Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Survival Practice: Get Out There!


It is easy to get bogged down with research when you are interested in learning all there is to know about survival in a wilderness or urban setting. There are so many books to read, programs to watch, programs to listen to, and Pinterest Pins to study, it can seem like an endless information gathering process. Then you start investing in go-bags, knives, guns, supplies for the home, the list goes on and on. It can seem like an endless expenditure just preparing for an event that may never even happen in our lifetimes. All this research and financial investment in supplies can take up a lot of your time and money. While all those supplies and information can be extremely relevant, there comes a time when you must put it aside, get out there and start practicing what you have been learning. You need to test that gear in the real world and see how efficiently it is going to work.

Personally, I am blessed with living on a big piece of property in the mountains. We can practice shooting with guns or bows, wild foraging, shelter building, etc all from the comfort of our own property. We live the life with a huge garden that we can for the year from and animals that we butcher to fill our freezers but this is not case for many of you.

Even with all the benefits of a country life, we still find time to get out into a truly wilderness setting to do additional practice. There is something about sleeping in your bivvy sacks and using a trench for a toilet that really drives home the reality of living in the wilderness if you had to. So I am encouraging each and everyone of you to plan your summer trip, get out there and practice!

If you are lucky enough to be financially stable enough to attend a trip that is hosted by a survival expert, I strongly suggest you go, at least once. Many of these people are a wealth of information. Especially when it comes to difficult things like plant identification, which is hard to do if you only have a book and an educated guess. Usually these survivalists put together a great program that keeps your group busy and learning the whole time.

If you have already spent all your money on supplies or life and can't afford to go on one of these outings, don't despair, that's why you've been doing all that research, right? There are a few key things to planning your own survival vacation that you need to consider though. First of all think of the group you will be bringing: Do certain people excel at various tasks? Put them in charge of teaching the group that activity. Second of all you have to properly organize: What are the activities you want to focus on? Make a list and print out cheat sheets for yourself and the group on these items. Put them in order of importance so you make sure you get to the things you really want to practice. Make sure you pack food, maybe you could try out that dutch oven recipe you have saved and wanted to do, but try to have at least one meal that is all things you have foraged so you can really experience what eating and surviving in the wild means. Properly organizing your team and your activities will lead you to an action packed weekend of learning. Don't forget to have fun!

Here is a short list of activities that are great to practice on a weekend getaway. This is just to get you thinking. Get out your books and your Pinterest Pins and make your own list that is relevent for your group and your landscape.
  • Navigating with a compass - maybe plan a sort of scavenger hunt for your team.
  • Starting a fire with various methods - there are so many ways to make a fire happen, don't just wimp out and use a lighter, really try the different ideas. You will be surprised how easy some are and how down right difficult others are.
  • Building a debris shelter - all the books and videos make this look so easy but have you really tried to do it yourself? It's not as easy as it looks and it's probably a good idea to have it figured out before your life and that of your family depends on it.
  • Self defense practice - be careful with your partners! Practice is the only way to hone these techniques and, again, wouldn't it be better to be comfortable with the technique before your life is on the line.
  • Water Purification Methods - As with fire making there are so many ideas out there. Get three or four ideas that you really want to test out and see how they work. How is it to really drink from a puddle with a lifestraw. Try it!
  • Ditch Medicine - try to make splints and have people walk around in them. Did they hold? How comfortable would they be? Did it make the problem worse?
  • How to tell the weather - try to predict from your survival manuals what tomorrow's weather will be. Write it down and see what tomorrow brings. Were you right? What things did you notice ex) bird movement, animal signs, etc.
  • Create Natural Camouflage - Use mud and oil to do your camo instead of makeup from a kit. Be careful what plants you use! Some may give you a skin rash or not wash off very easily. You don't want to go to work on Monday looking like a green smurf.
  • Wild Foraging - Make sure you know the plant is safe to eat. Bring your field guide and try to identify at least three plants that you don't know.
  • Knot tying - always a great activity in your down time, while sitting around the fire. Give everyone a piece of paracord and practice.
Now that you have some ideas, find some more and GET OUT THERE!

Similar Articles:

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A Day With the Bows

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Changing Earth Newsletter: Sara's Top 10 Survival Stars

I was challenged by an author friend of mine to do a blog of my top ten favorite movie stars. Given the theme of my blog I decided to do my favorite top 10 survival stars. I realize there are more survival movies and shows out there but the following are my favorites. Okay let the countdown begin...

Number ten on my list is Charlie Matheson in the TV series Revolution. I loved revolution, until they introduced the nono-tech. It started out as a great TV series, built upon the concept of destruction and character survival in that new landscape, much like my book Day After Disaster. Although there were some points grossly overlooked, like the fresh paint on the homes and the nicely mowed grass, all and all it was off to a very good start. Charlie's character was a very naive one in a world of survival. She makes some big mistakes along the way but her heart is good and her tenacity is commendable. Survivalists could look to this show and see some interesting do's and don'ts of survival.






Number nine on my list is Milla Jovovich as Leeloo in the movie The 5th Element. Not only is she smoking hot in this movie but she is a serious butt kicker. Her innocence mixed with a deep galactic wisdom is a cocktail that make the plot thick with meaning. She is a fierce warrior that also displays an extreme vulnerability. She must come to realize that love is the beautiful thing worth saving even though the flip side to that coin is war and death.  Great story of ultimate destruction and future world prospecting.









 Number eight on my list is Justin Timberlake as Will Salas in the movie In Time. I'm not really a Justin Timberlake fan so I was undecided on watching this movie originally but I am so glad I did. The movie depicted a very interesting take on a future society where your life span is depicted by your time left on your clock. This time is also your money so every time you eat, drink your coffee, etc you are losing time on your life. Through a stroke of luck Justin ends up with lots of time and moves himself up in the class system that has been created to manage the people. He meets a gal and together they do a sort of Bonnie and Clyde move to save the people from the horrible system that has been created by the wealthy to manage the poor. Great socially relevant movie and Justin did a supreme job in this role as the innocent, hard working poor man, trying to save the people he has come to know and love.


Number seven on my list is Keira Knightly as Guinevere in the new King Arthur movie. I loved this new take on Guinevere! No more prim and proper princess caught helplessly in a love triangle between the king and his best friend. This Guinevere shows a deep passion for her country and her people. She is rescued by Arthur and nursed back to health on an extreme journey back to safety. In this story she is the one allied with Merlin and becomes Arthur's voice of reason to stay and save his people instead of going back to Rome, a "home" he has actually never even seen. She is sexy in a rugged, realistic way and she is a determined warrior, kicking some major butt for the glory of her country. I loved this new take on the whole King Arthur story and most of all the Guinevere character. The producers gave tenacious females a terrific role model.




 Number six on the list is Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee in the movie Zombieland. I'm not usually a fan of zombie movies but  this movie was a crack up! Plus it coined the term "double tap" which I now use regularly. Woody plays a man who is just done with the world. He is edgy and so very funny. He no longer cares if he lives or dies or who else lives or dies. The journey he and his partner partake in has so many twists and turns it always keeps you guessing what will happen next. Plus, it has many life lessons about simplicity along the way. Can't beat Woody, he is classic.









 Number five on my list of survival stars is Dennis Quaid for his role as Jack Hall in the movie Day After Tomorrow. This movie is one of my favorites because it focuses on the fact that the earth has changed and will again, much like the focus of my series. He is a man of science who is screaming at the politicians to face the facts of the changes the earth is going through and urges them to take extreme action while they still can. But of course they are politicians so they are not listening to a science man and his charts and facts. After the stuff hits the fan Dennis must challenge mother nature in a race to save his son who was caught in one of the hardest hit areas. He shows indomitable spirit and a unconditional love of family. Great character that we could all learn from.





Number four on my list is Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the Alien movies. This woman kicks some major Alien butt in all the movies. She never wants to be in the situation she is in but somehow ends up there anyway, saving the day. Even certain death could not defeat her. Ripley is number four because not only does she constantly face the alien threat but she must also fiercely battle the powers at be that are constantly trying to capture, control and study this alien creature rather than annihilating the threat. Ripley has a very different view for the creatures and who could forget the line: "get away from her you b*^ch"? 







Number three on my list is Will Smith in his role as Captain Steven Hiller in the movie Independence Day. Will has a classic role in this movie. Not only is he jovial and witty but he is stead fast to his commitment to his county. My favorite part is when he takes down the alien ship, beats the tar out of the alien and declares, "I'm supposed to be at a barbeque." Then he drags the alien across the desert and when asked for clearance to allow him to Area 51 he shows the soldier the alien and asks, "should I just leave this here with you then?" Such a great, all-star character. He displays strength, humor, tenacity and love for a woman the world might not see as a perfect fit for a man with his goals for the future.






Number two on my list of survival stars is Karen Grassle for her role as Caroline Ingalls in The Little House on The Prairie. This is a character you may not think off right away but oh boy is she fierce. Her love for her man takes her on a journey of frontier survival at its finest. Women in this role had a long list of survival tasks  to take care of in order to keep their family alive and well fed. On one episode in particular she gets cut and develops blood poisoning from the abrasion. With Charles away and no help in sight she must fight through fever and sickness in order to save herself. She ends up cauterizing her own wound and survives. Any person who can fight and work that hard for the love of her husband and family is truly one to be commended.




Drum roll, please...

Number one on my list of favorite survival stars is Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner in the Terminator series. First of all what a great concept to base a doomsday series on. Second of all she is not my favorite just because she has a great name (even though she spells it with an "h"). She is my favorite because this woman starts off in movie one as a naive waitress just minding her own business and trying to get a date. By the end of her role in the series she is one fierce warrior, ready to kill them all and let God sort them out. Her love for her son and his future drives her across the fires of hell, against all odds to save not only him but all of humanity from an inevitable future. She is one bad ass, gun toting, hot and sexy woman on a mission!





Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Survival Nutrition: Bee Pollen, The World's Only Perfect Food!


Bee Pollen, A Must for Every Survivalist's Pantry


I came across this little miracle quite by accident. Here in California we are in full bloom and my husband and eldest son suffer rather badly from seasonal allergies. I was researching the benefits of local honey and allergy prevention when I started reading about Bee Pollen supplements. As a person who trains vigorously to keep myself in shape for sports and self defense purposes I found the rejuvenating and quick recovery properties of this product from the bees to be very intriguing but there is so much more to it. Here's what I found.

Bee Pollen's History

Hippocrates and Pliny recommended honey products and bee pollen for a variety of ailments. The bible touts bee's and their products as a particularly blessed insect.

Identifying The Pollen

Bees produce a variety of items while making honey. They produce Royal Jelly which they feed to the queen and they produce bee pollen or propolis. A resin like substance used with beeswax in the construction of the hive.

The bee pollen is made from the male seed of the flower blossom taken from the hearts of flowers. These are microscopic flakes that are moistened with honey by the harvesting bee when they are packed into pellets in their "pollen baskets" on the bees rear legs to be carried to the hives.

Harvesting

Pollen traps are fitted to hives to trap some of the pollen for human consumption. A little of the golden granules will drop through a mesh screen and into a drawer where the bee keeper can collect them.

Eating the Bee Pollen

The bee pollen can be chewed directly or put into a capsule or tablet form. Different pollen from different sources will have a variety of flavors. Try out a few of them to see what you like the best. It is suggested that you do not heat the pollen to over 50 degrees Celsius because you will destroy the living enzymes found in this product. It is often bitter and powdery but your taste for it will develop over time. For an adult starting to use this product take 1-2 teaspoons daily and for children start with 1/2 - 1 teaspoon daily. Then increase as you go. People rarely have an allergic reaction to this product.

The Amazing Medicinal Benefits

Bee pollen is the only food that contains every nutrient that the body requires including vitamin B12, which is the only plant source where you can get this vitamin. It is packed with proteins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids, cortenoids, and bioflavins. It has been touted as an amazing anti-carcinogenic or cancer-fighter by William Robinson M.D. from the  United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). It's 20 essential cell building amino acids are combined with more than 100 active enzymes to:
  •          fight arthritis
  •          control wight
  •          flush fat, detox, and cleanse your body
  •          rejuvenate the body
  •          stimulate organs
  •          stimulate the reproductive system of both sexes
  •          accelerate recovery rate of the body after injury or extreme exercise
  •          helps with children's physical and brain development
Bee pollen even helps to fight acne when applied to the skin.

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/bee-pollen.html has some great tips about purchasing quality bee pollen products with links as well. Purchasing a bottle of bee pollen a month will definitely be a new addition to my monthly budget. What a great vitamin supplement as well as disaster prep.

Attention Use At Your Own Risk

I am not medically trained in anyway. I am simply a student. I read and experiment with ancient herbal techniques. I am simply passing on the knowledge I have gained from studding many texts on the subject and I am in no way responsible for anything you do with this information. For a listing of my favorite survival and herbal books visit: http://www.authorsarafhathaway.com/#!saras-survival-stuff/c1mzf

For this article I used these resources the most:

Antol, Marie Nadine. Healing Teas: How to Prepare and Use Teas to Maximize Your Health. Garden City Park, NY: Avery Pub. Group, 1996. Print.

"Bee Pollen's Super Healing Power." Benefits-of-Honey.com. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/bee-pollen.html>. 

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster