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Survival Skills

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Signal Mirrors Can Get You Rescued

Signal Mirrors Can Get You Rescued


One of the most important signaling devices you can have in your survival kit is a signal mirror! It is often underrated as a signaling device, but is a very valuable tool for daytime signaling, and can even be used at night with a full moon.  During the day, with a good sun, the flash from a signal mirror can be seen for more than ten miles.

Suspending Pots Over A FireSuspending Pots Over A Fire

Once you have bails on all your cups and pots, you need a way to hang them over a fire.  There are more than a dozen ways that have been devised for doing this.  However, I have found four basic Pot Suspension Systems that are easy to make in the field, and I will discuss them one at a time.

Quadripod Water Filter

Quadripod Water Filter


I carry some bandanas but they are square, and if I fold a bandana to make a triangle, it is too small to use on a tripod. Why not build a quadripod, using four long sticks, using a sheer lashing at top.  You can now use three square pieces of material, such as bandanas. 

Be Prepared To Forage

Be Prepared To Forage

I have often found that when you are out in the woods, you can't always find something when you need it. So what I normally recommend is that you should always be looking for those things that you might need later, especially in a survival situation.

Making Pine Needle Tea

Making Pine Needle Tea

Vitamin C is an important element to include in a regular diet. This powerful vitamin provides very important health benefits which the body needs to properly function. Because Vitamin C contains antioxidants it aids in fighting off all kinds of diseases, improves the immune system, and wards off inflammation, infections, and viruses.

Natural Tinder

Natural Tinder

Natural tinder is any dry tinder you can find in the outdoors, has a low flash point, and can be easily ignited with a minimum of heat, including a spark.  Many books list the various types of natural tinder available in the outdoors, but without knowing what they look like, many people have a difficult time identifying them when they see them.

Free Thinking for Survival

Free Thinking For Survival

I believe in free thinking in all aspects of my life and survival is no different. I often hear people in the survival community discuss various aspects of priorities during a survival situation, the proper way to perform a specific task, and even what type of equipment you must carry.

One Handed Fire Starting technique

One Handed Fire Starting Technique


This is a short video which demonstrates a practical, simple, and easy technique for starting a fire with one hand using a Ferrocerium rod and a knife.

Survivor Mentality

The Survivor Mentality


It is important to understand what causes these feelings so that they can be dealt with in a reasonable manner.  Panic is not an asset for those who want to survive, so in order to prevent panic, we must understand fear.

In Search

In Search Of Real Survival

All of us who have devoted our lives to studying and applying skills of survival are well aware of the periodic events which beset us all:  wars, droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, economic collapses, etc.  Some are “acts of God,” and many are acts of man.The practical skills of survival are direly needed by all of us. And yet, the media continues to serve up “reality” shows that provide little or no practical skills in our day to day living.

Teaching 6th Graders Survival

Teaching 6th Graders Survival

We were asked by a grade school English teacher in Saugerties, NY if we would be willing to come to her school and do a class on survival for her 6th grade class. A quick history: This English teacher has her students read "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen.  It is a story of a young lad that crashes in a plane taking him to see his father in Alaska...


Mushrooms Not For Survival

I am often asked how you properly identify edible mushrooms in a survival situation.  My first reply is usually, "Why bother?"  Don't worry about identifying mushrooms, don't pick them!Of course, they want to know why, and I inform them that they are not worth the effort, especially if you are hungry.

Heat Loss Mechanisms

Heat Loss Mechanisms


There are five ways that the heat from your body can be transferred to the environment, and they are called Heat Loss Mechanisms.  In a cold environment, they can all be detrimental, but in a hot climate, some of these mechanisms can be to your advantage.

Snow Trench Shelter

The Snow Trench Shelter


A shelter that is very practical is the Snow Trench.  They are easy to make, require the least amount of effort, and are ideally suited for emergency use.  Another advantage of making a Snow Trench is the minimal contact you have with the snow, decreasing your chance of getting wet while building it.  Each Snow Trench shelter should be made for one person.

Ferrocerium vs Mischmetal

Ferrocerium Vs Mischmetal

This video explains both the terms "Ferrocerium" and "Mischmetal" as they relate to Fire Starting rods.

Christopher Nyerges

Christopher Nyerges and the School of Self-Reliance

Over the years I have seen many survival schools come and go, yet a few have stood the test of time. One of these successful schools, owned by Christopher Nyerges, is the School of Self-Reliance. Many people are not aware that the School of Self-Reliance is possibly one of the oldest survival schools in the United States.

SignalingImprovised Signaling

There are all kinds of signaling devices available to carry in a survival kit or a pack.  But sometimes you might fail to have all of these devices with you when an emergency situation occurs.   However, as long as you know that you must let people know where you are and that you are in trouble...

Survival Needs VideoSurvival Needs - Grab It When You Can

YouTube Video by John D. McCann

This video explains how to look for survival needs, before you need them, and Grab It When You Can, so you have them when you need them.

Transpiration BagTranspiration Bags for Water Collection

The Transpiration Bag IS a solar still and IS an effective way to collect water, with very little effort on your part! All you have to do is carry some large, clear plastic bags and a small amount of cordage in your kit or pack.

Weaving In FieldWeaving In The Field

Making a Field Expedient Loom

Oftentimes in the field, it might be handy to make a straw mat, a windbreak for a survival shelter, or other type device from dried grasses, reeds, etc. A simple way is by hand weaving or loom weaving. Learn how to make a Field Expedient Loom.

Coal Burning a SpoonCoal Burning a Spoon

A Short Tutorial

I am often asked how to make a spoon using a coal from a fire. Therefore I thought I would provide a short tutorial on the process.

Natural A Frame ShelterNatural A-Frame Shelter

Adirondack Style

While on a 10 day trip to the wilderness canoe area of the Adirondacks in New York, I though it might be fun to build a Natural A-Frame Shelter. Normally, I would use saplings to weave between the side uprights, however, it is illegal to cut saplings in the Adirondack Park. Being there are so many birch trees in this area, I though birch bark might make an interesting substitute for weaving the sides. Here is how the project went.

Backyard SurvivalBackyard & Camping Survival

A good way to test your kits, gear & skills

A great way to test your survival kits, gear, and skills are in your own back yard. You can then further test them by going survival camping.