Posts Tagged ‘mountain survival’

Reposted on winter camping. I have taught these for over 40 years

January 14, 2016

round well-being. These are some of Dale’s tricks to make sleeping outside in winter a warmer, more comfortable experience.

1. Don’t Be Naked
Dale says you might be tempted to wear a minimal amount of clothing in your sleeping bag. This would be a mistake. Definitely wear a hat to prevent heat from escaping, plus socks and a thermal layer. If you’re still cold, add a layer. If you’re still cold, add another. If you need to, wear all of your clothes.

2. Use a Sleeping Pad
The winter ground sucks the heat from your body, so be sure to have a thick insulating layer between your frame and the snow.

3. Get Sheltered
A tent always works, and the warmest shelters are made out of snow, like igloos and quinzee builds, but if heavy snowfall or high winds are not expected, you can easily sleep outside and use a tarp for cover.

4. Treat Your Feet
Even if your feet feel dry, switching to a pair of fresh, dry socks before going to sleep can instantly make you feel warmer. Consider bringing a pair of socks just for sleeping. If your feet are still wet or cold, put them in your sleeping bag’s stuff sack to reflect your body’s heat before getting in your sleeping bag.

5. The Pee Bottle
You don’t want to take a 2am bathroom break in the snow. Put an empty bottle in your bag to urinate into. Gatorade bottles work well.

6. Fill Your Bag
The inside of your bag is going to be the only warm place overnight. Stash some water inside to keep it from freezing. Keep your breakfast inside, too. Damp gear from the day, like boot liners, socks, and base layers can be stuffed in the empty spaces in your bag. Your body heat will dry them by the morning.

7. The Hot Bottle Trick
If you really want to sleep like a king, melt some snow, bring it to a boil, and fill a hot water bottle to put in your bag as a heater.

8. Seal Up
Seal up your mummy bag’s hood so there’s just a small breathing hole, keeping out both cold air and the moisture from your breath.

9. Position Yourself
Instead of sprawling out, consider curling up — pull your legs close, hug your arms in and center your body’s warmth.

Combine them all, and Dale says, you’re gonna be just fine.

—‘9 Tips For Warm Winter Camping’ was shot and edited by Erik Nelson.

Calming yourself in a survival situation

September 22, 2015

One of the first things a person needs to do when he’s in a unfamiliar situation is to stop. stop, thank, observe, and plan.

I have been doing a lot of research on ways to calm oneself when they are in a outdoor situation. you have 3 seconds to adjust your mental attitude from a fearful one to one of survival.

Let me start by telling you that all your survival needs are at hand. the number one is your mental ability to understand that nature, mother earth, the creator, or God is always with you. the tools to survive are all around you. One has to stop, listen and look and an answer will be provided.

The native Indians or Native Americans or masters at survival. There are masters at working with Mother Earth and understanding mother earth will supply all their needs. we’re not going into Indian meditation at this point but one of the key issues to survival is mental stability and mental strength. you need to reach back into history and understand that even in the most dire situations the native Americans were able to survive whatever mother earth threw at them. remembering this should be able to give you enough strength and calmness to observe and plan your attack against losing your life. mental attitude is 90% of survival. the other 10% is being able to observe, improvise, adapt and overcome.

Whenever I had away from home whether it’s to a store, a rifle range, a search and rescue mission or going to the back country on my own I make sure I have a few things on my person.

Proper clothing which also serves as your main shelter is a must. Prepare for what may lie ahead for the day or for 2 days. I always make sure I have at least one knife in my pocket. I check to make sure I have a fire starting equipment. Most likely two items. Flint, a bit lighter, feral rod or some type of sparking device if not a lighter. another item that I carry is cordage. Paracord is the best. I usually have it weaved around a belt, braided around my neck piece phone carrier, braided into a sling around my rifle or chain link and put into my pocket in my pants.

I always wear a watch. with my watch I can track distance and tell directions. I can plot a map in my mind or draw it on a sheet of paper that I have developed away to turn that into a small 10 page book that does not take up any room. I also carry a pencil, some flagging tape, a large garbage bag and a hat.

The second most important key to survival his observation. constantly observe your surroundings to see if there’s any items that you may need in the future to help start a fire, make a shelter or provide for a signaling device.

Planning is also an important step in moving outdoors. You think before you go out, you think when you get into a stressful situation and you start devising a plan as you continue with your outdoor adventure whether it be to the mall or to the backcountry.

Making or designing of fire Oracle is really no problem if you allow your mind to wander and observe your surroundings. the creature is around us are native to the area, look at them see what they do and if you can emulate them in a survival situation. then if you have to eat them.

As I said in the past survival is 90% mental 10% tools and provisions.

Remember food is not that important for the first couple of days. You can go three weeks without food. He’ll get hungry but you will not die due to lack of food. water you can survive up to 3 days without it depending upon your activity and your location. if you are in the desert move at night. conserve the body fluids. I wouldn’t drink urine due to the saltiness and the impurity in the liquid. however this could be saved and distilled for future use with the proper equipment.

Fire works as tool to give us heat provided for shelter, purify water, cook parasites out of our food , and provide singling opportunities.

I hope this works out for you as far as an introduction into survival.

To learn more give us a call at 775 741 0735 and arrange for a personal more in depth class and training.

Luck has nothing to do with it, intelligence, calmness and observation of your surroundings will handle everything that may be thrown at you. Stay calm and stay brave.

10 cs of survival repost

September 22, 2015


Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder School, LLC developed the “10 C’s of Survival” as a handy list of the most essential tools for staying alive in a wilderness emergency. The 10 C’s of Survival should be taken to heart by anyone who spends any time in the backcountry—indeed, even the front-country.

After all, a day hike can quickly become a situation of perilous stakes. Weather can rapidly turn, bringing frigid rain or wet, heaping snowdrifts where ten minutes before was blazing sunshine. You may stray from the trail and become entirely disoriented, or become suddenly hobbled by a twisted ankle.

The 10 C’s of Survival are best thought of as divided into two batches: a core of five absolute must-have pieces of survival gear rounded out by an additional roster of highly useful, if not essential, tools.


Never head into the boonies without these first 5 of the 10 C’s of Survival.

(1) Cutting Tool: Ultimately, this means a sturdy, full-tang survival knife—something that should always be on your person in the backcountry. A design with a four to five-inch carbon-steel blade and a flattened back edge is typically the most dependable and versatile. Well-made survival knives allow you to do everything from clean fish to split kindling.

(2) Combustion: Being able to spark a fire is critical in a survival situation. In inclement weather, it’s the first order of business—fundamental to maintaining your core temperature. Additionally, a blaze can help you advertise your location to potential rescuers. Carry spark-catching material such as the Pathfinder Mini Inferno tinder or Gorilla Tape alongside a ferro rod and a good lighter.

(3) Cover: A common mistake committed by plenty of outdoor recreationists is neglecting to include an emergency shelter in their go-to hiking packs. Even if you’re simply setting out for an afternoon trail hike, you need the ability to quickly erect a precipitation and cold-resistant covering to keep you dry and warm in the event of an unforeseen night out in the backwoods. A poncho, wool blanket, tarp, or even a plastic garbage bag will serve you well.

(4) Container: An ideal container for wilderness use is a 32-oz. stainless-steel water bottle. Staying hydrated is fundamental in an emergency, and you want a durable vessel for storing and carrying water. The high-quality metal additionally allows you to boil water—or melt snow—to render it safe to drink: You don’t want to be dealing with a gastrointestinal malady on top of your other worries.

(5) Cordage: Sure, you can fashion rope from plant materials in the backcountry—but why expend that time and effort if you don’t need to? Carry a good 100 feet of 550 cord, which can assist in a dizzying array of tasks.


In the event of contingencies in the wilderness, the remaining five items of the 10 C’s of Survival can be immensely helpful to have on hand.

(6) Candle: It’s all too easy to forget about an illumination source when preparing for a day on the trail. If you’re stranded for whatever reason, the onset of night is a real threat: You can quickly hurt yourself fumbling around in the dark for kindling or water. Having more than one source of light is best—a headlamp is particularly convenient, but bring candles along as well.

(7) Cotton: It’s no weight or space burden to stuff a few cotton cloths or bandannas in your pack—a level of convenience that belies the versatility they display in the backwoods. From bandages to signaling flags, from fire-starters to head coverings, cotton bandannas are deceptively multi-use.

(8) Compass: There are plenty of methods for orienting yourself in the wilderness, from keying into
the wheel of constellations to tracking the sun’s shadow. But bringing along a durable compass with a sighting mirror gives you an unfailing tool for precise navigation—one that readily doubles as a signaling mirror.

(9) Cargo Tape: From injuries to pack malfunctions, a roll of duct tape serves as many functions in the backcountry as it does in the garage.

(10) Canvas Needle: Also called a sail needle, this little tool can be employed to repair clothing or shelters, act as a makeshift compass, dislodge nasty splinters, and for other delicate, high-precision operations.

Remember, the “survival weapons” of the 10 C’s of Survival only work when combined with the knowledge and presence-of-mind to put them to use. If you can stay calm and ward off panic—commonly your greatest threat in the wilds—you can use this basic equipment to keep yourself alive, healthy, even contented, until help arrives.

Disater survival kits

June 11, 2015

WITH that 7.8-magnitude  earthquake hitting Nepal, and talks that the fault lines in Asia were getting, well, faulty, people started going crazy over the possibility of an earthquake of the same magnitude hitting Metro Manila.

There will even be a citywide earthquake drill on July 30, which will help us prepare for such a day. Everyone is being encouraged to make his or her own disaster survival kit.

My friend, who is a Mormon, has already advised me to make one for each family member after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit us last year.  Apparently, it is required by their religion to have such bag.

With the lesson learned from the Yolanda disaster, where supplies did not reach the people in the first few days (for reasons the government people still need to give), a backpack containing a handful of supplies can spell the difference between death and survival.

Our disaster would mostly be caused by either typhoon, earthquake or tsunami. It is unlikely (knock on wood) that we would have tornados, hurricanes, etc. So make sure that when you pack, keeping the supply dry is top priority. Here are some information about making a survival kit.

What is a disaster survival kit (DSK)?

A survival kit is a bag of supplies with basic necessities that will help you get through 72 hours after a disaster strikes when all other resources are not available. You should make one for each family member, so each bag will have different contents.

What is the difference between a DSK for the house and for the car?

The latter is to be prepared when disaster strikes while you are traveling and have no access to your DSK at home. This will ensure that your car continues to function both as modes of travel and shelter at the same time.

Putting together a DSK for the car:

1. Use a waterproof bag with lots of pockets. Something that will be easy to carry: Just in case you have to abandon your car, you can bring all your supplies.

2. Pack basic personal survival tools:

a. Change of clothes for three days, including (1) disposable underwear, (2) long sleeved shirt and long pants (I suggest running pants and dry-fit shirt, which are both light and easy to wash, and will also help you be more mobile and protected from insect bites), (3) jacket, and (4) socks;

b. Waterproof poncho;

c. First-aid kit containing (1) first-aid materials (gauze, roll of tape, band aids, antiseptic cleaner), (2) burn medicine and lubricant, and (3) blood coagulant (some suggest cayenne pepper);

d. Sanitation kit containing (1) latex gloves, (2) face mask (this will help ward off virus/sickness floating around), (3) soap (powder or bar), (4) alcohol;

e. Manually-operated can opener, Swiss Army knife, and extra knives;

f. Whistle;

g. Fire-starting kit (sealed in two ziplock bags, each closure on opposite directions);

h. Flashlight with two sets of batteries (batteries out), or a self powered one;

i. Personal supplies (tissue paper, sanitary napkin, wipes, etc.);

j. Working cell phone with charger;

k. Battery-operated radio or crank radio;

l. Metal cup, plate and utensils (can also be used for cooking);

m. Comfortable pair of shoes or waterproof boots (mobility is most important during a disaster, especially if you have wounds on your feet that can greatly lessen your chances of survival);

n. Cash and copies of personal documents (ID, passport, etc.);

o. Warm blanket and heating packs;

p. Baby items if you have kids (diapers, formula, etc.);

q. Ziplock and garbage bags  (they can double as shelter)

3. Check car “suvival” items

a. Jumper cables

b. Tire jack

c. Night flare

d. Tools

e. Sturdy gloves

f. Rope (when your car gets stuck and needs to be anchored)

g. Duct tape

4. Items that need replenishing. Check the expiration dates of the following supplies every six months to keep your pack up to date:

a. Medicine. If you have maintenance medicine, pack a weeks supply. Have fever, headache, colds and antidiarrheal drugs, antibiotic cream, and vitamins;

b. Drinking water. One gallon per person per day is recommended, which is enough for drinking and sanitation.  Bring also a half-liter bottle where you can transfer your drinking ration for the day; and

c. Food. Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE), which is issued to the military, is good, but it is hard to find in the Philippines.  Canned goods are also okay, because you can heat the food in the can. Protein-rich food, such as nuts and energy bars,  are also easy to eat.  Make sure that your family eats the food that you will bring.

Vehicle maintenance

Your car would also need to be in tip-top shape every time.  Include the items below to your maintenance list:

a. Never have an empty tank when you go home to sleep.

b. Check your battery terminals regularly.

c. Check your brakes for wear and tear, and your  fluid and oil levels every month.

d. Always keep your windshield wiper in tip-top shape.  When raining, it will be your best friend.

e. Always have a ready spare tire.

f. Check your tires regularly. Replace immediately when tire indicator says so.

Nice to have

a. Entertainment or toys for kids. As long as the human spirit stays strong, it will determine survival. Toys or something that will keep kids’ minds away from reality can help the group a lot.

b. Compact camping stove

c. Small tent or small sleeping bag

d. Powdered Gatorade

Last but not the least: Don’t overpack. Since each family has different needs, take into consideration your priorities. The list above is just a guide; don’t overthink it.

If you want to make sure that everything in your pack will work, you can test it by going out to camp with just your kit and its items.

This can also help you  to streamline the contents of your kit, as well as learn how to use the items inside.

Your DSK is like an insurance policy: You buy it (or make it)—and hope never to use it.

Ways to Navigate with out a Compass

December 27, 2014

5 WAYS TO NAVIGATE WITHOUT A COMPASS 1) Sun Hold an analog watch flat, with the hour hand pointing to the sun. South is halfway between the hour hand and 12. 2) Shadows Stand a 3-foot stick vertically in the ground and mark the tip of its shadow with a rock. Wait at least 15 minutes, then mark the shadow again. The line connecting the two roughly coincides with the east-west line. 3) Stars Find the Big Dipper. Follow an imaginary line drawn through the two stars at the end of the cup and extending into the sky to a medium-bright star–this is Polaris, the North Star. 4) Moon Watch the sky. If the crescent moon rises before sunset, its illuminated side will face west. If it rises after midnight, the brighter side faces east. 5) Plants In Eastern and Midwestern prairies, find the bright-yellow bloom of a compass plant (Silphium laciniatum, right). In sunny spots, its leaves generally align themselves along the north-south line.

Winter is around the corner

December 13, 2014

Winter is here and weather can change at any moment.

Be prepared at all times. Do not leave home with out head covering, gloves, a thermal layer and a good outer layer to keep the moisture off.

Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. If you are not back on time, have time call 911 and let the authorities know immediately. Time is of the most importance. There are search and rescue teams standing bye waiting to help you. Use this resource.

If you have any questions, go to for more detailed information.

Stay safe on the mountain.

Water Requirements in the Desert

January 31, 2014
Q.} How many quarts of water per person per day should you carry when packing in the desert Southwest in the middle of May?
Submitted by: David, Cedar City, UT
A.} The classic answer, and one I also believe is true, is to drink enough water to keep your urine clear—or at least close to clear. Say no to yellow. But that probably doesn’t help too much. Here’s another classic answer: 3-5 quarts per day for the average desert spring hiker. It’s a range because individual responses to desert heat and dryness vary, partially due to how acclimated you are to desert heat and dryness. If you’re new to desert travel, I strongly suggest you pack water on the heavy side instead of the light side, until you figure out how much you need to keep peeing clear.  —Buck
To add to this, Take your weigh divided it by two and this in the minimum water om ounces you will need for the day. It is always better to carry more water than you think you will need. Use the rules of three. 3 minutes for air, 3 hours of survival due to exposure, 3 days of survival without water, and 3 weeks of survival with out food.
If you have anymore questions you can contact me directly at 775 741 0735 or email me at

Making decisions

November 22, 2013

In a survival situation those who do not make decisions die. Bad decisions can always be corrected. If you don’t decide and fast you will die.

Leaders are not born. They learn and develop their skills with their actions. In other words leaders are those who achieve good results.

So, think, observe and plan. Then act. This is a key to survival.

Tale of Survival after takeing a wrong turn.

December 10, 2012

Missing Couple In Alpine County
A 46 year old female and her 44 year old boyfriend left Citrus Heights for Gardnerville on the afternoon of Thursday, November 29th.  At the Highway 88/Highway 89 intersection they turned south onto Burnside Lake Rd.   The boyfriend had recently bought a 1989 Jeep Cherokee 4×4 and wanted to test it out on the dirt roads of the area.  Burnside Lake Rd. had been closed earlier that day by the Forest Service in anticipation of the approaching storm but the decision was made to drive around the closure and drive the road to Burnside Lake.  They made it approximately six miles up the road before the Cherokee became stuck in mud.  Family members had expected them in Gardnerville that evening so when they didn’t arrive they reported them missing.  The boyfriend and girlfriend spent the night in the Jeep and on the morning of the 30th the boyfriend attempted to hike out  to Highway 88 despite the girlfriend’s pleas for him to stay with her in the vehicle.
According to the Nevada Appeal, on the night of Friday, November 30th the family members contacted Douglas County 9-1-1 services, which acts as dispatch for Alpine County and asked them to search Burnside Lake.  Apparently that message was passed on to Alpine County shortly after midnight.
According to SNOTEL sensors at Burnside Lake (8129 ft.) the area received 30 inches of snow on Saturday, December 1st.  Meanwhile the girlfriend wrapped herself in a blanket and remained in the jeep eating snow and tomatoes she had received from a relative in Citrus Heights.  On Monday, December 3rd, after waiting for three days for her boyfriend, she believed he was not going to return with help and she had to save herself.   She left the vehicle and walked/crawled towards HIghway 88.  According to KRNV out of Reno it seems the search was called off at some point on this same day.  The girlfriend later told reporters that she passed her boyfriend’s deceased body about a mile from the Jeep as she was attempting to make her own way down the road.
On Wednesday, December 5th the missing party’s brother decided he was going to Burnside Lake.  (Note to reader:  This is where things get awesome) He commandeered a Caltrans front loader from a nearby sand shed and drove up Burnside Lake Rd. looking for the couple.  He proceeded up the road for several miles where he eventually found his sister wrapped in a blanket, hypothermic and huddled in a hollowed out tree.  He placed her in the bucket of the loader and drove back down the road to Sorensen’s Resort where they were met by emergency personnel who transported her to Carson Tahoe Regional Hospital.
“We couldn’t stop him, we just let him (the brother) do what he had to do,” the mp’s sister said. “He had a feeling. They have a special bond, they really do. It is an unusual bond, it is different than the one I have with my sister.”  She is being treated for first degree frostbite and is expected to be released early next week.

One Consideration in Selecting a Light Weight Sleeping Bag

December 6, 2012

A lesson I have learned from some mountaineers is to select a child’s sleeping bag for light weight travel.

This may see odd but here is the reason for it. A child’s bag is lighter to carry, has less bulk and really only needs to cover your feet, knees and thighs. The mountaineers hood and big jacket will cover the rest of the body.

In a bug our situation or in a situation where weight is a big concern, this is a good match.

In other areas a back pack can be used in much the same manner to keep the lower extremities warm and dry.