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Improvisation - Trademark of the True Survivor

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Location: Packing my stuff and moving to Denver like you should be doing

PostWed Nov 18, 2009 7:36 pm » by Savwafair2012

We all know the importance of survival kits, preparedness and planning in case we land in a life threatening situation. However, disasters and accidents do not come after a week's or a month's warning: their most lethal weapon, in fact, is the advantage of surprise that they hold over us, and the decisiveness with which they can destruct us.

Many of us may not have our survival kits handy when disaster strikes, and would consequently be left with little equipment to the mercy of natural phenomena. Therefore, the key element to survival is improvisation: the ability to put available resources to their best use and mould a situation to your advantage. Therefore you must know tricks and tips for converting natural materials to weapons, transport, clothing, or shelter.

In extreme temperatures or in jungles where wild animals may attack, your first priority will be to get into a shelter. You must, therefore, know how to convert available material into suitable refuge. a classic example is to convert a hollow tree into a temporary residence. Make sure that you check if dangerous animals or insects are already occupying the place where you want to take refuge. For a hollow tree, do not make a very wide entrance. Cover the entrance with sticks and grass to keep out animals as well as rain or wind.

Also, a debris hut made in a jungle or forest is a good way of using available resources. It is made by creating a tripod like structure using stout sticks or braches, and then weaving through with thin sticks, vines and grass. Even in deserts, as well as extremely cold environments, this type of shelter can be built if there is enough living or dead vegetation. If the weaving is thick enough, it can provide shelter from sandstorms in deserts and partial refuge from snowstorms in cold regions, as well as insulation from extreme temperatures.

In rocky, arid mountains, you can use natural outcroppings of rock to shelter under, or caves to take refuge in. in coastal areas too, caves can be found for habitation. The point is that you do not have to sleep in the open just because you did not think to bring tents and blankets with you. Use natural shelters that will help you battle ill conditions.

Apart from shelter, weapons can be improvised from natural materials, to ward off dangerous animals or even people if you end up in enemy territory. Stone, bones or shells can be beat against other stones or rocks to sharpen the edges. A sharpened tool can then be tied to a makeshift handle using any string like material, like grass or vines. Hammers can be created the same way, and can be used to hunt or to solidify your shelter.

The point is to believe that anything you need will be somewhere around you. You only need to make unconventional uses of apparently unnecessary items in order to fulfill your needs. For example, you can use a plastic bag as a raincoat, or to gather water. An old T-shirt can absorb morning dew from plants to give you a drink. The spare tire in your car can be burned to give a black, noticeable column of smoke that may lead to your rescue. The only requirement is to think creatively, "out of the box", have a strong will to survive and hence make the circumstances work for you instead of against you.

Find more survival tips and tricks at

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