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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okay it’s real simple. Is your family prepared in case of some type of natural disaster whether it be a weather event, tornado, earthquake, whatever the case may be, that could cripple the supply line. My personal feelings is you should have your family prepared to lock the doors and stay inside the house for maybe a week. And not have to come outside for anything you know if there was to be a you know a catastrophic winter storm. Some the things to make sure they have on hand is, enough water to get through seven days or means of filtering water like some type of gravity fed filter. Also if your home is all electrical like mine you want to make sure they have some type of source for heating and cooking that they can use inside so it needs to be some form of clean energy such as like propane, like a camping stove, something like that. You of course don’t want to be burning charcoal inside or have like an open woodfire inside. You wanna make sure you know they have enough food and this food needs to be something they’ll eat. Like my kids love like peanut butter and chicken noodle soup which of course they’re not going to want to eat that you know for a solid week. So you know you want some variety in there. Now with that being said is you don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money. Getting a week’s worth of supplies ready you know. Start with a three day supply kit. You know and then a second three day supply kit. And there you go 6 days and if you do it third three day supply kit you got a little over a week.
You also want to make sure you have a good first aid kit set aside. Now I don’t want people to think I’m one of those people that think it’s going to be the end of the world as we know it or anything like that I’m not talking about one of those type of scenarios. I’m just talking about your basic stuff that happens, you know every year. Somewhere, you know, there’s like warm weather events like tornadoes and flooding. I live close to the Mississippi River. I tell my wife all the time if they were to break the levee or the levee was to break north of us, up river from us, don’t go getting in that car thinking you’re going to outrun that water because you’re not going to outrun that water because that’s what everyone else is doing. Get you and the kids and get in the dawg gone bass boat, unhook the boat from the trailer and just chill out and wait on the water to come because it’s going to be there sooner or later. I really need to go ahead and get them some supplies pre-stationed in the bass boat just for that type of scenario.
These are just some ideas that I want you to think on. This is not an all inclusive post. If you have other ideas let me know.
These are five easy little food preps people can find at just about any grocery store, but some of the conditions that I wanted for this is that they had to be either in single servings or did not require refrigeration after they were opened.
For example, you don’t want to open up a can, only to feed one or two people and then have it spoil or have bacteria get into it over the next day.
The worst case situation of the power goes out– you want something that a) you can eat in one serving or b) it does not require refrigeration after it’s opened.
Here’s our list:
The top of my list is honey. We get just the regular store brand honey– does not require refrigeration and stays good almost forever. Sometimes it will crystallize so you’ll have to warm it up a bit but that’s like with older honey. It’s also a topical antibiotics so you put it in a cuts and wounds to help them out.
Next is peanut butter. My wife and I we only get the natural peanut butter that only includes roasted peanuts, sugar, pommel and salt, and that’s it. Some peanut butter has hydrogenated oils, which contributes to coronary heart disease, and we do not buy any of that. Jiffy peanut butter has got 80 milligrams of sodium while the Skippy has got 150 milligrams of sodium.
Some type of canned fish. Single serving size– whether its tuna fish or salmon, that’s going to be left up to the taste buds of whoever is eating it. I’m kind of leery of even listing canned fish, tuna fish or salmon because of the mercury content. They say that pregnant women in certain groups should not eat more than say two servings of tuna a month. It’s a great food, but with our dependence on coal-fired plants, most of our waterways and fish are contaminated with mercury. Don’t consume a whole lot of fish is what I’ve always heard.
Now this is a little something I wanted to touch on. These range anywhere from say 190 calories, 150 calories all the way up to meal replacement size which would be like 350 calories. Not really a whole meal replacement, but a meal supplement.
The metal cans would be good to store at your retreat as rodents are less likely to chew through metal as they are to chew through plastic. Anything made of plastic rodents will chew thru so if you’re storing peanut butter, you may want to go with glass jars so the rodents.
Canned Food Goods
We also recommend some type of canned beans, fruit or vegetable. Pick whatever you eat naturally. Whatever you eat during the course of the day, whatever you eat during the course of the month– that’s what you buy.
We buy the store brand and not the name brands to save money. That’s something that I’ve noticed is that whenever you start stockpiling stuff like the Spaghetti O’s, it’s like , well not everybody likes Spaghetti O’s or ravioli. Pick things that are somewhat bland that most people will eat because it’s pretty simple – you just open it and serve it on the side of a meal.
Notice that everything here is single serving size or two serving size. Maybe in three serving sizes where you can open it up and say two or three people eat out of it, or if you’re one really hungry person you can sit and eat the whole thing. If you buy the large cans then the whole family is going to have to eat the same thing and you’ll get some type of complainer that won’t want that item. You can’t just tell them if you don’t like it don’t eat it because they’ve got to get their energy up.
So there are some simple fast food preps that you can get just about any grocery store. One thing though is that I like to stockpile what I normally eat. I’ve got a few cases of MREs. But not everybody likes MREs, they are kind of cost prohibitive, stuff like what I mention above are only a few dollars.
In 2016 the National Park Service reported that 325 million people visited the parks in this country. That was a record they’re expecting 2017 to be an even bigger year. One of the most important things to remember when you go into a national park or any wilderness area for that matter is that it is not an amusement park. It’s one of those things where there’s a little bit of preparation and a little bit of knowledge that’s needed because it’s such an unforgiving environment. Now when we talk about search rescue operations 75% of those search and rescue operations in the National Park Service dealt with people who were day users only. That means they weren’t prepared to stay overnight it was just something they wanted to go do they want to go take a picture they wanted to get off of the trails just for a few minutes something like that and ended up needing help from outside agencies.
Talking about kids and teaching kids it’s super important to make sure they understand that it is an unforgiving environment and that they take it seriously. First thing is they need to have something with them some kind of a kit or some set of materials it doesn’t have to be in a pretty package format that says survival kit on it, something like a backpack or bag or even the pockets in the clothes that they’re wearing if they’ve got the materials that they need that’s what we’re talking about. If you go out there and they do happen to get away from an adult or supervised areas or get lost or whatever the case may be there couple of very important points that we should talk about with those kids. You need to teach your kids that if they do happen to get lost they need to stop moving they don’t want to become more lost it really does complicate the search and rescue solution as far as the responders are concerned.
Kids need to have emergency shelter that is easily accessible and easy to use tear it open put it on and sit down. Now with sitting down you don’t want to just sit on the ground a little foam sitting pad putting that in there folded up takes up almost no space doesn’t weigh anything at all, but can make a tremendous difference.
Having some kind of equipment with them to signal something like a whistle because that whistle blast is going to carry much longer distances and is much easier to hear then a voice that may be overcome by a running water sounds or by the wind or whatever the case may be.
Let the kids know that if they are lost it’s not gonna be something that they’re gonna get in trouble for. The searchers are there to help them mom and dad are not going to be upset with them for getting lost they’re gonna be very happy to see them and it will be a good thing as far as the search and rescue is concerned when it ends successfully. So if they hear their name being called if they hear someone coming a vehicle sound or something like that they need to start using a whistle that noise maker they blow it long and hard over and over and over again because that whistle blast is gonna carry much much further than a human voice will and you’ll be able to continue it for much much longer. Bottom line tell the kids to keep blowing that whistle until they can see the rescuers coming.
The national parks and any wilderness area in the country is a wonderful thing to go out and utilize. We’re not trying to scare people or make them think that it’s automatically gonna happen that there’s going to be some kind of negative outcome. In fact, most of these scenarios/situations where people need help they resolve from a search and rescue perspective 92%, in fact, resolve in less than 24 hours so really it’s just a matter of protecting yourself and taking a couple of extra steps to get all the things ready so that we have the peace of mind to know that if something unfortunate happens we have everything that we need ready and it’s not going to be a negative outcome.
When you hear about subjects regarding the military, you do hear a lot about weapons, you hear a lot about, the weapons technology, you hear about a lot of battles and those are very important factors that need to be looked at. There is also another factor that is often overlooked: it is the role of geography that it plays in war.
There’s a field dedicated to this known as military geography. Military geography is how geography plays a big role in war. You have geopolitics involved.
Let’s talk about one thing the land itself. Geography is a big part of war because war is fought on the ground. Wars are often fought over land. In many cases, the land plays a role in how many battles take place.
Risk of Mud
For instance, nothing slows down artillery— nothing slows down vehicles– like mud. When you have mud, it is the universal enemy of armies trying to win. Mud is one thing to consider.
Desert warfare deals with the extreme heat. In some places, like, Afghanistan, you have a desert area and an area where it can get extremely cold. When this occurs, you have to really think about just the fact that there’s not a whole lot of water available. You’re always around that risk of dehydration and then, in many areas, you have to deal with sand dunes and sand storms.
Where you have a lot of US military when they’re in the desert, they’re wearing these very late in life uniforms– the camouflage looks different than if you were to fight in say, the jungles. The goal is to blend in with your surroundings when you’re in the desert. Different clothing for different environments has often played a big role in how many wars have taken place.
When you’re up in the mountains, you have the threat of altitude sickness. You have to have an occasion where you have troops that are not used to fighting up in the high mountains– where the air is thin up there. There’s always that factor, and then you’ve got the factor of just such a range of terrains– so rugged. You have to be strong to just get throughout terrain.
And then terrain hawks also make it harder for vehicles to get thru, and then you also have to think about colder weather– extreme cold weather– and then you have to think about avalanches.
Avalanches are constant threat in many high mountainous areas where you’ve got a lot of snow and it doesn’t take much to set off an avalanche. You also have to think about something else when it comes to– you also have to think about what mountains can be good places for?
Me and hot humid weather do not get along and I live in a climate where it gets really hot in the summer. You can imagine how rough it would be in war! you can imagine. In tropical areas– the jungle– you gotta worry about catching malaria, you gotta worry about just the amount heat and humidity soldiers can withstand and just how it wears on the body– especially if you’re not from that climate.
You always need a good map, and without a map, yeah– you got problems. It’s about strategy, it’s about knowing where you’re going. Where you’re going to act, where the enemy is, where you think the enemy might be, where that fortification is or where this target is you have to have a map you need a map. It’s necessary to have a map.
Geography is one of those things is in the details and it is something that it manages to sneak itself and it’s always a role even if you’re not recognizing it. Geography is one of those things you should always be looking at in a lot of fields. This is why you have the field, military geography. Geography plays a role in wars.