Questions of the Heart

The ViewDo you ever feel abandoned, just tossed out in the wind?

Do you ever wonder if and when the pain will even end?

Do you ever love so much you sit alone and cry?

Wondering if the pain will ease even when you die?

Will the cares you carry ever disappear?

Will the people you love ever know you’re near?

Will the dreams you’ve held so long ever come to pass?

Will they wilt like flowers die or turn brown like the grass?

Have you walked near rolling shores and looked out at the sky?

Have you heard the birds sing or the wolf’s lone cry?

Have you wondered where you’ll be in a week or so?

Have you really ever cared to live or just go with the flow?

All these questions approach me as older I become

All these years seem like many centuries in one.

Speaking to my heart it seems eternities oft soar

Through day and night and night and day they roll for evermore.

So take my heart, my dreams, my love wrapped up with a bow

Knowing you are always with me even when you go.

My Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip Top 5 Survival Tips

Image URI: http://mrg.bz/Uj1kDO JPEG URI: http://mrg.bz/SDh2yBWhen I go camping, whether it is for one day or a week, I try to go where no one else will go. I like to rough it, but sometimes I take the kids, so we have to go to more hospitable areas that are a bit safer. However, whether you are in the deep wilderness only eating what you kill, catch or gather, or you are at a manicured camp ground where you have a built-in barbecue pit, there are some things that you should do and not do. Wild animals do not care if you are in the middle of nowhere, or right off the highway. They want your food, and if you get in the way of that, they might make you the food. Also, research the area that you are going to camp in. Understand the terrain, wildlife, and resources that are associated with the particular neck of the woods that you will be traversing.

#5. Plan

Make a good, solid plan. Have a map of the area you are going to. As I mentioned above, know the terrain, animals natural to the area, the bodies of water, closest town, and different ways in and out of the area you will be camping in. Make sure to let at least two people know where you are going, the name of the wilderness or camp ground, the location, when you are leaving, and when you are planning on returning home.

#4. First Aid

Make sure to carry a first-aid kit with you that contains nothing less than bandages, antibiotic ointment, iodine, bug spray, allergy medicine, anti-inflammatory medication, aspirin, a cold pack, gauze, band-aids, a snake bite kit, butterfly strips, blood clotting and wound packing material, scissors, a pocket knife, and even a small fishing kit. The absolute must have is a lighter, matches, or some other means of starting a fire. You will need this to not only make fires to stay warm and cook, but to sterilize water, and sterilize needles and knives in the event that you sustain a severe wound and cannot get help or get out quickly. Preferably, you would also have a tourniquet and a field dressing, but a folded shirt and a belt will work, too. You do not want to find yourself in an emergency situation without anything to treat yourself with.

#3Self-Defense

The best defense is a good plan, knowledge of your area, preparing plenty of the necessary resources that you have with you or that are available, and being aware of your surroundings always, but sometimes even when you cover all of these bases, it all goes out the window when you are face to face with an angry bear, a territorial moose, or a hungry cougar (not the good kind). In these instances, you will want to have a firearm of some sort at your side to survive the situation. However, some of us do not carry guns or feel comfortable with one, so with that in mind, you should at least have a powerful bear spray with you, a good-sized hunting knife, a hand axe, or at the very least, a big, solid stick.

Wild animals rarely attack humans, but it depends on the animal, the situation, and your actions. With bears, stand your ground, make a lot of noise, and try to appear bigger than you are. Throw rocks, yell, but do not run or take your eyes off of it if the bear is not attacking. The same goes for cougars, but truth be told, if one attacks you, you will not usually know it is there until it is on you. Whatever animal you are encountering, if it attacks you, try to protect yourself, fight back, and if possible, run and get something between you and it. Each person is going to react differently in these situations, so I have no real advice other than do what you need to do to survive. Moose are actually the most dangerous animal that you can come face to face with in the wild. If you do, get between the biggest tree and it that you can and run when you get a chance.

# 2. Food

Whether you have shot and killed your own game, field stripped it, and butchered it, or brought a cooler full of food and boxes of snacks, you have got to put it away as soon as you are done preparing it and clean up after you have cooked it and ate. If you leave it out, uncovered, or near your tent, even sealed, you are asking for potential trouble from critters. If you are a hunter, make sure to throw the organs of the animal in a near by river or creek. The fish will eat it and the running water will keep it from contaminating the water. You can also burn it. The same goes from already prepared food or food in a cooler. It is best to throw leftovers in the water or burn it in the camp fire. Make sure that whatever your food source is, that it is wrapped up, sealed, and either hung from a tree up high to keep the scent off the ground, or locked up in your vehicle which should be parked away from camp. Whatever you do, do not leave the food exposed out in the open. This will attract wild animals.

#1. Water

The most important thing that you need to have and remember is to have plenty of clean water. Bring plenty of clean water with you. Bottles and bottles of sealed, clean drinking water. Do not drink river, creek, or pond water, and do not drink any water from standing pools. If you find yourself without a clean water supply, thoroughly boil any water you find for at least 10 minutes or use water purifying tablets if you happen to have any. Even if you are at a camp ground with running water, do not trust it from the faucet. There are just too many microscopic bugs and viruses out there today to risk it. Gone are the days of drinking cold mountain water from a running stream, even if you are in the middle of nowhere in the Rocky Mountains. The water, unfortunately, is just not clean enough anymore.

God Bless You

Daniel P. O’Rourke

(In the interest of full-disclosure, I wrote an article for Memorial Day with the same tips for Yahoo, but I own all the rights to the article, and all of my camping survival tips apply year-round, especially if you go off the grid when you camp like I do.)- See Yahoo for original article by Daniel P. O’Rourke

Life Expectancy: A Wilderness Mentality

In this article, I would like to cover some basic principles about wilderness mentality and the difference in your average life expectancy in an emergency situation compared to regular life. According to the latest studies the average life expectancy of an American male is 76 years old and 81 years for females. When you are plunged into a self-rescue or survival situation, it is my opinion that your maximum life expectancy is anywhere between 3 minutes and 3 weeks.

Why is this you ask? I will explain, using a common system, (From the Pathfinder School), known as the Rule of 3’s. A human being can only survive roughly: 3 Minutes without air before dying of asphyxiation, 3 Hours without shelter from the elements before dying of exposure, 3 Days without water before dying of dehydration,  and 3 Weeks without food before dying of starvation.

This changes the way you look at the choices you make as you are trying to stay alive in a serious self-rescue situation. A few friends of mine posted a video on how to pasteurize water using just a plastic water bottle on youtube. I was impressed by it. The water itself can be purified over open flame in the bottle without the plastic being melted. This is a fantastic way to take suspect water that could have any number of viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc, with materials that can often be found in the wild.

The comments on the video from people who watched it were a tad alarming to me. I remember several people saying, “You can’t boil water in plastic! That releases chemicals into the water and can give you cancer! You guys are being totally irresponsible and should be ashamed of yourselves!!!”

Now to me, I think that if you are truly in a dire situation and you have the option to choose: 1: Use plastic bottle to purify water over flame, reduce risk of dehydration and increase chance of getting cancer in 20+ years. Or 2: Do not use water bottle to purify water, reduce risk of cancer in 20+ years, but increase risk of getting viral, bacterial, or parasitic exposure resulting in higher chance of diarrhea and vomiting that increases dehydration, which will eventually lead to death within days.

Personally, to me the choice is pretty clear. I always try to remember when I go out into the wild my maximum life expectancy is no more than 3 weeks. Learn the skills, and put them into practice. Thanks for reading.

~ AJA

Insisting on Insanity

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Roman Ruins

The wheel keeps turning…How many times have civilizations risen, only to crumble to dust in the 6000 odd years of this current cycle of recorded history? We can look back into the archeological record and find the evidence, we can corroborate myths and legends to form a pretty accurate picture of what happened to the Sumerians, Assyrians, Greeks,  Romans etc. We can refer to documentation, religious texts and other means to trace the end of the Aztecs and other “indigenous” tribes around the world.  We can do all this and more, yet it seems we really have learned nothing.

I’m not a scholar, I’m just an average person in all respects, yet it doesn’t take an Einstein to look back and see the disturbing similarities between the fallen empires of the past and what we are witnessing in the world today. We have technology the likes of which have never been seen before, we speak to each other from any point on the globe at the speed of light. We are taking the first tentative steps off this planet toward the stars. We can cure the once incurable if we so choose, yet we allow  a corrupt few to dominate the masses. We cower in fear in the presence of those who claim divine right, or by virtue of obscene wealth, the power to rule over us.

How many times throughout history have people stood against tyrants, only to have their society fall into ruin and chaos? How many times have humans knocked themselves so far back as to have to start from scratch? HOW MANY TIMES?!  With today’s technology, we, common human beings, have the ability to move mountains. Each and every one of us are unique and have the ability, the natural-born right to stand against the corrupt and despotic. We have the right to say no and determine for ourselves what direction to take on the path of life.  Look to the people of Egypt, descendants of one of the earliest great civilizations… 33 MILLION individuals became aware of their power to become one against tyranny, chose to say NO to the Muslim Brotherhood and their ally, the American GOVERNMENT. They choose to determine for themselves what government to have serve their needs, not what outsiders wish to impose on them.

This is the spirit that must be harnessed by all people yearning to be free. This is the biggest fear of the old money, so-called “powers that be”.

Those that call for a “New World Order” are quaking in their boots now that the “cattle” are stirring, becoming aware of the great power we hold.  We must not give up one more ounce of control to these evil cretins.  Every bit of control we give over to government ( especially that given over “for our own good”) puts us one step closer to an assured demise. We must not allow these creatures of the dark side to continue driving wedges of race, cultural difference, or political correctness between us to divide and conquer. We must drive those who wish to subjugate us beyond the brink of extinction, not merely underground as has been done in the past, only to have them rise up and threaten us again.

Many of the Earth’s major religions share common stories of creation, life, death and renewal.  Today, civilization seems to be rushing to the Final Conflict between good and evil.  Jesus may return astride a white horse, with a sword coming from His mouth, but it will be US doing the fighting against the evil that occupies the earth today…That is what people don’t understand, it will be PEOPLE fighting PEOPLE, not angels against demons. God can beat the Devil whenever he wants…He wants US to prove our strength and worthiness… at least that’s how I see it because that is how I’ve been raised. I’m not assuming to speak for other religions, but I will take a guess that their visions may be similar.

Speaking now strictly of Americans… We should be ashamed at what we have let our nation become. Regardless of what our so-called “leaders ” of today would have us believe, this nation may not have been founded solely on the Word of God, but surely on its principles.  What is so wrong with “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Just what is so hideous in our Constitution and Bill of Rights that they should be changed at the whim of Obama and his perverted cohorts?  What makes them believe that they can run roughshod over the beliefs and desires of those they have been elected to serve?

America has become a modern-day Roman Empire, rife with corruption and lawlessness within the halls of power, its military stretched thin by ill-conceived wars of modern economic conquest. Welfare programs giving bailouts to the rich, handouts to the poor, all while breaking the backs of those in the middle who pay for it all.  The First Family jet-setting around the world while telling us to tighten our belts. Letting enemies to our way of life into our government, OUR White House, while we mere commoners must stay outside and not soil their surroundings.

Wake up America, Red, Black,Yellow, White, Brown, and every shade in between…Take a lesson from Egypt and every other country where people are willing to use sticks and stones against armored troops in their fight to be free…The final battle is coming, it is time to get off this wheel of insanity, break the cycle and move on to a new age, one of peace and dare I say enlightenment. Our governments have the ability to return us to the stone age, to oblivion if we let them. We must take the reins back now and destroy those who would do us harm. We must destroy the evil lurking among us once and for all. Good over Evil. Light over Darkness. Which do you choose?

Bret Bourg

Survival Tips: Utilizing Common Household Items

I wanted to get more in depth on certain items in a survival situation, should one occur. We have many lightweight items that sit around, and we do not even realize their true potential. If we were put into a survival situation would we be prepared and utilize everything possible?

There are many “survival” companies out there making a profit by selling heavy objects that can be replaced with household items. The one thing many are missing, however, is a guide sheet that will remind us how and when to use these items.

First, I would suggest making a waterproof guide that will become your second bible. Remember the internet will not be of any service to you at this point and memory is not something I would rely on alone.

One of the most important household items that are not thought of is socks.  Socks have so many uses and yet weigh so little. The most important use would be to keep your feet dry and warm and should be changed often. But beyond that, do you know any other uses? Socks can be used as a water filter for beginners. They will not filter microscopic organisms, but will do a great job with larger particles and mud. Another use for socks is kindling. If you have never put a flame to a new sock, try it sometime. You may be surprised on how the flame spreads for a short period of time, allowing just enough time and heat to ignite stubborn tender.

Image URI: http://mrg.bz/VXNniK JPEG URI: http://mrg.bz/uUQywVNext, socks can be loaded with heavy objects and used as an easily thrown weapon. Blunt force is all that is needed to take down small game such as rabbits. Accuracy is easily achievable with a little practice too. A sock filled with rice, and a little heat applied, can be used on muscle aches and twisted ankles, arthritis and much more pain relief. Socks will also make a nice soft brace, supporting sore joints. You can use socks as “pot holders” while cooking as well as hand and ear warmers. You can also join socks to make a blanket and fill with soft material for a pillow. The last item I will discuss created with socks is probably not the best thing to discuss. You can use socks filled with dry grass as a diaper or feminine hygiene product.

Most households have dental floss to clean your teeth, but it can be used in many survival situations. Dental floss is a great alternative to carrying around a large spool of fishing line. The strength of dental floss is underestimated by many. Dental floss is also sterile and can be used as sutures to close any cuts that are sure to happen in a survival situation. Another overlooked use; dental floss can be used as a saw for small limbs and twigs to collect for fire wood. A piece of cable or wire would be a better saw, but it will take up more space. Floss will do fine as a trip line or snare to trap with also. The most amazing use for dental floss will scare some of you though. You can braid dental floss to create a cord that you can literally repel with.

One last item I want to cover is Silver. Silver is not as common of a household item, but we are all familiar with it. Most of us have Silver in the form of jewelry and utensils possibly. Many have thought of collecting silver for a bartering tool, but there are much better uses.  Some of you have probably heard of colloidal Silver used in medicine and some of you may not have, but very few know how to make their own. For those of you who do not know, Silver is a natural antibiotic and will kill most harmful organisms within hours. When medicine is not an option, you can count on Silver to keep your health. Here you can find a great guide for making your own colloidal Silver. You will notice that the “recipe” calls for strips of Silver cut from a flat sheet.

The melting point of Silver is 962 degrees. The average temperature of hard wood used in a camp fire is 900-1100 degrees, showing that it is very realistic to melt down any Silver needed to make your own flat sheets. You only need a metal, Iron, that will not melt and could also be used to flatten the Silver as it cools. You just need to make sure your Silver is .999 percent pure and you have distilled water, just as the “recipe” calls for.  Silver can also be shaped into caps to place over painful teeth. Gold has many of the same properties for dental purposes as well as an arthritis pain reliever if injected, but I am not that skilled and would not recommend injecting any metals into your body. Silver is also a great item to use as insulation for heat as well as a great conductor for electricity.

You can think of all your light weight items in your home and with a little thought, the possibilities of their uses are endless and I have only began to give examples. I will continue to offer ideas with items in the future.

Bryan Turner

A Hunter’s Preparedness

Picture this, you are rising early to beat the sun up and do a little hunting. You have your favorite spot in mind, an old blind you built a mere one-eighth of a mile from your house in your own back yard. You plan on sitting until lunch time and then returning to the family with or without alternative food. You run through your check list excitedly, checking off your required clothing, your bow or firearm, ammunition and small items such as rope to pull with, your field dressing blades, and maybe some gloves to protect from bacteria while dressing your kill. Everything is looking great, you have all those items and you set out.

This sounds perfectly normal to a lot of hunters I know and maybe to you as well. You only expect to go a short distance from home and probably have many times before without a hitch. But let’s throw some of Mother Nature’s power into the above scenario, and evaluate what could and would likely happen.

While hiking out to the blind, what happens when you fall into a hole or get caught on something causing a break in your ankle? Remember, if you are racing the sun up, you probably have little means of light that you carry to limit the weight and noise of “unnecessary” items. I mean, you are only 220 yards from the house and your family knows where you are.

Take into consideration that you will more than likely be contacting more of the ground surface if you cannot stand. This same ground surface is cold and probably damp as well. You are now outside the blind, leaving you no protection from the elements that surround you with limited mobility to get back to your house only a couple hundred yards away.

The longer your body is contacting the cold surface of the ground, the faster your temperature is dropping. Hypothermia can set in during even mild temperatures in some circumstances even without injuries. You add a simple fracture to your already cold body, and you have a recipe for a dangerous encounter with Mother Nature.

Fractured bones require as much blood flow as possible to assure proper healing along with good nutrition. When hypothermia begins to set in, the blood flow of the body is concentrated to the vital organs only, causing limbs to be subject to frost bite and the brain to stop working properly. Panic sets in and you could start crawling away from your house out of confusion. Your family looks for you when you do not arrive at noon, only at the place they know to look.

This may sound extreme or unlikely to you, but a quick internet search will show you it has happened more than you would care to believe. So what should you have done different, you may ask? Preparedness is the key to surviving a hunting trip gone badly.

When I prepare to go hunting, my priority is water, external means of heat and a method to signal during a dire situation. I only hunt about 15 minutes away from my door on foot. Years ago, I only took a few items, leaving the rest to retrieve only after a kill, until I wised up a little. I never had a bad experience thankfully, but know it can and will eventually happen.

I know that I have the best chance of surviving now, due to what I carry into the woods with me. My basic gear includes two methods of fire starting, cord, side arm and water. Then I move onto bow or long gun, dressing tools, rope and protective gloves to finish out my list. I am sure there are a few things that I could add, also. Flares could be a good option if you don’t have faith in getting a fire started for quick rescue.

Many will carry matches only, and if they become wet, they are as useless as anything you could have. I carry flint as an alternative to matches and also carry Magnesium, allowing it to act as a fuel. I also carry some form of sterilization even though fire will work, you cannot count on one means to survive. The cord I carry can be used to tie sticks for a splint or used as a tourniquet, heaven forbid I ever need to make the decision to sacrifice a limb. Small snacks that are high in fat and some in protein can also be found in my pack. The less scented the better of course, because you do not want to attract unwanted guests nor run off your intended kill. The side arm I carry will put down any predator I may encounter and is easier to use than a cumbersome long gun in certain circumstances.

I use hunting as an alternative means to feed my family for survival, but my life is thought of first. If I do not focus on my survival against Mother Nature, My family’s survival is not guaranteed either.

Again, this may seem extreme, but always have a survival plan no matter how short the distance is between you and safety. Even if you don’t feel at risk for hypothermia, start your fire immediately if something was to happen and you are not mobile. Waiting is not an option when it comes to seeking help, and surviving long enough for help to arrive is up to you. It isn’t long after the “shivering” that your mind will not work to the point of starting a fire then. Frost bite will follow and then organs begin to fail. We have all suffered minor hypothermia in life, while many are not aware that they have.

Ask yourself, “Have I taken the proper steps for any emergency that could and sometimes will arise.” Look for more hunting and survival stories to come, and have a great hunting season.

Bryan Turner