View Full Version : A fun challenge and a good info sharing opportunity.

04-06-2010, 01:14 PM
I went on a day hike this weekend, and decided to only take my knife, and then see what I could pick up on the way to my camp in order to eat/survive etc….
Sort of “a first hours” of a survival situation scenario. I am coming up with lessons for a group of students that will be learning wilderness skills in a course I am offering soon.

This is how it went.
1. 100 feet from the start I found some tall reed grass called phragmites - This type of grass can be identified by its fluffy brown top, great for tinder this time of year, last years growth. I put some in my pocket
2. found a hawthorn tree with some good thorns, took a few for fish hooks and needles
3. some time later I found a standing dead willow, I took enough for a bow drill and some for a bowl and cup
4. I also took some new willow shoots for arrow shafts and possible cordage
5. next to the willow was a birch tree which I harvested some bark for tinder and some for a container, and the makings of a water filter. Solid outside of an old log nothing in the middle.
6. I found some spruce root for cordage and to tie some the stuff I was caring together and sling it over my back.
7. about another 100 yards down the trail I put some Pine needles in my pocket enough for several cups of tea, and a needle basket.
8. I scoped out no less than 5 solid animal trails and runs, plus a few deer bed downs, which I marked with sticks on the trail for latter trapping and hunting.
9. I arrived at my camp which has a large grassy area with more than enough debris or thatching material for a semi permanent or permanent camp.
10. The site also has a marsh full of cattails, great food source and material for baskets and mats, tinder, etc.. Even clothing in a pinch.

So in about 1 1\2 hours of walking I had the makings of fire, ( bow drill and tinder), the means of coal burning a bowl\pot for cooking and eating. I had the means of making a water filter, Charcoal, sand, rock, grass stuffed into the hollow Birch. The means to make fish hooks (hawthorn) I had a needle for working the bark containers. I had some tea with good Vitamin C content. ( Pine) I had the means of making a shelter big or small, some sleeping mats, even a thatched blanket. ( grasses and cattails) I had also found some decent trapping and hunting grounds. And a easy food source with the cattails to sustain me until I could secure some critters for eating.

If I had stayed I would have made some arrows and a father and son bow for day 2, and some line for fishing.

Essentially with a basic knowledge of our surroundings we can have Shelter, Fire, Water, Food before bed.
Imagine what we can do with a weekend, a week, a year…… I promise to take my camera next trip out to give some visual reference to these things.

But in the mean time why don’t you all think of this next time you go out, gather some stuff along the way that would help you out and give us a description of it. It’s fun and good practice.

04-06-2010, 01:18 PM
Very cool. Hope your with me when all I have is my knife :)

04-06-2010, 01:28 PM
That's a great practical exercise.

04-06-2010, 07:10 PM
Yep, all you need is a knife. What kind of knife did you bring?

04-06-2010, 08:57 PM
Yep, all you need is a knife. What kind of knife did you bring?

I brought a knife Adam mae for me, its great, convex, holds an edge for ever....love it.