Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teaching Children What to DO When They Get Lost

There's not a lot of reliable guidance around for parents to refer to when teaching their children what to do if they were to get lost.  Gaye Grabill's book Jace Gets Lost goes a long way towards providing parents of younger children the knowledge they need.  The fifty-five page book begins with the story of Jace's experience when he walked away from his home and got lost.  The story, written at a young child's level of comprehension, with accompanying pictures, is a story that every parent should read to their children.  The story serves as a springboard for further discussion with your children on what they should do in the event that they ever become separated from family members on a outing.  Grabill even provides a list of topics to cover.  I recommend this book.  It is the only one of its kind that I know of. 

As Gaye says on her website "I decided to write my first book “Jace Gets Lost” when I looked for a safety book for little children telling them what they should do if they get lost in the woods - and could not find one.  With the generous help of North Oregon Regional Search and Rescue – NORSAR and Clackamas County Sheriff I put together Jace Gets Lost.  

As parents we hope that we will never be faced with a situation where one of our children is missing but it would be comforting to know that, if this were to happen, the child has been taught what to do.  Go one step further than just reading Gaye's book and talking about what to do.  Take your children to the woods and have them practice building a nest.  Make sure they understand the concept of staying in one place. Take them out at night, a dark night, and sit under a tree with them.  Let them hear the "night sounds" and then explain those sounds to them.  There's nothing more terrifying than a sound in the dark that can't be identified!  It is also a good idea to provide each child their own survival kit.  Parents should take heart in the fact that kids are a lot tougher than we sometimes give them credit for.  Spend some time with them now before a crisis happens and then, if it should happen, the outcome of the event can be a happy reunion.

For a copy of Jace Gets Lost and other books in the  Jace series contact Gaye Grabill at www.gayegrabill.com

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fire under survival conditions may save your life by Leon Pantenburg

Review: Peter Kummerfeldt’s ‘A Better Way to Build a Fire’

Posted on November 13th, 2011 by Leon in Make a Fire, Peter Kummerfeldt: Tips

I met Peter Kummerfeldt several years ago at the Deschutes County Sportsmans Show, in Redmond, OR after I dropped in during his “Myths of Survival” presentation.  With no idea of who this guy was, or his abilities, I sat in on the seminar out of curiosity. (After all, I had a survival kit, and had been knocking around the backcountry for decades while backpacking, hunting and fishing. I knew what I was doing…I thought!) At the end of the hour-long session, and numerous “ah-ha” moments, I followed Peter back to his booth and plied him with questions.
Later, Peter became an expert source for a winter survival guide I wrote for the Bend, OR “Bulletin.”  Since then, Peter have become my friend, mentor, guest contributor for SurvivalCommonSense.com and my main go-to source for any question about wilderness survival. Peter is also on the short list of people I like to hang around with.  Read more

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Getting Yourself Rescued/

This morning I listened to the hospital interview of an elderly man who had just been rescued after spending five days stranded in his car in the Arizona mountains.  He survived – his wife did not!   The couple, both in their eighties, had become stranded when their car broke down while taking a short-cut on their way home between Chandler, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The road, a US Forest Service Road that is not maintained in the winter, is seldom traveled at this time of year.  They stayed with the car until it ran out of fuel and then, after five days, decided to walk out.  Mrs. Davis collapsed and died shortly after leaving the car.   With the electronic equipment that is currently available Mrs. Davis’s death could have been prevented.  If they had had a SPOT ™ beacon or one of the other brands of beacons that are easy to use and very effective for alerting family members, or the authorities that they were in trouble they would have been found quickly and rescued.  Read more

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Surviving Lions and Beetles

My wife and I spent the past month in South Africa and Zambia participating in a photography safari.  Had a wonderful time.  Also had a few "interesting times" too.  One of which is describe below.  Typically, when you are on one of these photo-safaris, you go on two "game-drives" each day.  One in the morning, often leaving before sun-up, and then returning for a late brunch. And then one in the late afternoon that extends into the night.  After the sun sets one of the guides, "the spotter" brings out a large spotlight and, as you travel slowly down the road, he searches for the eyes of any nocturnal animals that might be out and about.  When he sees the reflections the vehicle stops and for a few moments you watch the nighttime activities of whatever animal you have discovered.  A good spotter, once he has detected the animal never shines the light in the animal's eyes again but illuminates it using the edge of the beam of light - plenty to see the animal without disturbing it. 
It was on one of these evening drives that the following happened:

The evening started rather unspectacularly with not much being seen except a few impala.  Long after dark the spotter saw some eyes that turned out to be two, and then three lions about fifty yards away.  When turning off the road to get closer the driver didn’t see a very large warthog hole into which the front end of the Land Cruiser disappeared!  The lions came closer.  The driver got out to see what could be done about the situation while the spotter tried to keep tabs on the lions and at the same time illuminate the hole so that the driver could see what needed to be done. What was hilarious was watching the antics of the two staff trying pay attention to the whereabouts of the cats while at the same time fend off the insects which were attracted to the headlights and the spot light.  It had rained earlier in the day - the flying ants were swarming and the air was thick with beetles and other assorted insects that crawled all over the driver and his helper.  It got so bad they had to cease their efforts to get us unstuck and go into the dark and strip off their clothing to rid themselves of the insects.  For the four of photographers sitting in the back of a completely open vehicle in the dark it was both scary and hilarious at the same time.  Because we were mostly in the dark the bugs didn't bother us as much as the others.

After finding out that digging with a jack handle (no shovel was available) wasn’t going to cut it and that the small bottle jack (that might have allowed a tire to be changed but I’m doubtful) wasn’t going to work we came to a standstill.  Meanwhile the three lions, two male and a female were even closer and now lying under a bush watching the goings-on!  Long story short – Mark and I eventually got out of the vehicle and, assisted by the spotter, grasped the bumper bar and lifted the front-end out of the hole!  I think the lions were disappointed!

We watched the lions for about another thirty minutes and then made our way back to camp.  By now we were late for dinner and the camp staff were wondering where we were.  The four hyenas and the porcupine we ran into along the way made us even later for dinner!

It is the unexpected situations like this that make our annual trips to southern Africa memorable.