Survival Rules

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Survival Rules

Post by Cyborg » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:24 am

Could be of use now I know a lot of you are getting into bushcraft and the like, I think it also contains some good info for the mock bugout.
Survival the art of keeping yourself alive under harsh circumstances

The Biggest key to survival is Prevention

S - STOP (when lost do not get more lost)
T - THINK
O - OBSERVE
P - PLAN YOUR WAY BACK TO CIVILISATION (or not)

Always stay with your vehicle, 1000 feet up a person is invisible, a vehicle is not

Four essentials of survival:
1. shelter
2. fire
3. water
4. signaling/first aid

Terrain dictates (the order of priority these four essentials are arranged)

Anything in three's, triangles or red (or an upside down flag)
connotes emergency/SOS

Ration your sweat not your water

Don't touch the last quarter of your food/water until new supply found
during your trip

Bring ¼ more food and water on a trip than you expect to need

Unidentifiable plant/fungi/organ = poisonous

White man builds big fire and freezes, Red man, builds little one and stays warm.

Survival is 80% mental 20% physical – do not give in!!

It is unlikely you will die of hunger – Man can go 40 days without food before irreversible damage takes place
Dehydration will make heat exhaustion worse
Dehydration will make hypothermia worse

The biggest decision when lost on a day hike is to try to make it home before nightfall or stay overnight in the outdoors.
The earlier you realize you won’t get out the more time you have to prepare for spending the night with nature.

Q: What do you carry on a day hike?
A: Enough equipment to survive at least one night in the outdoors. What you carry will depend on your physical state, your level of experience, the outdoor environment and the season of the year.

Man’s natural climate is 27°C dress less or more in order to stay near this temperature

PSK goes as close to the body as possible
Signal mirror round the neck (by the time you have your heliograph out
the PSK the plane will have passed)
Knife on the belt, not belt kit (especially in jungle environment,
where the machete plays a vital role in survival)
Tinder, kindling and a fire starter packed dry but so accessible you
can start a fire in two minutes (important in artic regions
especially). Best packed in an outer layer, smock for example.

Therefore the rule goes: live out your bergan, fight out of your LBV,
and survive out your smock

Next to your knife belongs its honing stone (or leather strop)
Next to your water bottle belongs puritabs (or millbank filter)
Next to your (red) torch belongs the spare batt
Next to your Firesteel belongs tinder and kindling (waterproofed)

You carry at least two types of fire lighting equipment. The first being the easier one like matches or a lighter. As a secondary means a flint and steel or similar is carried. Although this equipment need practice in order to be used effectively it will provide more fires than you will ever need and it works even when wet.



Signalling:

day time
smoke desert black
woodland white

night time
light lasers
strobes


Night is still the E&E soldier's best friend

If you cannot gather 1300 calories a day do not consume food, requires
more energy to operate the digestive tract.

It is not the choice of which fixed blade that shows the (lack)
survival knowledge but the addition of a secondary blade.

Weather is the greatest danger to any trip, no matter how long or
short the trip.
(Looking at history from Shackleton (long term survival) to the cross
decking trip of the SAS in 1982 (where 21 personnel died))

Things tend to go wrong on the last part of trips as people start to
switch off. After all, the first part went fine!

It doesn't matter whether you are a hiker or a soldier, you can load
yourself down with the best equipment in the world but chances are
when you need it most it won't be there. Knowledge is the key to
survival and the beauty is it doesn't weigh anything.

Gear will only help the one who wants to survive give up and gear is useless

Do people die of shame in the woods? Maybe so. It has been known that
people hide themselves from SAR teams, checking out the direction in
which they leave in the hope that they can follow them...

When packing for a trip remember the following needs:
Something to sleep under
Something to sleep in
Something to sleep on

Something to cook in
Something to cook over
Something to light fire with

Something to purify water with
Something to carry water in
Something to drink water from

Something to cut with
Something to navigate with
Something to see in the dark with
Something to signal with

You choose your items depending on where you are going in the world.
(Different environments demand different type of shelter, clothing, footwear etc but the principle stays the same)

Important questions when lost:
Where am I?
What time is it?
How many hours of daylight have I got (can I get home before nightfall?)

What equipment have I got?
Is someone going to report me missing? (when?)
Is someone going to look for me in the right area?

Panic is a result of (extreme) fear.
Panic is like a fire: it can warm you or burn you down
Panic, like fire, should be respected

Two types of people: those who can control fear and those who can’t. We are neither and both depending on the situation and how that affects our emotion

Water conducts can conduct heat away from the body up to 27 times faster than air
This is something I found on another fourm
The basic rule for what to pack when venturing out for a day hike is to bring enough to survive a night out. The factors that influence this kit list is:
-your physical state
-your level of training and expertise
-the season of the year
-the terrain
I think the factors speak for themselves so I won’t go into that.

When I think of kit needed to survive a night out and not necessarily be comfortable the following would be included in my list:

Enough food for the day (and an eating utensil)
Enough water for the day.

Something to cut with: preferable a solid fixed blade and a simple folder. Fallkniven have an excellent reputation yet their knifes are competitively priced.

Something to make local water drinkable with in case I need to stay out longer than planned. Terrain dictates here. Maybe I nothing more than just boil the water to make it drinkable in or I may need a filter/purifier/purifying tablets.

Something to protect me from the elements: waterproofs, gloves, wooly hat (really essential), scarf or a shamagh (great bit of kit). I also carry a hypothermia blanket.

Something to navigate with: A map and a compass (and preferable a good map case to protect your map, not essential but no luxury either)

Something to make fire with: a bic lighter/weatherproof matches. In addition to that I carry a secondary means of fire making: flint and steel (swedish firesteel is the best). This won’t get wet and will create 3000 fires, enough for anyone. I also recommend some form of tinder and kindling to carry in your smock pocket in waterproof packaging. Together this kit will allow you to start a fire within two minutes.

Something to see in the dark with: a torch and preferable taped spare batts. (I use a Petz Tactikka – expensive but the very best).

Something to signal with: apart from a fire (smoke daytime, light nighttime) I carry a heliograph and a strobe to attract attention with. Pen flares are great toys but expensive and there are some great torches out there with a strobe function. In addition a whistle is good to have too (If you have a torch without a strobe function but want to attract attention at night light you can attach the light source to the end of a piece of string and swing it round– nothing in nature makes that movement).

Something to sleep in: in order to prevent your core body temperature dropping too much. For a day hike I’m thinking along the lines of a emergency survival bag (in comby with a hypo blanket) which you can stuff with (dry) fauna as insulating material. Or opt for a sleeping bag liner. It wont be a comfortable night out but will help you stay alive. If you don’t mind something more expensive than a Softie Merlin 3 sleeping bag is good: Small, lightweight and rated at -5 (although Softy isn’t known for their conservative ratings). But you still will be wanting at least 15cm insulation from the ground whatever you chose to use. You can use natural materials to achieve this.

Something to sleep under: a lightweight poncho with string is adequate IMO.

Something to boil water in (and possible heat food or boil in the bag rations) and drink from: metal mug. Although you see many people with the standard BCB mug inc Ray Mears I would look into some Swedish kit. They come with a top handle and a lid which is a great improvement as it cuts heating time. Alternatively you could fabricate a lid for the BCB mug yourself.

Something to treat your injuries with: a small first aid kit with bandages to treat sprains, alcohol swipes to clean cuts, plasters, tape and gauzes to cover them, tweezers, triangular bandage and non sterile gloves. I also carry a FFL in case of a single large cut.,.. but that really should cover it.
Last edited by Cyborg on Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Srrvival Rules

Post by faerie9 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:22 am

Excellent information, thank you.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by LilDaemon » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:57 am

Thank you very much for posting this. I haven't really ever packed a kit for something like a bug out or even camping since I was young, and this is a great guide. Thanks!
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Brit-ZedHunter » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:07 pm

VERY good post.

I think we can all re-examine our gear after reading this.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by the_alias » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:13 pm

I think there is a lot to be said when someone can live out of a bare bones minimal BOB. I plan on putting one together and using it locally to improve my bushcraft skills.

Good info on display here. I'll be bringing my Ray Mears Bushcraft book to the mock BOB so people can check the stuff from that. I think its great personally.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Cyborg » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:32 pm

IMHO I think this is one of the most important rules, and while it might not apply exactly to situations we might all find ourselves in I think the lesson can be learned.

Live out your bergan, fight out of your LBV,
and survive out your smock.

The amount of times I have been separated from my bergan and webbing and left to rely on what I have in my pockets. And it's something as simple as keeping your main knife on your belt instead of your webbing or pack.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Ms-oldish-brit » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:44 pm

Great - and useful - post, thanks.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by TC » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:38 am

Outstanding stuff, this is really useful. It's all too easy to get lost in a gear fetish and forget that the most important tool you have is between your ears.

I'll be saving this info for sure, thanks.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Cyborg » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:55 pm

Just stealing some photos from Cadet Direct to give you guys a pictorial.

Jacket
Image

Webbing
Image

Daysack/Bergan
Image
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Mole » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:40 pm

And just to add to Doc's pretty pictures...

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/The_Basics" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Survival Rules

Post by sheddi » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:12 am

Bump!
Mole wrote:And just to add to Doc's pretty pictures...

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/The_Basics" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I was about to post this exact-same link, but fortunately the forum "search" function excelled itself and found that it was already here ...
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Mole » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:56 pm

Great minds think alike, eh? ;)

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Re: Survival Rules

Post by sheddi » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:10 pm

Either that or "fools seldom differ" :lol:
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by smiffy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:53 pm

This was quite an informative post by Cyborg - who I gather is no longer amongst us - but there is one line that sticks in my craw.
Cyborg wrote: If you cannot gather 1300 calories a day do not consume food, requires
more energy to operate the digestive tract.
While I didn't take nutrition past the 2nd year, this doesn't ring true for me.

If Cyborg was still actively posting I'd put my scientist's hat on and say "Can you cite a source for this?" (as it sounds a lot politer that shouting "I call bullshit on this!"). Since he isn't here, I'll instead ask an open question; "Has anyone else heard this guideine before, and if so where?"
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Aeon » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:35 pm

smiffy wrote:This was quite an informative post by Cyborg - who I gather is no longer amongst us - but there is one line that sticks in my craw.
Cyborg wrote: If you cannot gather 1300 calories a day do not consume food, requires
more energy to operate the digestive tract.
While I didn't take nutrition past the 2nd year, this doesn't ring true for me.

If Cyborg was still actively posting I'd put my scientist's hat on and say "Can you cite a source for this?" (as it sounds a lot politer that shouting "I call bullshit on this!"). Since he isn't here, I'll instead ask an open question; "Has anyone else heard this guideine before, and if so where?"
I know some people whose diets require them to take in 1300k cal per day. Since thats the same amount of energy as a small child would consume, I can only suggest that Cyborgs musing is tripe. Although I stand ready to be corrected should any of our medical contingent be willing to prove me otherwise.

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Re: Survival Rules

Post by smiffy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:53 pm

Well I'm glad someone agrees with me at this early stage.

My Professor of Nutrition gleefully told us that we'd lean more about the subject in two undergraduate semesters than most medics would until they hit their registrar years *if, and ONLY IF* they then specialised as Clinical Dieticians! (FWIW, his wife was the director of Dietetics at So'ton General, such is the joys of studying alongside a medical faculty).

I think that the 'guideline' might be based on a misunderstanding of protein/carbohydrate balance. If your catabolysing body proteins and body fats, the muscles & organs will run on the resulting "ketone bodies" (at the expense of losing weight and physiological condition), but the brain depends on glucose from sugars & starches. Ray "Chubby" Mears spoke in his North American trek of the need for at least a little carbs when one is running off 'bodily supplies' and game, as it 'makes the brain feel better'. This was the episode where he was pounding a starchy seed on a flat rock with his knife handle as the seed-case resisted human digestion.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Skydiver » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:32 am

An old friend of mine was once on a weight loss diet for a not insignificant period of time prescribed by the doctor with the input of a nutritionist. I believe her calorie intake was reduced to 1000 calories.

In the USA doctors sometimes prescribe Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD's) during which the patient stays in a clinic for monitoring these diets can be as low as 200 calories(!) but are usually nearer to 800. In the UK the lower limit is 450 calories.

However there are of course side effects:
Temporary side effects of VLCD use include hair loss, fatigue, constipation, oedema and changes in menses. However, more serious adverse effects have included the development of cardiac arrhythmias and gallstones and the exacerbation of gout and osteoporosis.
Source: http://journals.cambridge.org/download. ... 6d4cb1ef35" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On the other side of the coin, those promoting these VLCD's state :
A VLCD also is likely improve your health right from the start.
Source: http://www.lighterlife.com/weight-loss_ ... /vlcd.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And that one is available without being under the supervision of a doctor and ... unbelievably... they offer this diet to anyone who is more than just one stone overweight!!
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by K9medic » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:25 am

I have seen the very similar statement to this (will need to dig some books out to find a reference for you). If I remember correctly in a “survival situation” such as plane crash in the wild woods, Unless you can gather more than 1300 calories per day don’t go out hunting as you will burn more calories than you can gather.

Think of it as money in the bank, you need to put money in before you can draw it out. If you’re burning more calories gathering food than your gaining then you’re shortening your window of survival.

This of course only works in a survival situation where the rescue services are looking for you.
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Re: Survival Rules

Post by Skydiver » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:03 pm

that makes more sense - 1300 calories would be easy to use up while actively foraging and hunting. So if the food is there and you don't have to do anything besides eat then it's probably ok to eat less than that - though starving for a day or so before eating would help you lay down better reserves from the food you have than eating what you can as soon as you can and starving afterwards.
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