Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

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Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by AnonEmous » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:18 am

Goal: Highlight non-conventional methods or dispel ideas that in practice are not necessary or do not work. Please add any you know.

1st Example: Boiling Water to Purify It

Conventional wisdom: Water is only purified from pathogens by boiling it for 5-10 minutes (http://www.climbing-high.com/how-to-purify-water.html;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; http://www.areyouprepared.com/v/vspfile ... debook.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).

Non-conventional wisdom: An interesting and simple experiment described at http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/ ... revisited/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; reveals that it is not necessary to boil water for several minutes before it is safe from biological pathogens. The article notes that at near-sea level altitudes a rolling boil is more than enough heat to eliminate pathogens, since pasteurization starts at around 149 degrees and all pathogens are eliminated at 200 degrees. The time the water spends above 149 degrees on the way to boiling and after it starts to cool down ensures it is safe. Also, the higher the temperature of the water, the faster it is purified.

Image
This graph highlights the water reached boiling around 9-10 minutes, at which point the heat was turned off (pot not necessarily removed from heat source).

So what?
Given the potential fuel savings in not having to boil water for 5-10 minutes, it would seem carrying a small thermometer to ensure the temperature of the water reaches 185-200 degrees would more than make up for its marginal weight added to a bug out bag. Alternatively, it is possible to save the thermometer and simply bring the water to a rolling boil, then let it cool.

Disclaimer: As always, heating water is a useful way to eliminate pathogens, but does not eliminate chemical contaminants.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Vel454 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:31 am

http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/manual/water.shtml

Boiling

Boiling is the most certain way of killing all microorganisms. According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude. To be extra safe, let the water boil rapidly for one minute, especially at higher altitudes since water boils at a lower temperature (see page 68.)


I'd feel confident with that statement. Creditable source, and coincides with some of the things I've heard before. Living in the pacific northwest however, fuel (in terms of firewood) is seldom scarce and I couldn't see a point in not letting it get to the point of boiling. In a total survival situation in terms of "I'm lost in the woods" I would be fine with the guidelines listed above in order to stretch fuel in a cook stove or the like. Though I might consider talking to a doctor afterwards about any shots they'd recommend I get or whatever when it's all said and done. A half of cup of water on a skillet above a fire would boil a hell of a lot faster than 2 gallons in a big pot. Whether it'd be more fuel savy to quickly heat small batches of water, one after the other vs. doing one big pot I'm not sure. I think it'd also depend on your individual stove/fire's output, the materials of your pot, etc. But that's another consideration to think about that would be worth looking into further.

In a complete, PAW and your trying to conserve fuel, I think it'd pass. If you have some Iodine tablets to use along with it, that'd probably be more ideal. Remember too though, that outside of mountaineering or thru-hiking the amount of fuel you'd save (with a quality camp stove from MSR or similar) to bring a pot of water to boil is rather small. Outside of having heavily ration fuel, I would prefer to bring the water to a strong boil for a few minutes. Getting sick by drinking bad water can cause vomiting and diarrhea, dehydrating your body even more so. So I would always err on the side of caution.

Also, if your fuel (in terms of a camp stove) is getting really low. Use it strictly as a fire starter if you have to. Get a fire ready to go like you would with any other fire starting equipment, and turn your camp stove into a match from hell.

Point being though, there are so many ways to purify water, it shouldn't be a problem figuring out something so long as water is at hand. Here's a list of some things you can do;

1. Boil Water
2. Melt Snow
3. Treat with Iodine
4. Treat with Chlorine
5. Treat with Bleach
6. Aftermarket Filtration
7. Rain water collection
8. Solar extraction
9. Ground purification
10. Water from plants
11. Steam Distillation

Now some of these are better than others, and are only applicable in certain situations. But there are a lot of options out there. Personally, if fuel source was going to be an issue, I would work dilligently to procure a few other sources of safe drinking water.

For my answer to your post in short, I think I'd be willing to drink water not brought to boiling if there were little options left. But they'd have to be pretty crummy circumstances for me to not justify a few more minutes of fuel to ensure safe hydration for my body. There's just too many options out there for me to consider sub-boiling point as the normal go-to for purifiying my water source, just to save a bit of fuel. It is an option however, and should be kept in the back of your mind for ultra-dire situations. Great thread, AnonEmous!
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Vel454 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:35 am

BTW, shouldn't this be in the Survival Skills forum?
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:32 am

Boiled Water
http://www.climbing-high.com/how-to-purify-water.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The general advice is to boil all water for 5-10 minutes plus 1 minute for every 300m above sea level, up to around 5500m where boiling becomes ineffective. The relationship between time and temperature is inverse when it comes to water disinfection. The higher the temperature, the less time is required. For instance, pasteurising can take place in 30 minutes at 70°C/158°F, while sterilising takes place in 5-10 minutes of boiling at sea level. Here are the boiling temperatures for altitude:

* Sea level: 100°C/212°F
* 5,000ft/1,525m: 95°C/203°F
* 10,000ft/3,050m: 90°C/194°F
* 14,000 ft/4,270: 86°C/187°F

Boiling water will eradicate a good proportion of all parasites and is often the easiest way to purify water, although it should be noted that the hepatitis A virus needs a full minute of boiling to eradicate. Boiling can also be used as a stage prior to other methods for extra precaution. Tea, coffee and hot water are all safe to drink as long as the water has been brought to the boil before drinking.
Empahsis mine- I take it that 5500m altitude is where we hit the 149 degree mark, or lower, and water still boils? Given the 149 degree mark in the original post, I still think that, so long as you're under the 5500m mark, bringing your water to a boil A; eliminates the need for thermometer to measure it, B; gives an "idiot proof" method of determining if the magical 'safe' temperature has been reached, and C; provides a mark that is pretty universal, up to 5500m altitude. And, realistically, if you're finding yourself somewhere above 5500m, you've already messed up somehow. That kind of altitude, if memory serves, requires some specialized gear and training- it's not the sort of environment one just 'stumbles into'. So, suddenly realizing you're that far up, means that there's a problem beyond that of zombies.

McDonald's lawsuits aside, boiling water for coffee or tea is the time honored method, especially for the instant coffee, even though you do NOT want to DRINK it at that temperature. Boiling water for other food preparation is also an almost universal benchmark. My feeling is, go for the rolling boil, and KNOW what you have, instead of guessing, or trusting a thermometer that may, or may not, be accurate.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by AnonEmous » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:19 am

AnonEmous wrote:

Conventional wisdom: Water is only purified from pathogens by boiling it for 5-10 minutes (http://www.climbing-high.com/how-to-purify-water.html;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; http://www.areyouprepared.com/v/vspfile ... debook.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)....

The article notes that at near-sea level altitudes a rolling boil is more than enough heat to eliminate pathogens, since pasteurization starts at around 149 degrees and all pathogens are eliminated at 200 degrees. The time the water spends above 149 degrees on the way to boiling and after it starts to cool down ensures it is safe. Also, the higher the temperature of the water, the faster it is purified...

(emphasis added) Alternatively, it is possible to save the thermometer and simply bring the water to a rolling boil, then let it cool.


Yes, unfortunately the message was a bit muddled. I was trying to highlight that water boiling for 5-10 minutes is not necessary and that once it is brought to a rolling boil at sea-level (which was mentioned throughout), that is enough to kill pathogens if you account for the time for the water to cool. It was meant more to highlight that a rolling boil is enough vs. 5-10 minutes of boiling time. Of course, I did mention packing a thermometer, so that did undercut the "rolling boil is enough" argument.

To start the non-conventional wisdom topic, I should have begun with what I planned to make the second topic: tomato juice is not a good solution for cleaning up after a skunk attack (a mix of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap is one homemade solution). Clearly, that topic is much less critical than clean water (unless you have a lot of clean water on hand and urgently are trying to rid yourself or pet of skunk juice).

Original intention:
Because the intention of the topic is to highlight non-conventional wisdom and not just focus on boiling water or any one point, I figured contingency planning was as good as any place for it. The idea is very similar to the Quick Survival Trick Picture Thread http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 7#p1762001" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; where the intention is to highlight a few ideas and have others contribute. My idea of conventional or non-conventional wisdom may be wildly off the mark.

Of course, if this topic is in the wrong place or not needed, I trust the moderators will move it to another place or lock it. The first intention is to "do no harm", so I in no way want to spread misinformation or add to any confusion.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Vel454 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:43 am

Considering theres only 3 mountain peeks above the 5500 mark in all of North America, I definitely have to agree. You wouldn't just 'stumble' apon these remote locations. If your in the himalayas, on top of denali, etc... Frankly, it's safe to assume you know what your doing, and well equiped (and guided).

Considering that, the concern of boiling point above 5500 meters, is rather a mute point in my opinion.

AnonEmous, Thanks for the clarification, I think the topic is in the right place. I look forward to seeing some more responces!
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by TacAir » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:24 am

Humm - speaking of water and iodine.

Source - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11990150" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Tester - Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721, USA

The ability to control water-borne diseases is critical for soldiers, hikers, and others who may need to drink directly from an outdoor source. Water-borne protozoan parasites that are specifically of concern are Giardia and Cryptosporidium because of their resistance to halogen disinfection. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of iodine tablets against Giardia and Cryptosporidium under general- and worst-case water conditions that might be found in the field.

Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts were exposed to iodine according to manufacturer's instructions (two tablets/L = 13-18 mg/L for 20 minutes). This dose inactivated 3-log10 of Giardia in general-case water and pH 9. In worst-case water, however, only about 35% of cysts were inactivated at pH 5. Fifty minutes were required to achieve a 3-log10 reduction at pH 5. Cryptosporidium oocysts were more difficult to inactivate.

Only 10% were inactivated after a 20-minute exposure to iodine according to manufacturer's instructions; even after 240 minutes of exposure to iodine only 66-81% oocysts were inactivated.

(Money quote)
These data strongly suggest that iodine disinfection is not effective in inactivating Cryptosporidium oocysts in water. Because this organism is common in all surface waters, it is recommended that another method of treatment be used before ingestion.

The good folks at the UofA also published a monograph on the byproducts of different methods of disinfection used for water treatment. A fun read.
http://www.swhydro.arizona.edu/archive/ ... ature3.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Be careful what you buy for a filter

From a lawsuit aginst a filter company by the EPA -

The water filters and purifiers, which come in straws,
canteens and water bottles, were sold by the defendants under the
"Accufilter" tradename. They were advertised for use in outdoor
sports, camping and travel. They include:

þ The Accufilter 5 purifier straw, canteen and sports
bottle containing activated carbon and iodine, said to
be capable of effectively purifying up to 40 gallons of
water contaminated by bacteria, protozoa, viruses and
parasites; making water "safe" to drink.

þ The Accufilter 3 filter straws containing activated
carbon and silver, said to be capable of filtering 50
gallons of water, removing the taste of chlorine, heavy
metals, herbicides, pesticides, organic poisons and
other particulate matter causing bad taste, odor and
color from water. The filter was advertised as making
water "clean" to drink.

According to the complaint, the defendants claimed the
filters and purifiers made untreated water clean and safe to
drink by removing all bacteria, viruses and harmful chemicals.
The complaint further alleges that scientific tests proved that
the claims about the effectiveness of the purifiers were false
and misleading. The EPA believes that while activated carbon in
the filters will reduce levels of herbicides, pesticides, metals
and chlorine in water, it does not eliminate them. Moreover,
activated carbon with silver does not eliminate all bacteria in
water and cannot remove protozoa and viruses.

So?
Check your system against the NSF database of 'approved' filters.
It's fun
It's free

Huh? Me? Chlorine dioxide tabs and a filter, you know, just in case - but filter then boil if I have the time.'

Interesting question - what other (sourced) unconventional stuff is out there?
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by DannusMaximus » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:08 pm

Cleaning of Minor injuries (cuts, scrapes, lacerations)

Conventional wisdom: Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or some other type of 'chemical' cleaner is needed to wash out injuries and prevent infection.

Non-conventional wisdom: Simple soap and water (or even just water) will usually do the trick. Chemical cleaners are not necessary, and might actually interfere with healing if used long term by damaging non injured tissues. From famildoctor.org :

The best way to clean a cut, scrape or puncture wound (such as a wound from a nail) is with cool water. You can hold the wound under running water or fill a tub with cool water and pour it from a cup over the wound. Use soap and a soft washcloth to clean the skin around the wound. Try to keep soap out of the wound itself because soap can cause irritation. Use tweezers that have been cleaned in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to remove any dirt that remains in the wound after washing.

Even though it may seem that you should use a stronger cleansing solution (such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine), these things may irritate wounds. Ask your family doctor if you feel you must use something other than water.


Other links of note include:

http://firstaid.webmd.com/tc/cleaning-a ... c-overview
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-cuts/FA00042
http://www.medicinenet.com/cuts_scrapes ... rticle.htm

So what?
There have been a number of threads where people ask about storage life for various chemical cleaners, where to get them at, how much to use, etc. While usually not terribly expensive, pre-mixed cleaners are heavy, take up space, have essentially just one use, and are ultimately just one more item a prepper has to manage in their supply inventory. Some credible sources even say they actually hinder the healing process. A 6 pack of Ivory soap is cheap, light, never goes bad, and can be used as a general purpose cleaner for just about anything.

Disclaimer: Links on the internetz are no subsitute for advice from your doctor or another health care pro, and chemical cleaners DO have uses (alcohol can be used to clean tweezers, needles, razors, etc. for example). Use common sense when taking care of an injury yourself - - if you think you're in over your head, get thee to a doctor!
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by AnonEmous » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:32 pm

Nice to see some interest in (sourced) non-conventional topics. My idea of conventional and non-conventional wisdom may be skewed, but here is a second, slightly less vital non-conventional subject than the first one I presented.

Removing the smell of a skunk from an animal

Conventional wisdom: Tomato juice is an effective way to treat an animal hit with skunk spray.

Non-conventional wisdom: Pet (http://dogs.about.com/od/caringfordogsa ... unking.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and vet (http://www.cedarcreekveterinary.com/Skunk.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) websites highlight that a mixture of 1 quart 3% hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup Baking Soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap in a tub of cool water will help to get (most) of the skunk smell out. The application method can differ, such as applying baking soda first, then rubbing in vinegar and rinsing with cool water (http://www.ehow.com/how_2112084_skunk-o ... -skin.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.), but the main point is that tomato juice is not a viable option.

Soak washable clothes (no suits apparently) in a mix of ammonia and water for 30 minutes, then let sun dry ((http://laundry.about.com/od/laundryprob ... eskunk.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). DO NOT USE BLEACH with ammonia, bad things can happen.

The science behind it: Skunk spray contains thiol compounds and they can be neutralized with an alkaline hydrogen peroxide solution. When you mix the hydrogen peroxide with baking soda it creates oxygen and breaks up the skunk oil in the offending skunk spray which is what makes the mix work (lifted from http://www.doghealth1.com/dog-skunk-odor-recipe/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).

So what?
This is not critical to survival, but like so many other topics ZS addresses, it has day-to-day use as well as emergency use. If you are depending on a dog or have ever wandered into skunk country, mitigating that smell can take on a certain urgency of its own.

Disclaimer: I have been told first hand by a person who needed to wash a dog after a skunk spraying that this helps, but have no personal experience with the solution highlighted here. Using hydrogen peroxide may risk turning your dog, you, or whoever needs to use this solution slightly blonder than normal. Because the mixture noted above produces a mild chemical reaction, it should not be stored, but applied immediately. Again, DO NOT mix ammonia and bleach.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by FyreWitch » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:11 pm

1. Wound cleaning - healthcare professionals use normal saline or sterile water to clean most wounds. Alcohol should never be used on non-intact skin. Peroxide or betadine should be used on intact skin to disinfect or minor abrasions followed by water cleansing. Minor lacerations and abrasions should be cleansed with soap and water. Dial soap is a good choice because it does have antibacterial agents which Ivory doesn't.

2. Skunks and dogs - I unfortunately have way too much experience with this one. In present conditions where you have the ability to go to the store, the BEST cleanser for skunk odor is an enzymatic odor remover or cleanser. There are several available which you can find at pet stores or farmer's coop stores. They are also gentler on a dogs skin than peroxide. They also remove pretty much any organic odor. I had a dog that used to love to roll in decaying carcasses, it even got rid of that odor. Will also work on clothing.

3. My addition to the topic - Borax (the 20 mule team stuff) is a great all purpose cleaner but it also helps keep the environment free of insects such as ants and fleas. It is a dessicant which dries them out & kills them. Mainly they avoid it. Mix a little citronella oil in it & it's even more effective. Do not use where small children may be crawling.

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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Rugger » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 pm

A readily available source of sterile water for wound irrigating/cleaning is urine. Unless you have a VD or UTI. Otherwise, when it leaves your body it is completely sterile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:09 am

Something most people are not aware of, but could come in handy- electrical connectors and plumbing fittings are the same sizes and threads. This is a carry-over from when plumbing pipe was used as conduit, before the light EMT came into being. There are two basic standards of pipe sizes, copper, which is technically tubing, but measured by ID (inside diameter), and iron pipe. Electrical and PVC threaded fittings will follow the IPS, or Iron Pipe Standard. Watch what you use where, as electrical fittings are not tapered like a pipe thread is, so they do not seal as well as pipe does, and will likely leak- but if you are just hooking something together, and it need only be structural, it will work. Flexible tubing, rolled copper or aluminum tubing, etc. are all measured by outside diameter, or OD, and the fittings are as well. Many of the fittings will convert between tubing and pipe fittings, so be aware of the changes. Copper pipe, in common sizes, and the ID compared to OD: 1/2"ID, 5/8" OD 3/4"ID, 7/8"OD 1"ID, 1-1/8"OD. L copper is the most common, and has blue or black printing along it's length, and has a 1/16" wall thickness, giving a 1/8" difference between ID and OD. M copper has a thinner wall, is sized and labeled by the comparable ID size, but actually shares the OD in common with it's L counterpart. M is used for heating, and has a much lower burst pressure. Both L and M pipe can use the same solder-on fittings, which is why the OD's are matched. EMT, Electrical Metallic Tubing is the light, thin walled galvanized tubing, and follows the copper pipe sizing.

Since so often, we see someone in a disaster movie cobbling together something important, things like this are good to file away, like the fact that electrical and plumbing PVC has only one difference- the color. Electrical is grey, to match the galvanized EMT and heavy wall conduit. Plumbing PVC is white, or green, if it's being buried.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Meat N' Taters » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:25 am

To close up a cut, you can use the membrane on the inside of the shell of a raw egg.

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Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by wee drop o' bush » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:51 am

If you have an infected cut or burn that is prurient (green 'n yukky) slather some honey on it & then cover with a sterile dressing. Repeat the process every twelve hours or so, using a clean dressing each time. You'll see all the green infected gunk that the honey has drawn out onthe old dressing each time you replace it!
Also on a cut or scald that isn't infected neat lavender oil reduces inflammation & speeds up healing...but never use lavender on a still pus filled wound! You have to draw any infection out first!
Obviously don't use either honey, dressings or lavender if you are allergic to them...yada yada yada :)
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Aromatherapist so both tips have been tried & tested by me on my willing subjects :twisted:
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Rugger » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:58 am

Spider webs can be used to pack a wound and significantly aid in clotting.
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Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by wee drop o' bush » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:00 am

Rugger wrote:Spider webs can be used to pack a wound and significantly aid in clotting.
That's interesting I've never heard that one before! I assume you scrunch up the spiderweb but I thought they were sticky & hard to work with. I hate spiders so am ignorant of their uses and charms :D
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by arrowolf » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:27 am

Rugger wrote:Spider webs can be used to pack a wound and significantly aid in clotting.
So can puffball spores and plain ole flour.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by T-Boon » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:05 am

Rugger wrote:Spider webs can be used to pack a wound and significantly aid in clotting.
And you get the bonus of when you take off the bandage hundreds of baby spiders come pouring out :gonk:

and to add

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vThcK-idm0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Murph wrote:The mythical use of tampons to plug up bullet wounds was perpetuated by fanboys of Navy SEALS that heard they go out n get shot up, jam themselves full of kotex'es, hump 75lb rucks up hill both ways to and from the LZ, in monsoon rain, killing bad guys in hails of bullets shooting full auto from the hip,all the while chewin on a snake like beef jerky.

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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Rugger » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:10 am

wee drop o' bush wrote:
Rugger wrote:Spider webs can be used to pack a wound and significantly aid in clotting.
That's interesting I've never heard that one before! I assume you scrunch up the spiderweb but I thought they were sticky & hard to work with. I hate spiders so am ignorant of their uses and charms :D
They aren't really sticky, as in gooey liquid sticky, but yes, they do cling to almost anything they touch. Not hard to work with at all, IMO. Easy way to gather them is with a stick, just make sure it doesn't have loose bark on it that will come off with the spider silk when you pull it off. Preferably not old dusty webs either, but that is really only a concern if you're gathering them indoors. Outside they don't last long and will be pretty fresh. Just wave/twist the stick around in the web(s) and you'll end up with a nice little ball at the end. Since the web is so "sticky" it will actually help catch platelets (which cause clotting) and form a nice clot pretty quick. Just don't remove it as soon as the blood has stopped, as it will most likely start bleeding again. I'd say wait at least a couple of hours.

So in summary of my posts, piss on your open wound and then put wadded up spider webs in it. :lol:

ETA - Oh yeah, make sure no actual spiders or egg sacks are in the spider silk you gather. Spiders hatched in blood grow to the size of small dogs. Or at least that's what I've been told. :wink:
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Rugger » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:16 am

T-Boon wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vThcK-idm0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That's pretty damn cool.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by the_alias » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:17 am

Rugger wrote:
wee drop o' bush wrote:
Rugger wrote:Spider webs can be used to pack a wound and significantly aid in clotting.
That's interesting I've never heard that one before! I assume you scrunch up the spiderweb but I thought they were sticky & hard to work with. I hate spiders so am ignorant of their uses and charms :D
They aren't really sticky, as in gooey liquid sticky, but yes, they do cling to almost anything they touch. Not hard to work with at all, IMO. Easy way to gather them is with a stick, just make sure it doesn't have loose bark on it that will come off with the spider silk when you pull it off. Preferably not old dusty webs either, but that is really only a concern if you're gathering them indoors. Outside they don't last long and will be pretty fresh. Just wave/twist the stick around in the web(s) and you'll end up with a nice little ball at the end. Since the web is so "sticky" it will actually help catch platelets (which cause clotting) and form a nice clot pretty quick. Just don't remove it as soon as the blood has stopped, as it will most likely start bleeding again. I'd say wait at least a couple of hours.
Have you ever done this?

I find the idea of finding enough spider webbing to "pack" a wound big enough to need packing somewhat dubious. Because surely if you need to pack the wound then it is pretty bad and you aren't going to be wandering around looking for spiderwebs :?
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Rugger » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:54 am

the_alias wrote: Have you ever done this?

I find the idea of finding enough spider webbing to "pack" a wound big enough to need packing somewhat dubious. Because surely if you need to pack the wound then it is pretty bad and you aren't going to be wandering around looking for spiderwebs :?
I actually have. Learned both (the pissing and packing) from the guys on my parents ranch, all in one event. I was climbing up on a windmill and trying to chain off the fan so that I could do some work on it. The brake at the bottom was broken, so I had to climb up, wait for the wind to die down a bit, and grab/stop the fan to chain it off.
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Well, even when they are moving slow, they are a lot harder to stop than you would think. I grabbed one of the blades (with leather work gloves) and tried to stop it. It slowed but got yanked out of my hands. One of the blades that was coming right behind it sliced the top of my left forearm, half-way between my wrist and crook of my elbow, for a semi deep inch and a half cut. No muscle, but right down to it. Still have a nice scar. One of the vaqueros had already started collecting webs from all of the cedar trees in the area when I got down. It was gushing pretty good, combo of exertion, heat, and somewhat deep cut. It wasn't a whole lot of webbing, and it doesn't take much. You don't want them to be compacted down super tight. Keep them kind of fluffy before you put them into the cut.

Anyway, pissed on my arm, put in the webs, and wrapped it with a bandanna. Worked like a charm. For something really life threatening, yeah, you don't need to be running around collecting them. And it's not going to be an alternative for something that would require a tourniquet. But for most stuff that's not a scrape, it'll work great. I'm sure climate/season has a lot to do with it, but you can find a lot more spider webs than you would think.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by Vel454 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:03 pm

Whether it's something super practical or not, knowledge is knowledge. It weighs nothing, and takes up no room. Thanks for the idea! Living in the Pacific Northwest we have a lot of spider webs around, could be a useful bit of knowledge some day (but I hope it'll never be needed). Good tip.
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Re: Non-conventional wisdom: Please add what you know

Post by the_alias » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:28 pm

Rugger - interesting, thanks for elaborating. We like that around here :)

As you say someone already started gathering - a useful little trick to know nonetheless.
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