Wilderness Survival Part 4/4

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 2 (Tyler & Kirsten)
Duration: 12 min 45 sec

Wilderness Survival Skills Pt 4/4: Gear, Rescue, and Survival Discussion

Tyler: “So we are here at Boulder Outdoor Survival School and we are learning primitive skills that can help you in a survival situation. Alright so let’s say I don’t know anything. I know I need gear, I don’t know what gear I need to get. Where do I start.”

Kristen: “Hmmm, you’re in a survival situation is that true? Well, you know, everything starts before that situation actually happens. You need to let people know where you are going. If no one is looking for you, then no one is going to find you. So, leave a note in your car if you’re going on a hike letting them know where you plan to go and when you plan to be back. Let friends know. Know the area, have a map of the area on you.

“So actually these skills begin before you even leave the house.”

Tyler: “Ok let’s say I was dumb and didn’t let anyone know where I was going but I was smart enough to bring some kit with me. If there is one thing, and maybe a few more but primarily one thing that I need to bring, what do you think that would be?”

Kristen: “I would say at this point in time a steel blade is probably the most important thing in ones survival kit IF you have access to clean drinking water.”

Tyler: “Okay so why do I want a knife as opposed to a canteen.”

Kristen: “The land offers plentiful resources to allow you to do everything that you would do with modern gear so long as you’re actually able to access it. Sometimes plants, bushes, trees, need an aiding device in order to gather and harvest and use them for purposes, like let’s say your hot rock boiling inside of some kind of container that can’t go in a fire.”


Tyler: “So why would you hot rock boil something inside of a container?”

Kristen: “Water purification is very important. Whenever you have the opportunity to purify your water you should, even if you trust that resource. Things like Giardia and Cryptosporidium water borne illnesses usually have an incubation period of 7 to 10 days and then after that you can have diarrhea, vomiting and you end up losing mass amounts of water. So to avoid this, purifying and filtering your water is absolutely important.”

Tyler: ”So I have my knife but I don’t have the skill set. I go to blade HQ and buy myself a knife. What can I do first? Where should I go first to learn how to make that container to boil water, to learn how to make traps, how to make shelters?”



Kristen: “Well I’m gonna back you up a second. Actually the first thing I need to know is knife safety. I know that it could be a dangerous move to take my knife out of the sheath if my hand is over the blade because it may cut me. So I am going to be careful taking my knife out of the sheath.”

“I know that carving towards my femoral artery is going to be a poor decision so I’m gonna make sure that as I begin to use my knife that I am taking care of what I call my blood bubble. Making sure that my follow through never goes where it is going to hit me. Safety comes first.”

Tyler: ”So if you find yourself hiking or lost, or you find yourself in a vehicle that is broken down. How long can you expect before getting rescued and what are some things that you can maybe prepare ahead of time just in case something like this happens?”

Kristen: “If you have told someone where you are going, most likely in the United states you will be rescued within 72 hours. If you have not told anyone where you were going you will be missing for a while before someone realizes you are gone. I would say a week to maybe two weeks is more likely.”

“The top Items that I would want to have in my car or on my person if I were stuck in a survival situation would be a sturdy knife. I would love to have it be a full size tang, mid-size blade up to a small chopper.”


“I would want to have a metal canteen or some other type of water carrying device that I could also use in the fire to boil and purify my water.”

“I personally like to have a 5×5 foot piece of cloth. Wool is my preference because it wicks well. It doesn’t tend to smell after long term use and it doesn’t catch on fire if an ember comes and hits me.”




“Another great piece of equipment to have is a military poncho. They are great to protect you from the rain immediately. Just put them on. They are great for shelter and wind protection. Just like a 5×5 sheet of cloth it is great for hauling material. I would definitely want to have a poncho on me.”

“Rope. Rope is awesome. There are a lot of natural materials that you can use to make rope, BUT para cord is my favorite thing to take with me. I like to use para cord that is about 550 pound weight because inside of a para cord there are multiple strands. You can attach each strand together and have a longer piece of rope that will still give you close to 100 pound poundage.”



“Other items I would want to have on me might include a wool sweater and wool socks. Eventually something to cover my head with because we lose a lot of heat through our core and our head.”

“For rescue stuff I would like to have a signal mirror on me. Being able to make a fire is critical for a lot of different reasons. Three fires in a row is an SOS signal to anyone in the world. Being able to make fire, having a Bic lighter, Vaseline cotton balls, pitch wood, a bow drill kit or hand drill kit on me. Definitely an item I would want to have. A fire making item.”



Tyler: “So I know one issue at night time is you get your great roaring fire set up, you fall asleep and wake up and it is gone. What is your solution to that problem?”

Kristen: “There is not a huge solution to that problem. Which is why as far as staying warm is concerned it is very helpful to use other insulatory materials VS fire. The coldest point in the night is usually the early morning. That is the time where we are totally asleep or really could be sleeping and our fire goes out or our hot rocks that we put underneath us are finally cold. Amassing your coals can help protect them and keep your fires going a little bit longer but the truth of the matter is if you want your fire to last all night long you will need to continually feed your fire wood. So you will have to wake up to do so.”

Tyler: “So once I’ve got my gear and I put that in my car kit and I find myself lost. I’ve calmed myself down and figured out where I’m at. Now what? What do I do?”

Kristen: ”If you know that you’re only going to be out there for a week and you need to take care of yourself and the area that you are in does not provide you with resources to maintain you core body temperature or does not provide you with a water source then you need to go find those things. If you leave the spot where you are last found, you want to leave a trail. Just like Hansel and Gretel. It can be pieces of a cloth that are wrapped around trees. It can be making sure that your foot prints are very deep and very easy to back track upon. It can even be a huge fire with smoke coming out of it that you can see. You go check an area and then come back to that point if you haven’t found what you are looking for. Then you go and check another area for those resources and come back to that point. Once you have found what you are looking for you can then move locations.”

“The resources that you need to pick up relate to thermal regulation and to water location. Hydrating. You need material that are going to help keep you warm and dry and finding water is apparel. Dehydration kills very quickly.”

“So how do we locate water if we have no idea where it is? One thing we can do is try to get to a high spot. The more we can see of the land the better our chances are of either seeing the low points where water runs. Even seeing reflection of water is possible from long distances or just getting a better understanding of how the land is moving so you have a better idea of where water might be. If I see sand for miles and I see a mountain in the other direction I will probably head for the mountain. I see grasses, I see bigger trees, more likely t have water than the sand.”

“What are animals doing? There may be tracks everywhere but when you want to look for water you want to look for where animal tracks are converging. Where multiple different species of animals, you find that their prints are coming together into one trail. Most likely that trail is leading towards water.”

“Another thing you can do at that vantage point is look for a change in vegetation. There may be lots of things that are green around you but you see no water nearby. If you look for a change in vegetation, things that are brighter green or I see, for example a cotton wood, some leafy things following in sort of a river like pattern that might be a great indication of water. So that vantage is huge. Get to that high point.”

“Look for things that always reside in water. Like frogs. If you hear frogs you should walk towards the frogs. Other wild life that tends to be in riparian zones that you know of, if you see any of them follow them. On that note, almost every creature needs to drink. So if there is animal life around, don’t fret, there is water around.”

“If you’re trapped out in the wilderness, for however long, and you take care of your priorities of survival, the truth of the matter is what you need to do is accept that just like our ancestors it is totally possible to live at peace in the wild. When you are afraid of nature it is scary. When you learn about it, and utilize its resources and they comfort you and you except the sunrises and the sun sets, you’re gonna do just fine. Resistance to your scenario is probably going to kill you. Acceptance until you can actually get to a point where you enjoy the natural world will save your life.”


Tyler: ”So what do you mean by maintaining a good or positive composure?

Kristen: “In times of duress we often have spikes of adrenaline which can be helpful or hurtful. What I mean by mental composure is the ability to calm oneself and utilize your natural energy that is going to happen in a survival situation in the right way. Panicking, yelling, a lot of anger and frustration, these are not helpful to your success. Sitting down, leaning against a tree, looking at something that you know like a bird or the sky that you see every day is going to make a better starting point for you to make good decisions.”





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