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Sunday 22 February 2015

Rain Water for Tea

Today was a pretty dour day, it poured continually, but every cloud has a silver lining and we didn't need to bring any drinking water
we put the tarp up to enable us to catch water as easily as possible, within 20 minutes we had 2 litres of pure water, rain water can be drunk without any purification at all, I tried a few cups and it was delicious!
Davy scooped out the water into a 12cm zebra billy, it filled it with about the same left in the tarp
can't get much purer than that!
and on the fire for a brew, nature provides and its up to us to make use of it.
By the end of the day we reckon we could have collected 2 gallons of pure water, an easy way to get your necessary fluids.


Monday 16 February 2015

Freestanding A Frame Survival Shelter

This is the simplest and most basic of all shelters, it doesn't require a fire for heat and if made well it insulates and waterproofs for a relatively decent nights rest.
A few friends made one to see how quickly it could be put together
The start of the construction, no modern materials allowed (knives or saws or cordage) all had to be taken directly from the forest floor.
I've slept in these before and when the books say to keep them small to preserve heat I can understand the reason why, but I found them quite claustrophobic and when I turned I kept hitting the side walls and dislodging the debris, so best, I feel, to allow for a little extra space and forsake a little of the insulating properties.
Don't forget to insulate the floor of these ( you can see the bed of leaves inside) sleeping directly on cold ground will steal your heat faster than you can believe, although I'd prefer spruce boughs, leaves will do at a pinch.
About halfway through the build and with the leaf litter starting to be piled on..
and the completed structure, it's incredible how well it blends into the natural surroundings, we had people walk past within 20 feet of it and they didn't even notice it's existence!!

Sunday 1 February 2015

The Psychology of Shelter

We recently got the old chute out to give it an airing and a fresh smoking and it got me to thinking.

The area we pitched it in was very exposed, winds rushing through and rain coming down, the parachute nylon is incredibly fine, but, once underneath, even though we could still feel the wind and a little of the rain, just looking up and seeing 'a roof' above us gave us an incredible sense of comfort.

there's not much between you and the great open sky, just an incredibly fine piece of material however the feeling it had on morale and the sense of being enclosed was remarkable. We all know that the science of survival teaches us that the will to survive and a positive mind set are fundamental to surviving, and just being underneath that chute had such a positive reinforcing effect on our minds that I can fully understand why having a roof over your head, regardless of it's effectiveness is a genuinely important feature. I've always taken shelter for granted before but being in this little micro climate certainly gave me food for thought.
 If you had have removed the chute and I'd stayed where I was sitting on the ground I would have felt incredibly vulnerable and exposed, the shelter wasn't really protecting us much but the sense of comfort it provided and how it heightened my mental well being was incredible.

a little fire underneath certainly helped also.