#SurvivalSkills

STATS – Day: 50 | Distance: 5425 miles | Location: Louisville, Kentucky| Money Spent To Date – Gas: $598.40| Food: $621.85| Play/Misc: $257.73 | Lodging $629.50

Day 16 of my Kentucky visit for my cousin’s non-stop retirement from the Army “The Gone Tour” festivities.  3 days to go and I just might make it!  The original crew who came in for the first set of parties and zombie walk have all flown home.  The second crew dubbed “The Canadians”, who drove down from Winnipeg, Manitoba for a mass history tour of Louisville, West Point and Frankfort leave today.  The third crew coming for the last party arrives today and tomorrow, thank goodness none of them are staying at the house.

At our peak we had 23 people and 4 cats sleeping in the house at one time.

the Louisville Zombie Attack Walk - August 29th
the Louisville Zombie Attack Walk – August 29th

So that got me thinking about “Survival”….

There are so many types of survival out there, and my mind wandered back to my solo days of camping in a tent in Indianapolis, Indiana just before I arrived in Louisville.  All by myself…complete heaven!  Although being by yourself puts you in a unique situation, I’m a firm believer that there is more good in this world than bad, people just have to open their eyes and look for themselves rather than relying on the News and Facebook.  I’m also far from stupid.  I know and understand the dangers.  Therefore I’m sharing some of my travel/camping tips and maybe a few will find their way to your grab bag of knowledge.

Be Aware:  Be aware of your surroundings, know where your exits are, know where resources are, know who is around you, listen to your inner alarm when you get “that feeling”, look everyone in the eye, acknowledge that you’ve seen someone with a nod of the head.  Okay, if you’re traveling abroad, it might be not accepted to look in the eye or nod the head, so slyly look at those times.  Don’t give anyone a free pass.  A majority of thefts, attacks or bad situations are caused by opportunists and can be eliminated simply by being aware (removing the opportunity).

Weapons:  If you think you are safe if you carry a knife, gun, pepper spray, whatever, think again.  A weapon will deter opportunists, yes. And it might work in heading off a wild animal.  However, if someone wants to hurt you, they will.  There is a good chance that your weapon will end up in the hands of your attacker.  Even if you are trained.  Even if you are experienced.  I’m not saying, don’t carry one, just be sure you know what you are getting yourself into if you do.  And another thing…if you fight with a knife…you will get cut.  Don’t believe me?  Go play attack with your best friend using magic markers and count how many marks (cuts) you have afterwards.  You will be a bloody mess.  I learned this valuable lesson when training gun and knife defense with Krav Maga.

When traveling, I carry a retractable police baton which can be used opened or closed if needed.  Here are a couple other accessible items that can be used as a deterrent, especially when camping.

Your Car Alarm can be used as a deterrent.  I used it during my last camping stay when I could hear someone hanging out around my camp.  I keep my keys close to me as I sleep, along with the baton.  I clicked the alarm button to make the alarm go off, which scared the bajeezers out of them, and then I followed it up with a short conversation with myself as if it was two people.  Sometime like “muffle, muffle, muffle…yeah, I think someone is outside the tent…muffle, muffle.”  

ID Tags like Road ID was suggested by my good friend Lisa, and I can’t thank her enough for it.  It provides me a great sense of comfort knowing that if something bad does happen, my emergency peeps can be called and if I need medical help, the paramedics will know my allergies.

Easy Pack Food is necessary whether you are camping, packing an emergency go bag or preparing for a zombie apocalypse.  You want to make sure it takes up as little space as possible, can be stored anywhere and can be made quickly and easily.  Take dry goods (cereal, crackers, rice) out of boxes and pack in small Ziploc bags then suck the air out.  Dehydrate soups, vegetables, fruits, spices ahead of time and do the same Ziploc trick.  I use the freezer Ziplocs to group smaller Ziplocs and either package as meals or keep like items together.  Reduce bulk!

Alcohol Burning Stove is fairly easy to make, cheap, super light to pack and easy to use.  Bonus is there is no smoke or burning wood smell!  I boiled water in 4-minutes.  There are a ton of fancy videos out there and I wish I could find the simple one I used (fanciness removed), it took me about 10 minutes to make with a pocket knife, scissors and no penny. Here is a video that goes into way more steps if you want to make your own.

DSC_1186_20150818160726332 DSC_1190_20150818160621701 DSC_1196

Building a Fire is easy if you know a good formation to use.  I like the log cabin method in either a square or triangle pattern.  Basically you stack the bigger, heavier wood (Fuel) at the bottom and criss-cross gradually getting to the smaller wood (Kindling) on top and putting paper, cardboard, small twigs, dried leaves (Tinder) in the center hole before closing the top with more small pieces of wood.

square log cabin/criss-cross method
square log cabin/criss-cross method
triangle log cabin/criss-cross method
triangle log cabin/criss-cross method

Peeps always forget the kindling which is what helps the larger pieces catch fire.  A very important ingredient to a magically wonderful fire!

{{{(TMI Alert!) The next subject might be too delicate for some readers.  We are talking about human waste next!}}}

LadyPeeps – Shewee, get one! You can pee standing up and maybe even write your name if you practice! Tips for the Shewee, put the mouth of the device all the way into your bits (not UP your bits), make sure you have a good seal and hold it there through the entire pee cycle. Stand with your legs wide apart (think of a cowboy or construction worker), thrust your hips forward. I told you you’d like this. Now let her rip. Don’t be dainty and dribble it. When you are done, don’t forget to shake by leading forward and wiggling a bit.

Piss Bucket, make one! Sometimes you don’t want to leave the tent – It’s rainy, It’s cold, You’re just too plain lazy. Create a make-shift toilet.

  • Short cleaning-style bucket (one with a handle if you can find it)
  • Trash bags
  • Clamp (potato chip clip, big binder clip, whatever)

Open up 2 trash bags and line the bucket.   When you need to pee, squat over the bucket and pee. When you are done, pull up and twist closest inside bag and clamp it shut (this also keeps the smell to a minimum for both you and the wild animals). Store until the next morning, then tie off the bag and throw it away in the trash or dump it out in a toilet. Add a new bag and you’re ready to go for the next night.

This works GREAT, until it doesn’t. I accidentally tipped over my piss-bucket while camping in Vermont. So be sure to keep extra trash bags, towels and hand sanitizing wipes close by for a speedy cleanup and a trip to the laundromat.  Note to Self:  Get a bucket with a lid!

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”
Charles Bukowski

Next Blog: #DairyOrDie

Previous Blog: #BumpsInTheRoad

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7 thoughts on “#SurvivalSkills

  1. Thank you for the wonderful survival tips – I love the idea of the pee bucket – just remembering back to those days at PEX having to see rainbow colored poop in the port o potties ! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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