Archive for November, 2007

The Doberman Pinscher

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by creeprabbit


The Doberman Pinscher is a working class dog, bred to work closely at the side of his owner.  Keeping this in mind, it’s important  to realize that this breed needs interaction and socialization with humans often.  It’s not the type of dog to be tied up in the  backyard.  Not only is this unhealthy, but it will ensure that your dog will remain shy and be unfit for human contact.  Taking  into consideration this breeds classification as a ‘working breed’, it’s obvious that the Doberman is a high energy dog, requiring  daily exercise to keep them fit and happy.  They are known for being determined, fearless, and assertive, however not vicious.  A  vicious dog is never born that way, but trained.

Socializing the puppy from a young age will help a great deal as the pup grows to keep them people oriented.  Keep in mind that  this breed is often targetted under the Breed Specific Legislation, and is unwelcome in some counties.  The bad reputation the  Doberman has acquired it mostly due to the use of them in movies as vicious dogs.  The best example of this is seen in the movie  ‘The Omen’, where the Doberman Pinscher is used as a minion to the antichrist.  Before the movie hype, the Doberman had a  reputation as a military and police working dog, obviously not as a ‘bad guy’.

From this breeds history, the Doberman Pinscher became the classic guard dog that most people see them as today. The Doberman’s  innate protectiveness of their ‘pack’ (i.e. you) helps with this.  This breed is known for always wanting to be phsyically close  to their owners, a trait often listed in their temperment being ‘protective’.  It would take a brave man to come between a  Doberman and his owner.  This is a devoted and watchful breed, and needs an owner that is not afraid to take the lead.

All family members should know how to handle this high energy dog.  Some Dobermans are family dogs, while others preferring to  bond with only one person.  However, as in the case with most dogs, Dobermans will know when their handler is hesitant, and will  attempt to dominate them quickly.  That is simply how a dog pack works.

Doberman Pinschers have many talents including man tracking, watchdogging, guarding, personal protection, police K9 work, military  K9 work, search & rescue, therapy work, competitive obedience and schutzhund.  Schutzhand is the the german term for competitive  working dog competitions.

Camouflage, FM 21-76

Posted in Combat, Fighting, Survival with tags , , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged

Chapter 21


In a survival situation, especially in a hostile environment, you may find it necessary to camouflage yourself, your equipment, and your movement. Effective camouflage may mean the difference between survival and capture by the enemy. Camouflage and movement techniques, such as stalking, will also help you get animals or game for food using primitive weapons and skills.


21-1. When camouflaging yourself, consider that certain shapes are particular to humans. The enemy will look for these shapes. The shape of a hat, helmet, or black boots can give you away. Even animals know and run from the shape of a human silhouette. Break up your outline by placing small amounts of vegetation from the surrounding area in your uniform, equipment, and headgear. Try to reduce any shine from skin or equipment. Blend in with the surrounding colors and simulate the texture of your surroundings.


21-2. Change the outline of weapons and equipment by tying vegetation or strips of cloth onto them. Make sure the added camouflage does not hinder the equipment’s operation. When hiding, cover yourself and your equipment with leaves, grass, or other local debris. Conceal any signaling devices you have prepared, but keep them ready for use.


21-3. Each area of the world and each climatic condition (arctic/winter, temperate/jungle, or swamp/desert) has color patterns and textures that are natural for that area. While color is self-explanatory, texture defines the surface characteristics of something when looking at it. For example, surface textures may be smooth, rough, rocky, leafy, or many other possible combinations. Use color and texture together to camouflage yourself effectively. It makes little sense to cover yourself with dead, brown vegetation in the middle of a large grassy field. Similarly, it would be useless to camouflage yourself with green grass in the middle of a desert or rocky area.

21-4. To hide and camouflage movement in any specific area of the world, you must take on the color and texture of the immediate surroundings. Use natural or man-made materials to camouflage yourself. A few examples include camouflage paint, charcoal from burned paper or wood, mud, grass, leaves, strips of cloth or burlap, pine boughs, and camouflaged uniforms.

21-5. Cover all areas of exposed skin, including face, hands, neck, and ears. Use camouflage paint, charcoal, or mud to camouflage yourself. Cover areas that stick out more and catch more light (forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin, and ears) with a darker color. Cover other areas, particularly recessed or shaded areas (around the eyes and under the chin), with lighter colors. Be sure to use an irregular pattern. Attach vegetation from the area or strips of cloth of the proper color to clothing and equipment. If you use vegetation, replace it as it wilts. As you move through an area, be alert to the color changes and modify your camouflage colors as necessary.

21-6. Figure 21-1 gives a general idea of how to apply camouflage for various areas and climates. Use appropriate colors for your surroundings. The blotches or slashes will help to simulate texture.

Figure 21-1. Camouflage Methods for Specific Areas

Figure 21-1. Camouflage Methods for Specific Areas


21-7. As skin gets oily, it becomes shiny. Equipment with worn-off paint is also shiny. Even painted objects, if smooth, may shine. Glass objects such as mirrors, glasses, binoculars, and telescopes shine. You must cover these glass objects when not in use. Anything that shines will automatically attract attention and will give away your location.

21-8. Whenever possible, wash oily skin and reapply camouflage. Skin oil will wash off camouflage, so reapply it frequently. If you must wear glasses, camouflage them by applying a thin layer of dust to the outside of the lenses. This layer of dust will reduce the reflection of light. Cover shiny spots on equipment by painting, covering with mud, or wrapping with cloth or tape. Pay particular attention to covering boot eyelets, buckles on equipment, watches and jewelry, zippers, and uniform insignia. Carry a signal mirror in its designed pouch or in a pocket with the mirror portion facing your body.


21-9. When hiding or traveling, stay in the deepest part of the shadows. The outer edges of the shadows are lighter and the deeper parts are darker. Remember, if you are in an area where there is plenty of vegetation, keep as much vegetation between you and a potential enemy as possible. This action will make it very hard for the enemy to see you as the vegetation will partially mask you from his view. Forcing an enemy to look through many layers of masking vegetation will fatigue his eyes very quickly.

21-10. When traveling, especially in built-up areas at night, be aware of where you cast your shadow. It may extend out around the corner of a building and give away your position. Also, if you are in a dark shadow and there is a light source to one side, an enemy on the other side can see your silhouette against the light.


21-11. Movement, especially fast movement, attracts attention. If possible, avoid movement in the presence of an enemy. If capture appears imminent in your present location and you must move, move away slowly, making as little noise as possible. By moving slowly in a survival situation, you decrease the chance of detection and conserve energy that you may need for long-term survival or long-distance evasion.

21-12. When moving past obstacles, avoid going over them. If you must climb over an obstacle, keep your body level with its top to avoid silhouetting yourself. Do not silhouette yourself against the skyline when crossing hills or ridges. When you are moving, you will have difficulty detecting the movement of others. Stop frequently, listen, and look around slowly to detect signs of hostile movement.


21-13. Noise attracts attention, especially if there is a sequence of loud noises such as several snapping twigs. If possible, avoid making any noise. Slow your pace as much as necessary to avoid making noise when moving around or away from possible threats.

21-14. Use background noises to cover the noise of your movement. Sounds of aircraft, trucks, generators, strong winds, and people talking will cover some or all the sounds produced by your movement. Rain will mask a lot of movement noise, but it also reduces your ability to detect potential enemy noise.


21-15. Whether hunting animals or avoiding the enemy, it is always wise to camouflage the scent associated with humans. Start by washing yourself and your clothes without using soap. This washing method removes soap and body odors. Avoiding strong smelling foods, such as garlic, helps reduce body odors. Do not use tobacco products, candy, gum, or cosmetics.

21-16. You can use aromatic herbs or plants to wash yourself and your clothing, to rub on your body and clothing, or to chew on to camouflage your breath. Pine needles, mint, or any similar aromatic plant will help camouflage your scent from both animals and humans. Standing in smoke from a fire can help mask your scent from animals. While animals are afraid of fresh smoke from a fire, older smoke scents are normal smells after forest fires and do not scare them.

21-17. While traveling, use your sense of smell to help you find or avoid humans. Pay attention to smells associated with humans, such as fire, cigarettes, gasoline, oil, soap, and food. Such smells may alert you to their presence long before you can see or hear them, depending on wind speed and direction. Note the wind’s direction and, when possible, approach from or skirt around on the downwind side when nearing humans or animals.


21-18. Sometimes you need to move, undetected, to or from a location. You need more than just camouflage to make these moves successfully. The ability to stalk or move without making any sudden quick movement or loud noise is essential to avoiding detection. Always pick your route carefully to keep you concealed; use trenches, slight rises in terrain, thick vegetation for concealment. Avoid lateral movement to the observer unless you have good concealment, otherwise stalk straight in toward the observer.

21-19. You must practice stalking if it is to be effective. Use the following techniques when practicing.


21-20. Take steps about half your normal stride when stalking in the upright position. Such strides help you to maintain your balance. You should be able to stop at any point in that movement and hold that position as long as necessary. Curl the toes up out of the way when stepping down so the outside edge of the ball of the foot touches the ground. Feel for sticks and twigs that may snap when you place your weight on them. If you start to step on one, lift your foot and move it. After making contact with the outside edge of the ball of your foot, roll to the inside ball of your foot, place your heel down, followed by your toes. Then gradually shift your weight forward to the front foot. Lift the back foot to about knee height and start the process over again.

21-21. Keep your hands and arms close to your body and avoid waving them about or hitting vegetation. When moving in a crouch, you gain extra support by placing your hands on your knees. One step usually takes 1 minute to complete, but the time it takes will depend on the situation.


21-22. Crawl on your hands and knees when the vegetation is too low to allow you to walk upright without being seen. Move one limb at a time and be sure to set it down softly, feeling for anything that may snap and make noise. Be careful that your toes and heels do not catch on vegetation.


21-23. To stalk in the prone position, you do a low, modified push-up on your hands and toes, moving yourself forward slightly, and then lowering yourself again slowly. Avoid dragging and scraping along the ground as this makes excessive noise and leaves large trails for trackers to follow.


21-24. Before stalking an animal, select the best route. If the animal is moving, you will need an intercepting route. Pick a route that puts objects between you and the animal to conceal your movement from it. By positioning yourself in this way, you will be able to move faster, until you pass that object. Some objects such as large rocks and trees may totally conceal you, and others such as small bushes and grass may only partially conceal you. Pick the route that offers the best concealment and requires the least amount of effort.

21-25. Keep your eyes on the animal and stop when it looks your way or turns its ears your way, especially if it suspects your presence. As you get close, squint your eyes slightly to conceal both the light-dark contrast of the whites of the eyes and any shine from your eyes. Keep your mouth closed so that the animal does not see the whiteness or shine of your teeth.


21-26. Along with camouflage of your body, you need to camouflage your movement from visual trackers. Antitracking techniques should be used; countertracking techniques are of little use to the evader, as they would pinpoint his location or route. During movement this can be accomplished by using the following methods:

  • Restore vegetation—Use a stick to lift the vegetation you crushed down during movement through it. This can slow you down and it is hard to tell if you are being effective.
  • Brush out tracks—Use a tree branch to brush or pat out tracks in open ground. This is effective in concealing the number in the party, but leaves obvious signs in itself.
  • Use hard or stony ground—Using this type of terrain minimizes the signs you leave slowing the visual tracker.
  • Make abrupt direction changes—Using this technique combined with the use of hard or stony ground can be very effective in slowing the visual tracker as it will be much harder to detect the direction change.
  • Use well-used paths—Although the use of paths is not advisable, there may be times you can use them to your advantage. For example, if you have been in an area long enough to surveil the path to determine the traffic patterns, you could use the path prior to a farmer moving a heard of cows down the path, eliminating your sign.
  • Use foot coverings—They can assist in aging or virtually eliminating your signs. Examples include sandbags, rags, old socks, or commercial foot coverings made from imitation sheepskin (these seem to work the best).
  • Change footgear—Use this method in an area such as hard or stony ground. Vary the tread pattern.
  • Use custom footgear—Militaries generally have a standard issue footgear, although with the world economy, this is changing. If you know that the area you are working in has a standard issue footgear, you may want to acquire a pair or have that tread pattern put on your boots.
  • Walk backwards—This can be useful at times but there are pitfalls to avoid. Avoid turning your foot out. When you look over your left shoulder your left foot tends to turn outward and visa versa. Avoid dragging dirt backwards. Try to place your footfalls so that the toe indention is deeper than your heel indention to give the appearance of moving forward.
  • Confuse the start point—Whatever the point on the ground you start your evasion, try to confuse it by walking numerous cloverleaf patterns out of and back into it before you leave on your initial route (this can assist in delaying dog trackers also).
  • Use streams, lakes, waterways—This is a judgement call on your part. Ask yourself: Is the stream moving in the direction you need to go? Is it fast or slow moving water? Will it put you that much farther ahead of the trackers? (Note: You will leave more signs upon exiting the water.)
  • Crossing roads or paths with the traffic pattern—When crossing roads or paths try to cross with the direction of travel, not perpendicular, this will assist in your tracks blending into normal traffic patterns and making them harder to follow.
  • Careful placement of footfalls leaving little heel or toe dig—Try to leave as little sign as possible. Last but not least, always vary your techniques so as not to educate the tracker as to what to look for if he loses the track!


21-27. When trying to elude dog trackers always remember you are trying to beat the handler not the dog! Whatever you do, it should be done to either tire the handler or decrease the handler’s confidence in his dog. Some techniques to use against dog tracker teams are as follows:

  • Open ground—Although this is a danger area, if the wind is high it will blow the scent to vegetated areas; thus the team will not be directly on your tracks and it will slow the team’s progression.
  • Thick terrain—Using a zigzag pattern of movement will slow and tire the handler and possibly decrease the handler’s confidence.
  • Hard or stony ground—In high winds or high temperatures these areas will dissipate your scent quicker, increasing the chance of the dog losing the track.
  • Crowded places—If the dog is not scent-specific trained, and you move through an area where many other people have recently been he may lose the track.
  • Freshly plowed or fertilized fields—The dog may lose the track in these areas due to the overpowering scent of fresh dirt and human or animal manure used as fertilizer (do not rely too much on this theory).
  • Speed—Try to maintain a constant speed. Try not to run. Running increases the scent, due to more soil and vegetation disturbance and more body odor from sweat or adrenaline.
  • Transportation—Using a vehicle will greatly increase your time and distance but you could still be tracked; however, it would be at a much slower pace.

Field-Expedient Direction Finding, FM 21-76

Posted in Navigation, Survival with tags , , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged

Chapter 18

Field-Expedient Direction Finding

In a survival situation, you will be extremely fortunate if you happen to have a map and compass. If you do have these two pieces of equipment, you will most likely be able to move toward help. If you are not proficient in using a map and compass, you must take the steps to gain this skill.

There are several methods by which you can determine direction by using the sun and the stars. These methods, however, will give you only a general direction. You can come up with a more nearly true direction if you know the terrain of the territory or country.

You must learn all you can about the terrain of the country or territory to which you or your unit may be sent, especially any prominent features or landmarks. This knowledge of the terrain together with using the methods explained below will let you come up with fairly true directions to help you navigate.


18-1. The earth’s relationship to the sun can help you to determine direction on earth. The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west, but not exactly due east or due west. There is also some seasonal variation. Shadows will move in the opposite direction of the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, they will move from west to east, and will point north at noon. In the Southern Hemisphere, shadows will indicate south at noon. With practice, you can use shadows to determine both direction and time of day. The shadow methods used for direction finding are the shadow-tip and watch methods.


18-2. In the first shadow-tip method, find a straight stick 1 meter (3 feet) long, and a level spot free of brush on which the stick will cast a definite shadow. This method is simple and accurate and consists of four steps:

  • Step 1. Place the stick or branch into the ground at a level spot where it will cast a distinctive shadow. Mark the shadow’s tip with a stone, twig, or other means. This first shadow mark is always west—everywhere on earth.
  • Step 2. Wait 10 to 15 minutes until the shadow tip moves a few centimeters. Mark the shadow tip’s new position in the same way as the first. This mark will represent East.
  • Step 3. Draw a straight line through the two marks to obtain an approximate east-west line.
  • Step 4. Stand with the first mark (west) to your left and the second mark to your right—you are now facing north. This fact is true everywhere on earth.

18-3. An alternate method is more accurate but requires more time. Set up your shadow stick and mark the first shadow in the morning. Use a piece of string to draw a clean arc through this mark and around the stick. At midday, the shadow will shrink and disappear. In the afternoon, it will lengthen again and at the point where it touches the arc, make a second mark. Draw a line through the two marks to get an accurate east-west line (Figure 18-1).

Figure 18-1. Shadow-Tip Method

Figure 18-1. Shadow-Tip Method


18-4. You can also determine direction using a common or analog watch—one that has hands. The direction will be accurate if you are using true local time, without any changes for daylight savings time. Remember, the further you are from the equator, the more accurate this method will be. If you only have a digital watch, draw a clock face on a circle of paper with the correct time on it and use it to determine your direction at that time. You may also choose to draw a clock face on the ground or lay your watch on the ground for a more accurate reading.

18-5. In the Northern Hemisphere, hold the watch horizontal and point the hour hand at the sun. Bisect the angle between the hour hand and the 12-o’clock mark to get the north-south line (Figure 18-2). If there is any doubt as to which end of the line is north, remember that the sun rises in the east, sets in the west, and is due south at noon. The sun is in the east before noon and in the west after noon.

Figure 18-2. Watch Method

Figure 18-2. Watch Method

NOTE: If your watch is set on daylight savings time, use the midway point between the hour hand and 1 o’clock to determine the north-south line.

18-6. In the Southern Hemisphere, point the watch’s 12-o’clock mark toward the sun; a midpoint halfway between 12 and the hour hand will give you the north-south line (Figure 18-2).

18-7. Another method is called the 24-hour clock method. Take the local military time and divide it by two. Imagine this result to now represent the hour hand. In the Northern Hemisphere, point this resulting hour hand at the sun, and the 12 will point north. For example, it is 1400 hours. Divide 1400 by two and the answer is 700, which will represent the hour. Holding the watch horizontal, point the 7 at the sun and 12 will point north. In the Southern Hemisphere, point the 12 at the sun, and the resulting “hour” from the division will point south.


18-8. Because the moon has no light of its own, we can only see it when it reflects the sun’s light. As it orbits the earth on its 28-day circuit, the shape of the reflected light varies according to its position. We say there is a new moon or no moon when it is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. Then, as it moves away from the earth’s shadow, it begins to reflect light from its right side and waxes to become a full moon before waning, or losing shape, to appear as a sliver on the left side. You can use this information to identify direction.

18-9. If the moon rises before the sun has set, the illuminated side will be the west. If the moon rises after midnight, the illuminated side will be the east. This obvious discovery provides us with a rough east-west reference during the night.


18-10. Your location in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere determines which constellation you use to determine your north or south direction. Each sky is explained below.


18-11. The main constellations to learn are the Ursa Major, also known as the Big Dipper or the Plow, and Cassiopeia, also known as the Lazy W (Figure 18-3). Use them to locate Polaris, also known as the polestar or the North Star. Polaris is considered to remain stationary, as it rotates only 1.08 degrees around the northern celestial pole. The North Star is the last star of the Little Dipper’s handle and can be confused with the Big Dipper. However, the Little Dipper is made up of seven rather dim stars and is not easily seen unless you are far away from any town or city lights. Prevent confusion by attempting to use both the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia together. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia are generally opposite each other and rotate counterclockwise around Polaris, with Polaris in the center. The Big Dipper is a seven-star constellation in the shape of a dipper. The two stars forming the outer lip of this dipper are the “pointer stars” because they point to the North Star. Mentally draw a line from the outer bottom star to the outer top star of the Big Dipper’s bucket. Extend this line about five times the distance between the pointer stars. You will find the North Star along this line. You may also note that the North Star can always be found at the same approximate vertical angle above the horizon as the northern line of latitude you are located on. For example, if you are at 35 degrees north latitude, Polaris will be easier to find if you scan the sky at 35 degrees off the horizon. This will help to lessen the area of the sky in which to locate the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, and the North Star.

Figure 18-3. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia

Figure 18-3. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia

18-12. Cassiopeia or the Lazy W has five stars that form a shape like a “W.” One side of the “W” appears flattened or “lazy.” The North Star can be found by bisecting the angle formed on the lazy side. Extend this line about five times the distance between the bottom of the “W” and the top. The North Star is located between Cassiopeia and the Ursa Major (Big Dipper).

18-13. After locating the North Star, locate the North Pole or true north by drawing an imaginary line directly to the earth.


18-14. Because there is no single star bright enough to be easily recognized near the south celestial pole, you can use a constellation known as the Southern Cross. You can use it as a signpost to the South (Figure 18-4). The Southern Cross or Crux has five stars. Its four brightest stars form a cross. The two stars that make up the Cross’s long axis are used as a guideline. To determine south, imagine a distance four-and-one-half to five times the distance between these stars and the horizon. The pointer stars to the left of the Southern Cross serve two purposes. First, they provide an additional cue toward south by imagining a line from the stars toward the ground. Second, the pointer stars help accurately identify the true Southern Cross from the False Cross. The intersection of the Southern Cross and the two pointer stars is very dark and devoid of stars. This area is called the coal sac. Look down to the horizon from this imaginary point and select a landmark to steer by. In a static survival situation, you can fix this location in daylight if you drive stakes in the ground at night to point the way.

Figure 18-4. Southern Cross

Figure 18-4. Southern Cross


18-15. You can construct improvised compasses using a piece of ferrous metal that can be needleshaped or a flat double-edged razor blade and a piece of thread or long hair from which to suspend it. You can magnetize or polarize the metal by slowly stroking it in one direction on a piece of silk or carefully through your hair using deliberate strokes. You can also polarize metal by stroking it repeatedly at one end with a magnet. Always stroke in one direction only. If you have a battery and some electric wire, you can polarize the metal electrically. The wire should be insulated. If it is not insulated, wrap the metal object in a single, thin strip of paper or a leaf to prevent contact. The battery must be a minimum of 2 volts. Form a coil with the electric wire and touch its ends to the battery’s terminals. Repeatedly insert one end of the metal object in and out of the coil. The needle will become an electromagnet. When suspended from a piece of nonmetallic string, or floated on a small piece of wood, cork or a leaf in water, it will align itself with a north-south line.

18-16. You can construct a more elaborate improvised compass using a sewing needle or thin metallic object, a nonmetallic container (for example, the cut-off bottom of a plastic container or soft drink bottle), and the silver tip from a pen. To construct this compass, take an ordinary sewing needle and break in half. One half will form your direction pointer and the other will act as the pivot point. Push the portion used as the pivot point through the bottom center of your container; this portion should be flush on the bottom and not interfere with the lid. Attach the center of the other portion (the pointer) of the needle on the pen’s silver tip using glue, tree sap, or melted plastic. Magnetize one end of the pointer and rest it on the pivot point.


18-17. The old saying about using moss on a tree to indicate north is not considered accurate because moss grows completely around some trees. Actually, growth is more lush on the side of the tree facing the south in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa in the southern hemisphere. If there are several felled trees around for comparison, look at the stumps. Growth is more vigorous on the side toward the equator and the tree growth rings will be more widely spaced. On the other hand, the tree growth rings will be closer together on the side toward the poles.

18-18. Wind direction may be helpful in some instances where there are prevailing directions and you know what they are.

18-19. Recognizing the differences between vegetation and moisture patterns on north- and south-facing slopes can aid in determining direction. In the Northern Hemisphere, north-facing slopes receive less sun than south-facing slopes and are therefore cooler and damper. In the summer, north-facing slopes retain patches of snow. In the winter, trees and open areas on south-facing slopes and the southern side of boulders and large rocks are the first to lose their snow. The ground snowpack is also shallower due to the warming effects of the sun. In the Southern Hemisphere, all of these effects will be the opposite.

Cooking and Eating Utensils, FM 21-76

Posted in Cooking, Survival with tags , , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


12-38. You can use many materials to make equipment for the cooking, eating, and storing of food. Usually all materials can serve some type of purpose when in a survival situation.


12-39. Use wood, bone, horn, bark, or other similar material to make bowls. To make wooden bowls, use a hollowed out piece of wood that will hold your food and enough water to cook it in. Hang the wooden container over the fire and add hot rocks to the water and food. Remove the rocks as they cool and add more hot rocks until your food is cooked.


Do not use rocks with air pockets, such as limestone and sandstone. They may explode while heating in the fire.

12-40. You can also use this method with containers made of bark or leaves. However, these containers will burn above the waterline unless you keep them moist or keep the fire low.

12-41. A section of bamboo also works very well for cooking. Be sure you cut out a section between two sealed joints (Figure 12-11).

Figure 12-11. Containers for Boiling Food

Figure 12-11. Containers for Boiling Food


A sealed section of bamboo will explode if heated because of trapped air and water in the section.


12-42. Carve forks, knives, and spoons from nonresinous woods so that you do not get a wood resin aftertaste or do not taint the food. Nonresinous woods include oak, birch, and other hardwood trees.

NOTE: Do not use those trees that secrete a syrup or resinlike liquid on the bark or when cut.


12-43. You can make pots from turtle shells or wood. As described with bowls, using hot rocks in a hollowed out piece of wood is very effective. Bamboo is the best wood for making cooking containers.

12-44. To use turtle shells, first thoroughly boil the upper portion of the shell. Then use it to heat food and water over a flame (Figure 12-11).


12-45. Make water bottles from the stomachs of larger animals. Thoroughly flush the stomach out with water, then tie off the bottom. Leave the top open, with some means of fastening it closed.

Clothing and Insulation, FM 21-76

Posted in Clothing, Survival with tags , , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


12-34. You can use many materials for clothing and insulation. Both man-made materials, such as parachutes, and natural materials, such as skins and plant materials, are available and offer significant protection.


12-35. Consider the entire parachute assembly as a resource. Use every piece of material and hardware, to include the canopy, suspension lines, connector snaps, and parachute harness. Before disassembling the parachute, consider all of your survival requirements and plan to use different portions of the parachute accordingly. For example, consider shelter requirements, need for a rucksack, and any additional clothing or insulation needs.


12-36. The selection of animal skins in a survival situation will most often be limited to what you manage to trap or hunt. However, if there is an abundance of wildlife, select the hides of larger animals with heavier coats and large fat content. Do not use the skins of infected or diseased animals if possible. Since they live in the wild, animals are carriers of pests such as ticks, lice, and fleas. Because of these pests, use water to thoroughly clean any skin obtained from any animal. If water is not available, at least shake out the skin thoroughly. As with rawhide, lay out the skin and remove all fat and meat. Dry the skin completely. Use the hindquarter joint areas to make shoes, mittens, or socks. Wear the hide with the fur to the inside for its insulating factor.


12-37. Several plants are sources of insulation from cold. Cattail is a marshland plant found along lakes, ponds, and the backwaters of rivers. The fuzz on the tops of the stalks forms dead air spaces and makes a good down-like insulation when placed between two pieces of material. Milkweed has pollenlike seeds that act as good insulation. The husk fibers from coconuts are very good for weaving ropes and, when dried, make excellent tinder and insulation.

Rucksack Construction, FM 21-76

Posted in Clothing, Survival, Tools with tags , , , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


12-30. The materials for constructing a rucksack or pack are almost limitless. You can use wood, bamboo, rope, plant fiber, clothing, animal skins, canvas, and many other materials to make a pack.

12-31. There are several construction techniques for rucksacks. Many are very elaborate, but those that are simple and easy are often the most readily made in a survival situation.


12-32. This pack is simple to make and use and relatively comfortable to carry over one shoulder. Lay available square-shaped material, such as poncho, blanket, or canvas, flat on the ground. Lay items on one edge of the material. Pad the hard items. Roll the material (with the items) toward the opposite edge and tie both ends securely. Add extra ties along the length of the bundle. You can drape the pack over one shoulder with a line connecting the two ends (Figure 12-9).

Figure 12-9. Horseshoe Pack

Figure 12-9. Horseshoe Pack


12-33. This pack is easy to construct if rope or cordage is available. Otherwise, you must first make cordage. To make this pack, construct a square frame from bamboo, limbs, or sticks. Size will vary for each person and the amount of equipment carried (Figure 12-10).

Figure 12-10. Square Pack

Figure 12-10. Square Pack

Cordage and Lashing, FM 21-76

Posted in Survival, Tools with tags , , , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


12-25. Many materials are strong enough for use as cordage and lashing. A number of natural and man-made materials are available in a survival situation. For example, you can make a cotton web belt much more useful by unraveling it. You can then use the string for other purposes (fishing line, thread for sewing, and lashing).


12-26. Before making cordage, there are a few simple tests you can do to determine you material’s suitability. First, pull on a length of the material to test for strength. Next, twist it between your fingers and roll the fibers together. If it withstands this handling and does not snap apart, tie an overhand knot with the fibers and gently tighten. If the knot does not break, the material is usable. Figure 12-8 shows various methods of making cordage.

Figure 12-8. Making Lines From Plant Fibers

Figure 12-8. Making Lines From Plant Fibers


12-27. The best natural material for lashing small objects is sinew. You can make sinew from the tendons of large game, such as deer. Remove the tendons from the game and dry them completely. Smash the dried tendons so that they separate into fibers. Moisten the fibers and twist them into a continuous strand. If you need stronger lashing material, you can braid the strands. When you use sinew for small lashings, you do not need knots as the moistened sinew is sticky and it hardens when dry.

12-28. You can shred and braid plant fibers from the inner bark of some trees to make cord. You can use the linden, elm, hickory, white oak, mulberry, chestnut, and red and white cedar trees. After you make the cord, test it to be sure it is strong enough for your purpose. You can make these materials stronger by braiding several strands together.

12-29. You can use rawhide for larger lashing jobs. Make rawhide from the skins of medium or large game. After skinning the animal, remove any excess fat and any pieces of meat from the skin. Dry the skin completely. You do not need to stretch it as long as there are no folds to trap moisture. You do not have to remove the hair from the skin. Cut the skin while it is dry. Make cuts about 6 millimeters (1/4 inch) wide. Start from the center of the hide and make one continuous circular cut, working clockwise to the hide’s outer edge. Soak the rawhide for 2 to 4 hours or until it is soft. Use it wet, stretching it as much as possible while applying it. It will be strong and durable when it dries.

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