Being able to identify trees can not only be a source of pleasure, as the first Boy Scouts Handbook opined, but a matter of survival. If you become lost in the woods, trees are an abundant and easy-to-utilize resource, and can be used in a variety of ways, including as food, shelter, cordage, and materials for fire-starting and tool-making.
I found this little gem on Kickstarter today. The GoSun stove is solar-powered stove that can reach temperatures up to 700F and can cook a meal in 20 minutes in moderate sunlight. If you read this site regularly, you know that I’m a big fan of devices that don’t have depleting resources (fuel, batteries, etc) and this little bugger fits the bill. Not only that, but it’s lightweight, coming in at a a scant 4 lbs. I feel like this should be something to put in a go bag.
Despite my penchant for post-apocalyptic knowledge, I’m still a huge geek at heart. I watch a lot of youtube videos and spend a lot of time on the internet. I’ve watched Geek Beat TV since it was Geek Brief and recently they’ve been branching out to things not so tech related. For instance, the above video shows (in much better detail than I could show you) how to weld. I’ve written before on welding, and I feel like it’s a skill that could be helpful today as well as in an apocalyptic scenario.
If you haven’t been under a rock for the last 5 years, you’ve been privy to (or involved in) the zombie apocalypse craze. People are fascinated with what would happen in a zombie apocalypse. How would it spread? How would you survive? The website Map of the Dead gives you some answers. On a macro level it shows you danger areas – places that will have a higher level of outbreak mixed with higher population density. On a micro level, it shows you important places to you if you are trying to “survive” – clothing stores, medical facilities, sporting goods store, etc.
While this is ultimately a whimsical look at a fantasy future, it does show a few things that should interest you Armageddon survivors out there:
- The red zones it shows on the macro level show outbreak danger zones, regardless of what the outbreak is. Be it zombies, superflu, the black plague, SARS, swine flu, or any number of other disease. If a pandemic starts, it’s more likely to spread to these places and more quickly.
- The locations of interest the map displays at a micro level are actually places that you should be aware of. These places are the places that you need to scavenge at to get needed supplies. Unfortunately, many other people know about these places too, so they could already be cleaned out or you may have to fight over resources. This is why I always stress preparedness.
You can always use more rope, and if you know how to make it you have as much rope as you need to do anything. In the BBC series Edwardian Farm, they show how to make rope:
In the modern world, we don’t need to worry about worn out shoes. They get too worn out and you just go to a Foot Locker or Walmart and buy a new pair. But what happens when these stores no longer exist and you have to make your own shoes? Agy from Green Issues shows us how to make a pair of flip-flops out of old t-shirts. All you need is a t-shirt, some string, and some glue. With a little ingenuity, you could probably improve on the design and make full blown shoes!
Keeping a flame going can be difficult sometimes, and candles can sometimes be hard to come by! Coley Hudgins shows us that if you have a tub of Crisco (or any type of shortening really) you can easily make a long-lasting candle. A big can of Crisco (as shown above) can be left lit 8 hours a day and will last for 45 days. Just insert a piece of string into the center of your shortening and light the type – Instant Candle!
If you know me, you know that I’m not much of a gadget guy. I’ve also professed on this blog on many occasions about my aversion to anything that requires batteries or some other element in a survival situation. But every once in a while, technology amazes me. Camelbak, a company I wholeheartedly support, has released a new water bottle which has a UV light built into the cap. With a 60 second burst, the light claims to kill 99.99% of the nasties in your water and it’s rated to last for 10,000 cycles. Meaning if you were to use it to purify all your drinking water every day (3 containers = 96 fluid ounces of water) you wouldn’t need to replace the bulb for ~9 years.
The only downside I see to this thing is that the batteries that power the are built-in rechargables, meaning they assume you’ll have a power source to plug the USB cable in to charge. But I’m sure with some field-expedient ingenuity, somebody would be able to make the cap charge from kinetic or solar energy, making it a sustainable device, which I’m all for.
No matter what the situation, a fella’s gotta eat! And you can only survive on berries and spam for so long before you go crazy. If you trap or hunt an animal, you need to know how to gut it down to it’s edible goodies. Squirrels are one of the more prevalent varmints in North America and are easy to set traps for. Creek Stewart explains step-by-step how to field strip a squirrel in a surprisingly bloodless and efficient way.
In the PAW, a working stove of any kind will be hard to come by, and sometimes that’s all you need. Sometimes you just need a small, simple fire to cook food over for a few minutes and be done with it. Enter these instructions for a simple handmade stove. Granted, with these instructions left the way they are, you’re devoting more resources to this “quick” solution than you get out of it. But if you modify them a little bit, this could be a worthwhile technique when you’re on the move and hungry.