SURVIVORMAN (TV show about camping/survival)

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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Since I've been stuck at home recovering from double foot surgery I've been watching too much TV.

One show I stumbled upon is SURVIVORMAN

I've wondered about posting this in the TV/Entertainment area, but the whole show is about surviving an emergency for 7 days. Basically ultra-light camping. This guy has been stuck in Canada, with an episode that started where he tipped his canoe into a river, then needed to get out, dry off, and hike for days. He had NO food. 1 match. A "Multi-tool" and his wits. Oh, and it snowed a couple days, so it was cold. Food consisted of soom roots, grubs, etc.

Another show he was tossed off a boat off the coast of Belize, in an emergency raft. The raft had "emergency gear" but the gear was not stowed in a waterproof bag. The flairs got wet. The flashlight didn't work. Basically the gear was worthless. (I would LOVE to know the brand name of that raft because the gear sucked) He made a solar still to evaporate drinking water, ate raw conch, etc. First food he had was on day #5 of his 7 days.

To top it off, the bottom raft started to leak and the air chambers started losing air too :oops:

Has anyone faced any survial issues out in the field, even overnight or maybe for a couple days?

I've never felt out of control or in real fear (thankfully) while out camping and never been in a situation like a plane crash/boat crash/etc. The closest I came was a 8 day power failure where we had to use a generator to power the house during a winter storm when the temps reached -20, but I had plenty of fuel so that doesn't count!!!
 

DaveNay

Klaatu barada nikto
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B_Skurka said:
Has anyone faced any survial issues out in the field, even overnight or maybe for a couple days?

I once had to spend 12 hours at my mother in laws for Thanksgiving dinner.
 

Kwiens

New member
DaveNay said:
I once had to spend 12 hours at my mother in laws for Thanksgiving dinner.

ONLY 12 hours???!!!, Wienie.:yum:

Once I forgot to pickup my mother-in-law from the train station at 2 in the morning. I went to mother-in-law hell. It was my fault, I set my alarm clock for 1:30 PM. DOH!

K
 

Bobcat

Je Suis Charlie Hebdo
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Here's one...

One of my favorite hikes with my dog (a white German Sheppard named 'Chama') is along the Santa Barbara River to Jicarita Peak in the Pecos Wilderness. It isn't too far from home yet secluded enough that it doesn't get a lot of traffic. It has a lot of vertical and normally I hike it in spring or fall when it's not too warm. Chama doesn't do so well in the heat either. One year I decided to try it in December.

As I started on the trail, it began to snow a little. There were already a couple of feet on the ground. I don't know what the temperature was; I don't usually pay attention to temperatures as long as it’s 68F or less. After a couple of hours and a few miles in with some altitude gain, it was a whiteout. The pack trail I was following averages just a few feet wide and the terrain is steep enough that you can stretch your left arm out and lean against the hillside. With trees on either side it was pretty easy to stay on the trail despite not being able to see very far ahead. There were a few spots where landslides had wiped out the trees and I had to carefully pick my way across the open ground. During one of these crossings I slipped.

The ground seemed to go out from under me and I slid on my left hip down the slope. About a hundred feet down my right leg caught under a log as the rest of my body tried to go forward over the top. As my leg bent under the strain, I expected to hear a snap. Instead I fell back down on the upslope. Fortunately I had not been sliding fast enough to break it, but I was in pain. I pulled myself out from under the log and took a moment to figure out what happened and what to do next. Chama was sniffing around me trying to figure out what was wrong or what the new game was. I tried to stand but it hurt too much. I looked up hill and didn't think I could crawl back up. Checking my cool new Garmin Etrex Legend GPS that I had preloaded with waypoints, I saw there were no flat areas along the trail near there where I could pitch my tent. However, I had also marked the location of a forest service cabin just a couple of miles on the other side of the river below me. I never thought I'd be looking for the cabin as a haven; it was just something else I could program into my cool new toy. The river was farther down the slope than the trail was above, but I was sure it would be easier crawling downhill in snow than crawling uphill.

I half crawled/half rolled down the hill, occasionally hitting my elbows and knees on rocks just below the snow surface, until it flattened out to a small meadow next the river. I guess it would actually be more of a delta formed by the landslide. Near the river I could hear water flowing. That was a bad thing. The river wasn't completely frozen over and where there was ice it wasn't thick enough to support me. I wasn't going to risk getting wet and then cold looking for a cabin I had only seen on a topo map.

I knew my hands were cold while I was crawling around, but I have had cold hands before. However, I had never tried to remove a pack and set up a tent with no grip. Right about now I felt my first twinge of panic. If I couldn't make a shelter of some sort and get warm pretty soon, I would be in big trouble. Chama was oblivious, darting here and there, digging in the snow once in a while. How I envied him and his fluffy white fur coat. But I digress. How the heck was I going to get my pack off, pull out my tent, and set it up without feeling in my hands? Put on a pair of boxing gloves and follow along with me…

With the top of my hand I was able to release the straps of my pack enough to slide out from it. The same technique released my tent from where it was strapped to the outside of my pack. Getting the tent out of its bag was a little tougher. It has one of those little spring-loaded whozie-whatzits cinching a string tight around the opening of the bag. Holding the string between my palms, I was able to chomp down on the whozie-whatzit and slide it up the string. The bag has a piece of strap attached across the bottom that I was able to slip my hand through and shake the tent out. I had to stand a little to spread the tent out. My tent is a dome type (North Face Mountain Tent) that self-stands with just two poles in it. The poles snap together pretty easily with their shock cords, but feeding them through the slots in the tent was a little more challenging. Finally got the tent up and it was sad looking saggy affair. Nevertheless, it was home for now.

I dragged all of my gear into the tent and spread out my sleeping bag. It took some effort to get it open and as soon as it was, Chama slipped by me and curled up in it. Great, my nice dry sleeping bag was now wet. Didn’t know whether to yell at him or laugh at myself, so I did a little of both. Anyway, managed to roll my cloths off and get into the bag. Couldn’t zip it up though, but Chama helped warm my feet by sleeping on them all night. For me it was a cold, painful night without much sleep.

By morning my hands were warmed up and I could fire up a can of sterno to make breakfast and coffee inside the tent. I always carry a can of sterno for just such an emergency. It was a good thing I’d taken my pants off the night before. My knee had swollen up so much I might not have been able to get them off later. So there I lay for two days and two nights with an occasional hobble outside to take care of only the most pressing of business. On the third morning I felt capable of walking and was tired of lying there anyway.

I packed my gear and zigzagged back up to the trail. While that was painful, it was nothing compared to the ~6 mile walk downhill. I remember every painful step. I think it is far more painful to walk downhill with a knee injury than up. Getting into my Jeep at the trailhead was also ridiculously painful, and I would suffer that ever day for almost a month.

So anyway, not much of a ‘survival’ story really, especially compared to the mother-in-law experiences above. If this wasn’t too boring, I do have a few more that I’ll save till later. By the way, turns out I had entered the cabin coordinates wrong and it was about 5 miles away. I would have got wet crossing the river to get to a cabin that I wouldn’t have been able to find.
:oops:
 

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Snowcat Operations

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Thats a survival story if I ever heard one! Someone with less experience would have tried to cross the creek. They would have been found a few months later!
 

Snowcat Operations

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My survival story really is not a survival story but could have ended up as one. Before hand held GPS units and before I knew I should have a map and compass I went turkey hunting in a unfamiliar area. After an all day hunt which finally proved succesful I decided I would take a short cut back to my truck. What should have taken me 2 hours hike ended up a 3 and it was starting to get dark and cold. Since I knew I was now WRONG about this short cut I back tracked to the base of the trail that would get me to my truck which was another 3 miles up the side of a mountain. I was so tired that I had to stop every ten steps and rest about the last hour on the trail. I did have a little "survival" kit LMAO. It consisted of a few pieces of hard cany. I layed down on a log and eat those. This gave me the energy to make to my truck non stop from that point. On this mountain trail you could touch the side of the mountain. It was a very steep accent. Anyway I learned a valuable lesson and at a young age (16?) and now when I head out I take Topo maps, compass, GPS and comm gear. I leave a detailed map with the wife and leave an impression of my boot prints. (lay a piece of aluminum foil on the carpet and step on it) I carry 3 days of food and water if possible. I have several means to start a fire and have a general knowledge of the terrain I will be in. I also dress in layers. I learned the above boot print tech from my days as a tracker with a Search and Rescue unit I use to work with when I lived in Arizona.
 

Snowcat Operations

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Bob S
Survivorman is a great show. I wish they would go into more detail when he cleans whatever he finds and kills for food. Also its a good idea to always carry (on your person) a mini survival kit. Mainly a way to start a fire even if its wet. This show shows that you can loose your pack that contains all your survival gear. BUT whats on you tends to stay with you.
 

Snowcat Operations

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These items I carry in various pockets when I go hiking as a minimum ( a short hike away from home usually about 45 min with the kids). I also keep a small roll of hard candy but I usually by that before I go along with bottled water. A small pocket knife or folding knife is also always with me.
 

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California

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I think the most under-appreciated survival tool is the Bic cigarette lighter. When I used to go up and run a suction dredge all weekend on the mining claim, it was not unusual to drop my Bic out of my shirt pocket into the water. All it needed to get it running was to blow the water out of the sparker.

One stayed in the creek overnight, and another was underwater for a week buried in a tailing pile, and both went right back into service when I fished them out. Indestructible.

I never had one quit unexpectedly in daily use, from when they were introduced (1960's?) to 1988 when I quit smoking. The flame just gets smaller over a few days, warning that the fuel is getting low.

It is a good idea to take along something that you can set on fire with the Bic, but I don't see a need for any other type of primary fire starter. I've always carried a 3-pack of the little Bic's in the first aid kit and a couple in the kitchen box or backpack, as backup stove lighters. And one in my pocket.
 

Melensdad

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I think the most under-appreciated survival tool is the Bic cigarette lighter.
My wife always wants to know why I keep a lighter in the car. I honestly don't know why I do, but it seems to come in handy all the time!!!
 

Snowcat Operations

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Bic Lighters are great. I have several stashed through out my variuos survival kits. At high altitude some lighters I have found dont work. I have a "Survival" butane torch like lighter that NEVER worked above 7,000 feet period. I spent $40 on it and ended up giving it to a friend who smokes. It was actually pretty cool and would be fine in Lower alltitudes but not where I live. My house is at 7,000'.
 

Bobcat

Je Suis Charlie Hebdo
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In response to Bone...

Gist of it is that I didn't (and never do) go to the hospital and am not sure exactly what the injury was. The list of possiblities given my lack of medical knowledge includes hyper-extended, sprained, twisted, dislocated, etc. The swelling went down while I was in the tent for a couple of days but the pain continued for a couple of months.

I have a history of being manly (stupid). One time at work I had my left hand crushed between two large steel cable reels with a mile of cable on each. My hand appeared to be crushed almost flat but I kept working. Later it swelled up horribly and turned purple/black. All of my fingernails fell off. Didn't go to the doctor. Took me about month of constant work to get my fingers to bend enough to form a fist. The only lasting indication of the incident is little white nodules in the joints (cartilage maybe?). I suppose I'm going to have some arthritis problems there when I get older.
 
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