With the fatal grizzly bear attack inside Yellowstone National Park last month, and more than a dozen non-fatal grizzly bear attacks in North America so far this year, you’d think that the average Yellowstone visitor would be a little more cautious than normal. However, a recent video shows a number of park visitors within feet of a free-roaming grizzly bear, and acting as if they were at petting zoo.
Much of the Eastern seaboard, still rattled from the unexpected and rare earthquake on Tuesday, is now bracing for the impact of another force of nature—Hurricane Irene. Many eastern Governors have declared States of Emergency due to the imminent Category 3 Hurricane, which is expected to make landfall in North Carolina on Friday night.
Hurricane Irene is predicted to first hit the coast around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on Friday night and slam into the rest of the mid-Atlantic region by Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Evacuations have been ordered in many mid-Atlantic coastal areas and barrier islands like North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Some areas are expecting severe coastal flooding from waves up to 15 feet tall (expected path of Irene).
Irene is predicted to weaken some as it travels up the coast, but this Category 3 storm is still expected to deliver winds of 50 to 70 mph when it reaches New York City on Saturday. This will be the first hurricane to hit New York since September 6, 2008, when Hurricane Hanna struck Long Island with winds up to 52 mph.
New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered nursing homes and five hospitals in low-lying areas evacuated beginning Friday, and said he would order 270,000 more people moved by Saturday if the storm stays on its current path.
So there we were, in the middle of a three-day survival class, under the shade of a stand of oak, beech and pine trees, when all of a sudden the earth started shaking.
The first jolt seemed like the detonation of heavy artillery at the range at nearby Quantico Marine Base. But then the quake reached its full potential, shaking the trees back and forth quickly, dropping dead branches all around us throughout the forest.
While a butane lighter is my number-one choice for a quick, easy flame to start a campfire, you shouldn’t ignore matches as a back-up fire source. And if you’re going to carry matches, they might as well be waterproof.
You can waterproof your own wooden matches with either melted wax or nail polish.
To use wax for waterproofing matches, melt a few ounces of candle wax in a disposable container (like a tuna can) near a fire or on a low stove setting. Quickly dip the head and a half-inch of the stick into and out of the wax. As soon as you pull the match out of the wax, blow on it to cool the wax so that it does not soak into the match head, thereby ruining it. To use the wax-coated matches, you’ll need to scrape off the wax down to the match’s chemical head, on the side that you are going to strike.
Becoming lost is a common way for modern people to find themselves in a wilderness survival situation. Imagine how easy it was for explorers and pioneers to get lost blazing new trails through the unknown places of the world.
Luckily, becoming lost is one of the easiest problems to avoid in the wilderness. All you have to do is blaze your own trails, or mark which way to go on existing trails. A little bit of hot pink survey tape and a permanent marker can be a great addition to your survival kit. You can use this to make trails, mark trails and even leave messages.
If you find yourself lost without any survey tape, you can build signals and blazes on the ground so that a search party can find you. Rock cairns and stick structures are typical examples, and have been used for centuries. Techniques like chopping shapes into tree trunks were also used to communicate information and allow people to find their way. You can chop arrows into tree bark to point searchers toward your camp.
Are you walking around your local woods and fields with a head full of myths and false information? I hope not. But in order to make sure, let’s shed some light on some widespread outdoorsman’s lore.
“Cut a snakebite and suck out the venom.” BUSTED: That went out 50 years ago. Snake venom is a highly specialized digestive tonic for snakes. As soon as the venom hits your flesh, it latches onto tissue – so there’s nothing there to suck out. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate the wound) it, and get to a doctor who has the right antivenin.
“Moss only grows on the north side of a tree.” MOSTLY BUSTED: Moss can grow on the north side of a tree; but depending on your latitude, the moss species and the local weather, moss can grow anywhere on a tree trunk. In the northern hemisphere, the sun follows a southerly path, which can cause moss and related vegetation to grow on the south-facing side of trees and rocks.
Twelve-year-old Boy Scout Jared Ropelato had a rough weekend. He got lost during a Utah wilderness campout, and had to spend the night outside alone, wearing only jeans and a t-shirt, as temperatures dipped into the low 30s. Ropelato built a lean-to shelter out of tree branches and sticks to get through the cold night, and he covered himself in duff and dirt to stay warm.
The Scout got separated from the rest of his troop while hiking on Friday, August 12. The search for him began at noon that day. While he was lost, Jared ran headlong into a bull moose, and he also fell into a river. He was found Saturday morning at 8:40 a.m. in good health, more than twenty hours after his ordeal began.
I had been hearing about the Hoodlum knife for about two months, before I actually got my hands on one. The knife’s designer, the late Ron Hood, had supposedly created his finest knife design yet. With a build up like that, I had to find out for myself.
The Saltwater Test – After some of the comments we received from our test of the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife, I decided to add a salt-water test to our testing standards. The last knife we reviewed, the BG Ultimate, rusted up pretty quick in the harsh seawater. Not so with the Hoodlum. It took its salt-water bath without a blemish, thanks to the coating covering the entire full tang knife (except for the edge, obviously).
The coastal areas of our planet present an amazing array of ecosystems, and with this variety are many helpful resources and some dangers as well, should we find ourselves stranded there.
The idea of surviving on a beach reminds me of Robinson Crusoe, and all of the other lost sailor stories I have heard over the years. Shelter and food usually aren’t the biggest hurdles for these survivors. It is all the little things that cause the worst problems.
Coastal Dangers - Using the resources of the sea and land require you to put yourself in harm’s way to get these commodities. On land, you may need to watch out for the local poisonous snakes and insects. In the surf, you may get hammered into sharp rocks or coral. Further out in the water, sharks are a danger to swimmers and fishermen.
However, if we look at the most likely dangers to a survivor, they are not as dramatic as shark bites and exotic deadly snakes. Dehydration, poisoning by eating the wrong plants, and infections are much more likely to harm or kill someone than all of the exciting hazards combined.
Waves of violence and looting have been roaring across London and nearby British cities since Saturday, as authorities struggle to contain the country's worst unrest since race riots had London in flames in the 1980s.
Hundreds have been arrested in London alone, and dozens were arrested in other English cities. Scenes of burning buildings and smashed windows in London and several other British cities stand out this week in stark contrast to the usually reserved nature of the English people.
16,000 officers are expected to be on the streets of London Tuesday night, almost tripling the number that were out Monday night.