Fishing For Survival

Let’s assume you have used your basic survival skills wisely. You have a shelter built, a fresh source of water located, a fire started with plenty of firewood gathered, being an expert in native vegetation you have gathered piles of edible fruits and berries, about all you’re missing is the satellite TV. There’s only one small problem… you’re still lost in the wilderness with a slightly sprained ankle, not totally disabling, but painful to walk on.

You have now exhausted the supply of fruit and berries, they don’t really do a whole lot for filling the gnawing knot in your gut, and if you gorge, you run the risk of having diarrhea and other unwelcome events enter the picture. You have no weapon, so hunting is out of the question, couldn’t walk well enough to drag a 200 pound deer carcass back to camp if you did bag one. Best you could do is attract wolves, mountain lion or a bear. That ain’t good.

You’re going to have to eat something substantial or you’ll begin getting too weak to hike out of your situation. Your best, and very tasty choice, is fish. I can hear you now. “Oh yeah, I’ll just tote in a couple fishing rods and reels, bucket of bait, lures, stink bait.” We’re not talking sport fishing … we’re talking survival fishing.

Prepare For the Worse

Anytime you venture into the wilderness or just off the beaten path, you need to pack to be prepared. Always carry an assortment of hooks, lines, swivels and small weights as part of your survival pack. Packing 40-50 hooks, a reel of line (100-400 yards) are not heavy nor do they take up much space.

Let me state this for the record before we go too far: I have had people tell me I should inform readers to not break State or Federal fishing laws, as there are a few proven fishing methods that are illegal. Are you people nuts? I suggest you do whatever you must in order to survive and pray for a game warden to pop up out of no where and arrest me. Rescue is rescue.

Now back to fishing. Let me tell you a story. I had a very good friend, not a great looking guy, but good personalty. When I was younger I’d watch him work the night clubs enduring one shut down after another by women of all sizes, colors and shapes.

I finally asked him “didn’t it bother him getting shut down by so many women?”

Nah,” he said smiling, “it’s a numbers game and eventually one of them will say yes.”

Well, that’s the way you need to view survival fishing. It’s a numbers game. That’s why you need so many hooks, and of various sizes, to put the maximum number of lines in the water. Eventually a fish is going to take the bait. Another reason for carrying so many fish hooks is that fish at a higher altitude are prone to be smaller than fish located in the valley, therefore you’ll need various size hooks depending on the possible size of fish you are searching for.

Should you have misplaced your hooks, because I know you didn’t forget them, you can make a fish hook out of just about anything, such as, fish bone, other animal’s carcass bones, natural thorns, pieces of scrap metal, anything that can be fashioned to a sharp point.


Scouting the area. In a way fish are like people, they live everywhere, but there are areas where most of them congregate. Look for grass, weeds, even lily pads growing alongside the water’s edge and in the water. Fish such as bass and walleye like to stay in cover (grass and weeds are considered cover). Hiding in cover gives several species of fish an instinctive feeling of security, therefore simply put … more of them in the area. The problem with casting and trolling in this type of environment is that you will inevitably get snagged in the undergrowth, which can create feelings of frustration to panic, if it’s your only hook.


Line Fishing

One way to avoid the snagging issue is to utilize overhead tree branches as your fishing pole. Tie your line to a branch over the water, near the cover (grass and weeds, fallen trees, etc), and let your baited hook settle to the bottom, then raise the hook a few inches. Catfish are bottom feeders, but most other fish tend to want a little space to maneuver.

Plan on getting wet while securing your lines because unless you have a boat, or can walk on water, wading out to the target spot with require getting in the water. Tie as many lines as possible, remember the numbers game, but use a little common sense. Don’t have 10 lines in a small area… spread the hunting area out as far as possible increasing your odds of a fish coming by.

Again, you’ll want to set as many lines as possible, but you may have to make them individually. What I mean is, if you make 10 lines all ten feet long, you may find as you set them 10 feet may not always be long enough to reach your desired depth or the water at all. A way to mass produce the lines is be sure to make them extra long. You can always wrap a 15 foot line around the limb to bring the hook up, but you can’t extend a 10 foot line to 15 feet.

Get Creative. Ever think of throwing a packet of balloons into your backpack? These balloons can be inflated and used as “floats”, if there are no overhead branches available.


Balloons or Jugs

Simply tie a baited hook, along with a weight and swivel, around the knotted end of the balloon. Then tie an additional line that you’ll use to retrieve the balloon and hopefully fish. Be sure the balloons are large enough that when inflated it has enough surface area to float on top of the water. Your line and hook will hang vertically, and float amid the grasses and weeds, submerged logs, etc. When a fish bites, it won’t be able to pull the balloon underwater because it has too much buoyancy.

The second line is obviously just as important as the bait line. When a fish is caught it will simply swim off with the bait and balloon if it’s not secured to the land. Additionally, wind, currents or just the natural rotation of the earth will make the balloon float away without being secured.

Finding & Using Natural Bait. Nature will provide an abundance of bait to use for fishing as insects and worms are found everywhere on earth except frigid arctic areas. Worms, grubs, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars and crayfish are but a sampling of natural fish bait. A caution here: Be careful turning over logs or rocks in the wild as there may be a snake or other unwanted creature lurking beneath it. You’re looking for prey … not to become prey.

Minnows and leeches also make good bait. Simply insert your hook through the tails and let them do their thing, swim. They aren’t going anywhere and are natural acting.

If possible you may want to vary your bait. Use worms on ten lines, crickets on ten others, etc. Fish don’t always strike the same bait, that’s why they make zillions of different artificial lures.

Where and When. There are no 100% in nature, but there are general rules. Here’s some general rules for fishing.

Spring: Spring is an ideal time to catch fish as many are hungry after a long winter and are now becoming more active due to warmer water, as well as laying eggs near shore. Fish along the shoreline, especially in areas of cover. Cloudy and rainy days make good days to fish, the fish don’t worry about getting wet. Note: If the rain is pouring down forget fishing as the water will become too murky for the fish to see.

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Summer: Fish will often move to deeper, cooler waters as the temperatures rise, which can pose a problem if you don’t have access to a boat or raft to fish from. To combat this disadvantage try fishing early mornings or later evening as well as river fishing, where you’ll usually find cooler water. In the summer, hot temperatures over several days can have a real negative effect on fishing. Water of shallow lakes, ponds and even smaller rivers that become too warm for too long, causes the oxygen level in the water to drop, causing fish to become sluggish. Patience and luck is all you can have in this situation.

Fall: Similar to spring, water temperatures tend to be cooler, as outside temperatures drop, making fish more active near the shoreline (important for people fishing from the bank from tree lines). Fish will feed more aggressively than in previous weeks, as they prepare for winter by packing on the fat.

Camouflage: Ever see a turkey hunter in the woods? If you did I will bet any amount of money he won’t bag a turkey. Why? Because turkeys have spectacular eyesight and if you saw the hunter with your puny human eyesight, I guarantee you that turkey spotted him from a 100 yards away.

So why don’t we ever think about using a little camo when fishing? Fish can see and hear things above the water and as with any other animal, will scurry away from possible danger. Any shiny and metallic item you’re wearing or fishing with might reflect sunlight, and/or movement, will spook fish. You don’t have to paint your face or conceal yourself in the brush, but be mindful of what you’re doing .. you may be defeating your purpose by chasing the fish away as they start to investigate your baited hook.

Fighting the Wind: You will encounter windy conditions and that can present decent opportunities for fishing if you know how to read the environment. The wind will kick up waves which restricts light penetration from above making it harder for the fish to spot you or your movements, thus camouflaging you. Even in clear water, the wind can kick up sediment, making the water somewhat cloudy, which also makes it difficult for the fish to see you. As with a lot of things in nature, the wind is a two edged sword. While it hides you from the fish, it may also hide your bait. They can’t try to eat it if they can’t see it.

To adapt, fish facing into the wind. Fish will almost always face into the current and the wind produces a current, although temporary. (I mention that because conditions change and so must your tactics.) Throw your hook into the wind, landing ahead of the fish, and the bait will float backwards into the approaching fish. When fishing the shore, prey fish will be pushed in the direction of the wind (current) towards the shore. Shore fish facing the wind.

Fighting Depression: There’s little worse than fishing all day and not catching a thing. In a crisis situation that can cause deep depression or despair to set in. Am I going to starve to death? It becomes important to realize why the fishing may have been lousy that day.

A weather front approaching can directly affect the fishing as fish react to changes in barometric pressure. Many types of fish will feed aggressively as a cold front approaches, but slows to a trickle or stops all together when the front hits, and may last several days after the front moves out.

Should a warm front approach the rise in water temperature will make the fish feed more. However, that is true in cooler weather as the sluggish fish respond to the warmer water, but reacts in reverse in the heat of the summer. The hotter temperatures force the fish deeper and slows feeding during the day.

Cloudy drizzly days can provide good fishing. Fish will venture out of the grassy areas into more open waters, which reduces the odds of becoming snagged. Insects will also be knocked off tree limbs into the water, creating an easy meal, except one of those bugs is connected to your fishing hook. Again, hard rain voids it all. You might as well hunker down in your shelter just like the fish are doing.

In stormy weather, beware of lightning strikes. Get away from the water. It’s not worth the risk.

In conclusion. Fishing is a game of patience, a marathon not a sprint, to the goal. Adding skills and knowledge as you just did will greatly enhance your odds of being successful. They say knowledge is power. I differ slightly. I say Applied knowledge is power. Commit these skills to memory, practice them whenever possible and apply them when necessary.

Don’t Drink the Water


We’ve always been told not to drink saltwater, specifically referring to the ocean. It’s traditional wisdom we don’t question, but why not? We question everything else. Why can’t we drink saltwater? To answer that question we’ll have to turn to some medical expertise to see the effects of saltwater on our bodies.

So let’s begin with the question: What happens to our body when we drink saltwater?

It seems logical if we are drinking water, salty or not, we are replenishing much needed fluids our body requires to function properly, avoiding dehydration. However, in reality if we drink 3 ounces of saltwater, our body will expel 5 or more ounces of the fluid we’re trying to replenish. How can that be? It’s done through a process known as osmosis, and we’ll learn how that works before we’re finished.

Let’s begin with the kidneys. The kidney’s act as the body’s filtering system, removing harmful, unneeded or unwanted impurities from the blood, storing this waste in the form of urine, which we excrete when we urinate. This necessary and natural process keeps our body healthy, which is why people with kidney problems must go through dialysis, a medical manual filtering and cleaning of the blood.

It’s important to note the kidneys only filter liquid, solid waste is handled in a different part of the body by different organs. Here’s the rub, the kidneys can only make urine out of water with less than 2% salt content. Saltwater normally contains 3.5% salt, therefore it cannot be turned into urine. So how does the body get rid of it? The kidneys must rob other parts of the body of enough water to dilute the salt to 2% or less. What other parts? Our cells.


Body cells are isotonic, which means they must contain 2% or less of salt to remain healthy. The cell’s membrane is semipermeable, which by design, makes sodium entering into the cell extremely difficult, a safety precaution to keep excess salt out, however, water can move through the membrane easily. The body likes equalization and when the salt content in the blood becomes too high, water is extracted from the cell to reduce the salinity of the blood. This process is called osmosis and can have disastrous results, because as the cells excrete water they shrink in size and that ain’t good.

The kidneys are not the only organs negatively affected by too much salt. If you consume alcohol you are probably aware of the signs that you are over indulging and are starting to become intoxicated. Your body motions are not as fluid and coordinated, your thought process becomes muddled, you may begin to slur your words. Well, the early signs of salt poisoning are quite similar, as you’re becoming intoxicated on salt exactly the way you become intoxicated on alcohol.

When you become intoxicated the Central Nervous System (CNS) is negatively affected. The CNS is responsible for controlling every function of the body from breathing to thinking to controlling your bladder. When the CNS becomes intoxicated it senses the body is not reacting normally, therefore it reduces blood flow to what it deems less critical body functions. In other words, you may stumble or have trouble thinking logically, but you remain breathing and your heart continues to pump. If the CNS continues to become more intoxicated, more saltwater consumed, it will take more drastic actions to maintain life and this can become disastrous.

Salt poisoning can provoke anything from very mild symptoms such as jittery-ness, lethargic reactions and confusion… to more deadly reactions such as dehydration, which can then lead to a spike in blood pressure, seizure and a coma. Let’s exam how these happen.


The jitters by themselves may not seem like a terrible reaction to have, merely a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing. But keep in mind that along with jitters comes a possibility of a dangerous increase in respiration, blood pressure and heart rate. Continued exposure to both those symptoms can lead to much more severe responses such as a myo-cardial infarction, or a heart attack. Likewise, lethargy and confusion can impair judgment and inhibit good decision making, such as I’m in real stress and require medical help.

Seizures can not only be extremely scary, they can be life altering. Normally an intoxicated induced seizure does little to no harm, but repeated episodes can lead to brain damage, because all seizures create bleeding around the brain and any such abnormal activity around the brain is dangerous.

I’ve tried to satisfy the intellect of my readers, but now I’ll bring it down to my level. If you’re chugging seawater thinking your doing yourself any good, you are actually taking in sodium that is incurring a net loss of water, leading to depleted body fluids, muscle cramps, dry mouth, and yes, thirst.

The body tries to compensate for fluid loss by increasing the heart rate and constricting blood vessels to maintain blood pressure and flow to vital organs. You’re also most likely to feel nausea, weakness and even delirium, and as you become more dehydrated, the coping mechanism continues to fail. If you don’t drink enough water to reverse the effects of excess sodium, the brain and other organs receive less blood, leading to coma, organ failure and eventually death.

I temporarily loss my mind and drank a lot of saltwater. Is there any way to reverse the effects of the saltwater poisoning? The best way to reverse any potential side-effects of salt poisoning is to consume large volumes of fresh water in order to dilute it. Depending on the degree of poisoning, the body may be able to purge the excess salt on its own. However, you still must increase your freshwater intake in order to replace missing fluids. However, while trying to replace the saltwater volume with fresh water, you must be careful to not do so too quickly. The body and brain adapt quickly to the higher concentration of salt, a rapid infusion of freshwater before it can effectively rid itself of saltwater can cause the brain cells to swell, which can lead to brain swelling, damage and ultimately death.

In a situation where freshwater isn’t easily available to you, but will be shortly, attempting to purge the saltwater is a good start. If you’ve had too much to purge effectively, and no freshwater is on hand, electrolyte rich alternatives such as coconut water is a good alternative. However if this method is used, you should see a physician quickly after to assure that an imbalance hasn’t occurred.

In the event that someone has already started to exhibit some of the more severe symptoms of salt poisoning, it’s imperative to get them to a physician, hospital or para-medical personnel as quickly as possible.

Bottom line: Don’t drink the water if it’s salty.

Desert Survival Techniques


Desert. What images does the word conjure up in your mind? A desolate dry, rocky terrain dotted with cactus … A sandy windswept dry plain that’s forever changing. The worlds’ desert environments are varied, you realize an ice packed environment could be a desert, but all have one thing in common.,, they are arid. Any environment lacking water creates challenges to survival. But because deserts are not all alike they pose an unique survival challenge that follow a different set of survival rules, some contrary to normal survival techniques.

As we zip along the sparsely traveled side road in our air conditioned motor home, listening to the stereo and sipping on a cold drink, we never give it a thought that we are traversing the same desert landscape that claimed the lives of hundreds of early settlers who became stranded exactly where we now are. No concern on our part. This is modern times. Nothing to worry about.

Really? What has changed that makes dying in the desert impossible today? The landscape hasn’t changed in a 1000 years, boulders lie where they settled a million years ago when the ocean disappeared, and creatures who have inhabited this harsh environment still exist, although unseen. The only thing that has changed is You. Civilized Mankind.

You have become weaker … try cultivating 10 acres with a mule and plow. We are dumber … can you read the stars and know your exact location? We are lazy … do you walk 2 blocks to the video store or drive?

But we have technology! Yep. Cell phones that may or may not have a signal and definitely have batteries that go dead rendering it useless. We have cars that can do everything, even talk to you. But are useless when it runs out of fuel, or suffers an electrical malfunction. Do they still have vehicle repair shops?

You get the point. Don’t fool yourself, one silly or unavoidable mishap could land you squarely in a dire survival situation in a hostile environment inhabited by unfriendly dangerous animals. Ready to learn how to survive if the unthinkable happens? … Let’s do it.

Introduction to Desert Survival Techniques 101

Some survival techniques are so basic there shouldn’t be a need to even mention them. But since people continue to ignore the rule I’ll repeat it.

Tell someone where you are going!

Can’t get much simpler, but …. Let someone who cares about you, not the female bartender you’ve been hitting on, where you’re going. A back country hiking trip should be a no-brain-er, but a trip to Vegas through the desert can turn just as deadly. When you are missed the loved one can contact the proper authorities and they know where to begin their search. If you drastically change your plans, going to Phoenix instead, let the person know. Beginning a search in the wrong direction is worse than not knowing where to begin, as it reduces the area of search. You’ve just completed the first step to desert survival.

Water is the most critical thing to desert survival. Maybe not.

Conventional survival techniques teach finding potable water as the most important thing to do, but the desert alters that rule. Obviously water must be located, but at what cost? Water retention now enters the equation and stumbling about in the blistering sun searching for water is self defeating as you are losing water, through sweating, at a rapid pace and are not replacing it.

Here’s a simple way to look at it mathematically. Water in must equal water out. Simple equation for dehydration, but if the equation gets out of kilter, water in is less than water out for an extended time, death occurs.

Two ways to keep the equation in balance, or at least minimize the rate of speed dehydration is reached.

A. Locate and consume more water…

B. Mitigate or reduce water loss … sweating

If you don’t see water from where you are standing, what makes you think you’ll find it over the next hill? You may, but chances are remote and you’ll lose precious water by walking around in the scorching sun.

Instead find shade. (the altered part of survival 101) The desert is a nocturnal world which comes alive after the searing sun goes down and the temperatures drop. You’ll rest during the day, conserving energy and water, while traveling at night to search for water, food and the construction of a shelter and water producing projects. Avoid sitting directly on the hot ground which has baked for hours, instead try finding a shaded spot.

Back to finding water. If you live near or plan to travel through the desert always stash a piece of thin plastic in your vehicle, backpack, or fanny pack, as it can prove to be a life saver. If you can build a solar still, which we will, the urgency to journey out into the unknown searching for water is greatly reduced.

Simply explained a solar still is a miniature greenhouse which traps humidity under the vapor barrier, which then condenses into water as the temperatures drop at night. Here are the basic steps for constructing a simple solar still.


One: Dig a round hole a few feet by a few feet deep. There’s no need to get carried away and dig a basement or a grave.

Two: Dig the pit in a funnel form, sides angling downward

Three: Stretch your piece of plastic across the hole, it is important to have extra plastic in order to secure the perimeter. That’s why I said don’t go crazy with the size and depth of the hole. **** If you can find some green vegetation place it into the hole under the plastic, as it will contain moisture that can be extracted.

Four: Secure the perimeter of the plastic with rocks or cover with sand/dirt.

Five: You’ll want the plastic taunt, however you’ll want to funnel the water downward to the center in order to collect. Do this by placing a rock in the middle which will draw the plastic down creating a pooling area.

There are several methods of collecting the water depending on what’s available. If you have an empty bottle, set it under the collection point and punch a small hole in the plastic for the water to drip into the bottle. If you have a straw or a reed which can be used as a straw, you can suck the water off the plastic. If nothing else you may have to lap the water like a dog. Whatever it takes to survive.

Want to go on a diet?

As I said the desert has a way of changing things. Statistically and probabilities dictate if lost in the desert you will most likely die from dehydration, injury or be rescued before you will from starvation. That might sound a little harsh, but it is the truth. Therefore, don’t waste energy or water searching for food. However, if an easy meal presents itself in the form of an egg, rodent or snake … by all means take it. But don’t lose sleep over being hungry. Be glad you are alive to feel the pangs.

Fire … when men became men except during the day

You should never build a fire during the day. Why? Number one it’s hot and you are already in a miserably hot environment, plus it takes energy to build a fire. Just walking around collecting firewood burns energy and worse yet … expels water through sweating. There’s a time for a fire, but not daytime.

You may ask about a fire for signaling purposes. Rescue crews, on the ground and in the air, are taught to look for something out of the norm when scanning huge areas. A shiny object like a mirror or knife blade, reflecting sunlight, work much better for attracting attention.

There is one exception for a special circumstance. If you need a black bellowing smoke, and you are at your stranded vehicle, which you better be, then drain the oil and burn it. This will create a black plume you can see for miles.


As night begins to approach it’s time to start the fire. Don’t wait until dark to gather firewood and try lighting a fire. You may need light to see why you are having trouble getting a fire started, and critters begin coming out at night so it’s better to not be out blindly lifting sticks and what ever, not knowing what’s under them.

Fire is extremely important for numerous reasons. A fire can be seen for a long distance in the desert at night even on a starry night. It doesn’t have to be a blazing inferno, but glowing embers don’t help a lot. Never underestimate how quickly dried wood burns. When you think you’ve gathered enough for the entire night, triple that.

The desert gets bitterly cold at night, ironic isn’t it, and a warm fire will go a long ways in insuring your survival and peace of mind. Especially if your in your normal summer suit of shorts and a tank top.

A lastly, all those critters you didn’t see during the day are now out and moving about, hunting for food. Man is normally not on the menu, but you could get caught in a crossfire between a snake and a rat. The fire will help persuade them to give you a wide path.

Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes

Of all desert creatures the rattle snake poses the greatest danger to you. In America poisonous snakes cause very few fatalities, but that’s because emergency medical treatment is usually reasonably close. Even with the administering of life saving anti-venom, you will still incur incredible pain. You don’t want to try and endure this in the wilderness and hope your body can ward off the effects of the bite.

A scorpion rarely stings unless it is hunting or feels threatened, but that doesn’t mean to ignore them as a danger. You know you mean no harm to the scorpion you just put your hand down on, but it doesn’t … and even it did it’d probably still sting you for invading its space.

Bottom line is … always be aware of your surroundings and watch for any sign of danger.

Flash Floods can be deadly.


You are quite aware of the dangers posed by a flash flood, but in the desert where you’ve been searching fruitlessly for a bit of moisture, that much water sounds impossible. Unlikely … perhaps. Impossible … con tare … very possible. In fact people die every year in the American Southwest due to flash flood drownings. The problem is the atmosphere over a desert can change drastically in a very short time. The starry night you fell asleep by may erupt into a torrential storm out of nowhere.

Again, the extreme challenges to the rule created by deserts. Because there is very little moisture the ground bakes in the scorching sun becoming concrete like. When suddenly engulfed in a flood of rain the ground can not absorb enough of it quickly enough to prevent a massive runoff. Every gully and rut will experience the same runoff, joining together to create a tsunami which will destroy anything in its path.

So when deciding on a place to rest or camp, always survey the area. Staying in the bottom of a dry channel, ditch or dry lake bed is dangerous, not saying you absolutely should not rest there, but be aware of the possible danger and the weather conditions.


Hell, here comes a dust storm

Dust storms are another of those freaks of nature’s desert that can really be troubling. If you are at your vehicle stay inside it. Roll the windows up as tight as possible to keep the elements out, but you may have to roll one down slightly if the heat becomes too much. You don’t want to bake yourself into oblivion.

If you are caught out in the open look for large boulders, low lying rock outcrops or any other natural shelter to hide behind or under. If you are lucky enough to encounter a straight wind dust storm, some swirl, the rock shelter will help block the worse of the storm. Always place something, a rag or handkerchief over your mouth and nose to keep from inhaling dust particles. A bunch of sand and dust lining your mouth and lungs won’t do any good for your already raging thirst.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do but hunker down and wait for the storm to end. One last personal note. If you have no extra clothing to cover your mouth and nose I would recommend taking your shirt off and covering your entire head. The sand may sting, but you have protected your eyes, mouth and lungs.

Think Twice Before Drinking Cactus Water


I know you see cowboys cut off a chunk of cactus and drink to their hearts desire, but this ain’t Hollywood and you ain’t John Wayne. The chances of cactus water making you ill, very diarrhea type ill, is quite high. Come down with a case of the runs and dehydration goes into warp drive. But … as a last resort … you are dying of thirst … go far it. What do you have to lose?

These desert survival techniques are not all inclusive, no manual contains everything. Special forces are continually coming up with new ways to survive in hostile environments, but learn and adhere to these basics and your odds of surviving have skyrocketed.






The War of the Ostrich and the Owl


There was once a fable of the tale of a dispute between an Ostrich and an Owl that goes something like this:

One day an ostrich and an owl were discussing the day’s events when they spotted a snake slithering stealthily towards an unsuspecting mouse. Mr. Owl became very anxious as he analyzed the possible future results of what he was witnessing. In his expert opinion he knew the snake was poisonous and mice were its favorite menu item. Therefore, he declared the mouse would be killed and eaten by the snake. He thought hooting to warn the mouse of impending danger was the correct thing to do.

However, Mr. Ostrich begged to differ with the owl’s hypothesis, declaring he knew this snake personally and killing wasn’t in his genes. It just could not happen the way owl predicted. Just didn’t make sense. He adamantly disagreed with issuing a warning as it would only disturb the tranquility of the woods.

Well, the snake did not kill the mouse, for it was a black snake and preferred to dine on other snakes, such as the green snake hidden in a clump of grass nearby the mouse.

Moral of the story: Mr. Owl over analyzed and assumed more than he knew were actual facts. The snake was not poisonous, but it was a killer, and although the snake did not kill the mouse … it killed another snake.

Mr. Ostrich ignored all the facts that were quite obvious, it was a snake, it was hunting and it appeared the mouse was the target. Now neither were 100% correct in their assumptions, however, Mr. Ostrich’s failure to admit the snake was a predator and would kill resulted in the death of the green snake.

To be honest with you, this is not an ancient tale, I just made it up. But I wanted to demonstrate, what I think, the current difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. The Democrats hoot a warning at everything, thinking they know all the facts. While the Republicans hide their heads in the sand ignoring what facts are known to be true.

This stupid illogical debate between, it’s hard to say, our leaders, I fear are leading us down the road of destruction. Let’s exam just a few small possibilities, that increase daily, which could spell the end of mankind as we know it.

As you read I hope you’ll come to appreciate fully the need to learn the survival tips and energy creating methods available … they may help you save your family.


 The threat of nuclear war has suddenly increased exponentially.

There have only been two nuclear bombs detonated in war, those used to end WWII with Japan. The Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war, but the horrors of WWII were still fresh in minds of the two world powers, America and Russia, and cooler heads prevailed averting a possible catastrophe.

Although more countries acquired the nuclear capability in the past 50 years, they were normal stationary societies, India for example, that were never considered callous in their intent of using nuclear power for destruction.

Recently, terrorists have embarked on a never ending quest to acquire and use nuclear devises to destroy, the Infidel. These threats are not localized but extend to every country on earth. The rogue nation of North Korea now threatens the world with their insinuations of setting America and its allies ablaze.

The North Korean dictator is an unstable and cruel person, killing without thought or concern, in order to maintain power. Would he start a nuclear war rather than lose his hold on the country. In my opinion, yes.

The world has UN-explicitly changed and now the world’s greatest power and holder of nuclear weapons is ruled by a man-child quite capable of unleashing a nuclear holocaust onto the world. Any world leader simple minded enough to insult everyone, no one is off limits including the Pope, and thin skinned enough to launch nuclear weapons because of a school playground round on name calling, is equally as dangerous.

Should these two, I dare say, madmen, unleash nuclear weapons the millions caught in the immediate blast zones would quite likely be the lucky ones. Their life is over, but the survivors will have to deal with the terrifying results while trying to maintain a slippery grasp on life.

The most terrifying, yet misunderstood threat of a nuclear war is the nuclear winter that will follow. The soot that would be lifted into the stratosphere would encircle the entire world blocking the sun’s power, resulting in multiple years of cooling and drying of the earth’s environment. (Estimates differ as the length of the winter, but who cares if it’s 5 or 50 years, the result will be the same)

Agriculture would wither and die, the oceans would become a dead zone and mankind will slowly die away and possibly become extinct.


A Bio-engineered Pandemic is a current risk.

Natural pandemics, such as the Black Plague,have killed far more people than wars. Chemical warfare was used extensively in WWI and although the world recognizes the danger and signed pledges to never utilize the weapons, its use continues today, such as in Syria.

How ever horrible and deadly natural pandemics are, the threat of them being an existential threat to mankind is highly unlikely. There always seems to be people who are resistant to the pathogen and their off-springs are immune to the effects.

It’s also an unwritten law of nature that parasites do not wipe out their host, thus committing suicide themselves. Syphilis is such an example, once nearly totally fatal, it has evolved to a chronic illness.

The nightmare we now face is man’s ability to take a disease and make it more deadly than its original form. Mouse-pox and bird flu are two examples of how generically altered diseases can become more contagious and deadly.

Biotechnology is dangerous and expensive, thus most research is performed by governments for military use. The key here is wiping out an entire group of humanity is not militarily useful, therefore there will always be an anti-dote developed in order to control the infection.

But … as cost go down and fanatics become more extreme the possibly of nut jobs, such as the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which believed the earth is better off without humans, and released bio-weapons, is an increasing concern.

Super-intelligence could develop into an unstoppable danger.

I’d venture to say most people have seen one or more movies of the Terminator series, which pits machines against man, machines attempting to eradicate mankind. The movies are based on science fiction and just like the Flash Gordon movies of the past, could not possibly happen. But …. wait. Those old science fiction movies delved into man going into space, Dick Tracy had a watch you could view the other person you were talking to, the list of “no way that could happen” goes on and on. But … It has happened.


We have already developed software that automatically, without any human input, improves itself making itself smart and faster. These intelligent entities are designed to overcome all obstacles in order to achieve a goal, whatever that may be. There’s the rub. What says the goal will be good?

Do machines have feelings, emotions, moral codes? Mankind doesn’t adhere to a strict code of conduct, why would machines? Even if we could infuse our morals into artificial intelligence, what do we infuse? Human values are diffuse, was Hitler just like us, and are quite difficult to explain. And if we could … would the machine understand or care?

Perhaps the scariest aspect of the intellectual technology is our complete ignorance of a time-table of evolution. What I mean is … we have a real good idea, damn near down to day, mankind took from discovering fire to putting a man on the moon. We just assume the evolution process of machines to mirror ours. What if a 1000 year era in humankind development was a mere 10 seconds of our super-intelligence software. Mankind could quickly be eclipsed by their own technology.


Global Warming despite Republicans’ denial, is the one most urgent problems facing mankind as a whole. Wars can effect 99% of the population but weather affects 100% of every living thing, animal and vegetable.

I won’t go into great detail here, as you could write a 100 books on the subject, but to say … look at the weather. The world has just experienced hurricanes with such fury as they have wiped out complete civilizations’ habitats that have withstood hurricanes for 100’s of years. In spite of advanced building methods and increased awareness, entire islands were decimated.

Our own country, Miami, is being pulled into the ocean by rising sea levels. These recent events, although tragic, should be an alarm signaling the need to address the issues involving global warming, but alas, all we hear is there’s not quite enough evidence to say global warming is a fact. Perhaps when politicians in Washington D.C. must travel to and from the capital by boat, they may say there’s enough evidence we have a problem.

What infuriates me the most is we have no control over our lives when discussing the big issues. Oh, we can vote different people into office … bullshit! It makes no difference who goes there. They are immediately swallowed up by greed and power leaving any concern, if there was any to begin with, for the little guy. You & me.

We must take matters into our own hands in order to protect our families. That means learning every survival trick possible. Learning how to produce power from nature, hunting, purifying water, etc. etc. And yes, protecting our families from our fellow mankind. Harsh to say, but I’d rather be an owl and over protect, than an ostrich with my head in the sand and my bare ass exposed.


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How to Survive in the Woods


Why would I need to know how to survive in the woods? That’s an understandable question, it’s a normal mental attitude that “It can’t happen to me.” But it can happen to anyone, yes including you. A wrong turn, a freak late spring snow storm erupts, the truck breaks down and we’re forced to walk miles in unfamiliar environment. There’s a multitude of reasons we could find ourselves suddenly lost, and terrified whether we want to admit it or not.

Now the question is … What to do now?

Most anyone can survive a night or two in the woods, unless the weather turns crazy, below freezing temperatures and feet of heavy snow, but surviving for an extended period of time takes a whole lot of thinking and skills.

This first rule is “Don’t Panic.” It’s more important than ever to keep your wits about you, think about the situation and develop a plan to deal with it. Any rash or hasty action could make a bad situation … worse, much worse. Remember, panic is an enemy. Take several deep breaths, sit with your head down, eyes closed if need be, until the surge of panic subsides and you return to logical thinking.

This is where we back up in time to before the incident happened. We’ll call this segment, preparing to survive. Survival, and the degree of discomfort you may endure, begins before you ever go into the woods. You watch television shows where people are dropped into hostile territory with nothing, sometimes not even clothes, and they survive reasonably well. For starters, these situations are fabricated and under close scrutiny of medical professionals. Additionally, most of these people are professional survivalist, experts in the art of subsistence living. We do not fall into that category. At least I don’t.

The first thing everyone needs to do is put together a simple survival kit and store it in trunk of the car or under your truck seat. This is a very easy and relatively inexpensive item to put together and if you think about it, it’s plain stupid to not have one in every vehicle. Whether you’re stuck in the woods or stuck in a ditch a few miles from home, I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. Not to be morbid, but there are more than a few stories of people freezing to death a mere few hundred yards from their home unable to continue.


Sample Emergency Road Aid Kit

The kit, or bag, is simple. It’ll include such items as a fire-starter (much more reliable than matches or a lighter) water purifiers, an emergency blanket, a few hand tools, knife, perhaps a few energy bars and a bottle of water or two. Starting on any trip without a kit is asking for trouble, especially as easy and inexpensive as it is.

The next issue to address for how to survive in the woods is tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back. Will this prevent you from getting lost? No. However, it could make the ordeal must less dangerous and absolutely shorter. Most people won’t think of this and others refuse to do it because they are adults and answer to no one. That’s dumb. Letting someone know your where bouts doesn’t mean you’re not an adult … just the opposite. Then if you fail to return, the concerned person can let the proper authorities know of your intended actions and approximate location. Think that’s silly? Which is better … searching a 1,000 acre National Forest for you or not knowing what state to start looking or even if you’re missing. Law enforcement is hesitate to look for missing teens because most are run away(s) .. do you think they’ll seriously start looking for a twenty something aged person immediately? You may spend several days lost before anyone starts looking for you.

By the way, don’t count on your cell phone to locate you. Most rugged areas have no cell reception, batteries go dead and phones fall into water or down 100 foot cliffs.

Let’s get serious now:

The next thing to do in how to survive in the woods is, after accepting the fact you are indeed lost, is to completely stop all activity and think. Ever forgot where you laid your keys? Everyone has and it’s not because we’re stupid or getting senile, we are so preoccupied with everything going on in our lives we often act without thinking. You may amaze yourself at what you can figure out if you just stop and think. If nothing else it will stop you from hastily running off and taking action, which is usually wrong, but seems right at the time, wasting valuable energy which you very well may need to survive. Take inventory by asking yourself these questions:

Where do I think I am? Have I been in this area before, maybe only once, or not at all. Has the area recently been logged? This will totally change the looks of the environment, you may not be lost, only confused by the drastic new view.

What do I have with me? Hopefully a survival kit. If not take stock. Can of soda, light coat, bag of potato chips, mints, pack of matches.

What’s available around me? Are there lots of dead tree branches laying around that I can use for fire or making a shelter. Is there an available water source?

What’s the weather like? It’s going to snow, gotta find shelter as hypothermia is the most deadly killer of exposure.

How long until they realize I’m lost? Told them I’d be gone for 4 days … I must survive at least 5 days, probably 6 or 7.

What kind of condition am I in? Injured … not injured.

In some areas in America you can travel for days and never see any sign of civilization.



The last thing you want to do is make your situation worse. If you aren’t sure where you are and absolutely sure of which direction civilization is located, stay put. Any additional travel could take you deeper into the woods or worse.

Rescue teams search areas for lost people in a plotted search diagram. They divide the area map into quadrants, search one area fully, mark that area off, and move onto the next area. If you are stumbling around lost you could end up going from the next quadrant to search to the area they just deemed clear. Rescuers do not back track into finished areas without a specific reason. You could have just killed yourself.

Next, minimize your most likely danger. Hypothermia. “But it’s 85 degrees!” Ironically several people die of hypothermia every summer in the Colorado Rockies. They’re normally fishing or hiking, fall into a stream late in the day and aren’t able to make it back to their car before the sun sets. Temperatures can easily drop to the 40’s in higher elevations and that is low enough, combined with wet clothing, to kill you.

Shelter and fire first. You know, for all practical purposes, you’ll be stranded for at least 5 days, therefore shelter from the elements is the first requirement. If you have a vehicle, say you broke down in the middle of no where, Stay with that vehicle. It provides excellent shelter, plus is a beacon to anyone in the air searching for you.

No vehicle. You’ll have to find or build a shelter. When searching the area for shelter be sure to clearly mark your path by piling rocks, breaking branches, something easily identified in order to return to the original spot. You don’t want to get lost from the point you were lost. (Makes sense?)

A cave is an ideal shelter. However, caves in the wilderness are seldom vacant. Bears, mountain lions and other creatures tend to enjoy the protection of a cave as much as humans do. Be very careful entering a cave and scour the area for any sign of recent activity. Fresh waste, pieces of fresh meals, vegetation such as berries are all signs to vacate the premises while you can. Even in smaller caves or cliff overhangs be particularly vigilant of snakes.


No caves. Maybe a good thing. Now you must build a shelter. However, that’s an area for another post. In the meantime, look for a large pine tree. The limbs of the tree will extend to the ground helping ward off rain and wind. Once you navigate your way through the thicket of limbs the area next to the tree trunk will be open and even provide a bed of needles to sleep on.


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Starting a fire is the next step, which solves 2 major issues. It will keep you warm. Conserving energy is of the utmost importance in prolonging survival and the energy the body uses shivering to keep warm is wasted energy if it’s not necessary. The warmth of the fire eliminates this waste. Secondly, a fire will deter a wild animal from becoming too nosy. Animals by nature are usually repelled by the scent of humans, but there’s always that exception to the rule possibility. You don’t need any further complications in your otherwise awful day. Additionally, a fire becomes a companion, as there’s nothing worse than spending the night alone in a pitch black forest.

Use common sense when choosing the area to start a fire. Yes it’d be nice to have it close to your bedding, but that might be impossible. Clear the area of any flammable material, dried pine needles, leaves, etc. Pile rocks around the perimeter of the fire pit in order to contain the sparks and prevent logs from rolling out of the pit. Look up. Is there low lying tree limbs above the fire pit that could easily catch fire from floating embers? You want a fire for warmth and protection, not for burning the woods down.



Shelter and fire obtained the next issue is water. If you have a vehicle for shelter and a case of bottled water in the back seat … you’re ready to go. If not, look for water.

Water will always adhere to gravity and will travel downhill. Walk down hill in a slightly meandering method, being sure to leave a trail to find your way back. Watch for animal trails, they’ll likely lead to water, as observing the flight patterns of birds, and lastly use your ears. You may hear the sound of trickling water and not be able to see it.

Getting Rescued:

The key to getting rescued, beyond surviving, is being found. You want to make yourself as visible to the world as possible. Searchers are experts in spotting things in the environment that don’t belong. You don’t belong and don’t want to belong, so make yourself visible.

If you have a vehicle .. stay at it. It’s a big target and definitely does not belong in that gully.



Start a smokey fire. Once smoke rises about the forest canopy it can be seen for miles. For general knowledge, three (3) fires set in a line is an international signal of distress.

Mirrors or anything reflective can be used to signal a plane or helicopter flying overhead. No, it’s not like the movies where you shine the light directly into the pilot’s eyes, blinding him from checking out the stewardess. Again, Pilots are trained to spot anything out of the ordinary and a flashing light emitting from the ground is not ordinary.

There will be people on the ground searching for you. Visibility in the woods is restricted. Ask any avid hunter if a deer ever walked right past them within 10 yards and you’ll get a “Yep,” for an answer. Sound on the other hand travels farther in the woods than sight. If you have a whistle, blow it every 5 minutes or so. Sound in the woods is strange. The rescuers may hear your whistle, but you won’t be able to hear their calls back. So don’t give up.


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No whistle. Try hollering, beating on something with a stick, anything you can do to draw attention. After all, what else do you have to do?

Remember … you are responsible for aiding in your rescue. Making yourself as visible or loud will only increase your chances of rescue.



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