Archive for the ‘Survival Skills’ Category

My wife and I decided to have a fire in our back yard fire pit last night so I took the opportunity to start the fire like I would in a survival situation.  I chose to use the parafin wax coated jute twine tinder I prepared a couple of months ago.  I carry this type of tinder in my Altoids survival tin and wanted to see how easy it would be to start a fire with it.  As you know there are many ways to give birth to fire such as a match, lighter, fire steel, magnesium bar, fire bow and so on.  For this attempt I used one match and one length of jute twine about 8 inches long to start the fire.

In the past I have used a fire steel to ignite sawdust and wood shavings as well as cotton balls coated in Vaseline to start fires.  The parafin wax treated jute twine is by far the quickest and most effective tinder I have used so far.  A couple benefits of this tinder is that it is waterproof and burns for a longer period of time than the cotton balls tend to.  Please view my Single Match Survival Fire video which demonstrates the effectiveness of parafin coated jute twine as tinder.

 

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In this post I discuss skills drawing on my 20 plus years of fire service experience in order to explain situational awareness as I believe it relates to your  preparedness and survival.  Situational awareness as defined by Wikipedia is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.  I am going to simple that definition down a bit as I had trouble relating it to what I know as situational awareness.  Think of situational as a combination of circumstances that changes over time or simply what is going on around of or in front of you.  Look at the photo above.  If this was happening next door to your home that would be a rapidly changing combination of circumstances that you would surely need to address.  Dictionary dot com defines awareness as the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness.  So in short situational awareness is to have knowledge of a situation; however I believe you should have awareness of your surroundings and what is going on around you at all times.

Situational Awareness is something you can use everyday to help ensure your readiness for the circumstances that could potentially occur whether it be while driving down the road or dealing with the aftermath of an astroid impact.  Being prepared by having the tools, equipment, food and supplies needed to sustain yourself or your family during an emergency is the core of preparedness; however you should also be knowledgeable of circumstances during and after an event.  For example earthquakes can occur anywhere so it would be to your advantage to know about what to do prior to, during and after an earthquake.  The information you need to know for earthquakes may be more in-depth depending on your geographical location such as near oceans or coastal rivers due to potential for tsunamis.  By obtaining knowledge of earthquakes you would be aware of how to protect yourself and your family through the entire event.  There are many natural disasters that could potentially happen and knowledge about each one will greatly enhance your ability to endure through them.  Human caused events such as terrorism, shootings, riots, civil disturbances, economic collapse as well as potential accidents are other areas that would benefit your being prepared for.  The day to day potential accidents are probably the most likely threat to your life.  Something as innocent  and mundane sounding as a child playing on a drift log at the beach have transformed into life changing tragedies for families of accident victims.  Had those family members know that it only takes a few inches of water from the ocean surf to float a drift log weighing a ton or more the accident and horrible tragedies may not have occurred.  There is literature and some warnings posted of potential log roll accidents or deaths however it is limited and ultimately it is up to individuals visiting coastal areas to learn of the potential dangers. I suggest that anyone planning on visiting areas more potentially dangerous than those encountered day to day do some research on the environmental hazards specific to those areas.  Examples of some of those areas may include lakes, rivers, mountains, deserts, in the snow, and at the oceans and beaches.  In future posts I will be writing about potential dangers associated with geographical areas and the knowledge needed in order to avoid the specific hazards.  The truth is you can not be 100% prepared for every possible circumstance that may arise as the future is unknown and anything is possible.  By learning about the events or circumstances most likely to occur and especially by having general awareness of your surroundings at all times you will have the best chance for longevity.  Thank you for reading my post and as always feel free to comment.  Be safe, be aware and be a survivor.