Specialized Areas of Interest > Nature Work

Survivalism

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Diane_:
Best to define the word: "a person who makes preparations to survive a widespread catastrophe, as an atomic war or anarchy, especially by storing food and weapons in a safe place."

We talk about the Destroyer often, comets, floods disasters...but what have we done as individuals to prepare?  I've done a few things, and wish I could do more.  The funny thing is I don't really think a whole lot about myself surviving, as much as I hope that someone can find the things I've collected and put them to good use.   One of the things I think about rather than total destruction of the planet is what if the power grid goes down?  Many of us don't have a whole lot of money, but we can learn creative things that might keep us alive for awhile.

This is pretty neat.  I think you would need a very dry log to get it going with just newspapers. 
"Cut the log evenly on both sides so it stands up freely. Then cut it into vertical segments most of the way down the length of the log. Stuff in some newspaper into the cracks as deep as you can get it, leaving a wick at the bottom, and light it up.
That's all there is to it—the log burns from the inside out, and you have a simple, handmade stove.."





Len:
This is an important topic. Not because the grid may or may not collapse tomorrow or there may or may not be nuclear war, but because we in the West no longer know how to survive away from our props and creature comforts. We have lost our physical and spiritual connection to the Earth.

This is one of the biggest reasons why indigenous peoples all over the world statistically live in poverty and cannot seem to rise above third world status. After their culture and way of life was lost, so was their connection with the Spirit of the Earth. It once whispered to them with the connection of a Mother… now all is heard is emptiness, silence; void of all life and meaning. And if anything is still heard, it cannot be acted upon or truly lived!

The above is not meant as a call to return to primitive naturalism. But we are humans, of the Earth, and should have a balanced connection to it just as we live in technologically advanced civilization. What we can do is spend more time outdoors. We can connect with people yearning to survive merely with the gifts nature has provided. But it can’t be just a physical endeavor. There is no lasting connection this way.

How would one teach a child to survive in nature and love it? Stories, spiritual exercises, and truly PLAYING among the trees and fresh air.  In America, for example, some of the Indigenous Indians keep these practices to the best of their ability. We can learn from them, and they from us in this instance. Visit a reservation, or inquire on some Native websites, on how you might go about living the Old Way. See who you can talk to. Once you find some folks, ask to meet and learn. Once you meet, present them with a gift (this is a common Indian Tradition for strangers to do for their hosts). Then, if you are taught something, pay them well for what they taught you. If you find that they are really knowledgeable and trustworthy people, ask if you can recommend their Teachings to others, or if you can bring your children to learn. As long as you have been respectful, and compensated them as they should have been for their time, they should be more than happy. On top of this, you can help to teach them business skills and things that you know which can improve their lives.

This is the type of cultural exchange we should be having… it is something I sought out when I was younger…

Then we can reestablish our connection with nature… and we need not worry about the grid going down or nuclear war. It is not about that anyway because that reconnection with the Earth and how to live in harmony with it will be a joy regardless of what happens. In the worst case scenario, those that connect in this way will survive, thrive, and rebuild quickly… and in the best case scenario we will have regained a part of ourselves lost long ago. But this is the way to do it, as it will stick… and millions want and need this connection reestablished deep down and don’t even know it yet…

Diane_:
Maybe you won't have to travel too far to be able to learn to survive in nature, appreciate it and learn from it.   We can learn a lot not just from other cultures, but other species. 

Follow the path of the Deer.



Both Celts and Native Americans observed the deer to be savvy when it came to finding the best herbs. These earth-bound peoples would follow the deer to prime herb patches - many of which proved to be highly beneficial in their medicinal purposes.

If you follow the path of the Deer you will find all the food and water you'll ever need.  In the water there will be beaver for food and pelts, fish, birds, raccoon, bear, all living things will go to the water to drink and eat.  If a Deer runs, and you weren't the one who spooked it, best to run too.  They will snort, blow air loudly through their nostrils, and wave their tails, both are alert systems to other deer and to you too.  They can see 310 degrees around themselves.  They are believed to be able to see in the ultra-violet range.  They're nocturnal, and can see at night.  Their hearing is far superior to that of a human, and they have a highly developed sense of smell.


A quick-list of animal symbolism of the deer may offer a great deal of insight as you are working with the spirit of the deer in your life.


Summary of Symbolic Meanings for the Deer
Love
Grace
Peace
Beauty
Fertility
Humility
Swiftness
Regrowth
Creativity
Spirituality
Abundance
Benevolence
Watchfulness



While walking in the woods look for the deer trails.  These will lead you to food, edible fruits, natural salt locations, grasses and herbs.  Don't confuse a dry stream bed with a deer trail.  Deer trails to food and water are well worn and usually in soft earth.  Dry stream beds are rocky.  Many deer trails may run alongside the dry stream beds caused by the spring thaw. Check trees for antler marks, hoof prints in the mud.  If you get real good, you will be able to smell the deer.  They have many glands that give off scent.



You have to have respect for nature.  Don't build your hut in the middle of a deer path. ;-) I hope you already know, but only take from nature what you need.  This includes all that lives on the earth, deer, water, vegetation, etc.

"Whitetail deer have played a very important role in the history of our country. Deer were an item of trade between Indians and European settlers. The American Indians and early settlers depended on the Whitetail Deer for food, clothing, implements, ornaments, ceremonial items, used the bones of the whitetail deer to make harpoons, picks, and needles. The hides provided shelter year round. They utilized deer hides, hooves, and antlers. Native American's believed the moon, wind and rain affected deer movements. Current studies confirm that deer activity indeed varies depending on temperature, moon phases and even barometric pressure.

The Native Dakota Tribe in southern and western Minnesota, sold the furs to traders for additional supplies. There is evidence that Indians used hides to cover themselves to avoid detection and attract deer at the same time. Deerskin was used in making clothing such as moccasins, leggings, pants, shirts, coats, shoelaces, hats, and gloves. Even today, deerskin is considered valuable for clothing. The valuable skins were called bucks, a nickname we still use for money today. Next time you say "five bucks," you will have a good laugh at yourself for actually saying "five deerskins". "

Ra:

How to Survive in the Desert without Water



Learn how to survive in the desert without water with these emergency tactics.

Step 1: Don't eat
Avoid eating as much as possible. You can survive longer without food than without water, and the digestive process uses water.

Step 2: Try not to sweat
Minimize perspiration by relegating physical activity to nighttime. And keep your clothing on -- it helps slow the evaporation of your sweat. Wrap a piece of fabric around your head if you don't have a hat. Using your urine to dampen your clothes will further reduce sweating.

Tip
Don't drink your urine; your body will use more water to remove the waste material than it will gain.

Step 3: Dig for water
If you spot any green plants or dry lake beds, dig there until the soil becomes moist, and wait for water to seep into the hole. It may provide enough water to survive in the desert until you get out or are rescued.

Step 4: Forget about cactus
Forget the myth about getting water from a cactus: You'll probably lose more hydration from the ensuing vomiting than you'll gain from the few drops you manage to drink.

Step 5: Follow bees
Look for flies or mosquitoes, which means water is nearby. If you see a bee, follow it; bees fly in a straight line to and from water, so it will lead you right to a source.

Diane_:
Edible Plants-there are many, and they're found all over the world. You should be careful, and research the plants that are edible in your area. 

You know round sticker balls that get stuck on your socks when you walk through a field or the woods?  Burdock, "Arctium is a genus of biennial plants commonly known as burdock, family Asteraceae. Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide Practically the entire plant has either edible or medicinal uses."



"Incidentally, the invention of Velcro is attributed to Burdock’s influence. In the early 1940′s, a Swiss inventor became curious about the seeds that had attached themselves to his clothes and his dog’s fur. When he examined them under a microscope, he found the familiar hook-and-loop system that the seeds use to hitchhike on passing animals, and realized that the same approach could be used to join other things together as well."

Universal Edibility Test
It is never a good thing to eat plants you can not identify, but hungry hikers who want to be on the safe side can use the Universal Edibility Test to see if an unknown plant is safe to consume. Begin by fasting for at least 8 hours. During this period, place part of the plant against your skin to see if there is a reaction. To start the test, take a pinch of the plant and touch it to your lips. If no burning or itching develops after 3 minutes, place the plant on your tongue for 15 minutes and then chew it for 15 minutes without swallowing. If no irritation occurs during this period, swallow the plant. Wait 8 hours, immediately inducing vomiting if any ill effects develop. If everything is fine, consume a quarter-cup of the plant and then wait another 8 hours. If there are no ill effects by this point, consider the plant safe to eat.


While some edible plants, (like Burdock), will not fit the descriptions below, as a general rule of thumb, avoid plants that have:

DO NOT EAT PLANTS THAT HAVE
• milky sap
• spines, fine hairs or thorns
• beans, bulbs or seeds inside the pod
• a grainy head with pink, purple or black spurs
• a three-leaf growing pattern

http://outdooredibles.com/burdock/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctium

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