There has been no shortage of survival-themed television programming in recent years, and that trend looks to be continuing in 2012. So get your popcorn, settle into your favorite chair, and prepare to be disgusted, angered, amazed and occasionally stupefied.
A time-tested crowd pleaser, CBS’s Survivor is gearing up for its twenty-fourth season. What you may not know about Survivor is that it has spawned more than 16 other Survivor programs overseas. So if you lived in South Africa, you’d be watching a whole different Survivor show. These shows are more about drama and head games than they are about survival, but let’s face the facts: 24 seasons plus more than a dozen spin-offs is pretty impressive.
Despite the cold winter weather, and contrary to what you would expect, the winter landscape does contain a decent number of wild edible plants throughout the frosty season.
A personal favorite of mine, the persimmon fruit is one of the best tasting things in winter, that is if you can beat the animals to this dwindling crop. As the temperatures turn colder, these orange-colored fruits sweeten and become even more attractive to wildlife. Here in Virginia, I still find them hanging on the tree in January; but once they turn from bitter to sweet, the supply disappears quickly.
Another great winter edible plant part is the wild rose hip. These red fruits don’t have much inside them besides the indigestible seeds; however, the skin and a little bit of pulp contain a significant amount of vitamin C and a good sweet flavor. The pulp often reminds me of fruit leather and apples.
Sometimes I feel like I’m speaking a different language when the subject of true “flint and steel” comes up. For many people, ferrocerium rods and magnesium bars have become synonymous with flint (thank you, Jeff Probst). The Swedish Fire Steel makes other people think that ferrocerium can also be called steel. These days, it’s hard to have a nice conversation about fire starting without everyone getting really confused.
I’d love to clear all this up, so let’s talk about the real flint and steel fire kit—the one that was used by our forebears long before matches were ever invented.