you teach Bill Dance to fish... Well, good for you

My friend showed me this video and it cracks me up every time. Enjoy!

Depressed? Go Yogging!

Looking around, it seems as though everyone around me is diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder these days. Did it ever occur to anybody that maybe shifts in mood are normal? I feel like we're a bunch of leopards looking at each other and screaming, "Oh shit dude, you got a spot!" Feeling good all the time despite what's going on in your life, now THAT sounds wrong to me. From my experience, being labeled as something like depressed can start people down a pretty harmful cycle. First, when you treat something normal (like the occasional bad mood) as something that's not normal, you effectively ostracize yourself and make yourself feel like some kind of leper. This can damage your self esteem which can spiral you into an even deeper depression. Second, once you've established yourself as a "depressed" person, you can then start to use it as a crutch. Although many don't like to admit it, depression can be a useful tool to let you know when there's some much needed change in your life. If it weren't for feeling down, why would you venture out of your comfort zone? Unfortunately, it loses its usefulness once you use it as a crutch and tell yourself that "you're not depressed because you're unemployed, lonely, and/or uneducated, you're depressed because your brain chemistry is fucked up." See how easy it can be to resort to a complacent position in life and fall into stagnation? Instead of doing this, try taking a bad mood in stride and understanding why you're thinking that way. And go for a jog! Exercise is proven to be beneficial for relieving symptoms of depression.

I am not a Dr. Phil, nor do I plan on becoming one. These are just my thoughts after seeing many friends/family deal with depression. Obviously, there are exceptions.