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30

Obviously, what you decide to pack depends on your trip and the environment, but these are the staples I always bring along: Navigation: You always need to be able to figure out where you are and which way you need to head to get out. In my opinion, a map without topography isn't a map (unless you're on very flat land). GPS with extra batteries Local ...


30

The conclusion is not correct. Some bacteria produce toxins which are not destroyed by heat, for example Staphylococcus. See this link for more information. Note that this is not strictly an outdoors issue. Even at home, you should not keep fresh meat in your fridge too long before cooking it, as it gives time for bacteria to produce toxins. The ...


28

If you look at the current time, and imagine yourself in the center a big analog watch, just place your shadow on the location of the hour's hand. Then imagine the location of the 12 o'clock hand, and exactly in the middle of the angle between those two hands is the north. Be sure to ignore daylight saving time (As the time your hand watch is showing during ...


27

Assuming you don't have a genitourinary tract infection, fresh urine should be sterile, the problem is that it is a waste product which, apart from making it not taste very nice, means that consuming it will increase the concentration of waste in your body which will require an increased volume of water to absorb and subsequently excrete, resulting in you ...


25

All the advice I've seen emphasises melting snow before consuming to avoid lowering your core body temperature (rather than, specifically, risking dehydration). If possible, melt the snow using a stove, or alternatively, pack the snow into a waterproof container and keep it in a pocket or your sleeping bag until it melts. News stories such as this one, ...


24

The EPA recommends boiling for one minute for most people, and three minutes for anyone above one mile in elevation. reference - http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/emergencydisinfection.cfm#method That is what I have always done when backpacking. I don't boil for 10-20 minutes because it will kill my fuel supply and waste too much of the water. If I were ...


20

There are many, many ways to make a fire. Some require more skill, while others depend on carefully prepared equipment. The closest thing to "rubbing two sticks together" is the hand-drill. You will need a fireboard (a small cedar board is good) and a thin, straight stick. A knife is good, too. This takes a lot of practice. Hand callouses help. YouTube has ...


20

Copy and paste from the answer here: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1540/is-it-a-good-idea-to-drink-your-own-urine-in-a-survival-situation Summary: You can do it, as a last resort, but it's dicey. The US Army doesn't think it's a good idea and lists it on its "Do NOT drink" list, stating in its Field Manual that it "contains harmful body ...


20

The calories to melt even frozen water are pretty small, and the water gained is certainly greater than that used to aid the use of those calories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie So 1 calorie = 1 degree celcius (roughly with minor variation). Okay easy. Except it takes 30 times that to melt it initially. Screw snow, let's figure on ice cubes. 1 ...


18

With fog, the only thing you're losing is extended visibility. This shouldn't throw off your plan too much, unless you were navigating by watching far away landmarks. If you were on a trail, stay on it. There's no need to wander around. If you can't see anything and traveling is becoming dangerous or you're not sure where you're going, then stop and wait ...


18

There seems to be a fixation with North in navigation. Step back to the basic purpose, why do we navigate? We navigate to get to somewhere or to find our way back. Knowing north is just one method of doing such. So predicating navigation on knowing which way is north is unnecessary. North isn't the goal, it's a reference for finding what you really ...


18

If there's a stick around and enough sunlight, I've found the stick method surprisingly accurate: Find a straight stick, around 2 feet long (length isn't that important) and plant it straight in the ground. Mark the end of the stick's shadow, perhaps with another short stick. Wait for about 15 minutes then repeat step 2. Draw a line between the two ends ...


18

This article (*) gives a good summary of the efficiency of boiling as a method for making water safe for consumption. In particular, Table 2 provides a summary of the temperature and time required to kill various micro-organisms. A distinction should be drawn between killing all pathogens and making water safe to drink. Sterilisation of water (killing all ...


17

Urine is normally sterile (barring urinary tract infections) - so, from bacteriological stance, fresh urine isn't going to hurt. The problem is - urine is a waste product, and so is full of stuff that your body wants to be rid of. Worse, as you get more dehydrated, your body produces more concentrated urine. That said - as a short term measure to keep ...


16

If you can no longer see any trail signs, the best thing to do is go back the way you came until you find one and start searching in a circle from there. Never continue to go further assuming there is going to be a sign just up ahead. You may be right, however the risk of getting lost and something unfortunate happening is too great. If you become separated ...


16

First off, weigh up whether it's worth crossing said river. I know this question is about if you "have" to cross it, but bear in mind that falling in is a real danger and if you do, hypothermia can onset very quickly and be deadly. It depends on the situation - if we're talking about a shallow, wade-able body of water that's not much more than a stream I'd ...


16

The VERY FIRST thing you need to do is to not panic. Sit down for a minute or two and let your mind catch up to the fact you are lost. Now, take out your map, compass, gps, or whatever and try to find your way back to where you DID know where you were. If you can't figure out where the trail should be and you need to bushwhack, find a bit of a clearing, ...


16

For hunting bears you have to check with your local rangers for hunting season, permits and so on. Self-defense is self-defense if your mental state does not allow you to think and you feel killing is the only way out than it the only way out. BUT Bear Defense Spray is more effective and easier to obtain than .45 Also Noise will scare them off. So if ...


16

This does have a basis in a known technique, back burning, but by your description the application wasn't orthodox. From Wikipedia: Back burning is a way of reducing the amount of flammable material during a bushfire by starting small fires along a man made or natural firebreak in front of a main fire front. It is called back burning because the ...


15

So if you're completely out of your expected element, have no emergency blanket or shelter, then there are a few options to provide some additional protection from the cold. Get out of the wind. The wind makes things that much more miserable. If you can, get into an area protected from the wind. Find some insulation. Stuff leaves loosely between clothing ...


15

Eating berries and mushrooms is not recommended since there is no general pattern to identify poisonous ones (unless you're an expert on that topic). Even having a book with pictures of edible berries can be tricky as some poisonous ones are disguised as their edible counterparts. Plants, on the other hand, should not be edible if the sap is milky. Milky ...


12

It depends on precisely how big the kit is. A couple other answers have covered bigger packs, so I'll mention what could be in a much thinner pack. If it needs to be flat and relatively small: Bandages. Alcohol wipes. Gauze pads. A flat pad of athletic tape*. One or a couple small packs of Benadryl Antibiotic ointment (the small, flat packs of stuff ...


12

Assuming you told people where you were going and you don't have PLB with you, you should start building camp. Construct distress signal discussed here: How can I signal for help in the wilderness? Don't panic Get busy making your camp Look for sources of water Construct distress signals Make traps, set up fishing lines, gather plant food. Gradually map ...


12

This sounds like an "escape fire" (Wikipedia); see also the Mann Gulch Fire for a real life example. One of the The Gods Must Be Crazy movies had this technique used in a wildfire in the African savannah.


12

Anecdotally - yes. I've heard it is possible, read it is possible, and have successfully done so myself while working in Wyoming's Wind River Range (on par with Alaska for its mosquitoes). Caveats: Although you might stop itching and swelling, you won't build up an immunity to West Nile, Dengue, Malaria, etc if they occur in your area. In my ...


11

If you need to walk on a compass bearing in poor visibility, stand still, and send someone out in front of you on the correct bearing for a distance (probably as far as you can see). Have them stand still, then walk to them. Repeat. It's slow going, but you will be walking on the correct bearing, and more accurate than just holding the compass out in front ...


11

I suggest using a bow drill. It's a little tricky to start, but once you get the hang of it you can get pretty good at it. For wood selections, you generally want to stick with the following: Obviously Dry. You should be able to press into the wood. If you can't at all then it's too hard. However, if you can make a fingertip-sized depression then it's ...


11

Depending on what you mean by "can you eat it" you can eat anything really, it just depends on how much worse off you want to be afterward. According to this article, dangers include: trichinelliosis - from eating meat of a carnivorous animal brucellosis - can be had from raw caribou e. coli, and salmonella are rampant tapeworm - and other worms are ...


11

You can. Bear spray is a more humane option; however, you do ask about legal repercussions. You can shoot pretty much any animal in self defense in the USA. After you shoot the animal it is important what you do if you want to avoid fines. Once the fight is over and you know you are safe you need to call the forest service. If you don't know their number ...


11

You always look at places where water could accumulate (here are some not so obvious choices): Extra green vegetation like sycamore tree is good indicator of water source. You can utilize the plants transpiration via plastic bag or bottle. And just leave it out in the sun. With big enough plastic bag over bush you can collect quite a bit of water. Bellow ...



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