I will start with the videos then the write up.
PSK exercise part 1 - YouTube
PSK exercise part 2 - YouTube
PSK exercise part 3 - YouTube
This is an exercise I have wanted to do for a while. I believe that if you are going to teach important information that you need to have experience to back it up. Many people talk about survival and bushcraft skills and equipment. But, in my mind, if you are going to be in the woods away from civilization, practicing emergency mitigation is key. Not only is it fun, but it will give you confidence in you abilities and gear.
I chose to do this in the fall. I wanted below freezing temperatures at night and cool weather during the day. I also wanted to show what was possible with a small PSK. On the flip side, this drill also exposes the weaknesses of the minimal kit. Another goal was to test out a shelter design I have been working on. It was mostly a success. I wanted to operate on minimal calories. It really makes you thankful for what you have.
The outing started at 0800. It was about 27 degrees and a little breezy. I walked in to my area of operation did a quick inventory, and got started. Here were my priorities.
• Get water and stay hydrated
• Improvise my tools
• Collect shelter materials
• Build a shelter
• Collect firewood
• Procure calories
• Repair gear as needed
You can see the gear I used in the videos and pictures. I am going to try to elaborate on how I used it and what I improvised to meet my needs.
Here is a pic of the equipment used.
• Water- I used an Aqua pouch to store my water. It was purifies using iodine tablets. I drank a total of 3 liters in 26 hours. I used a strip of basswood as an improvised strap.
• Tools- A handle was put on my Turley PSK knife. I improvised a neck sheath out of Basswood bark. The wire saw as mounted to a Hop hornbeam branch to be used as a bow saw. A digging stick was fashioned from Eastern Red Cedar.
• Shelter- I gathered Cattails, and White pine duff for an insulation bed. Foxtail grass was used for heat retention. Willow and other woods were used for the frame work. The space blanket was added for moisture barrier. Leaf litter was used to cover the shelter.
• Fire-Burr Oak was my main firewood. The firesteel and Bull Thistle down were used to start my twig fire. The extra prep was bundled and stored for emergency use.
• Food-Acorns, Cattail roots and White Pine needle tea were consumed. I improvised a cooking pot out of foil, container lid, and wire. 2 fishing poles were made with Cottonwood bark bobbers. Hooks, split shot, and bait tubes were used.
I walked out of my camp at 1000 the next day. I stayed in my shelter from 2200 to 0100. Due to my cold feet I slept next to the fire the rest of the night. Building my shelter took a lot of my time. I knew it would take a long time. I am not sure how cold it got but it was well below freezing.
What really surprised me was how my training sprung back into my head. It was a lot of fun. I hope to do a 2 nighter this spring.