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#90720 - 04/08/07 09:08 PM Portable Multimedia Survival Database

Most cell phones now have reasonable multimedia abilities, they can play sound, small videos and display pictures and text. They also have a lot memory (have recently upgraded the transflash card to 1GByte). I currently have a Motorola E398 which is now getting a bit past it and thought it could be used not only for communications and entertainment but also as a portable Multimedia database resource for Survival Techniques and include some video and pictures from the following web resources such as




for example.

Does anyone know of any other websites where appropriate survival technique videos are available or have any other ideas as to what could be put on the transflash card, which would be useful? You know something useful like how to build a Claymore mine from your stock of Esbit tablets - only joking. Rather it should be along the lines of Ray Mears 'Wild Foods'. I wouldn't want to put any personal sensitive data on the Transflash card without the data being able to be decrypted by the phone itself.

Edited by bentirran (04/08/07 09:15 PM)

#90772 - 04/09/07 06:26 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: ]
Bluecimmers Offline

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 15
Loc: New York
One can download the plant database as www.pfaf.org (plants for a future). I don't recall the size of the file. On my pda I carry ebooks and music - to survive boredom. :l

#90789 - 04/09/07 11:28 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: ]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol

Various e-books & many are in multiple file types.

#90885 - 04/11/07 03:11 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: Bluecimmers]
el_diabl0 Offline

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 301
Loc: NE Ohio
Check out the video section http://bushcraft.se/
Improvise, adapt, and overcome

#90896 - 04/11/07 06:27 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: ]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Could you clarify this idea a bit more? Are you thinking of using this multimedia database in your pocket primarily as a training aid or reference--something you can review when you're on the bus or otherwise have free time? Or are you thinking of this primarily as something you'd consult during an actual emergency?

If it is the latter situation, then I think that I would be very wary of using up my phone's battery in any situation where the power is down and I'm not sure when I can recharge the battery. I think I would be more apt to use this multimedia library idea during an emergency if it was something separate from my phone, like a PDA, so that running down the batteries doesn't also affect my communications ability.

Anyway, just wasn't quite clear on the concept.

#90910 - 04/11/07 08:59 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: ]

Re Arney:

I was actually thinking of using the portable multimedia survival database as a reference tool during an emergency and as a training aid whilst out and about rambling in and about the countryside.

The primary idea was to build a visual database of locally available wild foods together with the methods and techniques used to identify and process them. Ray Mears newly released TV show 'Wild Foods' was excellent. The TV show showed the wild foods, which were available to aboriginal Britons and the techniques and methods used, which were used to produce nourishing foods, as they were done many thousands of years ago.

As Ray Mears would say 'the more you know, the less you need to carry.' This exemplifies the philosophy and techniques employed by the 'Bushcraft movement' within the United Kingdom.

A specific example would be a subsection such as a mushroom database - Rogers Mushrooms is an excellent resource. The idea would be to put a pictorial database of say the 50 most commonly available mushrooms which were available to eat and 50 of the most common poisonous ones on to the phone database. Therefore a mushroom could be identified with much more confidence. This skill in identification is something that takes many years to accomplish.

I know that pocket text book guides are useful, but these might not be available or to hand during an emergency where as my cell/mobile phone will probably be. It would allow me to determine whether a particular mushroom was edible or poisonous for example. There is also a market for certain wild grown mushrooms species, which are available from the Glens of Scotland with some rare and delicious mushrooms costing more per pound than the finest Wild Salmon. I could be rambling through the Glens whilst making money at the same time.

In an emergency situation, such as a power outage, the cell phone is a very useful communications tool. It is also now a source for entertainment as most can play MP3 tracks and short Video clips with some having in built FM radios. Some can even record Video and capture high resolution photographs as well. The cell phone could also potentially be a survival resource, with the ability to show and describe survival techniques and methodologies to those who are lacking in certain techniques and abilities. I will admit I would be one of these people as I lack the skills of those, such as renowned bushcrafters including Ray Mears with regard to there ability to describe flora and forna or even to those who have the knowledge of the lost forgotten art of mushroom identification. I know a short descriptive video is in no way a substitute for experience, but I feel it would be something useful especially in a survival situation.

For example, those weak in navigation skills or those weak in common sense (a little common sense is clouded by the fear of the unknown as many have not even experienced viewing the milky way many have never even experienced the dark of the darkest night) it too, could also be a useful resource.

You are perfectly correct about the issue regarding battery power, but if a cell phone signal is unavailable in an emergency then it cannot hurt to have the survival database on the Transflash card for some point of reference. A method to keep the phone battery powered up would also is useful. Solar chargers, hand held chargers or 12V car chargers are commonly available though, for most cell phone handsets. The video and pictorial database may even be able used to subdue some irrational group fears also, if employed where group dynamics start to become an issue. Information is power, if you can demonstrate what you are saying is valid then a lot of pointless argument can be put to one side.

As with the equipped website there is excellent and practical information, why not make it portable and use some instructional videos to emphasis various basic survival pointers. It may prove invaluable for those who make incorrect decisions based on TV programs such as 'Man v Wild'.

#90923 - 04/12/07 02:51 AM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: ]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2884
Loc: Alberta, Canada
On the one hand, if you have the storage space, why not carry reference materials? I would consider it on a walk. Botany (edible and not) is always of interest, and I can't ever remember the details.

On the other hand, if you are stranded and need to consult a database for the essentials of survival, then you're in trouble. These skills are more than ideas or information; they're conditioned responses ingrained by repetition and practice.

In a longer-term situation, where you're thinking about gathering food, battery life trumps mushrooms every time. A charged cell phone, even turned off with no signal available, sends out a "ping" by which your position can be roughly triangulated. Not something to rely on (takes a while for the bureaucracy to tap into it) but not entirely useless either.

Edited by dougwalkabout (04/12/07 02:56 AM)

#90935 - 04/12/07 02:40 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: ]
gatormba Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately. I just recently upgraded my cell phone to a PDA/Phone combo. The great thing is that since I no longer use my old stand alone PDA I am now converting it into a pure survival tool. I am using Microsoft Word and Excel files to store information that I will need to refer to in a survival situation. I have also been trying to collect other important information and storing it as well as PDF files after I scan the documents.

As for as power goes I have a number of options to keep it working. I can charge it using a vehicle cigarette lighter, a standard plug and best of all I have a seperate battery charger for it that will charge the PDA using AA batteries in the charger. By using my solar powered battery charger to recharge the AAs and then the AAs to charge the PDA I should be able to keep it going and have access to all of my info. I also have hard copy print outs of the info in a 3 ring binder stored at an off-site location where I store other supplies.

"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

#90937 - 04/12/07 03:25 PM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: gatormba]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2840
Be careful with MS Word and Excel for a survival format. Besides the file sizes being way larger than needed there are many problems with compatibility between the different versions so you may end up in a situation where you can't read part of a document on another computer because they have a differeing version. The older versions a lot of time can't read newer files and the newer versions drop support for files created by the older version unless you have downloaded the proper convertors. Then their is the issue of 'infecting' your files with whatever the latest macro virus is on the system you plug into.
Keep your file formats as simple as possible. I prefer plain text and tif or jpg pictures over multimedia information vecause the multimedis stuff is big and slow to find anything.

#91444 - 04/18/07 01:31 AM Re: Portable Multimedia Survival Database [Re: Eugene]
urbansurvivalist Offline

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
I recently bought a portable media player(mp3 player that can also show pictures and videos) that holds 60 gigs, so I've been thinking about putting survival refence info on it as well. Battery life does limit its usefullness(rated at 15 hours audio, 5 hours video), but since it isn't used for communication, there's no need to save it(unless I wanted to use the mic to record my last will and testament...chances are no one would think to look for that anyway). Also, if I was stranded with my vehicle, the car battery could extend the battery life greatly, and indefinitely if I didn't use up the gas for heating.

I would mostly use the info for entertainment and training, but it could be useful in a survival situation as well. I was thinking simple diagrams of shelters, traps/snares, knots, types of fires, primitive tools, maybe edible plants, etc, would be very helpful, with minimal battery drain. You can read tons of survival info, but for those of us that don't practice survival skills as much as we'd like, its easy for those things to slip our minds.

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