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#195938 - 02/16/10 12:23 AM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: hikermor]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
I am not a Native American, but I greatly admire the ancients' ability to live off the land. They had no metal tools, and not only survived on what they could make, kill, or find, but prospered in every climate zone on this continent. All people were tougher 200 years ago, but the Native Americans especially illustrate that you can live well and make what you need, if you know what you need. Google and read the story of Father Baraga the Snowshoe Priest sometime. His spirit inspires me when the winter grows long.


Edited by Byrd_Huntr (02/16/10 12:35 AM)
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#195940 - 02/16/10 12:40 AM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7372
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
I am not a Native American, but I greatly admire the ancients' ability to live off the land. They had no metal tools,


For most of human history, none of us had any metal tools. It was Neanderthal Mode all the way.

Modern experiments show that stone tools are quite functional. Mostly they just need sharpening more frequently than their metal counterparts, and you need a different skill set to sharpen them up
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#195941 - 02/16/10 12:45 AM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: stevenpd]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

If only some folks could improvise as well as these guys. wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TamMqvk4Bb8


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#195943 - 02/16/10 01:06 AM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: hikermor]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
There is no tool which can replace good training, and good training can replace most tools. Everything is situation dependent, as Susan points out, but with the right knowledge and training, you can survive most anything. Attitude is VERY important, and I agree with MostlyHarmless about the book: "Deep Survival". The same concept is taught in most DOD survival schools. If you have prepared mentally (knowing the environment you are going into), and have an attitude that will not let you give up, you can survive. "Know more, carry less".

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#195947 - 02/16/10 03:52 AM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: stevenpd]
Hike4Fun Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 80
Originally Posted By: stevenpd

endless number of lists

IMO, the lists are finite, probably less than 5 tril wink

Originally Posted By: stevenpd

How much does improvisation play into a survival situation?

Of course it depends. Be aware, now, that your body and mind
may not be working so efficiently, after a mishap.

For the guy reading or watching a survival movie, hopefully
"improvisation" will be sprinkled throughout a prolonged
adventure, where the survivor suffers many setbacks.

Originally Posted By: stevenpd

Is it possible to survive with just a multi-tool and your mind?

Be careful of asking "Is it possible" and then running with
that. A better question to ask: Is it probable for whosit to
survive in a specific environment with this-a-kit.

Novices often get a "yes" to a "theoretically-possible"
question and change the meaning of "possible",
in their mind, to a "tangibly-possible" or even to
"highly-likely-possible".



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#195959 - 02/16/10 02:48 PM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: Hike4Fun]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
I think a prepared mind can do a satisfactory job even without the multi-tool. What it takes though, is available materials to work with. If you don't have suitable raw materials at hand, it really doesn't matter what implements you bring with you.

You need to be able to have or come up with a means of securing essentials (water, shelter, fire to name a few). If you are in an environment where any of those are limited, then you are going to face stress and your survival options are minimal. A multi-tool is not going to make much difference if there's no water around.

So improv combine with a fair amount of intelligence about the environment you find yourself in are vital. A multi-tool only makes the job easier, but doesn't provide me with any real ability. In a desert environment, I would much prefer a big sheet of plastic instead.

So instead of focusing on gear, ask yourself instead, "How can I find/make suitable essentials to perpetuate life in whatever environment I am likely to find myself in?" That may mean water, shelter, fire, or any other basic necessity. You need to think how the multi-tool can help you meet your needs BEFOREHAND, or else you will find it lacking at the critical moment. How will the multi-tool help you find and procure drinkable water? Asking the questions and coming up with plausible answers will be of far more value than the items are themselves.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#195992 - 02/16/10 08:34 PM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: NightHiker]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I recall, YEARS ago, attending a wilderness survival class taught local to me. It was a 3 day course, as part of a 40 hour long training course we took for our local S&R team. The first night, one of the first things the instructor said, which sort of stuck in my head, was that there were two things you cannot easily make in the wilderness (mind you, I live in New England); rope & a knife. Everything else can be found or manufactured.
That didnt really stick out in my head until we started making cordage from nettles-it takes a LONG time, and doesnt function as good as real cordage. Fortunately, I always have 550 cord as bootlaces (holdover from the Army days), and I cannot recall the last time I didnt have a knife on me (flying being an exception).
I thing learning to improvise goes a long way in a survival situation. First & foremost, it keeps you ENGAGED IN STAYING ALIVE. If you are stuck for more than 24 hours, you have a LOT of downtime. improvising can help fill that. And, you are actively engaged in staying alive, and getting found. Of course, this is taking into account you arent hurt, or part of a much larger disaster. The latter would present far more opportunities to improvise-but, I would rather avoid that, than participate in it smile
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#195994 - 02/16/10 09:05 PM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
I am not a Native American, but I greatly admire the ancients' ability to live off the land. They had no metal tools, and not only survived on what they could make, kill, or find, but prospered in every climate zone on this continent.


I'd like to add that most likely they did not walk away from home without equipment...


Making knives, rope and so on is tedious. You make that in your home and you remember to bring that precious minimum gear with you when you leave home. That is what I would expect skilled outdoor people to no matter when and where they live or lived. They would never be "naked in the woods" (without knife and so on).

I think the "naked in the woods" scenarios are useful because nowadays there are A LOT of people wandering off without any plan what so ever in the event they're forced to stay the night outside. Discussing that scenario you realize what difference just a minimum bit of equipment can make in that situation - you DO NOT want to be naked in the woods, and it does not really take a huge backpack to prevent it.

Primitive skills have their time and place - but I'm all for combining fire bow drill with carrying a lighter, cordage making with synthetic cord and so on.

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#196032 - 02/17/10 03:01 PM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: MostlyHarmless]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Here's a (slightly comical) contrapositive argument. Not having the convenience of modern implements and having to resort to primitive methods you've learned will make you not forget to always have those modern implements with you all the time(from a been there, done that, don't want to do it again point of view).

Becoming proficient at primitive skills makes you appreciate the luxuries of technology all the more. (Try to) make a fire with a bow drill and damp wood, and you will obsess about bringing matches or a lighter (or both) with you from then on.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#196049 - 02/17/10 08:01 PM Re: Survival Improvisation [Re: benjammin]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 288
Loc: Europe
Exactly. The more I learn about the primitive methods the more I appreciate the modern methods and make sure I include the most effective gear for the job in my survival kit or EDC.

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