The Benefits of Using an Ice Bag to Treat Injuries

 

Using an ice bag in the treatment of injuries helps reduce the risk of injury and inflammation. Also, people use this method to relieve pain in the injured area. Icing can be used in a variety of injuries like sprains, strains, overused injuries, muscle contusions and bruises. The icing technique has proven to be so effective for many years for injuries to reduce pain and prevent inflammation.

Start Icing Immediately After Injury

The proper icing method starts with icing when the injury is still fresh. The injured area should be massaged with the ice, the injured area should be elevated and the ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes and then this procedure repeated for up to 48 hours.

Steps of the Icing Process

At first ice is used in the reduction of pain whereby the ice effect has a numbing effect on the skin. This helps reduce discomfort and pain without accessing medication. Ice helps reduce the pain quickly which is so beneficial after an injury occurs. Icing makes it easy for patients to reduce pain effectively which is easy for patients to utilize.

Secondly, icing prevents inflammation and bleeding where the common side effects of injuries are swelling, which is an immune effect where the body increases blood flow to the area. Swelling is seen to be appear immediately after the injury and consistently several days after the injury.

Thirdly, icing causes capillaries to constrict hence reducing blood flow and swelling to the injured area. This is where ice is a slow reaction and causes the injured area to shrink. Hence, ice speeds up the healing process and reduces the level of pain.

Fourth, icing is used to facilitate fast recovery of an injured patient. When ice comes in contact with the injured area the blood flow to the area is temporarily stopped. This helps in the clotting of blood and the shrinking of capillaries around the injured area. After the ice therapy the swelling and inflammation is gone. The healing process almost starts immediately and the patient is due to recover from the injury in a matter of weeks.

Avoid These Actions While Icing

There are some things that are not supposed to be done while icing an injury. The ice bag placed on the injury should not exceed a maximum of 20 minutes. Icing should be done for about 15 to 20 minutes at most and one should ice with intervals for 48 hours to ensure quick recovery and reduce swelling and inflammation. Ice should not be applied directly to the injury, ice should be put in an ice bag or a clean piece of cloth and placed on the injury. Avoid direct contact of ice with the injured part.

While icing, ensure the injury is well rested and avoid movements. Movements while icing will only prolong the healing process. While icing one should use enough compression to ensure that you reduce pain and swelling.

Do you have a favorite icing product or procedure that has helped you recover from your injury faster? Let us know.

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Important Facts About Freeze Dried Fruits

Our lives are characterized with busy schedules where we sideline what we eat. With our busy schedules there is no time for us to prepare healthy foods and properly pack them. Freeze dried fruits have been around us for eons, though due recent awareness to healthy eating they have resurfaced again. Nutritionists have proved that, free dried fruit and much healthier than a regular dried fruit. This is due to the process involved in the preservation. Freezing dried fruits involves a very simple process. First the moisture is removed from the fresh fruit by converting it to ice, this leaves the fruit in its natural purest from. This fleshy part of the dried fruit is 100% crispy and sweet.

Lower levels of calories

Healthy eating requires us to monitor our calories so that to match the intake. Other methods of preservation contain additives like sugars, sweeteners and preservatives which increase the number of calories per single fruit. Since Freeze dried fruits are only preserved by use of condensation there are no other additives that increase the sugar levels.

Higher nutrient concentration

A frozen punch of fruit is more nutritious than the traditional dried fruit. The only thing that the fruit is drained off is the moisture. The moisture is then condensed to water leaving ice behind. The micro-nutrients in the fruits flesh are not only protected from bacteria but are kept in a conducive environment. That means that the fruit will supply you with over 95% of essential nutrients and vitamins like A and C.

The most efficient preservation method

Other preservation known to man involve either addition or removal of something. Other preservatives have been proven to cause diseases and such harmful for consumption. Despite causing diseases the method of preservation leads to loss of taste, nutritional value and reduce the overall life stage of the fruit. Freezing fruits is one of the healthiest way to preserve fruits naturally.

The life of frozen food is the longest compared to other methods out there. A frown fruit could last over 2 years when kept under the right conditions this means that this method is not only economical but very versatile.

There are different types of Freezing dried fruits

Our basic knowledge is that there is only one method of getting free fried fruits, buts that’s not far from the truth. The traditional method is freezing; this method involves draining the fruit of any moisture by directly converting it to ice. There other method is Sublimation; this is also known as primary drying, where moisture is removed at low temperatures and low pressure converting the water directly to vapor without passing liquid phase.

Freezing dried fruits consumes a lot of energy

Just like any coin. freeze dried fruits have their downside to. The process of freezing and thawing consumes a lot of energy compared to other methods of preservation. Though the thermal energy consumption may not be that noticeable in residential use compared to large scale industrial freezing.

Conclusion

When it comes to preserving our foods, we want to maintain the same taste, nutritional value and the food to last longer. Freeze dried fruits has been there long before the industrialization. So, the net time you pack your meal a freeze-dried fruit is a hand a way from suppressing your appetite.

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Five best ways to create a campfire with limited supplies

One of the direct manifestations is the sudden boom on the eco-tourism which includes camping. Some enjoy camping the most because it allows you to desolate yourself from the technology savvy reality that one lives in. However, a few are able to retain the basic skill of lighting up a fire used centuries ago by our ancestors, and this becomes a huge problem for campers because we became reliant on instant devices such as matches and lighters. But, if in case you find yourself in a situation where you forgot to bring these devices on a camping spree, here are a few basics on how to create a campfire.

Icing Method

This might sound ironic but here is how it works: the ice will be used as a lens for your easily-combustible materials. The first step is to ensure that your ice is clear because if it has any impurities or is cloudy, it will not work. You will have to fashion the ice into a lens by shaping the ice using your knife with thick central surface and narrower edges. From there, you can position your lens in the direction of the sun where under your ice lens is the easily-combustible material.

The rubbers

All you need to do is to fill them with water and make it as spherical as possible. With limited supplies on your backpack, you can use it as a lens. When the rubbers are filled with water, squeeze them in the middle to form two little lenses that you can position above your tinder. Be sure to make it closer to your tinder with an inch or two lengths.

The Hand Drill

Make sure that the tinder is easily combustible and dry so that after a couple of strikes, you can easily have it reproduced through the tinder nest. From this, you will have to make a fire board beneath your spindle. Place a bark beneath the spindle and between it and your fire board so it could catch the spark made in the process. After you are all set, spin the spindle as much and as fast as you could to create enough friction in between. Once you see the sparks being formed and is caught up by the bark in between, you can immediately transfer it to your tinder.

Chemical-made Fire

The most common chemicals used for combustion is Potassium permanganate and Glycerin. All you have to do is to place a spoonful of the potassium permanganate on a dry leaf and in the middle of the tinder nest. Add a few drops of glycerin into the potassium permanganate crystals and stand back for a bit, wait for it to spark. It will immediately light up your tinder nest.

Flint and Steel

The friction created by striking the harder part of the steel and the softer part of the steel is enough to create sparks for your fire. You need a hard rock like a Quartzite with your thumb holding a char cloth. Continuously strike the rock with the striker like a hand knife in a wrist motion. It will be able to produce molten sparks that will eventually be caught up in the char cloth and then you can transfer it to your bigger tinder nest.

Hope this post helped you learn more about creating a campfire.  Learn more about camping here.

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Top 5 Wild Plants You Can Eat In A Pinch

I’m going to tell you about five wild edibles that you can eat in any kind of survival situation.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle is native to Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. Most people who have come into contact with stinging nettle have already experienced a painful sting that comes from the hairy needles on the leaves and the stem of the plant. Stinging nettle contains up to 25% of protein of its dry weight, which is quite high for a leafy green vegetable. The seeds of the stinging nettle are very nutritious and can be ground up and baked like a bread. The roots of the stinging nettle are edible too. Besides using stinging nettle as food it also can be used as medicine. It’s used to treat urinary tract infections. It also taste’s decent but that’s acceptable since it’s a survival food.

Dandelion

Dandelion is native to temperate areas often the northern hemisphere. The entire plant is edible, but the roots contain the most energy. Their roots are very bitter and can cause stomach problems, therefore, they need to be processed. They need to be cut up and put in cold water for a couple of hours to lose their bitterness. It’s important that the water is cold because with boiling water you can get rid of the bitterness much faster, but it also causes the carbohydrate in the roots to get washed out since it’s soluble in hot water. Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute.

Burdock

Several burdock species have been widely spread worldwide. Burdock has large leaves which can reach a size of 28 inches and the underside of the leaves looks a little bit whitish. The root of the burdock plant contains a lot of starch which is not easy to find when it comes to wild edibles and it can be roasted over the fire. The outer bark of the root tastes a little bit bitter, but the inner part which you can peel off is quite fine.

Cattail

Cattails grow in wetlands all over the world. The plant can be easily identified by their unique flowering spike and flat blade like leaves. Besides the fact that the cattail flap makes excellent flash tinder also completely edible. The stems can be roasted in the fire but the roots have the most nutritional value. Cattail roots are rich in starch and they provides 266 calories per 100 grams. They can be eaten raw, roasted, or made into a flour substitute.

Acorns

Acorns come from oak trees which grow all over the world. There are several species and hybrids which all look a little bit different. Acorns provide 87 calories per 100 grams, which is pretty high. They contain both carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which makes them a perfect survival food.

However, acorns contain a lot of tannins, which makes them extremely bitter. Therefore, they need to be processed and cooked several times before they can be eaten. Acorns has been used as a coffee substitute especially in WWII and the American Civil War. Roasted acorns taste very good. They remind me of sweet chestnuts. It tastes a little bit like coffee and with a lot of imagination it’s true.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Sharpening Your Knife

Hey I’m going to give you a couple tips on how to sharpen your knife. I know a lot of people avoid doing, they think they’re going to mess up the blade, but it’s actually pretty hard to mess up the blade if you’re paying attention.

The things you’ll need to start, a stone obviously. I’d prefer a fine stone, but I’m generally pretty easy on my knives and it doesn’t take much to sharpen. If you’re knife has a lot of burrs and flat spots or you have a really hard knife steel, you’re going to want something a little coarser to start. Then besides the stone just a piece of leather. I actually prefer just a thick piece of leather set on the table and you can use that like a strop or you can go out and get an actual strop. I use it the same way by setting it down so I have more control over it.

Hopefully this will give you the skills you need to avoid the edge of a knife that’s run through a carbide sharpener. I’m constantly telling people not to run their nice knives through it because it will ruin them. It takes off more material than it needs to and I’ve honestly never been impressed with an edge that’s been run through them.

So from the factory I know this knife has a 15 to 22 degree angle and that’s common. That’s going to cover basically all your folders and most your fix blades unless the company puts a different angle on it for a special purpose. Now my recommendation is stick to about 22.5. That standard enough where it’s going to sharpen your knife and it won’t change the angle too bad, if at all. So to find a 22.5 degree angle you just need a piece of paper. I use standard computer paper and lay it down. I fold it corner to corner to give me a 45 degree angle. I then fold that again to give me a 22.5 degree angle. This makes a great reference for most folders and most fix blades. We’re gonna take your stone set it down and take your piece of paper and then take your knife and slide it down and remove the paper. Now that’s going to give you angle you should be running over the stone. If you find yourself wavering and forgetting how you should be holding your knife bring it back in and remind yourself of the angle. You’ll find after a few times that you can put the knife down by memory. From there you want to run the blade up the stone at that angle. An even number of times per side. Now you want to check your progress after couple sets make sure you’re keeping the angle of the knife and that you’re actually sharpening at. I use blades that have a harder steel so it’s going to take a lot more passes to get it sharp if your blade is softer you’re going to notice you can remove a lot of material with just a single pass, but it’s a lot easier to make mistakes so you want to be careful of that. If you notice when you check your blade that it kind of feels rough and has a bit of micro scratches, don’t worry about that, that’s what the leather is for.

Now after a few passes if you notice that you have problem areas, flat spots that aren’t coming out, you’re going to want to take it with a rougher stone and just work that area until it’s fixed and then go back to a fine stone. Now once you’re satisfied with the edge there’s no burrs or flat spots and it’s reasonably sharp you can move on to the leather. If you have a strop I recommend you put it on the table so it doesn’t move. If you hang u it by the hook on the end I find that sometimes it flexes and it can round off the edge of your knife. If you have a just a normal piece of leather you want to put it on the table and use it like the stone. Now to find the angle you need you’re going to rest your knife on the leather look closely and rock it just until the edge touches and that’s the angle you’re going to use for each pass. One common mistake I find with stropping is that they’ll go through the pass and at the end of the stroke they round up the knife and that’s generally a sign that you’re moving too fast and you should slow down and remember to stay consistent throughout the whole pass. It may not feel like it, but leather is pretty abrasive and it can ruin the edge of your knife and you’ll have to start all over. So you’re going to find the angle and then treat it like the stone doing an even number of passes per side. This is only polishing it so it’s going to take a little bit longer than the stone, but using leather like this is how you achieve shape sharpness. So once you’re done with the strip your knife should be quite sharp, as sharp as it was from the factory.

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We salute you organ donors

Brad Szczecinski organ donorsI’ll be honest, the past week has been challenging for my family and I.  As some of you might be aware, my sister Susan was in need of new kidney and required a kidney transplant to save her life.  I’m happy to report that she is recovering and doing well.

When our family was looking at the options for Susan, you’d be surprised at how much contradicting information is out there on the web.  We spoke with doctors, friends and family, and eventually came across Brad Szczecinski who helped us understand the process.  We read an interesting story about him in the Chicago Tribune, and after coming across his website, we decided to reach out.  Glad we did.

It turns out that there are a lot of people reaching to people like him for consulting and gaining a better idea about the kidney transplant process.  Our family and I are eternally grateful for the sound advice and resources he provided for truly understanding how the process works.

That’s why I wanted to take some time to put a blog post together to salute the organ donors whom don’t get much credit.  My sister, Susan, is alive because of you!

To save you from how the actual organ transplant process works, I’ll instead, share what it meant to our family to have an organ donor bless us with a kidney for Susan:

  • Susan first learned about her need for a new kidney which would require an organ transplant.  She’s a single woman, and wrestled with the way she would present the news to her immediate family.  I wish she would have told us sooner!
  • After communicating her need for a kidney transplant, to our dismay, neither my sister, Claudia nor I were good matches– this troubled us as we wanted to help our sister!
  • After speaking with Brad and the doctor, we found a match that would allow Susan to continue life as a healthy young woman!

Emily Jones

Emily, you will never realize how much we appreciate and love you for donating your kidney for our sister.  We are truly blessed to have you as an angel to help save our sister– and you came at the perfect time!  We are eternally grateful for what you have done, and like we mentioned on the call, we’re going to make it up for you somehow!

Note: Since we don’t have an image from Emily, instead, we used an image from Brad (who helped us a ton during this ordeal!).

In Conclusion

Donors, you are loved.  We couldn’t have done this without you.  Unless you’ve had a similar experience happen to you, it’s difficult to understand the true impact of some stranger coming into your life to save-the-day by donating a piece of their own flesh to help save a loved one’s life.  Though, we normally talk about issues on this blog, I hope to have this be blog post be a pillar to truly show organ donors how much we love you.  Thank you for being you.

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Securing Your Backpack For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

So I thought I’d take a couple minutes this morning and talk to you guys about a couple of camp security issues that I run into. So there’s two big security issues that I encounter doing what I do. The first one is often times I’m backpacking and I’ve got a big heavy pack on me that I’m carrying, but I’m kind of exploring and there’s times that I want to drop my heavy pack and scramble up the hillside or drop down into a canyon or something without carrying all my main gear so the security issue is that I’m always concerned that somebody may stumble across my pack and take off with it. Then they would have all of my critical supplies for the trip.

The second security issue that I run into is often times I set up a little camp, but I go off during the day and hike around either hunting or exploring or something like that and I’ve got the same issue I’ve got my gear back at my camp that I want or need for the trip and I’m walking away and leaving it. The problem again is what if somebody stumbled on to my camp and somebody makes off with my critical gear.

Let me tell you guys about a couple little solutions that I’ve come up with for that. So I stash my pack over in the brush and I take about a minute to throw a little bit of natural vegetation over it and conceal it a little bit and it’s just enough to break it up so that there’s no manmade looking outlines from a distance. It blends in nicely without looking like I stashed it under there. I found this unique little product called a sound grenade and I’ve incorporated into a couple of my outdoor backcountry security measures.

So first the backpack security piece. Let me tell you guys what happens here. The smoke grenade comes packaged with this little attached carabiner to the package so that carabiner I just repurpose and use as part of my system for use in the sound grenade for security. So the sound grenade is two pieces and basically it works when the two pieces are pulled apart. That’s what trips the alarms. So I just leave mine set up by attaching a piece a bank line to the large portion and then just leaving the carabiner that came with that attached to the small and so to set the sound grenade alarm I’ll take the small end of my bag and all usually just wrap it around a little stick like this and then I’ll just click the other end someplace to the backpack. It’s going to be kind of out of sight. Tuck this clip of that carabiner into a little strap. Now if someone grabs the backpack to remove it, it trips the alarm.

When it comes to the campus security I’ll set up a little trip wire now. I use a little larger bank line for this. The critical elements are disguised as much as possible, the trip wire number one and the number two setting up the trip wire in a place that it’s logical for people to walk. When you look at the overall camp layout this is the side that it’s logical to walk in from. Also notice down here I disguised my alarm. I just put a little bit of concealment on it so it’s not easy to see from a distance. So a couple other things when it comes to camp security that I always think about is number one trying to keep my camp as low profile as possible using natural colors. Things that don’t stand out will keep a pretty low signature. My camp obviously looks like it was set up by a man, however, using all natural materials and from a distance it doesn’t really stand out that much when I walk away from camp. I want to make sure that my fire is completely dead so there’s no smoke coming out of it. In this country you can smell wood smoke for a long ways. Also, smoke is visible for a long ways so keeping your fire completely out when you leave camp to me is a really important a really important thing to do.

So when it comes to campus security interests generally I like to use a little personal alarm system like the sound grenade and then a combination of concealed and low profile campus. When I walk away from my camp I want to make sure to conceal a little bit and then also from time to time when there’s more people I might set up a tripwire.

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On Surviving Man-made Threats

With all the heightened sense of nuclear threats (from North Korea, etc) and terrorist threats plaguing our world, the survivalist community continues to grow.  As more people consider the realities of such events, the demand for survival gear, go-bags, and rations for the worst-case scenario increases in popularity.  Though, we all should have our back-up plans to be prepared for emergencies, we should also consider how other people are thinking about surviving man-made threats.

I’ll be honest.  I was inspired to write this post due to something I have read on Facebook (from a moving company of all places!), in which they suggested that even during a time of an “act of war”, they’d still help people move.  Why are more and more people (and brands) bringing up these conversations?  Is it to be provocative or is it because there is a sense in the air that we truly must be prepared from a threat?  I don’t know the answer, but it seems that surviving man-made threats is something top-of-mind for people nowadays.

There’s over 400,000 results for “go bag” on Amazon!  If surviving man-made threats wasn’t a topic of concern why might there be so many vendors/producers providing options if there wasn’t a growing market who are ready, willing and able to buy those products?

We’ve talked about it before, but with more parents teaching their kids how to survive in the wilderness, it certainly makes you wonder– what is next?

I don’t intend to be a conspiracy theorist (those haters of this site would beg to differ), but there seems to be something to consider (“wisdom of the crowds”).  Only the future will know what is to come.  The fall of Rome happened.  People, in general, have never been excellent at predicting the future.  With more and more events taking place in our world, sometimes it’s best to unplug and think about what would you do– if you had to survive?

References (in this post):

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Ways to be Successful When Hunting On Public Land

I’m going to give you a list of ten tips to help you be successful hunting public land. So let’s get right in.

Try parking in other secluded areas instead of the designated parking lots.

Usually there are designated parking areas on public land, sometimes they’re very large parking areas and that’s where most people park. However, if they permit you to park in other areas I like to find a more secluded spot. I drive about a half a mile away, quarter mile away and look for little pull offs where I can get my car off the road and go in those areas. What happens is everyone going in and out of the wood goes through those areas right by the main parking areas and the deer get scared and reroute their travel patterns. If you set up in those less traveled areas you can have deer right in your lap.

Here is an example of what I mean. So here is a parking area on public hunting land and right down the road here, you can see on both sides of the road, you can’t really park here. But as you get down the road about a quarter mile away through this bend, there’s an area right here where you can pull off and park or even right here, pull off right in here, slip up into the woods and cut over there and the deer that will be pushed by those other hunters will be traveling across the woods and you can intercept them over there.

Don’t get too emotionally attached to one hunting area or hunting spot.

A good example is this public marsh I used to hunt quite a bit when I was growing up. I found this spot that was pretty overlooked by a lot of other hunters, it was a nice doe bedding area. It was a spot that I would see does in early season. I shot one of my best public land bucks in there. Years afterwards, I would always think, that if I had one particular evening that I could hunt on a weekend, I want to hunt at the very best chance spot that I have. And so I would always seem to come back to that one spot and it got to the point where I would go into that spot, not see anything, decided it was getting old and wait two more weeks before going in again thinking this was the time the deer would be moving through again. In reality, each time I went in there, I was just getting my scent in there, making it less likely that those deer are going to start moving to that area again. It would have been better for me to just abandon that spot altogether and go find some fresh place to hunt.

Pick multiple locations for your tree stand in your hunting area.

Now where I live, there is a lot of public land, so what I like to do is pick out a tree stand location for each time I want to hunt that year. That way I can hunt one stand one time and never have to revisit it throughout the season. This gives me a lot of fresh stands where I’m not ruining spots because the deer are catching on to me and getting spooked and things like that. The first time in the stand is always your best chance to kill, so I like to have as many tree stand locations picked out in advance as I plan to hunt that year.

Look at ways that you can lighten your pack load and look at ways that you can get in a better shape.

We all know that you don’t need to be in great shape to be a successful deer hunter and that’s especially true when you’re hunting whitetails in the Midwest. But I will say this, there’s going to be times when you’re forced to choose, do I go to spot A or do I go to spot B today and you might know in the back of your mind that spot B is really the spot that you should be on that day, but it might require 90 percent of your effort, versus 50 percent of your effort for spot A. And you can have the mental toughness to get over that and just get back into spot B but you might be more miserable doing it and by lightening your pack load and getting into better shape, you’re essentially making it less miserable to get into some of those harder to get to spots and really get into those spots that a lot of other guys don’t have the mental toughness to get to.

Drive past some of my hunting spots to see if anyone else is parked there.

There are times you’ll see several cars in a parking area and then you’ll go to another and there’s none. That lets you know what areas are getting the most visited and you can avoid those areas when you’re planning the next time you go. Another option would be to have a friend or family member drive pack your spot and let you know if they have cars parked.

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Live in the Woods– Could You Do It?

I was out in the woods not too long ago and it crossed my mind that a lot of people don’t know how to survive in the woods. So I figured I would put together something to help people out there get a better understanding of different things to think about if you ever find yourself stranded in the woods.  Could you do it– could you live in the woods?

We were out in the woods and we came across a little squirrel that was rustling around in the bushes. As we came across the little critter, it made me think of what I would do if I lived out here. Well good thing for us humans, we have some options.

Gimme Shelter

When you’re surviving in the woods, it’s nice to have shelter you can have shelter in a variety of ways. Our ancestors used to be in caves! You can imagine all the different things that we could do to keep shelter. Of course, you could always have a tent, but regardless of what you choose, you definitely need to find some kind of shelter if you’re going to try to survive in the woods for any length of time.

Gimme Energy

The other thing is you need some way to hydrate yourself and to consume food. You definitely need energy when you’re surviving in the woods and you definitely want to find some way to get the food and water. So you might be thinking how can I do this?

Well unless you brought your own containers (or canteen), you would have to put together something that would have you allow you to capture water from a variety of sources.  You’d also have to think about how you can get food.  You can pick off berries off the trees, you could put together a weapon and go hunting or you could just eat plants.

You just want to make sure you really watch how you conserve your energy and how you obtain new energy and how to protect yourself if you ever find yourself stuck in the woods.

Gimme Protection

You got to make sure to protect yourself when you’re out in the woods. There’s a lot of critters out there! Now you got to be careful of certain types of critters.

Of course you don’t want to come across the big bears or the wolves, but you definitely want to be aware of some of the other ones such as snakes and bugs. Though a lot of times bugs aren’t deadly they can create havoc in your life if you’re not careful. If you have human predators out in the woods, it would be wise to have some kind of a weapon– like a viking weapon or something– you just need some way to protect yourself.

So a lot of people don’t really think about how you could live in the woods if you really had to.  Looking at that little squirrel, it made me really think what would you do? I know what I would do.

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