27.2.09

Thermal A frame

With out a shadow of a doubt the simpliest and warmest survival shelter is the thermal A frame - based on a simple yet strong tripod, this type of shelter can be thatched with any materials to hand including plastic sheeting or a tarp.

However the above A frame, thatched with leaf debris has one secret and added advantage - the heat being generated by decompostition as the leaf litter breaks down naturally.

Build up your inner bed before the thatching starts and you'll have a warm shelter - one thing to remember people - in survival the difference between live and death isnt a good nights sleep its the ability to maintain a good core temperature at night ..........

Strength is also important as the natural shelters we build arent tied up - why waste precious cordage? They are held together by a combination of common sense and clever construction - once made your shelter should be able to hold the weight of a 14 stone man (below)


Or if your really good the combined 30 stones of two men!

Sweet dreams - and remember the Survivall logo of the rising sun - build a good shelter and you'll sleep safe and warm and be able to greet the rising sun every morning until rescue!!

25.2.09

Enhance your visibility - enhance your chances of being found!



Better red than dead - well orange!!


Enhansed viz clothing and tools are common place these days and the wise survivor is recommended to seek these out where ever possible and test and inparticular the WEISS course have proven Enhanced viz orange clothing and gear is more easily seen than anything else in the bush!!


Survivors remember "we are trying to be rescued" - unlike the camo clad soldier whose trying to hide!


Pictured is a genuine army pocket (jack) knife I have had g10 micarta scales added too - why? Simple to improve the comfort of the grip and to ensure dont lose it ..............your knife is your life - protect it and keep it safe!





17.2.09

Swedish Army Officers test

http://forsvar.fileflat.com/english/

Mental strength - PMA - self discipline are all attributes needed by a survivor - the swedish armies officers test is designed to test other aspects like spatial awareness and concentration all aspects which could help a survivor.

But more importantly its also a bit of fun ................humour is just as important as knowing how to rub two boy scouts together to make a fire so have a go.

*Do the test in a quiet room or where headphones as the sounds hard to hear but important

16.2.09

Search and Rescue

The Maritime and Coastguard agency offer us some excellent documants and services pertenant to the sea, safety and coastal protection ect - the below link offers several PDF's full of fantastic information.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga07-home/emergencyresponse/mcga-searchandrescue.htm

5.2.09

Navigation - a dark art?




Its a sad truth that far to many survival and bushcraft people lack even a fundamental understanding of map and compass work.




On a recent trip to Sweden I gave the group the task of map reading to our cabin - admittedly the landscape was snow covered and admittedly I gave the guy who openly professed no skill the map - but it was a team effort and several members where exforces and most claimed to be able to map read ...................... sadly this proved not to be the case and 200m past the only track available to lead us where we wanted to go I stop the excercise - it was both a wake up call for the group (imagine if they had gotten lost in a snowy landscape at -15 c) and proof of the pudding to me (without practice even folks who think they can map read - cant!).




So why is it folks will spend ages learning fire by friction or shelter building but seem to lack even the smallest degree of interest in a skill which, if known and practice, could probably negate the need to light that fire or buld that shelter - most SAR's and Mountain Rescue teams will tell you the majority of their call outs are for idiots who have gotten lost - am I being hard called them idiots? No I dont think so - if your stupid enough to go off into the wild without the fundamental skill of being able to locate yourself on a map and navigate out you are an idiot (you wouldnt try to fly a plane without the skills needed to land it would you?) - worse your a idiot who if lost not only risks his own life and the life of those with you but also the lives of those brave souls looking for you!




So whats the answer?? Well for starters its not carrying a compass with you in the hope its a magic talisman to ward of the getting lost spirit ............... equally its not carrying a button compass or learnng to tell directions by the sun or moon as these only give you cardinal directions and while in a survival situation these may be enough to assist you in finding a road or a lake or whatever they arent ideal when trying to find your car or the cabin you hired as night begins creeping over the hill!!




The only answer is to get out there and learn - you can self teach (not the easiest option) or you can attend a course - all the map and compass knowledge you need can be taught at basic level in less than a day - after that its all about practice ............. our sister company Bearclaw bushcraft are setting up navigation workshops which will be held on their bushcraft camps and will I am assured cover all the fundamental skills needed - or if your not a bushcrafter then there are courses run by the MTLB, DofE and various scout and orienteering groups ................




End of the day - there is no excuse for not learning to map read - as a survivor its one of the core skills and a skill, which if used correctly, can and has often averted a survival situation and emergency and saved many lifes - sometimes without anyone being aware of it at all!