Monday, September 13, 2010

Survivalist Junkie

Hello, My name is Carol and I'm a survivalist junkie.
I admit it, yesterday I watched 3 back to back episodes of Dual Survival- a guide to self-reliance.
It was on the Discovery Channel and featured two guys, both quite skilled, in 3 different scenarios.

I met one of the guys, Cody, years ago in Damascus Virginia, at Trail Days in 2003. He has long blond hair, walks barefooted everywhere, even over rocks, has a muscular build and quiet demeanor. Our non-combative methods of survival seem quite similar. He really made his feelings apparent when his partner decided to go after honey in a bees nest in the "hurricane-survival" simulation. He said he always tells his students to never go after something that can take you down. As we all know, bees are more dangerous than bears.

Dave, the other survivalist, is very smart (other than the bee incident), skilled and fun to watch. I think its worth watching him for several reasons. He demonstrated how to use a broken bottle to make an arrowhead, and then did the shaft feathers with duct tape. A wild turkey was bagged with this survivalist arrow. I'm impressed.

Other skills demonstrated was hollowing a plant stalk with fire to create a water carrying device, bow and drill fire making, friction fire making (Cody said this was difficult, only 40% of people are able to do this successfully), crossing a canyon-stream via slick mossy log (check up and down stream before attempting this dangerous endeavor, good point), removing stingers from scorpions before eating, skinning a rattlesnake, building a hammock with a parachute, creating loft for warmth with a parachute, leaving an obvious trail for search and resuce teams. Good stuff.

I smiled, though while watching the guys discuss the bad water in a lower canyon, bemoaning the fact they had no way to strain the bugs and larvae from it. As Cody squatted beside the steam, on his head plainly visible was a red bandanna. I couldn't even begin to count how many times a bandanna was used by my partner and me to strain water on the Pacific Crest Trail and Colorado Trail. Cow dung, tadpoles, algae and all around debris can be removed from the water by simply passing it through a bandanna first.

This in fact helps the chlorine be more effective in treating water. The amount of chlorine needed is directly proportional to the amount of organic matter in the water being treated. By removing most of the organic matter through filtering, only a few drops are needed for the worst of situations.

Hopefully they will continue to do many more episodes.

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