Survival Is a Calories Game – Wild Edible

Manage Calories
Survival is a calories game. Your body converts food into fuel, which provides you with energy, but if you burn more calories trying to obtain food, you are not properly managing your calories. For every calorie you burn you need to find ways to replace it. Conserve your energy.

The average active person will use approximately 3,000-5,000 calories per day.
Always ensure that the energy gained from the food is more than the energy you expended in procuring it, otherwise it’s a wasteful exercise.

In a short-term survival situation, food should NOT be your major priority.
In a long-term survival situation, your survival priorities will change and the need for food will become more important.

Food Sources
Plants – They are easy to collect, and require little energy to obtain. Make sure that you are absolutely positive that they are edible. Learn 5-10 common wild edible plants in your area.

5 Common Wild Edible Plants Every Person Should Know

  1. Dandelion
  2. Clover
  3. Plantain
  4. Violets
  5. Wood Sorrel

All of these plants are easy to identify, and are easy on the stomach and taste buds. NEVER eat a wild plant, unless you know what it is.

Fish and Crawfish – Requires little effort once the lines and traps have been set. Fish are high in protein, and can be cooked dozens of ways.  I simple soda bottle can be transformed into Minnow Trap, and there are several natural resources to build a Funnel Fish Trap.  Check out our Fish Trap Video Here.  Yoyo fish traps are also an excellent survival gear item to carry with you.  We have several Yoyo videos as well.

Insects / Reptiles / Amphibians – Be careful that you don’t waste too much energy trying to catch them. Remember:

“Red, Orange, and Yellow KILL a fellow; Black, Green, or Brown EAT’em down”

5 Common Edible Insects

  1. Ants
  2. Earthworms / Mealworms
  3. Grasshoppers / Crickets
  4. Grubs
  5. Termites

ALL insects should be cooked before consumption.  Remove the head and entrails, and skewer on a stick.  If not certain, if bug or animal is safe to eat, you can always use it as bait.

Birds / Mammals – They are wary of humans, and can be difficult to catch. Even if caught, the animal will need to be killed and processed.
A simple throwing stick is an easy way to procure some quality protein.  Large game even as big as deer, have been taken with such methods.
To become effective with the throwing stick remove any branches or obstructions that might impact flight. Take a wide stance, and throw side arm.

Most wild foods must be cooked. Roast over an open fire, or make a stew if container is available. I highly encourage you to make food procurement a priority in your survival skills tool belt.

Check out these amazing videos on Food Procurement / Managing Energy / Caloric Intake and Expenditure.

Build Your Own DIY Survival Fishing Kit

How to Build Your Own DIY Survival Fishing Kit

When living off the land, something we have to seriously think about is where are we going to get our food if we are to be in the wilderness for an extended period of time (more than 72 hours). One possible answer is fish and should be your top food priority if you have sufficient resources in your area. Survival fishing is the answer in many areas for all your food needs, and our instructor Josh Hamlin survived on fish almost exclusively for over 2 years while surviving in the wilderness. Fish can be quite abundant in many streams, rivers and lakes out in the backcountry depending on your location. It is important to have the right skills and equipment with you to be able to take advantage of this valuable resource and the better your equipment is the higher your chances of success. You can always go with less and bushcraft what you need but a kit like this will make things way to easy. You’ll have more fish than you know what to do with if you employ the equipment with the proper tactics. In this article I’m going to be showing you how to put together you own survival fishing kit for INCH bags and long term self-reliance. I’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started.

Container
IMG_4244First of all, let’s begin with the container. When selecting a container, I always like to ensure that it meets the following criteria:

  • Fully Waterproof
  • Sturdy
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Small enough to fit into a cargo pants pocket

I would use a large, empty Altoids tin or the waterproof Adventurer Survival Kit box by Best Glide ASE to contain all you fishing bits and pieces. An alternative to a simple metal container would be a waterproof, plastic container with dividers inside for separating all your bits and pieces like this one here. And if I were you, I would wrap a couple of rubber bands or maybe a reasonable amount of paracord around the container for extra security.

Plastic Bags
Just because of who I am, I like to organise things into small zip lock style plastic bags. This makes sense as you don’t want your fishing gear all mixed up and you also want it to be easy to gain access to.

Fishing Line
Yes this fishing kit isn’t designed to be a minimalistic pocket sized kit but I like the idea of carrying a spool of a reasonable amount of commercial fishing line (60 – 100 m) just in case you’re unable to grab your hand reels or pack rods (which I’ll talk about later) for whatever reason or you might just lose one of your reels etc. Commercial fishing line is much stronger than standard fishing line and is great for survival purposes. In a sense, this kit has the ability to be self-contained in a pinch.

Assorted fishing hooks (24)
Always remember that small fish hooks can catch both small and large fish. The more hooks the better as they can get lost or swallowed by fish.

Swivels (12)
These are an essential component of your fishing rig and I suggest that you carry at least a dozen of these. They prevent line twist with spinning reels and will give you the ability to mix and match line sizes. Leaders are also a good option to add for larger fish with teeth and you will need both leaders/swivels for large teethed fish. circle hook

Circle hooks (12)
Due to the clever design of these hooks, they are proven to catch more fish and are rarely swallowed. It is becoming increasingly popular with anglers today. I’ve caught fish all over the world with these and they can even be used in the ocean with great effectiveness.

Artificial Baits (6)
Essentially, lures are artificial bait and come in very handy as they are good at enticing fish into thinking that they will make a tasty snack. Usually lures come in the shape of a small fish and… remember that large fish like eating small fish. So… keep a good quantity of these on hand.

Plastic Floats/Bobbers (3)
These little floating devices are great to have on hand. You CAN do without them (I have) but it just makes your job of finding your line visually, a lot easier. I suggest that you carry at least three of these because they can get lost pretty easily (especially in cases when you’re forced to cut the line).
If you’re the sort of person that like to improvise, wine corks, earplugs and foam all make good improvised bobbers too, by the way.

Split-shot Sinkers (12)

Carry at least a dozen lead split – shot sinkers in a small zip lock bag. These can get lost quite easily too.

Emmrod1Small hand fishing reels (4)

From experience I know that these are actually quite effective in catching a wide range of small to medium sized fish. Its a good idea to pack at least four of these inside your main fishing kit pouch and ensure that they have a significant amount of line on them. It does take a lot of skill using fishing reels, but with a little patience and practice you can master the skill of using it. There is a good fishing reel made by Yo-Yo which is basically automatic and saves you from manually reeling in the line (SIGMA 3 recommends that you get this particular brand).

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON EMMRODS!

 

Emmrod2

Pack rods (1)
These are foldable rods that are robust and aren’t susceptible to breakage as easily (like most telescopic rods). I recommend that you get the Emmrod Pack Rod from SIGMA 3. Its virtually indestructible, half the price and packs down a lot smaller than comparable pack rods. SIGMA 3 has caught all sizes of fish with these rods, they are absolutely amazing. Rob Allen, the founder, actually caught a 150 lb tarpon on one of these setups. Enough can’t be said about how packable, lightweight, and durable these little fishing setups are. You will take some loss in casting distance with a shorter rod, but for survival fishing it is excellent.

Gill Net (1)
Something else I’d add to this kit is a small gill (similar to seine) net (like the Adventurer Survival Gill Net made by Best Glide ASE). These are very effective and can be useful for catching a variety of crabs, shrimps and small fish in greater quantities than several lines would. Basically you stretch this across a river, stream or other waterway and any fish that get caught inside will be trapped by their gills. Obviously crabs and other similar sized seafood will be trapped merely by their size and their inability to get through the netting. This gill net is light, doesn’t take up much space and can be folded up and placed in a small ziplock plastic pouch for easy, compact storage.

Yo Yo Fishing Traps

yo yo trapThese are super handy and you can set them up in no time. This is a must have for every kit and will insure you’re catching fish while working on other things. They are essentially automatic fishing reels that set the hook, wear the fish out, and will have him waiting for you right below where you hung it. These are not the best for large fish but work great for fish 5 lbs and under. SIGMA 3 instructors have literally provided all their meat needs with just this simple little tool and have caught more fish than they can eat. We always carry these in our kits for survival fishing and consider it a must have for any place with fish. It’s recommended that you carry at least 4 per person in your group. We have several videos on our youtube channel explaining how to use them.

Click HERE for more info on Yo Yo Traps

Basic Knots Card
Knots can be hard to remember especially if you don’t go fishing regularly. I suggest that you get a waterproof knots card like the one here to keep inside your kit. It all comes down to personal preference, but if there’s one knot that you should remember, I personally recommend the clinch knot.

Natural Bait
I think artificial bait is a waste of valuable storage space in your survival fishing kit. I would recommend that you learn where to find natural bait and learn what fish like what. Finding and knowing the appropriate bait for a wide variety of fish is an invaluable skill to have.
Look around and under rocks for small critters such as grasshoppers and worms etc. Remember that big fish feed on small fish, so you’ll want to consider this as your bait when fishing for larger fish. If you have a specific bug out location (BOL) planned, I highly recommend that you thoroughly scout out the area and determine what fish live there. Knowing the type of fish that you’ll be catching will help you decide the right bait for them and also the places where they are most abundant. I think it’s a good idea to pack a large freezer bag inside your fishing kit to store bait in whilst collecting.

A good multitool
A multitool such as a Leatherman Wave (heavier option) or a Leatherman Sidekick (lightweight option) can come in handy for removing hooks, cutting line, processing fish and a multitude of other tasks.

Last but not least… a survival knife
This survival knife can be used for gutting, preparing fish and many other uses to do with fishing. I won’t go into depth about selecting the right survival knife for your needs but you can check out our custom SIGMA 3 Survival knife, as it is our most recommended choice in bushcraft blades.

The SIGMORA! FULL TANG SCANDI GRIND Click Here

Ok, so there you have it! A compact, yet comprehensive survival fishing kit that allows you to be self-reliant when bugging out for any extended period of time. You can tailor the size of your fishing kit to where you are going and how long you’ll be gone. This is very modular and can be scaled up or down based on your survival fishing needs. I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful.

IMG_0793

Testing Emmrod Survival Fishing Rods in Jungles of Nicaragua!

 

Training Update

Hey Everyone,

Its been a little while since the last update so I will bring you up to speed on what has been going on with the school. I just completed some new training courses related to Executive protection for hostile environments, hostage rescue, and received 4 new NRA weapons certifications. The class was long and I am glad to be back to my normal schedule again. Nothing like being home with the family! If you have not checked the website in awhile we have a new feature instructor that will be teaching a host of new courses. Kelly Alwood is probably the best urban survival instructor in the country and we are really excited to have him come down to teach tactical tracking and urban escape and evasion! We are also planning a tactical medic class that is not yet on the schedule that we are still hammering out the details on.

We have a couple of new classes coming up soon including: Primitive fire, water, and cordage class this weekend; and primitive fishing in June. If you have any interest in these subjects make sure you sign up for those asap because they are right around the corner. The school has also teamed up with battle zone tactical and we will now be hosting airsoft events as well as starting our own airsoft club. So email me if you interested in attending our airsoft wargames. They are a intensely fun and we provide all the equipment for cheap!

The Sigma 3 Standard Survival Course is coming up in June and this class is a 4 day summation of all the basic survival skills. This class is for the beginner and the advanced practitioner will learn from it as well. We put new tricks on old methods and I guarantee you it will be loads of fun. We camp out and cook food around the campfire at night time and train during the day. Check the schedule for further details!

 

Thanks,

Robert

Sigma 3 Survival

Understanding Bushcraft?

Bushcraft is an unusual word to so many people out there that I thought I would take the time to explain what bushcraft and the primitive arts is all about. In the beginning when you first start to begin your journey into survival training, everything will start with necessities. But as you grow it will change into an expression of yourself in your survival training. What do I mean by that? Once your skill level grows past a certain point you will begin to see a new light, just as fledgling seed sprout pokes its stem out of the soil. Your senses will open up to things you never even knew where there before. For instance, most people have no idea how much food is around them even in the most crowded cities! I cannot walk anywhere anymore without seeing food that can be harvested that other people would see as nothing. In fact, most of the weeds people kill in their yards are the most nutritious and useful plants on their property! Many wild edibles are so much more nutritious than what you can buy in the produce department at your local grocery store.

Once you understand the basics of survival then you will begin to put your own stamp on everything. From trap modifications of your own design to making primitive art. Primitive art is all about expressing yourself through the art of self reliance. Whether it be constructing your own primitive musical instruments or making a shelter like no other! There is so much to learn in this field that I guarantee that one person could not learn everything in 10 lifetimes. But it is the journey that forms our character. I go camping with people constantly and am always amazed at how little so many people know about the everyday happening in nature around them. Most people are so alien to their own planet! Modern man cannot even walk into the wilderness without a plethora of space age tools and hope to survive very long. It is almost as if we are astronauts having to carry life support equipment in our own environment! What would you do if your modern conveniences were stripped away from you and you were forced to live as 97% of the worlds past inhabitants lived on a daily basis. Most people will just roll over and die!

Bushcraft  is the ability to utilize resources around you to harvest whatever you need from the land. Just as a journeyman apprentice for a carpenter needs only basic tools to construct most any structure, a bushcrafter only needs a few tools to be comfortable in the bush! And a true master can construct his tools and all his survival needs from absolutely nothing! He uses his mind as the master tool to produce all his wants. Once you have achieved this higher level I can guarantee that it will give a sense of self confidence that cannot be reproduced by any other trade or martial art. Primitive survival will give you the confidence to know that no matter what happens that the sun will shine again for you!

Check out what one of our members made by mixing the modern and the primitive in order to create his own unique bushcraft piece! Its a fishing pole made from a yo yo trap and a piece of bamboo! Great Job Steve!

Wilderness Survival Priorities Timeline

This is a  priority breakdown of how one should set out to start a survival situation with almost no gear and their knife!

 

First Day- Build a shelter the first morning and get the shelter to a comfortable level of warmth for your climate. It must be dry, warm, and provide a place to store things. Custom debris hut is usually first choice in most climates in our area. I will make sure that my shelter is located reasonably close to a water supply. While I am gathering shelter materials I should also use the opportunity to gather firewood for the fire at night as well. Next, I will begin making a fire with primitive bow drill or a hand drill with thumbhole strings to reduce energy consumption and make getting a coal easier. If I have suitable cordage then I will always go with bow drill first but if cordage is in very short supply then I do the hand drill. At the end of day one I will shift my focus to making several no carve pauite deadfalls and split stick figure four deadfalls. Set them out next to pack rat dens and near other high traffic areas for small game. Before I return to camp I should try to gather natural cordage material to bring back and when night time arrives I can make several feet of cordage around the light of the campfire. Note: Always make time to forage for edibles to and from different spots and make a throwing stick while out in case possible game opportunity presents itself!

 

Day Two- Begin the morning by re-stoking the fire and go check my nearby traps to see if the overnight traps caught me breakfast. Return to camp and begin either processing trapped game or begin improving your shelter while it is still cool. Shelter building is one of the more labor intensive parts of survival and should be done when the least amount of calories will be used. Then begin making more simple traps as well as a few more complex trap triggers for larger game. If there is fish nearby then immediately begin making fish traps because they are the easiest prey to catch. Bugs, worms, and anything smelly works for land and water traps. While you are out always be foraging for convenient wild edibles and collect any potential harvest the forest provides you with! The second day should almost be completely consumed by shelter improvement and food gathering. But don’t forget to stay hydrated!

 

Day Three- By day three you should have several dozen traps set out and producing food. This is your main focus until you have created enough food generation sources to provide you with enough fresh meat to eat on hand and enough extra to begin storing extra dryed meats, edibles, etc. Begin putting these things back for your next move. Every time you are out always make sure you are gathering materials when they become available. Don’t wait and come back later only to waste more calories. If you plan to leave your shelter and be on the move, then make sure you have stockpiled plenty of dried food goods for your journey plus a little more than you think you need just in case!

 

Day Four- When day four rolls around you should be more accommodated to your situation and should be at least providing yourself with a minimal amount of calories to survive without losing to much weight, if any! You should continue to improve on your situation adding new food generation sources and utilizing your areas resources to be prepared for whatever your endeavor may be. You should also have begun making things like drying racks and tools to use to make your work easier!

 

-In my experience, this generally turns out to be the general timeline of how long it takes to begin being truly self sustained in a known wilderness area. Everyday, is a snow ball effect of how your resources collect and you should take every free minute to improve upon your situation. At night time you should be making cordage and use any free time in a redundant manner to make the most efficient use of your time! When your basic needs are taken care of, then you move on to the higher primitive arts, such as tool construction. Stick with these timeline goals in mind and you will do good in almost any situation!

 

Summary: Day one make shelter near water,  make fire, and then make traps to gather food overnight while you are sleeping; Day two should be shelter improvement, foraging, and making as many traps as you can, especially fish traps; Day 3 Continue making traps, improving shelter, making cordage and start putting food back if you have any excess; Day 4 You should be self sustaining in most climates by this time and should be producing enough food so that you are not losing any weight. Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated!