Monday, October 4, 2010

Dual Survival Lessons Learned

The Discovery Channel has a good thing going. Dual Survival's Art of Self Reliance is a series I could watch over and over. They say you can only retain 10% of what you hear, see or read, so I'm inclined to think its worth several viewings of these excellent survival portrayals.
Dave gave us his list of Five C's , things he would like to have in any situation: Cutting tool, Cover, Combustion, Containers, and Cordage.
Cody reminds us that its all about adaptation, awareness, and a positive attitude. Cody firmly believes we should never hunt something that can seriously hurt us, like honey bees, alligators, poisonous snakes.
Because they have differing world views, Dave calls Cody a hippie, while Dave is hardcore military bearing, we get some serious philosophy and skills being demonstrated. Dave is into meat, hunting and serious trapping and weaponry making. Cody walks barefoot, and has a lot of gathering and primitive fire making skills.
I file all this information away in my mind, accessible for practicing at a future date. For instance, we see Dave using toilet paper as a sponge to sop up water from a broad leaf plant. I hiked with a special forces guy on the Appalachian Trail who taught me that a straw was invaluable for picking up water. You put the straw into the water, just below the scum that floats on the top, being careful not to disturb the sediment that sinks to the bottom. You can drink this way if necessary and avoid most of the hazardous material.
A straw is also handy for picking up water off a seep in a rock face. Use the straw to funnel the water into a container, hopefully a water bottle. I carry a flexible plastic cup which also helps to pick up water in shallow pools or seepages. I've also used a broad leaf to create a water slide for the filling of water bottles.
All these examples show the skill we want to develop is innovation, adapting what is available for the desired outcome.
I think we can teach adaptation skills to our children. Basically, instead of giving them premade costumes for Halloween, coloring books, and prepackaged foods, we can provide the materials to create their own.
Problem solving skills with adaptation in mind will go a long ways especially in this rotten economy.
If you get a chance to watch these episodes, I think you'll find it time well spent.

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