Posts Tagged ‘survival’

 Being stuck out in the middle of nowhere in the snow can be really bad for your health, as in fatal.

With the winter season almost on top of us, we thought it would be important to briefly cover a scenario many of us might actually face in our lifetimes. You know, the one where you were going to take the kids out to grandma’s for the weekend for a surprise visit? Well, that right there is the problem, first of all. You shouldn’t be taking surprise visits in very cold temperatures and we will explain why below. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, even in situations where you’ve covered your bases, you still might find yourself in a rogue snowstorm that wasn’t expected. We’ve got your back on that one too.

First of all, what we said about surprise visits isn’t entirely accurate. It’s O.K. to surprise grandma as long as SOMEONE knows where you are and what you are doing, whether it’s a friend or even someone at work.

Preparing for a snowstorm in your car is a lot like writing an essay for school. You want to tell someone when you are leaving, where you are going, who is with you, what you will be doing, and when you are going to be back home. A good example of this would be: Wallace and I are gonna hit the road in the morning to pick up grandma from the occupy wall street protest because due to her alzheimer’s, and much like all the other Occupiers, she has forgotten her true agenda. We’ll be in New York for two days and will be heading back on Monday. We are probably going to stop by Washington D.C. on the way back for a few beers and an autograph from the Taco guy on 5th and Broad and should be back in town on Tuesday. We’re going to be taking the interstate up there and back.

Now that you’ve established the 5-W’s of what we like to call “travel common sense”, you can even go one step further and actually dress for the cold weather trip. This is where a lot of people screw up because they figure they will be warm enough with the heater in the car. Wrong. Even if you don’t wear them, at least pack some winter clothes in your trunk along with a nice heavy blanket or sleeping bag. For all you Floridians reading this blog who have no idea that temperatures actually drop below 60 degrees in the winter, trust us – they do. You should also take head of this advice if traveling up North. Winter gear consists of boots & socks, coats, gloves, and hoodies. You also want to keep an emergency kit first aid kit in your car at all times, regardless of the season.

See? Simple enough. Also, remember that if the weather suddenly takes a nose dive before your trip, do the smart thing and just stay home. Don’t try to be an interstate hero. You will thank us later for it.

Now that you know what to do before you leave, let’s take a look at two simple things to remember while you are actually on the road:

1. Always(and we repeat) – always stay on the main roads. Emergency personnel will scour these routes first and foremost.

2. For the love of all things good and holy do NOT run your car engine to keep warm. It’s all fun and games until the muffler gets covered by snow. Then your screwed, done for, kaput. Once the muffler gets blocked, your lungs will fill with carbon monoxide. At that point, being cold will be the least of your worries.

More on preparedness will surely follow 🙂

Hope you guys enjoyed the article.


So we were perusing some old articles and found a particularly interesting one dating back to 1942 by Time magazine. We’d like to resurrect that idea into modern times, but first, let’s explore a caption from the original article:

Homemade Gas Masks”
Monday, Sep. 07, 1942, Time Magazine

An emergency gas mask that can be made at home was demonstrated in Manhattan last week by the American Women’s Voluntary Services. The necessary materials can be found in almost any house: a bathing cap, a small tin can, the transparent cover from a powder-puff box, a bit of wire net (from fly swatters), two handkerchiefs, elastic ribbon, adhesive tape, and (from the drugstore) a few ounces of activated coconut charcoal and soda lime. The principle behind the homemade mask is simple; the assembly is more difficult. The rubber cap is fitted snugly over the face and two holes are cut in it; one for the powder-puff cover (to look through), one for the tin-can respirator. The ends of the can are removed, replaced with the wire net. Inside the can go the chemicals (two parts activated charcoal, one part soda lime) wrapped in the handkerchiefs. All openings in the cap are hermetically sealed with adhesive tape. An elastic-ribbon harness holds the mask on tight. An alternative model makes use of rubber baby pants (see cut) instead of the bathing cap.

Alright, so what we learned is that people had some pretty whacked out “common” household swag in 1942. I mean seriously, a bathing cap? Oh, and what the hell is a powder-puff box? Wow.

Anyway, check it, this is what you are going to need as far as common items found in a 2011 household: (and unlike 1942 when they tried to make shit difficult apparently, this is easy)

1. A two liter soda bottle, like the dude has on his face in the first picture.

2. Two pieces of screen. One needs to be about the size of a door knob and the other as big around as the two liter. Hint: You can probably find this somewhere on the giant screen door on the front of your house. If you don’t have one of these, we regret to inform you that you are wasting electricity needlessly in the Fall and Spring anyway and we would like you to try and survive the catastrophe WITHOUT the aid of this tutorial. Thank you.

3. A sock. Preferably clean unless you want to smell feet, but in the event that the shit has really hit the fan, who cares?

4. Some wire, or rope, or whatever the hell you want to use to tie the two liter bottle to your face. Have fun and remember: always be fashionable in the event of a major catastrophe, you never know you you will run into (or away from) out on the streets. <—-sarcasm. Eventually we won’t have to point this out.

5. Some duck tape.

Stuff you will need that you WON’T find in your household, if you are 95.3% of the population reading this article: (NOTE: Get this from a pharmacy owned/operated by an old person)

1. Activated coconut charcoal

2. Lime Soda

Assembly instructions:

1. Cut the bottom of the two liter off and cut a v-shaped section out all the way up the bottle, stopping at the tapered part of the bottle.

2. Tape the smaller screen to the original opening of the two liter bottle, where you twisted off the top.

3. Put two parts of charcoal to one part lime soda in your sock. Note: We don’t know why this shit works because we aren’t physicists, but if it worked during all that insanity of WWII, then it’s good enough for us.

4. Tape the sock closed and place it in the two liter bottle in the uncut section where you taped the smaller screen.

5. Place the larger screen piece over the sock and try to tape it off.

6. Cut small holes in the side flaps of the bottle (where you cut out the v-shaped section) and attach the wire or rope, or string, or rubber bands, or whatever you found to it. (see photo above the article)

7. Put the mask on your face and post a comment in the comment section of this blog to let us know we saved your ass.

DISCLAIMER: This is a two-liter bottle gas-mask. This is NOT a marvel of engineering brilliance, but a simple tool designed to HELP you survive. If you experience leaks (which you will) hopefully it will not be enough to kill you.

Since you are pre-emptively reading this blog and aren’t lying in the middle of the forest somewhere, wondering what the hell you are going to do – you are one of the smart AND lucky ones. Let’s just get right down to the nitty gritty.

Broken bones suck. There is no way around that. They are a gigantic inconvenience, especially in a life or death survival situation, and they hurt like hell.

An important thing to note, before going further, is that there are two types of broken bones (we know right? as if one wasn’t enough). There are what are known as open, and closed fractures. This is going to sound really gross, but open fractures are “compound” fractures that involve the bone breaking through the skin. A good example of this can be found when Jeff Goldblum totally screwed up that lumberjack’s arm in The Fly. The closed fracture, on the otherhand, is not nearly as gory and saves you a step in the healing process.

One of the most important things to remember with any fracture is that it needs to be immobilized. Other than the fact that it will be throbbing with pain if you poke it or try to walk on it, the smart reason to do this is because without splints, fractures can either sever or compress vital nerve endings or blood vessels in your body. You don’t want either of these things happening, trust us on this one.

Splint prep for an extremity such as a finger, arm, or leg will consist of two pieces of sturdy material as well as a binding agent. That is a fancy way of saying two sticks and your t-shirt if you are stuck out in the woods, just an FYI.

There are two steps you will need to take and/or maintain before setting your splint. The first is setting the bone. You aren’t going to like it, and it won’t feel good, but unless you want a really weird looking finger, arm, leg or whatever post-healing, you will want to do this. Setting just means putting the pieces back where they belong, usually through loud cursing and lots of pulling. The second thing you will need to maintain with the help of your splint is what is called traction. Traction is holding the bone where it needs to be so it can heal properly.

Fingers and arms are a bit “easier” since you will still be able to walk, so we’ll just quickly run you through how to take care of a leg instead.

  1. Find two branches with forked ends that are about the size of a large shotgun shell in diameter. One of them needs to run from your armpit all the way down your side and past the point of the break. See the picture at the top right for a visual. In that instance it needed to go past the foot.
  2. Reinforce the splints with padding, this could be a shirt or even leaves if you are in a real pinch. Notch the un-forked end and attach a crossbar the same thickness as your branches on the end.
  3. With a ripped t-shirt, vines, rope etc., attached the two splints to the outside of the body and the inside of the leg, as illustrated in the picture above. Also attached a strap running around the ankle to the crossbar.
  4. This part is really going to suck, but is totally needed so here it goes…. Take a stick and slide it in between the strap holding your ankle to the crossbar and start twisting until the broken leg is as long, or even slightly (SLIGHTLY) longer than the unbroken leg. We know this sounds very Saw IIIish, but the bone will not heal properly without this technique.
  5. Lash the stick you twisted to the main traction and feel free to pass out for a bit. You could probably use the nap at this point.

So there you have it. Pretty simple, right?

Stay tuned!

Welcome to our first ever blog here at Survival Recon!

Eventually, as the site grows, we will be covering topics ranging from brewing your own home brews to surviving the zombie apocolypse… but for our first posting we wanted to cover the absolute basics of survival (at least according to the Boy Scouts of America).

There are many facets to surviving, mostly having to do with the theatre of operations, or environment, you are dealing with, but we figured the scouts had the basics pretty much nailed with their official “10 essentials” list. Check this out below (with a few extra added notes on our part), and for more information please visit The Boy Scout Handbook.

The 10 Essentials:

1. Pocket Knife – This is pretty self explanatory but for an extra level of detail, let’s delve just a wee bit deeper. We aren’t talking about a pearing knife you can shove in your pocket and “damage” your own essentials. We are talking about something that folds up, along the lines of a Swiss Army Knife with lots of gadgets and stuff. Especially a magnifying glass.

2. First Aid Kit – It’s not just your momma’s suggestion, it is a lifesaver. This sucker doesn’t need a heart defibulator or a surgical kit, but it does need stuff like adhesive bandages, medical tape, sterile gause, antiseptic soap, and scissors.

3. Additional Clothing – Ok, drop the board shorts and prada boots. Think more like “how am I NOT going to freeze my ass off” instead. By added clothing we mean multiple layers of socks, pants, and shirts (which btw are superior to a massive jacket). Layers give you options for adaptation for a wide range of temperatures.

4. Rain Gear – If you think we are talking about condoms then #1, you didn’t visit the link we provided above (age sensitive) and #2, you are part of that group that caused the whole survival issue in the first place. You need actual rain gear to stay dry. Cold water causes your blood to freeze AKA hypothermia.

5. A flashlight – Yes, you will need batteries too.

6. Trail Food – This is for maintaining your energy. Visit TrailQuest for a list of some pretty good recipes. You are looking for mostly high energy proteins here. You should be good to go for at least a few weeks, although miserable, so starving to death should be the least of your worries. The human body can reportedly survive for weeks without food so aren’t you glad you ate all those jelly donuts before the apocolypse?

7. Water – Much better than beer or vodka for hydration purposes. Your body needs it. Trust us here.

8. Firestarters – In the event of an apocolypse, everyone will want their own Carrie as their own personal psychotic sidekick and sue chef, but in all practicallity, Carrie was a fictional creation by master writer Stephen King. You will want matches, lighters, or even better: flint rocks to carry with you. Fire is man’s best friend. Even before the dog. Back when much bigger dogs were trying to eat him. 

9. Sun Protection – Shades are cool man, especially in the event of a disaster. All the cool people will have them no matter if it is for a trip through a grueling desert, or a mountain of snow. Being sun or snow blind will be bad. You also want to stockpile some SPF <insert your favorite number here> sunscreen, lip balm and an ever so cliche wide-brimmed hat that accompanies any post-apocolyptic loner.

10. Trail maps and compass – Knowing where not to go is just as important as knowing where to go. Knowledge of both will be increased significantly with these two items.

Hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to contact us with any questions.