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Posts tagged “survival

12 Guidelines for Realistic Prepping From TSP

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The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

12 Planks of Modern Survivalism Pod Cast from TSP

  • Prepare for success and failure, for bad times and good times.
    Jack says “Those that prepare for only the only bad times are as wrong as those that prepare only for the good times. ” or “Those that prepare only for failure are as bad as those that only prepare for success”
  • Get rid of debt. Though Jack allows mortgage or possibly business or possibly auto debt if its a wise purchase in the right situations. Dave Ramsey also talks much about this.
  • Grow, harvest, store  and eat your own food.
  • Reduce your tax burdens, take full advantage of write offs. However I must say don’t buy something just because its a write off. Write offs are only good if they are expenses you are going to have to have in the course of business. Why would you spend(lose) $100,000 to save only $1000. But if you actually need and can use what you buy for $100,000 then fine. Also a Dave Ramsey tenet.
  • Invest in stored food. Can goods, Dried goods etc. Some as insurance but some that you will eat regularly.
  • Learn about how to prioritize possibly emergencies or crisis based on probabilities. Prep for more common possibilities first.
  • Going green is not just for hippies and I recognized this before I even heard of Jacks pod cast or preppers and prepping. Its for preppers and survivalist also. This lead me to much of my study and many of the early blog post I wrote. If a side benefit is in being good stewards of the environment then great.
  • Become a land owner. Should be more than an urban lot.
  • Utilize practical prepping. Use common sense even though its not all that common. Maybe listen to common sense? Which is what I try to do. Don’t be too fanatical maybe?
  • Practice self defense.  Have the tools available and within easy access. I hear that Oklahoma just passed allow open carry law. I’ve always heard open carry was allowed in Texas but get conflicting reports from locals there. I’ve heard its allowed in Montana and know its allowed in Virginia.
  • Have the proper documentation on hand for any prepping need. Including written plans and other information. How many people used to keep numbers for fire, police and doctors handy for example?
  • Develop and customize your own plan to fit your needs and situation.

6 main areas of life when prepping for Survival

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The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

  • Food
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Shelter
  • Security
  • Health/Sanitation

These are the 6 main areas of life to consider when preparing for survival. This is the “prepper” world. Not necessarily “doomsday prepper” however. How about preparing for things that are likely to happen? These are things Jack Spirko talks about on The Survival Pod Cast all the time.


Dave Ramsey says in the “Total Money Makeover” that we should keep a $1000 emergency fund and then 3 to 6 months of “expense” money (not income) on hand. Preppers when storing up food say “Store what you eat and eat what you store”.  The pioneers stored food for getting them through the winter. We usually just go to the grocery store all winter. It is possible to store up food that last for years. The best used by dates on most food items means that it will begin to loose some flavor or possibly vitamins or nutritional content after that date. Many canned items could last 10 years in a root cellar. Dried and Freeze Dried items can last that long and longer. I have a blog post on Food Harvest Preservation you may want to read.

How about keeping 2 months food on hand? or 6? or a years worth? or 2 years or 5 years or 10 years? If you store food and do not use it then it spoils and is trashed after a given period of time. This is similar to the concept of insurance. You may just loose your money if you never need the food. If we rotate and eat the food that we stored then nothing is lost but effort and some time maybe. I think rotating and consuming is best, at least as much as you can stand. You need to be willing to know that you will eat the food that you store.

Also what about seeds? Yup you can set aside typical garden seeds and they can last for decades. Could there be a possibility that your or someone you know may in dire straights situation suddenly have no job and time for growing and harvesting food? Its something to think about. Other things to stock up on in this area might be garden soil, fertilizers, manures, compost, hummus etc. If we are going to be prepping for years into the future how about planting fruit, nut trees and vines around most especially native varieties of fruits and nuts and vines. Here I have an article on Square Foot Gardening. And here Types of Gardening. I’d add one thing to those also, the Critter Gitter Bag . If you have time to garden you may also have time to hunt and fish and trap.


There are many possible problems that might arise in the current water systems. High prices are one problem. Contamination another. Outage another. We need to have alternative ways to get clean uncontaminated water. We need to have ways to conserve and recycle used water. I address these problems in two post. Home Water Production and Filtration Purification Distillation and more


Energy comes in two main types, electricity and fuel. We can store energy at home and we can produce some energy needs at home. No matter what you read or hear there is no such thing as free energy. Manipulating or converting energy has its cost. For the average prepper we are talking about a generator and battery bank for backup power. As Steve Harris says we need to be like a submarine, run noisy and charging then run silent and run deep. Fuel can be more difficult to produce than electricity. Wood and wood gas would be most prepper’s priority here I would think. That is other than the buying and storing of other fuels. Propane is a great thing to store. Here are my post on
Home Fuel Production and Home Energy Production.


It cost under today’s economy around $50 to $70 per square food to build a new stick frame home. Stick frame means that dimensional lumber is used for the frame. It’s difficult to put up a new pole barn for $20 per square foot. If you bought a used mobile home one might get the cost down to $20 per square foot. A military tent might cost that much. I have been trying to figure out how to get a Mongolian yurt built for under $2.5 per square foot. Its not much more than a tent. Lets say you purchases a well used camper 8’x20′ for $300. That’s $1.85 per square foot. And for that price it will need some work.

Shelter is a huge cost in life with not much way to get around it. In a typical home 1/3 is material cost, 1/3 labor and 1/3 contractor cost. That doesn’t count land. If you need to buy land then make sure you have $3000 to $5000 or so on hand before you being your search. You will have extra cost up front to get the deal done and may have setup cost for services and other enhancements to the land. The one debt that I wouldn’t fault anyone for is a mortgage on home and land. Still larger down payments and lower payments are best. Shorter terms (with higher payments) are best in most cases.

I have a few articles related to shelter. Green Houses, Earthen Homes, Timber Frame Homes, Log Cabins and Metal Buildings


Security is not simply about guns and ammo. Risk assessment is a very important first start. However if you do not exercise your rights you will loose them. So keep and bear arms. But this is only a minor part of it. The army uses obstacles as well as arms and armor. Think in terms of slowing down the assailant  or making expensive attempts to thwart your security schemes. We can’t always stop violations of our security but we can always provide resistance. My article on security is Home Security. Also Ham Radio might be important. And for financial security I have two post. Home Accounting and Investing.

Health and Sanitation

As far as the health part goes I don’t have a lot to say. Keep various emergency kits and backup medical supplies around. Keep a trauma kit around. Keep bee sting and snake bite kits around. Keep communications in order. Health insurance is always a good idea. Keeping spare cash on hand for doctors is a good idea, though I rarely seem to have it when I make a visit.  I have a lot more to say on sanitation however in my post on Home Sewer Treatment

Survival(Primitive) Camping Arkansas and Area

I have a new plan for 2012 for fun and adventure. Let me explain what I mean by “survival camping” which is between being lost in the woods and camping. (A) Instead of going to a state park and camping in a designated area I intend to camp in the real wilderness where civilization can’t be seen from the camp site and nearby area. Hikes will probably consist of nearly level 1/2 to 1 mile hikes. (B) I intend to get my pack size down from 120lbs in days gone by (a long time ago at age 18-23) to 30 or 40lbs now at age (42). I realize some who are into survival stuff go much lighter than this. For survival I feel that if you can pack it in to the wilderness and back out then it should be considered survival camping as long as the weight doesn’t cause you to fall and break something. Some may feel the wallet weight needed is too extreme for some items. There are always cheaper and more expensive ways to do the exact same things. Some of this is up to the individual. To be honest in most of the USA a person could walk into the wilderness with near nothing and exist there for a day with no food and little to no water and be fine. You usually only get into real survival when your stay becomes 5 to 7 days or more. (C) I intend to try out survival task, especially related to hunting, fishing and food gathering. I don’t really mean that I intend to survive off the land by bringing into a wilderness only a T shirt, shorts, sandals and knife. I am not a survival expert. I have watched all or most of Les Strouds videos “Survivorman” and other videos of his. I have read a book recently which got me interested in this called “Adventure Travel In The Third World: Everything You Need To Know To Survive in Remote and Hostile Destinations”  A friend Steve Rogers recommends a book called “Science of Survival”. At least I think that link points to the book he was telling me about.

I intend to camp in Arkansas and possibly neighboring states areas. Will be camping anytime I can get a free day. Multiple days will be difficult as I work a demanding career. I may camp alone or with friends if I can get anyone to come along. The idea is to pack light, live off the land if possible and in a location where no civilization is within sight. I intend to try out survival task which of course mainly requires acquiring water, and food by hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, foraging. I do not intend to use tents but to sleep in the open or under makeshift shelters. I won’t bind the fellow campers that go along with to such a rigid outline. I intend to take photo’s and report on successes. Groups could pack lighter from the list below, as in not everyone would have to carry all those items on the lists. Some of those could be carried by one or two only.

It would be nice if I could make one trip to each county in Arkansas, 75 of them in all. I doubt I’ll have that much leisure time soon, or travel money. Counties of Arkansas My area is Yell, Logan and Pope counties. Its the area I know best. I have also spent a lot of time in Newton County on park land and around it. Only a little time in Stone county. I grew up in Yell County. And I currently reside in Pope County.

In Arkansas we have regions such as Ozarks (NW), River Valley (W Middle), Central (Center), Ouachitas (W SW), Timberland (SW,S), Delta (NE,E,SE). Each area has its own unique characteristics. Maybe at least I can plan one trip to each of these areas this year. I also intend to talk about geology a bit and collect some rock samples.

Below is a possible packing list. The idea is to pack less than 30lbs not counting camera’s, radio, cell phone, guns and ammo. [x] I don’t have it [o] I do have it. If I say (maybe) it means that is an optional item. A good way to weigh your pack and pack items is to use a fish scale. I intend to weight the items below as I acquire them and post the results here so that the reader may design his own pack. Obviously a person could pack lighter in warmer weather, or choose options to replace cold weather gear weight. Backpacking.net Make Gear page Is a site full of info on how to make your own camping gear. I’ll bolden the expensive items I don’t have just yet.

  • Navigation
    • GPS Device (maybe)[x] Which might be a smart phone such as I Phone or Android and not without map and compass.
    • USGS Topo Map Copies or printouts of area camped in [x] Map Catalog Also USGS.gov has a nice topo map locator and downloader. Arkansas Topo Index Map PDF
    • County land owner map copy for area you are in [x] Online Parcel Maps.org And as an example Yell county Arkansas online map.Yell is my home county, the one I grew up in and know the best.
    • Print out from google maps terrain view [x]
    • pencil and paper[o]
    • Decent Compass (Suunto) [o] I have a cheap made in china compass — 2 oz.
    • Clinometer (Suunto)(maybe) [x]
    • Elevation meter(maybe)[x]
  • Lights Petzl Lights
    • small led pen light [o]— 1/2 oz.
    • small led head lamp with head straps [x]
    • small led lantern  [o]—6 oz
    • small green led hat light [o]—1 oz
    • small led shoulder strap light, vest light or collar light [o]—2 oz
    • led combo work light/flashlight [o]—5 oz
    • carbide light (Premeir) with carbide and repair kit(maybe)  look on ebay for these. I hear they are no longer in production in any brand. Be ware of Butterfly brand.[x]
    • chem lights mini and large [x]
    • solar charger with rechargeable batteries (maybe) [x]
    • solar 3 led flash light [o] Nebo brand, — 2 oz
    • small 2D incandescent flashlight [o] — 9 oz
    • larger square battery 6v incandescent flashlight [0] — 1lb
    • crank charged 5 led flashlight [o] — 7 oz
    • tea candles[o]— 4 at 1/2 oz ea.
    • solar led yard light(maybe) might be good or when the fire dies low or goes out in scaring critters away.[0] $1 single led solar light, — 2 oz.
  • Fire
    • Butane lighter both flint striker and electric (not without other more sure methods listed below but along with) [0] — 1 oz ea.
    • flint steel (ferrocerium rod) [o] — 2.5 oz
    • striker (can be high carbon steel knife or sharp rock or broken glass) [o]  is with flint rod.
    • Potassium Permanganate (water filtering agent) and Glycerin (cosmetic) in separate vials.
    • (solar) magnifying glass [o] I have a wallet size one. — 1oz
    • (solar) incandescent flash light reflector [o] — 1 to 2 oz part of one or two of my flash lights.
    • (solar) page size Fresnel lens [o] — 2 oz
    • (solar) bottom of coke can or beer can polished [0] I have this as my coke can alcohol stove.
    • Steel wool (maybe)[x]
    • Trioxane tabs (maybe) [o] — 1 at 1.5 oz
    • Diethylene Glycol (maybe) [o] 2oz per pack
    • lint wax or Vaseline (maybe) [o]
    • cotton balls with wax or Vaseline (maybe) [x]
    • charcoal and or char cloth (maybe) [x]
    • tea candles [o]— 4 at 1/2 oz ea.
    • alcohol wipe or hand sanitizer (maybe and can be used for starting fire) [x] wipes — <oz hand sanitizer bottle — 2.5 oz
    • A couple of cheap cigarettes kept sealed and dry, tobacco can be used as very good fire tender. [x]
  • cooking
      • small alcohol stove [o] I have a small coke can stove — 1/2 oz
      • small candle stove [x] Specially home made stove. Has a candle in the bottom with 4 wicks for 4 flames. Holes in the sides for air intake and holes in a lid where hot air escapes underneath a pan or canteen cup.
      • small propane stove with stubby canister [o] I have Colman MSR style. top is — 7 oz.. propane canister is — 12 to 16 oz.
      • small amount of cooking alcohol(pga) [o] Jim Clear $7 per pint 375ml, 190 proof. — 12oz includes plastic bottle.
      • stainless flask, 8oz vol. empty [o] 3 oz
      • small solar oven (maybe) [x]
      • small rocket stove (maybe) [x]
      • canteen cup [o] US Military style, stainless steel— 5oz
      • small pot, pan, plate (aluminum) [o] 8 oz
      • fork spoon knife combo [o] I have a fork/knife  and spoon /knife combos, cork screw and bottle opener — 6 oz
  • water
    • collapsable water container [x]
    • MSR style water filter [x]
    • empty canteen [o]U.S. Military Style Plastic — 1oz
    • a few coffee filters (for pre-seiving before filtering)[x]
    • small amount of powdered cement, lime, powdered clay, or other flocculant (maybe, for flocculation) [x]
  • Food
    • dehydrated or dried
      • black tea [o]
    • powdered or granulated
      • sugar [o]
      • creamer or powdered milk [o]
      • powdered eggs[x]
      • powdered milk[o]
      • flower and corn meal[o]
      • hot chocolate powder(maybe) [x]
      • tang [x]
      • crystal light [x]
    • freezedried
      • coffee [o]
    • sources—Not only are these good emergency food stores but also good camp food to pack.
  • First Aid
    • Aspirin and Alieve  [o]
    • Tylenol
    • tooth ache numbing meds [x]
    • small scissors [o]
    • small bottle of hand sanatizer(maybe) [x]
    • alcohol wipe singles(maybe) [x]
    • 100% deet (spring and summer) [o]
    • razor knife blade or two [o]
    • Chemical Hand warmers [o] 2 at 1 oz ea.
    • Chemical Toe Warmers [o] 2 at 1 oz ea.
    • Q-Tips [o]
  • Firearms, fishing gear and knives
    • AR7 .22 [x]
    • 22 ammo [x]
    • Snake Charmer 410 shotgun modified choke  (full choke extension)[x]
    • 410 shells with bird/small game shot [x]
    • 410 heavier game loads [x]
    • 357 (maybe) [x]
    • .38 rounds [x]
    • .357 rounds [x]
    • Small .22 revolver  or single shot .22 pistol. (maybe) [x] (I have .25 cal semi pistol)
    • Pump BB gun rifle? Pellet Gun rifle? Air .20 .22 or .25 cal rifle? I wouldn’t use CO2 or dive tank charged guns except from the vehicle and at the homestead. They would be a bit heavy to pack or possibly unreliable (when they run out of gas) A good looking rifle is the Beeman duel cal. .177 and .22 has barrels that swap. Shoots 1000 fps pellet or 850 fps .22 These are accurate from 40 to 70 yards.
    • Pump Pellet gun pistol?  Crosman 1377 or 1322 .177 and .22 cal respectively. Shoots near 500fps accurate at 10 to 15 yards.
    • Bows and Arrows? Air Pistol gun shooting bolts? Blow guns? Slings? Sling Shots? Sling bow? Spear? Atlatl? Well I wouldn’t pack all of that but a person might consider any of that to be valid survival tools. A good bow to take might be a recurve takedown(detachable limbs) bow. These are as light as 2.7 lbs in 55# draw.
    • Belt/Leg knife (m14 bayonet) some recommend knife with hollow handle [o] Have a cheaper $15 lockback stainless steel knife and a double blade utility knife. — 5.5 and 7 oz.
    • Swiss army knife(maybe) [x]
    • Lineman Pliers multitool [o] I have a cheaper multitool. — 9 oz
    • Machete [0] Gerber with saw teeth on back and case —1lb
    • Hatchet (maybe) [x] Gerber — 12oz
    • paring knives (a couple)[o]
    • fillet knife (maybe)[o]
    • diamond knife sharpening rod or other diamond sharpeners [o] — 4.5oz
    • small wet stone sharpener [o] — 1oz
    • packable fishing pole [o] (3 piece fly rod) — 8 oz
    • crappie real [o] — 1 oz
    • fishing line, fly’s, white gig, hooks, weights, floats, fly bubbles, swivels etc. [o] a few oz
    • a few fishing yo yo’s (as many as you may want to pack) don’t forget about limb lining technique as well.
  • Clothing
    • hunting camo [o]
    • hunter orange (if necessary) [o]
    • polypro cold weather gear [o]
    • army wool glove liners[x]
    • army leather gloves [x]
    • furry head cover or ski mask head over [o]
    • combat boots (jungle type in summer) [x]
    • jacket [o]
    • coat if necessary [o]
    • mosqueto head net [o]
    • hat[o]
  • Poncho, Sleeping Bag, Mat, Hammock
    • Military Poncho (used as tent covering if needed) [x]
    • Cheap Poncho (like trash bag almost)[o] — 2 oz
    • 4 lb sleeping bag good for 0 to 30 degrees (packs small 8″x20″) [o] I have a 7.5lb cotton military bag and 3.5lb down liner. Good for 0 to 10 degrees F.
    • 1/2 lb military poncho liner[x]
    • 1 lb Fleece bag [0] I have a fleece blanket. — 8oz
    • Self Inflating Pneumatic Sleeping Mat (packs small 4″x14″)[x] I just bought military mat. 4″x17″ — 1 lb 14 oz
    • emergency blanket [o] — 2 oz
    • mosqueto netting [x] I have a head net — 1 oz
    • Quality but light weight Hammock  such as Hennessy Hammock and some cordage for tying sides back(out) This hammock also functions as a tent with rain fly cover and mosquito netting built onto it. [x] — 3lbs 9oz for a larger one.
  • 2500 cc pack (inside frame recon type pack) [x] I do have a book back pack to use
  • Vest lots of pockets inside and out [x]
  • Waist,Fanny pack with pockets (maybe) [x] I do have a small hand carry pack with strap
  • Camera Equipment
    • still photo digital cam [o[
    • digital video cam (maybe) [x] My photo cam will do short video.
    • tripod (maybe)[x] My dad has one I can borrow.
  • (for me)digital voice recorder (for taking notes for this blog)
  • Cell Phone (off except for emergencies)[o] If Its an I Phone might use it for weather reports and live weather radar map data. If I Phone is used for map, it should not be a replacement for printed map. Can also use it for gps tracking with “GPS Track Recorder Lite” app. The basic versionis free.
  • Ham Radio (maybe) If not licensed then at least you can listen to it sometimes and anyone may use a ham radio in a real emergency (assuming you know how to tune and operate it).
    • tuna tin radio, head phones, wire antenna, code key[x]
    • walky talky style radio[x]
    • small packing radio used for all bands, mic, antenna, headphones[x] I do have a small 2 meter radio that will pack, but I wouldn’t want to pack power for it.
  • Walking Stick (for balance, snake probing and can be hollow and contain survival items)[x]
  • Small air horn (for scaring animals and signaling for help)[o] — 3 oz
  • Whistle (for signaling or scaring animals)[o] — 1 oz
  • Pepper spray (for bears so that they can think “mmmmm I love spicy food”)
  • flagging tape (for use when lost for both alerting rescuers and for marking a trail)[o]
  • Instrument for telling you barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed and direction. (snipers use these instruments)
  • binoculars or scope for gun or telescope. [o] I have 12 x 32mm — 10 oz

This next list is one I got from a friend of mine named Steve Rogers. This is his BOB (Bug out Bag) or Emergency Kit. In my packs above this stuff would go in the vest. He puts his in a fanny pack. This is very light and is good for example for times when you need to step away from camp. Its good for times when you need to move light such as fishing or hunting away from camp. Its also good to carry it for runs to and from vehicle from camp.

Steve Rogers 2 lb Emergency Waist(Fanny)Pack
  • (1) Knife – The swisschamp seems to be the logical choice over the leatherman wave. Both have blade, saw, scissors and file. while the
    leatherman has better pliers design, the champ has a small useable pair, plus lens, tweezers, pen, extra blade, fish scaler and its lighter
    than the leatherman.
  • (10) Lifeboat Matches – Better than strike anywhere because they are waterproof. Better than waterproof because they are windproof. [x]
  • (1) Flint Striker – Small as a pencil lead but will last for hundreds of strikes. [o]
  • (1) Wax Cotton – Waterproof and catches any spark immediately. [x]
  • (1) Compass – Small, dependable. [x]
  • (25′) Nylon Cord – #18 braided nylon cord. Paracord is better but bulky. Best to make a sling or belt from paracord to get enough length. [x]
  • (6-8′) Duct Tape – Flat pack for ease of storage. A world of uses. [o]
  • (25′) Snare Wire – Floral wire from Wal~mart works well. One length to be cut if necessary. [x]
  • (1) Small LED Light – Dependable and lasts for days on button batteries. [o]
  • (50′) Fishing Line – Spool on a plastic (or steel if weight isn’t an issue) sewing machine bobbin. You can get about 50′ on one. [o]
  • (6) Small Hooks – For small streams. [o]
  • (6) Large Hooks – For larger fish and birds [o]
  • (10) Dry Bait – Enough to get started until you can get other forms of natural bait.(worms, grasshoppers, grubs) [x]
  • (6) Shot Weights – Small split shot. can be crimped with the pliers in swisschamp [o]
  • (1) Float – Why not? [o]
  • (1) Treble Gig – Straighten a 8/0 Treble hook to form a 3 point gig to use as a spear for small frogs, fish, birds, snakes, etc. [o]
  • (6) Imodium – For diahreha. (Enough for 6 days whatever you get) [o]
  • (4) Pain Reliever – For pain and fever that comes from injury or sickness. (Enough for 6 days of fever) [o]
  • (1) No-Doz – For a short burst of alertness if needed [x]
  • (3) Benadryl – For allergic reactions to bugs, plants…etc[o]
  • (2) Band-aids – not much , but may help to keep out an infection.(Use the kind with antibacterial already in it and waterproof) [x]
  • (2) Sewing Needles – 1 large, 1 small (Can be used with fishing line for repairs or suture) [x]
  • (2) Candles – For prolonging a flame if tender is damp. [o]
  • (6) Water Purification Tablets – If a fire to boil water is not an option. Also 1 pill with a small amount of water is a good antiseptic.(Iodine) [x]
  • (2) Oven Cooking Bags – Can be used for anything like a Ziploc but they are tougher, thinner, and withstand contact with boiling water better.(That’s what they were made for after all) [x]
  • (2) Season Salt – Improves the taste of anything you have to choke down to survive. (Only use on really bad tasting edibles) [x]
  • Chicken Seasoning from a pkg of raman noodles …a little goes a long way. [x]
  • (2) Sugar – Same use as seasoning only for drinks or foul smelling water.(Even if purified, water can stink and taste like sewage…Believe Me!) [o]
  • (1) Small Mirror – For signaling or personal Hygiene. [o]
  • ($25) Cash – In case you wander out in front of a McDonald’s. [o]
  • ($1) Change – In case the gas station is closed but they have a soda , vending machine or phone out front.(That’s a bummer….I know) [o]
  • (1) Poncho – Small, clear plastic poncho. can be a cover for rain, Solar Still, Shelter roof, rain catch, you name it. [o] — 1 oz
  • (1) Solar Blanket – Tough Mylar material. reflects heat, also works like the poncho. [o] — 1 oz
  • (1) Head-net – For bugs but also can be used for holding wild edibles or as a net to dip up small fish.[o]
  • (1) Lip Balm – Soft wax in a tube has many uses. Can be used for starting fires with cloth, or on a bearing block with the bow and drill. [o]
  • (1) Metal container – A waterproof metal container can hold the items, float, boil water for drinking or cleaning wounds, cooking and such. [x]
  • (2) Nutrition Bar – Not enough to keep you from being hungry, but having them as a last resort is mentally comforting.Use them only if all other forms of food gathering have not been successful. [x]
  • (1) Stone Sharpener – For the knife , hooks or gig. [x]
  • (1) paper pencil – Keep track of distance and direction traveled. Etc [x]
  • (1) Bandana – For the head , face, neck. To cool you off or filter a dust storm even a bandage. [x]
  • (2′) RUBBER TUBING – For slingshots, spear-gun, tourniquet, drinking straw for hard to reach water. [x]

List of Arkansas Critters to be wary of written by an Arkansas Native (me). We have more animals and insects than these of course. Some I didn’t list here might cause concern the first time you see or hear them until you find that they are harmless. Some Africans I knew who were students told me they were amazed by our lighting bugs.

  • Larger Animals
    • Big Foot A man/ape like ghost of a creature that is rarely seen or rumored only, very shy, not harmful, smells bad, may howl and throw rocks at you.
    • Black Bear Rarely harmful and sometimes seen. Much more common today in Arkansas than 20 years ago.
    • Elk (Bull) Possibly harmful, North Arkansas area, sometimes seen.
    • Deer (Buck) Unlikely but possibly harmful, seen often.
    • Wolf Rarely seen but possibly harmful.
    • Coyote Commonly seen, unlikely to be harmful.
    • Mountain Lion A ghost that is rarely seen in rumor only.
    • Panther A ghost that is rarely seen in rumor only.
    • Bobcat Commonly seen, not afraid of humans, a small cat to be wary of.
    • Alligator Seen on some waterways and lakes. Mostly docile but possibly harmful and a worry none the less. More populated in eastern and southern Arkansas.
    • Wild Hog Very common today, shy and will run like hell, but if cornered may fight like hell.
    • Badger Rarely seen. Will stand their ground.
    • Beaver Seen often around water, mostly harmless.
  • Smaller Harmless Animals
    • Skunk Common to rare.
    • Opossum Common to rare.
    • Armadillo Common
    • Raccoon Common
    • Squirrel Very Common
    • Rabbit Very Common
    • Wild Turkey Common
    • Dove Sometimes seen
    • Quayle Common
    • Duck Common
    • Geese Sometimes seen
    • Fox Rare
    • Otter Rare
    • Mink Rare
  • Snakes
    • Timber Rattler Fairly common, very poisonous.
    • Diamondback Rattler Rarer but common, very poisonous.
    • Copperhead (Pit Viper) Very common, poisonous.
    • Cotton Mouth Water Moccasin (Viper) Very common near water, poisonous.
    • Corral Snake Ghost snake extremely rare, very very poisonous. These may be found in the southern Arkansas area.
    • King Snake Somewhat common, harmless and eats other snakes. Rumored to cause ill effects if you are bitten by them. They are immune to the bites of other poisonous snakes. There is a version of this snake that resembles the Coral Snake in coloring.
    • Spreading AdderSomewhat rare, it raises up and looks like a mini-cobra. Harmless.
    • Black and Green snakes Not common, harmless.
  • Spiders
    • Terranchula Spider Rare, Harmless
    • Wolf Spider Fairly Common, Harmless
    • Black Widow Spider Rare but potentially deadly. Very poisonous.
    • Brown Recluse Spider Very Common and possibly deadly, poisonous.
    • Hobo (funnel) Spider Common and poisonous. Their bites may be mistaken for Brown Recluse bites.
  • Scorpion Rarely seen and may sting.
  • Bats Common. Eat insects. Are said to carry rabies but I’ve never been bothered by them.
  • Other Insects
    • Red Wasp Common, Sting and hurts like hell.
    • Yellow Jacket Wasp (Hornet) Not common and attacks like killer bees.
    • Mosquito’s Common near water
    • Natts Not so common but are in huge swarms near bodies of water. Can choke on these.
    • Chiggers itch badly. Somewhat common in grassy areas.
    • Seed Tics attack in masses. Sometimes experienced near grassy areas.
    • Tic bite Common
    • Fly’s and Horse Fly’s bite and Common
    • Fire ants sting Sometimes seen.

So you can see after reading the list above that there may only be a dozen or even half a dozen critters to worry about in a given camping location and time of year. I’d say the main ones being Bear, Bobcat, Coyote, Wild Hog and then Elk and Alligator if in certain locals. Of those Bear, Bull Elk and Alligator are on the top of my list.  In most locations that means Bear is the only real worry and even they are not much of a worry. Most snake encounters I have had have resulted in the snake going the other way or standing its ground. In either case I move around its area once I am aware of its presence. Snakes become dangerous when you accidentally get too close. Copperheads and Moccasins are the most aggressive but I’d give Copperhead the top rating for most worrisome snake. Of the insects the Brown Recluse spider is by far the most worrisome. Whats funny is that the Raccoon is the most likely animal to mess with your camp while you are sleeping at night. They may even come up to your sleeping bag and nibble on your ear.

Just as in most locations around the globe the weather has injured or killed more people in the wilderness than anything else. Floods, Heat, Cold and Tornadoes are at the top of the list in Arkansas. Falling and or breaking a leg is more of a worry than being attacked by wildlife.

In Arkansas we have many wonderful state parks, some of which you may only camp in designated camp sites (booo, more liberty!). Others have designated primitive camping areas. From what I’ve seen these primitive sites are on pavement with slots for parking and area to setup tent, a grill and trash cans etc. They can even have a bathroom and water nearby. However for now you may camp most anywhere in the national parks, and federal lands such as forrest service lands, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, so long as you pack out your trash and don’t start forest fires. Pay attention to burn bans in dry weather. I think that camp stoves for cooking may still be used during burn bans, but not camp fires or charcoal fires. Aside from those areas, land owned by logging companies is on the list of hot spots where I would not ask permission for camping, hunting, fishing.

Land owner relations is important. Private land that is either purple painted (keep off) or even not posted would require permission. Especially if you are not from the local area nearby the landowner its best to get permission that is if you don’t want to be woke up with a shot gun in your face being told to leave.  A stop by the county courthouse will get you a county land owner map or copy of, and you may even get land owner contact info from the Tax Assessors office. Parcel Maps.org looks extremely promising for online land owner map data. I tried to zoom in and identify a friend’s land and it showed all his land to be logging company land, which was incorrect. It did seem to have some almost useful info on it though. Otherwise it never hurts to stop, knock on doors and ask. Some people are nice others are just not trusting enough to give permission for camping/hunting/fishing. Others have less than legal activities going on and don’t want you anywhere near their crops or stills. I am neutral towards that kind of thing but they may not know that. And I’d even be willing to purchase some camp cooker fuel from the guys with the stills. And some if not much of logging company land may be leased for hunting to individuals or hunting clubs.

Only kill to eat what is in season and that is if you have the proper licenses. Some survival eatables do not have seasons and can be killed and eaten any time.  Example might be snakes, turtles, lizards and frogs. I’m not sure about which birds might be kosher. Maybe Crow(has a season), Black Bird, Starling etc. Song Birds are off limits. Otherwise it most likely has a season and a license or stamps or whatever. And some are banned anytime anywhere. See the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission web site for further details. Also if you stop by Wal-Mart they have a free booklet in their hunting/fishing section on hunting and fishing regulations. Of course in a real survival situation you would use  that regs book for fire starting.

Finally I’d say camping in 4 person groups or more is safest. Be sure to inform someone whom you know and trust when you are leaving, where you are going (what area you will be in, roadway directions and maps with circled areas, coordinates). And they should know when to expect contact with you (check in) and when you will be leaving and back in town/home. Might not hurt to know a local contact in the camping area that you could call on if needed, if possible. For ham radio, be sure and check to see if you can contact a repeater and have a local ham listening for your calls on a base station if possible.

If completely alone there is a service called a spot messenger which is a satellite connected device. $170 for the device and $8/mo for subscription. You can send an alert, short message and call for non-emergency help or emergency help. If an emergency a helicopter may be dispatched with rescue team.

Also there are small emergency ham transmitters that put out preprogrammed Morse code messages on long distance code bands. That’s not any guarantee that you will get help however it is something that might get you some help. Calling for help on ham radio is serious business though. No playing around or crying wolf.

Also See:
Blue Gold: Water Filtration Purification Flocculation Sedimentation Distillation Condensation and more


Ham or Amateur Radio

Below are some images which show candidate survival camp locations. The first one is in my home area in Arkansas. This is in the Mt Magazine National Forrest. This is part of the Ozark Forrest. Though its more the River Valley Area.

The next image is the Hurricane Creek area. It is off of Piney Creek area. This is in the Ozarks and Boston Mountains. There are millions of awesome camp sites in this area of Arkansas. I only wish I had enough lifetimes to see it all.

The next location is in Central Arkansas and nearly in Ouchita Mountains and area. This is next to Lake Maumelle and Little Rock off of Highway 10.

This next area is near a friends house on Piney creek closer to the Arkansas River in the River Valley Area. I’m not sure what is there, it just looks interesting from topography.