30 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (9)

Tip 1. Partial & Simple Foraging
This link is a previous blog I did on eleven foods to forage: https://outdoorsireland.blogspot.com/…/11-simple-edible-foo… You may have access to all of them or a couple of them.

Running out of food is unlikely in this situation, but this is really good stuff to know regardless (and just in case). Really satisfying to be able to do, and a lovely exercise for the family.

1. Please note the seed of a yew is FATAL.
2. Please note not to pick living old man's beard moss off a tree; just collect what is blown onto the ground.
3. Please forage responsibly and sparingly, just a little bit here and a little bit there. Picking or cutting cleanly - leaving the root/stem intact for future growth.
4. Be aware of where you are picking, anywhere sprayed with weedkiller/roundup/pest repellent will most likely be highly toxic.

Some of these previously mentioned books have great in-depth forage info: https://outdoorsireland.blogspot.com/…/coronavirus-from-pra…

Get into the garden or country lane and get foraging; just a little and responsibly
In terms of survival skills and lowering your food consumption - can you manage a light lunch a couple days each week from foraged items?

29 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (8)

Tip 1. Composting
With good composting and recycling you can end up with so little actual proper refuse each week. Reason for composting is (1) you are building up easy access to a worm supply for fishing; and (2) you are creating black gold for your vegetable garden, with zero cost and not a huge effort.

Books and online will give you so much information to composting and the science, but it can also be very simple.

1. Create an area for composting. A heap at the bottom of your garden. The inner corner of a wall or fence. A big dustbin. A proper compost bin from your garden center. A simple structure built from pallets.

2. Ideally your compost is enclosed/walled to minimize it becoming messy, plus dog/cat/vermin.

3. Throw in anything and everything bio-degradable. Tea bags, coffee grinds, newspaper, grass clippings, manure, dead animals, seaweed, cardboard, moldy fruit/veg, kitchen scraps, wood ash (just not coal ash).

4. Good to layer it, rip up the cardboard and newspaper a little. Sprinkle seaweed or wood ash on top in summer months to cut down on fruit flies.

5. You may want to put out some mouse/rat traps under a container. The other way to minimize a mouse/rat issue is never put any cooked food scraps/bread/etc into the compost.

6. Your kitchen waste becomes gold dust for a veg garden or fruit trees. No more money spent on bags of compost from a garden center. Have you a nearby coast where you can responsibly gather dead washed up seaweed? Have you a local farmer or stable where you can get manure to really activate your compost?

Make a compost area, ideally enclosed or semi enclosed, and start composting.

28 March 2020

The Wrong Kind Of Bushcraft Knife

When choosing a bushcraft knife or hunting knife - this is why it's so important to have a long length, or ideally full length, 'tang'. The tang is the part of your blade which extends right into your handle.

Parts Of A Knife Diagram: https://www.foodfirefriends.com/parts-of-a-knife/

This break happens easier than you may think. In fact this break here happened to a kitchen knife as I was slicing celery.

25 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (7)

Tip 1. Torch & Radio:
Both super useful bits of kit and you probably have them already. But if not consider getting a decent head torch and a decent, yet simple, fm radio - ideally needing only two aa batteries to run.

Stock up on batteries for several months, to run both your torch and your radio. Google the best way to store batteries long term.

Get yourself a radio and a torch
Get yourself several months supply of batteries for both

23 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (6)

Tip 1. Resources Water:
Water - far more important then food. You can survive about three weeks without food. You can survive about three days without water.

In order of priority you need water for drinking, cleaning wounds, cooking, washing, cleaning general.

Dirty water can be SIVED through a bottle/container of moss, wood charcoal and sand. Dirty water can then be STERILIZED by boiling for three mins. A one min boil will do at our altitudes, but I always say on training courses - boil for three mins to be safe.

Info on different methods of sterilizing water here; however boiling is simplest and best: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/drinking/Backcountry_Water_Treatment.pdf

Do you rely on mains water; therefore relying on someone else for your life-source? Do you rely on an electric pump to pump water up from your well in the back garden; therefore relying on electricity for your life-source? What happens if the mains fails, the electricity fails, or contamination happens?

Neither of these above options are good. Ideally you have your own gravity fed well; which is simply a big and dependable hole in the ground, water running in a pipe downhill from it and into your house and a big tank.

We have two gravity fed wells, a primary well and a backup well. Our water from the kitchen sink and our water from the roof gutters is collected and used for the vegetable garden and fruit trees; especially useful in heatwaves and big freezes. Our ducks have access to a swampy bog cutting out some of their water quota. However for a lot of people this is not possible, especially if you live in a town or estate.

So what can you do if the above paragraph is not possible for you?

1. Once things are back to normal look into getting off-grid and self-sufficient with all your water needs.

2. Right now find a river/stream/bog that can give you a dependable water supply - should you need it. It should be within walking distance ideally, cutting out dependence on a vehicle. Worst case you should be able to cycle to it with improvised water panniers on your bike.

Practice using it for a week, or one day each week.

Get your water from as high an altitude as possible. It should be clean and fast flowing (unless in a bog). Above a factory/farm/main road/housing estate, not below. Check for pollutants, mouse/rat evidence, dead animals.

SIVING is not essential and in fact just leaving water to sit in a bucket/jug for a couple of hours will allow most sediment to settle or be scooped out.

STERILIZING is essential, no matter how clean you feel the water is. Cleaning wounds, washing dishes, brushing teeth all happens with sterilized water.

Think about a long-term water plan
Find a self-sufficient water point, as close as possible
Practice self-sufficient water, with everything that entails
Organise the various water containers you would need

22 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (5)

Tip 1. Fill up your vehicle with fuel and always keep it full. This is general best practice anyway, regardless of coronavirus. You don't know when you may urgently need a vehicle; and while fuel shortages are unlikely - they are possible.

Not just a full tank of petrol/diesel, but also keep a daily check on water, coolant, oil, transmission fluid and brake/clutch fluid. Lay up an extra container or two of each of these. Lay up several large containers of petrol/diesel - and be very aware of the fire hazard they could cause you!

Cut your driving to a minimum - save fuel. If you absolutely have to drive, driving slow, gentle, no unnecessary accelerating or braking, use the gears properly, stick at 80km per hour max - this will all help your fuel consumption.

Homework: If you have the money to spare get to a petrol station or friendly mechanic and stock up

17 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (4)

Tip 1. Buy one or all five of these books; depending on your situation and interest. They have been my bibles for many years.

The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency, By John Seymour

SAS Survival Handbook (small edition), By John Lofty Wiseman

Food For Free, By Richard Mabey/Collins Gem

Self-Sufficiency: Foraging For Wild Foods, By David Squire

200 Veg Growing Basics, By Hamlyn
This may be out of print now, but any simple and decent veg gardening book for beginners should do. This one looks decent - Vegetable Growing Month By Month, By John Harrison

Invest in some or all of these books

16 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (3)

Tip 1. Resources Food:
Food is important and needs a specific post. In western civilisation, in general, we waste far too much food. Start cooking a little less, eating a little less. Plates should literally be licked clean - no more wastage.

Did you know carrot tops can be eaten, instead of put in the compost? If you are topping and tailing veg - then remove the absolute minimum. Stop peeling things like potatoes, parsnips, carrots - those peelings are all part of your valuable edible food. If you are peeling an onion - take off the bare minimum outer skin. Start eating the core of apples/pears. Pans tend to be put for wash up still coated with sauce/soup that could have been eaten. Bags of flour/cereal/coffee tend to be thrown out still with food within the bag.

One tea bag will give you in the region of five cups of tea - yet so many of us use one tea bag per cup of tea, then bin the tea bag.

Some of this sounds silly - but is so simple to effect. Just change your thinking - put yourself in the shoes of a starving African family - do you think they would be throwing away an apple core or not licking their soup bowls clean?

Any absolute essential food wastage should either be composted or fed to your animals/pets - thus cutting down on animal/pet food needed. Composting is important and I will cover that soon.

Cook a little less, eat a little less, most importantly stop all wastage

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (2)

Tip 1. Resources General:
Everything you have right now is a valuable resource. Get really clever with how you use your resources. If you start to worry about running out of matches when your match supply has dwindled, then it is too late. Right now you need to nurse all your resources and do not waste anything.

Can you light all the candles with just one match? Can you light the fire with half the firelighters you generally use? Can your dog be fed a little less dog-food? Is that car-run really necessary, or can you conserve your petrol? Will two glasses of wine do instead of three?

Three weeks of food in our normal day to day living can be stretched into five weeks of food no problem. However as I say, if you wait until your supplies are dwindling, then you have left it too late.

While you are in a good position resource-wise, get really clever with every resource you have

15 March 2020

Business Training/Coaching/Mentoring - Fire Fighting For Coronavirus

I am running business training/coaching/mentoring on a one-to-one basis (via phone/skype), for outdoor adventure businesses; who are facing into a pretty worrying, possibly terrifying, period.

Time to hope for the best, but plan and prepare for the worst - in terms of your business and surviving this. Time to come up with an immediate and a longer term 'fire fighting' plan.

In fifteen years of running Outdoors Ireland I have never seem business crumble like right now, but with a cool head and careful planning there is every chance you can come out of this ready to operate again.

Get in touch on info@outdoorsireland.com or 086 860 45 63 if you are interested. Thanks, Nathan Kingerlee - Outdoors Ireland

13 March 2020

Coronavirus - From A Practical Survival Approach (1)

Unfortunately not everyone is as organised as the preppers and survivalists; the likes of Irish Survivalist Group ISG and Irish Prepper and Bushcraft Store. Fair play to those guys.

With a family member in the middle of intensive chemotherapy - I am well aware of how dangerous the virus will prove for certain demographics. However the main risk is:

(1) Panic

(2) Reliance
many of us have on essential services we take for granted. Reliance there will always be food in the shops; petrol in the petrol stations; paracetamol in the chemist; a local doctor on hand; a local A&E that can attend to your broken wrist; a working phone network; and so on.

I am going to post a couple of simple/achievable survival tips here every couple of days; aimed at your conventional person/family living in a semi-detached house in a town, and probably not an organised prepper or a self sufficient farmer/forager.

Keep in mind that the full armagedon may come in time, as nuclear, virus, climate, meteorite, etc - but this in 2020 is not the armagedon.

Tip 1. Slow Down. Relax. Put Yourself In Control of what you can control and try not to worry about what you cannot control.

Tip 2. It would be silly and flippant to say enjoy all this; but Be Aware of the press media panic, social media panic, world-wide uncertainty, travel restrictions, supermarket food restrictions, quiet streets. You are living through a piece of history, that will be written into the history annals and told to your grandchildren. You have seen movies about this, but probably never imagined it would happen.

Tip 3. If your world is in upheaval; no work, kids at home, perhaps in self-quarantine (as we are), nowhere to go, nothing to do - then put up a Detailed Daily Routine on a big sheet of paper on your wall. In proper survival there is nothing worse then no definite purpose/no definite routine to your day. Everyone in your family needs to know how each day will run. When is breakfast? When is family walk? When is screen time for the kids? When is your personal time? When do you do your office work? When does your phone get switched off? Everyone needs to input and fully buy into this.

Digest these three tips
Put a detailed daily routine up on your wall

4 March 2020

Fire Making & Shelter Building One-Day Workshops This Weekend - In Glengarriff

Fire Making & Shelter Building One-Day Workshops This Weekend - In Glengarriff

Have ended up with a free weekend, coming up; so have scheduled two last minute one-day courses in the woods of Glengarriff:

Sat 7th Mar : Making Fire From Spark In Wet/Windy Conditions 😃

Sun 8th Mar : Building A Storm-Proof Debris Shelter For Wet/Windy Conditions

Both these one-day courses are beginner friendly, however if you already have bushcraft training done - then even better. It will build on your Bushcraft Skills 1.

Here for more details or to book: www.outdoorsireland.com/contact.php