Stayin' Alive- Outdoor Techniques (Eric Boettcher Survivalist Book 1)

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Thousands of Copies Sold! Voted #1 Outdoor Book “Most comprehensive

and easy to use manual ever written”! - Fun Things Utah As Seen on: News and Radio Stations across the Country

Vol 1. Written and Illustrated by: Eric Boettcher

Eric Boettcher Survivalist LLC “There When you need it most”

© Copyright 2016 by Dry Creek Paracord LLC

Vol 1. Written and illustrated by Eric B Boettcher Survivalist

About the Author

Eric Boettcher is the owner and president of Dry Creek Paracord LLC. Since 2012 he has specialized in the creation and distribution of survival and outdoor equipment. Growing up in the heart of the Utah mountains influenced his love of nature. From an early age he studied and practiced primitive survival techniques. His father taught him horsemanship and hunting from an early age. An avid rock climber and hiker he practices what he teaches and lives what he knows. Eric studied Criminal Justice and Spanish at Utah Valley University. He has also been trained and certified as an EMT and has undergone continuous training and study in wilderness medicine. A Father of two he enjoys spending time with his family and passing the love of nature onto his children.


Acknowledgments & Dedications

I dedicate this book to my father You are my example

You lead by example I follow in your footsteps You are my hero Thank you Your son

Also many thanks to the countless people who advised and counseled with me on this book. Also to my many patient customers that have waited years for me to finally release this book. Here it is and I hope you enjoy it! 6.

CONTENTS Weather & Conditions 9-18 Knots & Lashings 19-32 Fire Starting & Fuels 33-46 Shelters & Shelter Building 47-54 Campcraft 55-56 Wilderness Medicine 57-84 Venomous & Non Venomous Reptiles 85-88 Wildlife 89-120 Cooking & Cooking Methods 121-124 7.

CONTENTS Foraging 125-142 Poisonous Plants & Animals 143-148 Fish Species & Fishing Methods 149-166

Traps, Snares, Fishing & Hunting 167-180

Water & Water Purification 181-192 Orienteering 193-208 Communication 209-221


Clouds &Weather Cirrus


20,000-45,000 Ft 6-14 Km,


clouds are composed mainly of ice and appear in the sky in a series of bands. These clouds will typically predict good weather, however if there is a strong north wind present in colder climates , they will sometimes precede a blizzard or severe storm.

16,000-30,000 Ft 5-9 Km,


mulus clouds are small white clusters of clouds arranged in groups and generally indicate good weather.


16,000-30,000 Ft 5-9 Km,


tus clouds are fine and whitish, however they are darker than cirrus clouds. When Cirrostratus follows cirrus across the sky this is indicative of bad weather.


10,000-23,000 Ft 3-7 Km,


mulus Clouds are massive heaps of clouds at high elevations. When seen they are often a sign of cold weather approaching. Also if they occur on a warm humid morning this is an indication that thunderstorm are developing.


10,000-23,000 Ft 3-7 Km,


tus Clouds are blue gray colored clouds that generally cover the entire sky. Thin and wispy the sun can be often seen through the clouds as a dim disk. This is often indicative of approaching continuous rain and snow.


Clouds &Weather Stratocumulus

3,000-6,500 Ft 1-2 Km, Stratocumulus clouds are low puffy louds with blue sky often visible in between them. This is generally an indication of good to fair weather, however they can turn into nimbostratus clouds under certain conditions that can bring rain.

Nimbostratus 3,000-6,500 Ft 1-2 Km,

Nimbostratus clouds are

a dark grey and wet looking low level cloud. They will almost always be accompanied by moderate but continuous rain and snow.

Cumulus 1,000-3,000 Ft .3-1 Km, Cumulus clouds Fluffy, White and heaped together. These clouds most often indicate fine weather. However if they pile up and push to higher elevations they can form thunderstorms.


0-30,000 Ft 0-9 Km,

Stratus Clouds, Low level

clouds made up of water droplets that make up an even grey layer of cloud. They almost always indicate rain or snow.

Cumulonimbus 400-35,000 Ft .1-10 Km,

Cumulonimbus clouds

are dark with flat bases and rounded tops. They often form in an anvil shape at the top. They will often mean that strong thunderstorms, snow or hail are headed your way. Also strong wind and a sudden drop in temperature can be expected.



“Know before you go!� Lighting kills more people in the developed world every year than any other natural phenomenon . On average there are roughly 24,000 lightning related deaths per year Worldwide. However lighting related deaths have decreased over the past thirty years due to new understanding of lightning and its behavior. When headed anywhere in the outdoors knowing the weather forecast is a key part of your safety. If thunderstorms are forecast it is never advisable to venture into the outdoors. There is NO safe place outside during a thunderstorm , and a tent does not offer any protection against a lightning strike. If caught in a thunderstorm seek shelter quickly. Avoid mountaintops, ridges, hilltops, open fields ,and isolated trees. Be aware of any conductive objects or materials that might be on or by your person. Also note that any material that is wet will then conduct electricity. If no indoor shelter is available then seek shelter in valleys and low places. If in the forest seek cover in a low stand of trees and brush. If caught in the open with no where to go and you feel static pass through you kneel and grab your ankles. This will (if struck) make the electricity pass through the part of your body where it will do the least amount of damage.


Weather Hazards Hurricane/Cyclone

See Pg. 14-15

Tornadoes Is a rapidly rotating storm system that has a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arIs a violently rotating vortex of air that is rangement of thunderstorms that produce large connected between the ground and cumulonimbus amounts of rain. It also produces winds that can be clouds above. Most Tornadoes have wind speeds of up to 160 mph. These storms are deadly and should 150 mph, however some can have wind speeds of be avoided. 300 mph. A waterspout is a tornado over water. Never drive near a tornado seek shelter in a house Avalanche or underground. Is a large mass of snow or rock falling rapidly Wind Chill down a mountain or a hillside. Slab avalanches are the most common occurring avalanches. They form Is the perceived decrease in air temperaby snow being deposited on top of an established ture felt by the body on exposed flesh. This perlayer of snow. The top layer becomes very unstable ceived drop is due to convection heat loss off the due to the fact it does not adhere to the lower lay- body. Temperatures can feel up to 30 degrees coolers. They break off in slab like chucks and are ater than they actual are. Ears, noses, and fingers tributed for 90% of back country deaths. should be covered to avoid danger of frostbite. Blizzard

Ice Storm

Is characterized by strong winds greater than An ice storm is a type of cold weather storm 35 mph and large amounts of snow that lasts for a where the temperatures on the ground are colder prolonged period of time. Another occurrence is than the air above. This makes rain freeze upon called a ground blizzard where snow on the ground contact with the ground. is blown into the air. This can cause driving hazards due to the Hail thick ice that forms over all surfaces. Even walking Is a solid form of precipitation. It is different anywhere outside and in the backcountry can be from sleet in that sleet is a softer form of hail. Hail extremely hazardous. is devastating to crops and damaging when it reachFreezing rain forms a heavy layer of ice over es a certain size. Hail Stones can reach a size of 6 all surfaces exposed. The weight can be so heavy inches which can shatter a window. that steel can bend or even snap due to the excessive weight.

Lighting See Pg. 10

Flooding 12.

Clothing & Conditions




4. 5.




Clothing & Conditions 1. Hat/Stocking Cap

will help keep you warm and most importantly Depending on the weather conditions one should dry. If one is traversing in deep snow, gaiters worn around the lower leg and attached to your choose headwear with care. A baseball cap or a full brim hat will provide excellent protection from shoes will prevent show from entering inside your the sun in warmer conditions. However it will not clothing. provide much warmth and should not be used dur- 5. Gloves ing the winter months. A stocking cap will provide When wearing gloves especially in extreme condiprotection from the cold and minimize heat lost tions, three layers are ideal. Thin contact gloves through the head (which is where 80% of the body for sensitive skin protection, inner wool liners for heat is lost). A jacket hood can even further imextra insulation, and outer mittens that are wind prove heat retention and protection from the eleand waterproof. Be sure to use gloves that use ments. attachment cords that will prevent the loss of the 2. Sunglasses/Goggles


These will protect your eyes against UV rays and snow blindness. They are also helpful in preventing sand, dust, snow and debris from getting in the eyes. These can greatly improve visibility during a storm as well.

6. Socks

4. Pants, Snow Pants and Gaiters.

be worn and broken in before being used in the field. Failure to due so will most often result in injury, blisters or infections .

Several layers should be worn in cold weather. A thin layer will help prevent blisters and help insure circulation of the blood which will help keep feet warm. During the summer months a single layer 3. Jacket/Coat of socks is sufficient however they must be changed daily. Keeping your feet dry is essential A Jacket should be windproof and insulated. It Many medical conditions which can be debilitating should also be easy to vent excess heat if necescan otherwise quickly arise. Trench foot/tropical sary to prevent sweating. Layering is the best ulcer, frostbite, blisters, staff infections and varimethod to combat the elements. This allows for the shedding of clothing during warmer periods of ous fungal infections will occur if proper foot care is not adhered to. If you cannot walk you are not the day or during physical exertion. The best types of outdoor jackets will have an outside shell/ going anywhere! Keep your feet Dry! windbreaker and also have a removable insulated 7. Boots/Footwear inner jacket. Insulation tip: Dry leaves and grass Boots for extreme conditions should consist of ducan be stuffed into jackets and pants. This will rable material. Waterproof and Insulated that trap air in between the body and clothing and thus provide plenty of ankle support to prevent injury create a warm microclimate. are recommended. Boots and all foot wear should Mountaineering pants should be windproof like a jacket and also have a insulated layer. Reinforcement on the knees will help prevent holes. For cooler weather where snow is present, snow pants


Flash Flooding

Broadcast Frequencies. 162.400 MHz 162.425 MHz 162.450 MHz 162.475 MHz 162.500 MHz 162.525

“Know before you go”!

MHz 162.500

MHz Every year flooding kills more people than lighting, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Weather conditions should be paid attention to whenever venturing into the outdoors. Generally occurring on dry soil with poor absorption or on overly saturated soil. The water will collect in the paths of least resistance such as streams, gullies and rivers. These areas need to be avoided during periods of heavy rain and you should never go to a flooding area to observe it. “Turn around, don’t drown.” Areas that have experienced wildfires are potentially more prone to flooding than others due to the lack a vegetation that would otherwise slow the water. For areas that are extremely narrow flood zones such as slot canyons, the danger of a flood is almost a constant even when there is no moisture falling. Rains can flood dry areas over 50 miles away. In slot canyons escape may be impossible due to the vertical walls that extend for miles. Before ever venturing into any canyon, tune into the national weather service radio new alerts and also the national and state park services for flood warnings.


Drainage Basin

A drainage basin or watershed area is an extent of land where surface water from rain, melting snow or even ice converges to a single point at a lower elevation. Along the way smaller streams give way to rivers and eventually lake, and even the ocean. Rainfall in areas above drainage basins have the potential to flood lower areas due to the fact that all water flows down stream. The paths of a drainage basin are designated by the gullies, canyons and rivers that have been carved into the landscape over long periods of time. Understanding the potential areas of heightened flood risk is very important to your safety. During the spring months of the year, melting snow increases the amount of water flowing off the mountain to dangerous levels. During the late summer months, what is known as the monsoon season, can down inches of rainfall in the matter of hours. Inches of rainfall translates to several feet of water once it is concentrated into canyons and river. This is almost always the cuprite of flash flood.


Wind Chill Chart Estimated Wind Speed (MPH) Calm

Actual Temperature Fahrenheit (â °F)

Wind Chill Chart

50 40 30 20 10 0

-10 -20 -30


50 40 30 20 10 0

-10 -20 -30


-5 -15 -26 -36


-9 -22 -31 -45 -58



48 37 27 16 6


40 28 16 2

Wind Speed MPH Smoke Rises up 0mph

Smoke Drifts 1-3mph

Leaves Rustle


36 22 11 -6 -18 -33 -45 -60 -70



Twigs and leaves Move


32 18 3

-9 -24 -40 -52 -68 -81



30 16 0

-15 -29 -45 -58 -75 -89



28 13 -2 -18 -33 -49 -63 -78 -94



Branches Move 13-18mph



27 11 -4 -20 -35 -52 -67 -83 -98


26 10 -4 -22 -36 -54 -69 -87 -101 -116

Small trees Sway Large Branches Move 19-31mph

Wind speeds above 40mph have little additional effect

Little Danger



Properly Clad



Danger of Freezing Exposed Flesh

Whole Tree Moves 32-38+ MPH


Heat Index Chart Temperature (⁰F) verses Relative Humidity(%) ⁰F























60% 50%



















Direct sunlight will make it feel 15⁰20⁰degrees warmer than it actually is outside.

Shade will feel 15⁰20⁰ degrees cooler than it is outside.

135 HI



Possible Heat Disorder:


Fatigue possible with prolonged Exposure


Sunstroke, Heat Cramps and Heat Exhaustion possible


Sunstroke, Heat Cramps, and Heat Exhaustion likely, and Heat Stroke possible

130⁰F or Greater

Heat stroke highly likely with continued exposure.

Natural Cordage Leaves Animal Animal Gut (Dried) Rawhide (Dried)

Hair (as is or twisted) Sinew (made wet then dried)

Cattail Palm leaves American Century Plant Palm Iris American Dune Grass Reed Grass Yucca (Best source from Leaves). Must Pound leaves

Tree Cordage

Wooded Stalks *Stinging Nettle Velvet Leaf

*Milkweed Evening Primrose *Indian Hemp Fireweed Burdock Thistle Waterhead Pondweed •

Ash (Bark) Walnut (Bark & Root)

Dogsbane (Considered Best option from Wooded sources).

*Indicates toxicity

Cherry (Bark & Root)

Sea Sources

Cedar (Bark & Root)

Bull Whip Kelp

Aspen (Bark)

Palm Fibers

Willow (Bark)

Sea grass

Cottonwood (Bark)

Floating and Beach litter

Box Elder (Bark) Hickory (Bark) Oak (Bark & Root) Elm (Bark) Aspen (bark) Mesquite (Bark) Basswood (Best Bowstring from tree sources)

Coconut Husk

Bushes Service Berry (Branches)

Olona Plastic Bags

Sage Brush (bark) Cliff rose (Bark)

Desert Willow (Bark) Gooseberry (Root)

Roots Cedar Tamarack Juniper Pine Mulberry


Twisting Fibers Tools Required Or

Eye Hole

After the fibers have been striped or pounded. Dip your fingers in water and pull the fibers through them. This will help them adhere better to one another. Start by holding the fibers not in the middle but offset so that no one bundle of fibers run out at any one point and can be continued to be twisted into continuous cordage. It is imperative that when twisting the cordage that you do so in the same direction or the fibers will not be compressed together. Once you have a small length of cordage twisted ,form an eye hole in the cord as seen above. This will keep the tension twisted into the cord and prevent it from unraveling. Each strand needs to be twisted and then both strands need to be rolled together. When done correctly the strands will coil tightly together.

Sinew & Rawhide are also braided into cordage in a similar way.

Yucca Cactus & American Century Plant are considered some of the best materials to use.

Integrating more fibers will need to be done at regular intervals. As mentioned above stagger the ends of the cord so that when one side runs out the other will continue. This will ensure the strength of the cordage and keep them bound together. To ensure cordage consistency and thickness, fiber bundles must be of roughly the same thickness. Remember that twisting fibers is an art form and can take months of practice to master. However even amateurs can produce useable cord. The best way to be prepared to make raw cordage is to buy fibers from a craft store and practice beforehand. Survival Bank knowledge!


Paracord The Outdoor Essential



Parachute Cord is a Light weight Nylon Kernmantle Rope. The Kern are the inside strands that give the rope its high tensile strength. The Mantle is a protective sheath that is woven over the Kern Strands. This is designed to optimize strength, durability, and flexibility.

Typical Type 4 & 5 Paracord has a maximum Breaking strength of 550

pounds. This rope was first used in the suspension lines of U.S. Parachutes during ww2. Once in the field, U.S. Paratroopers found this cord to be extremely useful in a variety of tasks and quickly became an invaluable tool. Soon after the war it became available to the public as general purpose cord. This versatile cord was even used on a NASA shuttle mission to repair the

Hubble telescope in February of 1997.


100 uses for Paracord

• Tent lines • Gill net • Bow • Mooring line for boating • Tourniquet • Sling for broken arm/leg • Splint • Tie an IV bag • Securing a bandage • Trellis for climbing vegetables • Temporary enclosure for live stock • Flash light webbing (to carry) • Necklace • Parachuting • Hanging objects inside of clothing for concealment • Nun chucks • Hot pad sleeve for pots and pans • String knotted measuring line • Excavation line • Improvised quick draw belay – used with carabineers • Used for an auto block for repelling • Foot holds for ascenders • Back up anchor for repelling • Prusik knot for ascending a line • Bracelet • Hair tie • Securing game to horses or a 4 wheeler • Used to drag game out • Hanging animals for skinning • Tie down for your pistol • Cat’s cradle game • Replace broken straps on a backpack • Decoy line when hunting coyotes


• Bolas for hunting • Pole line for shotgun • Firewood carrying system –used for over shoulder carry or neck carry • Timber hitch setup • Rope ladder • Multiple strands can be used to make a swing • Neck strap for you glasses • Friction saw • Restraints/ handcuffs • Dog leash • Sheath can be used as a temporary insulator for electrical wires • Guideline for caving • Hanging shower curtains • Temporary fan belt replacement for your car (take out inner strands use sheath) • Temporary radiator fix • Sling weapon • Bow drill • Camp craft • Emergency rappel • Shoe laces • Make shift belt • Knife wrap • Head band • Tether rafts • Water bottle sleeve- insulator • Watch band • Hanging water bottle • Pouch to carry sling ammo • Bookmark • Trot line • Pulling a tooth • Clothing repair • Tie goose necks on a water tight bag

• Pivoting sniper rest • Self-defense using monkey fist • Bull whip • Trip line • Bear alarm • Binocular sling • Anchor for a boat • Swing signal with a glow stick using inner strands to signal aircraft • Make a ridgeline for a tarp shelter • Utility cord • Shelter • Tool repair • Gear repair • Snares / traps • Securing items to gear or person • Floss • Stiches for wound care • Sewing • Fishing line • A tie line – to keep a group from getting separated in thick brush • Clothing line • Hanging up food • Fishing net • Hammock • Tree stand • Rifle sling • Pistol lanyard • Key chain • Tack repair • Ember / kindling • Hanging pictures • Harpoon • Can be made into a fly for fishing also fishing lures Tie a tarpon or poncho to a tree for a lean too

Types of Rope

Webbing Rope Static Line Braided Rope Static line Kern Mantle Rope Static & Dynamic Static Vs Dynamic

What is considered a lifeline

A static rope is a rope that is not designed to stretch when placed under a load. Static lines are generally used in rappelling and securing structures together like bridges. In contrast a Dynamic rope is specially constructed to be somewhat elastic. The greater the stretch of the rope will allow the rope to absorb more energy of a sudden load on the rope. Such ropes are standard among rock climbers and mountaineers alike.

Kernmantle Dynamic Rope Climbing Lifeline has a Maximum breaking strength of 5000lbs and have a safe working load generally around 300lbs

Normal Working Load

Coiling rope to avoid Knots

Kernmantle Static Rope Rappelling lifeline Maximum breaking strength of 4100lbs and a safe working load of 300lbs. This are not designed to withstand sudden loads and force like dynamic lines.

Rope Care Tips & Suggestions

Is the mass or force that a rope or line is designed to withstand safely. This takes into account sudden loads which increase the force of the load up to five times that of the mass of the object.

Avoid over exposure to UV Rays

Maximum Breaking Strength

Avoid Sudden Loads on Rope

Mass or force at which a rope will break. Such as 550 Paracord the 550 indicates the force of 550lbs will break the line. Paracord typically has a Normal working load of 100lbs.

Do not mark the middle with marker or other liquids

Carry in a Rope Bag Avoid contact with dirt

Keep Ropes wash by hand with warm water and mild soap



Figure 8 Used in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices Rated at 80% efficiency

Double Half Hitch Used as a binding knot that may used to bind one or more loose objects together (such as a post or a tree) using a string or a rope that passes at least once around them Rated at 60% to 70% efficiency

Sheet Bend Used to join two ropes together. This knot is capable of bonding Rigidly two ropes of different Diameter. This shouldn't be relied upon as a life line, not in climbing or canyoneering Rated 48% to 58% efficiency

Bowline Used to shorten a length of rope Or take up slack. This is not a load Bearing knot and will fail under too Much weight or tension. The more Course the rope is, the more secure the Knot becomes.


Knots Sheep Shank Used to shorten a length of rope or take up slack. This is not a load bearing knot and will fail under too much weight or tension. The more course the rope is the more secure the knot becomes.

Prusik Knot This is also known as a Friction Hitch applied in climbing and canyoneering used for ascending a rope. Caution should be taken , this knot becomes much less effective when rope of cord is wet.

Fisherman’s Double This knot is the most commonly used knot among Climbers to join ropes. It works by the ropes pulling against one another. This is considered one of the most important knots to know when climbing.

Overhand Bend Used to join two ropes together by tying an overhand knot as if they were a single line. Used commonly for maritime use.


Knots Clove Hitch Used to be secured around an object. It is most effectively used as a crossing knot ,and is particularly useful when the length of the running end needs to be adjustable .

Timber Hitch Used to attach a cylindrical object to a single length of rope. It is commonly used among arborists and lumbermen because of its strength in towing an object.

Square knot Used in both medical and maritime instances. This knot is very ancient and is the most common way to secure a bandage. This is not a very stable knot and should not be used to support much weight, however it is great for securing bundles and small items.

Taut Line Used as an adjustable loop knot for lines under tension. It is used often When the line has need to being Adjusted. This knot is commonly used to secure tents and creating adjustable mooring lines.



Figure 8 Loop Used to secure the end of a rope to an object. This knot is what is used to attach a climbers harness to the lifeline. It is also called the Flemish 8 loop and has maritime uses As well. This knot can become difficult To untie after a heavy load is applied.

Girth Hitch Used to secure the American saddle to horses. This knot is easily synched tight. Also in climbing it can be used to anchor a daisy chain. This can also be used to attach two ropes together as well.

Running Bowline This is a used to tie a type of noose. It can handle heavy loads and can be easily undone. This knot will not bind itself together, making it ideal. Used most often for maritime uses.

Lariat Loop Used as a type of noose or sliding loop. This can be used as a lasso to retrieve objects when the standing line is pulled tight. It does not jam due to the fact that most of the weight is on the static line. This is a very commonly used knot on ranches.


Knots Overhand Loop Used to form a fixed loop in a rope. It is made by simply tying an overhand knot into a blight. This very secure knot can hold heavy loads and is most often used for attaching equipment to the rope. The knot is likely to jam tight once a heavy load is placed on the knot. This is a very widely used knot and very easy to tie.

Carrick Bend This is primarily used as a maritime knot. This is a simple jam proof knot that is employed to join two ropes together. The rope sizes need to be similar for the knot to be effective. This knot is easy to untie even after a heavy load has been placed on it.

Super Munter Hitch Used as a improvised belaying devise this knot is a must know in the knowledge bank of every outdoorsmen. This can be very useful for lowering heavy loads as well.

Double Carrick Bend Like the Single Carrick bend, this knot is used to connect two rope ends together. Employing another Carrick knot will double the strength of the connections and will be able to handle greater loads.


Square Lashing


5. 2.


3. 4.

The Square Lashing is a great way to attach two poles or a series of poles to each other at right angles. This lashing is a must in your arsenal of knot skills. Square lashings are the key in shelter making, raft making and many other Campcraft tasks. Start by tying a Clove Hitch immediately under where the crosspiece will be located. Wrap the rope round three or four times on the outside of each previous turn. Take the rope over and under both poles anti-clockwise three or four times. Make a full turn round a pole and a circuit in the opposite direction. End with a Clove Hitch on the pole where the lashing was started.


Tripod Lashing


Used to create a Tripod out of three poles. This lashing can be used in a variety of Campcraft tasks (improvised tent, dead rest for a gun, cooking over a fire, etc.). Start with three poles of equal length and roughly the same diameter. Begin with roughly 8 feet of cord/rope and tie a Clove Hitch. Then apply 6 or more frappings to each pole and end with a clove hitch. Unlike other lashings the knots must not be too tight or the poles will not spread out properly.




Diagonal Lashing




The Diagonal Lashing can be an alternative to a Square Lashing. This can be an invaluable lashing to know when build a shelter or a raft. Place two poles at 90 degree angles. Tie a Clove Hitch around the two poles where they cross. Make three turns around both poles. Make sure that the turns are adjacent but not on top of each other. Take three more turns crosswise over the first turns, then proceed to pull them tight. Then Make two diagonal turns between the two poles, round the lashing turns. End with a Clove Hitch around the pole that the lashing started on.


Shear Lashing



The Sheer Lashing is often used to bind adjacent poles together and It is also a good way to reinforce a broken or weak pole. A loose Sheer Lashing made around the ends of two poles will allow the poles to be opened out and used as an A-frame. The two poles are laid side-by-side and an initial Clove Hitch is tied round one pole. A Round Lashing is then tied around the two poles near one end. Then two or three Frapping turns are tied binding the lashing turns tightly. Starting these turns can be awkward and It is sometimes necessary to spread the legs apart to open up the poles to make it possible. The Lashing is completed with another Clove Hitch. The other ends of the poles are then separated to make a pair of Shear Legs.


Fire Triangle


The Fire Triangle illustrates the 3 elements that are needed to achieve combustion. When Heat, Fuel and Oxygen are combined in the right mixture a fire will occur naturally. Remove any part of the triangle and the fire will extinguish. For example combustion will stop once all fuel is used up or a fire blanket will deprive a fire of oxygen. Water will remove the heat from a fire and choke out its ability to reach oxygen.


Fire Fuels Table

Fuel Source


Heat Value Kindling Fuel Consumption

Hard or Soft











White Oak













































Sweet gum








































Quaking Aspen





Fire Fuels


1. Dry Sticks and twigs are an ideal choice for starting fires. Select the smallest and thinnest twigs that you can find. These will be easily collected by breaking them off the larger branches already collected for your fire.

2. Dry leaves burn bright and fast however one must use caution. The leaves will for the most part remain intact after it is burnt and smother your fire. They should never be used to start a fire and should be used sparingly as a fuel source.


3. Dry grass does burn well but like leaves the grass for the most part will remain whole after the fuel is burnt. This will build up and starve the fire of vital oxygen.


4. Bark like twigs can be an ideal fire starter. The inner bark will often still be dry when other fuels may be wet. This can be shredded into loose fibers and used for superior tinder.



Fire Starting Aids & Tinder Fuzz Stick The Fuzz Stick is a length of wood which is shaved to form thin feather like protrusions in the wood. This will allow any stick to ignite more easily and it can be an especially good method to use if the tinder is wet. Often the inner portions of the stick will be dry when the outer sections are not.

Hand Sanitizer Hand Sanitizer and even bug spray can be used as a accelerant to make fire starting easier. The alcohol and other highly flammable chemicals found in these products ignite at the slightest spark and burn very hot. This will allow you to ignite slightly damp wood when otherwise it would seem impossible.

Treated Fire Stick


Fire Sticks are essentially compressed sawdust that is filled with resins for fast fire starting. Small and easily packed into a backpack it can be a lifesaver when a fire becomes essential to stay warm. This is considered a must have in your preparedness kit.

Clothing lint

Clothing Lint that is collected in the dryer is a substance that can be collected and used in a fire starting kit. Made of fine cotton fibers it is highly flammable and readily available. However it is important to keep this tinder dry or it will not be of any use.

Buffalo Chips

Buffalo Chips are useful in areas where firewood is scarce. buffalo chips or Cow droppings that have been dried by the sun are a excellent form of fuel and tinder. Comprised of dried plant matter it will burn for long periods of time. The only disadvantage of buffalo chips is that they tend to choke out the fire over time.

Pine Needles

Dried Pine Needles are full of resin and are considered to be one of the best forms of fire starting aids. They are easy to find in the forest by looking for needles that have turned reddish brown. Even in the rain you can find dry needles under large pine trees which offer protection from the elements.


1. Flint & Magnesium

Friction Bow Drill


4. Magnifying Glass

2. Matches

Knife 6. 5. Rock Potassium Glycerin

9 Volt

Steel Wool 3. Lighter 7.


1. Flint & Magnesium: Shave off pieces of magnesame way. If prepared correctly you can make a sium with the saw provided or with a knife (this lens from ice and literally obtain fire from ice. will dull any knife). Make a small pile of shav5. Potassium & Glycerin: When these Chemicals ings under prepared tinder. Then flip over magare combined together a very powerful reaction nesium bar to the flint bar and scrape it with the will occur to the point of combustion. Prepare a saw or knife. This will produce sparks that will tinder pile and pour a dime sized amount of liqignite the magnesium shavings and ignite your uid on it and then pour the other on top of the tinder. first. Smoke will instantly emerge and soon 2. Matches: Made of small wooden sticks that are burst into flame. Both chemicals are medicacoated with a chemical that is ignited by frictiontions and are available to the public. Be sure to al heat (the White part). After ignition the flame keep the liquids separate and stored away from is fed by the red portion of the head which is one another. phosphorous. Matches will only burn for a 6. Striking metal against stone: Any metal inmatter of seconds so be sure to have your tinder cluding a knife can be used to start a fire. One pile ready. Also there are two different types of must have very dry and fine tinder to achieve matches. Safety matches that can only be ignitsuccess in this method of fire starting. If using a ed on certain prepared surfaces, or strike anyknife use the dull side of the blade to reduce where matches which can be ignited on any suitdamage to the knife and also avoid accidental able frictional surface. injury to yourself. Prepare your tinder pile and 3. 9 Volt Battery & Steel Wool: Place the steel strike the metal against the stone toward the wool next to the prepared tinder pile. Place tinder pile. After a few tries a spark should land both prongs against the wool until it begins to in your tinder pile. Then blow on it to feed it the glow red hot. Then place against tinder. Steel proper oxygen needed to ignite your spark to wool works the most effectively however any flame. metal that conducts electricity will work as well. 7. Lighter: This by far is the easiest method to obThis is an effective method to start fires and is tain fire. Lighters are filled with Butane and one that can be repeated many times using the fitted with a striker that ignites the butane. same materials. This method can be used with However as easy as it may seem proper preparaany battery if properly Prepared. tion techniques are still need to prepare your 4. Magnifying Glass: On a sunny day this is a very fire to stay lite. Once the lighter is depleted of effective means by which one can ignite a fire. butane on can still use the Prepare a tinder pile and focus a beam of light striker mechanism to obtain through the lens on top of the tinder. Make the an easy spark. beam as small as possible thus concentrating the 8. Friction Fire: See pages 22light. The tinder will start to smoke and quickly 23. gain flame. In an emergency any lens from a scope or a pair of binoculars can be used in the


Bow Drill Method Cap



Socket Spindle


Cord Groove

Tools Required

Ember Collection This is an ancient fire starting method using friction to generate heat and create an ember in the dust that is collected. Begin by notching the bow string in the cord groove. Then insert the spindle into the hearth-board socket and place the cap on top of the spindle. Start moving the bow slowly back and forth ( Pine needles, animal fat or oil can be used to lubricate the cap socket). Gradually increase speed and pressure and after a few minutes smoke should begin to arise from the hearth board socket. Eventually the dust collected at the base of the hearth board will glow red and this ember can be carefully turned into flame. Be sure to collect tinder and all other items needed for the fire before attempting to create an ember. The Hearth Board should be a soft wood and the spindle should be a hard wood.


Hand Drill Fire Method

Tools Required



Hard Wood

The hand drill works roughly the same way the bow drill does. However there is far less preparation needed and material needed. The hand Drill is a Straight stick thick as your average pen and 1 to 5 feet in length. The hearth Board needs to be roughly the same thickness as the drill. Woods that work well for the spindle drill are Elder, Burdock and Mullein (Hard woods . Woods suggested for the hearth board are Poplar and Cedar (Medium Hard Woods). All wood used must be completely dry.

Soft Wood


Ember Collection


Fire Plough Tools Required Or



This is the simplest form of the friction fire starting methods because It is relatively simple to set up and use. It is also considered to be the most laborious. First find a stick of hardwood and carve the tip to a rounded point. Then split a large softwood branch that is about 2ft long. Then carve a groove about 18inches long for the plough to move along. Place the plough in the groove and move it back and forth. Continue this for several minutes until the groove will begin to darken. The wood fibers collected at the bottom will with speed and pressure ignite into an ember. Be sure not to scatter the dust by an erratic stroke of the plough. Other friction fire methods are typically preferred to the Fire Plough.


Fire Heat Reflectors


An effective Fire heat reflector is an essential part of wilderness survival. The reflector can be constructed from a wide array of items. Rock, Wood, Space blanket and soil can make effective Heat reflectors. The reflectors should be placed roughly a foot away from the campfire and be 1-4ft high. It should also be several feet wider than the campfire itself. At least 4 ft. You don’t always have to make a Heat reflector either. Often you can simply pick to place your fire next to an established object such as a large fallen log, a large rock or a large mound of dirt. This strategy will help you save time and energy that can be used doing other things. It is important that when in a survival situation that you pay close attention to your surroundings and use the landscape to your advantage. As the old saying goes “ its better to use your head than to break your back”.


Fire Types Lean to Fire Direction of Wind

Starting with a small of compact mound of tinder. Place a green stick into the ground at a 30 degree angle and point the Stick in the direction of the wind. Add more wood on the lean to stick. This is an especially good method to use in high wind areas because the Stacked logs act as a wind block to the tinder below.

Log Cabin Fire The Log Cabin Fire is less vulnerable to Collapse and these qualities make it an excellent cooking fire. The Fire is slower burning and the structure is able to support cookware. It is important to use thick green branches for the parts of the fire that ultimately support your cookware. Another great hybrid approach to this fire is the Log Cabin Tepee method. This is accomplished by putting the tepee in the center of the log cabin structure and will give one the advantages of both methods.


Fire Types Tepee Fire Tepee Fires are the method of choice when using wet wood. It allows you the best angle to let the fire climb and dry wet wood quickly. Start by making a small compact tinder pile around the base and stack your poles around it. The structure can be stabilized even more by tying a clove hitch round the top of the poles to hold them together. Many consider this to be the most effective fire method

Pyramid Fire The Pyramid fire method is a great slow burning fire method. Stacking a series of logs at right angles gradually getting bigger. The tinder is then lite at top of the Pyramid to allow the fire to slowly burn down. This is the method of choice when needing a long term fire during the night for maximum efficiency .


Fire Types Long log Fire

The Long fire is a great way to take advantage of existing wind conditions. It is also an effective method to use for cooking on especially because the coals and heat are held in place. Made by taking two large logs and placing them parallel to one another. Then adding smaller sized sticks in between the length of the logs. This is a great method to use when in the snow and large groups.

Star Fire

The Star Fire is a great way to burn hardwoods without cutting them. As they are burnt the logs are pushed into the center of the fire. This is also called a Indian Fire and is also a preferred method to keep a fire burning all night with little effort. A 5 to 6 inch pit can be dug in the center to allow airflow and to prevent the fire to be choked out by ash.


Fire Types Dakota Pit Fire Direction of Wind


Wind Block


The Dakota Fire Hole is more Difficult to make than simply building a fire on the Surface. However the energy required to make a Dakota fire hole is offset by it’s efficient consumption of fuel; it greatly reduces the amount of firewood required to cook meals, treat water to destroy pathogens, or to warm your body. The Dakota Fire Hole will burn hotter than any other type of fire method. This is due to the sheltering effect of the hole and thus the heat is concentrated. Heat loss due to wind and other factors is greatly reduced thus making it ideal for cooking. Another advantage is that the fire is concealed underground and makes near invisible to others. For this very reason it was a popular method used by mountain men, pioneers and Militaries.

Tools Required


Building a Shelter

Before you start

Building Tips

Building a shelter can use up a lot of time and also massive amounts of energy. If you are only planning on staying for a short time. It may be better to settle for a simple design that doesn't take a lot of time or energy to build. If you are planning on staying for an extended an unknown amount of time, then it may be better to take the time to build a more elaborate shelter.

Natural Shelter

When building a shelter it may not always be ideal and there will not always be the materials you want available. However shelters come in all shapes and sizes and can be made out of almost any material. Before building any kind of shelter look around and see what is available. It is best adapt to the environment around you if it is winter, then use the snow. In the desert rock and dirt may be the only materials around. By following methods used in each region you will be able to create a shelter in almost any situation and environment.

Poncho Lean-to

Be Respectful to the environment

Tarp Rope A frame tent

Generally there are more than enough dead tree branches around for building shelters. Only use live trees when there is no other option. Other plants like the Barrel cactus and the juniper tree can be hundreds of years old. These plants should be left to live another 100 years if at all possible.

Types of shelters from easy to hard

 

Tree Teepee

One man Lean-to

 Field Lean-to  

Dugout Log Shelter

Use the Garbage In a survival situation garbage left can become a valuable tool. Use it and recycle it!


Natural Shelters Caves and Overhangs

Caves were among the first shelters used by humans can be a life saver. The first evidence of early humans occupying caves, dates back to the Paleolithic period (2 million to 10,000 years ago). Caves offered excellent protection from weather, animals and other people. Even in north America cave use is documented back almost 8,000 years ago . Though being excellent shelter they most likely had to compete with other animals for the dwelling like Wolves, Short Nosed Bear, Saber Toothed Cat, Snakes and dangerous insects. This is still true today and caution should be taken when using a cave as, shelter. There many not be ice age animals today but such predators such as cougars, Brown bears, Black Bears, Bobcats, Lynx, Snakes, Insects and even wolves can be found in caves today. Other dangers are involved when using a cave shelter. Be sure that there are no rocks poised to fall both in and outside of the cave. Some caves can be very wet and constantly dripping large amounts of water. Fires can be lit inside a cave be sure to keep it near the entrance to allow for airflow . Make sure that there is enough room to exit the cave even when the fire is lit. Heat from fires can dislodge rocks because they cause the typically cold rock to expand and crack. Again it is very important to observe the rock for any weaknesses.


Winter Shelters Tools Required

Tree Well Shelter

Small Fire compatible With proper ventilation

The Tree well shelter or the Tree Pit shelter as it is sometimes known is a quick and effective shelter used in the winter. Large Types of Pine trees with low hanging branches will act as a natural shelter from the snow and can be modified into a make shift shelter. Start by digging around the tree trunk until you reach the desired depth and diameter. If the snow is not deep enough snow can be added around the perimeter of the hole to provide the extra height. For added protection create a canopy of branches above the hole using poles and needled pine branches. Be sure to make the shelter as wind proof as possible as to combat wind chill. If The Shelter can be made big enough and modified to house a small fire but be sure to keep fire safety in mind. It is also imperative that the ground be insulated using branches and or grass. This shelter will often be more practical to make than an Igloo and it also requires less skill. The Tree Well Shelter is also not as susceptible to collapse if there are temperature fluctuations. Building it should take less than an hour and can be a quick and easy way of escaping the wind. This is a perfect example of working with your surroundings and not against them.


Winter Shelters Igloos Ice Saw

Ideal Block Size

Tools Required

6in 2ft

Snow Shovel

Snow Knife 3ft 1. Cut blocks from dry, packed snow using a saw or snow knife. 2. Form a circle of blocks to make the base of the igloo. Cut the block into a spiral from top to the last. 3. Continue to place the blocks and overlap them so that they lean inward 4. The last block or keystone piece must initially be bigger than the remaining hole and must be shaped to fit exactly. 5. A cold sink or hole should be cut under the wall for the entrance. Then the sleeping platforms should also be formed using a shovel. 6. Hot air from your body will seal the blocks in place. Also it is important to cut a small air holes in the ceiling to allow for proper airflow.


Used by the Inuit and Yupik people it only took two men 30 minutes to an hour to make a large Igloo. Even modern engineering cannot improve upon the native design of the igloo. It is so strong that a grown man is able to stand on it. Also the inside of an Igloo can be warmed over 20°F with just body heat. It also blocks wind completely It is vital that before building an igloo that temperatures do not rise above 32° F or it will cause the structure to melt and potentially collapse onto it’s occupants.


Forest Shelters

A tree lean to can be a quick and easy method of creating shelter. This method does not require any cordage to make the shelter. Start by placing a long sturdy branch 7ft or more in length on your anchor post. This can be secured with rope or cord but it is not required. The second step is lining the main pole with support ribs. The more ribs put in place the better. The third step is to fill the space in between the ribbing with branches, leaves, bark and debris. Be sure to leave enough room for you to crawl inside. The more air tight it is the warmer it will be.

Tree Lean-to Direction of Wind

Tools Required


For added comfort and warmth building a sleeping mat of soft pine branches or grass will insulate you from the cold ground. Also building a small fire 5 to 6ft from the entrance will warm the shelter considerably and provide physiological comfort as well.

Tree Teepee

The tree Teepee is an easy shelter to build using forest debris. Begin by either using a live tree as the main support post or using tripod lashing to form the central support poles. Ensure that they are long enough to allow room for you to climb inside. The Second step is to weave small flexible branches in between the support poles. The third step is to add leafed branches, grasses, bark and even mud to insulate the shelter. A tarp or space blanket if available can help to further insulate and waterproof the shelter. Placing rocks in front of the support poles will help secure the shelter in place. Placing the entrance to the shelter facing away from the wind will make the it even warmer. As with all shelters insulating yourself from the ground will be essential to keeping warm. A fire can be built near the entrance but be sure it is far enough away to reduce the fire risk to your shelter.

Tools Required


Forest Shelters

Field Lean-to & Fire Reflector Tools Required

Direction of the Wind

If you are planning on staying in one place for a extended period of time and want a more permanent type of shelter the Field Lean-to may be the best option for you. To make this shelter start with two sturdy poles or live trees 4 to 5 feet apart. Then connect them to two main support branches behind the shelter place them at an angle. These branches can be wedged or bound together using a Shear lashing. Place more supporting ribs to form the back wall. The third step is to weave small branches in between the poles to help increase the insulation. The Fourth step is to add Leafed branches, grasses, bark and mud to the walls. The fifth step is to create the heat reflector using either rocks or a natural structure. Place two short poles roughly the same distance apart as the main shelters support beams 4 to 5 feet apart . Stack the poles on one another tightly, then place the fire pit in front of these poles allowing the heat to be reflected back onto the shelter’s occupants. As always be sure to allow for enough room in between the fire and the shelter. Adding the bedding to the shelter is essential for insulating ones self from the ground, but be sure to keep the branches and grasses clear of the fire and its embers. For added protection place the rear of the shelter facing the wind will help protect from wind.


Desert Shelters Shade Shelters

Before you start

Building Tips

Selecting a suitable site is the first step in building a desert shelter. Though it doesn't happen often in the desert it does rain. Especially the months July to September in the Northern Hemisphere. The soil is not accustomed to large amounts of rainfall and thus most of it is swept downstream. Even a small amount of rain can turn into a flash flood see pg. 14-15. Do not camp next to or on areas with visible washes and signs of erosion. These places should be avoided and your selected camp should be several hundred yards from these places. Look for rocky outcroppings or hills that are not prone to flooding.

In almost any shelter building circumstance smaller is better. Spending less time and energy building a shelter is the best strategy to take when resources and strength is limited. The desert is a different type of environment altogether. Generally the desert will have limited or no wood to build with at all. The days will be very warm and the nights will be very cold. The design should keep insulation and ventilation in mind. In the desert it is prudent to do as much of the hard work at night to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. Survival time will be extended days if you complete your tasks in the cooler part of the day.

Types of Desert Shade Shelters

Use it again

 Natural Shelter

Tarps, Parachutes and rope should be saved and used again if feasible. Any other materials that you come by like containers to hold water should be kept on hand.

 One Man Tarp Shelter  Parachute Hammock  Shaded rock wall.  Tree Lean-to


Desert Shelters Dugout Shelters

Before you start Selecting a suitable site is the first step in building a desert shelter. Though it doesn't happen often in the desert it does rain. Especially the months July to September in the Northern Hemisphere. The soil is not accustomed to large amounts of rainfall and thus most of it is sweep downstream. Even a small amount of rain can turn into a flash flood see pg. 14-15. Do not camp next to or on areas with visible washes and signs of erosion. These places should be avoided and your selected camp should be several hundred yards from these places. Look for rocky outcroppings or hills that are not prone to flooding.

Types of desert dugout shelters

 Pit-house shelter  Earth Lodge  Tarp Dugout  Quiggly hole


 Sandpit shelter

Building Tips Dugout shelters in desert conditions are generally constructed during a long term survival situation. However if built correctly they will keep an individual much cooler than a simple shade shelter. Dugouts can vary in their complexity and effort to make them. Dugout shelters are built into the hillside , strait into the ground itself and built against a wall with dirt covering lean-too poles. Be sure to secure walls sufficiently do to the weight of dirt that is loaded on the shelter. Generally less than 12 inches is need to rappel radiant solar heat.

Dugouts will reduce water loss

1. stored water will last longer with less evaporation loss. 2. Less personal water loss

Tent Types Ridge Tent

the surface of the tent to form triangles. This design is used to distribute stress (mainly from wind These were the first types of tents develand snow). If you are climbing K2 or Mount Everest oped and used widely today. Made with two poles this is most likely the design of tent that you will at each end forming two triangles and a long pole use. The design is light and used far fewer poles on top running the length of the tent. Then covered than other designs. Most designs are small and and staked down with pegs or rocks. Based on their made to be pitched in small spaces. simplicity these tents basic construction constitute Instant and Quick Pitch Tents what most improvised survival tents form will take. Easily shirking off both rain and snow there are Made to be set up in under 3 mins. These many advantages to the design including ample tents are the choice of many that do not want to head room. deal with the time and complications of setting up a

Ridge Tent

traditional tent. The tents are generally long and tube like in appearance. The frame uses long coils Using flexible pole that cross each other that that are permanently affixed to the tent itself. Howrun through tubes or nylon webbing. The tents ever these are generally only to be used in good form a small half circle shape. The sides are more weather conditions due to their lack of ability to vertical than the ridge tent, but the dome tent bewithstand wind and snow. comes increasingly more unstable as the tent size Vis-Ă -vis increases. These tents are ideal if less than three are to occupy the tent space. These types of tents If more room is needed beyond a dome tent are very light generally and offer many advantages. can offer these tents are a hybrid crossover be-

Dome Tent

tween tunnel and dome tents. Using a flexible pole dome system in the center and adding rooms on The name/term geodesic is a mathematical the sides of the tent for added room. This tent uses one which refers to the geodesic line. “the shortest more stakes to add to its stability ,and is ideal tent route between two points on earth�. Now it is used for families of 6 individuals or greater. to describe tents where the poles crisscross over

Geodesic and Semi Geodesic Tent


Sanitation Latrines If you are staying in an area for a prolonged period of time it will become essential to dig a latrine. Digging a latrine will help keep animals and unwanted smells away from your camp. To dig a latrine it must be at least 18inches deep and be dug 27 yards or more from any water sources to prevent contamination. A log or a seat like structure can help make it more comfortable as seen here. After each use cover waste with a layer of dirt. Moss and none toxic leaves make great improvised toilet paper. Once the latrine is full simply move it to a new location.

Hygiene It is imperative to maintain cleanliness while in the wild to avoid contracting serious illnesses such as food poisoning, giardia, and dysentery. You must never wash with soap directly in a stream (even if it says Biodegradable). Soaps and other chemicals can be very harmful to fish and other animals. Take water away 30ft or more from water sources and wash where contamination is less likely. Commercial soap will likely not be available however there are several plants that have antiseptic properties. Yucca root, Pine Needles Boiled, and Sage brush boiled.

Pack it in Pack it out


Nothing can destroy a pristine paradise as quickly as trash. Plastic does not biodegrade and even metals can take centuries to break down. If you were able to haul it in then haul it out. Trash will harm wildlife, attract bears and can spread disease. Trash destroys the raw beauty in the nature we hope to have around for years to come. Natures beauty is one of the few things that is our responsibility to pass down to future generations. Again if you pack it in then PACK IT OUT!

Wilderness Medicine

“ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

“ hope for the best, prepare for the worst”.

- Benjamin Franklin

- Chris Bradford.

“ Good luck is a residue of preparation”

“ You cannot predict the

- Jack Youngblood.

future but you can plan for it.” -Saji Ijiyemi.

“ Without Knowledge action is useless and Knowledge without action is futile.

“ I’m full of self-doubt. I doubt everything I do is a failure.

-Abu Bakr.

- John Banville.


Wilderness Medicine

Keys to Wilderness Medicine 




Assessment 


Transport (if necessary) 

On going Care

Improvisation is at the center of wilderness. In the wild help and medical supplies are generally limited at best. Any initial help will come from yourself or those in your party. The first goals of wilderness medicine are Preparation & Prevention. There almost always comes a time in every outdoorsmen's life when accidents happen and you must be prepared for them. The best way to do that is to acquire knowledge and know how before the event takes place. Taking steps to prepare yourself, like becoming certified in CPR and a Medical training course can make or break your survival situation. Be sure that you carry a proper medical kit with you in the wild. Finally the best Medicine is a good dose of prevention! 58.

ABC’S of Outdoor Medicine AI


Assess the scene always and ensure your safety and the safety of the non injured members of the group. Look for hazards like (dangerous animals, avalanches, rock falls). The worst thing you can do is to create another victim or become a victim yourself.



Quickly determine if the victims airway is open. Call out to them when approaching. A response will mean that they are breathing. If unconscious See Pg. 60-61. For airway opening techniques.



Alert others in your party so that other members can be sent for help and assist you in your resuscitation efforts. This is essential so that the victim can receive definitive care as soon as possible.



Whenever dealing with blood or bodily fluids it is essential that you protect yourself from blood borne diseases. Medical gloves and mouth to mouth barrier devices are essential. These should be in your first Aid Kit.



If the victim does not breathe on their own after establishing an Airway. It will be necessary to begin mouth to mouth rescue breathing. See pg. 60-61.



Check the victim for bleeding with a gloved hand. Look for obvious signs ,and also checking under bulky clothing to find hidden injuries that are not in plan sight. See pg. for Profuse bleeding



Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation see pg. 61. is to be administered if there is no pulse detected by feeling for the Carotid artery pulse. This can be found by feeling with two fingers between the Adams apple and the neck mus-



Spine CIII


Head, Diving and Falling related injuries will often to lead to damage of the spinal cord which is easily damaged during or after trauma. It is necessary to immobilize the head and neck if there is a chance of injury to Protect the victim from the element present. It may be necessary to Warm, Cool, insulate or even create shade for the victim to ensure shelter from the elements.


Essential Medical Supplies

Blister Pads Medical Scissors

Various Sizes of Band aides

Latex Gloves Medical Tape

Antiseptic Wipes

Pain Medication Antihistamine Medication Safety Pins

Triangular Bandage Medical Gauze Crepe Wrap


Choking & CPR

Abdominal Thrust Fist placement. Choking First Aid Choking occurs when a foreign object becomes lodged in the throat or windpipe. This will result in blocked airflow to the lungs and oxygen deprivation. This is most often caused by food in adults, however in children it can be cause by a swallowed foreign object.

Signs of Choking •

Difficulty breathing or loud breathing

Unable to talk

Unable to cough

Skin, lips and nails turning blue

Loss of consciousness

Current Red Cross Recommendations If a individual is choking try the 5 and 5 method.

Compression area For CPR

Give 5 abdominal thrusts ( Stand behind the person and wrap your arms around the waist. Tip the person forward slightly. Then grasp the fist with the other hand slightly above the persons navel. Follow with an upward thrust which is like attempting to lift up the person). Alternate between 5 blows and 5 thrusts until the blockage is dislodged. The importance of continuing

A choking victim generally does not have time to wait for emergency responders. It is important to continue the 5 by 5 method until the victim is able to breath again. It will not get better on its own. Use force It isn't uncommon to break ribs administering abdominal thrusts.

Give 5 back blows ( deliver 5 blows to the back in-between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.


CPR / Rescue Breathing

Before you Start It is essential that every person of age learn CPR and be certified in it. Below is a guide of CPR steps that should be followed. Keep in mind this is simply a reference and not a replacement for professional training. Step 1 Check for Response Attempt to get the attention of the victim and determine whether or not they are conscious and breathing. Ask them a question and lower your ear next to their mouth to listen for breathing sounds. Step 2 Establish an Airway If you determine they are not breathing. Support the jaw and tilt the head ( support the head in case of spinal injury). Check for foreign objects and fluid in the mouth. Place the victim on their side and using two fingers sweep and clear the mouth of fluid and obstructions. If there still no breathing Give two Rescue breaths ( Use a Barrier if possible see the ABC’s of outdoor Medicine pg. 58. Step 3 Compressions


If there are no signs of life after rescue breaths begin compressions. It is essential that you use the proper compression methods for the age of the victim. Adult compressions Both Hands positioned in the center of the chest. 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths. Child Compressions ages 1-8 One hand positioned in the center of the chest. 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths. Infant Compressions age 0-1 Two fingers only positioned in the center of the chest. 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths.

Continuing CPR Administrating CPR can be a strenuous task that can take a toll on the rescuer. It is not realistic for one person to Administer CPR indefinitely. If there is more than one person available CPR can be done in shifts. This will allow you to continue CPR for longer periods of time. According to current medical research, it is rare if a person does not respond to CPR after 15 mins of administration.

Abdominal Injuries

Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ)

Left Upper Quadrant (LUQ)

Right Lower Quadrant

Left Lower Quadrant


















Small and Large Intestine



Bladder and Uterus







Abdominal Injuries The Abdominal organs as shown in the previous page are either solid or hollow. Upon injury hollow organs can rupture and drain their contents into the abdominal cavities and pelvic cavities. This causes abrupt and painful swelling. Inflammation and infection will quickly follow and the victim should seek medical attention immediately. Solid organ injuries will bleed internally and often do so more slowly than with a hollow organ injury. These injuries can be just as life threating as a hollow organ injury and should be treated just as seriously. Internal bleeding and its symptoms can take hours to present themselves. If an abdominal injury is suspected medical attention should be immediately sought. Expect and treat a victim with an abdominal injury for shock see pg.74.

Penetrating Abdominal Injuries

Blunt Abdominal Injuries

If the victim has been impaled with an Blunt trauma to the abdomen such as object in the abdomen your first goal is to a fall or being hit by an object can result in evacuate the victim a soon as possible. Fol- serious internal injury. There can be injury low the ABCs of wilderness medicine pg. 58. without any penetrations in the skin. If blunt Anticipate the victim to go into shock abdominal trauma is suspected do the foland treat them for it. If there are protruding lowing. Press gently with finger tips on the organs do not attempt to put them back into abdomen on all 4 quadrants of the abdomen. the abdominal cavity. Irrigate the area with Observe for any reaction to the pressure such disinfected water to keep it moist and cover as Pain, Rigidity, and muscle spasms. If there the the area with sterile dressing. Add sev- is no injury an abdomen should feel soft and eral more layers of bandaging to help protect not react to pressure or be painful to the touch. it and decrease heat loss. If there is an impaled object in the victim leave it in place and stabilize it with bulky dressing. DO NOT REMOVE IT! Removing an impaled object will almost always do more damage to the injured area and increased bleeding. Medical Supplies Required

Disinfected water, disinfectant


Symptoms of Abdominal injury •

Shock pg.74.

Mild pain that becomes severe

Distention (abdominal bloating)

Rigidity, Pain, Tightness in the abdomen

Referred in pain the shoulder (spleen injury).

Bloody urine and fever

Pain when using abdominal muscles

Body Circulatory System

Pressure Point Pressure Point

1. Carotid Artery

2. Jugular Vein

Pressure Point

4. Aortic Artery

3. Vena Cava

5. Pulmonary Artery

Pressure Point Heart

6. Brachial Artery

Pressure Point

7. Cava Inferior

8. Truncus Coeliacus Pressure Point

9. Femoral Artery 10. Femoral Vein Not an exact depiction Use only as a general reference


Lacerations, Abrasions & Bindings Bleeding In a typical person who weighs 150 to 180lbs there are only about 1.5 gallons of blood in their body or 5.5 liters. Blood is essentially our life force and if you lose too much of it you will die. The maximum amount of blood a person can lose and still live is 40% this would be roughly 2.24 liters. Taking this into account serious bleeding must be controlled and done so fast. When in the outdoors it can be a race against time when it comes to serious bleeding if it cannot be stopped. This being said almost all bleeding can be stopped or slowed by applying direct pressure to the wound. If that is not enough some of the pressure points as shown on the previous page can assist you in managing bleeding. The goal is not to wipe away all the blood rather it is to keep precious blood in the body. Whenever there is serious bleeding in any circumstance seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

Barriers and Blood borne diseases

wound to make sure that pressure is being applied in the proper location. Using the According to resent studies almost 1 guide on the previous page will help deterout of 30 individuals carry some form of mine injuries to major blood pathways. If blood borne illness. Some of the diseases there are two or more rescuers take turns can be very serious and even deadly like applying pressure as to free up one person Hepatitis. For example 1 out of 300 people to sort out other rescue tasks. It may be in the U.S. have HIV. For this reason it is necessary to hold pressure on a wound for extremely important that you protect your30 minutes after a wound has stopped self and others by using a barrier. Latex bleeding to ensure it will not reoccur. If digloves are a must have in your medical kit, If rect pressure is not enough to stop serious you do not have them there are several imbleeding see tourniquet on pg.70. provised methods you can create a barrier. Any plastic bag can act as a barrier or even a Laceration Vs Abrasion poncho will work. Be sure to use caution Abrasions occur when the outer laywhen removing the glove etc. from your er of skin is scraped off. Abrasions are often hands as to not contaminate yourself. Also embedded with dirt and gravel and should be sure to wash your hands constantly be scrubbed and cleaned. when administering care and always obLacerations are a deeper cut often serve the ABC’s of wilderness medicine. going though all layers of skin that are much Direct pressure to stop Bleeding more serious than abrasions. All lacerations should be cleaned and disinfected. Most As mentioned above most of the time bleeding can be managed by applying can simply be bandaged however others might be very deep and require more attendirect pressure to the wound. If bleeding tion such as stitches, steri strips or staples. does not stop with pressure examine the


The Skeletal System 1. 2. 4.

3. 5.

6. 7. 8. 9.

11. 12.

10. 14.

16. 17.




25. Not an exact depiction


Use only as a general reference

20. 21.


23. 24. 67.

The Skeletal System

1. Cranium

10. Radius

19. Patella

2. Mandible

11. Lumbar Spine

20. Tibia

3. Cervical Spine

12. Llium

21. Fibula

4. Clavicle

13. Sacrum

22. Tarsals

5. Scapula

14. Ischium

23. Metatarsals

6. Sternum

15. Carpals

24. Phalanges

7. Humerus

16. Metacarpals

25. Pubis

8. Ribs

17. Phalanges

9. Ulna

18. Femur Oblique



This is not a exact Skeletal depiction and is to be only used as a general reference Resource.



Fracture Types



See pg. 68-69.

Breaks, Splints & Slings

Rigid Splint

This is a firm fitting splint to completely immobilize the effected limb. The splint should be reinforced on both sides and the back. Typically a medical rigid splint is employed however other materials can be employed to achieve the same effect. Tree limbs, Walking poles and clothing can be used to secure the limb. After creating the rigid splint place the limb into the splint and using cloth or tape secure it into the cradle created by the splint itself. This splint will not allow the injured party to put pressure on the limb.

Buddy Taping broken fingers When in the wild a broken finger can be very painful and also hinder almost every activity. If the break is not a compound fracture (with the bone protruding). Then the buddy taping method is probably the best splinting method available. Simply take medical or duct tape and tape the broken finger to a good finger. The uninjured finger will act as an improvised splint. If there are multiple fingers broken the stick taping method will more than likely be your best bet.

Hand and Wrist Splint

To immobilize the wrist and hand using a single splint under the affected hand or wrist place a piece of roller gauze or soft material to be gripped and rested in the hand. Then starting at the elbow apply a roller bandage along the length of the arm. Be sure to secure it to inhibit movement however do not to apply it too tightly or this will restrict circulation that is needed. If there is a protruding bone or bleeding wound, bandage it first in order to stop the bleeding and protect the wound before splinting it.


Breaks, Splints & Slings Sling and Shoulder immobilizer

Shoulder injuries are common when participating in outdoor activities. To immobilize the shoulder one can use their own shirt. By taking safety pins and using them to pin the shirt to itself. This will form a pouch/sling that will take pressure off of the injured shoulder. If the victim is wearing a short sleeve shirt then pin the bottom of the shirt to the chest potion of the shirt. A long sleeve shirt can simply be pinned to the shirt. It may be necessary to use more than one pin in order to hold the weight of the arm. This will also help stop the shirt from ripping.

Leg Splint Immobilizer For injuries involving the leg one must immobilize the length of the leg to secure itself properly. Start by binding any wound and stopping any bleeding. Then pad the leg properly to make it more comfortable. Place two splints (sticks, hiking poles, sleeping pads and even rifles can be used to splint a leg. Use cloth, rope, cord, belts and tape can be used to secure the splints to the leg. After the leg is securely splinted the leg should be elevated to reduce swelling. No weight should be place on the injured leg.


Lacerations, Abrasions & Bindings

Direct Pressure

Medical Tape

This is considered the best option to controlling moderate to severe bleeding. This is done by applying direct pressure to the site of the wound and if necessary apply pressure over an arterial pressure point to help stop or slow bleeding.

Medical tape will make almost any bandaging job easier and can be used in a variety of different ways. It can be used to close a wound directly using it to tape the skin together. It can be used to secure field dressings and gauze in place. Another method of application is to cover blisters on the heel and feet.


This is to be always be considered a last opAbrasions tion. If direct pressure is not enough to slow serious life threatening bleeding then it may be necessary to Wounds that primarily causes superficial apply tourniquet. However if left in place for longer damage to the layers of the skin but no further. It is than three hours it may be necessary later to ampu- considered to be less serious than a laceration howtate the extremity that is deprived of blood. ever they are considered to be very painful. This is what is what is known as road rash and is very comField dressing/Bandage mon when cyclists fall. These are a must have bandage gauze dressLacerations ing that is a standard issue item for most armed forces in the world. Primarily used to treat gunshot and A type of wound that consists of the skin beshrapnel wounds. They typically consist of a large ing torn or punctured. It can also be caused by blunt absorbent pad and a strip of thin fabric that holds force trauma causing contusions. Generally Lacerathe bandage in place. They are kept in a watertight tions will cut entirely through the skin and into the package which can be torn open when needed to be muscle/cavities. applied.


Improvised Gauze Clothing can make a great improvised absorbent gauze pad. However if clothing is very soiled and unclean then there are other natural methods that be used in place of traditional medical gauze. One that has been widely used by native peoples is moss. Be sure when using this method that Moss is cleaned of debris and in a visibly clean environment before applying it to the wound. Bind the moss in place with cord or cloth to ensure it stays.

Methods that are used to cover and protect a wound or break from external elements. It is also used to immobilize the area or limb which helps to reduce pain and discomfort. Depending on the wound it can be tricky to bind some wounds. Large wounds that involve the head and torso can be hard to secure properly. It is important when binding a wound not to cut off circulation completely. Bandages that are applied too tightly can cause further damage.


Lacerations, Abrasions & Bindings


Closing a Wound

Medical Tape


Shirt Roll Bandage

Clean the wound apply antiseptics

Close the wound with tape or Bandaging

Apply Gauze or an absorbent material to protect the wound


Cold Weather Medical Conditions

Frostbite This is a medical condition in which localized damage is caused to the skin and other tissue by freezing the exposed skin to cold for prolonged periods of time. The parts of the body that are the furthest from the heart are the most prone to frostbite such as fingers, toes and your nose. Signs & Symptoms The blood vessels close to the skin constrict and the blood is shunted away from the extremities. The lack of blood flow leads to the eventual freezing and death of skin tissue in the affected areas.

First degree

Forth Damage caused by forth degree frostbite almost always results in amputation. Surgeries and months of recovery is required. The process of assessing the damage can take months. Gangrene, nerve damage and severe blistering are almost always associated with this degree of freezing. Prevention Avoid allowing the skin the be exposed to the air in cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time. Fingers, noses, ears, toes and areas of the face are the most prone to frostbite. Covering these areas from the elements and avoiding convection from the wind will help reduce the chance of frostbite. See pg. 72.

This is called Frostnip and this only affects the surface of the skin, which freezes. The area affected by frostnip usually does not become permanently damaged. However itching and pain occur Hypothermia and then the skin develops white, red and yellow Is when the body temperature reaches bepatches and becomes numb. low 95.0 °F. Due to prolonged exposure to the cold. Second Degree Signs & Symptoms If freezing continues, the skin may harden. The deeper tissues are still not affected and will remain soft and normal. Blistering will occur 1-2 days after exposure. The Blisters can blacken and can take up to 30 days to heal.

Mild hypothermia includes shivering and mental confusion. Moderate hypothermia shivering stops and disorientation worsens. Severe hypothermia paradoxical undressing can occur and the heart is at a severe risk of stopping.



Prolonged exposure to the cold will deepen frostbite into the tendons, blood vessels, muscles and nerves freeze. The skin is hard, white and waxy. Purple blisters can form and typically amputation of the affected limb is common practice.

Be prepared for the elements and ensure that you are able to stay dry and warm. If an individual gets wet it is essential to dry them quickly to avoid heat loss through convection. Individuals who are hypothermic are at greater risk to frostbite.


Hot Weather Medical Conditions

Heat Exhaustion

Sun Burn

Is a severe form of heat illness and is considIs a form of radiation burn that affects living ered to be a serious medical emergency. This is tissue like skin. Overexposure of ultraviolet light cause to prolonged exposure to severe heat. This (UV) radiation which is most commonly caused by leads to water & sodium loss through sweating. If it the sun. is untreated it will lead to a more serious condition Signs & Symptoms known as Heat Stroke. Red skin that can be hot to the touch feverHeat Stroke like, general fatigue, pain and mild dizziness can ocAlso known as sun stroke this condition is a cur. In severe cases the skin can burn to the point very serious form of heat illness. Medically defined of blistering. It is widely accepted that continuous as Hyperthermia where the core body temperature overexposure to UV rays can result in contracting is greater than 105.1°F. several types of skin cancer.

Signs & Symptoms

Prevention and Treatment

The affected individual will become disoriented and will lack sweating. However in exertional heat stroke caused by physical activity the person may sweat excessively. Seizures are common in young children. If left untreated organ failure, unconsciousness and death will result.

The best way to prevent sunburn is to stay out of direct sunlight especially during peak hours. This is not always possible and clothing such as hats, and long sleeve apparel should be worn. If a sunburn should occur then one should use aloe vera and anti inflammatory painkillers to help alleviate symptoms.

Prevention & Treatment When venturing in the outdoors bring enough water to stay hydrated is an essential key to avoid Heat Stroke. During the peak heat hours of the day seek shade and stay hydrated. A good way of gauging personal hydration is by checking the color of your urine. If it is dark in color it is a direct indicator that you need to drink more water. Also wearing lightweight , light colored, loose fitting clothes. It is imperative to not drink alcohol and caffeine when exposed to the elements. Also if you do not have water it is important to not eat solid food. This will hasten dehydration.


Dehydration Simply defined as a lack of water in the body. Dehydration can be caused by sickness and also by environmental factors. Dehydration can interrupt the metabolic processes and essentially shut the body down. Most individuals can stand a decrease a 3 to 4% reduction of body fluid. However anything below this level will lead to dizziness and fatigue. When nearing 15% dehydration levels will almost always lead to collapse and death. Prevention. Preventing dehydration simply is done by re hydrating oneself. For Necessary amounts see pg. 186-187.

Common Outdoor Aliments


possible. Shock if left untreated can result in death.

Is a condition in which an individual who has Wound Infection three loose or liquid bowel movements each day. Is condition where any break in the skin beThis can lead to serious fluid loss which quickly leads comes infected with bacteria. to dehydration. Giardia, viruses, parasites and bacSigns & Symptoms terial infections are primary causers of this condition. Redness, swelling, heat from the wound, and painful to touch are typically the first symptoms to Prevention & Treatment manifest themselves. Blood and pus coming from Sanitation and good personal hygiene are the wound can follow within less than 24 hours. If the best way to prevent one from developing diar- left untreated the infection worsens fever, dizziness rhea. Medication and brewed oak bark can help and a fast heartbeat will ensue. stop or slow diarrhea. Also replacing lost liquids will Prevention & Treatment help alleviate symptoms . Immediately after a wound is received it Shock should be cleaned and disinfected. Clean water can Is a condition that is life threatening in be used to irrigate the wound and will help remove which blood flow is inadequate. Shock deprives any debris left in the wound. Simple topical disincells from receiving sufficient oxygen. Serious inju- fectants can generally be used to help fight and preries and illnesses can cause shock. The most comvent infections. Closing or covering the wound with mon outdoor causes are typically trauma (internal bandages will also help keep bacteria from entering bleeding, Fractures and burns). However dehydrathe wound overtime. Bandages should always be tion and heat illnesses can cause shock as well. clean and changed regularly. Even small infections Symptoms can become serious medical conditions if left unThe skin will become pale and clammy. Typi- treated. cally the pulse will be slowed and weak. Breathing Gangrene is slow irregular and shallow. Mental alertness often Is a condition where injuries and infections altered and confusion is common. are left untreated and do not receive sufficient Prevention & Treatment blood circulation. This leads to cellular death and often affected areas require surgery with amputaKeep the victim warm and protected from tion. For this reason it is imperative to treat infecthe elements. Control bleeding and splint breaks, tions and wounds with upmost care to avoid Ganfractures and stabilize sprains. Elevate the legs to help improve blood flow to the heart and brain. It is grene. imperative to seek medical attention as quickly as


Common Outdoor Aliments

The affected areas will start turning reddish brown Prevention & Treatment color and eventually turn black. The skin will shrivel Generally the best way to prevent altitude and have a mummified appearance. The skin may sickness is to avoid abrupt accents above 7000ft. It start to slough off the body. Gangrene will always is imperative to give the body time is acclimate. be accompanied by a foul smell. After 10,000ft it is prudent not to gain more than Wet Gangrene will generally start with red- 1,000ft per day. Eating food that is high in carbohyness and swelling. Areas that are affected by wet drates will help combat symptoms as well. Also gangrene are generally very painful. Sloughing skin, staying hydrated is imperative. The best treatment pus and oozing fluid are typical symptoms that pre- for altitude sickness is descending to below 6,000ft sent themselves quickly. Wet gangrene is generally in altitude and minimizing excursions. It is imcaused by infection and like with dry gangrene a foul portant to note that symptoms will generally not smell is always present. Other symptoms are fever improve without descending. At elevations above and sepsis. Gangrene is deadly if left untreated! 18,000ft altitude sickness can be deadly. Prevention &Treatment

Trench Foot / Immersion Foot

Quickly treating open wounds, frostbite and preventing infection are the best ways to prevent gangrene. Once gangrene has taken hold only advance medical care can affectively treat it. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Time is of the essence to prevent further damage .

Is a condition that is due to prolonged exposure to nonfreezing cold and wet conditions. This can damage the blood vessels, nerves, skin and muscles. It differs from frostbite in that it doesn't freeze the flesh completely. This was a very common occurrence during WWI in the front line trenches.

Altitude sickness

Signs & Symptoms

Is a condition that can occur above 6,000ft of Numbness, pins and needles sensation, the elevation above sea level. Caused by atmospheric feet will be turn red and blue in patches. The feet changes due to lower levels of oxygen present in the experience varying amounts of pain once warmed air. Thus less oxygen is taken in with each breath. up again. Signs & Symptoms

Prevention and Treatment

Headache, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping Keep the feet dry and warm. It is important and nausea that can be accompanied by vomiting. to change out wet clothing such as socks and shoes. Swelling of the face and hands can be common and Leaving the condition untreated it can lead to more children are generally more prone to altitude sickserious medical conditions. ness than adults.


Dangerous Parasites

Tapeworm: Is a Parasitic flatworm called a cestode. They are most often contracted through the consumption of undercooked food (mainly Meat). Signs & Symptoms: Most Symptoms will go unnoticed for long periods of time. However Anemia and weight loss can develop. Also most will begin to see pieces of worm in their stools. It is Rare but intestinal blockages can develop and must be surgically removed if present. Treatment: Once discovered seek immediate medical attention. Typically treated with a single dose of medication and is rapid ally resolved. Prevention: Cook Meat Thoroughly and avoid touching fecal matter.

Hookworm: Is a parasitic worm that commonly infects the small intestines of people. It is commonly contracted by touching fecal matter. Signs & Symptoms: Symptoms are slow to show but they can include Anemia, Weight loss and localized itching. Which is followed by lesions that look like insect bites that will last for a week or more. Treatment: Once discovered seek immediate medical attention. Treated with oral medication which will rapidly clear the individual of the infection. Other treatments include the ingestion and bathing in Epsom salt. Prevention: Do not walk barefoot in areas where fecal matter is present. Deworm Pets regularly

Giardia: is a genus of protozoan para- Roundworm: also known as Ascariasis which is site that live in the small intestines of the infect- a disease cause by roundworms. These infeced host. This is most commonly contracted tions are cause by coming into contact with inthough the consumption of unfiltered or unfected fecal matter. treated water. Signs & Symptoms: Typically one discovers infection after worms are passed Signs & Symptoms: Symptoms can be felt as soon as 2 days after infection. They can through vomit or stools. There are millions of include violent diarrhea, vomiting, Excess gas, infected persons in the world population that do not know of the infection. In some instances stomach and abdominal cramps and nausea. they can cause bowel obstructions. Treatment: Once discovered seek imTreatment: Once discovered seek immediate medical attention. Typically treated mediate medical attention. Typically treated with a single dose of medication and is rapid with a single dose of medication and is rapid ally resolved. However most infections can be ally resolved. However most infections can be resolved without treatment in 2 to 4 weeks. resolved without treatment in 2 to 4 weeks Prevention: Avoid contact with Fecal Prevention: Avoid contact with Fecal matter matter


Allergic Reactions

Anaphylaxis: is a serious allergic reaction that is very rapid in onset and may cause death. Symptoms can show up over the course of minutes or hours. The average onset time being between 530 mins. The most common areas affected are the Skin, Respiratory, gastrointestinal, heart vasculature and the central nervous systems. Typically two or more of these areas are affected at the same time. Skin reactions and respiratory responses are the most common combination.

Though it is less common.

Treatment: Individuals with known aller-

gies or reactions to any of the above mentioned causes of anaphylaxis should always carry proper medication with them at all times. The most commonly prescribed medication for individuals with anaphylaxis related allergies is epinephrine or an EpipenÂŽ If there are individuals with special allergy needs (like food) meals should be planned ahead of time to avoid any exposure to allergens. The Key is Symptoms to look for: Not everyone will to act fast and be prepared. Seek medical attention quickly at the first signs of Anaphylaxis. Knowing experience anaphylaxis in the same way. However common symptoms include hives, itching, swelling the Anaphylaxis triggers for yourself and others can save lives and prevent emergencies. It is important flushing of the lips, tongue and roof of the mouth. The airway is most commonly affected which starts to remember that Anaphylaxis is a life threating conas tightness of the throat, tightness in the chest and dition. shortness of breath. Other symptoms can include Allergic rhinitis (Hay Fever). Is an allergic chest pain, low blood pressure, dizziness and head- inflammation of the nasal airways. This can occur aches. when one is exposed to allergens, such as pollen,

Cause: There are three main triggers that can cause Anaphylaxis. First are allergies to food. Though there are many types of food allergies the most common for causing anaphylaxis are peanuts, wheat, nuts, seafood, shellfish, milk and eggs.

dust and animal dander. Symptoms and reactions occur after an individual inhales these substances and the sensitized immune systems responds.

Symptoms: Itching, sneezing, nasal congestion and obstruction. Often the symptoms will appear as signs of a cold but are triggered by allergens The second are allergies to medications. rather than a virus. The irritation will almost always Some of the more common medications to cause anaphylaxis are certain antibiotics such as penicillin, create an over production of mucus. Aspirin, Vancomycin, Morphine, x-ray contrast, laCause: Allergic rhinitis is almost always tex exposure, and adhesives. caused by airborne pollen. Common causers are The third are allergies or reactions to venom. Pine, birch, alder, cedar, willow, dogwood, ragweed, cottonwood, mugwort, and many other types of Some of the animals mainly responsible for these reactions are Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and yellow plants. jackets). Another less common animal known for its part in causing anaphylaxis is the assassin bug.


Improvised Medical Transport

Rope Litter Step 1. Begin with at least 50ft of rope. Then form the rope into 12 to 24 bights or bends in the rope. Each bight should be 45 to 61 centimeters long.

Step 2. At the end of each blight form a clove hitch and pass the remainder of the loop through it. This is depicted below

Step 3. Complete the clove hitches around the entire rope litter. The number of bights might vary if the length of rope is shorter.


Improvised Medical Transport Sleeping Bag Litter/Stretcher Before You Start

Sleeping bag Litter

Typically Transporting an injured person will be one of the most difficult tasks to undertake. Before moving an injured person be sure that it can be done safely. It requires a lot of manpower and energy to safely move an injured individual.

A great quick method to create a Litter is to use a sleeping bag. This can be done two ways. 1st inserting two poles through the bag by cutting two small holes in the bottom. 2nd Combining the Rope litter method with the sleeping bag method. The last thing you want is This is done by placing the bag to injure an individual further by on top of the rope litter. This will add stability and comfort for the attempting transport. Evaluate the situation before making such victim. Poles can also be added making it easier to handle. a decision. Often it is better to leave the victim in a safe place Other Carrying Methods. and seek outside help. Unless One Rescuer time is of the essence it is almost • Front Cradle (in your arms) always better to seek outside help. It is also imperative that you have devices in which you can call for help if needed. In the age of cell Phones many people assume they will work anywhere however this is not true. Even a few miles into the mountain near metropolitan areas cellular service is limited if not none existent. A handheld radio with a range of 20 miles or more should be a key item in your pack. See pg. 206.


Walking Assist (Supporting at side

Fire Fighters Carry ( over shoulders)

Pack Strap ( Piggy Back Holding Arms) Two or more Rescuers

Blanket Stretcher

Extremity Carry ( 1. Under arms and 2. Under Legs)

Pole Drag Litter

Arm Chair ( seen on left)

Dangerous Insects Scientific Name: Latrodectus

Black Widow


Range: Worldwide ( except northern and Typically found outside in woodpiles, Southern most regions). garages and crawlspaces. Females rarely leave the web. Toxin Type: Neurotoxin Bite symptoms & Treatment: Redness swelling, Severe muscle pain, abdominal cramps, Hyperhidrosis, Tachycardia and Description: Ranging from Black to fever. Clean & disinfect the wound. ApBrown they are easily identifiable by the ply ice to the bite area. Most bites are red-orange hourglass on the underside of not life threatening but seek medical the abdomen. Juvenile Widows may be attention immediately to avoid complilighter in color and have a whitish hour- cations. glass making instead. Size: 1.5 inches or slightly larger than a Quarter. Males smaller

Habitat: Prefers a dark and damp Scientific Name: Tegenaria agrestic Range: Pacific Northwest Toxin Type: Hemotoxic Size: 2 Inches Description: The Abdomen Chevrons running its back pointed towards the head. Light and Brownish in appearance. They also have a light stripe running down the center of its back. Habitat: Fields, and woodlands.

Brown Recluse

Rarely enters human habitations due to the Giant house spider competitor.

Hobo Spider

Bite Symptoms & Treatment. Considered to be non life threatening and often delivers a dry bite. Symptoms include Headache, Nausea, fatigue weakness vision problems. Redness near the bite area ( Typically no pain at first). Wash and disinfect the bite area. Apply a cold compress. Seek Medical attention.

Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa Range: American South

Habitat: Woodpiles, sheds, garages, and dry dark places.

Bite Symptoms & Treatment: Considered to be non life threatening. SympSize: 1 inch toms include Headache, Nausea, fatigue weakness vision problems. Redness Description: Ranging from cream to near the bite area. (infection is very dark brown and grayish appearance. The cephalothorax has a violin like mark- common). Wash and disinfect the bite area. Apply a cold compress. Seek Meding. The recluse only has 6 eyes arranged in pairs. They have no markings ical attention. Ulcer will form. on their legs. Toxin Types: Hemotoxic


Dangerous Insects

Scientific Name: Centruroides Exilicauda

their stinging mechanism.

Striped backed Scorpion/ Bark

Range: Desert Regions of Utah, Ari- Bite Symptoms & zona, New Mexico, Nevada and Cali- Treatment: Difficulty breathing, fornia. numbness, frothing at the mouth, vomiting and even convulsions. Toxin Type: Neurotoxic Often symptoms will be equal to that Size: 2 Inches of a bee sting, because it is an allergic reaction. Clean the site with soap Description: Small Light brown to yellow. 8 legs, 8 eyes, Two crablike and clean water, Apply a cool compress, Seek immediate medical pinchers. They have a long curved attention. tail with a spike at the end. This is

Fire Ant

Scientific Name: Solenopsis Invicta

Bite Symptoms & treatment: Sharpe localized pain. Within 24 Range: 280 subspecies worldwide hours a red raised pustule will form Toxin Type: Alkaloids & Proteins followed by itching. Typically most individuals will not need medical Size: 2mm to 6mm attention. Some people may be alDescription: Workers are Polymorlergic and have symptoms similar to phic. Body is reddish and shiny. a bee sting. Clean and wash the Dark brown gaster and stinger. Very affected area. Disinfect the bite and aggressive. apply a cold compress for pain relief.

Scientific Name: Apis Mellifera

siveness. All honey bees will defend the hive but Africanized bees will Range: Natives of Africa they were accidently released in Brazil and now attack if even agitated by sounds like a lawn mower. have spread throughout North and South America. Bite Symptoms and Treatment: Rapid swelling of the eyes, lips, throat Toxin Type: Apitoxin and tongue. Difficulty breathing, itchSize: 3/4 of an inch ing, Reddish rash and Stomach Description: Smaller than European cramps. Remove stinger, Wash and Bees they otherwise look very similar. clean the affected area. Apply a cold compress. If allergic seek medical There are differences in wing sizes and body dimensions. However the attention immediately. biggest indicator is in their aggres-


Africanized Bees

Dangerous Insects

Scientific Name: Hirudinea


Bite Symptoms & Treatment. There Range: Every Continent (except Antarc- are few symptoms involving leeches, however Some may get an allergic reactica). tion from the bite. Including feeling Toxin Type: Anticoagulant faint, swelling of the face and difficulty Enzyme. Not all species feed on blood. breathing. Treatment starts with removal of the leech. Alcohol, salt , flame Size: 0.2 to 18 inches or soap when applied to the leech may Description: Being a type of worm they make them release. However they can look very similar to a earthworm. The regurgitate the contents of their stombody is segmented which curves into a ach into the wound. You can also mouth with a Y shaped incision blades. scrape them off or wait 20 mins to 2 They vary in color from brown, green Hours for them to finish feeding and let and nearly black. go all by themselves.

Scientific Name: Ixodoidea Range: Every Continent (except Antarctica). Toxin Type: Anticoagulant Enzyme

Bite Symptoms & Treatment. The bite does not typically cause any pain nor does it cause significant blood loss. However they can transmit severe illnesses through contact. Among them Lyme Disease and several types of fevers. Removal can be done carefully with tweezers and the wound should be cleaned. One should watch carefully for any disease symptoms when bitten by a tick.

Description: Shaped like a fish scale and being a subspecies of Arachnids they have 8 legs. Brown to cream in color with a small head topped off with scissor like incisors. Scientific Name: Apocrita


Range: Every Continent (except Antarctica). Toxin Type: Peptides and Enzymes

Size: 1 to 1.5 inches Description: Yellow and Black with striking markings. They have a thin waist that separates the abdomen from the thorax. They also have a retractable stinger at the tip of the ab-


domen. Bite Symptoms & Treatment: The initial sting is very painful. Redness and swelling are immediate. Allergic reactions and complications can include. Swelling, difficulty breathing, dizziness, drop in blood pressure. Stomach cramps. Wash & clean the affected area. Apply a cold compress. If any Anaphylaxis symptoms appear seek medical attention immediately.


Dangerous Insects

Scientific Name: Culiseta Longiareolata


Range: Every Continent (except Antarctica). Toxin Type: Antigens (irritants) Size: 16mm Description: Mosquitos have compound eyes and long thin wings. 6 legs and a long tub used for extracting blood of larger animals. Being of the Culicid family they can often be mistaken as a Mayfly. trade and had devastating effects on the European and Native populations alike. It was not until early Mosquitos have killed more people than any breakthroughs in modern medicine came about did animal on earth. It is estimated that annually over the death toll recede. 700 million people are infected with various diseasProtection and Prevention es via Mosquitos. Of those infected over 2 million It is important to protect yourself from moswill die as a direct result of those diseases. quitos as much as possible. When in the outdoors Mosquitos spread some of the most deadly (including when at home) it is imperative to use rediseases know to man. Yellow fever, dengue fever, pellant containing Deet. It is also important to get chikununya, Malaria, Lymphatic filariasis, West Nile proper vaccinations when traveling out of the counVirus, and Tularemia are some of the primary distry. ease spread by them, however there are many more There are times especially in survival situanot listed here. tions when insect repellant will not be available and History other methods will need to be used. Some of other In the early days of exploration and coloniza- types of natural repellants are as follows. Mud tion of Africa there was a large death toll among Eu- rubbed on the skin in exposed areas, Wild Onion ropeans settlers in areas here yellow fever and ma- juice, smoke (great for camp protection and Cedar smudging). laria epidemics were prevalent the death toll was enormous. Most Europeans died when there were The greatest method of protection is simply outbreaks whereas the native Africans would only covering up and protecting yourself with a clothing become mildly sick. This was due to the fact that barrier. Mosquito nets, hats, pants and coats will Native Africans had developed immunities to them help prevent access to skin. Preventing all bites is overtime. Many of these diseases primarily yellow impossible however fighting to prevent most will fever were carried to the Americas via the slave reduce the odds of contracting serious illnesses.

Mosquitos and the spread of Disease.


Venomous & non venomous reptiles Venomous Coral Snake

Non Venomous Milk Snake/king Snakes

Vs. Red on yellow will kill a fellow Red on black is a friend of Jack

These snakes possess one of the most potent venThere are several types of milk snake subspecies oms of any North American snake. They are found and all of them take on appearances that mimic othin warmer regions of the South and American South- er venomous snakes. For this reason they are conwest. Due to their reclusive nature encounters are tinuously mistaken and killed. It is important to rare and bites are even less likely. Only 15-25 coral know the differences between venomous and non snake bites occur in the United States each year. venomous snakes. The best way to avoid dangerous encounters with snakes is to avoid them. Venom Type: Neurotoxin Snakes venomous and non venomous simply want Treatment See Pg. 69 avoid you. Non Venomous

Gopher Snakes

Rattlesnakes Venomous


There are 32 types of rattle snakes throughout the Americas. They are found from Canada to central Argentina. All rattle snakes are Venomous being (Pit Vipers). Easily identified by their stout bodies, large heads and rattle at the end of the tail, and as with most Poisonous snakes the eyes are protected with an eye guard. The coloring and patterns can vary greatly typically an earth toned color. Venom Type: Hemotoxic & Neurotoxic Treatment see Pg. 69

These snakes are often mistaken for Rattlesnakes due to their appearance and behavior. This large snake is non venomous and kills by constriction rather than by bite. However when threatened they will assume the classic striking position of a Rattlesnake. They will even wiggle the end of their tail to appear as a Rattlesnake. It is easy to tell them apart. The head is narrower than a rattlesnake and there are no eye guards. The body is typically longer and they do not possess a rattle. They are also a common household pet.


Venomous & non venomous reptiles Venomous Copperhead

Venomous Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin

Although venomous and dangerous Copperheads This Snake is the worlds only semiaquatic Viper and possess the least potent venom of all the pit vipers. it is only found in or near water. Feeding mainly on Bites from these snakes are rarely fatal (though still fish and frogs these snakes are constantly in the wavery serious). They will often deliver a dry bite or a ter. They are even capable of delivering a venomous warning bite in which no venom is released. Unlike bite while underwater. They are considered to be the Rattlesnake the Copperhead will give you no more aggressive than Copperheads and will almost warning if you are close. Instead they will freeze in always bite if threatened. As with other Pit Vipers place and opted to stay in place rather than slither they will try to avoid human contact first. Though away being extremely well camouflaged. the venom is not as potent as a Rattlesnake they are very painful and extremely dangerous. Venom Type: : Hemotoxic & Neurotoxic Venom Type: Hemotoxic & Neurotoxic

Venomous Gila Monster & Beaded Lizards These two lizards that inhabit the southwestern deserts and Mexico are the worlds only Venomous lizards. Large and monitor like in appearance these lizards have modified salivary glands that contain toxic venom. Despite their appearance these lizards are not aggressive and all recorded bites have been from captured specimens. They do not possess any fangs and can only deliver the venom by chewing on their prey. These animals are highly reclusive and sightings are rare as are their bites. They only eat up to 10 times a year and spend much of their time hiding. Though its venom is considered to be as potent as the Coral snake it delivers less of it in a bite. If A bite should occur it should be treated as seriously as a venomous snake bite. Venom Type: Neurotoxic


Venomous & Nonvenomous

The bite of a non venomous snake will leave 2 rows of teeth marks, but there will be no fang marks.

The head of a nonvenomous snake is slender and there are no eye guards.

The Eyes are round with round pupils.

Many non venomous snakes will imitate venomous snakes behavior. For example the bull snake will assume a Rattlesnake striking position and even wiggle it’s tail.

Bite Mark

Nonvenomous Exception: Elapid Coral Snake

Even a non venomous snake bite should be taken seriously and treated. See Pg. 75 for treatment information.

Pit Viper

See Pg. 72

Heat sensitive pit Bite Mark

Fang Marks •

The bite of a venomous snake leaves marks from 2 fangs ( occasionally little marks made by other teeth further back).

The Head of venomous snakes (especially that of Pit Vipers have a triangular head shape) They will also eye guards.

The eyes are catlike in appearance narrow slits for pupils.

Most snakes will just try to avoid you though many venomous snakes will stand their ground when threatened.

Any bite from a venomous snake requires immediate medical attention.

Not all snakes inject venom when they bite. This is called a Dry bite.

Venomous Exception: Brown Water snake


Snake Bites

Every year there are roughly over 2.5 million bites by venomous snakes worldwide. Of these bites about 125,000 people die as a result of these encounters. The number could be much greater due to the lack of reporting in certain counties. Most snakes will avoid humans , but when corned or threatened many snakes will stand their ground. Great precautions should be taken when traveling in areas where venomous snakes are common. It is prudent to know what types of snakes inhabit areas where you stay. Only the States of Maine, Alaska and Hawaii do not have at least one Venomous species of snake.

Tips to avoid Snakes & Bites •

Avoid areas with tall grass and brush. Stay on the trails as much as possible. Avoid rock piles and never stick your hand into or under a rock crevasse. If you must probe the area with a stick from a safe distance first.

Signs and symptoms of a venomous snake bite. •

Local pain and burning immediately after the bite.

One or more fang bite marks (occasionally Rattlesnakes will only leave one fang mark).

Swelling of the wound area within 5 to 20 mins after bite that progressively continues for over 12 hours followed by numbness in the face.

Never stray into deep foliage or piles of debris. If unavoidable probe the area first.

Wear protective clothing like tall boots, thick pants and products like snake garters. •

Severe bruising (black and blue) and blistering.

Choose campsites where snakes are less likely to be. Often in the old west snakes would • Twitching around the mouth and eyes take shelter in cowboy’s boots while they Treatment slept. This lead to the custom of shaking out Seek medical attention immediately in order to boots before putting them back on in the receive the proper antivenin. morning. Boots, Sleeping bags, backpacks and tents can all be hiding places for snakes. First Aid Make sure your tent is zipped up all the way Rinse the affected area and bandage with sterile and avoid sleeping openly on the ground dressing. If bitten on the hand remove rings or when possible. jewelry. Immobilize the affected limb like a facDo not touch dead snakes as they can still ture see Pg. 74. Keep limb below the level of deliver venom. Even if a snake is decapitated the heart. Keep the victim calm and their it can still bite you. The Fangs of snakes can heartrate low (slows the spread of the venom). carry venom on them for weeks. Transport victim to the hospital immediately. Do not waste time killing the snake!


Clove Hoof Mammals 1.




3. 4.


1. Pronghorn

2. Mountain Goat

Average Weight: 80-140Lbs

Average Weight: 100-300Lbs

Elevation range: 3,000 - 5,900ft

Elevation Range: 4,900 -13,000ft

Terrain Type: Open Plain and High Plat- Terrain Type: High Alpine slopes and eaus.


Range: Southwestern Canada to Northern Mexico.

Range: Alaska to Northern Texas Appearance: Both male and female

Appearance: Pronghorns have distinct mountain goats are white with white fur on their rumps, sides, beards, short tails, and long black breasts, bellies, and across their horns throats. Known to be the 2nd fastest land mammal in the world it can run up to speeds over 55mph.

Mountain Goats are incredible climbers and can climb pitches exceeding 60% with ease.

3. Caribou

4. Big Horn Sheep

Average Weight: 180-400lbs

Average Weight: 120-300lbs

Elevation range: 0-8,500ft

Elevation Range: 2,500-8,500ft

Terrain Type: Artic Tundra, Alpine For- Terrain Type: Alpine Meadows, slopes near rugged cliffs and bluffs. ests Range: Norway, Finland, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Northern Idaho and Washington.

Range: Southwestern Canada to Baja California.

Appearance: Named for the large, curved horns borne by the rams Appearance: White and dark mixed thick fur, both sexes grow antlers, The (males). Ewes (females) also have males antlers grow much larger. Large horns, but they are shorter with less curvature. They Vary in color from light blunt noses. brown to grayish ,or dark chocolate One of the most wide spread deer spebrown, with a white rump and lining on cies in the world the backs of all four legs 90.





5. Mule Deer

6. Whitetail Deer

Average Weight: 90-330lbs

Average Weight: 90-290lbs

Elevation Range: 3,000-10,000ft

Elevation Range: 0-8,500ft

Terrain Type: Mountains, plains and Broken Country.

Terrain Type: Forested Areas

Range: Southern Alaska to Central Mexico. Appearance: Dark in appearance with a white tail that is tipped with black. Large Ears Mule deer antlers are bifurcated; they "fork" as they grow, rather than branching from a single main beam.

Appearance: coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter. It can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail. The deer will raise its tail when it is alarmed to flag the other deer. The Antlers branching from a single main beam .

Although capable of running quickly Mule deer prefer to pronk or stotting with all four feet.

Although the Whitetail and the Mule deer Look similar. You can tell the difference in the Antlers, tail and Body size.

7. Rocky Mountain Elk

Appearance: Their fur is reddish brown as well as large, buff colored rump patches and small Tail. Only the males have antlers which can weigh 40 lbs. and be up to 4ft long.

Average Weight: 500-1300lbs Elevation Range: 3,000-9,500ft Terrain Type: Mountains and Forested Areas. High country mesas. Range: Canada to New Mexico Subspecies Range: Siberia, Mongolia China and Korea


Range: Central Canada to Peru

It is one of the largest species of the Cervidae or deer family in the world, and one of the largest land mammals in North America and Eastern Asia.





8. Wild Boar/ Razorback

9. Musk Ox

Average Weight: 110-200lbs

Average Weight: 400-900lbs

Elevation Range: 0-5200ft

Elevation Range: 0-2,500ft

Terrain Type: Plains, Grasslands, Broad- Terrain Type: Artic river valleys, High leafed Forests. slopes void of deep snow.

Range: Texas, California, Dixie States.

Range: Canada, Alaska, Russia, FinAppearance: The Body is compact; the land, Norway. head is large, the legs relatively short. Appearance: male and female muskoxThe fur consists of stiff bristles and fine en have long, curved horns. The small fur. The color usually varies from dark tail, often concealed under a layer of grey to black or brown. There are great fur The thick coat that is typically dark regional differences in color. During brown and large head suggests a larger winter the fur is much more dense. animal than the muskox truly is . Wild Boar Are highly adaptable and are the most widely distributed land mammal in the world. They have a very low mortality rate due to their hardiness.

The primarily predators of muskoxen are Arctic wolves, which may account for up to half of all mortality of grizzly bears and polar bears

lighter weight, lighter brown summer coat. the male bison are slightly larger Average Weight: 1,300-2,800lbs than the female and, in some cases, Elevation Range: 0-9,500ft can be considerably heavier. The heads Terrain Type: Plains, Grasslands, Moun- and forequarters are massive, and both sexes have short, curved horns that can tains. grow up to 2 feet (61 cm) long, which Range: Small preserves from Alaska to they use in fighting for status within Mexico. the herd and for defense. Appearance: A bison has a shaggy, long, dark brown winter coat, and a

10. American Bison/Buffalo



11. Alaskan/Shiras Moose Average Weight: 900-1400lbs Alaskan Average Weight: 600-1200lbs Shiras Elevation Range: 0-9000ft Terrain Type: Mashes , Mountainous Wetlands.

than the hind ones. Other features include a long nose, drooping lip, hump at the shoulders and small tail. The flap of skin that hangs beneath the throat is called a bell. 6-7 feet at the shoulders, males have antlers, massive flattened ones averaging 5.5 feet across and 40 pounds in weight.

Range: Alaska, Canada, Montana, WashMoose are the largest members of the ington, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah deer family. With the largest moose recGreat Lakes States and New England . orded at 1,800lbs. Appearance: Moose have long, lightercolored legs with the front pair longer


Animal Distribution Map

1. Pronghorn

11. Moose

2. Mountain Goat 3. Caribou 4. Big Horn Sheep 5. Mule Deer 6. Whitetail Deer 7. Elk 8. Wild Boar 9. Musk Ox 10.Bison 96.

Each Symbol Represents an individual animal. The Symbols are placed throughout the map according to their general region. This only shows a general area in which each animal is found. This is not an exact depiction.






Predators 12. Grizzly/Brown Bear

13. Polar Bear

Average Weight: 220-1,400lbs

Average Weight: 770-1,500lbs

Elevation Range: 0-8,500ft

Elevation Range: 0-1,800ft

Terrain Type: Coastal Areas, Rivers Lakes, Streams and Mountainous Regions with Water.

Terrain Type. Artic Coast, Frozen Sea Range: Greenland, Norway, Russia, Alaska, Canada

Range: Alaska, Western Canada, Mon- Appearance: The polar bear is the largtana, Idaho , Washington. Wyoming est living species of terrestrial predaAppearance: The size of Brown/ Griz- tor. Polar Bears have large bodies and zly bears varies greatly according to long necks. Their ears are small, round sex, age, individual, geographic locaand close to their head. Their fur is offtion, and season. From blond to nearly white, so they blend in with the ice black, grizzly bear fur is typically brown and snow around them. They have in color with white tips. A hump apblack eyes, nose and mouth and black pears on their shoulders; the hump is a skin under their fur. Their front paws good way to distinguish a black bear are large and slightly webbed for from a grizzly bear, as black bears do swimming. not have this hump. Appearance: The black bear is broad, with narrow muzzles. The fur is soft, Average Weight: 130-660lbs with dense underfur and long, coarse. Elevation Range: 0-9,800ft They come in more colors than any other North American mammal. They Terrain Type: Mountainous Regions, can be black, brown, cinnamon, blond, Broken County, Swamps, Woodlands blue-gray, or white. American black and Coastal areas. Range: Alaska, Canada, Western Unit- bears can be distinguished from brown ed States, Mexico , Appellation Moun- bears by their smaller size, their less concave profiles, their shorter claws tains, Florida Louisiana. and the lack of a shoulder hump.

14. American Black Bear






15. Mountain Lion/ Cougar

16. Canadian Lynx

Average Weight: 65-220lbs

Average Weight: 10-35lbs

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Terrain Type: Mountains, Plains,

Terrain Type: Mountains, Woodland, Broken Country

Jungle, Broken Country

Range: Central Canada, Western Unit- Range: Canada, Alaska, Montana, Idaed States, Mexico and South America ho, Washington, Oregon, New England, Minnesota, Wyoming, N. Utah. Appearance: Cougars are light brown, tawny, spots on the side of their muz- Appearance: Dense fur is silvery zle. dark hair on tail tip, lighter on un- brown and may bear blackish markderparts. They have acute vision and ings. In summer, its coat takes on a hearing. Ears are round and erect and more reddish brown color. It has a furmove to focus on sounds. The cougar ry ruff which resembles a doublepointed beard, a short tail with a black is the second largest member of the cat family in the western hemisphere tip, and long furry tufts on its ears. It has long legs with broad furred feet. (the jaguar is the largest). traveling through deep snow. variable, though generally tan to grayish-brown, with black streaks on the Average Weight: 14-40lbs body and dark bars on the forelegs and Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft tail. Its spotted patterning acts as camTerrain Type: Mountains, Plains, Jungle, ouflage. The ears are black-tipped and pointed, with short, black tufts. There is Swamp, Woodlands, Broken Country, generally an off-white color on the lips, Deserts, Urban Edges. chin, and underparts. Bobcats in the Range: Southern Canada, United desert regions of the southwest have States, Central Mexico the lightest-colored coats, while those Appearance: bobcat resembles other in the northern, forested regions are species of the Lynx genus, but is on avdarkest. erage the smallest of the four. Its coat is

17. Bobcat






18. Common/Gray Wolf

19. Coyote

Average Weight: 70-110lbs

Average Weight: 20-50lbs

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Terrain Type: Mountains, Tundra, Forests, Coastline. Woodland,

Terrain Type: Mountains, Tundra, Forests, woodland, Broken Country, Jungle, Desert, Plains and urban areas.

Range: Alaska, Canada, Russia, Scandinavia, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, Wisconsin, Appearance: Wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. It has very dense and fluffy winter fur with coarse guard hairs. Most of the underfur and some of the guard hairs are shed in the spring and grow back in the autumn period. The longest hairs occur on the back, particularly on the front quarters and neck.

Range: Alaska, Canada, United States, Mexico, Central America. Appearances: Varies from grayishbrown to yellowish-gray on the upper parts, while the throat and belly tend to have a buff or white color. The forelegs, sides of the head, muzzle and paws are reddish-brown. The back has tawnycolored underfur and long, black-tipped guard hairs . They are one of the few species of animal to expand with urban expansion.

gated body and relatively short limbs. The tail is longer than half the body Average Weight: 7-24lbs length. Red foxes are much lighter than Elevation Range: 0-8,500ft similarly sized dogs of the genus Canis. Terrain Type: Mountains, Valleys, Jun- The winter fur is dense, soft, silky and gles, Swamps, tundra, woodland, de- relatively long. There are three main sert, coastline, Broken Country. Urban color morphs; red, silver/black and cross. In the typical red morph, their environments. coats are generally bright reddish-rusty Range: Almost all of North America, A stripe of weak, diffused patterns of and Most of Asia and Europe. many brown-reddish-chestnut hairs ocAppearance: The red fox has an eloncurs along the spine.

20. Red Fox



are short, it has large five-toed paws and planted grade posture facilitate movement Average Weight: 24-60lbs through deep snow. They have thick dark Elevation Range: 3,000ft-10,000ft oily fur which is highly hydrophobic which makes Frost resistant. For this reason the Terrain Type: Mountainous, Artic Tundra Wolverine s fur has been traditionally Range: Alaska, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Sparsely Populated in Cali- sought after as a liner for coats. It has lightsilvery facial mask which is distinct in some fornia, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and individuals, and a pale buff stripe runs latMichigan. erally from the shoulders along the side Appearance: The wolverine is a stocky and bushy tail. Some individuals display promimuscular animal. With short legs, broad nent white hair patches on their throats or and rounded head, small eyes and short chests. rounded ears, it resembles a bear. Its legs

21. Wolverine


Animal Distribution Map

12. Grizzly/Brown Bear 13. Polar Bear 14. American Black Bear 15. Mountain Lion/ cougar 16. Canadian Lynx 17. Bobcat 18. Common/ Gray Wolf 19. Coyote 20. Red Fox 21. Wolverine


Each Symbol Represents an individual animal. The Symbols are placed throughout the map according to their general region. This shows only a general area in which each animal is found. This is not an exact depiction






23.North American Badger

Average Weight: 14-23lbs

Average Weight: 15-25lbs

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Terrain Type: Swamp, Plain, Desert, For- Terrain Type: Mountains, Plains, Woodest, Mountains and Oceanside. lands, Deserts. Range: Almost all of North America. Appearance: Covered in dense fur and the iconic black mask of fur across the eyes. They are colored black and dark grey with strips on their tails. Raccoons also have extremely nimble fingers and have been know to be able to open doors, Cans, and latches. They are also very well adapted to urban conditions and have few predators.

Range: Southern Canada, Rocky Mountain states, Northern Mexico. Appearance: Short and Stocky with a flat body. Badgers are covered in a dense bristle like fur. They also have black and white strips on their faces for which they are classically known for. They are extremely aggressive and have been given the name of little Wolverine.

They primarily feed on trees and aquatic plant life. The Beaver is rodent like in apAverage Weight: 24-71lbs pearance with spiky thick brown fur. All Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft four of its feet are webbed and clawed. Terrain Types: Woodlands, Mountains, Its tail is hairless and flat much like a divers fin. Beavers have a scent gland Wetlands. near their genitals referred to as their Range: Alaska, Canada, All lower 48 castoruem. The oil produced there is states and Northern Mexico. used to waterproof their fur and mark Appearance: The Beaver is considered their territory. Beavers are famous for to be the world's second largest rodent. the elaborate dams ,and dens they creIt is a semi-aquatic animal and is well ate. Entire ecosystems are created adapted to live in and near the water. around these dams.

24. Beaver


Rodents & Hares





Rodents & Hares 25. Striped Skunk

26. North American Squirrels

Average Weight: 2.5-15lbs

Average Weight: 8.8-12Oz

Elevation Range: 0-9,000ft

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Terrain Type: Mountains, Tundra, Forests, Coastline, Woodland, Desert, Swamp and Urban Areas.

Terrain Type: Mountains, Tundra, Forests, woodland, Broken Country, Desert, Plains and urban areas.

Range: Southern Canada, All lower 48 Range: Everywhere with the exception States and Northern Mexico. of Antarctica. Appearance: About the same size as a house cat, the Skunk is short and squat like with distinctive white stripes running the length of its body. The rest of its body is black. It has a small triangular head with short powerful limbs meant for digging for food.

Appearance: Squirrels are part of the rodent family. Many species of Squirrel can be found thought the world and North America. They range from grey, brown and red. They have small ears and heads, and are most easily identified by their long bushy tails.

Skunks are known for spraying Squirrels are an essential survival their pungent smelling fluid at any food. They are abundantly found and would be attackers. This being said very high in protein and mostly caught they have no known natural predators. with traps and snares. See pg. 175 Appearance: Chipmunks are the smallest member the squirrel family. Average Weight: 2.8-3.2Oz Small and easily identifiable by the disElevation Range: 0-10,000ft tinctive black and white strips that run the length the their body. Their fur Terrain Type: Alpine forest and Decolor can vary from red to gray. They serts have small tails and small bodies. BeRange: Alaska, Canada, Lower 48 States , Northern Mexico, Siberia and cause of their abundance they are also considered a valuable survival food. Scandinavia.

27 Chipmunk


Rodents & Hares





Rodents & Hares 28. Black Tailed Jack Rabbit

29. Cotton Tail Rabbits

Average Weight: 3-6lbs

Average Weight: 1.8-4.4lbs

Elevation Range: 0-8,500ft

Elevation Range: 0-8,500ft

Terrain Type: Mountains, Deserts, and Terrain Type: Mountains, Deserts, Great Plains. Plains, Broken County and Northern Mexico Range: Western United States, and Northern Mexico.

Range: Southern Canada, All lower 48 Appearance: The Jack Rabbit has long States and Northern Mexico. distinctive ears and are tipped with Appearance: Red Brown or grey black. They are Light to dark brown in brown fur. They possess long ears and color . Jack rabbits have powerful hind have white underfur. They have powlegs that make them extremely fast erful hind legs and excellent hearing. and agile. They average about 2 ft. in The females are typically bigger than length. the males. Hunted for sport and their fur, many hunters choose to not eat them because of their tendency to carry parasites. If consumed be sure to cook them thoroughly.

Generally considered a healthier option for consumption, the cotton tail is high in protein , and make an ideal survival food. Mostly caught with traps and snares see pg.

30.Snowshoe Hare Average Weight: 1.8-4-4lbs Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft Terrain Type: Mountains, Plains, Tundra and Grassland.

the winter. It has abnormally large hind feet that give it the name Snowshoe Hare. Their large feet prevent it from sinking into the deep snow.

Because of their abundance they Range: Alaska, Canada, Northern Unit- are a major food source for predators. They produce up to 4 liters of 4 to 8 ed States. every year. For This reason they can be Appearance: Reddish grey in appearconsidered a great survival food. ance in the summer, and snow white in 110.

Rodents & Hares


31. Brown Rat / Mouse Average Weight: 9oz-12oz Elevation Range: 0-9,000ft Terrain Type: All Terrains and environments, Especially near Urban Areas. Range: 6 Continents except Antarctica Appearance: Ranging from brown to black with sleek bodies and long fleshly tails, rats can be found almost anywhere there is human habitation. Rats and Mice are one of the most widely distributed animals on earth.

Originally Native to China and Japan ,Rats have spread to every habitable part of the world. They have Hitched rides in boats, planes and trucks, making them a highly adaptable animal. Rats have been able to adapt to almost every environment on earth. They have become an important food source and life line for many different predators. When pioneer sailors would run out of food aboard their ships, they would turn to eating rats to survive.


Animal Distribution Map

22. Raccoon 23. American Badger 24. Beaver

25. Skunk 26. Squirrel 27. Chipmunk 28. Black tail Jackrabbit 29. Cottontail 30. Snow Shoe Hare 31. Brown Rat / Mouse


Each Symbol Represents an individual animal. The Symbols are placed throughout the map according to their general region. This shows only a general area in which each animal is found. This is not an exact depiction.

Game Birds 32.




Game Birds 32. Wild Turkey

33. Chukar Partridge

Average Weight: 11-24lbs

Average Weight: 19.4-23.8oz

Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft

Elevation Range: 4500-13,000ft

Terrain Type: Woodland, Mature Forests.

Terrain Type: Rocky open hill sides, Scattered scrub, Desert Areas.

Range: Eastern United States, Introduced in areas in the Western United States.

Range: Native to Asia and the northern tip of Africa. Introduced ranges in North America, South America, New Zealand and Hawaii.

Appearance: Black to dark brown in appearance, they have a large fan like tail and glossy bronze wings. Toms or males have large featherless heads which are red and blue, and have a fleshy growth called a snood above their beak. When a male Turkey becomes excited their heads will turn blue. Toms also have a beard growing from the center of the chest.

34. Grouse Average Weight: .66-15lbs Elevation Range: 0-12,000ft Terrain Type: Pine Forests, Deserts and Mountainsides. Range: North America Appearance: Grouse are heavily built birds a lot like chickens. The males differ greatly in appearance than the 114.

Appearance: Light brown back and grey breasted with black striped flanks and a black curved strip running through the eyes and neck. They also have Red legs and yellowish neck. There are several different species of Chukar but the breed that is primarily found in North America is the Chukar Partridge. females. The Males are often more lavishly feathered and are very beautiful, where the females are more grey in color. Male Sage Grouse have large tail feathers, white breast feathers and two large pouches that inflate with air to attract a mate. There are over 16 different species of grouse, but most North American breeds are light brown in appearance ruffled with black specks covering their bodies.

Game Birds 35.




Game Birds 35. Quail

36. Ring Neck Pheasant

Average Weight: 5-7oz

Average Weight: 2.6lb

Elevation Range: 4000-8,500ft

Elevation Range: 0-11,000ft

Terrain Type: Semiarid deserts, wood- Terrain Type: : Semiarid deserts, lands, forest edge, agricultural lands woodlands, forest edge, agricultural and suburb areas. lands and suburb areas. Range: Western US, Bobwhite Eastern Range: Asian Highlands, Northern US US, Europe Old World Quail. and Europe. Appearance: Quail have a black throat with a light brown patch on the upper breast. They have scale markings on their lower breast that are a bluish gray. Quail have a white stripe on the forehead and around the neckline, and a teardrop black feather on the top of the head.

Appearance: Pheasants have a long black streaked tail accounting for roughly half of its body length. They have Green, purple and white body markings. The head is green with a red wattle with some black markings. It also has the distinctive white ring around the neck.

37.Ducks, Geese & Swan Average Weight: .5-14lbs Elevation Range: 0-10,000ft Terrain Type: Rivers, Streams, Lakes and Oceans. Range: Worldwide except Antarctica. Appearance: They have elongated bodies, with longer necks. Their bills are long and flat with serrated lamellae (serrated bill). Ducks and Geese are more brightly colored, where Swans are typically white and sometimes black in color. Ducks are usually smaller in size while Geese and Swans are larger in stature. Being that they are more heavy set birds they typically cannot take to flight without being in the water. Their Feet are webbed and built for paddling in the water. 116.

Guide to Dangerous animals

Before you go out The first step to any outdoor adventure is to get to know the local wildlife in the area. Doing research in order to know what wildlife is in the area will help you safely interact with them. Avoiding species like snakes and bears are preferred if at all possible.

Be Alert and aware of your surroundings

 Avoid hiking and camping alone   

 

Make noise and make yourself noticed

Avoid Hiking during peak activity hours; early morning and evening. Do not approach kill sites. Leave Carcasses alone, approaching them will be seen as a threat to their food.

Do not leave food and other odor bearing products unattended. If approached by a Predator DO NOT RUN! This will entice the predator to chase you.

Carry Bear spray with you ( Guns are good protection however in close quarters bear spray is better and will stop the animal faster. In addition, the point is not to kill the animal but to protect yourself. both you and the animal want to live to see another day).

Safety Guide

Make yourself appear to be bigger and less of a target. Back away from the animal but do not turn away from them. Staying calm and not showing fear helps the animal understand that you are not prey.

Report any and all dangerous or aggressive interactions with animals to the proper authorities. Problematic animals can be removed and relocated to avoid future incidents. Even non predatory animals are dangerous such as Bison, Moose and Elk . These animals should never be approached! Give these animals their space, only viewing them from a safe distance. If attacked fight back with anything and everything you have! Playing dead will only work against a Defensive attack not a Predatory one.


Guide to Dangerous animals Prevailing Wind Tent site

How to hang food Properly Food Bag





Attach to Separate tree

While you are out

Cleaning supplies

It is important to remember that an animal’s entire day is spent in search of food. It will take an easy meal when it can get it and often that will include the food that is left out for them by careless campers. While it may seem harmless to feed wildlife it can cause major problems and even dangerous ones. Never feed a wild animal for your safety and the safety of others.

Bug Spray

Food containers

Cooking materials

Pet food and containers

Anything with a strong odor

Items that will attract animals

Camp set up

Food should be hung up as diagramed The following items should be stored in duffle bag or above. To avoid endangering yourself and the anibackpack while gone from your campsite or during mals a proper set up for the campsite should be set the evening. up as seen above. Cooking areas, washing areas and food storage areas should never be closer than  Food 200ft from your sleeping areas. If a animal comes  Trash into the camp at night to investigate the attractive smells, this will keep them at a relatively safe dis Beverages tance. Never bring food inside your tent or sleeping  Mess kits and dishes bag. Before bed verify that the tent is food and odor free.


Dressing an Animal Cut up Tools Required

Edible Organs Kidney Heart Liver Bone Marrow Vitamins and nutrients are found in these organs that are not found in meat like vitamin B12

Pull Organs down

Before you begin

Cutting the abdomen

If are lucky enough to bag a big game animal is extremely important to not waste the valuable kill. Almost all large game animals can be completely used. You can even use the horns, antlers, or bones as valuable tools.

Begin at the pelvis splitting only the stomach membrane then working up toward the sternum. Only allow the tip of the knife in the abdominal cavity to prevent rupturing the stomach, bladder and intestines.

Gutting Tips You should gut a large animal as soon as possible after the kill. By removing the abdominal cavity will cool the animal quickly and help prevent the meat from spoiling. It can be a big job gutting the animal and letting gravity help you will make the job easier. If the animal is small enough that it can be hung in a tree head first to keep it clean, and to allow for easier skinning. If it is too big place the animal’s head uphill and secure the four limbs exposing the abdomen.

Removing Organs Begin initially with the organs that are below the diaphragm. Grasp the top most organs and pull downward. Several organs are attached to the cavity and a knife will be necessary to remove them completely. Once you have reached the pelvis split the pelvic bones to ream out the anus and remove the bladder. Next cut through the diaphragm and split the sternum. Cut the windpipe and remove the heart and lungs. If transporting the animal leave the hide attached so the meat is not spoiled.


Tanning Animal Hide Tools Required

Steps to Tanning 1. Skinning the animal 2. Soak Hide in a stream or container of water mixed with charcoal for two to three days. 3. Scrap the hid of fat and tissue 4. Attach hide to a frame with cord and poles 5. Scrape remaining flesh, fat and hair 6. Leave hide out to dry completely 7. Brain tanning– Once the hide is completely dry heat up water and mix in the brains of the animal ( Eggs work as well). Massage the soupy mixture into the hide thoroughly. The brain and yolk will stop the fibers from bonding together again. This will help you achieve the soft rawhide feel. The hide must be properly stretch for


Tools Required

this to work. 8. Smoking the hide- Place the hide above smoking embers (not open flame!). The goal is to allow the smoke to pass through the hide. This like brain tanning will stop the fibers from returning to rawhide. The hide must be smoked on both sides for several hours. Adding green pine needles and other materials that produce a lot of smoke is most effective. 9. Working the hide– After completing the other steps there might still be stiff portions of hide. Working and stretching the hide can be done with lightly pounding the hide with a smooth rock and also rubbing the hide together in hardened areas.

Cooking Times Minutes to cook











Red meat








































Hand Thermometer Seconds 6-8


Heat Level











Very Hot

Use caution as to not burn your hand when testing the fire by this method! Hold your hand one foot above the coals of the fire and remove it when the heat is uncomfortable. This will allow you to gauge how hot the coals will be for cooking food. It is not advisable to cook over direct flame unless using a pan or pot are being used. 121.

Boiling Point & Altitude Boiling Point °F

Altitude, ft.

Time to boil

212 °F


10 Minutes

211.1 °F


210.2 °F


208.4 °F


12 Minutes

203 °F


15 Minutes

201.1 °F


197.4 °F


18 Minutes

193.6 °F


20 Minutes

189.8 °F


185.9 °F


25 Minutes

Based on average Camp stove

Water must boil for 15 mins to purify


At higher altitudes the air pressure is lower than at sea level, and there is less oxygen available. Because of this the boiling point is at a lower temperature, and the water takes longer to reach boiling point. Purifying your water takes additional time as well. This time restraint can be combatted by using a lightweight pressure cooker which will overcome any altitude changes. It boils the water quickly no matter your altitude. Without a pressure cooker one must bring extra fuel based on where you are planning an outing.

Outdoor Cooking Methods Pot Cooking This is considered to be the best long term cooking method. It is easy to build and easy to control the heat by lowering and raising the height of the pot. The heat can be controlled by how much wood is placed on the fire. Be sure to use a green branch as the center beam to avoid it catching on fire.

Greenstick Charcoal Grill Once the fire has built up a good coal base do not place anymore fuel on it. Once all flame has gone out then create a grilling platform on top of green logs or rocks. The food can then be placed on top of this and will cook quickly. Be sure to use very green branches that will not ignite.

Green Leaf Charcoal Wrap Find large leaves in which food can be wrapped in and placed directly into the coal like you would with tinfoil. Use caution not to use toxic leaves as a wrap! These include maple leaves, leaves with a milky sap, and leaves with a shiny exterior coating. There are hundreds of leaves that are considered to be toxic that are not mentioned here see pg. 142-145. Sheep Sorrel and seaweed are considered good types of leaves to use. 123.

Outdoor Cooking Methods Rock Skillet A large flat rock can be placed next to the fire and be used to cook on. If needed You can also prop the rock in the fire itself as a final method to heat the rock itself in the coal and cook with the residual heat. This is a great method to use when trying to cook at lower temperatures.

Plank Cooking

Pinning up food and placing it within a foot of your fire will cook the food with the radiant heat that the fire gives off. This can be an excellent method to use when cooking meat and fish. You also do not run the risk of losing the food in the fire.

Kabob Rack This method can be used to cook food by hand over the fire or to leave in the ground upright to cook on its own. This is a very simple and easily constructed method to allow for fast cooking with no cookware. An entire animal can be cooked at once using this method. Simply make the skewer/ rack the appropriate size to match the food.


Outdoor Daily Diet Amounts









Protein Grams









































When in the outdoors the body is burning more calories than it would at home. Activities such as Climbing, Hiking and even setting up camp will burn massive amounts of energy. In the wild it takes almost as much or more energy to obtain food as the food obtained contains itself. Imagine your body like a car full of gas. The more you exert yourself the more gas will burn and without refilling that tank you will run out. Calories are critical to survival. Calories are needed to keep up your energy levels and keep you warm, so the food you have needs to be rationed if there is a limited supply. In addition energy should not be wasted. Look for ways to be more efficient multi tasking is a key survival tool. Plants with the exception of a few (like cattails) are low in food value. Plants in the wild can be much easier to collect than hunting meat, but Hunting and Fishing are essential to ones survival. Even though the thought of taking a life of an animal to some is unappealing, it is better than dying of starvation. Remember killing an animal to survive is not wrong and it can save your life.


Survival Food Calorie values





Based on one half pound



74 Grams




66 Grams



58 Grams



53 Grams



63 Grams



64 Grams



51 Grams



50 Grams



48 Grams



52 Grams



234 Grams



224 Grams



230 grams



23 Carbs



22 Carbs

Pine nuts


31 grams/40 carbs



34 Carbs/11g sugar

Wilderness Foraging

Warnings, Safety & Regulations The most important rule in wilderness foraging is Positive Identification. There are many plants in the wild that are edible however there are many plants in the wild that are poisonous. Additionally there are many plants that are edible but have a poisonous look a like. If you are not able to positively identify a plant as being edible it should be assumed to be poisonous. Not all poisonous plants will cause death but they can make you very ill. Becoming ill in a survival situation can kill you and thus sticking to what can be positively identified becomes even more crucial. Spend time getting to know the plants in your area and taking classes with experts in the field are very helpful. Having the knowledge and above all the experience will be an invaluable tool in your survival bank. Beginner foragers should spend time learning to identify plants but not eating them. Many edible plant are selectively edible. One part of the plant you can eat and other parts you cannot. Also some plants and animals for that matter are only edible after cooking them or only edible at certain times of the year, like Elderberries. It is highly suggested to cook all plants collected. This will decrease the chances of poisoning and contamination by parasites. Check your local regulations some plants that are edible are protected. In Utah the highly edible Sego Lilly is the Utah state flower and it is illegal to harvest. Though there is a clause that states you can harvest it in a survival circumstances. In these situations be sure that what you harvest is used and not wasted. Additionally be sure that you only harvest on public lands where foraging is permitted or if harvesting on private lands that you have permission from the land owners. There are places that harvesting should be avoided all together. Avoid foraging along major highways that are typically sprayed with weed and insect killers that can be harmful if ingested. Industrial areas are also areas that should be avoided because plants absorb all that is in the ground around them. Industrial parks and manufacturing areas tend to have a lot of pollutants in the ground and subsequently these harmful pollutants end up in the plants themselves. Finally be aware that it is your own responsibility to be aware of allergies and medical conditions you may have. If you have peanut allergies etc. there are many plants that occur in the wild that contain the same allergens within them. All advice and suggestions are based on healthy adults that do not have allergies to foods. DO YOUR RESEARCH or it could cost you your life and the lives of the people who consume the food that you forage. Foraging is based on experience and sound knowledge and never on guessing/luck.


Edibility Test The First Steps 1. Try to always bring extra food with you on any trip or outing. Once you start foraging you assume all the risks that it brings and raise the likelihood of potential harm that can come to you. “An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure�. Benjamin Franklin 2. Never eat a plant or animal that is visibly infested with worms or parasites. There is an exception of some fruit like apples where affected areas can be cut away. Food infested with worms or parasites will almost always tell you that the food is rotten. The parasites will likely find there way into your own system and sicken you. 3. Never eat from plants that have shiny leaves and milky sap this almost always indicate toxicity. Such as the stems of the dandelion should be avoided where the leaves and flowers can be eaten. If there is a almond/peach like smell about the plant then it should not be consumed. This generally will indicate that there are traces of arsenic. If ingested in large amounts it will kill you. 4. Always cook even known food first if you can. Cooking acts like a second stomach and typically lowers the toxicity levels. 5. Mushrooms as mentioned in this book should be avoided all together unless you are absolutely positive about identification. Even experts get it wrong sometimes. There are plants everywhere that can kill you! 6. Just because an animal is eating a plant this does not mean you can. The Survival edibility test is only time. swallow). Wait 15 mins and if intended to be used in long term 3. Rub the plant on a sensitive there is no signs of a reaction survival situations. If your situathen repeat two more times. part of your body like the tions indicates that your particular wrist, elbow or inner thigh. 6. Swallow a small piece and situation will be weeks or survival Wait an hour and check for then wait 8 hours. If there are time verses days then the edibility visible signs of irritation. Rashno negative effects then feel test will become a viable option. es, hives dizziness, vomiting free to cook and eat the plant. 1. Test only one plant at a time and difficultly breathing. Re- 7. The test time should take and do not eat anything else member to test more than roughly 17 hours, and should during the test time period. one part of your skin. never be rushed. Allow for Be sure you are strong enough 4. Hold a very small piece on reaction time and proceed to be without food for that your tongue for 10 mins. Do with extreme caution. This period of time. not swallow but wait and see test is dangerous no matter 2. Separate the leaves, roots, if there is a reaction. If there what. stems and berries or fruit. is no reaction repeat it again. Test at your own risk! Testing only one part at a 5. Chew a small piece (do not


Wilderness Foraging Seaweed/Kelp

Kelp is a edible algae that grows along the coastlines throughout most of the world. Growing in the ocean up to 118ft long, it uses gas bulbs to keep afloat allows it to reach for sunlight. The rubber like leaves can vary in color from brown, green and red. The leaves can be up to 13ft long. It is highly edible and has been used as a nutritious food source since prehistoric times all around the world. It can be eaten raw, boiled or roasted. It is also a useful tool. See page: 100

Dandelion The Dandelion is a very common perennial found in almost every region of the United States. It grows about 2”- 2’ft High. There are several taproots that sprout from a central root. These taproots are hollow and sturdy and can be very long. The leaves are oblong and have variable edges. The top of the flower is yellow and will be found in groups of 100-300 individual plants. The Leaves, buds and roots are edible. It has a pleasant bitter taste and is packed full of nutrition. It is great in salads, teas, and the roots can be eaten raw or roasted. The Dandelion can be commonly found in fields full of sun and can be eaten from spring to fall .

Red Clover The Red Clover is a small pea like flower that are at the top of the stem. The dense ball like flower tops are reddish, pink, or dark Pink, and will often be lighter colored at the base. They grow between 6”-30” tall. The stalks are hollow and the leaves are hairy. The leaves are separated into three leaflets with a whitish v on each leaf. It is found in sun disturbed ground from 0-8500ft , and even higher. White clover is also edible. Caution there are several toxic look a likes, so positively identify before consumption. It is great in a salad or tea.


Wilderness Foraging Agave

Also known as the American Century Plant it is found in the South Western United States, Throughout Mexico and Central America. The Young Leaves can be roasted and stored for later use if needed. The Fruit heads and Buds can also be roasted and eaten as well as the core of most leaves. This plant was used for Centuries by the Mesoamericans to Seal wounds by using a compress of a sticky leaf mixed with sap, honey and charcoal.

Prickly Pear Cactus Ranging from British Colombia to Mexico the Prickly Pear Cactus is a common desert plant. The native evergreen perennial consists of about 200 different species of cacti. All members of the Prickly Pear family are edible. The sweet fruit or the tuna is the most desired part of the plant. The Fleshy green pads are mucilaginous inside much like aloe. The main part of the plant must be cooked. Remember to remove all spines from the plant (a helpful tip is to burn off the needles). The fruit can eaten raw. The seeds and flowers are also edible.

Russian Olive Also known as the Russian Silverberry this native Eurasian is a deciduous shrub. Due to its ability to thrive in poor soil conditions it has spread to almost every part of the United States. They can be found along rivers, ditches and Dry washes. The Fruits are small gray-green and Olive like in appearance . They fruit is ripe in late summer and early fall. Fruits can be eaten raw, cooked or Dried. They are high in vitamin A, C and E, and are very high in Fatty Acids.


Wilderness Foraging Spear Thistle/Bull Thistle The Thistle has solitary flowers atop spiny branches. The flowers are purple and white. The Entire plant is covered in spines clear to the base of the flower head. The flowers, buds, leaves, roots, stem, and seeds are edible ,but are considered bland in taste. Mixing it with other foods may be preferable. Be sure to wear gloves and to clear all parts of the plant of thorns before consuming it. Thistles are found in fields from Alaska to Texas. It requires great amounts of sun so it will not be found in the shade.

Sego Lily The Sego Lily flower is 8 to 20 inches tall, stands strait with unbranched stems; the leaves are lanced shaped. The petals are white with a yellow and red center. They can be found throughout the west from elevations of 5,000-9,000ft. The Bulbous root may be eaten raw or steamed. The roots are cooked like a potato or may also be ground into flour. This flower is the Utah State flower and is illegal to be picked in Utah except in a Survival situation. 130 years ago the pioneers survived on this root.

Cattail Cattails are tall narrow-leaved perennials that grow in thick dense stands. They are easily identified by the classic “Hot Dog on a stick� look appearance the flowers have. Almost every part of this plant is edible. Young flower spikes (not brown or hardened), Corms ( Thick Tuber/ bulb), The thick Lateral roots and the lower thicker half of all the leaves. The pollen and seeds are also edible, and can be eaten raw, Boiled or roasted. This Plant should be avoided if you are pregnant because it can induce labor. Cattails can be found in swamps and wet regions throughout the United States . It is typically found at lower elevations.


Wilderness Foraging Asparagus Asparagus forms in clumps of thick green spear like shoots with small stunted leaves pressed against the shoot. Asparagus is commonly found along fence lines and irrigation ditches. Patches of asparagus will often grow in the same place year after year. Asparagus has great nutritional value and has been used traditionally as a diuretic used for treating infections. The odor that accompanies this plant is an anti-

septic found in the plant itself. It can be cooked, eaten raw, roasted or boiled .

Oregon Grape Oregon Grape is a perennial shrub that grows low to the ground. This plant grows in low lying clusters not growing more than 12� tall. The leaves of the plant are stiff and can vary in color from green to bluish green. It also forms blueberry sized berries that are bluish green in color. Found mainly in the Western U.S. the berries can be sour to very tasty depending on their ripeness. The fruit can be dried, cooked, boiled or made into a tea. It should be avoided during if you are pregnant.

Common Sun Flower The Common Sunflower is less bulky than the domestic version. Tall and wire like the with many bright yellow flowers on each plant. They grow in almost every state in the lower 48. it is considered to be a weed by many states. They will often grow in poor soil along roadsides, fence lines and open fields. They are found from 0 -9000ft. Young flower heads and seeds are very edible. The leaves can be dried crushed and made into tea. It is often mixed with other foods or can be made into a nature granola mix.


Wilderness Foraging Gamble Oak The Gamble Oak is also known as the Utah White Oak. It is found throughout the Western United States at elevations of about 3,300-9,900 ft. Acorns can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted. Often the Acorns are considered by many to be too bitter to eaten. This can be overcome by leaching them out in water or by boiling them. Be careful not to consume too many because they are full of Tannic Acid which can be Toxic if consumed in great quantities.

Elderberry The Elderberry is known also as American Elder and is found nationwide. It grows in low lying areas and in areas where water is plentiful. The Plant has large compound leaves and cream colored flowers in clusters. The color of the berries vary according to region. Some are red and others are a dark blue. The berries ripen in late August through September. They are edible, but only when cooked. Use caution because the rest of the plant such as the leaves and the stem is considered very poisonous.

Quaking Aspen The Quaking Aspen tree in the most widely distributed tree in North America. It can be found from Central Mexico to Canada. Mostly found in the Highlands and cooler areas, Quaking Aspen is widely know for its white and Golden Fall time colors. The Native Americans used the Aspen tree as a food source when other food was scarce. The inner bark can be striped and eaten. The inner bark can also be used to flavor meat. It can be dried and ground into a meal to be mixed with other starches. In early spring the Catkins (buds) can be eaten raw, and the Cambiums (fuzzy blooms) can be eaten raw or in a soup.


Wilderness Foraging Brigham Tea Also known as Mormon tea it is found in the deserts of the Western part of the United States. Traditionally it was used by Native Americans as a food source. The seeds were ground into a meal and mixed with flour or corn then fried. In more modern uses the stems are brewed into a tea by boiling them. The tea is then used to treat coughs and asthma, congestion and hay fever. Caution should be used because it is a vasodilator, (stimulant) and a central nervous system stimulate. It is not to be used during pregnancy or by those with heart Disease.

Pine Nuts

Pinon pine, Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fur are Prime pine nut producers. These trees can be found through many parts of the United States and can offer an ample amount of nutrition. The Pine nuts and the inner bark of the pine cone are edible. Pine needles can also be made into tea. Pine Nuts can be roasted or eaten raw. They were a main staple food for people like the Anasazi, Hopi, and the Navajo Indians.

Juniper Berries The Juniper is an evergreen tree that is found from the east to the west coast The Berries are blue and whitish in appearance. They can be collected, mashed and made into a tea. It is also a great way to season meat or water fowl. The Juniper tree is found in dry open forests and in the mountainous regions of the west. Pregnant women should not eat them.


Wilderness Foraging Alfalfa

Alfalfa is a well known long living perennial. The plant grows up to 3ft high and has a three leaf formation similar to that of clover. Small purple/blue flowers form on top of pea like pods. Found in fair soil at 3,000-9,000ft. It is used primarily to feed livestock, and is packed full of nutrition . Because of its nutrition level it can be added into food for human consumption. Flowers, young shoots and leaves can be eaten raw, dried or cooked. Often it is dried, crushed and added to meats, flour and other foods for extra nutrition. It is advised not to used it during pregnancy

Wild Raspberry The Wild Raspberry is a low growing shrub that is widespread throughout the United States. They are found generally at 0-10,000ft of elevation. The Shrubs grows 1-10’ high and is covered in thorns. It has small toothed leaves that are sharply pointed at the tips. Berry sizes will vary according to conditions and region. Fruit ripens in late summer and early fall but the leaves can be eaten or brewed year round.

Wild Rose Wild Roses are a very common occurring native perennial shrub. It can grow up to 10’ tall, and has five soft pink petal flowers sprouting from the rose hip fruits. Wild roses are found throughout the U.S. but they are especially common along roadsides, Riverbanks, and broken ground. They will be bigger and produce more fruit with greater amounts of water. The rose hip from the wild rose is edible at any stage. The rose hip can be eaten raw, cooked, dried or baked. The rose hip is especially tasty after the first frost.


Wilderness Foraging Wild Plum The wild Plum is a small native perennial tree. It generally does not grow over 12ft high and can be found along rivers and streams. It can also be found growing along irrigation ditches. It ranges over large potions of the U.S. typically around mountainous regions. The plums are smaller than the commercial variety but are considered to be much sweeter in taste. Fruit ripens in late summer and early fall.

Rabbit Brush Rabbit brush is a sweet smelling perennial shrub that is found commonly throughout the western half of the U.S. Rabbit Brush is extremely hardy and can be found growing in harsh conditions. It typically does not grow taller that 4’ in height and is greyish in appearance. The plant is crowned by hundreds of small bright yellow flowers. The flowers can be brewed into a pleasant tea and the branches can be chewed on as a type of chewing gum to freshen breath or clean the teeth. Rabbit Brush was traditionally used for aromatherapy and is considered to have healing properties.


Salsify is originally a European native flower that made its way to the United States. It has the appearance of being a haggard dandelion, but with larger yellow flowers. They typically grow to just under 4’ and can be found most often along streambeds. They can predominantly be found in the western half of the United States. The flower heads and steams can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. They are commonly considered to be a weed by many and can be easily found.


Useful Plants


Growing up to 118ft long on the coastline seafloor Kelp is a highly edible and useful tool. Coastal Natives have used it for thousands of years. Kelp has long been used as fishing line. It is dried and stretched to nearly twice its length. This is done by soaking it in fresh water and twisting it. By doing so it will also increase in strength. This plant can also be used as a vessel for carrying fluids.

Sage Brush The Sage Brush plant has been an important part of native American life for thousands of years. The leaves can be eaten raw as can the seeds. This plant can be boiled into a tea and used to treat colds. Sage can be used to mask your scent for hunting and also used as a means of freshening breath because of its mild antiseptic properties. Sage can be found in large dry areas of the western United States. It is also an important part of modern aroma therapy. It Is extremely important that Woman that are pregnant do not consume sage internally or externally. This can induce preterm labor.


Useful Plants Yucca Cactus

Commonly known as a Joshua tree, This large Perennial plant can be found throughout the southwestern United States. Top to bottom this plant can be used. The leaves can be pounded into fibers that make some of the best natural cordage available in the wild. The roots are used to make a natural soap or shampoo. In the spring the young bloom pods are edible. As with any cactus use caution not be wound your hands when handling. Cactus's can cause what is called a dirty wound.

Pines are widely distributed throughout the world and can be found in the highlands and mountains of Europe, Asia and North America. Traditional uses of pine needles have been brewed as a tea which is high in vitamin C and A. Pine needles have a mild antiseptic property and can be used to freshen breath and the tea can also be used as a mouth wash. Dried pine needles are excellent fire starters. a handful of needles will make starting a fire much faster. Young branches are soft and can be used to make a bed which will insulate you from the ground. Branches can be used to make a shelter as seen on pg. 48,51. 138.

Pine Needles

Insects Earth Worms Earthworms are an abundant food source that can be found in virtually any part of North America. They are almost entirely composed of protein and can be found in great numbers after it rains or by digging. They must be boiled and rid of the outer layer of mucus. DO NOT EAT RAW. Also be cautious of were you pick them up. Look for them in clean uncontaminated soil

Grasshoppers are a common food in many countries including Mexico. They can be found in almost any part of the North America. Full of protein, all that is required to prepare them is to remove the head and legs. You can then boil, roast or sautĂŠ them. They must be cooked to rid them of any potential parasites they could carry.



Snails and Slugs can be found in great quantities wherever there is moist soil and vegetation. Eaten as a delicacy in many different cultures they can be considered an important survival food. Like Earthworms they must ALWAYS be cooked before consumption to rid them of any parasites that might be on them. These animals are what they eat so use caution where they are gathered from. Roadsides, industrial production areas and mine sites.


Insects Cockroach

Cockroaches have been eaten for thousands of years in Africa and Asia. They are very edible however urban Cockroaches should not be eaten. Only Cockroaches that live far from human habitation can be considered safe to eat. They MUST BE COOKED before consumption. Only eat this insect if there are no other sources of food.

The common carpenter ant can be found in almost any part of north America. Native Americans would add ants to meals to provide additional protein. They like all other wild food should be cooked before consumption. Ants are most commonly roasted in large batches and cooked with oil and salt. They can be simply boiled and added to a meal for protein.



Carpenter Ant

Crickets are a common source of food that can be found in almost any part of North America. The Cricket and the grasshopper are prepared and cooked in the same way. Remove the head and legs. They then can be roasted or boiled. Note the exoskeleton of the Crickets and the Grasshoppers can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. This is due to the trace amounts of chitin.

Insects Grub

Grubs can be found all on Continents of the world with the exception of Antarctica. The most commonly known and largest grub is the Witchetty grub. Grubs are large white wood eating larvae of moths. They are a main staple food for native peoples around the world that are said to have a pleasant almond taste. They are full of calories and protein they can be eaten raw, roasted or boiled. They are most commonly found in or under rotten logs.

Termites are a popular food in Africa and southeast Asia. They are a source of rich protein and widely available to all. They live in and around large termite hills or trees, and can be eaten raw, roasted or boiled. Termites are also great when added into a meal for added protein.



Scorpions are found in almost every desert region of the world. They are closely related to spiders, and to have a venomous sting. Scorpions are found under rocks and are very active at night . They can make a nice meal if several are collected. It is imperative to remove their stings to prevent a painful sting. They can be eaten raw, roasted or boiled. Caution should be taken when collecting these animals due to a potentially sting which can lead to severe allergic reactions. 141.

Insect Pitfall

Building an insect trap is very simple and can be done by hand without the use of tools. First find a smooth glass jar or plastic jar that is roughly 8 to 12 inches tall. Dig a hole that will almost completely cover the jar and bury it up to the rim. Then place two flat rocks on either side of the jar that are less than 3 inches wide. Lastly place a large rock or log propped up on the two small rocks. This will create a space that is small and dark that insects naturally gravitate to. Collecting and eating insects will more than likely be a main staple food when food is sparse. You can collect insects while accomplishing other tasks. The majority of insects will be caught overnight and the more traps that you set the greater amounts of insects will be caught. Use caution when retrieving the contents of the bottle. Some poisonous insects might have climbed into the jar including snakes. As a precaution use a stick to flip the rock over.


Mushrooms & Fungi

There are many types of Mushrooms and Fungi some that are edible and others that will kill you quickly and Painfully. Extreme caution must be taken when consuming any type of mushroom or fungi. Some edible mushrooms that are edible like the Porcini and Chanterelle Mushrooms have Deadly look a likes. In North America there are over 10,000 different types of Mushrooms and there are only several hundred edible Mushroom from that group. Of those edible Mushrooms If Identified correctly are full of protein and can be a very good source of food. Mushrooms are full of Vitamin D and Potassium. Mushrooms and Fungi are not considered to be the best survival food for several reasons. The first being that there is too much risk involved in consumption. Even a small amount of a toxic Mushroom can kill or sicken you gravely. The second reason is that although there are lots of vitamins in mushrooms they do not have a lot of calories in them. Judging this from a pure survival perspective makes them not worth the risk and therefore should be avoided all together. Collecting wild Mushrooms should only be done under the direction of experienced professional foragers. As any professional mushroom forager would tell you “ If in doubt, throw it out!�

Symptoms of Mushroom poisoning include Vomiting , Diarrhea, Dizziness, Nausea, Fatigue, Kidney failure, Liver Failure and blurred vision. Some symptoms can take days, or even a week to present themselves.


Poisonous Plants

Poison Oak

Scientific Name: Toxicodendron Diversilobum Range: Western United States and Canada “ Leaflets of three let it be”. Toxin Type: Urushiol oil

“Berries White Run in fright”.

Description: Grow 1 to 13ft tall and grows in well lite areas. It is a tree like vine and the leaves are long and scalloped or toothed. The leaves are bronze in the spring, green in the summer and red to pink in the fall. They have berries that form in clusters. These berries are green in the early summer and white in the fall. Symptoms: Itchy skin, Hives, Rash, Swelling, Blistering and crusting skin. Oil from plant can remain on clothing for months after contact and must be washed. Change Cloths, Wash with soapy water, cool compress and seek medical attention.

Poison Sumac

Scientific Name: Toxicodendron Vernix Range: Southern, Eastern United States and Southern Canada. Toxin Type: Highly Concentrated Urushiol oil. Description: Sumac is a small tree or shrub that can grow up to 30ft in height. Each Pinnate leaf or branch has 7-13 leaflets. The leaflets are 2-4 inches long and are oblong in shape. The stems are red and the leaves are green. The also have berries that form in clusters which are green in the summer and white in the fall. Symptoms: Itchy skin, Hives, Rash, Swelling, Blistering, Blistering , Crusting Skin and difficulty breathing. Change Cloths, Wash with soapy water, cool compress and seek medical attention

Poison Ivy

Scientific Name: Toxicodendron Radicans

“ Leaflets of three let it be”.

Range: All U.S. States east of the Rocky Mountains, Mexico and Canada Toxin Type: Urushiol oil

“Berries White Run in fright”.

Description: Poison Ivy can vary greatly in appearance according to region however there are some aids to identify them. The leaves like with Poison oak will appear in clusters of three. The leaves are jaggedly toothed with red stems. The plant itself is shrub like in appearance, and has white small berries that form in clusters. Symptoms: Itchy skin, Hives, Rash, Swelling, Blistering, Blistering , Crusting Skin and difficulty breathing. Change Cloths, Wash with soapy water, cool compress


Poisonous Plants Stinging Nettle

Scientific Name: Urtica Dioica Range: All lower 48 States Toxin Type: Contact Dermatitis ( Acetylcholine & Histamine ) Description: 3-7ft tall, soft green in color with leaves that are 1– 6 inches long. The Entire plant is covered in small fur like spikes on both the leaves and stem. Symptoms: Immediate pain followed by raised rashes and hives. Itching can continue for days. Anti itch cream and a cold compress can help relieve symptoms.

Water Hemlock

Scientific Name: Cicuta Range: All North America Toxin Type: Cicutoxin Description: Perennial that grows up to 8ft in height. White small flower flusters supported by strait hollow stem. The Stem can range in color from green to purple. Symptoms: Hemlock is considered to be one of north Americas most toxic plants. Difficulty breathing, Rapid heart rate, Neuronal depolarization and seizures. Death can occur within 15 minutes.

Silver leaf Nightshade Scientific Name: Solanum elaeagnifolium Range: Western United States, Mexico and South America Toxin Type: Tropane Alkaloids Description: Nightshade is a perennial that grows up to 2ft in height. It produces large purple flowers that are five pointed and are the shape of a star. The leaves and the stem are light green in color and covered in sharp stinging nettle like barbs. Symptoms: Dry mouth, Enlarged pupils, Diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, Slowed heart rate, fever, Hallucinations, headache and sweating. Seek


Poisonous Plants Oleander

Scientific Name: Nerium Oleander Range: East Coast of United States and Domestically planted in the West Toxin Type: Cardiac glycosides Description: Oleander is a perennial that grows 6.6-19.7ft tall with strait stems that spread outward as the grow. Mature stems have grayish bark and the leaves are in whorls of three. The Leaves are also thick and leathery and dark green in appearance. The flowers are white, pink and red. Symptoms: Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Abnormal Heart Rate, Fatigue, Collapse, Tremors and Death. Seek Medical Attention immediately and do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so.

Scientific Name: Datura Stramonium Range: Throughout North America and Spread to Europe Toxin Type: Tropane Alkaloids Atropine, Hyoscyamine and scopolamine.


Description: Jimsonweed is an annual that grows up to 5ft tall and is considered a free branching herb. The roots are long, fibrous and white. The leaves are dark green on top and a lighter shade underneath. Its flowers are trumpet shaped and white to violet in color. The entire plant gives off a foul smelling Oder. Symptoms: Natives have traditionally used the plant as a psychoactive drug however due to its toxicity overdoses occur often. Tachycardia, hallucinations, amnesia, mydriasis, delirium. Most symptoms occur 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. Seek immediate attention. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so. Scientific Name: Echinocactus Grusonii

Barrel Cactus

Range: Southwestern Deserts of the United States Toxin Type: Bacteria Description: Reaching a height of 3.5 to 10ft in height. Barrel in shape and covered in sharp rowed spines which can vary in color yellow to tan. The Skin of the Cactus is a rich green color. Symptoms: Despite popular belief that the barrel cactus is a source of water it should not be used as such. Moisture collected from this cactus will likely induce diarrhea. A wound from a barrel cactus is considered a dirty wound and can take months to heal. Needing antibiotics to heal.


Poisonous Animals if Eaten Scientific Name: Amphibia Anura


Range: Every Continent except Antarctica Toxin Type: bufotoxin Secreted from the Paratoid Glands. Size: 6 inches - 15 inches Description: The Head is broad with a wide mouth. The eyes bulge and protrude out each side of the head. They are covered in warlike protrusions. Toads are also Two predominate glands directly behind the eyes which are the Paratoid glands that secrete their toxin. Warning: No toad should every be considered a survival food source due to the face that all toads range from mildly toxic to very toxic. Some will make you sick and others will kill you.

Scientific Name: Amphibia Salientia Range: Every Continent except Antarctica


Size: 7.9mm-12.5inches Description: Frogs are a very diverse and widely spread group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians. Largely carnivorous they eating mostly insects. Frogs have been around for over 265 million years. Most Frogs are edible but if they are brightly colored it is best to avoid them. This will often indicate that toxicity. Most meat worth eating is found on the legs of the frog. Possible toxin Type: Lipophilic alkaloid


Scientific Name: Amphibia Caudata Range: North South America, Europe & Asia. Toxin Type: 5mm-4ft Description: Lizard like in their appearance, slender bodies, blunt snouts, and short limbs. Salamanders are often brightly colored which is a warning of its toxicity levels. They are semi Aquatic and live in cool streams and pools. These animals should never be considered a meal. Though salamanders do not produce high toxic levels of poison It is still enough to make you sick if consumed.


Poisonous Or Dangerous Animals Indicators

Strong odor


Bright Colors




Distinct Patterns (not Camouflaged).

Loud warning sounds

Making no attempt to hide

Aggressive behavior

Be Aware When in a survival scenario hunger can drive a person to be careless. There are animals that may seem like an easy meal but that can be a good indicator that they are dangerous. Some animals have evolved to show in an outward manner that they are dangerous and even inedible. This list above is a good guide to follow in determining whether an animal can be considered a potential meal or if should be avoided altogether.

Pay Attention to behavior


mals especially predators. Most of the time if a bear attacks it is because it feels threatened. If a predatory animal is hungry then it’s behavior is generally observable. If an animal has selected you as a potential meal it is of the up most importance to not show outward signs of fear. Make yourself appear bigger using your coat or pack. Talk confidently and never turn your back to the animal. Above all never run from a predator as this will almost always trigger the animal to chase you.

Know before you go

Most animals will get out of the way and The best way to avoid dangerous or poisonwill not act aggressively unless provoked. Many believe that when a rattlesnake coils up and rattles ous animals in the wild is to be aware of them beit’s tail it is a sign of aggression, however it is simply forehand. Study the wildlife before an outing and read about animal behavior and habitat. This ala warning not to touch them. lows you and the animals to enjoy the outdoors toThe same cannot be said about other anigether.


Mountain Fish Species Brook Trout

Average Weight: .66 to 6.61lbs Average Length: 9.8 to 25.6 in Range: Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, Great Lakes.

Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large/ small lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Springs, and Ponds. Average Weight: .66 to 5lbs Average Length: 20 to 30 inches Range: Native to rivers and lakes west of the Rocky Mountains. Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large/ small lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Springs, and Ponds.

Description: Dark green, Marbled Pattern, Red and White dots, lower fins are reddish with white bellies. World Record: 15lbs

Rainbow Trout/Albino

Description: Blue and green, with a pink streak along their sides, white underbelly and black spots on their backs and fins. World Record: 57lbs

Brown Trout

Average Weight: .50 to 10 lbs. Average Length: 20 to 34 inches Range: Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, Great Lakes, American Southwest. Europe, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large/small lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Springs, and Ponds.

Description: Ranging from Brown to golden, Black or red spots along their sides, White underbellies and spotted dorsal fins. World Record: 42lbs.


Mountain Fish Species Cutthroat Trout Average Weight: 4 ounces to 5lbs., Average Length: 6 to 16 inches Range: Rocky Mountains with some introduced Ranges in the Western United States. Habitat: Cold well oxygenated waters, Moderately deep lakes, Shallow rivers and steams with gravel bottoms. Average Weight: .45 to 1lbs Average Length: 6 to 12 inches Range: Native only to the sierra Nevada mountain range. Introduced to many north rocky mountain lakes and streams.

Description: Golden to gray and green, red, pink and orange linear marks along the underside of their mandibles. Black or red spot along their sides. World Record: 41lbs

California Golden Trout

Habitat: Cold well oxygenated rivers, streams and lakes. They are extremely sensitive fish and many transplanted fish die out quickly outside their natural range. Description: Golden flanks with red, horizontal bands along the lines on each side. There are also around 10 dark vertical oval makes on each side as well. World Record: 11LBS

Average Weight: 4-6lbs and 15-40lbs are not uncommon. Average Length: 24 to 36 inches

Lake Trout

Range: Great Lakes, Canada, parts of Alaska, transplanted population in select lakes in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, California and Nevada. Habitat: Almost solely found in highly oxygenated deep lakes, though occasionally it can be found in rivers.

World Record: 102lbs


Description: Ranging from green to black in appearance. There are white spots on their head, tail, body and fins. Large body with a deeply forked tail that is yellowish in appearance.

Mountain Fish Species Artic Grayling

Average Weight: .50 to 1lbs Average Length: 8 to 14inches Range: Great Slave Lake, Great Bear Lake, Lake Baikal, Siberia, Alaska and introduced in High mountain lakes in the western United States. Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large/ small lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks and Spring Ponds. Description: It has a distinctive large sail like dorsal fin, Large shiny red or purple spots, Gray in appearance with black spots on both flanks

Average Weight: 0.66 to 6.61lbs

World Record: 8.4lbs

Average Length: 9.8 to 25.6 inches Range: Introduced populations throughout the Untied States where trout are found. Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large/ small lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Springs, and Ponds.

Tiger Trout

Description: Crossed between a Brown and a Brooke Trout they have a maze or Tiger like pattern over a brownish gray body. They have a yellow belly and pectoral fins.

Average Weight: 3.5 to 4.0lbs

World Record: 18lbs

Average Length: 9 to 14inches

Sockeye Salmon

Range: Pacific Northwest ranging from Alaska to Northern California. The Columbia river as far as Red Lake Idaho. There are also many landlocked introduced kokanee salmon throughout the Rockies. Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large Lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks, and the Pacific Ocean

World Record Landlocked Kokanee: 9.67lbs World Record Sockeye Salmon: 15lbs

Description: Called the Blueback Salmon they are bluish silver in appearance while living in the ocean or lakes. During their spawn they turn bright red with a green head and tail.


Mountain Fish Species Northern Pike

Average Weight: 3.9 to 31.5lbs Average Length: 28 to 47inches Range: Europe, Russia, Alaska, Canada and Northern United States. There are introduced populations in many areas in the lower 48 States. Habitat: Slow Streams, Rocky Rivers, Weeded areas and cool northern Lakes. Description: Built very streamlined capable of sudden bursts of speed. Shaped like a torpedo, they are long and slender. They are Olive green in appearance which fades into yellowish white on its belly. One dorsal fin is located near the end of its back. Its entire body is marbled with white spots and has a long flat snout. It also has a mouth full of extremely sharp teeth. World Record: 58inches long and 68lbs

Tiger Muskie

Average Weight: 3.5 to 30lbs

World Record: 52.2inches and 44.26lbs

Average Length: 18 to 48inches Range: Canada, The Great Lakes, Throughout the Upper Mississippi valley and in the following states, Utah, Idaho, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Washington Massachusetts, Arkansas, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming.

Habitat: Generally cold highly oxygenated Large lakes, Rivers. Description: Built very streamlined capable of sudden bursts of speed. They are shaped like a torpedo and olive green in color. long and slender they have one dorsal fin (like the pike) located at the rear of their back. Skinny compressed heads and a billed snout. They have an array of very sharp teeth and tiger like strips along their flanks.


Warm Water Fish

Large Mouth Bass

Average Weight: 1-2lbs Average Length: 18 inches Range: All lower 48 States Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers. Description: Olive green marked by a series of black blotches that form jagged strip patterns. Large mouth and one large dorsal fin. Strictly a Predatory Fish. World Record: 25lbs

Striped Bass

Average Weight: 2-5lbs Average Length: 18-20 inches Range: United States East and West Coast, Also lives in many fresh water lakes throughout the lower 48 states. Habitat: Ocean and Warm Lower Altitude lakes, and large slow flowing rivers. Description: Streamline Silvery body that is marked with long longitudinal black strips. Striped bass have been documented to live for over 30 years. World Record: 81lbs

Average Weight: 2-3 ounces Average Length: 7 inches Range: Western, Southern and South Eastern regions of the United States.


Habitat: Large Lakes with plenty of cover, brackish waters, Ponds, and slow moving rivers. Description: Essentially a small lobster. Large cephalothorax and two crablike claws. Curved and segmented tail. World Record: 1.2lbs


Warm Water Fish

Average Weight: 1-2lbs

Small Mouth Bass

Average Length: 12 inches Range: All lower 48 States Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers. Description: Generally brown with dark brown vertical bands, The mouth is smaller, and the lower jaw only extends to the middle of the eye. The eyes are red and the males are generally smaller than the females. World Record: 27lbs


Average Weight: 2-10lbs

Average Length: 12-18 inches Range: Almost all 48 States, Great Lakes, and Canada Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers. Description: Olive green and gold in color. The side of the walleye is marked by 5 dark saddle marks and it has a white belly. The eyes are whitish in appearance.

World Record: 20lbs

White Bass

Average Weight: .50-1lbs Average Length: 9-12 inches Range: Mississippi Drainage, Planted Populations throughout the United States Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers. Description: Silver and white in color. Its sides are marked with long longitudinal black strips. Two dorsal fins are found along its back. World Record: 6lbs


Warm Water Fish


Average Weight: .50-1lbs Average Length: 9-12 inches Range: Widely Distributed in north America Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers. Description: Small in size and typically identified by its black vertical stripes. Most of the body is a gold or yellow color and the overall shape of the body is oval in shape. The belly is cream in color and there are two dorsal fins lining the back. World Record: 4lbs 3 oz.

Average Weight: .25-1lbs

Blue Gill

Average Length: 9-12 inches Range: North America Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs and slow flowing rivers. Description: Easily identifiable by the dark spot above the pectoral fin on each side. They are green on top and yellowish orange on their bellies. They have very compressed bodies that are silver dollar like in shape. World Record: 4lbs 12oz. Average Weight: .25-1lbs


Average Length: 9-12 inches Range: North America Habitat: Generally lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers. Description: Similar in size and shape to other sunfish including the Blue Gill. The Crappie has a flat compressed body and is covered in mottled scales that range from black to white. They are also considered to be the most tasty fresh water fish. World Record: 5.2lbs


Warm Water Fish American Eel

Average Weight: 1-5lbs Average Length: 12-36inches Range: Great Lakes, Mississippi river, East Coast, and Greenland. Habitat: Bottom dwellers by nature, hiding in burrows, tubes, snags, masses of plants, and other shelters. They are found in many types of habitats including streams, rivers, and muddy or silt-bottomed lakes. They also are found commonly in the ocean. Description: Olive green to brownish in coloration and long and snake like in appearance. Pelvic fins are absent. World Record: 6lbs 13oz.

Average Weight: 2-10lbs Average Length: 12-24inches


Range: Worldwide excluding Antarctica. Habitat: Often Described as bottom feeders the catfish can be found in slow moving and brackish waters. They feel their way through the mud and foliage with their whisker like sensors by their mouths. Found generally in lower altitude lakes, Ponds, Springs, and slow flowing rivers.

Description: Cylindrical Body with flattened heads to allow for bottom feeding. Equipped with sharp barbs on each pectoral fin and sucking in prey rather Average Weight: 1-10lbs than biting it. World Record: 645lbs Average Length: 10-18inches


Range: Asia, Europe, North & South America, Australia, Tasmania, and Africa. Habitat: Tolerant of almost all freshwater conditions which enables them to live almost anywhere. Description: Bulbous in shape and tan to brown in color. Distinctive scales mark their entire body. The mouth has short sensory whiskers similar to a catfish. World Record: 101lbs


Fish Cleaning & Basic Anatomy Caudal Peduncle Spinous Dorsal Eye Tongue

Soft Dorsal Nape

Caudal Lower & Upper

Preoperculum Pectoral Lateral line

Operculum (Gill Cover) Pelvics 3.

Anal Anus

Cleaning a Fish

1. Use a small knife to make a small incision into the anus with the knife blade facing toward the head. 2. Cut just under the skin until you reach the pectoral fins. 3. Separate the tongue from the jaw by cutting the thin skin that connects them. 2.


4. Next place the pointer finger in-between the tongue and jaw. Pull down towards the anus and this will separate the lower Gill cover. Continue pulling and all of the inner guts will be pulled out as well. 5. Inside running along the spine is the intestinal vein. Place the thumbnail facing the head on vein. Then scrape it out using moderate pressure. 6. Do not throw the guts into the water (this can spread disease among fish). Keep all guts away from your camping area. It is best to place them under a rock or in a hole. 7. Wash the fish out (This is fine to do in the body of water).

Gutting Method


Where to locate Fish 4. 5. 6. 7.

3. 2.




11. 10.


1. Head of Pool

8. Riffle

2. Tail of Pool

9. Bank Obstruction

3. Current Seam

10.Still water near gravel bars

4. Tributary

11.In Front of rock or gravel bar

5. Overhanging vegetation

12.Downstream of gravel bar and rocks where water flows slower.

6. Undercut bank 7. Depth Change


Improvised Hooks Gorge Hook

The gorge hook is one of the easiest primitive fishing hooks that you can make. Essentially the hook is not hook shaped at all rather but a small sharpened stick or bone. The idea is that when the fish swallows the bait, the hook will lodge itself in the throat of the fish. It is essential to allow the hook to be swallowed before pulling the hook. It is also important to make the hook the appropriate size according to the size of fish that are trying to catch.

Using what nature provides such as thorns or pieces of bone can make excellent improvised hooks. These have been used by natives for thousands of years. Select a thorned bush or tree (preferably dried to increase strength). Using the natural shape of the thorn simply cut above and below the thorn to achieve the desired shape. Then attach the thorn to fishing line and bait it accordingly. Use caution when handling the thorns. Some thorns can cause what is know as a dirty wound. There are certain types of plants that carry harmful bacteria on their thorns and can infect a wound severely.

Thorn Hooks

Safety Pin Hook The paperclip/safely pin method is considered to be among the best improvised hook methods. Easily transformable to the desired tool and built with fishing line attachments. These are able to be made into a improvised lure or treble hook by adding more than one pin using wire or string. Paper clips are not as strong as safety pins but can be used in the exact same way if needed.

Trash Hook The top of a soda can serve as a fish hook with only slight modifications. Unfortunately there is trash left all over the planet, but in a survival situation trash becomes a tool. There are many techniques to turn garbage into useful objects. Video tape, floss, thread, key rings , even tape can be easily turned into fishing tackle.


Improved Clinch knot

The improved Clinch knot is a must in the arsenal of every fisherman’s knowledge bank. It is fairly simple to tie, and It will provide a good method for tying hooks, lures and swivels. It is recommended that you use this knot for fishing line under 30 lbs. above 30lbs use a bloodline knot instead.

1. thread the end of the line through the eye of the hook, swivel or lure. Double back and make five or six turns around the standing line. Bring the end of the line through first loop formed behind the eye of the hook and then through the big loop form by the line. 2. Pull slightly on the tag end to draw up coils. Pull tightly on the standing line to form a knot with the coils and they will compress tightly together. If the knot is not pulled tightly together it will likely fall apart. The knot should slide tight against the hook eye. Clip or cut the end of the line less than 2mm from the hook for a tail piece.





Fishing Methods

Floating Line This is considered the most common and well known method of fishing. Typically a fishing pole and a floating bubble holds the bait suspended near the surface. A variety of different baits and lures can be used. This is an easy method of fishing and also the best for beginners. You do not need a rod and reel to fish this way. This method is more difficult if it is windy and if limited line is available. Primitive gear can be used with this method as well.

Tools Required

Weighted Line

Tools Required

This is a very effective survival fishing method. Ideal for overnight fishing. 20 to 30 feet of line is required and up to 6 hooks. This will allows you to fish multiple depths with multiple lures. Tie a rock or another weighted item to the end of the line. (Paracord works great as the line). Then tie 4 to 6 foot lengths every 4 to 6 ft down the line. Each one hooked and baited. lastly tie the other end to a tree or other anchor item. Be sure that strong line is used cordage or 12 pound test or greater.


Fish Pen


Entrances Fish Pen

Border the entrances are closed off. Then the fish can be collected by hand, net and spear. When all the fish A fish pen is a great way to capture fish. It are collected open the pen once again and continue must be placed in a strategic location. Look for natto catch fish. ural choke points or areas that are easily closed off. Ideal Baits Natural obstacles are also ideal to use in the formation of the fish pen.

Before you start

 Worm Pieces

Building Tips When constructing the fish pen it is important not to make it too big. The fish pen can be made of rock, sticks and logs to encompass a small area. Be sure to make the border wall tight so to not allow the fish to escape. Make one to two entrances in the pen that can be easily closed. Once there are a several fish in the pen area ( lured in by bait) and


 Fish guts  Bread Crumbs  Insects  Fish eggs

Stone Corral Fish Trap

Rock or log Barriers

Tools Required

Tools Required Net/Cage

River Bank

River Bank

Water flow The Stone Corral fish trap is perfect for obtaining food and in greater quantities. It is essentially an obstruction place in the path of flowing water. This will allow for the entrapment of fish that are forced into its path. Trout and salmon are especially easy to catch using this method. Traditionally build from wood or stone ,they have been in use for thousands of years and will increase the amount of food you can collect exponentially.

To build a Stone Corral or Fishing Weir first block off a portion of the river using poles or stone. Be sure not to attempt to block off sections where the current is too strong or it will be impractical to place barriers in these locations. Begin by placing Stone or wood into a U or V Shape with the focal point facing downstream. Place in the middle the net or cage with no gaps left in between and ensure that the corral is placed high enough to prevent the fish from traveling over the top of the corral and net. The Stone Corral allows large amounts of fish to be penned into a corner without the use of fishing tackle, and will often allow an individual to catch entire schools of fish at one time.

Caution should be taken because of several risk factors that are taking into account using this method of fishing. Frostbite, Drowning and hypothermia risks should be evaluated beforehand and should only be attempted if realistic.


Fishing methods

Running Lines This method you can place many lines across the stream or body of water being fished. This is an ideal method for fishing in moving water because it will allow the line to stay stationary in the middle of the stream or river. Be sure not to place lines too close together to ensure that they do not entangle themselves.

Engine (Bent Sapling)


Self striking line



This is an excellent method that can operate by itself. When a fish bites, the fishing line will Set the hook by jerking the line back. The Trigger will hold the tension until the fish biting releases it. This is a excellent way to catch fish without being there.

Fishing methods Ice Fishing Tools Required

Before you start Precautions

while ice fishing, a shorter pole is generally used. A Ice fishing can be a great cold weather meth- primitive method of ice fishing can be done by using sticks to secure the line to the surface. Make a od to collect food, but can also be very hazardous. cross with two sticks (1/2inch thicknesses at least Typically at least 2 inches are required to walk on and longer than the width of your ice hole). Secure the ice although 6 to 8 inches of ice is considered the fishing line to the lower lateral stick. Then place the best thickness. Take every precaution when the horizontal Stick on top of the ice hole. Lay the venturing out on the ice. The thickness can vary and it can be extremely weak near the edges. Con- cross flat over the ice, and when a fish is caught the cross will be pulled upright. stantly check and take your time. Ice Rescue Tips & Techniques Set up tips A ice fishing hole doesn't need to be very big and generally speaking it should never be greater than 12 inches wide. To cut a hole into the ice traditionally an ice auger is used. In a survival situation this may not be available. To improvise cut through the ice chipping the ice with a knife and sawing through it are effective methods. Do not use a rock or heavy objects to smash through the ice. This will cause fractures to form in the ice near the fishing hole and will be less likely to hold bodyweight. Baiting and Securing line Traditional baits and tackle can be used

Self rescue- If you have fallen through the ice it will be very difficult to pull yourself out. To do this use anything at your sharp to dig into the ice. Ice Spikes are a must have and are a life saver. When alone or questioning the thickness of the ice it is prudent to attach yourself to the shore with rope. Arm strength fades quickly in the cold water and seconds matter. Once out of the hole belly crawl to shore to spread weight out over the weak ice. Assisted rescue - Ropes, Branches, and even clothing should be thrown and secured around the victim and pulled to shore. If possible stay out of the water! If you have to get on the ice , secure yourself first to shore. Then belly crawl to the vic-


Fishing methods Making a Fishing Spear 1. Choose a sturdy sapling that is at least 6 feet in length and 2-4 inches thick. Next cut a flat edge on the thickest end of the pole. Using your knife or hatchet split the wood exactly down the middle roughly 6 inches. Next make another split perpendicular to the first split, dividing the sapling into 4 even sections.

2. At the point where the split ends wrap cordage around the sapling. This will prevent any further splinting and will also prevent breakage of the spikes. The next step is to cut two small branches roughly 1/2 inch width and 3 inches in length. The branches are then placed in between the splits forming a cross. Once in place they should be secured with cordage or tape.

Tools Required


3. Sharpen the spines that have been formed. It is important that the spines are not carved too thin or they will be susceptible to breakage. Fishing spears are relatively easy to make and can be a great active way to obtain food. A fishing spear should never be used as a throwing spear.

Traps, Snares, Fishing & Hunting Hunting &Bowie Knife There have been many types of fixed blade knife designs developed for outdoor and defense use. One of the more well known designs is the Bowie knife made famous by the infamous Jim Bowie hero of the Alamo. Originally developed as a defense knife many outdoors men quickly developed similar designs to be used as a survival tool. Large and very strong, the full tang hunting knife can be life saving, and a great all around tool.

Hatchet Developed to be a lighter and very portable version of the axe the Hatchet is an excellent outdoor tool. Designed to function as a multipurpose one handed tool, it has been in used for centuries. It functions as a wedge for chopping wood, and as hammer to add in the construction of a shelter. An Hatchet can also be used as a weapon of self defense and aid in the construction of other weapons. Hatchet throwing has also become a popular sport.

The rock sling is incredibly easy to make and can be done so in various ways. It can be braided with Paracord, cut from cloth, and made from plastic and cord. It is made for hurling blunt objects such as rocks ,and ball bearings great distances. This tool greatly extends the distance a human arm can throw an object and increases the force many times over. It has been used as a weapon of war for centuries , and can be deadly in the hands of a well practiced rock slinger. To use place pointer finger in the loop and the knot between your middle finger and ring finger. Next swing overhand or underhand and let go in the direction of the object is aimed at. It consists of three parts 1. the cradle where the projectile is held. 2. the cords that are attached to the cradle (roughly 2 ft. long). 3. One end of the cord has a loop in it and the other end has a knot.

Rock Sling


Traps, Snares, Fishing & Hunting Throwing Stick

This is most likely the first tool that you will make in the wilderness. Generally 2 to 3 feet long and 3 inches in diameter. With practice this can take down game up to 40lbs in weight. It is typically made of a hard wood with curved edges that are heavier on the ends. This helps to achieve maximum Impact, and will also minimize wobble in mid flight. The throwing stick is the ideal opportunistic roving weapon for obtaining food on the move.

Making a survival bow and arrow is much more complicated than any other weapon. A traditionally made recurve bow takes weeks to carve, form and dry. If in a survival situation that is long term this is an essential tool. It will allow you to take down large game much easier. The construction of a bow consists of elastic limbs which are typically made of wood (such as hickory). Both ends of the limbs are connected by the bow string. The bow string can be Paracord Kern, linen, hemp, sinew, silk and even rawhide which is reverse-twisted. Most individuals in a survival situation will construct a green bow see pg.172. This version of a bow is ready instantly upon completion.

Bow & Arrow

Snare Wire Snare wire is an essential survival material that should be in every pack. 24 gauge snare wire is a good diameter for an overall multipurpose snare. Light weight and reusable it is superior to cordage for trapping. Typically 50ft of wire is required to set 4 to6 snares which will increase your chances of obtaining food. See pg. 174-175


Knapping Tools

Leather protec-



Antler or wood Hammer

Flint Knapping: Is the oldest method of tool making which dates back over 3.4 million years. Early ancestors to humans began shaping stone and bone tools. This began the age of creation among early man. Chipped or knapped stones are most commonly made from cryptocrystalline materials like obsidian, flint, quartzite, jasper and basalt. Obsidian or volcanic glass is considered to be the best material and was the most sought after. Areas that have a history of ancient volcanic activity are the best locations to find materials for knapping. Knapped tools can be of infinite use especially in survival circumstances. Knives, arrowheads, spearheads and hid scrapers are among the most common tools. Great civilizations were brought into existence like the Aztecs, Incas and Mayas with the help of these primitive but effective tools. Even into the modern age flint lock rifles depended on this material to fire their weapons. Flint Knapping can be done a variety of ways depending on the desired final product. For rock and stone tools Chert is superior. Arrowheads and spearheads Obsidian is the best material to use. Finer edges are achieved by using bone, wood and Antler to perform pressure flaking of edges. It will often take several flint pieces and several attempts to achieve the desired shaped tool.


Knapping Arrowheads



Select material to begin shaping the tool (Chert, Obsidian, Jasper, and forms of basalt). Break apart a larger piece (the Core) to obtain a suitable piece to begin the knapping process. These stones will naturally break apart into Flakes and it is from these flake that a arrowhead etc will be selected. Place the leather protector on your knee and begin to pressure knap the edges of the flake to start forming the desire shape. The stone will naturally break along fracture lines. If the stone is rounded knap it more narrow and round the edges to roughly the size of the desired tool.


It may take several attempts to achieve but the desired shape is as seen on the left. This diagram is triangular in shape and thin. The perfect sharpened edges are not necessary at this stage. It is very important to not allow any part of the flake to become concave. This will weaken the material and will more than likely break. Once flattened and the triangular shape has been achieved it is time to begin abrading the edges. Wood or limestone are best suited for this task because they are softer than the stone and will not over fracture the edge and cause unnecessary breakage.


Having a good grasp on the concept of pressure flaking at this point will help reduce the chance of ruining the arrowhead. Pressure flaking is done by placing the stone into a folded piece of leather or thick cloth. Then using a Antler or wood pressure flaker on the edge of the arrowhead enabling you to remove small pieces of stone to achieve the desired edge. This will allow it to become sharp. This is also the same stage at which the base groove is formed to allow the arrowhead to become attached to the arrow or spear shaft. The greatest key is to take your time and be patient.

Making Arrows Arrowhead Sinew Arrowhead Notch/Insert

Apply Pine Pitch Glue Arrow Shaft Wrapped Sinew

30 inches

1. Select a young branch that is as strait as possible . Strip off the bark but be cautious not to cut the wood beneath.

2. Bends in the wood can be straitened

by heating

them and bending them strait.

3. Notch the top of the branch to create an insert.


this insert an arrowhead can be placed.

4. Once the arrowhead is in place apply Pine Pitch Glue.

5. After the pitch has been placed it is time to use sinew from animals. wrap it around the arrowhead notched bottom and tuck it in at the base to secure.

6. Let the pine pitch set for a day or two. 171.

Making Arrows

Attached Fletching's

Apply Pine Pitch Glue

Sinew Feather

Pine Strips

1. Bind the arrow knock with sinew overlapping so that it dries to itself. 2. Spit feathers or pine needles into strips for fletching's 1 to 2 inches above the notch. Use sinew and pitch glue to fasten and attach them. 3. Let the arrow dry for a few days to allow hardening.


Reinforced Green Bow Tools required




In most survival situations 7. On the sides in between the two there is no time to dry and cure a rebows insert small wedges. This curve bow. However there is a faster will help the bow achieve a remethod to make a weapon capable of curve shape. taking down game. 8. Tie the tips of the bows together. 1. Collect two pieces of straight and 9. String the bow string from limb to flexible green wood. limb. Now the bow is ready to fire 2. Split one branch in half or it can arrows. also be shaved with a knife to the 10. For arrow making see pg.170 proper width. The best branches to be se3. Shorten the second branch to lected for the use, and construction three quarters of the main beam. of a green bow are young green 4. Carve the space between the two trees. This will allow for a branches beams so they can lay flat upon without knots and side branches. one another. Firing a primitive bow will require 5. Notch the ends of the two staves practice. Sighting down the length or the arrow is used for aiming. When to allow the bow string to be practicing do so aiming in a safe diattached. rection. 6. Tie the two bows together in at least four different places.


How to make Pitch Glue Tools Needed

Pine Sap Deer or Rabbit Droppings


Heating Basin

Heat Water

Before you start

6. Cook for several minutes to reach the right constancy and then let cool.

Before starting this project collect all the ma7. Roll the pitch into a ball and save for later use. terials that are required beforehand. It can be diffiReheat before applying pitch. cult to make exact measurements when in the field, Common uses for Pine Pitch but with pitch glue it is fairly easy. Regardless of how much glue being made stick to 1/3 charcoal,  Arrow Heads 1/3 Pine sap and 1/3 droppings.

Cooking the Pitch 1. Grind droppings into a fine powder (do not add to heating basin yet). 2. Add Pine pitch chunks to the heating basin. 3. Add water to the heating basin start with a small amount and add as needed to achieve a pudding like mixture.

4. Heat on hot coals rather than open flame. Pine pitch is very flammable and cooking the pitch should be done at a medium heat. 5. As the pitch begins to melt mix it together with the charcoal and droppings powder


 Waterproofing shoes and tools  Can be applied to wounds or keep bandages in place.

 Fire Starter ( pine resin is very flammable).  Wilderness lamp fuel  Making a Torch  Waterproofing a boat or canoe.  Weapon making

Simplified Twitch-up Snare Engine

Tools Required Poachers Knot

(Bent Sapling)

Shear Lashing

A. Snare



The Twitch up snare uses a noose (Poachers Knot) attached to a wooden trigger that is held under tension by the bent sapling or branch. Once set off it lifts your prey off the ground which has two purposes. First this will increase the force necessary to disable the animal. Second it will lift it high enough that it will reduce the chances it will be stolen by another animal. This is the easiest snare to make and also at times the most effective because it can snare the animal from any direction. This trap will be made more effective by placing it in natural bottleneck found in game trails. Making the Twitch up Snare


Begin by carving two sturdy sticks to make the top and bottom triggers. As seen on the left and above. Carve a diagonal cut in both triggers and finish the cuts with a horizontal cut near the bottom of the stick. This will create two flat surfaces which will connect the two triggers together. The Trigger piece on the ground must be very secure due to the pressure placed on it. The Top Trigger piece will need a shear lashing to attach the Engine or sapling to it. The noose (made with a Poachers Knot) is attached to the top trigger piece. The noose can be made of wire or cord and should be concealed and propped open with small twigs and debris. The Sapling or branch used as the engine mechanism needs to have enough strength to hall up your prey. Test its strength before and be sure it is sturdy or the snare will not work.


Deadfall Trap Engine (Rock or Log)


Tools Required

C. Food/Bait





The deadfall trap is one of the easiest mechanical traps to learn and build. It is essential that a proper cutting tool is used (due to the necessity of semi exact edges). This Trap is ideal for when resources are limited due to its simplicity. Its simple construction also allows many to be built and will increase the chances of success. The trap uses simple physics and gravity to crush prey that activate the trigger mechanism. An interlocking triangle is used to prop up the log or rock and the trigger baited releases the triangle allowing it to fall. Making the Deadfall Trap Begin by placing a sturdy stick or branch into the ground notched as shown an exhibited above (A.). Then cut the cross beam to length and notch it to the ground post exactly (A.). Next notch the end of the crossbeam with a diagonal groove (B.). Cut the third propping (C). stick to its desired length making one end come to a sharp flat point with a diagonal notch in the middle. The end of the propping stick must be flattened to allow the Rock or log to lay flat against it. Pick a heavy rock or log (D.) that is long a flat. Gather all the pieces together for easy access. Bait the end of the crossbeam trigger, and then place it into the post groove. Then place the Propping stick onto the crossbeam and the post. The finally step is to place the selected rock or log against the Propping stick. Do this carefully (this will take several attempts and use caution not to crush your fingers and hands). The snare with have the most success in naturel bottlenecks forcing animals to cross paths with the traps.


Axemanship Parts of a Axe/Hatchet Toe of Bit Head


Cheek Cutting Edge




Shoulder Lug

Belly of Handle Handle


Axemanship The axe has been around in some form or another for roughly 10,000 years or longer. Beginning with stone heads and over time developing into metal. There are countless uses for the axe and can be an essential tool in the outdoors.

Safety  

  

Inspect the axe head and handle for looseness or cracking. Check for near by obstacles (within two axe lengths). Always use a chopping block and never chop directly on the ground.

Remove any loose items from your person that could get caught. Wear protective clothing such as gloves.


Axemanship Felling a Tree 1.




1. Choose and aim at the chopping point and be sure that all safety precautions are observed. Cuts should be made at a 44 degree angle. Alternate making right and left cuts creating a small V.


2. The start notch A. should go about 1/3 the diameter of the tree. The Felling notch B. should be placed roughly 1ft above and on the opposite side of the tree. This will create a hinge for the

When to use the Hatchet


tree. 3. Continue cutting the felling notch B until the tree begins to fall. Once the tree begins to lean and cracking sounds can be heard.

Limbing small branches on fell logs



Smaller gauge splitting

Chopping in confined areas

New to Axemanship (safer for beginners).

Practicing angle technique.

On the move ( lighter to carry).

Primitive Ice Axe

Tools Required

Diagonal Lashing

How to make the primitive Ice Axe

This is a multi purpose tool for both hiking, and climbing steep slopes in winter conditions. It can function as a walking stick, anchor, pick, stomp belay, weapon and hammer tool. In winter conditions a Ice Axe will serve as a essential safety tool. The ice axe is a tool that mountaineers use for a maneuver called Self Arrest. ( Prone position with feet oriented downslope, legs bent at the knees and elbows tucked tightly against the torso. The axe is held diagonally across the chest and abdomen the spike buried as deeply into the slope as possible). This maneuver helps stop a climber stop during a fall or a slip. Do not use for ice climbing

Improvised Sled/Pulk

Find a hardwood staff see pg. 33 2 to 4 feet in length. Any type of antler can be fastened to the top of the staff. Use a tightly bound diagonal lashing see pg. 30. to affix the antler to the staff.

Tools Required

Weight can be easily carried in the winter with the use of a sled. Making a improvised sled will help save energy and also can be useful transporting an injured person. Choose branching sticks according to the size of sled you want. Tie back the branch tips and lash cross section branches for support. Attach a handle or pulling plough to the front of your sled, and rack on gear to the center of the sled using string. Be sure not to use small or weak branches because of the strain that the sled can be put under. Using green wood will allow the sled more flexibility and reduce the chance of the sled breaking.

Diagonal Lashing Square Lashing


Primitive Snow Shoes

Tools Required

Diagonal Lashing Square Lashing

When traversing through the snow and ice it can consume enormous amounts of energy. There are places where the snow can be so deep that walking can be near impossible. Snow shoes • distribute the weight of your body over a wider surface area and allow you to walk on top of the snow. This concept is known as floatation. Making snowshoes will save countless calories and will help anyone cover more territory. • Snow Shoes were traditionally used by hunters and trappers. Now updated to aluminum almost anyone who spend time outdoors uses them. Making primitive snowshoes only requires simple materials and skills.


Begin by bending a green sapling or branch into a U shape. Add more branches if necessary to add more strength to the primary shoe support.

Cut the ends of the branch so that they will lay

flush against each other. Then use thin rope or rawhide to bind them together at the base. Use a shear lashing see pg. 31. Bind and tie more sticks horizontally along the snowshoe for support. Once the horizontal support sticks are in place then insert three vertical sticks and tie them. Use a Diagonal Lashing or Square lashing for the cross sections. Attach the snowshoes to the boots with cord or rawhide with three or more strings. Add more cord if necessary in around the supporting sticks to add an additional base.


“Water is Survival”. 181.

S lar Still Plastic Sheet Anchor Rocks

2ft Water Basin 3ft A Solar still is a simple way of extracting and distilling water from a variety of sources. The idea is that the air inside the still is warmer than outside and therefore becomes saturated. Water is pulled from the soil or even from vegetation put into the still. First Dig a hole roughly 2ft deep and 3ft wide. Put a clean container at the bottom of the still and then cover the hole with a plastic sheet ( transparent is better). Next anchor the sheet down with sizable rocks. Lastly place a baseball sized rock in the center of the plastic sheet and it will make it depress downward. You can place a straw or tube in the water basin and have it run out of the still in order to make it easy to extract the water. This will also help by not having to disrupt the still itself. A Solar Still will collect water by day and by night. Typically 5 to 7 Solar Stills are needed to sustain one person. Tricks to make a solar still more productive one can add vegetation in the still to evaporate the water out of them. You can even wet the soil with urine to distill it and use that moisture again ( It is important not to contaminate the container). When the moisture from one hole is used up simply dig another hole( be sure not to dig during the heat of the day to prevent exhaustion and loosing valuable moisture in the soil). Solar Stills can also be used to distill seawater. Instead of digger a hole you can use a large container, this method is only effective in calm seas.


Desert Water Tank

Natural Water Caches exist in almost every desert. Knowledge of these pockets of water were and are vital part of survival for people of the desert. These Pockets range from large to small and are almost always found along natural drainage patterns. These drainage patterns should be indicated by the water erosion patterns like canyons, and dry river beds. Water Caches are more likely to occur in hard rock than in dirt and sand. Watch the birds as they will congregate around water. Water Caches will often be naturally shaded minimizing evaporation which makes them more likely to occur in shaded canyons. The water found in these tanks may have been stagnant for a long time and will almost always need to be purified due to bacteria buildup. One of the most famous water caches in the West can be found in Valley Of Fire state Park in Nevada. It was used by the infamous Little Mouse a Paiute Indian who in 1890 who was accused of killing two prospectors, and used a natural water cache as a hideout.


Ancient Signs of Water

In the American southwest there are over 16,000 known archeological sites. Ancient native Americans known as the Anasazi inhabited this region from 100 B.C. to 1300 A.D. . Many of these sites are very remote and are spread out over an area known as the 4 corners area of the United States. When travelling in this remote desert region these sites themselves are good indication of a nearby water source. The Anasazi people needed water to survive in this arid desert region, and built their settlements around these sources of water. The climate has since changed more arid and dry, but even today many of these ancient water sources still exist.


Natural Signs of Water Animal Tracks

Large grazing animals need to drink at least twice daily, typically this will occur at dawn and then again at dusk. The key to finding these watering holes is by finding where the animal tracks converge. Small game trails will typically lead to more heavily used trails. These trails will be used by a variety of animal species and this will be evident in the tracks. Birds congregating in certain areas is also a good indicator.

One must take care when visiting these watering holes because they are used regularly by predators as ambush sites. Reading trail sign will often tell you what animals might be in the area. In Areas where there are Alligators, Crocodiles, Caiman, Large Snakes and Hippos. Extreme Caution should be taken when near the waters edge and by no means should one enter the water. Certain insects will often indicate nearby water. Bees for instance will not fly more than 3 miles from their nest and must have a constant source of water. Watching what direction they fly upon leaving their nest will show you where the water source lies. This is because bees will always fly in a strait line to and from food and water sources.


Some types of Ants can also indicate a source of water. Most species of Ants get most of their water from the food they eat. Dragon flies are also a good indicator of a nearby water source as are Mayflies. All life depends on water so life in general, plant or animal tracks will give you helpful hints as to where it is.


All plant life needs water to survive some plants can get by with the sporadic fall of rain however sparse. Most large plants such as willows and trees need greater amounts of water and thus grow near constant sources of it. These patches of vegetation will be found along the paths of least resistance like valleys and gullies. Studying the layout of the land will help identify where water will collect and flow. See watersheds/Drainage Basins on pg.11 These patches of vegetation will not always have visible water on the surface. This does indicate that there is water near the surface. Digging into the soil at the base of the plants will more than likely lead to water within a few feet of the surface. Random patches of green grass can also indicate an underground spring of water and can also be a likely location in which water can be found.


Digging for Water

Dry River Bed Dig Here Dig Here

Hand Well

Water Table


Digging in a dry river bed can be a very productive undertaking. Often Hidden just under the surface the river or creek continues to flow as on underground aquifer. The water table can vary from riverbed to riverbed. Typically it will be within a few feet of the surface. For best results digging on the outer bends of the river will allow for the least resistance. The inner bends of the river are often built up with silt and gravel and will make reaching the water table more difficult. Feeling the soil for moisture will help find a most ideal spot for digging and give you better results. Tip: Going barefoot can help you feel moisture on the ground when it may not be visible.

Desert Survival Time

Sheltered in the Shade °F

Without Water

.25 Gallon

2 gallons



2-3 days

2-5 days




5 days

5-8 days

14 days



7 days

10 days

23-25 days


Walking at Night °F

Without Water

.25 Gallon

2 gallons



1 day

2 days




3 days

5 days

14 days



5 days

10 days

10-15 days

20° 187.

Daily Water intake & Temperature Temperature

Body Weight

Water in gallons



1.32 gallons




1.58 gallons


1.60 gallons


1.85 gallons


2 gallons


1.80 gallons


2 gallons


2.40 gallons


2 gallons


2.32 gallons


2.60 gallons


2.45 gallons


2.65 gallons


2.95 gallons


2.65 gallons


2.80 gallons


3 gallons


3 gallons


3.50 gallons


3.80 gallons







This is based on average physical exertion. Running hiking and lifting will double the amount of water intake needed.


Water Filtration Aids Tools Required


Tripod Lashing Sand and pea gravel moss

No matter where you get water it is always a good idea to purify it and avoid the many serious side effects related to water borne pathogens. Begin the filtration process by removing the larger particles from the water which can be many especially in lakes and slow moving rivers. A hollow log or even better a sock can be used to make a improvised filter. Hang the sock by suspending it from a tripod or tree. Then place fine sand in the bottom of the sock followed by more course sand on top of that. Then place moss and grass filling it almost to the top. Place a water catch basin of some sort directly under the sock and begin pouring water through the sock. This water will still not be 100% safe to drink. It will still need to be boiled or chemically treated before consumption. This technique will filter out a good majority of bio matter and debris. Boiling water for 15 mins is the only sure fire method of purification without a modern filter. Microorganisms such as giardia see pg. 191. Can cause serious and debilitating illnesses especially in a survival situations. If you have a metal container that can be used to boil and carry water it will make purifying water much easier. If you have no basin there are other methods in which water can be boiled. If you have a plastic container or sheet it can be insulated with green grass to prevent melting. Heat rocks in a fire for 10 to 15 minutes. Use sticks to place the rocks into the basin or container. The rocks heat will boil the water upon contact. Several rocks might be need to completely boil the water.


Water Collection Condensation traps have been in use for thousands of years and is still taught by many prominent world militaries. The modern method of condensation trapping is fairly simple using a clear plastic bag and an elastic band or cord. Trees naturally transpire gallons of water into the atmosphere every hour. By using this method you are simply harnessing that evaporating moisture. Place a clear or semi clear bag over a branch and tie off the bag opening (best during the peak temperatures of the day). Let sit 2-4 hours and check and collect deposited water. At most 150ml will deposit daily. Several traps may be necessary. The rain catch can be an especially great tool because of its simplicity and effectiveness. Rain water does not require filtration if properly harvested and stored. The idea is to cover as much area with a rain catch ( which can be any clean waterproof material). Channel the collected rainwater to a clean catch where the water is kept. In tropical climates where rain is an almost daily occurrence this can be used as a primary water source. In drier climates one must watch the weather. Even the desert skies can provide large amounts of rain in short intervals. The key is to be prepared to harness it when the moment arrives. It is also imperative that there is sufficient storage for the water collected. Cups containers etc. Through a process known as atmospheric water vapor from the air that naturally condense on a cold surface and deposit small amounts of water. This morning dew can be found on grasses every morning (even in dry climates). To collect the moisture there are several different methods. Using a cloth or rag wipe it over an area that has collected dew (like grass or leaves). Then once the rag is full of moisture deposit the moisture in a container to be stored and used later. Most of the dew collected is potable and should be stored carefully. Start early before the sun evaporates all dew deposited.


Condensation Trap

Rain Catch

Dew Collection

Water Borne Illnesses Protozoa This the largest potential water borne threat that can be found in almost any water source in the world. Protozoa are small single celled parasites that vary between 1-20 microns. There are two main protozoa that cause illness Giardia lamblia , Cryptosporidium. These small protozoa can survive weeks and even months in cold water. They have protective shells which will make them resistant to iodine and chlorine treatments. Contraction prevention: Filtration/Purification, UV light exposure, Boiling and Bleach. However Cryptosporidium will be resistant to bleach and other chemicals. Symptoms and Treatment: Appearing 2 days to several weeks after ingestion. Vomiting, diarrhea, gas and intestinal discomfort. Symptoms may last 1 to 6 weeks. Treatments are few but hydration and rest are recommended. There is no medication specifically meant to cure infections.

Bacteria Likely to be found in most bodies of water, Bacteria is the most wide spread organism on earth. In each gram of soil there can be in as many as 40 million bacterial cells and per milliliter of fresh water well over 1 million. Collectively bacteria has more biomass than all other lifeforms on earth combined. For this reason it is reasonably assumed that bacteria is to be ever present in almost any water body on earth. Not all bacteria is harmful, but there are several are. Including ; E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, Leptospira interregnas and many others can cause severe illnesses in humans and even death. Contraction prevention: Filtration/Purification, UV light exposure, Boiling and Bleach. Symptoms and treatment: Appearing a few days or weeks after contamination symptoms include diarrhea, cholera, gas and intestinal discomfort. Severe dehydration can occur and can result in death if medical attention is not sought quickly. Hospitalization is often necessary to overcome illness.

Viruses Contracted on contaminated surfaces or liquids. Viruses are extremely common in poorly sanitized areas of the world and can be contracted easily. Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Enterovirus and Norovirus can be commonly contracted viruses associated with water.

Contraction prevention: Filtration/Purification, UV light exposure, Boiling and Bleach. Symptoms and treatment: Diarrhea, and vomiting appearing 1 to 7 days after exposure. The effects from the virus can last from several days to several weeks. Stay hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.


Spring Water Contamination Scale by Elevation

11,000ft-18,000ft Least likely 9,000-11,000ft Purification tablets

Less likely

7,000-9,000ft Likely

5,000-7,000ft Common

0-5,000ft Very Common

Drinking straight from a cold mountain stream is often the daydream of any outdoorsmen. However even a seemly perfect mountain stream has its risks and Side effects. Waterborne illnesses can ruin any backcountry trip and can make you extremely ill if infected with any number of waterborne pathogens. This does not mean that all springs and water sources are contaminated and unsafe to drink. It does however mean that extra precautions are needed in order to avoid illness. •

It is always necessary to carry purification device regardless of circumstances.

Observe if you are in remote area which is high elevation then more than likely water will be safe to drink. Simply understand that what ever is upstream from your water source will likely contaminate the potential drinking water.

Be respectful and consider others. To avoid contaminating water sources yourself be sure to avoid then following. Do not wash dishes, bath, or defecate within 200ft of any water source. “When in doubt Filter it out”.






S Gaining your bearings is one of the first steps of survival. The compass has been used for nearly 1000 years. It essentially allowed for the age of exploration to take place when large ocean voyages where undertaken. Used by Hikers, aviators, seamen and many others the compass allows all to establish the cardinal directions. Even a small compass can become an essential life saver in Orienteering.


Distances One Mile 5280 ft. One Kilometer or Klick 3280.84ft

100 Yards 300ft.

Average Strides in a Mile: 2,000 steps Length of Average Step: 2.5ft. This is only an average and will vary person to person

Calories Burnt Walking a flat Mile: 65 Calories Burnt Running a flat mile: 150 Calories Burnt Hiking uphill Average Mile: 735 Calories Burnt Snowshoeing Average Mile : 565 Calories Burnt Cross Country Skiing Mile : 600 Based on a 180lbs person carrying 20lbs. This is an estimate based on average variables.

Time to walk a Flat mile 15 mins Time to Hike a uphill mile 45 mins or more Time to run a mile 8 to 10 mins


Summer Sky

N Polaris Perseus

Little Dipper


Capella Cepheus

Draco Usra Major


Auriga Hercules Bootes


Aquarius Lyra


Delphinus Andromeda

Archturus Corona Borealis


Serpens Caput


Libra Aquila


Pegasus Scutum Antares

Sagittarius Scorpius Capricornus

S 195.

Winter Sky

N Ursa Minor Perseus

Usra Major Lynx Hyades Auriga

Pisces Taurus









Cetus Eridanus Lepus



Monoceros Columba Puppies Pyxis

Sculptor Phoenix Dorado


S 196.

Natures Compass

°N Moss

Barrel Cactus °S

The concept that moss grows on the northern side of trees is a well known idea. It also makes a lot of sense due to the conditions that moss needs to grow. The Northern side of the tree gets more shade, it is cooler, and as such it is damp. In turn creates the perfect conditions for moss. There are instances in where moss grows other than on the north side of trees. This method can still be used as a good general indicator. It is also important to note that in the jungle this does not apply because the entire forest floor is shaded.

Found in the deserts of the American southwest the barrel cactus grows extremely slow. The Barrel Cactus can act as a compass by observing which directions it leans. The Cactus will grow slanted in a southerly direction. It does this because the north side of the cactus is more protected from the sun than the south side and will grow faster. The slant may be slight so be sure to observe the plant closely. It is also wise to reference more than one plant to affirm that the direction is correct.


Shadow Compass

Sunlight 1.

Sunlight 2.


w 3.

1. Select a stick preferably 3 feet or longer. Put the stick into the ground so that it stands vertically. Make sure the location is in the sunlight and not in the shade or the method will not work.

2. Collect 6-10 small rocks. Place the first rock at the end of the shadow as seen above. 3. As time passes the shadow will move due to the movement of the sun in the sky. Ever 20 mins place a new rock on the tip of the shadow to mark the movement. 4. After an hour there will be a east west line of rocks formed on the ground. Place a stick in the middle forming a cross. When facing west, north will be on your right. Note: the shadow will be traveling east in the afternoon opposite the path of the sun.


Natures Compass

Birds Flying south °S

It is well known that in the fall millions of bird begin a migration south to warmer climates for the winter. This can help a lost traveler gain their bearings. Using the direction of the birds flight, combined with the rising and setting of the sun one can gain a basic understanding of ones directional orientation. It is important to note that this may not always be 100% accurate. Some flocks can get lost and often they will be flying consistently in a southeastern direction rather than directly south.

Ants will typically build their nest on the south side of a tree. This is due to several factors. One the south side of the tree gets the most sunlight and will be clear of snow and moisture faster than any other side of the tree. This may also be because there is often more plant growth on the south side of the tree and thus there is more food to be collected by the ants themselves.


Crescent Moon


The moon can be used for a fast and fairly accurate method for finding direction. It is best to wait for the moon to be high in the sky. Mentally draw a line that connects the horns of the moon then follow that line down to the horizon. The point where the moon connects with the horizon can be considered an approximate indication of south in northern latitudes. It will work just the opposite in the southern latitudes. Be sure to mark the direction with a stick or some other object to be sure of the direction come daylight.


Making a Bush Compass

Cup or vessel of water

Needle or sender metal piece




Silk or Wool

Magnetic Method

Silk Method

Use a small cup of water or clean small puddle of water that is protected from the wind. Using a needle or a slender piece of metal (like the hand of a watch or a paperclip) charge it with the south end of your compass. This is done by placing it for 60 seconds on one end of the compass. Mark the charged end as that will be the end that points north.

There is a good chance that you will not have a magnet with you when in the wild and in need of a compass. This can be resolve by using silk or wool from clothing or equipment to magnetize the compass needle.

To magnetize the needle find a piece of silk or wool. Then rub the needle from eye to needle at least 100 times (Be sure to use caution and not stab If you use a needle the water tension alone you finger). This will magnetize the needle and is should keep it afloat, however if you use anything ready to be applied in the same way as the magbigger a leaf of a piece or non permeable paper can netic method. act as a floatation device for the compass needle. Not being able to determine which end will

Be sure to stand back and be sure that there be pointing north it is necessary to use the sun to are no other metal or magnetic object in close prox- assist you. Observe which way is West using the imity within the cup. This can cause a false reading . path of the sun. (you may want to use the shadow method pg. ) After determining generally where west lies the direction to your right will be north.


Find North Using a Watch Northern Hemisphere method 1.





Lay your analog watch flat in the palm of your hand. Point the hour hand toward the sun.

Then Draw an imaginary line between the hour hand and the12 O'clock. This will indicate a true north and south line.

This is a great method that will requires no compass. The requirements for this method are simply a clear sky and a accurate analog watch. By following the instructions above this will establish an accurate north and south line by which you can navigate. In the southern Hemisphere Point the 12 O'clock at the sun rather than the hour hand. Then draw an imagery intersecting line between them as you do using the North Hemisphere method. There is a another way by which you can use this same method with a digital watch. Using the time lay out with sticks on the ground the twelve o'clock and hour hand. Then simply read the intersecting line. If there is any doubt which direction is north, the sun rises in the east and north will be on your left. The Sun sets in the west and north will be on the right.


Estimating time of sunset

One Hour


One Hand 15 mins 15 mins 15 mins 15 mins

Estimating time is a very important especially when you are trying to calculate time until dark. To mark a approximate estimation all you need to do is extend your arm toward the sun. Place your hand in-between the sun and the horizon. Each finger will roughly represent 15 mins of sunlight. And four fingers will represent an hour. It is very important to under estimate the time in order to make up for any margin of error.

Approximate Sun Rise and Sunset in North America Mid Longitude Spring: 7:13am-7:52pm

Summer: 5:59am-9:05pm Fall: 6:54am-8:03pm Winter: 7:54am-5:09pm






Trail Road River



Scale 1 inch=1 mile



Topographic Map


Reading a Map •

North is typically always marked in the upper left Corner. This will help you orient yourself as to how to the maps relates to the World.




The Scale found next to the legend will indicate distances according to measurement. For instances the map found to the left 1 inch = 1 mile.



Roads are indicated by this symbol.

Trails are represented often in a series of doted lines.

Bodies of Water are colored blue including Rivers, Lakes and Streams.

Marshes, Swamps and or Bogs are indicated like this

Contour Lines are in place to indicate altitude changes and contours in the landscape. The closer the lines are together will indicate increases in slope. The further apart they are will indicate more level areas. There are also altitude indicators found 575ft periodically in the topographic lines.

Map Legend is found in the bottom left of the map. This will give a guide to the symbols as to what they indicate and allow you to read the map.

Gridlines indicate latitude and longitude and also will help calculate distance.

Colors help show bodies of water, Wooded areas and also peak altitudes.

Trail Signs Proceed Cairn One of the most commonly used methods to mark trails are called cairns. These are piles of rocks placed to help hikers follow pre-established trails.

Trail Marker Tape Attaching orange trail marker tape within eyesight of each other can mark a trail that can be easily followed .

Don’t Go this way

Turn Left

I have Gone Home Turn Right


Trail Signs Blazers Blazers are markers used in back country to mark trails. They are made with an axe cutting out two section of bark. As seen here. The top is small and the bottom is longer.

Marker Tags

Marker tags can be brightly colored and sometimes reflective. They are triangular in shape and are made out of plastic or metal.

Stick Markers Generally used as a more primitive and temporary method of trail marking. These can be placed on the ground to help guide you or others to a certain location. However these markers are not very visible and easily moved 206.

Radio Communication

Having a radio on your person will greatly improve your chances of recuse and help. Most radios given the right conditions will have a range of at least 20 miles. It is important to use the following sequence when calling for help.

1. 2.




Mayday, Mayday. Your call sign (if you have one).

4. 5.

Your Name Your location (grid reference). Number of survivors.

1. Antenna


2. Volume 3. Speaker 4. Charger/ Head Phones 5. Squelch 6. Keypad 7. Push to Talk Button

Grid References of available landing sites. Inform them if you need special medical help. Geographical high point s like a mountain top or a hill will increase your radios range. Communication with a weak signal can be overcome by using the Phonetic Alphabet and even MORSE Code pg128.

8. Channel indicator


Phonetic Alphabet

A Alpha



S Sierra

B Bravo

K Kilo

T Tango

C Charlie

L Lima

U Unicorn

D Delta

M Mike

V Victor

E Echo

N November

W Whisky

F Foxtrot

O Oscar

X X-ray

G Golf

P Papa

Y Yankee

H Hotel

Q Quebec

Z Zulu

I India

R Romeo

The Phonetic Alphabet is used by Militaries around the world as a means of overcoming language barriers and clarifying speech. There are several different Phonetic Alphabets but the one most commonly used by militaries and civilians around the world is the NATO Phonetic Alphabet as shown above. Using the chart above you are able to spell out words which can be difficult to hear with a weak radio signal. EXAMPLE: Emergency Echo, Mike, Echo, Romeo, Golf, Echo, November, Charlie, Yankee


Ground To Air Signaling

Signaling Mirror

On a clear day with optimal atmospheric conditions a signaling mirror can be seen up to 100 miles away. Quick Flashes pointed towards a plane or a car can get the attention of the pilot /driver. The larger the mirror you have will increase its effective signaling range. A Mirror that is 8inches wide should easily have a range of 40 miles +.

SOS/Help At night a typical 150 lumens flashlight in good conditions can be seen up to 15 miles away. A solid grasp of MORSE code can turn a flashlight into a effective communication device. Pointing the light in the direction of a car or a plane. One can through a series of flashes and spaces send out a signal for help. Above is the Morse code signal to alert others for help. The complete alphabet in Morse code can be found on pg. 210. 209.

Ground To Air Signaling



















7. Need signal lamp & Radio 8. Indicate direction to proceed 9. Am Proceeding in this direction 10. Will attempt take off 11. Aircraft seriously damaged 12. Probably safe to land here


1. Need doctor—Serious injuries

13. Need food and oil

2. Need Medical Supplies

14. All well

3. Unable to proceed

15. No

4. Need food & Water

16. Yes

5. Need Firearms & Ammunition

17. Not engineer

6. Need map and compass

18. Need engineer









































2 3 4

1. The length of a Dot is one unit. 2. A Dash is three units. 3. The space between parts of the same letter is one unit. 4. The space between letters is three units. 5. The space between words is seven units.

5 6 7 8 9 0

SOS The standard emergency signal, is a Morse code Prosign.

This form of communication has been widely use throughout the world since its creation in 1836 by artist Samuel F. B. Morse. Traditionally used by means of an electric pulse. Reaching its height during WW2 millions of J-38 “Straight Key� machines were used, because of its extremely high reliability.

Straight Key Machine 212.

Signaling Fires Signaling at night

SOS Fire


At night fires are the most effective means by which to visually signal for help. Search and Rescue teams as well as all pilots are trained to look for and recognize fire triangles as a signal for help. Be sure to place each fire roughly 30 paces from one another forming a triangle. It is very important that the fires be placed in a highly visible location (hilltops, clearings and mountaintops). If on the beach and trying to signal a ship or boat. Placing 3 fires in a row 30 paces apart is also recognized as a international signal for help. Signal-

ing 30ft

Tree Torch




Potential Fire Hazard

A Tree Torch can be a an effective tool to attract attention both at night and during the day. Be sure to select a isolated tree as to not start a forest fire and endanger yourself and others. Trees such as pines and furs are full of pitch and will result in the most smoke. Simply light a fire underneath and the tree will ignite.

During the day smoke can be used to signal for help. Using Evergreen boughs to maximize smoke visibility then placing 3 fires 30 paces apart will be recognized as an SOS distress signal. As with other signaling methods. Be sure that they have maximum visibility.


Flares & Tracers

Flare guns are most commonly used at sea and to signal aircraft from the ground. Its purpose is to signal for help, and is not designed to be any kind of weapon. The flares are shot from a single shot tube mechanism which then launches a burn flare into the sky. Most flares depending on the wind will travel several hundred feet into the air ( Thus increasing their visibility). This is an ideal item to be carried on any boat, and in a plane. They can be dangerous if misused (They have killed people and even downed aircraft).

Road Flare

Potential Fire Hazard

Flare gun

Potential Fire Hazard

Road flares or Standard Flares These pyrotechnic flares are generally handheld and can be placed on clear non vegetated ground. Most flares can burn for over 30 minutes. Most flares burn red to allow for maximum visibility. Most commonly used by emergency personnel as an aid to divert traffic. Another handheld flare known as a red flare is essentially a rocket that will fly hundreds of feet into the air. This same type of flare was used during the sinking of the RMS Titanic. These can be ideal for ground to air signaling due to its visibility and its small compact carrying capacity.

Tracer Ammo are bullets that are made with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base which are ignited by the burning powder. Typically used by the military to mark targets or alert the gun operator that they are about to run out of ammo. These rounds are available to the public and can be a life saving addition to any survival kit. Hunters/hikers who become lost can at night alert others of their position by firing these highly visible rounds. Small and easy to carry it adds to the convenience of using them. Caution must be used when firing these rounds due to the face that they are still just as dangerous as any other ammunition round. Also due to its pyrotechnic properties these round are most likely to spark a fire than a typical round. Gun Shots. Sound can also alert other to your location. Three short rifle bursts followed by three more will alert other of your position.


Tracer Ammo

Dangerous as a bullet

Pilot Acknowledgments

Flying a full circle

Shaking wings back and forth


Body Signals

5. 9. 1.


6. 2.

8. 10.

7. 3.

1. Can proceed Shortly; wait if Up and down means (Yes) practical 7. Need medical assistance 2. Our Receiver is operating Urgently 3 Need Mechanical help or parts, long delay 4. Land here (point in direction of landing) 5. Use drop message 6. Negative (No) side to side. 216.

8. All ok do not wait 9. do not attempt to land here

10. Pick us up, Aircraft abandoned

Trail Notes

Names of people in group: Number in group:

Starting Point: Intended Destination: GPS Coordinates: Animals in group: Condition:

Duration of stay: Date:


Handheld radio channel in use: 217.

Trail Notes

Additional notes


Trail Notes

Names of people in group: Number in group: Starting Point: Intended Destination: GPS Coordinates: Animals in group: Condition:

Duration of stay: Date:


Handheld radio channel in use: 219.

Trail Notes

Additional notes





 3 color choices  Comes in 16’ & 24 Diameters  Made of Aircraft Aluminum Alloy  Cover Rated 5-7 years continual usage  All covers are UV Protected and Fire Retardant


Upgrades: *2nd floor *Vestibule *Insulation *Room divider *Installed stove jack *Floor Vapor Barrier *Dome to Dome Connector

“Simply put having tested and experienced Geoshelters for myself. This is the worlds best tent for long term survival or simply camping in upmost style. This tent is designed to do what no other tent can do. It is the only tent I recommend period”. Eric Boettcher Survivalist