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That about covers the basic techniques and equipment needed to make it through a short-term situation. Jerry Ward is the owner and operator of Ozark Mountain Preparedness, LLC located in Berryville, Arkansas.
Blogging about all things survival and emergency preparedness, including experiences with DIY projects and ideas, gear reviews, living frugally, cooking in unconventional ways, and more! By just adding a hatchet this kit meets the Alaskan and Canadian survival kit requirements.
By Jason KnightWilderness survival kits can provide you with just the right amount of tools and supplies to make it through a challenging outdoor experience. Survival kits are handy, but what if you left home without one?Participants in the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program learn the skills needed to survive without the aid of wilderness survival kits. To answer these questions, you need to know how to make various types of shelters and what materials you need to make them. Attach a drip stick (about a 10-centimeter stick) to each rope about 2.5 centimeters from the grommet. Spread the poncho and anchor it to the ground, putting sharpened sticks through the grommets and into the ground. If you plan to use the lean-to for more than one night, or you expect rain, make a center support for the lean-to. For additional protection from wind and rain, place some brush, your rucksack, or other equipment at the sides of the lean-to. To reduce heat loss to the ground, place some type of insulating material, such as leaves or pine needles, inside your lean-to.
To increase your security from enemy observation, lower the lean-to's silhouette by making two changes. Tie the other ends of these ropes at about knee height to two trees 2 to 3 meters apart and stretch the poncho tight.
Draw one side of the poncho tight and secure it to the ground pushing sharpened sticks through the grommets.
If you have a parachute and three poles and the tactical situation allows, make a parachute tepee.
You can make this tepee using parts of or a whole personnel main or reserve parachute canopy.
Determine the wind direction and locate the entrance 90 degrees or more from the mean wind direction. Lay out the parachute on the "backside" of the tripod and locate the bridle loop (nylon web loop) at the top (apex) of the canopy. Construct the entrance by wrapping the folded edges of the canopy around two free-standing poles.
Place all extra canopy underneath the tepee poles and inside to create a floor for the shelter. Leave a 30- to 50-centimeter opening at the top for ventilation if you intend to have a fire inside the tepee.
You need a 14-gore section (normally) of canopy, stakes, a stout center pole, and inner core and needle to construct this tepee. Stake the parachute material to the ground using the lines remaining at the lower lateral band.
After deciding where to place the shelter door, emplace a stake and tie the first line (from the lower lateral band) securely to it. Stretch the parachute material taut to the next line, emplace a stake on the scribed line, and tie the line to it. Loosely attach the top of the parachute material to the center pole with a suspension line you previously cut and, through trial and error, determine the point at which the parachute material will be pulled tight once the center pole is upright. Using a suspension line (or inner core), sew the end gores together leaving 1 or 1.2 meters for a door. You use the same materials, except for the center pole, as for the one-pole parachute tepee. After staking down the material, unfasten the line tied to the tree trunk, tighten the tepee material by pulling on this line, and tie it securely to the tree trunk. Lay the two 3-meter poles on the ground on either side of and in the same direction as the 4.5-meter pole. Lay the folded canopy over the 4.5 meter pole so that about the same amount of material hangs on both sides. Tuck the excess material under the 3-meter poles, and spread it on the ground inside to serve as a floor. Stake down or put a spreader between the two 3-meter poles at the shelter's entrance so they will not slide inward. The parachute cloth makes this shelter wind resistant, and the shelter is small enough that it is easily warmed.
You can make a hammock using 6 to 8 gores of parachute canopy and two trees about 4.5 meters apart (Figure 5-8). If you are in a wooded area and have enough natural materials, you can make a field-expedient lean-to (Figure 5-9) without the aid of tools or with only a knife.
Cover the framework with brush, leaves, pine needles, or grass, starting at the bottom and working your way up like shingling. In cold weather, add to your lean-to's comfort by building a fire reflector wall (Figure 5-9).
In a marsh or swamp, or any area with standing water or continually wet ground, the swamp bed (Figure 5-10) keeps you out of the water. Look for four trees clustered in a rectangle, or cut four poles (bamboo is ideal) and drive them firmly into the ground so they form a rectangle. Build a fire pad by laying clay, silt, or mud on one comer of the swamp bed and allow it to dry. Another shelter designed to get you above and out of the water or wet ground uses the same rectangular configuration as the swamp bed.
Look for loose rocks, dead limbs, coconuts, or other natural growth than could fall on your shelter. Build it by making a tripod with two short stakes and a long ridgepole or by placing one end of a long ridgepole on top of a sturdy base.
Secure the ridgepole (pole running the length of the shelter) using the tripod method or by anchoring it to a tree at about waist height. Prop large sticks along both sides of the ridgepole to create a wedge-shaped ribbing effect. Add light, dry, if possible, soft debris over the ribbing until the insulating material is at least 1 meter thick--the thicker the better.



At the entrance, pile insulating material that you can drag to you once inside the shelter to close the entrance or build a door. As a final step in constructing this shelter, add shingling material or branches on top of the debris layer to prevent the insulating material from blowing away in a storm.
If you are in a cold, snow-covered area where evergreen trees grow and you have a digging tool, you can make a tree-pit shelter (Figure 5-12).
Dig out the snow around the tree trunk until you reach the depth and diameter you desire, or until you reach the ground. Find and collect driftwood or other natural material to use as support beams and as a digging tool. Scrape or dig out a trench running north to south so that it receives the least amount of sunlight. Lay support beams (driftwood or other natural material) that span the trench on top of the mound to form the framework for a roof.
Anchor one end of your poncho (canvas, parachute, or other material) on the edge of the outcrop using rocks or other weights. Note: If you have enough material, fold it in half and form a 30-centimeter to 45-centimeter airspace between the two halves.
A belowground shelter (Figure 5-14) can reduce the midday heat as much as 16 to 22 degrees C (30 to 40 degrees F).
On the open end of the trench, dig out more sand so you can get in and out of your shelter easily. If you have extra material, you can further decrease the midday temperature in the trench by securing the material 30 to 45 centimeters above the other cover.
Another type of belowground shade shelter is of similar construction, except all sides are open to air currents and circulation. This 15 inch survival knife with drop point blade features a thick quality stainless steel blade with serrated top edge. The inability to regulate core temp will lead to death through either hypothermia or hyperthermia.
A medical emergency can happen at any time and may be the reason for the survival situation in the first place.
It’s all fine and good to have a plentiful wood supply stacked neatly next to your roaring fire, a lake full of clear water and easy to catch fish, a veritable garden of edible plants, a picture perfect debris hut and tarp shelter, and be in good health with no injuries. Combining those skills and tidbits of gear with a positive mental attitude and a good knife ensures a high probability of coming home alive. He has been teaching survival skills since 2004 and opened Ozark Mountain Preparedness in 2010. Take a tour to better understand the many tools and resources you can find here as well as what to expect in the future.
This compact kit (8x12x16) weighs only 16 pounds yet contains everything needed to help you survive an unexpected night out including 2 quarts of water.
It is the kit to have if you want to be a prepared pilot and realize there may come a day when you have to survive for days in a remote area before being rescued.
PLBs are probably the single most important piece of survival equipment you can have but since many pilots already have a PLB one is not automatically included in this survival kit. The items you choose to carry can vary widely depending on your skill level, the environment you will be traveling in, as well as the time of year.
Having a knowledge of natural shelter-building, friction fires, water purification, and common wild edible plants can go a long way. You need a poncho, 2 to 3 meters of rope or parachute suspension line, three stakes about 30 centimeters long, and two trees or two poles 2 to 3 meters apart.
Pull the drawstring tight, roll the hood longways, fold it into thirds, and tie it off with the drawstring. First, secure the support lines to the trees at knee height (not at waist height) using two knee-high sticks in the two center grommets (sides of lean-to). Another center support is an A-frame set outside but over the center of the tent (Figure 5-3). Then place the pole back up against the tripod so that the canopy's apex is at the same height as the lashing on the three poles. You cut the suspension lines except for 40- to 45-centimeter lengths at the canopy's lower lateral band. It takes longer to make this type of shelter than it does to make other types, but it will protect you from the elements.
Cut a few 2-centimeter-diameter poles (length depends on the distance between the lean-to's horizontal support and the top of the fire reflector wall). They should be far enough apart and strong enough to support your height and weight, to include equipment.
You very simply lay sticks and branches lengthwise on the inside of the trees (or poles) until there is enough material to raise the sleeping surface above the water level. Examples are caves, rocky crevices, clumps of bushes, small depressions, large rocks on leeward sides of hills, large trees with low-hanging limbs, and fallen trees with thick branches.
Low areas collect the heavy cold air at night and are therefore colder than the surrounding high ground.
Ensure the ribbing is wide enough to accommodate your body and steep enough to shed moisture.
These form a latticework that will keep the insulating material (grass, pine needles, leaves) from falling through the ribbing into the sleeping area. If you have material such as a poncho, canvas, or a parachute, use it along with such terrain features as rock outcropping, mounds of sand, or a depression between dunes or rocks to make your shelter. If necessary, dig a trench 45 to 60 centimeters deep and long and wide enough for you to lie in comfortably.
This layering of the material will reduce the inside temperature 11 to 22 degrees C (20 to 40 degrees F).
For maximum protection, you need a minimum of two layers of parachute material (Figure 5-15).
Without spending a lot of time on these conditions, suffice to say that a body temperature swing by roughly 10 degrees in either direction will kill you. Couple that with the usual bumps and knocks from living outdoors and can see why it is so important to prepare for injuries. Before becoming a full-time survival skills instructor he worked as a rock climbing guide, wildland firefighter and gunsmith. Smoke can be spotted from the air quickly and orange smoke above a tree line will not be confused with campers .
Each component of the kit from the outer backpack with padded back and shoulder straps to the DaJo Survivor knife was chosen for its quality and ability to perform.


His focus is on using your knowledge and the assistance of modern tools to get yourself out of potentially life-threatening situations.
The photo below illustrates three of our top ten picks for core items to consider including in basic wilderness survival kits. Before selecting the trees you will use or the location of your poles, check the wind direction. Tying strings (about 10 centimeters long) to each grommet along the poncho's top edge will allow the water to run to and down the line without dripping into the shelter. It has, however, less usable space and observation area than a lean-to, decreasing your reaction time to enemy detection. It provides protection from the elements and can act as a signaling device by enhancing a small amount of light from a fire or candle. You need only wrap half of the tripod, as the remainder of the canopy will encircle the tripod in the opposite direction.
This shelter is unsatisfactory, however, when snow is falling as even a light snowfall will cave it in. If a standing tree is not available, construct a biped using Y-shaped sticks or two tripods. Lay one end of the poles on the lean-to support and the other end on top of the reflector wall. Since your physical effort will make you sweat more and increase dehydration, construct it before the heat of the day. You need to have the means to signal for help and let people know you would like a little help getting out of the predicament you are currently in. There was no talk in depth talk about knives, dangerous wildlife, seasonal weather patterns, navigation, xyz gizmo whizbang gear, etc. The main survival kit contains a complete first aid kit and a pocket survival kit, each of which can be carried separately.
It is large enough to hold several people and their equipment and to allow sleeping, cooking, and storing firewood. Form two rows of stacked logs to create an inner space within the wall that you can fill with dirt. Survival kit includes a hollow grip with a compass top to store items within the knife itself, as well as additional pouches on the sheath to hold the rest. Avoid areas on ridges and in canyons due to weather conditions such as lightning and flash flooding. Most pre-packaged first aid kits are basically just a few adhesive bandages, some tape, and a packet or two of pain reliever. Don’t fret because this is just the first of many articles to come in which I’ll delve deeper into the many facets of survival and bushcraft; from foraging for wild edibles to brain tanning hides. A simple wool blanket can add enough extra warmth to make the difference between being too cold to sleep versus getting a good night's rest. Skip them and assemble your own using high quality components and tools that will actually perform should the need arise. I’ll discuss the good and bad of certain pieces of equipment, fire by friction, land navigation techniques, flint knapping, water procurement and purification, and other topics of interest to folks looking to lead a more self-reliant and prepared lifestyle.
His outdoor pursuits have taken him all around the United States and abroad, including fur trapping in Alaska, fighting wildfire in the American West, researching primitive cultures in the Desert Southwest, trekking the rainforests of Belize, and exploring the Highlands of Scotland. The book is laid out very visually, containing many great illustrations and is somewhat less text than many other survival guides. Choose the geographical aspect that will offer you the appropriate temperatures for the season. First aid supplies to treat trauma and deal with the everyday injuries of blisters, sprains, minor cuts, burns, etc. Spreading your collection of gear out around the camp will also draw attention to your location. He has been featured in numerous publications, including Currents and American Survival Guide magazines. South facing slopes offer more sunshine and warmth whereas the north face tends to be shadier and cooler.
It was once common knowledge that anything in a cluster of three meant “Help”, but not so many people adhere to that practice anymore. Jerry is a member of The Wilderness Medical Society and The Society of Primitive Technology. Adding a large trash bag, USGI poncho, space blanket, or small tarp to your kit will go a long way in getting you out of the elements. Don’t forget to add prescription medications if there is anyone in your party that requires them. Give it a try though because the aviation and marine communities are still packed with the proverbial old guys who abide by those standards. Pewtherer makes these skills accessible and straightforward excellent descriptions interspersed with both photos and illustrations.
If you are dead set on purchasing a premade kit, there are a few outfits that specialize in backcountry medicine and offer quality kits tailored to emergencies in the field. He writes from personal experience and includes sections that mention common mistakes to avoid with a variety of skills. Pewtherer is based in the northeast USA.The challenge of using books is that they are only static words and images to learn from. If you are unprepared or have the inclination, constructing a debris hut, wikiup, or leanto is an option.
In conjunction with a quality first aid kit, I highly recommend seeking professional wilderness medical training.
A series of drawings or photos of how to set up a deadfall trap, start a friction fire, or build a shelter is enough for some. These shelters rely on natural material for the structure and the thermal insulation needed to regulate body temperature. There are several national organizations that offer courses in wilderness medicine and nationally recognized certifications.
No matter how useful you find a book, it is very difficult to read and attempt to learn a new skill at the same time! Whatever shelter system you choose, ensure that it will be effective in staving off the wind, rain, intense sun, and other weather phenomena that can compromise life.



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