Friday, 17 October 2014

Survival Day

Everyone should get out and have a survival day (and night). It is an opportunity to practice your skills and gain experience. Especially if you're broke and can't afford to pay for a proper survival course.

My survival day started with some exercise. A hike up and a run down the local mountain while carrying a 5 kg backpack and scaring all the kangaroos. Didn't even see this one until it popped it's head up. If it had been an zombie I would have been a goner.

They say you can only last about three days without water (and the last day or so ain't nice). So water was a priority for the day. Luckily I have located a small dam not far away so I collected two liters of scummy pond water to drink. Naturally you have to disinfect the water first! Especially as I found a dead kangaroo nearby.

While I was out exercising I also collected tinder for starting a fire. Turns out dried roo poo is really good tinder. All light and fluffy when you break them open. Then back home to test out some survival ideas.

So first priority was to rig up a water filter using sticks, vines, cotton wool and an old plastic bottle. Then disinfecting the water using Aquatabs. I am really hoping those tablets work as I really don't want gastro for a week!

With the water aspect covered, time for the next vital survival task, coffee! For fun I started the fire with steel wool and a phone battery. It wasn't going too well as I had the wool too tightly compressed. Once I teased it out it lit up nicely. It was a well earned coffee.

Then for some serious fun with garbage bags. Everyone says plastic bags are an awesome survival resource, so time to test the theory. First an emergency poncho. A little tricky getting the styling right but I can see these being all the rage next season.

You can make emergency tents out of them too. Grab some duct tape, paracord and a few sticks and voila! Normally you would use two bags and duct tape them together but I just used one wheelie bin size bag. These are way too thin so need to find some thicker bags. 

Next was a poncho shelter. Just can't get the right type of poncho in Australia. This one only has grommets on the four corners so doesn't work well. One or two extra grommets along the side would have allowed it to be set up like a tarp shelter. It might just work on a balmy summer night.

A quick lunch break and then more fire lighting. Tried starting a fire using magnifying glass and a fresnel lens. Not successful. The roo poo smouldered but wouldn't light and I got nothing from the charcloth. Also if you try that trick of magnifying sunlight using a clear plastic bag filled with your urine, may sure the bag has no holes. I speak from experience.

Grabbed my Bug Out Bag and set up camp in my backyard. Looking pretty among all the Californian poppies. Used a heavy duty tarp as I and still trying to find a good hikers tarp. I also dug a Dakota fire pit to try out later. Told the confused neighbours that the whole thing was an art installation.


Then there was just enough time to forage some weeds and herbs to add to dinner. Hope I identified the plants correctly and didn't pick anything poisonous. That would be really embarrassing seeing I did four years of biology at university.

Cooking dinner on a Fancy Feast cat food alcohol stove. Now that it is warmer weather the alcohol was vapourising well and it worked great. Dinner was a pouch of instant Mexican Brown Rice with added jerky, weeds and some scummy pond water. Tasted bloody good so need to buy some more. Note cigarette lighter wrapped in duct tape - just like a real prepper!

Can never have too much pyrotechnics so for a bit of fun made a flaming torch and ran around the yard pretending to be Indiana Jones. Want do the same? The Dakota fire pit was also cool once I managed to light it (sorry no photo).

I learned a lot from my survival day. Like using a heavier sleeping bag as it got down to 2 degrees and I was pretty chilly. Also everyone thinks I'm strange. So embrace your inner nerd and have your own survival day!

Bite off more scummy pond water than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

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