This Weeks Show 31st March 2017

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The Blizzard Survival 20% discount offer, My Bug-Out-Belt, The Mark IPN interview, The Wilderness Gathering, What is the goal of EDC gear? My Homemade MRE, The Bug-Out Survival Show, My Thoughts, I am Just, Dear Mrs May, Uses of a Pocket Knife, The Survival Staff, Basic Survival Skills, Wilderness Survival Techniques to Remember, How to make nettle soup.

Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer

Blizzard Survival .com have a fantastic offer for you the listener they are offering a 20% discount on all goods bought from them at

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Life-saving technology has never been so affordable.

All you have to do to get a 20% discount is enter the code “PREPPER” at the checkout, it is that simple. Thank you Blizzard


My BUG-OUT BELT was personally constructed by Scott Douglas Palmer

Who is Director of Cultural Development at Lion Corporation and Founder & President at Slatsmandu Corporation – Alpenlore, is my version of his awesome range of incredible Hybrid Survival / Tactical EDC Belt Systems

The colours I have chosen are designed to allow my belt to blend into the background in the outdoors environment and at the same time not stand out in a rural environment either.

My belt is the most compact adventure survival belt on the market.

The AlpenLITE Belt System is a type of “Hyper Belt” which is an exceptional ON THE FLY adventure Belt that can be worn as an everyday belt, very soft and flexible but solid. and incredibly useful.

High tension outdoor Pro-cord, a type of advanced para-cord (paracord ), can be used for a multitude of Bushcraft, Survival, EDC & First-aid situations in multiple environments.

The applications for its use are endless… Wherever you go, the AlpenLITE Belt goes with you and can be immediately deployed.

The inner-core has up to 12 feet of layered hidden webbing. Together with the PROcord shell makes this belt system stand apart from all the others. Strong, lite & compact, just unravel and GO!

We promise you have never seen a product like this that offers such a vast array of features. Johnny Spillane (World Class Olympian) and 3 Silver medalist and world champion in Nordic Ski proudly wears our product and finds it to be a great aid that you carry with you but never notice its there” says Scott.

It fits like a normal belt only slightly thicker but unnoticeable while wearing. It is hands free and always there when you need it, from morning till night, the AlpenGuide Belt System is there waiting to assist you.

Specs Each AlpenLITE Belt SYSTEM is created from 100% Premium Hardware with fine attention to detail and proudly Handcrafted by Americans who have extensive experience with the Outdoors.

And the AlpenLITE BELT is the most compact rescue adventure belt in the world!

You can order yours at

The International Preperation Network is making a difference around the world. My guest is a Coordinator with the IPN and I interviewed him to find out more about this organisation.

Mark IPN Interview

Usually the IPN only currently accept new member signups on the IPN website only if they have been given an invite code.

Mark says, I know I said in the interview we preferred group signups but I’m sure some individuals might signup anyway if they are not part of groups or if they want to get a feel for the IPN first…so perhaps we could setup an invite code for your show?

So talking to Mark we have agreed on the invite code of “prepper” which should be in place as you listen to this show.

The Wilderness Gathering

If you’ve never been to the Gathering before and you love nature and the outdoors, then we have the family show for you – Wilderness Gathering, a unique Bushcraft event, is the longest running and still the original festival of bushcraft, survival and primitive living skills.

The Gathering has become a social event and brings together families and friends, all those interested in Bushcraft and Wilderness living skills to enjoy a weekend of knowledge sharing in a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere

Live Music

Not only is the Gathering the place you to come to – to learn new skills, brush up on your old ones and meet some of the best bushcraft experts in the country but it has also become, over the past fifteen years, the place you come to – to gather and socialise round the campfire with friends, old and new.

As part of this tradition we invite gifted musicians to come and entertain us all over the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and this year is no exception!

Childrens Bushcraft

The Coyote Clubs were introduced in 2005 and host a comprehensive range of events and activities specifically tailored for children from 5 to 15 year old.

The Masterclass

The Masterclasses were introduced in 2005 and are your opportunity to study your favourite Bushcraft subject in depth with a leading Bushcraft instructors.

Where is it?

Located on a South Wiltshire farm with lakes and 30 acres of old oak woodlands. You get access to woodlands and fields to erect whatever shelter you want.

Add to this great food, local cider, mead, evening entertainment. great people and it’s now over 5 days it has to time to get booked

What is the goal of EDC gear?

I think the goal of EDC gear is to increase your quality of life.

Every piece of EDC gear should work toward that end. Using EDC to increase your quality of life is an ambitious goal, but there are a variety of ways to achieve that goal. Your EDC gear can increase your quality of life by:

Increasing your self-reliance

Increasing your security

Increasing your comfort

Increasing your safety

Everyone has different goals –

People place varying amounts of emphasis on the different aspects that relate to quality of life. What is important to one person could be trivial to another.

Some people are supremely concerned about safety. Because of this, an investment in a defensive tool would dramatically increase their quality of life.

Others aren’t that concerned about safety, but having something on hand to listen to or read makes their life much more enjoyable.

Some people gain supreme enjoyment from not having to rely on others. They have their pen ready when the cashier rips the receipt from the till. They have their torch ready when the power unexpectedly dies in the restaurant.

Some people would go nuts if they didn’t have a pen and paper to write down an idea that popped into their head.

Some people are constantly worried about how they would cut a seat-belt if they were in a vehicle accident or how they would treat someone with a medical issue. Simple tools could help to alleviate those worries and dramatically increase their quality of life.

Maybe you plead guilty to all of the above. Maybe you are thinking of something totally different that I didn’t mention. Perfect! That’s the idea. Think about YOUR priorities!

You will never be satisfied with EDC gear that caters to someone else’s needs, wants, and goals!

It’s easy to look at someone else’s gear and try to copy it for ourselves, but it’s not the right way to go about it. You have an intricate combination of personal priorities that are different from anyone else in the world.

It takes some thought to arrange these priorities and properly apply them to your gear. For now, let’s figure out what your goals are!

My Homemade MRE

I have been looking at the high prices of British Army MRE Ration Packs (About £10+ along with postage!) and I decided to opt for making my own for my bug out bag.

All of these items I bought from my local Asda so these are current prices. I would recommend using a vacuum sealer or Mylar bags with o2 absorbers to make these feasible, otherwise the shelf life I predict is probably not going to be reached due to the nature of some of the items.

Anyway, let’s begin, please note numbers after names are Calories, then price!


8 x Belvita Biscuits 445 £0.76

Coffee Sachet 75 £0.14


Cup a Soup 90 £0.10


Mugshot Pasta 307 £0.68

Lemon + Black pepper tuna tins x 2 340 £1.10


Boost bar 305 £0.25

Kendal mint cake 85g 350 £0.88

Pumpkin seeds 566 £0.55

Strawberry lances 300 £0.33

Coffee sachet 75 £0.14

So this leads to a total cost of £4.93 and a whopping 2853 calories!

I have also got three vacuum sealed bags of peanuts, raisins and chocolate drops which I would also chuck into the bug out bag, these contain a staggering 1750 calories for only £0.99 and will last for ages in the vacuum seal!

I’ll add as well, my MRE weighs about 870g, where as a normal British Army one weighs 1750g and also it’s technically not an MRE as it requires water and minimal heating, but I have both of those in my BOB so nothing to worry about really!

This is a very basic but very tasty MRE option and I am sure as I experiment further that it will develop and become more season friendly with both a range of hot and cold meals.

The Bug Out Survival Show 2017

Survival learning for all of your family 29th April to 01st May 2017

The B.O.S.S. is run by Ian Coulthard .

Ian says, I am a Prepper Survivalist and I run a annual survival event weekend for any one who wants to come along and learn new skills and idea from experienced Survivalist’s, Bushcrafter’s and Prepper’s or share skills they already know with others. The B.O.S.S is a weekend for all the family to come and learn new survival skills in different areas of survival.

Prepping, Bushcraft and survival are in ways different stiles of learning how to stay alive in different situations. Even though they are of different styles of survival they do tend to blend in together with just one goal and the end result being able to use the knowledge and skills you have to stay alive.

The B.O.S.S is held on the first bank holiday weekend of every May and is a great opportunity for people to come along and learn new skills in all three styles of survival while meeting like minded people and making new friends with people of a similar interest.

Check out his FB page

Check out his website

My Thoughts

Expect the conditions following economic collapse to lead to a new peasantry – office workers becoming field labourers or bandits; tied to food production by desperate circumstances.

But without modern sanitation and medical care, plagues and epidemics can run rampant.

Without modern education, many academic and professional categories will vanish. Expect religions and cults to experience enormous growth as oil-based societies return to more medieval structures.

Myths work as long as a majority believe them to be true. Leaders clad their agendas in the language and thought patterns of those myths. Until the 20th century, leaders used religious talk … now people believe that democracy and the free market really exist and that they are the mainstay for everything dear and valuable … Thus to mobilize today’s population, leaders use democracy and free-market talk.

It is like the difference between official socialist/communist concepts and real-world socialism/communism.

Our societies require the on-going integrated functioning of many factors, including electricity, water, food, heat, transportation, communication, medicine and security.

An extended manipulation or failure of any of these sub-systems can damage or collapse the others; and the collapse of one country or region can have huge consequences elsewhere on our interconnected planet.

Food is power.

We use it to change behaviour. Some may call that bribery.

Catherine Bertini, UN World Food Program Executive Director, 1997

A gradual collapse would not be SO bad. A fast collapse would be devastating. Most people will freeze, panic or reject the news – until they are motivated to move by thirst, starvation, looters and epidemics.

Many people who wait for help will die. NOW is the best time to make emergency last-minute preparations. How can you arrange to keep your essential possessions … and your life?

The essential difference between survivors and casualties is preparation!

During a disaster – every second counts! Waiting for help may kill you!

I think that the potential Stages of Societal Collapse are

Moral Collapse. You stop trusting people. You distrust your elected politicians, businesses, government employees, religious leaders and military. Unemployment soars and your neighbourhood becomes increasingly dangerous.

As riots and suicides increase, dysfunctional authorities may talk about the temporary crisis and seek scapegoats. I remember talking to Selco who described exactly this as the Collapse began in the Balkans.

Financial Collapse. You stop trusting banks. You cannot assess risk and your financial assets are not guaranteed. If financial institutions become insolvent; your savings may be wiped out, and you cannot access your capital.

As social unrest and suicide increase, airlines and borders may be closed. Authorities may call this a temporary measure and may blame computer hackers.

Commercial Collapse. You stop trusting businesses. Money may be devalued and/or become scarce. People hoard and trade basic commodities and medications, import and retail chains cease, and there are widespread shortages of survival necessities.

Supermarkets are guarded and you hear of food riots. Martial law may be enforced in cities. If your electricity stops – would you freeze in the dark?

Authorities may talk of a temporary emergency and may blame farmers and traders.

Political Collapse. You stop trusting governments. Official attempts to provide survival necessities are ineffective; and politicians lose legitimacy and relevance.

Emergency calls are not answered. Starving people want your food, medical supplies and weapons. You may hear of military coups or of millions of starving people. Authorities may blame terrorists.

Social Collapse. You stop trusting authorities. Social institutions become resourceless. Dead bodies become commonplace. Cities become centres of starvation and disease. Might is right … but who has weapons? Internment camps may conceal starvation and genocide … for a while.

Authorities may blame hoarders/ preppers.

Military Collapse. You stop trusting the military. Martial law transitions into local dictatorships. The military may perceive you and your family as targets competing for the same resources as themselves – or as potential slaves.

They may create systems of forced labour and slavery … fighting local wars over local resources.

Kindness becomes a strange concept. Authorities may blame communists.

Civilization Collapse. You stop trusting hope. Death is everywhere. People cannot afford to be kind. Urban regions become death zones. Nothing is more dangerous than desperate men.

Whose women and children will live – and whose will die? You hear stories of cannibals. You might be killed for a candy bar … you might be hunted for your meat.

The only authorities are people who can kill you.

Here is a cutting from a US Government report following the winter of 1609-1610: Concerning CANNIBALISM IN AMERICA

Driven thru insufferable hunger to eat those things which nature most abhorred, the flesh and excrements of man as well of our own nation as of an Indian, digged by some out of his grave after he had lain buried three days and wholly devoured him; others, envying the better state of body of any whom hunger has not yet so much wasted as their own, lay wait and threatened to kill and eat them; one among them slew his wife as she slept in his bosom, cut her in pieces, salted her and fed upon her till he had devoured all parts saving her head.

It hardly matters what causes it – financial collapse, global warming, an oil war or space aliens.

As infrastructure collapses, misinformation will dominate the media. Instructions and advice given to avoid widespread panic may worsen your chances of survival.

This may not be a good time to stay indoors and wait for instructions. It may be a good time to get out of a city fast while you still can.

Government agencies may tell you, while communications last, that their instructions will ensure your survival. But your survival may not support their survival.

Police in most countries (including the UK) are not obligated to protect you even now … and if you are not prepared, you may quickly die during a fast economic collapse.

And if you are prepared … you might just survive.

During a financial collapse your paper assets and perhaps even banknotes may lose value. Keep records of your stocks and bonds, certificates of deposit, insurance, taxes and other paper instruments in case of recovery.

Be prepared for hyperinflation and have a stock of useful money-substitutes for trading … coffee, sugar, salt, toilet paper, herbs, pain-killers.

Hoarding may not be a crime … yet.

During commercial collapse most consumer goods become unavailable, except as trade for useful items or services. Shops and supermarket staff hoard their goods and food awaiting some sign of recovery – and only distribute those goods in return for trade or protection, or at gunpoint.

Communications cease and food riots begin. Don’t expect police, military or firemen to protect you or your home. Suspected looters or terrorists may be shot on sight … which means anybody.

During martial law, little freedom remains, and martial law can be enacted with a signature. Expect curfews, rationing, closed borders and travel permits at first … later you may hear rumours of sealed cities, slave labour and concentration camps

During political collapse government services vanish. Your contracts, licenses and tax returns have little meaning.

Police and military use their weapons to protect their own homes and supplies from riots and starving people. Suicides skyrocket.

Highways resemble parking lots. Starving city people converge on farms near cities, known food-producing areas and vacation homes.

Expect stringent rules and road barricades to limit theft and contain epidemics. Expect summary executions for minor offences.

During social collapse most hospitals, clinics and schools cease to function. Their staff may not be paid and either be forced to work (perhaps at gunpoint) or become local enterprises trading their services for food, medications and essentials.

Disease is everywhere and medications are scarce. Equipment requiring electrical power may be operated from local generators while fuel is still available.

Few people care whether you live or die … and some would prefer to loot your dead body.

During military collapse the military forces become a new aristocracy based on scavenging and feudal farming.

Much of your food and property could be confiscated and little if any effort invested in your survival. Torture and executions are commonplace.

You’re on your own.

Unless you have needed skills you are an easily-replaced field slave or grunt soldier.

During civilization collapse most of your time is spent gathering and protecting whatever you can hoard, trade or scavenge; and avoiding being robbed, enslaved or eaten.

Pity has become a luxury!

What skills are essential to your survival?

What goods would simplify or comfort your survival?

If you cannot survive without luxuries – how do you want to die?

Preparation is a better investment against chaos than stocks, bonds or gold. Stocking up on necessities is very cheap insurance, but be discrete, or you may be accused of hoarding, or be robbed.

Plan to survive.

Have what you need instead of desperately searching or fighting for it.

Other good insurance if you can afford it may be a large sailboat or a country house with space to grow and store crops.

Seek a rather isolated place, maybe a hundred miles from a city, not visible from the main roads, with woodland and surface water nearby.

(And if there is no collapse in your lifetime, you and your family can enjoy a boat / holiday home / smallholding with a good resale value.)

So read about survival. Use but don’t depend on the internet – or on electricity.

Get healthy. Walk and ride a bicycle. Find substitutes for artificial medications.

Sort out your fears and concerns now … you will need a healthy mind to protect your family. Life will be tough enough without depression, neuroses and panic attacks.

Dry foods such as rice, grain and beans are cheap insurance against a crisis. Stock enough long term storage food for a family of four persons to survive for three months, or for one person for a year.

Use this food regularly and restock it regularly.

Keep a supply of clean water … if you lose electric power you may lose drinking water too.

Wean yourself off addictive and unhealthy foods. Learn about and explore wild foods. Know, at least, which local wild foods are edible and which are toxic, and where they grow.

Stock up on needed medications and emergency medical supplies; learn first aid and CPR.

Ten acres of good land can support 4-10 people indefinitely, depending upon available water, land quality, tools, foiling thieves and management skills.

Locate a retreat in a low population density area – the lower the better – more than 160 km / 100 miles from large towns or cities perhaps the top of Scotland.

Let your survival be your best revenge.

Drug dealers, legal and illegal, do not profit from healthy people. Most physical and mental diseases are consequences of unhealthy lifestyles and unhappy relationships. Clean up your mess!

Following a rapid collapse, many people will die and survivors must cooperate to live. In remote areas and in rural villages, neighbours are still valued.

Most people, even with huge emotional baggage, even in a horrendous crisis, can participate in community – if they choose.

Community requires that people choose co-operation to individualism. It may not be easy, but it is possible.

Lastly in the event of a collapse, joining a successful community will become a dream for many starving people.

How will your community decide who to accept – and who to turn away?

How kind can you be?

How will you deal with armed intruders?

How will you commence trade with other survivor communities?

I am Just

Lots of things get people in trouble when they go into the woods including lack of preparedness, not paying attention to the weather, accidents etc.

More commonly, it is the attitude toward our safety that is the precursor to a life threatening event occurring.

How many times have you said to yourself or have heard others say, “I am just………” as in “I’m just going to walk up the ridge and see if I can see a deer,” or “I’m just going to be out for fifteen minutes,” or perhaps “I’m just going to run down to the shop.”

I believe these three little words “I am just” get more people into trouble than any other three little words I can think of!

Except I LOVE YOU Ha, Ha,

Most commonly you don’t say these words out loud, but say them to yourself, silently─ which is even more dangerous.

Many times you are not even conscious of your decision to leave your gear behind.

Unconsciously you already have made the decision to leave it because “I am just…….” When spoken out loud there always is the chance that someone, upon hearing you say, “I am just……….” will step in and remind you of the importance of always taking your emergency clothing and equipment with you ─ even though the possibility of having to spend an unplanned night out is remote.

When nothing looks familiar, and every direction seems to be the same, STOP and think about what to do next!

It is easy to convince yourself that nothing life threatening will happen ─ after all you are “just……………” When you use the word “just,” you are convincing yourself that the weather will remain pleasant, that no accident will happen, that you will not get lost, or that you will be able to get back before dark!

You are saying to yourself that you don’t need to carry your day pack with your emergency gear and warm clothing because you won’t need it ─ you are “just…………….”

It also is easy to rationalize away the need to always carry your back up clothing and emergency equipment.

As the years ago by, one hunting season follows another, and you have yet to spend that unplanned night out, the temptation to reduce the weight of the daypack you are carrying by leaving your survival kit at home, can be very attractive.

As you look to the mountains in anticipation of having to ascend on foot and hunt at higher altitudes, it is natural to want to lighten your load and leave behind those pieces of equipment that you have seldom, if ever, used.

Sometimes it is “space” or the lack of it, which causes you to decide to leave items behind that you should take.

Most often, it’s the short trips that get you in trouble! After all, “I was just………” You get complacent.

Nothing life threatening ever has happened in the past and so it is easy to convince yourself that it won’t happen in the future and if it does you can handle it ─whatever “it” is!

Ignoring the possibility of finding yourself in a survival situation is like playing Russian roulette.

Falling victim to the “I am just” syndrome is like playing

Russian roulette with five out of six chambers loaded!

History is replete with examples of those finding themselves in trouble who, after being rescued from some horrendous situation, said “I was just……..”

Several years ago in the US an older man left his camp one evening ─ he was “just” going to walk down to the end of the ridge and see if he could spot a stag.

The following morning was the opening day of the shooting season. He never returned and despite an extensive search he was not found alive.

Ten days later his body, partially buried under snow, was discovered by other hunters.

His emergency gear consisted of a .357 Magnum pistol and thirty seven rounds of ammunition, which he had used to try to signal his hunting partners.

Thirty-six of the thirty-seven cartridges had been fired, but were never heard by either his partners or those that searched for him.

He had tried to shelter himself by drawing two log ends together and laying slabs of bark on top of the logs to provide a crude roof.

His clothing, a mixture of cotton and wool, failed to provide the protection he needed from the environmental conditions he encountered.

Physiologically he died from hypothermia, but it also could be said that he died because he had rationalized away the need to carry any additional emergency gear.

Equipment that might have prevented the situation from developing in the first place – a map, compass or a GPS Receiver.

Equipment that he could have used to increase his protection from cold temperatures, precipitation and wind-chill.

Equipment that he could have used to attract the attention of the rescuers that were looking for him – a mirror, whistle, mobile, warm clothing, survival bag.

He was “just going to walk to the end of the ridge, to look for an elk and then return to camp!”

The words “I am just” when spoken out loud or silently should be considered a red flag warning!

When you say them yourself or hear others say them ─ STOP! The trap is being set!

Continuing on only will spring the trap and once you are in it, there may be no escape.

Without adequate clothing, without basic survival equipment (reliable fire starting devices, waterproof, windproof sheltering materials, a signal mirror and whistle), without the ability to build a fire or signal to others, survival depends on an individual’s tenacity to live, their ability to improvise what they need and luck – but sometimes that’s not enough!

As you contemplate what you should have with you as you begin a trip – even a short one, don’t use the words “I am just…….”

Dear Mrs May

Please find below my uggestion for fixing the UK’s economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

They MUST retire.

Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed

They MUST buy a new British car.

Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed

They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage –

Housing Crisis fixed

They MUST send their kids to school/college/university –

Crime rate fixed

They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week

And there’s your money back in duty/tax etc

It can’t get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

Also let’s put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc. and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Now think about this


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

What do you think, am I right-let me know.

Uses of a Pocket Knife

I have always said that every responsible person should carry a UK Legal pocket knife at all times. However a friend asked “Why? What would I do with it?” my answer was this brief and incomplete list of typical uses: (It goes without saying that it would be kept sharp, oiled, and appropriately cleaned before and after each use.)

Frequent Uses

Opening Mail. Removing staples. Opening boxes and packages, removing tags.

Peeling fruit and vegetables. Halving sweetie bars for children.

Cutting up cardboard boxes for recycling .

Repairing and cleaning fingernails,

Removing splinters and thorns. Deburring wood, plastic and metal objects.

Chamfering holes and sharp edges. Marking parts for drilling or cutting.

Repairing handles on hoes, shovels, and axes before getting a splinter from them.

Scraping away rust, paint, dried or wet glue, labels and adhesive.

Cutting and trimming thread, string, fishing line, shoe laces,cord, wire, straps and rope.

Cleaning cracks and recesses. Extracting objects from slots, cracks and crevices.

Prying things loose. Trimming plants. Fashioning Wood and Plastic items by whittling.

Repairing clothing and shoes by trimming fabric, cutting threads, making holes.

Occasional Uses

Opening canned goods, Preparing food, and as an eating utensil. Preparing kindling for fire.

Dividing an aspirin for a fractional dose.

Sharpening pencils. Killing centipedes and scorpions.

Making stick horses, marshmallow roasters, and other utensils and toys.

Opening cheap locks. Making or modifying bandages.

Rapping on jar lid to loosen seal.

Trimming candles and wicks, and fishing line.

Scraping corrosion from electrical terminals.

Trimming insulation from electrical wires.

As a Screwdriver substitute, to repair glasses, watch, car, computer or other machinery.

Field dressing game animals. Making all the components of a spear, sling, or slingshot.

Extracting nails from tires. Tapping on pipe to loosen stuck valve.

Digging meat from a pecan.

Potential Uses

To cut seatbelt to extract trapped driver cut shoelaces to extract trapped foot.

To remove clothing from injury in First Aid.

To write by scribing on something.

For Personal defence against man or beast.

Cutting hose for snorkel or breathing tube.

To dig through a wall to safety.

Remove thorns from prickly pear, so it can be eaten.

For the steel part of fire making by flint and steel (sacrificial; this really tears it up.)

To fashion weapons and snares for catching small animals, or cages to hold them.

To improvise clothing and shelter from available materials.

Since no human has survived more than a few days in the natural world without having or making some kind of tool, and the quintessential tool, and tool-making tool, is the knife.

Anytime something needs to be made, cut, killed, trim med, blunted, butchered, altered, fixed, fashioned, assembled, disassembled, divided, pried, probed, scribe d, scraped, perforated or dug

At any time you need to interact with the physical world by fashioning or modifying materials more precisely than you can do with your fingers, or with greater pressure than you can apply with your nails and knuckles, a pocket knife is useful.

While it is useful for small tasks at all times, the extended capability represented by a knife for similar tasks in an emergency makes it an especially valuable accoutrement.

And the kind of knife you are most likely to have with you at a moment’s notice,

Everywhere you go, day or night, is a pocket knife.

I rest my case.

The Survival Staff

Just walk into the woods barehanded and you’ll soon encounter the first tool.

A knife takes a little more evolution to create, but there’s always a stick at hand. Even a crude broken branch has a myriad of potential uses, from brushing aside the webs of spiders to keeping enemies at a distance.

Ever since humans learned to walk upright they’ve compensated for the loss of those two other feet with sticks.

Go onto a modern hiking trail today, however, and the staff is a rare item. People are almost embarrassed to carry them.

Is it a sign of weakness? Or a mark of age? Or a fashion miss statement? Unless it’s a high tech trekking pole, the staff has fallen out of favour.

Historically, stick weapons are the mainstay of cultures where people travel isolated and wild pathways yet do not wish to present a threatening appearance.

If you want a fundamental level of defensive ability without looking like a paranoid invader, the staff is the perfect choice.

Although we think of today’s world, especially here in the UK, as tame and civilized, the reality we face in the wilderness isn’t so different from that of older and tougher days.

Animals of all kinds share the world with us and get cranky about it, and you can’t trust everyone you meet on the trail. A good poking stick can preserve the peace without causing serious injury.

In recent times society’s reaction to any form of animal violence has been to eliminate both species and ecosystem. I think we’ve grown beyond that, but not far beyond that. In modern instances of predation against humans, the individual animals pay the price–as well as any suspect animals who just happen to be in the area.

Our fellow beasts are intelligent as well as cautious–if they test one of us, and learn that we are pointy and belligerent, they probably will not try us out again.

That’s good for everybody. The guy with the stick is not dangerous to the balance; the guy without one is.

Luckily, I have seldom had any reason to apply this aspect of the art of Stick. The most common encounters I’ve had are with cows and the loose dogs who probably already had a low opinion of humans.

The only potentially deadly confrontation in my collection was with a grumpy young bull who showed up in a bad mood as I was trying to cross his field. No real carnivores have ever attacked me, and they probably won’t. I carry a big stick.

The hiking staff is much more than a self-defence device tool. It will be used most often for very ordinary things like keeping your footing. I can think of any number of reasons to have one.

To part underbrush on a trail, to take some weight and balance before you shift from this boulder to that ledge, to prop yourself against a current on a swift water crossing–the needs and the uses are endless.

Yes, you could make a staff on the spot, when you happen to need one–no, if you choose that last minute response, you won’t have anything dependable.

A good staff will save your life. A rotten branch won’t.

Basic Survival Skills

You might be asking, “What is the best way to approach basic survival skills,” especially since there is so much information available. Here are 6 primary components of wilderness survival to help you thrive in any situation:

More than any other skill, your attitude determines how successful you are in a survival situation. This first of the basic survival skills might even determine whether you live or die!

To start, consider “The Rule of Threes.” A human can survive for:

– 3 minutes without air

– 3 hours without a regulated body temperature (shelter)

– 3 days without water

– 3 weeks without food

The “Rule of Threes” provides a guideline of how to prioritize basic survival skills: first shelter, then water, and lastly food.

Surviving a difficult wilderness situation also requires meeting many challenges while avoiding panic. 

When faced with a potential survival situation, remember to use a “SPEAR”:




Assess &


By systematically assessing, planning, and executing your basic survival skills, you will help keep your mind and body actively engaged in addressing your situation. This will greatly aid in avoiding panic and other negative states of mind. By upholding an upright attitude, your chances of survival are greatly improved!

Many people who are forced into survival situations often get into serious trouble because of direct exposure to the elements. Most people in survival situations die of hypothermia, which can be easily avoided with basic survival skills.

Being able to build a shelter is of paramount importance in a survival situation. It is extremely important to prevent or minimize heat loss, or if in a desert environment, to minimize water loss. 

Here are some things to think about when planning to build a shelter:

– Location (away from hazards, near materials)

– Insulation (from ground, rain, wind, air)

– Heat Source (body heat or fire-heated)

– Personal or Group Shelter

There are many types of shelters to consider including natural shelters such as caves, hollow stumps and logs, as well as building shelters such as a debris hut, lean-to, debris tipi, or snow shelter. Of the shelters listed, the debris hut is often the most practical to construct in almost any environment. Learn how to construct a debris hut.

Since the human body is composed of 78.2% water, it should be no surprise that water is higher on the list than fire or food. Ideally, a person should drink about a gallon of water per day.

Many lost persons perish due to dehydration, and or the debilitating effects of water-borne pathogens from untreated water. In addition to water-borne pathogens, minerals and metals can be found in waters downstream from industrial and agricultural operations. 

The best sources for clean drinking water in a wilderness setting are springs, head-water streams, and collecting morning dew.

Popular modern methods for purifying and treating water include filtering pumps and chemical treatments, such as iodine. These can be efficient and effective solutions if you have access to these items in a survival situation.

The most widely used and proven method for safely purifying water is boiling. Bringing water to a boil and allowing it to continue to boil for 2-3 minutes will kill bacteria and viruses.

By maintaining a level attitude, creating a shelter, and obtaining clean water, a person can successfully survive for many weeks.

Even though it is not directly a survival need, fire is one of the most useful basic survival skills. It can help warm your body or your shelter, dry your clothes, boil your water, and cook your food. 

Also, fire can provide psychological support in a survival situation, creating a sense of security and safety.

Ideally, when traveling in the wilderness, it is best to carry multiple fire-starting tools, such as a lighter, matches, flint and steel, etc… Even with these implements starting a fire can be challenging in inclement weather. We highly recommend practicing fire starting in different weather conditions within different habitats. 

Good fire-making skills are invaluable. If you were to find yourself in a situation without a modern fire-making implement, fire by friction is the most effective primitive technique. Popular friction fire-making methods include bow drill, hand drill, fire plough, and fire saw.

Learn how to build a fire using the bow and drill friction fire technique.

You might be surprised to see food so low on the basic survival skills priorities list, though we can survive for much longer without it as compared with shelter and water.

Remember “The Rule of Threes”: humans can survive without food for roughly 3 weeks (though I’m sure you would not want to go that long without food!). 

Thankfully, most natural environments are filled with a variety of items that can meet our nutritional needs. 

Wild plants often provide the most readily available foods, though insects and small wild game can also support our dietary needs in a survival situation.

Be sure that you properly identify any plant you plan on consuming (using field guides and or the guidance of an experienced expert). Many plants can be difficult to identify and some edible plants have poisonous look-a-likes. If you cannot identify the plant, do not eat it.

The more you know about nature, the better you will be able to survive in the outdoors. To be great at wilderness survival, beyond the basic survival skills, requires an in-depth understanding of a variety of nature skills.

For example, wildlife tracking skills allow one to effectively locate wild game for food, and knowledge of herbal medicine allows one to heal illnesses with wild plants. Especially for the situation where you may choose to purposefully practice survival living for a lengthened period of time, naturalist knowledge is absolutely invaluable.

All of our hunter–gatherer ancestors had classification systems for living organisms, knew their names, understood their uses, recognized how they inter-related to each other, and were aware of exactly how to utilize those resources in a sustainable fashion.

This knowledge was at the foundation of their ability to thrive within the natural environment.

For even the recreational wilderness skills practitioner, a basic knowledge of the natural sciences (such as botany, ecology, geology, etc…) can be very useful and enriching. 

A great place to start is by purchasing the relevant plant and animal field guides for your region. These resources can help you begin to identify species and understand how they relate.

Now, with these keys to basic survival skills, you are well on your way to thriving in the outdoors!

Wilderness Survival Techniques to Remember

Wilderness survival techniques are arguably a matter of life and death. Turning into a self-sufficient survivor does not happen at the snap of a finger. It takes knowledge, proper gear, and preparation. By planning for the worst before it happen you could be saving your life and other’s.

The first thing to remember is not having a shelter, which really turns into a double barrelled mistake. If you do not have a proper shelter with you or lack the knowledge to build one with what is around you-you might be in trouble.

It is vital to create a shelter that keeps you dry and limits exposure to the elements.

The second thing to remember ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ is being caught without a working navigational tool. It is easy to get turned around in the middle of thick bushes and trees. A map and a compass are failsafe standards any wilderness adventurer should pack. Remember to practice using them

Thanks to technology, a GPS is a handy tool as well. GPS devices are small, compact, and generally able to work for a descent time period if kept at full charge. Keep navigational tools with you at all times

But do not rely on them as they can be dropped or the batteries can run flat.

You must learn how to utilize cardinal directions by the sun and stars.

Another common mistake that can cost you is lack of knowledge and preparation. There are five key things you should be knowledgeable of first:

How to build shelter

How to signal for assistance

What is safe to eat and how to find it

How to build and maintain a fire

How to locate water and safely prepare it

Never underestimate the risk factor. The most innocent of outdoor excursions-fishing, hiking, hunting-can turn into a wilderness survival situation. Always be prepared.

Don’t be caught with the wrong clothing. A rule of thumb is to always dress in layers, making the outer layer warmer than what you should need. Research indicates that most hypothermia cases develop in temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to lack of proper clothing.

Water is essential to survive. The problem is finding drinkable water. Waterborne organisms can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, which increases dehydration.

Carry a supply of pure drinking water along with the ability to filter water by boiling, chemical tablets, or buy a Purificup.

Finally, be sure to have a signal plan and know how to create and maintain a fire. Almost any outdoor store has sections dedicated to signal devices. Whistles, mirrors, high beam flashlights, and fire starting devices are all easy to carry signal devices.

Couple these with learning how to create your own emergency signal by using trees, rocks, dirt, or even snow.

Fire is vital to wilderness survival. It can warm, protect, and heat food or boil water. You can even use it to signal for help. Do not underestimate learning how to make and maintain a fire. Take time to prepare for your outdoor excursions and you will be able to enjoy your wilderness trip and survive whatever may come your way.

How to make nettle soup

With consumers being so bombarded with marketing for ready-meals, fast-food, and other chemical rubbish often I find people forget about some of nature’s ingredients that are normally right on their doorstep!

This recipe will go through how to make a nettle soup, which not only is a cheap and easy to make meal but also extremely good for you.

Nettles (which are rich in iron and contain lots of great vitamins) have been said by many to have anti-anaemic, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a diuretic so is great for detoxing and helps remove toxins from the blood.

On top of all that it also is a great remedy against arthritis, rheumatic conditions, allergies, kidney disease…. (And the list goes on!)

All of that from a pesky weed that most of us avoid and ignore!


First things first, pick a good spot. I would try avoid any spots that are nearby to roads as you’ll likely get a mouthful of pollution, and try to look out for the smaller sized nettles as they are more nutritious and tasty for your soup.

The spot I found today was in a clearing in a local wood but the same principles can be applied to most of the world!

Now you have found your spot, onto some practicalities of nettle picking, wear a good pair of gloves, or if like me you forgot to bring a pair then cover your hands up well. If you do get stung, take a look around for any doc leaves (big vainly leaves normally found nearby to nettles) as rubbing these on a new sting will relieve the pain.

Typically to make a batch of soup for four people you will want to get about half a bag of nettles.

At this point if you want to pick more nettles you might want to consider filing up your bags and then:

Preparing and freezing any leftover nettles for another day (just wash/cut/dry them and they will freeze well)

Making nettle tea by cutting off the tips (they taste less bitter in tea) and putting in a cafetiere. You can also dry the nettles for tea by either hanging them up in a warm place (the airing cupboard if you want them to dry quickly) or I’ve heard you can even dry them in the oven (probably on a low heat).

Look up some of the other handy uses for nettles (you’ll probably be surprised how versatile they are!)


1 large onion

2 or 3 garlic gloves (or more or less to your taste)

2 or 3 potatoes

Splash of olive oil

Knob of butter

Organic salt and organic pepper (to taste)

Chicken stock (this is very easy to make from leftover chicken) or just use a cube

Cream (optional, to taste)

Cayene Pepper or Chilli Flakes (optional if you like your soups to pack a kick!)

Making the Soup:

Step 1) Prepare the nettles (again at this point you may want to wear some gloves to avoid getting stung). Wash and drain the nettles.

You only want to use the fresh smaller young looking leaves so pick these off the stalk and discard the rest (or better still stick them on your compost pile!). I find using a pair of scissors is a fast way of doing this.

Preparing the nettles for the soup

Step 2) Peel and chop your potatoes, garlic, and onion and fry them on a high heat in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil and some butter until the onion is soft and the potatoes have started to go brown. If you want a spicy “sting!” to your soup then also add in either some cayenne pepper or some chilli flakes to taste.

Making the nettle soup mix

Step 3) Add the nettles into the pan and mix around with a wooden spoon and after 30 seconds or so add a litre of boiled water and your chicken stock. (If you have made the stock fresh you may need a few extra cubes to get in more flavour)

Step 4) Boil the soup on a medium heat until the potatoes are soft (normally takes between 12-15 minutes).

Step 5) Take the soup off the heat (and ideally let it cool for a bit) then blend the whole thing till you have a smooth consistency. You can return the soup to the pan on a high heat after this briefly to warm it up ready for serving adding in any salt and pepper to taste.

Step 6) Serve the soup with some nice organic bread and if you like you can add some cream by swirling around in the bowl with a small spoon for a mind blowing and decorative finish!

I hope you all enjoyed my show, if there is any subject you would like me to cover please let me know.

I wish you all a safe and happy week and look forward to being with you next Friday.

Remember every day is a school day.

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