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Military and Scout survival training share similarities, but there are some important differences. That emphasis on surviving until rescue is one reason the Wilderness Survival merit badge doesn’t teach Scouts how to live off the land. While the badge teaches a host of techniques, including signaling and building shelters, Marchant says they aren’t the most important parts of the badge. Marchant prefers to teach the badge on outings, which lets Scouts practice the skills in a realistic setting.
For requirement 5, Scouts must build personal survival kits, which can be an expensive proposition if you shop at outdoor retailers.
For example, dental floss is cheap and surprisingly strong; Marchant has even built a survival shelter using it. Requirement 4 asks Scouts to describe how they would survive in a desert, in winter and in other challenging conditions, such as an ocean or a rainy forest.
I also have had a lot of SERE training as an enlisted aircrew member of the Air Force over my 25 year tenure. The best multipurpose knife for outdoor use has one or two folding blades for cutting, and special blades for opening cans, driving screws, and punching holes. The teeth on the saw blades are set - bent so they cut two thin grooves in the wood and then rake out the shavings between the grooves. Because of its size and the way in which it is used, an ax can be more dangerous than other wood tools. In a long-term camp using lots of firewood, rope off an ax yard large enough to provide the clearance you need to work. Cutting small sticks and splitting large chunks of wood known as rounds are best done on a chopping block, which is a piece of log that has been sawed and turned upright to provide a flat surface.
I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.


The following is a list of all of the Merit Badges, arranged into logical fields of activity (categories). Soldiers trapped behind enemy lines don’t want to be found; Scouts lost in a national forest most certainly do.
Instead of “enhancing” the badge by covering edible plants or game traps, counselors should focus on the badge requirements. Marchant likes to present real-world scenarios he has read about in books, news reports and online forums.
The stone's gritty surface will sharpen, or hone, the blade much the same way sandpaper smooths wood. Wipe the knife with a clean cloth and look directly down at the edge of the blade in the sun or under a bright light. Keep track of yours by using a bowline knot to tie a 3-foot length of cord to the ring in the handle. Put on leather gloves to protect your hands, and then stroke the file upward following the shape of each tooth.
If the head is loose, soak the ax for a few hours in a stream or a bucket of Linseed oil (Tip thanks to Jeff Starks, Troop 24 ). Leather won't stop a blade from hitting your foot, but good boots may limit the extent of an injury.
After you have filed one side of the bit from heel to toe, turn the ax around and do the other side. You could say he knows a thing or two about the Wilderness Survival merit badge; he has taught survival frequently in his career. Close folding saws when they aren't in use and store them in a tent or under the dining fly. Hold the ax with one hand near the head and then slide your hands together as you swing the bit into the log.


Switch your grip and slide your left hand up the handle as you work from the left side of a notch.
When your partner has a grip on the handle, he should say, "Thank you." That's your signal to release your hold. Dragging the file across the blade on the return will break off the teeth and ruin the file.
Protect the blade of a bow saw with a sheath made from a piece of old garden hose the length of the blade. If you swing your ax badly, the bit will probably hit the block instead of flying on toward your feet. Or you can thread a brightly colored shoestring through the ring and tie the ends in a square knot. Slit the hose down on one side, slip it over the blade, and hold it in place with duct tape or cord. When you are home, drive a wedge into the wood in the head, or replace the worn handle with a new one. If you have used your pocketknife to cut food or spread peanut butter and jam, wash it in hot, soapy water along with your dishes. That splash of color will help you find your knife if you drop it in grass, leaves, or snow.
Remove the burr by honing the bit with a whetstone just as you would the blade of a pocketknife.
Aim your strokes so that you cut a V shaped notch twice as wide at the top as the log is thick.



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