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HomeSurvival

Wilderness Survival

Generally speaking, "survival" falls into one of two broad categories:
  1. Staying alive until help arrives and you're rescued
  2. Living in the wilderness as a way of life

The emphasis here is mostly on the second approach, although the two overlap, of course. The first approach would include, for example, how to utilize your vehicle for helping you to stay alive, advice on whether you should try to hike out back to civilization or not, and so on. There's very little of that kind of material here (at least so far).

The focus here is on living in the wilderness in a primitive fashion. That means without guns, axes, other manufactured items, log cabins, and so on. Although, again, manufactured items are not excluded from the material that is presented here.

Of course, all the material presented here can aid you in both staying alive until help arrives, as well as in living in the wilds in a primitive or semi-primitive fashion, whether it be as a hobby or in a conscious effort to live close to the land.

 

DISCLAIMER

All of the information on this website is offered with the assumption that you and others will exercise proper caution and care in doing any of the things that are presented on this site.

YOU, and ONLY YOU, are responsible for the use to which you put this material. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Some activities related to wilderness survival can be dangerous if done without proper care and attention. Please be careful and attentive when engaging in any of these activities.

In other words be reasonable, responsible, take proper precautions, and exercise common sense.

The techniques shown on this website are meant solely for use in primitive wilderness survival situations. Please note that in most places it is illegal to use these methods to capture animals unless you are actually in a survival situation.

 

Fire
 
 

 

 
Water
  • Purification of Water
  • Sources of Water

 

Shelter

  • Debris huts
  • Wigwams 
  • Snow shelters 
  • Thatch shelters 
  • Brush shelters
  • Trees
  • Caves
  • Natural shelters
  • Scout pits 
  • Yurts 
  • Teepees

 
 
Furniture
  • Beds, seating, etc.

 
Clothing
  • Birch bark shoes
  • Hats
  • Snow goggles
  • Buttons

 

    I once asked Stalking Wolf, "Grandfather, how come you're not cold in the winter or hot in the summer?"
    He said, "I am, but heat and cold do not bother me."
    I asked why not, and after a long pause in which he seemed to be weighing whether or not I was ready for his answer, he said, "Because they're real."
-- Tom Brown Jr, from Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking


  

Cordage

  • Cordage from various materials: Dogbane, Leatherwood, Roots, Agave, Swamp Milkweed, Nettles, Basswood
  • Pictures of Finished Cordage
  • Techniques
  • Collecting & preparing materials

 

Traps

  • Figure 4 deadfall trigger
  • "No-knife" Figure-4 deadfall trigger
  • "One-stick" Figure-4 deadfall trigger
  • "No-knife", "One-stick" Figure-4 deadfall trigger
  • Paiute Deadfall 
  • Paiute Spring Stick 
  • Bait Stick Deadfall 
  • Split Stick Deadfall 
  • Friction Point Split StickTrigger
  • John McPherson Style Deadfall 
  • Spring Traps

 
 

Snares

  • Rolling Snare 
  • Plug Snare 
  • Bird Snares 
  • Pencil Snare 

 
The Tracker Knife
  • A versatile all-purpose survival knife designed by Tom Brown Jr.

 
Hunting
  • Bow & arrow
  • Slings
  • Throwing sticks
  • Blowgun

  • Animal calls
  • stories

Fishing
  • Fish hooks & spears

Food & Cooking
  • Edible & poisonous wild plants & fungi
  • Finding and preparing wild foods
  • Cooking methods

 

"If you have a choice to do a vision quest or a week long survival, do the survival. You will learn so much more"
--Tom Brown Jr.

 
Hides 
  • Hides being prepared, techniques, experiences

 

Containers

  • Making baskets, bowls, and other containers
  • Birchbark, wood, hide, twining, pottery, natural found containers
  • Stone containers

 

"Over the years I have come to realize the importance of all physical skills in the philosophy of living as one with the Earth. It was not just the skills of tracking and awareness that are important, but also the skills of survival. In the times before the reservations, according to Grandfather, the Native Americans held all practice of the physical skills in the same esteem that they held the highest spiritual ceremonies and sacred objects. As the sacred, religious skills were for the survival of the spirit, the physical skills were for the survival of the flesh. One could not exist without the other, for both were considered to be sacred gifts from the Creator."
-- Tom Brown Jr, from The Science and Art of Tracking


  
Stone
  • Working with stone to make stone containers, decorations, lamps, tools

 

Tools 

  • Bone & stone tools

  

Flint Knapping

  • Techniques & materials
  • Finished arrowheads

 
Pitch & Glue
  • Notes & articles on these essential materials

 
 
Young People

Teaching survival skills
  • Teaching the skills to others

Winter
  • Snowshoes
  • Snow goggles
  • Shelters
  • Fire
  • More

 
Vision
  • Snow goggles
  • Survival visionwear

 
Health
  • Personal hygiene, health
  • Illness and injury
  • Snakebite, rabies
  • Lyme Disease

 

 
Navigation
  • Tips on how to find your way in the wilds
  • Improvised compasses

 
Emergency preparedness
  • How to be ready for an emergency

 

 
Lights, Lamps, Torches
  • Primitive survival lamps, lights, torches

 
Musical Instruments

 
Practicing Wilderness Survival Skills
  • Tips on how to practice survival skills in a busy modern-day life

 

 
Miscellaneous Survival Topics
  • Various survival topics not covered above

 

  


What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
    --Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator