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anything is makeshift.

The Perfect Makeshift Bow

Bows are powerful and should always be handled with care, one wrong move and you might hurt some body. Use this at your own risk and be careful, some information might not be accurate as I am still learning about bows, I will do my best to not spread misinformation. I want to introduce you a really creative way of making yourself a bow using what mother nature has to offer. This makeshift bow should not be used to hunt game, it’s simply not powerful enough and I’m not talking about dumb games like football, I am talking about real animals, you don’t want to make them suffer.

Before you craft your bow you need to collect a few resources, you need roots (to tie your bow together), two chestnut branches and some oak bark (for glue). Manufacturing the arrows is easy as pie, grab some sticks and sharpen their points, you can also use feathers to increase the velocity and the precision of the arrows, use glue to make the feathers stick. The chestnut branches need to be glued together using strong glue, I suggest making oak bark glue and using that. Tie the roots around your two chestnuts, now for the bow line I suggest you use something commercial, nature doesn’t provide us with a good firing line for the bow so we have to improvise.

You don’t need to build the bow on your own if you don’t want to. You can always buy a bow online or at a local store, just make sure you have a permit to use it, you also need a different permit to hunt but that depends a lot on where you live. Ask about and make sure you don’t do anything illegal while at it without even knowing it.

Traditional Bow

The name says it all, this is a classic bow, has been used by for centuries and still is a viable choice for hunters. Traditional bows are used by professionals most of the time as they do not have an aiming mechanism or a nocking point for arrows to rest. My advice is to start out with a recurve if you are a beginner or … if you feel extra badass today you might as well go for the traditional one! Heed my warning, it has a much steeper learning curve than most bows out there.

shooting a traditional bow

Recurve Bow

Most people prefer a recurve bow over any other hunting weapon (projectile based), most recurves are take down bows which can be taken apart for easy mobility. It can be used for hunting and indoor training and is one of the most common bow types. Some say the best way to go is to use carbon and wood arrows for training, aluminum arrows for hunting game. As an entry level individual you should consider a lower drawing weight for your bow, depending on your gender, age, weight and height. As a point of reference, male adults start at 30 – 35 pounds and female adults 25 – 30 pounds.

using a recurve bow

Compound Bow

The compound bow has an entirely different story, it’s used for hunting and handles much harder, most compound bows have a higher drawing weight. Hunters use compound bows during hunting seasons because unlike recurve bows, the compound bow has a lock mechanism which only requires its user to draw the bow once, it gets locked and you don’t have to fatigue your strength to keep it drawn, whenever you want to shoot it, just release the lock and the arrow goes flying!

One great down side to the compound bow is the mechanical side of its use, compounds have various components and if one gets damaged or broken, the bow doesn’t work anymore. There goes your hunting season down the drain, there is no way you can simply fix a compound bow in the wild using sticks and leaves, you need specialized people to have a look at it and determine what the problem is.

Always choose a bow for your dominant hand, if your right hand is dominant then you will hold the bow using your left hand and vice versa. This can cause problems as most bows are made for a specific demographic of people and you will have a hard time trying to shoot a bow for your non dominant hand, you could even hurt yourself so I would stay away from it.

It’s important to have the right pose when using a bow, wrong positioning alone can compromise the whole aspect of training. I also suggest using an arm guard for safety reasons, hitting your arm won’t hurt the first time, nor the second time but in time you will get bruised and that will be a sight you’d rather avoid. I want to end this with a warning, do not use your bow in public spaces, do not try to hunt game if you can’t even hit a target, get professional help if you want to get better and never, ever dry fire!

Food In The Wild

Living or camping in the woods means you are ready for the harsh conditions that await you. You will need substantial amounts of food and behold, there is no Walmart in the middle of the forest. You will need to find food in the wild before you starve. Don’t starve! Lucky you, the forest has a selection of snacks that will keep your belly full and your hunger down. We’ll go through some of them to give you a basic idea of to do and what not to do in the wild. Everything I’m writing is based on experience, don’t take my word for granted and do your own research.

Nature gives you two choices, you either find food, or you end up as food. A great example for this would be the leader boards in Game Of Thrones Conquest, you either use a Game of Thrones Conquest hack tool and win, or you get kicked around by higher level players. Someone who already has experience with the outdoors and knows how to handle themselves might not have a use for this, b a person that has no idea what’s ahead and is eagre to learn could find a thing or two useful. Contact someone that already has a set of skills and knowledge at their disposal before adventuring in the woods all alone.

Fishing

Fish is back on the menu boys, it never left, if you are near a river you can always try to catch fish, whether you use a fishing rod, a net or your hands, you can catch fish. Your goal is to feast on fish, if you achieved your goal nothing else matters. No sacrifice too great! Just make sure there aren’t any bears around, they usually fish using their claws and are attracted by the meat smell. I shouldn’t be telling you this but you can find fish in rivers, ponds or lakes.

fishing in the wild

Plants

If you’re more on the vegan side of things you can always get your self some nice grass to gnaw one, like a state-of-the-art lawn MOOER. I’m kidding of course, plants are a viable option, make sure they are edible, do some research and stay away from poison ivy. Green tea is always available in the woods, besides that, some plants can also be consumed raw.

Hunting

Hunting should be your last choice here, you can’t just go around killing animals and eat them like a savage. There’s certain legal things which I’m not going to get into but make sure you have a firing license and it’s open season for hunting. I’m also positive that you can’t hunt using an automatic weapon or carabine, keep that in mind if you decide to let your inner man take control.

food in the wild

If you’re only reason for coming out in the woods is to have a good time then you can always bring food along. Fill the inside of your backpack or duffel bag with all kinds of snacks. Pack aliments with high protein and calories, remember an adult male needs about 1800 calories a day and women about 1500 calories. Before you head into the woods, make sure someone at home knows where you are going, this is just in case you get lost, they may be able to call for help. I also suggest you pack basic survival items in your backpack and food, you never know what might go wrong.

Getting to Know Fire Starting Basics

If you’ve ever found yourself in need of a quick fire for some reason or another, you came to the right place! Fire starting is one of the most basic tasks in a survival situation but it can make the difference between life and death, before we continue please be careful when building a fire, follow logic and common sense. Do not have fires in restricted areas, keep the fire small, make sure it’s away from any flammable materials, have the necessary tools to contain the fire if needed, after no longer needed extinguish the fire and always keep an eye on the fire. While out in the wild you can always find time for a little fun, especially when you have friends with you, you could always pull out your phones and enjoy a fair game of Clash Royale, this weeks sponsor provides you with a Free Clash Royale Gems Hack helping you gain a quick advantage against your enemies! Perhaps set their troops on fire with your new gained knowledge?

Fire Starting For Dummies

Let’s get right into the meat of it (so to speak), before you even start thinking about a fire, make sure the place you chose is not surrounded by flammable material that could catch on fire while you do this. Remove any dry leaves from the camp fire area and its vicinity, you could even dig a hole in which to place the fire or have it sitting on rocks for even better safety measures. If you do want to use a hole for your fire make sure you dig a tunnel connected to the pit so the oxygen can pass through and the fire doesn’t die.

  • Gathering Wood Fire

This step is pretty self explanatory, you get wood to make fire. All things nice and easy but remember your wood needs to be dry, wet wood isn’t gonna get you anywhere and you will end up wasting precious time and energy trying to light a wet fire. Divide the wood into groups, you’ll need small sticks to light the spark of the fire. Pencil sized sticks in order to get the fire going and burning and then thumb sized mini logs in order to keep the fire alive. After doing so you start adding larger logs on the fire as the charcoal is hot enough to set them on fire. While the fire is still small and feeble you could also start building a fire reflector to help you maintain the heat towards one spot, this works best if you are alone as you need heat pointing in only one direction. For more people you should just keep the fire as it is, no reflectors needed. The fire will spread evenly between the people sat next to the fire.

  • No Tinder Equals No Fire

Fire is almost around the corner but before you even think about it you are going to need embers in order to light your fire, you need a spark for the fire. Timber can be done in a lot of ways but my personal favorite is cutting strips of wood using a well sharpened knife and using that to light the fire, if you don’t have a knife at hand you can always craft your own stone axe. It usually doesn’t take a lot of time and it probably isn’t the most practical way of doing it, but I like it. Other ways of getting tinder include small branches and leaves, tree bark and even tree sap which also makes a mean glue if you know how to do it! A quick alternative for tinder is tree resin, you can find resin on damaged trees, cut some of it and use it for your fire. Please do not take all the resin from the wound of the shrub as it won’t be able to heal without it.

As fire goes there are many ways to start it, one of the hardest methods to master would be the bow drill method. It requires a piece of wood with a hole in it for the charcoal, a heavy duty stick and obviously, a bow drill. I have yet to use this method and successfully start a fire, but I’m looking forward to doing so in the near future. Please leave a comment if you know any ways I can improve my bow drilling skills!

  • Starting Said Fire

Everything done and said it is time to start our caveman like fire! I suggest you get yourself a tool to get it all going, flint and steel is a classic and reliable option but you can also go for things like bow and drill or the mighty lighter. Just keep in mind that a lighter might not work in a survival situation and you’ll need to improvise, adapt, overcome. Use your tool to light the tinder then start adding your wood to it, starting from thin to thick logs.

You might already know this but you can also use your mobile phone/smart phone to get a spark, the battery can be shorted using gum wrapper and will light it up. Just keep in mind this is not a safe method of starting a fire and the vapors coming from the battery are toxic, only use this as a last resort. The good thing about this is if you already own a Note 7 you don’t need to worry about making a fire, just wait around and it’ll eventually make a fire on its own. Joke aside, starting a fire using a battery is not an easy task and it could be dangerous, the battery could explode and burn you, use at your own risk. Remember to keep water or something to extinguish the fire with around in case things start going south.

Wrapping things up

Now that you know how to make your first fire I suggest you be careful. Always knowing how to get out of a tight spot is important but you have to be responsible whenever you make a choice, everything goes, even fire. Keep an eye on it and make sure nothing catches on fire or your risk starting a forest fire and that is one of the least things you would want to deal with, especially when life is at stake. Now go grab a big ol’ bag of marshmallows and roast those bad boys using your fire place!

Bow Action Outdoors

Hi! Our last entry talked about the creation of the prettiest makeshift bow on the line, today I have a few tips that might help you along while you learn how to shoot the bow!

(Never) Dry Fire

This one is pretty simple, don’t you ever dare dry fire your bow or you will regret it. I’ve seen a bunch of people doing this and their bow is no more, that’s the best case scenario, it could get a lot uglier. What dry fire is trying to imply is shooting your bow without an arrow nocked. No matter what type of bow, recurve, traditional or compound they will all suffer if you decide to dry fire. Make sure your arrows have the right spine to them and use those.

Arrow Spine

For most people with just a little experience with bows this is a no-brainer. Using wrong spine for your arrows can lead to more arrow drop or even the arrow breaking (usually happens with weak spines). Arrows rarely break, but when they do it means either the spine was wrong or you hit cold steel with it, I doubt any of us have targets made of steel so I’m going to go with the first guess. Do a little research on arrow spine and you’ll get it right in no time!

Pose

Pose is the most important aspect of shooting a bow, if the pose is not right many things can go wrong. What I do is stand straight, my legs about 2 feet apart and aim using the arrow. Using an arm guard can prove useful, especially for beginners. All the arm guard does is protect your arm from the whip lash of the bow string, you may not feel it at first but boy will it get worse. Before buying a bow do your own research for the safety measures and I suggest you don’t use the bow in public spaces. Stay safe.

Building a Shelter During Winter

Early December is officially here, with it comes snow, blizzards and a lot more snow. Most of my childhood snow happened something like this, go to sleep on a cold night, no snow in sight, wake up in mountains of snow that took over the town during the night. What great times those were. Anyhow, we are not here to talk about silly childhood memories, we want to learn about shelter during freezing temperatures and that’s exactly what we are going to do. The essence of staying alive in freezing cold is keeping your body temperature stable. You can do that by sheltering from the cold, building a fire and drinking warm liquids.

Shelter

When it’s 20 degrees outside and you’ve got less than 2 hours of day light left ahead of you, making a shelter will have to be your number one priority. Without shelter you are exposed to the mercy of mother nature, wind, rain, snow and more. Having a shelter will act like a wall for the heat that comes from your camp fire, so the more you extend, the more heat you are able to catch, if that makes any sense.

There are many types of shelters you can build that are dependent on your situation, the one I presented is a quick scarp all, just to get things done. You can get more complicated and receive a bigger reward in the end if you have enough time to build proper refuge, but as a quick getaway the one I mentioned will have to do. During summer you will most likely want something to protect your from the heath, but also keep you off the ground to avoid any insects, snakes or other creatures that might be crawling through the grass. The video above shows how to build a thatched dome hut, it’s spacious and gives more protection against wind but requires a lot more materials and time in order to be built.

Fire

As soon as you are safe from wind and snow your next priority should be building a fire pit. A fire pit also requires lighting a fire in order to be effective, the fire not only will warming you up but cooking can also be done using it. This is done by simply finding a decent sized branch, 5-6 inches longer than your height. That will be the core of your base, try wedging the branch in between to trees, make sure it is tall enough so you fit in, but not taller than your waist height. Find other branches and place them at a 45 degree angle on your branch and create a tent like shelter using this method. Use tree branches to cover your tent up, pine branches work the best as they still have needles on and they maintain most of the heat instead heat.

You should not build any part of your camp on ice, try to stay at least 6 to 8 feet away from water/ice. Not only can your gear get wet but you also risk melting the ice, making in weak enough not too support your shelter’s weight. An often overlooked aspect of fire making is the roof, make sure the roof is not flammable and keep the fire a distance away from your shelter.

Liquid

As a final safety measure you should try boiling water, warm water keeps you warm and gives you the opportunity of making tea or coffee. That is, if you have tea or coffee at your disposal, at the same time you can make tea using a variety of plants and leaves in nature, be careful as not every plant/leaf is consumable and might be toxic or worse. Be positive the plant you choose to boil down into tea is safe. You can also try boiling the water down and using a plastic wrap to collect steam, which is just water, but impurity free.

Water is not hard to come by, primarily during winter, snow itself is water, all you have to do is grab a big bowl of snow and let it melt next to a warm place. Ice is water too but is harder to melt so I would just stick to snow as it makes your life a whole lot easier. River water is also drinkable, there might be debris and bacteria left in it so once again, boil it until it’s no longer a danger for you.

A Stroll In The Arid Desert

Has your head ever gone “I should take a long walk, in this seemingly dangerous desert!”. Nope? That’s good, because you have to get this : desert is one of the few places on earth you should find yourself in, no matter the situation. It’s harsh and ruthless, and you won’t last a day without proper preparation and tools. Just like his sister, the polar deserts, they have the same ideology but worse conditions and fewer chances of making in through the night. The funny thing about those two is that in one you will get killed by the heat and the other by cold, but at night it’s cold that gets you in both. You need a fire to live through an arid desert, even when the heat of day can reach 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. Arid deserts get colder than you’d think at night, close to freezing temperatures on some occasions. The contrast between day and night is incredible, like magnets, they cancel each other out. Disclaimer, please do keep in mind that everything here is just advice, I have no experience regarding this and I’m just using common sense, act on your own judgement.

Conserving Energy

Do not, by any means, waste all your energy with one task. That includes starting to run thinking you’ll escape faster, it will only exhaust you. Don’t do anything that isn’t worth over doing. Besides getting exhausted in a matter of minutes if you don’t normally jog or do any cardio, your body will also start sweating resulting in a massive loss of water levels. You should also take note of this, during the day, wear something on your head, a hat, a shirt, anything that can protect your head from the sun light. If you don’t, you risk headaches and possibly even puking. Running will not get you home faster, it only lowers your chances of being rescued and you will dehydrate faster than you would when walking.

a stroll in the desert

Being stranded in the desert is a serious matter, you will not last even a day without being hydrated. Do all that is needed to get water, but make sure to filter it to avoid impurities. Some people say the best way to tackle the desert is to relax during the day, while the sun is up and burning and try to cover as much ground as possible during the night. It’s true, at night it is easier to make more progress as you don’t have to deal with the sun or sweat, but other dangers lurk in the shadows. One danger is not being able to spot snakes, they roam the desert at night, being cold blooded and all they prefer darkness. Reptiles are very territorial so stay away from them as much as possible, they mostly detect vibrations in order to find pray as some species have very poor vision. The other danger of traveling in darkness is not being able to see where you step, you could fracture your leg or even worse.

A Way Out

Roads and rivers represent your way out, if you come across a road or a river, follow it, they lead to civilization most of the time, especially roads. They are your first class tickets to a safe haven and a promise for tomorrow. Take it. Roads are also littered with danger, snakes, coyotes and more, keep an eye out and be safe before making a choice you might regret. Just because you reached any of those doesn’t mean your journey is over, you still need to watch your water levels and your pace. Baby steps, you will eventually find other people, until then focus on surviving.

road in the desert

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