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  1. There are three common types of cold weather injury. Cold weather injury prevention is an essential part of preparing for outdoor activities in the winter. The three significant injuries of which to be concerned while enjoying your outdoor adventure are frostbite, hypothermia, and immersion/trench foot. By far, frostbite and hypothermia are the injuries that gain the most attention in the survival literature. However, immersion/trench foot also is a cold weather injury. There are several factors to keep in mind when assessing risk for getting a cold weather injury. Here are some risk factors to consider before heading outdoors: Temperature: What are the current and projected temperatures? Humidity: What is the current and projected humidity levels? Wind Chill Factor: What is the current and projected wind chill factor? Do I have my wind chill factor assessment card? Previous Cold Weather Injury: Have I or anyone in my group had a previous cold weather injury? 1. Frostbite Frostbite is the condition in which the exposed skin tissues of the body begin to freeze (“Frostbite,” WebMD, 2019). The most likely people to get frostbite while outdoors in the winter are people typically men between 30-49 years old. The reason is that men are the largest demographic that spends the most time outdoors throughout the year. The parts of the body that tend to get frostbite are nose, cheeks, ears, forehead, chin, wrists, fingers, and toes (FM 4-25.11, 2002, 5-11). There are two basic categories of frostbite: superficial and deep. Furthermore, there are four stages or degrees of frostbite: normal, frostnip, superficial frostbite, and deep frostbite (“Understanding Frostbite–The Basics,” WebMD, 2017), (“Frostbite,” Mayo Clinc.org, 2018). Causes Kamler writes the following, “When heat production can no longer fend off the cold, the body conserves its warmth by constricting blood vessels in the areas that leak the most heat. Hand and feet, noses and ears become pale and cold.” (Kamler, Surviving The Extremes, 2004, 199). Consequently, these parts of the body become subject to frostbite very quickly by continuous exposure to cold temperatures. Moreover, I remember being stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas in the winter of 1989, when one of our African-American sergeants passed me by in the motor pool. I noticed that he had an incredibly vivid white spot on his nose near his left eye. He had recently come from Korea and had suffered frostbite during his time there. It was -30°F on that day. Even though he was wearing all of his Army-issued cold weather clothing, the limited time his face was exposed to the cold, his previous frostbite appeared on his face. Risk Factors Medical conditions such as diabetes or other medical concerns that affect blood flow to the extremities. Previous frostbite or cold injury Being at high altitude, which reduces the oxygen supply to your skin 2. Hypothermia Hypothermia is the next type of cold weather injury. It is a potentially deadly condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce. Prolonged exposure to cold or wet-cold conditions coupled with fatigue, inadequate food intake, and dehydration can lead to a person getting hypothermia. A person can die within a few minutes to a few hours if they develop hypothermia and go untreated. In severe cases of hypothermia in which deep frostbite has formed on the body, medical professionals should treat the individual. Improperly warming a person with an extreme case of hypothermia with frostbite can potentially cause the person to die from shock to the heart due to the circulation of cold blood (Kamler, Surviving the Extremes, 2004, 225-26). Risk Factors: Several risk factors that contribute to enabling the onset of hypothermia are the following: Temperature Cold temperatures along with wet or high relative humidity can foster the development of hypothermia. Wearing damp clothing for an extended period in these conditions will lead to the onset of the loss of body heat. That is why mountain climbers can die wearing mountaineering suits that are heavily insulated. They sweat in them while climbing. Consequently, they become wet on the inside. The frigid temperatures and wind at higher elevations cause the clothing not to retain the body heat being generated by the climber. The climber cannot remain warm. Hypothermia and frostbite begin to overtake the climber. Stationary Activities Low activity or remaining stationary for too long a period in cold weather can be a cause for developing hypothermia. In the military, standing in a trench or foxhole or sitting in a forward observation/listening post in cold weather can lead to someone getting hypothermia. In World War II, the servicemembers that fought at the Battle of the Bulge were caught by surprise, and many died from hypothermia or froze to death because of sitting in fighting positions in frigid temperatures with minimal clothing to keep warm. A similar experience occurred for the United States Marines who fought at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. Physical Fatigue Physical fatigue coupled with dehydration and inadequate food intake can contribute to the onset of hypothermia in cold weather conditions. This is why in the movie, Everest, based on the 1996 Everest Disaster, many of the climbers wanted to stop and rest after struggling to descend the mountain to safety in the middle of extreme weather conditions. They were exhausted, frightened and getting cold by their losing the ability to generate body heat at that altitude as well as being encased in their sweat-drenched mountaineering suits. Kamler writes, “Even perfect insulation won’t protect a body that’s not generating heat.” (Kamler, Surviving The Extremes, 2004, 185). Their bodies were wanting to rest from the combined effects of sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion, loss of body heat, and low oxygen at high altitudes. However, in those conditions, stopping to take a break meant almost certain death. Thus, it is important to closely monitor yourself in cold weather conditions to see that you do not over exert yourself to the point of exhaustion whether you are hunting, trapping, mountaineering, backpacking, or camping. Mental/Emotional Disposition Mental and Emotional disposition in cold weather conditions while enjoying the outdoors is influenced by some of the other factors already discussed. When you are tired, wet, cold, and hungry, your positive mental attitude (PMA) will diminish relative to the time that you are in those conditions. Therefore, it is critical to get dry and warmed up as soon as possible. 3. Immersion/Trench Foot The third kind of cold weather injury is immersion or trench foot. This type of injury affects the feet due to them being continuously wet in cold conditions (“Trench Foot or Immersion Foot,” CDC, 2014). Some of the medical literature calls it immersion syndrome (FM 4-25.11, 5-8). It is considered a non-freezing injury. Those who suffer from immersion foot in the wilderness can develop frostbite due to the nature of how the problem arises. Immersion foot will begin to form on a person’s feet if they remain continuously wet over several days in temperatures between 30°-40°F. If a person develops immersion foot in those temperature ranges and the temperature begins to drop, it will not take long before the water on the footwear, socks, and fluids on the exposed skin will start to freeze. For more information on keeping your feet healthy in the field, check out my previous article, 3 Essential Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy. Concluding Thoughts The winter months bring some severe risks to the bushcrafter, hunter, backpacker, or even those working around the outside of their homes in frigid conditions. A person can have an enjoyable experience outdoors if they remember the medical threats that come with winter outdoor activities: frostbite, hypothermia, and immersion foot. A medical professional can better instruct on how to prevent and treat these injuries. A basic wilderness first aid class will also help you to understand better, prevent, and deal with these injuries. View the full article
  2. The best compasses for your kit considerations are those of proven quality, durability, and accuracy. The compass that you choose to include in any level of survival or outdoor packing list is one of the essential items in your loadout. As well, there are strong feelings among many about what brand or type of compass is the best on the market. However, the best compass on the market is the one that you have used and are the most confident with when you are in the field. However, the best compasses for your kit are the following: 1. U. S. Army Lensatic Compass The U. S. Army Lensatic Compass conforms to the military standards published in MIL-PRF-10436N. Also, the military lensatic compasses are made in the United States. The current manufacturer of this compass is the Cammenga Company in Dearborn, Michigan. Of note, the previous maker of these compasses is Stocker & Yale, Incorporated in Beverly, Massachusetts. For example, the two lensatic compasses that I own are from Stocker & Yale. Moreover, you can purchase one of these Cammenga military lensatic compasses at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. Description: A lensatic compass is a magnetic compass that uses a magnifying glass to read its scale or dial. The U. S. Army lensatic compass is an induction-damped, handheld, north-seeking instrument with an internal, self-exciting light source, in other words, it is self-illuminating (tritium or phosphorous). The baseplate construction is of high-grade aluminum with a powder coating. The needle moves within a non-liquid filled needle housing. Thus, the military lensatic compass is one of the best overall compasses on the market. Features: Cammenga makes this compass with two options: model 3H with a tritium luminous dial (NSN: 6605-01-196-6971) or model 27 with a phosphorous luminescent dial (NSN: 6605-01-571-6052). Interestingly, Cammenga produces these compasses in the following colors: Olive Drab, RealTree® Camo, Black, and Coyote Brown. The compasses have a free-floating needle instead of the needle floating in a liquid (water or oil). They are also waterproof and dustproof under most field conditions. They will function in temperatures between -50°F (-46°C) and 150°F (66°C). The compass is also shockproof is dropped from up to three feet (90 cm). Additionally, they also have two needle options: Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. Additional Comments: Moreover, the lensatic compass is the standard compass in all my backpack load outs. I have other compasses, but my U. S. Army lensatic compass is the one that I keep coming back to when I need reliability, durability, and accuracy. Most of all, I do not have to wait for satellite synchronization or linkage with the lensatic compass. There are no extra batteries that need to be carried in a pack because it is an analog magnetic compass. In addition to these features, the military lensatic compass also fits comfortably into the LC-2 ALICE First Aid Pouch or the MOLLE Grenade Pouch. Best Uses: Advanced and Tactical Day and Night land navigation Orienteering Hiking & Backpacking Game Hunting 2. K&R Alpin Sighting Compass The next type of compass that can be part of your loadout is the mirrored sighting compass. One of the best on the market is the K&R Alpin Sighting Compass. The compass is a product based on input from the German Mountain Rescue Service. These compasses are made in Germany. Overview: A mirrored sighting compass is a compass in which the compass dial can be viewed using a mirror while simultaneously sighting an object through the sighing notch or slot on the compass lid. That is why these kinds of compasses are not in the category of being a lensatic compass. The sighting compass is sometimes called the hand compass, forester compass, or cruiser compass. They are one-hand use compasses. Their easy use quickly found them being a favorite of the geology, marine, and forestry professions. Features: The Alpin Sighting Compass has several convenient features. The sighting mirror is polished stainless steel. The baseplate, compass lid, and compass capsule are made of high-impact plastic. The result is a compass that is very durable and lightweight. The needle moves within a liquid filled needle housing. The bezel is self-luminating with two large sighting notches (12 and 6 o’clock positions) on the bezel for night navigation. It also has a clinometer to measure incline while traversing uneven or mountainous terrain. K&R has three measurement options for this compass: standard, metric, and mils. Additional Observations: This particular compass is an excellent alternative to the military lensatic compass. The large glowing bezel makes it user-friendly for trekking at night. It is easy to use and probably a better option for those unfamiliar with using the military lensatic compass. A rival to the Alpin is the Suunto MC-2 Sighting Compass. Both of these compasses fit comfortably into the MOLLE Gen II Flashbang Grenade Pouch. The K&R Alpin and the Suunto MC-2 compasses represent the best of the mirrored sighting compasses on the market. Best Uses: Advanced Land Navigation Orienteering Hiking and Backpacking Game Hunting Emergency Preparedness 3. Suunto M-3 G Compass Finally, a third type of compass option for your outdoor activity concerns is the simple baseplate compass. The baseplate compass is the most common type on the market. One can purchase these kinds of compasses with various levels of quality and in various price ranges. The primary use for the baseplate compass is in conjunction with a map. Description: Baseplate compasses have a clear plastic base upon which the compass mechanism sits. The sides of the baseplate usually are marked in standard increments. These markings allow the baseplate to function as a ruler for measuring distances on the map. The baseplate also has a magnifying glass embedded for observing small map details. The needle mechanism usually is liquid filled and jewel bearing. Features: The Suunto M-3 G Compass has several useful characteristics. The bezel is luminescent. The G model has a globally aligned needle so it can be used anywhere on the earth in both hemispheres. This model also comes in just a northern hemisphere (NH) needle orientation and a southern hemisphere (SH) needle orientation. It is incrementally marked in metric and imperial UTM scales. The compass also has a clinometer for determining the slope of an incline. This compass originates in Finland Additional Observations: The baseplate compass is one of the most versatile compasses that one can own. The Suunto M-3 compasses offer the basic navigational needs for most scenarios and applications. They are small enough to fit easily into a MOLLE Flashbang Grenade Pouch. They come with a lanyard which allows attachment to the shoulder strap of most backpacks. These compasses are easy to use and are an excellent option for the occasional outdoorsman or weekend hiker or backpacker. Best Uses: General Land Navigation Hiking and Backpacking Game Hunting Emergency Preparations The post Best Compasses Every Kit Should Have appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  3. There are 3 outstanding wood choppers you should consider for your survival, bushcraft, or emergency kit. There are many varieties, sizes, levels of quality, and prices for these tools. These essential tools were developed to address specific local or regional requirements. The ax and machete are pretty standard solutions for most situations. Let us look at the top three outstanding wood choppers that you should consider adding to your field gear packing list. 1. Ax/Hatchet Background The ax or hatchet is one of the 3 outstanding wood choppers. They are the standard wood processing tool in North America and Europe. This tool has been in use and in various forms since the Neolithic Period (9500-2000 B.C.) of human history. There are many forms of the axe. The type of bit informs the purpose for their use. The basic types of axes are the felling ax, splitting ax, broad ax, adze, hatchet, carpenter ax, hand ax, mortising ax. Additionally, the hatchet and hand ax are just shorter handle versions of the felling ax. Purpose However, the kind of ax that is most popular for outdoor survival is the felling ax. Other names for the felling axe are the woodsman ax or single bit ax. These axes were developed to cut down and process trees common in the forests of North America and Europe, such as conifer, birch, holly, or oak. Features These axes usually have two main parts: the handle or haft, and the head or bit. The blade of the ax is the cutting edge of the ax bit. The handle, in a modern two-piece ax, is made of wood or fiberglass. The ax handle averages between 24-36 inches in length. The ax head averages between 1.5 and 3.5 pounds in weight. Some of the best axes and hatchets of this type are sold at the Sigma 3 Survival Store: Hults Bruk Akka Forest Axe and Hults Bruk Almike Hatchet. Kit Compatibility Thus, a good, high-quality ax is a must if you live in the forested areas of the United States or Europe. The Hults Bruk Akka Forest Axe is the perfect fit to carry on the outside of a backpack or to fit the vehicle emergency kit of your truck or SUV. The descriptions and pricing for these axes can be found at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. An ax is an outstanding wood chopper for your kit. 2. Machete Background The next type of the 3 outstanding wood choppers that you can consider for part of your survival or outdoor kit is a machete. Machetes have been in use around the world for many centuries. There are different styles of machetes with differing blade lengths. Purpose The primary purpose of the machete is to clear jungle vegetation. Other models of the machete are used to remove brush or cut small trees in the more arid parts of the world where wooded forests do not exist. Machetes with shorter blades are sometimes used to process game, harvest fruits or vegetables, and to prepare food for cooking. The machete is a very versatile tool. The machete is also an instrument that can be used for self-defense, as is the common practice in other parts of the world. Features One of the better machetes on the market is the Ontario Knife Company (OKC) Military Machete. This machete has a blade that is 18 inches in length. The blade material is 1095 high carbon steel. This is a traditional looking machete. It is the same machete currently in the inventory of the Department of Defense (DoD) with an assigned National Stock Number (NSN): NSN 5110-00-813-1286. The military sheath for this machete has the stock number: NSN 8465-00-926-4932. OKC sells a Chinese made nylon sheath separately for their machete. A machete is a valuable tool in any survival or emergency kit. Kit Compatibility The machete is an excellent consideration for vehicle emergency kits, backpacking, survival or emergency kits or bags, or a home emergency kit. It has its limitations but it is a versatile tool that that can handle most field and emergency needs. This is one of the outstanding wood choppers that you should consider for your kit. 3. Parang Background The parang is a type of machete and it is also an outstanding wood chopper. The parang is the wood cutting tool of choice in most places in South East Asia such as Indonesia or Malaysia. Whereas, the machete is more associated with South America and the Amazon basin. Purpose The value that this tool has is its ability to cut desert vegetation such as mesquite trees or creosote bushes. It can process wood for making fires, process food for cooking, and it can function as a self-defense instrument in an emergency. Features The significant difference between a parang and a traditional machete is that the parang blade is shorter, with a shallow curve at the cutting edge, and thicker. It looks like it is more akin to the conventional meat cleaver. A parang has several types and varieties. The blade length usually averages between 12 and 18 inches. The average thickness of the blade is around 3/16 of an inch. The most common blade materials are D2, 1075, or 1095 tool steel. The Condor Tool & Knife Bushcraft Parang and the Ka-Bar Adventure® Parangatang are good examples of quality parangs. Kit Compatibility This wood chopper fits well in most backpacks. That is why, depending on where you live, the parang is a viable alternative to the ax or machete as your wood cutting solution for your BOB, INCH, or GHB bags. You will not go wrong with this outstanding wood chopper in your kit. Final Thoughts The subject of wood processing tools is one that will continue. This article discusses those tools most commonly used for chopping wood for various reasons related to survival. The preferred choice for a tool that is best for that task is going to fall on a matter of preference, most of the time. As with any tool, there are good manufacturers and poor ones of wood chopping tools. The location that you live in and the types of vegetation that is common there will determine which of these three outstanding wood choppers that you incorporate into your kit. The post 3 Outstanding Wood Choppers For Your Kit appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  4. There are seven essential wearable EDC survival gear items to consider making part of what you carry all times. The main factors that determine what a person carries is location, experience, and necessity. The everyday gear that you take is as simple as what is on the body like watches or items in pockets. By contrast, EDC survival items can be the more sophisticated gear that you place in the bag, pack, or briefcase that you carry to school or work. However, there are a few essential items that one should consider having on your person regardless of location, experience, and necessity. What are these seven essential EDC items that one should wear or carry at all times? Microlight or Flashlight The first survival item to consider carrying on you at all times is some type of flashlight or microlight. Flashlights come in many sizes and configurations. The best EDC flashlight is one that you can place in your pocket. One of the best flashlights to consider is the Nitecore MT1C Flashlight. You can buy this item at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. This flashlight comes with a pocket clip and is roughly 3.5 inches long. It will fit in most trouser pockets or leg cargo pockets. This flashlight can also fit in the shirt pockets of most outdoor or tactical shirts. However, there is another type of flashlight to consider. Another type of flashlight to think about is the microlight or micro-flashlight. These kinds of lights are sometimes called keychain lights. One recommended microlight is the LRI® Photon Micro-Light with a Covert Nose. This light is one that I personally own and is in the EDC survival kit in the cargo pocket of my pants. The second type of microlight is the ThruNite® Ti3 EDC Cree flashlight. This light has a pocket clip and is about 2.75 inches in length. Microlights are very versatile and convenient to carry on a daily basis. What is the next survival item to carry daily? Lighter The next survival item to carry daily is a lighter. There are many types of lighters on the market. The most recognizable is the Bic® lighter. This is a disposable butane fluid lighter. These lighters come in two basic sizes: the classic and mini. The mini Bic lighter is a favorite to carry among those who do not smoke tobacco products. Another iconic butane fluid lighter is the Zippo® lighter. The lighter fluid in the Zippo lighter can be replenished through a cotton felt pad in the bottom of the lighter case. The main reason for carrying one of these kinds of lighters as an EDC item is their reliability. The Bic and Zippo lighters will function under most circumstances encountered on a daily basis. What about tools? Multitool The first tool to consider carrying every day is a multitool. Multitools come in various sizes and configurations. The two most reliable multitools are those manufactured by Leatherman® and Gerber®. I personally have owned both Leatherman and Gerber multitools, and each is quality tools. However, I would recommend the Leatherman® Skeletool™ multitool for EDC purposes. It is the right size for carrying on a daily basis without the bulkiness of the Leatherman® Wave™ or Gerber® MP 600™. Yet, the Skeletool offers the same versatility as its larger counterparts. Pocket Knife The second tool to think about carrying every day is a pocket knife. There are many opinions about pocket knives and other folding blade knives. A pocket knife does not have to be an elaborate tactical folder for EDC purposes. The intent for pocket knives is that they are tools and not weapons. There are folding blade knives that function more as weapons than tools. The classic stiletto switchblade knife is an example of a folding knife being a weapon and not a tool. Furthermore, pocket knives come in many sizes and configurations. The most straightforward pocket knife has a single blade, such as the Gerber® Paraframe™. Most pocket knives have, however, at least two blades, one small and one large. Pocket knives can have various blade shapes. The most common blade shape is the drop point and clip point. There are pocket knives that use 1095 high carbon steel in their blades. The Bear & Son C205 Heritage, Walnut Midsize Lock back Folder, is an example of a pocket knife using 1095 high carbon steel in its blades. These kinds of pocket knives are excellent for bushcrafting and other outdoor applications. However, some of the best makers of pocket knives are Victorinox® and Case®. The recommended pocket knives to carry on a daily basis are the Victorinox Swiss Army Farmer or the Case 6.5 BoneStag® Medium Stockman. These knives have blade lengths that are legally compliant most anywhere. They need minimal maintenance and will do most cutting jobs, such as cutting cordage, making a trap, stripping wire, cutting bandages, box cutting, or letter opening. The Swiss Army Farmer has more features than the Case knife, such as a saw and awl. Wrist Watch (Solar-Powered Triple Sensor) The final survival gear item to consider wearing on a daily basis is a solar battery powered triple sensor watch. A good watch is a valuable piece of gear to wear every day. A triple sensor watch has the features of an altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass, hence ABC. The barometer on these kinds of timepieces gives the current temperature when this feature is engaged. The solar battery that characterizes these outdoor watches keeps the watch working all year in all types of weather. The compass on this type of wrist watch is helpful because you do not have to worry about ambient magnetism affecting its reading. For example, the metal from your belt buckle or wedding band will not influence the direction given by the watch as it would your lensatic, baseplate, or wristband compass. Furthermore, the best solar-powered triple sensor watches on the market are the Casio® Pro Trek™ Pathfinder™ PRW2500T-7 and PAG240T-7. These watches come with a titanium watch band. This watch band is excellent for rugged outdoor activities. Additionally, the more sophisticated smartwatches are great but have their limitations because of the need to update their software periodically. These two Casio watches can be worn every day in every situation. The solar-powered triple sensor wrist watch is an essential survival gear to wear on a daily basis. Tourniquet The final item to consider carrying at all times is a tourniquet. These used to be cumbersome to carry so most were stored inside of bags or packs. However, in recent years, manufacturers have started making belt pouches to hold a tourniquet. Blue Force Gear® and Rescue Essentials® sell tourniquet pouches that can be worn on a trouser belt or mounted on MOLLE gear. There are several versions of tourniquets on the market. The two most common are the combat application tourniquet (CAT) and the rapid application tourniquet (RAT). There is a third option available called the ratcheting medical tourniquet. This seems to be growing favorite tourniquet among emergency preppers and SOF personnel. Therefore, carrying a tourniquet should be considered as part of your wearable EDC survival gear. The post 7 Essential Wearable EDC Survival Gear Items appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  5. 3 awesome survival courses that you should consider as Christmas gifts this year are being offered at discounted prices by Sigma 3 Survival School. Starting this Thursday, the Sigma 3 Survival School is offering great deals so you can get that formal survival training that you have always wanted to obtain. Have ever wanted to get formal survival training from certified instructors? However, maybe taking a survival course is not in your realm of things to accomplish. However, is there anyone that you know, who is an outdoor enthusiast, who might benefit from taking a comprehensive survival course? Now is your chance to take advantage of the opportunity to get the training that you have wanted or for a friend at a reasonable price. What kind of deal can you get during the discounted period for the course that you choose? The Standard and Advanced Survival courses are being offered at 50% off the standard price during this holiday sale period. The 45-day Survival Instructor Course is being offered at 35% off the regular price. Furthermore, the certifications that you gain from this formal instruction is good for 3 years. Additionally, class credits are transferable, just contact the great people at the school to get guidance for your particular concerns. What are the three courses that we recommend? The Survival Standard Course The first of the excellent survival courses that you can take advantage of is the Survival Standard Course. This course is a 5-day period of instruction that will teach you the basics of wilderness survival. It is the best course to take if you have never had any training in the outdoors, especially in primitive survival skills. Course Description The Survival Standard is the Sigma 3 Survival School’s most popular wilderness survival training course. This survival course will familiarize you with the basics of surviving in the outdoors. This course will prepare you to deal with the most common wilderness survival scenarios that will be encountered in the field. What is will be taught over the five days that you are in the field? Program of Instruction The Sigma 3 instructors will teach you some great skills, techniques, and procedures for making it in the wilderness under less than desirable circumstances should you find yourself lost or separated from your gear. The schedule of instruction is as follows: Day 1: Shelter Day! Hands on building of numerous types of survival shelters. Day 2: Water Procurement. Learn to get clean water quickly. Day 3: Fire Making/Friction fire, all night fire, etc. Become a master of making fire in tough conditions! Day 4: Survival trapping and plant foraging Day 5: Primitive navigation, natural cordage, and primitive weapons. The Standard Survival Course gives comprehensive training to those who are inexperienced with outdoor survival. Additionally, this course also has a minimum list of gear to bring. Packing List This packing list is a minimum listing of gear to bring to the course. The packing list is as follows: Small-Medium Backpack Poncho or Rain Gear Outdoor Clothing Fixed blade knife Folding saw Hatchet or Axe Paracord Overnight Camping Gear Overall, the Standard Survival Course that is being taught by the awesome instructors at the Sigma 3 Survival School lays an essential foundation for wilderness survival. What is the next recommended survival course to consider as a Christmas gift? The Advanced Standard Survival Course The second of the survival courses offered by Sigma 3 Survival School is the Advanced Survival Training Standard or the Advanced Standard for short. The Advanced Standard builds on the skills learned in the Standard course. What is the basic purpose of the training? Course Description The purpose of the wilderness survival training courses is to slowly transition you into being able to live off the land and make you a self-sufficient in the field. This training will give the confidence that you need to both survive and thrive in the wilderness. Does this course have a packing list? Packing List The packing list for this course is the same minimal gear requirements as the Standard course. What are the skills being taught in this course? Course Outcomes The outcomes of this course will teach you the following skills: Butchering – You’ll kill, butcher, and process a goat from beginning to end with nothing but stone flakes. No knife! Bushcraft Cooking – We will process the goat and teach you jerky making as well as several other long term food preservation in the wild. Making rawhide -We will make useful cordage from the hide. Building a Survival Bow (Quickie bow) – This section will show you how to make a bow of similar quality to a longbow in a few days without pre-drying the stave. Primitive Hand drill and Totally Primitive Bow Drill -Using bark cordage Advanced Survival Trapping – We will cover a plethora of primitive and modern traps. Basket Fish Traps & other useful fishing tactics – You will build a large basket fish trap, crawdad trap, and other survival fishing tactics. Basket Making, Containers, & Quivers– You’ll learn the principles of building containers for Wild Crafting- Plant identification and uses Flint Knapping and Stone Tool- Learn how to make basic stone tools. Bone tools- arrowheads, awls, & fish hooks As you can see, the Advanced Survival Course is truly advanced in its skill set. Learning how to manufacture primitive tools along with procuring food and water with those tools sets you up for successfully living in a field environment for an extended period of time. Yet, there is one more course that we recommend to you during this sale period. 45-Day Survival Instructor Program The final consideration of the survival courses from Sigma 3 Survival School is the 45-Day Survival Instructor Program. The 45-Day Survival Instructor course is a six week period of instruction designed to immerse you into the basic survival training required to be an instructor. This course is a Level 1 instructor program and the most intense program we offer. What are some of the benefits of being certified in this course? Course Benefits There are some great benefits to signing up this course of instruction. Those benefits are as follows: ALL MILITARY VETERANS RECEIVE 25% OFF! Take any future SIGMA 3 courses for free! FOR LIFE! 45 Days is the perfect reset! Clear your mind, body, & soul! Learn everything you need to know about Bushcraft & Survival. Be part of a global family of instructors on 4 continents. Learn the business of survival and how to build an outdoors career. Be able to survive extreme survival situations with only a knife. Learn how to shoot YouTube® videos and write blogs. Make lifelong friends from all over the world! Be more fit and hardened to face life’s challenges. Additionally graduating and becoming certified in this course sets you up to potentially work for Sigma 3 in the future. Essentially you can start your own Sigma 3 satellite location. Also, you can use these skills to start your own outdoor programs. The Sigma 3 45-day Instructor Training is the only instructor program in the world that offers a potential franchise opportunity after you graduate. Moreover, this course has a comprehensive program of instruction. Program of Instruction The schedule of instruction for the 45-Day Instructor course is as follows: Survival Standard Basic-Intermediate (Week 1) Advanced Survival Standard Advanced Primitive Skills (Week 2) Wild Plants, Bow Making, and Survival Trapping (Week 3) Long Term Survival & Primitive Living (Week 4) Scout Knife Only Survival Week! Live off the land with only a knife (Week 5) SERE Training, Escape & Evasion, Urban Survival (Week 6) As you can see, this training is very thorough. It definitely sets the student up for success in the field. You can not go wrong with taking advantage of this survival training. For more information on this and other training offered by the Sigma 3 Survival School, visit their website and call them to get your particular questions answered regarding these courses. The post 3 Awesome Survival Courses appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  6. Great Christmas gifts are hard to find for those who love the outdoors. Everyone has a preference. Yet, there is some excellent outdoor gear that you cannot go wrong purchasing for those who love the outdoors. Furthermore, have you thought about gift ideas for the survivalist, prepper or outdoor enthusiast in your life? Sigma 3 Survival Store is having a Black Friday sale this Thursday. Now is a great time to consider these 6 great gift ideas at a reasonable price. 1. The Sigma 3 Survivor “Ultimate Bushcraft Blade” The Sigma 3 Survivor knife is a wonder Christmas gift idea, if you are looking for an outstanding bushcraft knife, this is the knife for you. This knife was specially developed with input from the great instructors at the Sigma 3 Survival School. Many of its features were a must-have for us as survival instructors in a bushcraft blade, and this knife includes everything we think you must have for survival. Therefore, the details of the Sigma 3 Survivor knife are below. Specifications for this knife are as follows: Steel: 1/8″ CPM3v crucible steel Blade Length: 4″ blade length Length: 8 1/2″ Grind: Scandi grind Spine: Very sharp 90-degree spine Pommel: (Unique to the Sigma 3 Survivor), fire making tinder scraper Handles: Green Canvas Micarta, un-polished for increased grip Sheath: Kydex Furthermore, not only is the Sigma 3 Survivor knife an awesome gift to consider for Christmas, the Emmrod Kayak King fishing pole another gift idea for this season. 2. Emmrod Kayak King Spinning Rod and Reel Kit Another great Christmas gift idea is the Emmrod Kayak fishing rod. Why not get ready for the Spring fishing season early by considering this great backpacking rod and real system by Emmrod. This handy and practical fishing pole will not let you down in the field. It is designed for stream fishing but is excellent for bank, pier, kayaking or lake fishing. The stainless steel pole will not break under stress like fiberglass poles. Thus, if you like hiking the backcountry to those fishing spots that no one knows about, this is the fishing pole solution to satisfy your needs. Specification for this fishing pole is as follows: 6 Coil stainless steel rod (up to 15#) Includes D.C.M. reel by Emmrod TPE Hybrid anti-slip handle material. Spin reel seat. Full-length handle Emmrod patented 1/4 turn locking system. Assembled in America. New TPE butt cap with a lanyard ring. Impact resistant nose. Accepts all Emmrod stainless steel rod ends. Breaks down to just 14.” Excellent for open-faced spin reels. Pack weight of just over 8 oz including rod end. In addition to the great Emmrod fishing pole, have you thought about the fire starting needs as a gift for the outdoorsman in your family? 3. Sigma 3 Fire Kit Additionally, the Sigma 3 Fire Kit is a wonderful Christmas gift consideration. This fire is an excellent solution to address the fire building needs of both experts and novices to the outdoors. The keyword to describe the kit is redundancy. Unlike most survival kits that offer one or two means to build a fire, the Sigma 3 Fire Kit gives multiple ways to make an emergency fire in a survival situation. The kit covers a multitude of survival considerations for which creating a fire would be necessary. So, what are some essential characteristics of the Sigma 3 Fire Kit? General Description The Sigma 3 Fire Kit comes in a Fox Tactical™ Tactical Wallet Organizer. It is a military-style tactical pouch initially designed as a pocket organizer to hold pens, a small notepad or note cards. Inside the organizer are multiple fire making items such as a Ferro rod and stormproof matches. The pouch is small enough that it can easily be belt-carried, stowed in the glove compartment of your vehicle, or stashed in your favorite everyday carry (EDC) bag. What are the features of the kit? Fire Kit Features: Fire Stix: These are All-purpose tinder sticks. They ignite easily with flame or sparks. Wet Cubes: These are man-made non-toxic fire starting material that burns even on a damp surface. Ferro Rod: It will produce sparks when scraped against a rough surface. It is sometimes called a metal match. Survival Matches: Clear composition case with screw top lid and integrated replaceable striker. Includes 15 matches and 2 paper strikers. Stormproof Matches: 25 matches per pack. Thus, the Sigma 3 Fire Kit is a great solution and gift idea for those wanting an excellent fire making solution for the field. Moreover, another outstanding kit to think about as a Christmas gift is the Sigma 3 Water Kit. 4. Sigma 3 Water Kit Moreover, a water kit makes an awesome Christmas gift consideration. The Sigma 3 Water Kit offers a solution to address your water needs while experiencing the outdoors. It is versatile, modular, and addresses the basic requirements for water carrying, procurement, and processing when in any environment or situation. This kit should be an essential item whether you are an avid outdoorsman, work in a large urban center, or live on a rural homestead. What are some of the features of the Sigma 3 Water Kit? General Description The Sigma 3 Water Kit comes in a Fox Tactical™ Hydration Carrier Pouch. This bottle carrier is a tactical MOLLE padded pouch with a drain hole in the bottom. It also has three rows of PALS webbing. There is a detachable accessory pouch that also has MOLLE PALS webbing. The style of the water pouch is sometimes called a Nalgene® Bottle carrier. What are the details of this kit? Water Kit contents are as follows: Klean Kanteen, Wide Mouth, 40 oz. Sawyer Mini Water Filter Kit Aquatab: Package of 30, 49mg tablets. Specifications: Total Kit Weight: 1.70 lbs. Total Kit Dimensions: 10 ½” H, 5” W, 7” L The Sigma 3 Water kit makes an excellent gift idea for this holiday season. Yet, what about shelter considerations as Christmas gift ideas? 5. Aqua Quest Defender Square Camo Tarp 10’ x 10’ (Kit) Quality, packable tarps are also something that will make an awesome Christmas gifts. There is nothing like being able to get into some shade while out trekking through the wilderness. A tarp is an excellent solution if you are not interested in putting up a more sophisticated shelter. The versatility of a good tarp cannot be exhausted. The Aqua Quest Defender Square Tarp kit is just the solution for hunters, bushcrafters, or wilderness survival enthusiasts. Many shelter options can be employed using this shelter kit. It comes with reinforced webbing loops and stitching. Its seams are heat-taped added durability. It is made of a 70 Denier nylon with a heavy TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coating. As a result, the tarp provides a waterproof cover in the field. It falls in the category of a heavy-duty tarp, yet it is light-weight and compresses to fit into any backpack. Kit includes: Square 10’ x 10’ Defender Tarp 6 ‘Boa’ adjustable straps 6 Ultralight aluminum pegs Stuff Sack Specifications for this tarp kit are as follows: Tarp Weight: 3.6 lbs. (1.65 kg) Total Kit Weight: 4.5 lbs (2.05 kg) Packed Size: 14 x 7 x 3.75 inch (36 x 18 x 9.5 cm) Total Area: 10 x 10 ft (3 x 3 m) Therefore, keeping dry or out of the sun is important when trekking out in the field. However, what about addressing the sleeping needs as a gift for Christmas? 6. Warbonnet Blackbird XLC (Ultimate Hammock System) Furthermore, hammocks are great Christmas gift ideas for the outdoorsman in your family. The hammocks manufactured by Warbonnet in Colorado are the best in the outdoor survival market. The Blackbird XLC is their best hammock system that they produce. These hammocks are durable yet lightweight. Most of the Sigma 3 Survival instructors own them. This is professional grade equipment that will last for years. If you want the best hammock system, the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC is the sleeping solution for you. Thus, what are the details concerning this great hammock? Specification for this hammock system are as follows: Heavyweight Double Layered Blackbird XLC Weight capacity: 400 LBS Item weight (webbing/buckles): 2 lb. 8oz. Item weight (whoopies): 2 lb 6oz. Item Weight (continuous loops): 2lb 2oz Fabric: 70D Nylon (x2) Moreover, this hammock system by Warbonnet makes a wonderful gift for those wanting a quality hammock by a reputable manufacturer. The post 6 Great Christmas Gift Ideas From The Sigma 3 Store appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  7. There are 3 critical factors in wearing winter clothing of which to be aware. The holiday and winter season is a time of great joy. Many people travel during this time of the year to visit relatives. For example, AAA® estimates that over 54 million people will travel by car over Thanksgiving this year. The winter months are a busy time of the year. Winter clothing is a critical consideration when traveling or outdoors. What are the four essential characteristics to remember about winter clothing? Proper Fitting The first notable characteristic to consider about winter clothing is that it fits properly to your body. Winter clothing that fits appropriately will function more efficiently to keep you warm. Clothing that is snug or tight around the body hinders the breathability of the fabric. Clothing that is too loose or long when worn will also lose its ability to keep you warm efficiently. Therefore, it is recommended to get measured, so you know your waist size, inseam length, neck size, and arm length before purchasing winter clothing. It is also important to try clothing on before purchasing if possible. Sizes vary among manufacturers so be careful about sizing when purchasing winter clothing online. Layering The concept of layering is critical to the effective functioning of winter clothing. There are three layers of winter clothing: a base layer, an insulating or middle layer, and a shell or outer layer. These categories are: silk weight, mid-weight, and shell. The U.S. Army has seven layers of winter clothing: Lightweight, Middle Weight, High Loft or Fleece, Wind Breaker, Soft Shell, Wet Weather, Extreme Cold Weather. Most layering systems do not count your shirt or pants as part of the layers. However, you should consider it as a layer. Thus, for the average outdoor enthusiast, the primary layers should be the following: Undergarments, Shirt and Trousers, Outer Garments. Your head, face, hands, and feet are covered, as necessary. Why is layering important? Importance of Layering The layering concept helps keep your body warm in cold environments. Layering works by creating layers of warm air around the body. The fabric of winter clothing also employs this concept. Winter clothing traps small pockets of air between the fibers. These micro-pockets of air are heated naturally by one’s own body heat. Poor personal hygiene in the field will hinder the efficiency of winter clothing. This is also one of the reasons why mountaineers freeze to death at high altitudes wearing all of that bulky winter clothing. The warming properties of their clothing diminish after days of sweating in this gear. They, then, get caught in a blizzard, and their winter clothing does not help them stay warm, thus precipitating hypothermia and frostbite in concert with fatigue and high altitude sickness. What about the layering of the head, hands, and feet? Layering of the Head, Hands, and Feet The covering of your head, hands, and feet is also an area to consider employing the layering concept. However, most winter gloves and shoes use Gore-Tex fabric in them to enable the warming of hands and feet. Some headwear also uses a Gore-Tex membrane to help the head keep warm. Therefore, understanding and practicing the layering concept of wearing winter clothing is an essential factor in staying warm outdoors. Footwear and gloves that use Gore-Tex linings already have the layering concept within them. However, there are glove liners of wool or acrylic that can be complimentary if necessary, to add a second layer of protection to Gore-Tex gloves. Thus, as you consider the wearing of winter clothing, layering is an important concept to remember. What about fabrics for winter clothing? Fabrics The primary concern with fabrics in winter clothing is whether or not the fabric retains moisture and keeps you warm. There are only three categories of textiles in winter clothing: natural, synthetic, and blends. All of these categories have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, natural fabrics come from wool or cotton. Synthetic fabrics like acrylic or Gore-Tex come from petroleum processing. They help retain heat and whisk moisture away from the skin and offer some durability over natural fabrics. The blended fabrics are an attempt to combine the best qualities of natural and synthetic fabrics. A common type of blended fabric is rip-stop (60/40 or 50/50 cotton to polyester ratio) material common in modern military fatigues. Wool Fabrics Outdoor experts agree that wool winter clothing is the best if you can obtain it. An excellent example of wool clothing is the WeatherWool® All Around Jacket or the WeatherWool® Neck Gaiter. You can purchase both of these products at the Sigma 3 Survival School store. The outstanding qualities of wool clothing are many. Wool is a natural fiber that comes from sheep. It helps keep the moisture off of your skin even when it is wet. It maintains its heating qualities even when wet. Therefore, purchase wool clothing when you can. Gore-Tex Fabrics The second best type of winter clothing to purchase are those of Gore-Tex® fabric. Gore-Tex® is a type of fabric that is a derivative of Teflon. It allows water vapor to escape away from the skin while simultaneously not allowing liquid water to come through the fabric to the skin. Thus, various combinations of Gore-Tex® fabrics are in winter clothing. Gore-Tex clothing combines some of the desired qualities of wool with the durability of Teflon. An example of quality outerwear made of Gore-Tex® is the U.S. Army’s Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) Parkas and trousers. Thus, Gore-Tex® is outerwear is the best on the market for winter clothing made of synthetic fabrics. Conclusion These three essential factors of wearing winter clothing are at the core of keeping warm this winter. A person would do well to remember and practice these basic tips for the wear of winter clothing. Whether traveling for the holidays or going on a winter backpacking trip, wearing the right clothing in layers are keys to keeping warm in cold weather conditions. Equally important to remember is that poor personal hygiene while in the outdoors will diminish the warming qualities of winter clothing. Therefore, to get the most benefit from quality winter wear, keep yourself clean as much as possible when outdoors. Quality winter wear should be part of your emergency bag or get-home bag that is in kept in your car. Thus, the proper use and care of winter clothing will save you a big disappointment in an emergency. The post 3 Critical Factors For Wearing Winter Clothing appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  8. It is vital to keep your feet healthy at all times when outdoors. Survival, bushcraft, and outdoor activities require healthy feet. The U. S. Army gives important instruction to soldiers on the proper care of feet. The U. S. Army field manual, FM 21-18 Foot Marches, offers excellent advice on taking care of your feet. There are three basic principles to remember to keep your feet healthy at all times. 1. Properly Fitting Footwear Your footwear must fit properly if you wish to keep your feet healthy. It goes without saying that poorly fitting footwear is a menace to healthy feet. Footwear that is too tight or too loose will deteriorate foot health very quickly. Outdoorsmen with the most significant experience are prone to blisters, corns, stress fractures, and hammer toes from wrong footwear in the field. Many extreme athletes become sidelined very quickly by significant foot injuries due to wrong shoes or boots. There are some simple tips to remember about getting the correct footwear for your feet. Proper Size and Breaking In Before purchasing footwear, get your feet measured by a professional while wearing your outdoor socks. It will ensure purchasing boots or shoes that are the proper size. Commercial footwear that is available for outdoors is heavily cushioned and lined with Gore-Tex membranes. Thus, outdoor boots or shoes feel snug when you first put them on. However, after wearing those expensive boots or shoes in the field, they lose their snug fit. Your foot will begin to slide inside causing blisters and sore toes. Break in any footwear before wearing it in the field. You might have to purchase footwear ½ size smaller or larger than your standard size to achieve properly fitting footwear after breaking them in. The Right Footwear from Reputable Manufacturers Additionally, purchase the right boot or shoe that is suited to your purposes. For example, a pair of running shoes may not be suitable for an extended trek into the wilderness to hunt game. If you are going on a survival adventure in the wilderness for an extended period of time, purchase footwear designed to be outdoors for long periods of time. Furthermore, it is crucial to buy footwear from reputable manufacturers. Many companies are selling military-type footwear that is both low quality and dangerous to wear in the field. Berry Compliant (USA made) military footwear is available directly from the manufacturers like Altama, Belleville, or Danner. Some other great companies to buy footwear are Salomon, Merrill, Lowa, and La Sportiva. Therefore, spend a little more money and get the right footwear. Your feet will thank you for it. 2. Dry Feet and Dry Socks A second principle about foot health in the wilderness is to keep your feet clean and dry and to also keep your socks clean, dry and changed regularly. Feet will get wet inside footwear from perspiration. Waterproof boots will accentuate the sweating of feet if you are hiking through the outdoors for long periods of time. Remember that having wet feet is a fact of life in the wilderness. Thus, it is critical to dry your feet regularly along with changing your socks. It is recommended that you carry at least two extra pairs of socks in your backpack at all times. One pair you will wear. The second will stay dry in your pack. Your last ones should be cleaned and drying out. Wet socks can hang on the outside of your backpack while trekking if the weather is allowing it. Otherwise, they might have to dry next to your fire in your bivouac site. Furthermore, the best socks to wear in the wilderness are merino wool or military wool blend boot socks. Socks made of wool give two critical benefits: quick drying and the promotion of foot respiration. Wool fibers will pull the moisture away from your feet. Moreover, it will help keep your feet warm even if your feet are wet inside your boots. These two qualities of wool allow your feet to breathe inside your footwear. This promotes the circulation of blood to your toes. Thus, keeping your feet and socks dry will help your feet stay healthy in the field. 3. Foot Hygiene The final principle about caring for your feet in the wilderness is to conduct foot hygiene often. Dirty and unattended feet will fester problems that may hinder your movement in the wilderness or bugging out in an emergency. It is dangerous enough just trekking through the bush while tracking down that big buck. If you add a foot injury into the equation, then life becomes complicated very quickly. Furthermore, if there arises a foot ailment or infection caused by lack of foot cleanliness, then a disaster and medevac situation ensues. Therefore, it is needless to say that those clean feet are critical to a successful experience in the wilderness. You can keep your feet clean by remembering to take care of them when resting during a movement. Here is a simple checklist to help you keep your feet fresh while at rest during movement in the outdoors: Pull off your footwear and socks. Elevate your feet for 10-20 minutes to help reduce swelling from trekking. Wiggle and spread your toes to let the air blow through them while they are elevated. Inspect your feet after you have rested them. Clean your feet with a wet wipe Apply antifungal foot powder on your feet (top, bottom, and between toes) before putting on your socks and footwear Put a clean, dry pair of socks on after powdering your feet. These simple steps for conducting foot hygiene will go a long way to keep your feet healthy while outdoors or bugging out during an emergency. Conclusion Your feet are your best friend, or they can be your worst enemy in a critical moment of survival. You do not want your mortality to rise or fall on the condition of your feet. If you take care of your feet in the wilderness, you will enhance your chances of survival in a critical situation. Remember these three simple principles of foot care, and you will have a more enjoyable experience outdoors. The post 3 Essential Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  9. First Aid Kits come in various levels of sophistication. As such, emergency medicine is always a central topic of concern for those prepping for emergencies or surviving in the outdoors. People who spend much time in the field will instruct that carrying a first aid kit is an essential item. Emergency preparedness literature also advises keeping a first aid kit in your home and car. However, before considering first aid items to carry, what are some general considerations concerning an individual first aid kit? Considerations The Level of Medical Expertise The first thing that should influence what you put in your first aid kit is your level of medical expertise. Have you received certified training in first aid or emergency care? Are you a person with general knowledge of medical care from personal experience? First aid kits that are available at a local store are for use by the general public. By contrast, some of the more sophisticated emergency first aid kits are for those with more specialized medical training. For example, if a person does not know how to take a manual blood pressure reading, then to have an analog blood pressure cuff and stethoscope in a kit is probably not wise. Not only is a person’s level of medical expertise an influence concerning the type of first aid kit to carry, but also what is the intended use for the first aid kit. The Purpose of the First Aid Kit The next thing that should influence what you put in your first aid kit is your intended purpose for your kit. The purpose of a first aid kit determines what kind of items are in the kit. For example, the two most common types of first aid kits are the general first aid and trauma aid. One will have a tourniquet in it while the other will not. A general first aid kit in the home or car will be different from one that is in your EDC bag. Therefore, it is essential to define the first-aid that you expect to render before deciding what to put in your kit. Thus, as one considers carrying a first aid kit, what are the top 5 essential items that should be in any first aid or trauma kit beyond adhesive bandages, such as band-aids? Essential Items 1. Quick Clot Bandage Quick Clot is a blood clotting hemostatic gauze that helps stop bleeding from severe wounds and cuts. Z-Medica, LLC is the company that produces the Quick Clot line of hemostatic bandages used by outdoorsman, emergency medical personnel, and the U.S Department of Defense (DoD) agencies. Quick Clot bandages have Kaolin. Kaolin promotes the clotting of human blood when applied to traumatic wounds. Hemostatic dressings are not practical for general use as a substitute for band-aids or other cloth bandages. The Quick Clot bandage to carry in an individual first-aid kit is the Advance Clotting Sponge by Adventure Medical Kits. 2. Antibiotic Ointment Antibiotic ointment is a valuable item to carry in a first aid kit. This topical treatment comes in various sizes. The most practical size for an individual first aid kit is the single-use packet containing Bacitracin Zinc (400 units Bacitracin), Neomycin Sulfate (5mg)., and Polymyxin-B Sulfate (5000 units). An individual first aid kit should have 3-4 single-use antibiotic ointment packets at a minimum. A triple antibiotic ointment is only to treat minor cuts and scrapes on the skin to prevent bacterial infections within the wound. Please do not use it on other kinds of infections that require stronger antibiotic treatments such as viral infections of the internal organs. Larger first aid kits for a home or car should have a tube of antibiotic ointment as part of their contents. 3. Benadryl Benadryl is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine. Its purpose is to treat allergies, hay fever, and the common cold. In limited amounts, it can be used in an emergency to treat life-threatening allergic reactions until emergency medical personnel can treat the allergic reaction with more potent medications. Benadryl is the most commonly used OTC medication to treat minor environmental allergic reactions. 4. Bandage Scissors or Medical Shears Bandage scissors or medical shears are a critical tool to carry in an individual first aid kit. Both items will allow for the cutting of clothing and gauze bandages while rendering first aid. The smaller instrument will fit better in smaller general use individual first aid kit. Medical shears should be in trauma kits, and larger individual first aid kits carried in a Bug-Out Bag or a vehicle emergency kit. 5. Disposable Medical Gloves Medical gloves also are an essential addition to any personal first aid kit. Some of the smaller first aid kits do not have a pair of disposable medical gloves in them. If you build your own individual first aid kit, then an excellent item to include is one pair of disposable medical gloves. The most common kind of disposable medical gloves are the nitrile gloves. Nitrile is a synthetic rubber. These are the preferred type of medical glove because some people are allergic to latex. Therefore, even if you are not allergic to latex, the person to whom you may render first aid might be allergic to latex. Consequently, it is wise to not take chances with someone’s life by using latex and inducing anaphylactic shock by accident. Thus, only put disposable medical gloves made of nitrile in your first aid kit. Recommended Individual First Aid Kits (IFAK) 1. Adventure Medical Kits Adventure First Aid, 1.0 2. Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight / Watertight .7 Medical Kit The post Top 5 Essential Items For Your Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  10. Everyone seems to agree that a good survival knife is an essential item for the outdoorsman, bushcrafters, or preppers. There are many good resources to access to learn about survival knives. However, the key words of versatility and practicality should influence your thinking about knives. Additionally, do you view a knife as a weapon or tool or both? Furthermore, there are at least two major things to consider before you decide on what kind of knife to purchase or carry: the purpose of the knife and the characteristics of the knife. The Purpose Of The Knife The defining question for determining the type of fixed-blade knife to carry is the type of use for that knife. What is the purpose or reason for carrying a knife? The term survival knife is a definition for a purpose or an application of the knife. That means that the intent of the knife is personal survival. In other words, it will be the one knife that you will rely on to save your life. However, there are many general categories of survival: combat/tactical, wilderness, urban, water/sea, jungle, mountain, desert, medical, emergency, etc. Thus, there are knives specifically tailored for each of these survival categories. Therefore, a person needs to define what kind of use they want to get out of a fixed-blade knife. Yet, there are some basic characteristics that define a good survival knife. The Characteristics Of A Survival Knife 1. Full-Tang The first characteristic in a survival knife is that must be full tang. The term, full tang, means the knife blade and handle tang are formed from a singular piece of steel. The tang is the part of the knife upon which the handle scales are attached. The knife tang should extend to the bottom of the handle and not taper into the handle as in a rat tail design. Some knives marketed as survival knives have a hollow handle molded, bolted, or welded to the blade. Unfortunately, this welding point makes the knife vulnerable to cracking and breaking at the joint where the blade and handle meet. However, in recent years, there has been some significant improvements on the hollow-handle knives and some people are starting to recommend them as a useful knife. What about blade thickness? 2. Blade Thickness: 3/16-1/4 inch The second characteristic of a good survival knife involves blade thickness. A good survival knife needs a blade thickness between 3/16 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch. This provides a solid and durable blade that will last if you take care of it. The blade thickness is important if using the knife for prying things apart. Other sources will have additional considerations. However, I found that if you find a knife that meets these first two specifications then the other recommended characteristics for a good survival knife will fall into place. Furthermore, blade length is another consideration. 3. Blade Length: 4.5-6 inches A third characteristic of a good and reliable survival knife is blade length. There are some experts that recommend that a survival or bushcrafting knife should have a blade length of no less than five inches. However, the exception to this rule are the Morakniv® brand knives. Many of the experts in the field of wilderness survival and bushcraft recommend the Morakniv® knives. Yet, a blade length of five or more inches meets the versatility considerations for a survival knife: construct improvised weapons and traps, as well as, process food. One thing to keep in mind about blade length is not to have a knife blade that is too long. A knife blade beyond six or seven inches is probably going to be too cumbersome to wield when building traps or skinning a squirrel. Not only are tang, blade length and thickness important for a survival knife, but also the blade materials are equally important. 4. Blade Materials: D2 or 1095 High Carbon Steel A fourth characteristic for a quality survival knife is the steel used in making the knife. There is almost universal agreement that high carbon tool steel is the optimum material for a knife blade. D2 and 1095 steels are the most favorable tool steels for the blade construction of a survival knife. These blade steels are the best for those are spending a lot of time in the field such as hunters or bushcrafters. They are easy to sharpen and hold an edge well. However, a good blade steel to consider is stainless steel if there is only an occasional excursion to the outdoors. This means that it is easy to keep corrosion and rust from building up on the blade or handle. For example, many of the top game processing knives feature a stainless steel blade. So, a stainless steel outdoor knife may be a consideration for only a weekend outing on the campgrounds, cabin, or the favorite fishing hole. Moreover, the type of blade spine is also important to consider. 5. Blade Spine: 90° Spine The fifth characteristic of a good survival knife is a blade spine that is ground to a 90° edge. This kind of edge is useful in the field. It allows a person to use the spine of the knife to scrape bark from a tree for tinder and strike a ferro rod when making a fire. It is also good for striking flint or chert rock against it to make a spark for starting fires. 6. Blade Grind: Scandinavian or Flat A sixth characteristic of an excellent survival is the blade grind. There are two common blade grinds that one will find on a quality survival knife: a Scandinavian grind and a flat grind. The Scandinavian grid is the most popular grind of the two. The main reason that these two grinds are popular on survival knives is that they are the easiest type of blades to sharpen in the wilderness. Other blade grinds sometimes require special tools or expertise to sharpen. Thus, most of the high quality, and, expensive bushcraft or survival knives will feature these blade grinds. Moreover, there are some other things to consider when deciding about a knife to carry as a survival knife. Other Considerations Jimping Some things to think about when deciding on a good survival knife are the type of additional features some knives have on them. For example, some survival knives have notches on the spine of the blade near the handle called jimping. This feature allows additional friction when using the thumb for wood carving or cutting tasks. Is jimping something that you want on your knife? Scale Material Another feature to ponder on survival knives are the kind of scale material on the handles. The four most common handle scale materials on survival knives are: bone, wood, rubber, or micarta. Wood, rubber, and bone are understandable scale features. However, micarta is a material that is often used on survival knives. Micarta is a composite material of polymers and linen cloth fibers. Thus, micarta has a wood-like quality to the touch. Type of Edge: Fine or Serrated? Finally, some commentary on serrated edges. There is much ado regarding a knife blade with a serrated edge and one without. The decision about this feature is a matter of preference. It is also being able to answer the earlier question, “What is the purpose of your knife”? If you want to cut down on weight in your backpack by carrying only one knife, then a knife with a serrated edge may be a viable option. The serrated edge provides some versatility with the ability to saw small diameter limbs or materials such as plastic. However, if you are going to carry a good multi-tool, you do not really need a knife with a serrated edge. Thus, a good survival knife is an essential piece of gear. Therefore, choose your survival knife wisely. Recommended Survival Knives: 1. Morakniv Bushcraft 2. Morakniv Garberg 3. The Sigma 3 Survivor “Ultimate Bushcraft Blade” 4. Tops BOB Fieldcraft 5. Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion The post Outstanding Features In A Survival Knife appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  11. Modifying your Get-Home-Bag (GHB) is a great way to stay ready for a winter emergency. The Fall is upon us now. Yet, Winter is about to arrive. Moreover, the winter season means traveling in dangerous weather conditions. Thus, it is critical to prepare to handle winter emergencies while on the road. Therefore, one of the ways to be prepare to face a winter travel emergency is to keep an emergency survival kit in your vehicle. A convenient way to keep an emergency survival kit in your car is through a 72-hour level backpack. For this article, this bag is different from a vehicle emergency kit. This emergency bag is for personal survival while traveling in inclement weather conditions. Some people call this type of emergency bag, a Get-Home-Bag (GHB). This bag is to enable your survival as you get back your home after leaving your car. Moreover, this article is not about building a Get-Home-Bag. Instead, the purpose of this article is to help you customize the GHB that you already have for the winter. This means examining what contents that are in your bag. What are some factors to consider when winterizing your bag? Factors Influencing Winterizing Your Get Home Bag Factor #1: Environment The first factor to consider when winterizing your Get-Home-bag is your general environment. A more specific environmental consideration is the kind of winters that your area experiences. For example, people living in the Southwest do not have to worry about blizzard or whiteout conditions. By contrast, people living in the upper Midwest or New England have to take into consideration the more harsh conditions of winter. Another environmental factor that influences winterizing your bag are the winter temperatures and wind chill factors. Factor # 2: Travel Distance Moreover, the next factor to keep in mind is the distance that you will be traveling. People travelling long distances will have also to consider the winter conditions throughout their travel. Additionally, one should consider the type of infrastructures that can serve as emergency stopping points or emergency shelter while traveling. Additionally , experience with using your gear is important. Factor # 3: Experience A third factor you should consider when preparing your Get-Home-Bag is your level of experience. Your experience with the outdoors and survival gear influence what you carry in the bag. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Only place items in your bag that you already know how to use. For example, a Bic® lighter is an item that you already know how to use. However, you may not know to use climbing or rappelling gear. The point here is that being stranded on a major interstate in a blizzard is no place to try something that you have never used. Thus, your attempt to experiment with an unfamiliar skill or gear in the middle of an emergency may jeopardize your life or the life of others of whom you are responsible. Therefore, as you consider modifying your Get-Home bag for winter, what are some things to think about when deciding on survival gear? Gear Considerations For Winterizing Your Get Home Bag The Right Backpack The first thing to consider about your Get-Home-Bag is the bag itself. You may need to replace your current bag with something more durable. A couple of good examples of winter capable packs are the 5.11Tactical® Rush 72 Backpack (55 liters), sold at the Sigma 3 Survival School Store, or the SealLine® Black Canyon Boundary Portage Pack (70 liters). Both of these packs have their strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the Rush 72 pack is its capability for modularity. Its material is a water repelling (not waterproof) 1050 Denier nylon fabric. The main advantage of the SealLine® pack is that its waterproof 300 Denier TPU-double-coated nylon body with a 400 Denier TPU-coated nylon bottom. The waterproof material of this pack guarantees that clothing items in the bag will stay dry in rain or snow conditions. The main weakness of the Rush 72 pack is that it is not waterproof. Lengthy exposure in rain or snow water will eventually have moisture seep into the bag. The main weakness of the SealLine® pack is that it does not have any attachment points on its exterior. Thus, after selecting a winter-capable backpack, what are some winter survival gear options to place inside the bag? Fire Making Items The first survival gear consideration for a winter Get-Home-Bag is a fire making item. Fire is one of the four essentials of survival (Fire, Food, Water, Shelter). A great piece of fire-making gear is the Sigma 3 Fire Kit. Check out my review of this excellent fire kit for more information about this kit. In a winter scenario, being able to build a fire is critical to keep from getting hyperthermia. It allows you to stay warm, dry your wet clothing, sanitize water, melt snow, and cook food. Furthermore, meeting your hydration requirement is critical to surviving in a winter environment. Water and Hydration Items The second consideration for survival gear your Get-Home-Bag is hydration. Water is a primary key to survival in winter. Therefore, water procurement, treatment, and consumption are central to surviving in a winter emergency. However, finding fresh running water in a stream may be difficult in the winter. Thus, it is essential to have a capability to melt snow or ice to get fresh drinkable water in the winter. The Sigma 3 Water Kit is an excellent piece of gear to consider putting into any winterized GHB. Check out my review of this water kit for more information this versatile gear. Shelter and Cover Items Additionally, a third survival gear consideration for a Get-Home-Bag is that of shelter. One option for meeting your winter shelter needs would be the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock system. The hammock is available at the Sigma 3 Survival store. This hammock system comes with some additional add-on items: a winter top cover and under quilt protector. If you are interested in more information on this hammock system, read my review and video at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. A further consideration for this hammock system would be a sleeping bag. The Snugpak® Tactical 4 winter sleeping bag also would be a great addition to the winter shelter consideration for any GHB. The Snugpak® sleeping bag could be attached to the bottom of the Rush 72 pack. Food and Food Procurement Items Additionally, a fourth survival gear consideration for a winter Get-Home-Bag is food and food procurement. Another item to think about putting in a GHB for the winter is the Yoyo Fish Trap fishing Reel or the Emmrod® Kayak King Cast Rod and Reel Kit. These items are available at the Sigma 3 Survival School Store. Pre-made meals such as MREs or Mountain House® pouches are useful items to meet the food requirements for a GHB. You can also build your meal kit by using instant oatmeal, instant rice, beef jerky, energy bars, crackers, and instant electrolyte powder (Gatorade®/Propel®). Winter Clothing Items Moreover, a final survival gear consideration for a Get-Home-Bag for the winter is addressing clothing needs. Winter clothing items can be bulky and take up space in the backpack. Therefore, choose winter clothing items carefully. Wool and Gore-Tex should be the kinds of materials that characterize winter clothing. Here are some suggestions for some winter clothing items. The first winter clothing item to consider are wool socks. Keeping feet warm and dry is a critical consideration when discussing surviving in the winter. The U.S. Army MIL-84K Wool Boot Socks or Smartwool® Men’s Hunt Extra Heavy Over the Calf Socks are the types of socks to consider for winter clothing in a Get-Home Bag. Some other winter clothing considerations could be having a wool-based base layer set in the bag, such as the Meriwool Men’s Merino Wool Midweight Baselayer. A military wool watch cap and Weather Wool Neck Gaiter scarf would also be a great item to consider for one’s emergency bag. Conclusion In conclusion, the Get-Home-Bag is a great resource to have available in one’s vehicle. As the winter period of the year dawns, it is prudent to check your bag. You should analyze what winter specific survival items you need. It is possible that a more substantial bag may be necessary to meet your winter needs. For example, the things in my GHB are easily stored in the current pack. There is no requirement where I live to maintain large bulky cold weather gear. However, I do need to preserve some winter gear in my bag for traveling in the mountainous regions of the Southwest. So as you begin to assess your winter needs for your Get-Home-Bag choose carefully and wisely the gear that you will need. The post Modify Your Get-Home-Bag For Winter appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  12. Burnweed as Food American Burnweed is an underrated and unappreciated wild edible. Although Burnweed has no history as a food source here in America, everywhere else in the world that it grows it is eaten. It’s a common food in all of Asia and most of Europe. It is a strong flavored plant, but the flavor is good in my opinion. It is somewhat comparable to mint and tarragon The younger leaves are milder than the older ones and can be eaten raw. The leaves, young and old, can be cooked as a green and are really tasty. My method for cooking them is really simple. Heat some butter in a frying pan. Throw in a handful of leaves and fry for a few minutes. When all the leaves are wilted and covered in butter they are ready to eat. The stems of the plant are traditionally pickled and are delicious. Making them is simple as well. Cut young stems into 6 inch sections and stick in a jar. Pour in pickling spices and cover the whole mess with apple cider vinegar and a little bit of water. Let that sit for a couple weeks and you have a real treat. Burnweed as Medicine Although this plant was not used as a food in native America, it was used as a medicine. One of the common names of this plant is Pilewort. That’s because it was used to get rid of piles, which, nowadays we call hemorrhoids. Oil was extracted from this plant and applied directly to affected area. Apparently it was very soothing. Algonquin peoples made a strong decoction from this plant to treat Poison Ivy and Poison Sumac. I haven’t tried this myself but I will in the future. A number of early North American sources indicate medicinal uses of the plant in treatment for hemorrhage, wounds, skin diseases, dysentery, and cholera, but note that it may cause nausea. In fact the oil was used to purposefully cause nausea as it’s listed as a purgative and emetic. Have you used this plant as a food or medicine? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments. Also i would be glad to answer any questions. If you would like to learn more about this and other great plant foods and medicines, come spend a day training with us at our Plant Identification course. If you REALLY want to learn more spend a few days with us at our Wildcrafter course. The post Burnweed (Erechtites hieraciifolia) appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  13. Rites of Passage Every culture on the planet has always had some type of obstacle to becoming an adult. People have generally had to go through some difficult and painful experience without flinching. A young Australian aborigine had to survive for up to 6 months on his own. Some native tribes required young men to spend a year alone. Why? My personal opinion is that it is because hardship causes strength. People who have been through rites of passage are stronger than people who have been coddled. They are also wiser. Solving problems and overcoming obstacles is exercise for the brain. I believe this is why our 45 day instructor program is such a success. It’s a modern day Rites of passage. Winners Don’t Quit The instructor program is not easy, although the skills are easy enough to learn. A beginner with no previous experience can take the class and successfully graduate while a seasoned pro at survival may tap out when the going gets tough.I don’t get the chance to spend much time with those who tap out but those who push through though are changed forever. They have overcome something big. An obstacle, mostly mental, has been conquered and the graduates are stronger and wiser for it. I consider myself very lucky to have many ongoing relationships with these winners and I learn a lot from them. Traditionally shame would be brought on the person failing to complete a rite of passage. Sometimes the person was shunned or disowned by their family or tribe. We don’t do go so far, here at Sigma 3, but we do have a bell that participants are supposed to ring before they tap out. So far to date though no one has ever rang it when quitting. I suppose this is because they believe the bell is what causes the shame instead of their mental weakness. In fact quite a few quitters have left in the middle of the night without saying a word to anyone. These People still have to live with themselves when they look in the mirror. Quitters Don’t Win Sometimes students who quit realize they do have what it takes and they come back and take the class again. These people are fighters. They lost a battle but refuse to quit so they try again until they make it. I have a lot of respect for these students. In many cultures you have to try repeatedly until you overcome whatever obstacle is deemed adult worthy, sometimes for years. And then there are students who just refuse to quit regardless of the circumstances. Let me give you an example. A couple years ago, during the winter instructor program, the weather turned bad the first day of Scout. It was pouring rain, the wind was fierce, and the temperatures were in the low 40s. Nine students had made it this far and were about to face the most challenging obstacle yet. They had to survive for 7 days with just a knife in this horrible weather. On the morning of day two 8 of the 9 students tapped out. They fell like dominoes and it’s hard to blame them. The conditions were horrible. They were wet, cold, miserable, and hungry. Endurance But one student refused to quit. Gabriel Estremera struggled on, alone, for 7 days of torture and in so doing, realized that he had what it takes to make it, no matter how bad conditions are. He was the only graduate of this class. I can almost promise you that his feeling of accomplishment far outweighed the misery he felt during that one cold wet week. He will carry that with him for life. How About You? How about you? Have you been through some rites of passage that has forever changed you for the better? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments. If not, we can help. Check out our instructor program here at Sigma 3. The benefits will last a lifetime and so will the friendships. The post Rites of Passage appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  14. Rites of Passage Every culture on the planet has always had some type of obstacle to becoming an adult. People have generally had to go through some difficult and painful experience without flinching. A young Australian aborigine had to survive for up to 6 months on his own. Some native tribes required young men to spend a year alone. Why? My personal opinion is that it is because hardship causes strength. People who have been through rites of passage are stronger than people who have been coddled. They are also wiser. Solving problems and overcoming obstacles is exercise for the brain. I believe this is why our 45 day instructor program is such a success. It’s a modern day Rites of passage. Winners Don’t Quit The instructor program is not easy, although the skills are easy enough to learn. A beginner with no previous experience can take the class and successfully graduate while a seasoned pro at survival may tap out when the going gets tough.I don’t get the chance to spend much time with those who tap out but those who push through though are changed forever. They have overcome something big. An obstacle, mostly mental, has been conquered and the graduates are stronger and wiser for it. I consider myself very lucky to have many ongoing relationships with these winners and I learn a lot from them. Traditionally shame would be brought on the person failing to complete a rite of passage. Sometimes the person was shunned or disowned by their family or tribe. We don’t do go so far, here at Sigma 3, but we do have a bell that participants are supposed to ring before they tap out. So far to date though no one has ever rang it when quitting. I suppose this is because they believe the bell is what causes the shame instead of their mental weakness. In fact quite a few quitters have left in the middle of the night without saying a word to anyone. These People still have to live with themselves when they look in the mirror. Quitters Don’t Win Sometimes students who quit realize they do have what it takes and they come back and take the class again. These people are fighters. They lost a battle but refuse to quit so they try again until they make it. I have a lot of respect for these students. In many cultures you have to try repeatedly until you overcome whatever obstacle is deemed adult worthy, sometimes for years. And then there are students who just refuse to quit regardless of their skill lever. Let me give you an example. A couple years ago, during the winter instructor program, the weather turned bad the first day of Scout. It was pouring rain, the wind was fierce, and the temperatures were in the low 40s. Nine students had made it this far and were about to face the most challenging obstacle yet. They had to survive for 7 days with just a knife in this horrible weather. On the morning of day two 8 of the 9 students tapped out. They fell like dominoes and it’s hard to blame them. The conditions were horrible. They were wet, cold, miserable, and hungry. Endurance But one student refused to quit. Gabriel Estremera struggled on, alone, for 7 days of torture and in so doing, realized that he had what it takes to make it, no matter how bad conditions are. He was the only graduate of this class. I can almost promise you that his feeling of accomplishment far outweighed the misery he felt during that one cold wet week. He will carry that with him for life. How About You? How about you? Have you been through some rites of passage that has forever changed you for the better? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments. If not, we can help. Check out our instructor program here at Sigma 3. The benefits will last a lifetime and so will the friendships. The post Rites of Passage appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article
  15. My name is Joshua and I have lived in semi-urban environments for many years. I have traveled this country extensively living in wood lots on the edges of towns. In this article I’m going to tell you a little about myself and how I decided to live homeless by choice. Ill also talk about some of the urban survival skills that were beneficial to me along the way. I’ve been practicing primitive survival skills my entire life and a little over 15 years ago I decided to test abilities by moving to the wilderness to spend a year living primitively. I ended up spending two years out there and the details are listed here in an article called “Alone in the Wilderness”. When those two years were complete I bought a few gadgets that would change my life. The most important one was a laptop computer. With this laptop I began making YouTube videos which became mildly popular (click here for my YouTube channel). I also started advertising myself as an instructor of wilderness skills and began teaching private lessons all over the country. That’s how my urban survival adventure began. Whenever someone would contact me for a private lesson, I would travel to their area for the class. When it was over I would find a woodlot or a wilderness area near town, preferably by a river, and set up camp for a while. Sometimes I would go into town, occasionally, to use the internet at a coffee shop or at McDonald’s. I would also take advantage of some of the resources that cities have to offer. One of those resources is food. We need meat to survive and the city offers us easier meat than the wilderness does. Food The rabbits in a city are much different than the rabbits in the wilderness. They are used to seeing people so they don’t flee so frantically like wild rabbits do. For me, this was a godsend. I could stalk a city park after dark and almost guarantee a meal. How I did this was with snares and a rabbit stick. Before dark I would walk the edges of a park and set a snare at every rabbit escape route I could find. Then, after the sun went down I would go into the field and run the rabbits, with a rabbit stick, into the snares. Once a rabbit was caught I would run over, step on its head, and pull the back legs, breaking its neck. I know that sounds cruel but it’s actually pretty instant. Squirrels are also much tamer in the city than in the wilderness. A squirrel pole with snares on it is almost guaranteed to get you food. However squirrels are active in the daytime so you have to be much more discreet if you are targeting them. I have been accosted and threatened by many people who think they are doing the right thing by protecting these animals. These hypocrites have no problem eating a burger from a factory tortured cow and they are a real danger to the urban survivalist. Another easy meat source near cities is the highways and roads nearby. If you check your “road kill trap line” every morning you can generally find fresh meat that is not too damaged, albeit slightly tenderized, for very little effort. It is a valuable resource that not enough people take advantage of. Homeless Of course most cities have a homeless population and cities that do generally have resources to feed the hungry. Churches and the Salvation Army offer meals and groceries for the homeless and I’m not ashamed to say I have taken advantage of them to some extent. However I must caution against becoming too familiar with the homeless people at these places, or becoming dependent on a handout. Homeless people can be dangerous. There is a lot of drug addiction and mental illness in the homeless community. I have personally experienced quite a lot of violence and a few close calls in the homeless community Violence is not the only threat though. There are plenty of nonviolent homeless folks as well but it’s still better to keep your distance. If people find out that your living a comfortable life they might want in on it and deplete your limited resources. SO my recommendation is to be kind but not inviting. Money Money is another useful resource in the cities. You won’t find much of it in the wilderness, that’s for sure. there is money to be had in the cities, if you are willing to work for it. There are a million ways to make money on the fly. Maybe, you won’t get rich but you can get by. You can scrap metal, gather pallets, or you can do what I did. You can sell your crafts. I make money by selling baskets. I have learned that the key to selling baskets is you have to make them in front of the costumer. They want the story. When someone sees their basket and mentions it they have the story of seeing an eccentric homeless guy making them in the park. That goes for arrowheads, bark containers, or anything else you’re making as well. Sales quadruple when they see you making it. After a while in one location I would eventually sell another class and off across the country I would go. Sometimes I would hitchhike and sometimes I would take a bus. I have always tried to never own more than I could carry. Possessions are anchors that trap people in place and limit freedom and freedom is like a pearl of great worth. This article is just the beginning of a series I am writing about how to achieve freedom. I’ll be discussing urban survival skills in depth as well as primitive living skills. Finally I’ll be transitioning into homesteading skills as well. Thanks for tagging along. The post 10 Years Homeless by Choice appeared first on SIGMA 3 Survival School. View the full article

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