Transcription provided by American Preppers Network
Number of speakers: 2 (Tyler, Kirsten, & Matt)
Duration: 14 min 24 sec
Wilderness Survival Skills Pt 1/4: Priorities of Survival & Coal Burn Spoon
Kirsten: “My name is Kirsten Rechnitz and I am a senior instructor for the boulder outdoor survival school also known as BOSS. BOSS is about Outdoor Wilderness survival, more so about outdoor thrival. So in the next couple of days we are going to cover traditional living skills including bow drill and hand drill friction fires. Primitive shelters, debris shelters, A-frame poncho shelters, we will also be going over knives, stone knives, doing a little bit of flint knapping, wood working, maybe make a spoon. I’d like to make an atlatl and darts with you if we have the opportunity as well. Do some fletching (1:03?) and just kind of feel what it’s like being outside 24/7 and try to remove modern gear and replace it with things and resources that we have straight off the land here.”
“At BOSS we have an order of operation that we should do in a survival scenario. We believe that in any survival scenario the first and most important thing you need is mental composure. To be, imagined by this rock here. If you are unable to stay grounded if you’re unable to have a positive attitude about the potential future of being successful in this survival situation you are much more likely to fail. So being composed, admitting that this situation is real and you have to act and STOPPING for a moment. Stopping, Thinking, Observing and making a Plan just in the first few seconds when you realize you are in a dire situation. This is the most important piece of the priorities of survival. Mental Composure. Once your mental composure, your ground is this is handled, the next step we move to are critical, medical emergencies to be represented by a pack of hydro-cortisone cream and a roll of med tape in this case, but really these are the type of emergencies related to air way, breathing and circulation. Not having enough oxygen circulating or having a blockage where you’re unable to breath. People can die within minutes so taking care of those critical emergencies within a few minutes of a survival situation is what needs to happen next.”
“After three minutes we get into around three hours. Three hours is the core body temperature. Thermal regulation is critical to your survival. If you get to hot or too cold you can pass within hours. So for example if we were to cold I might have a bow drill fire set to take care of heating or warming myself. Perhaps an emergency blanket to either keep me warm or potentially protect me from the sun if I’m unable to find shade or a cold water source to get into.”
“Once you’re first three priorities of survival are taken care, of the next thing you need to concentrate on is hydration. People have died within a day and lasted up to five days without having water, but on average about three days is your maximum before you die of dehydration. So, I am bound to take either a purification system or droplets with me in a steel or metal water bottle in order to boil or purify water. It may be surprising to hear but actually humans can last at least a few weeks without any food. So food certainly comes way down the list of priorities however, it is going to be important to keep your mental composure, to not get light headed, to not be “hangry”, hungry and angry, and to have the energy you need to continue to take care of your main priorities. So I may carry with me a dead-fall trap and perhaps a quick small snare just in my emergency kit to have those things covered.”
“After three weeks we get into three seasons. Humans are a social species and to not have any connection can lead us all the way back to the beginning. That mental composure. We can be broken and start making mistakes. Forgetting to drink water, forgetting to take care of our core body temperature. forgetting to eat out of depression perhaps. You’ll need to be able to connect to something, be it an animate object, a tree and animal or perhaps somebody that is also on this adventure or journey with you. I myself usually carry around a picture of my little nephew. He has been, when I’m in a bad situation, reminds me of why it’s so important that I get back, that I don’t give up and that I stay strong. Relating to something in the wild is critical to being able to hang in there when you’re all alone.”
“In the united states most people are known to be lost within 72 hours and rescue scenarios either happen in that period of time or in a week or two following. A really important thing to have in your survival kit is some signaling device. I carry with me a signaling mirror. A heliograph. It’s nice to make sure and get these of great quality VS something that is plastic or can scratch easily. You really want this to blind somebody, somebody in a plane for example. So having that with me is important.”
“So over all now we are actually looking at what I might say, barring the rock, is what I would take with me in my survival kit. So over all we were able to line out the priorities of survival using the rule of three. Three minutes, three hours, three days etc.. It is person dependent. It might be 5 minutes for someone before they actually die from bleeding out. It may be 5 days before someone needs water or it may be one day before they die of dehydration. Experience and knowing one’s self is going to be huge in all this and simply what your body type is and your environment are definitely what is going to alter these, but knowing the order in which you should do these things prepares you for what would happen in a survival situation. You already have information, so knowing these rules of three is going to give you the composure that you need because what is between your ears is the most important survival skill that you have. It’s going to give you the composure that you need to actually go ahead and take care of yourself for however long it is you’re in this survival situation.”
Matt: “So I’m gonna use my Helle Bush Craft knife and go ahead and create a spoon. Hopefully at some point if you’re in the back country you’re going to need to eat. So, just show ya some of the many uses that you can press a smaller knife like this into. So I’m just gonna go ahead and get into it here. You got to kind of observe. This is what I like to do with my knife. At BOSS and with any bush craft that you’re doing you’re gonna find that you’re gonna be doing a lot of wood working. Be it a fire set for friction fire or whittling traps. There is a myriad of different uses that your knife is going to need to be pressed into and wood working is probably the number one. It is a material we use a lot in the back country. I have two very strict criteria I look for in a good knife. I have this Helle knife here as an example. This is basically what I am looking for in a good bush craft knife. Just starting with the blade we have a beautiful, nice single bevel. A nice sandy grind here and as far as wood removal this is beautiful.”
“So when I start a spoon I like to start with the handle so I’ll start with the transition of the bowl and I’ll sort of work my way backwards up the handle. As you can see, it’s starting to create this bowl shape.”
“You can see I started to round my bowl portion now that creates that bowl shape and I’m basically just changing the angle at which I’m pulling to do that. So I can almost cut, especially this is Aspen, so I kind of cut cross green on it pretty easily and I can start to create that round shape that you want for a spoon. I continue to thin it down. The handle on this particular knife is pretty nice. I generally, on a lot of my bush craft knives I don’t have much of a guard here, but it is nice to have something to let you know, especially if you’re working in low light or something that where that blade transition starts. To keep your hand from sliding or doing some more heavy carving or whittling. Another thing about this knife is it is not a full tang knife. I do like a full tang knife whenever I can get my hands on one, but this has a nice rat tail tang that comes through the whole length of the handle and you can see where it’s pinged over at the bottom. So it is still a really, really strong blade. It’s going to be able to hold up to a little bit of pounding and beating with the billet. I think I’m gonna go ahead and switch to some hand whittling here. So I think this knife is really nice. Another thing I actually like about this knife is that the blade is actually fairly wide. There are a lot of actions I’m doing here and I’m actually choking up on my knife and hold it by the blade to do that. This gives me plenty of space to hold onto it without my fingers getting in the way of the blade. So I really kind of like that wide width of this. These Helle Knives have to them. You can see I can kinda use that width on the Helle knife to kind of choke up on the blade to get some pressure up on the belly and do some very light trimming. It gives me the ability to facilitate a curve here as well where the handle meets the spoon bowl. I’ve got plenty of room to safely hold onto that blade without risking cutting myself. Again, this is, I’m moving down to lighter stroke now so I’m not really using, basically I’m just turning my wrist. I’m not applying a lot of pressure. This knife has an amazingly sharp edge on it and so it’s making quick work of this aspen.”
“So we have it whittled out at this point. It’s basically just a blank, nice and quick and dirty, and one of the more challenging things to do with just a regular bush craft knife is to get a good bowl carved out and a spoon. When I do a more permanent nice spoon I usually use a crooked knife to achieve that, but just out in the field one of the quickest and my favorite ways to make a bowl is to actually coal burn it with a coal from the fire.
“So we are at that point now. I am going to get a coal from the fire here. So I’ll just pace it on and then hold it down with a twig. Then just start introducing oxygen to it. Ok, that’s a pretty good start. So basically, we just want this wood to start to char and then at that point I can just use a stick or here I have a piece of basalt. Just something with a rough edge that I can start to scrape that charred material out. You can see how deep that went with just that first go. So at this point, I’m gonna get another coal. This time I’m gonna use a little bit larger coal and start to expand that bowl out to the edge of my spoon. These coals are light weight so it’s always good to hold it down with a stick you don’t wanna just blow back on ya or into your fire pit.”
“Ok, so after about 3 or 4 rounds of adding coals and blowing on it, this is where I’m at. I’ve gone through and done a little bit more fine whittling and I’ve started to sand more of the char out. You can see there is still some char in there. You don’t have to get all the char out. You basically just go until you’re satisfied. This is Matt Furches again with Boulder Outdoor Survival School and that is how you make a quick spoon. Quick, coal burn spoon in 15 minutes.
Kirsten: Please come join us at Boulder Outdoor Survival School. We teach primitive living skills courses that range in length from 72 hours to 7 days, 14 days and all the way up to 28 days in length. You’ll learn skills such as priorities of survival, friction fire methods, debris shelters, animal processing and wild food harvesting. All these skills and more will allow you to travel vast distances. Utilizing BOSS philosophy that if you know more you can carry less.
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