Survival Guide

Choosing a camp site

Better camp site: more cover. Less deadfall. Initial campsite a watering ground – not safe. You find another during the course of the game. Priorities: first aid, shelter, water, fire, signalling.


Signs of dehydration: frequency of urination, colour of urine. First sign of dehydration: if you’re thirsty, first sign of dehydration. If you haven’t been to the bathroom once every two hours maximum, you’re dehydrated. If urine colour is darker than straw yellow, you’re dehydrated. Get three to four litres of water per day. 

Hydration: boiling water

To build fire and tend fire you need water as you’re setting the fire up to boil more water. 12-packs of chlorine dioxide tablets to disinfect 250 mls of water per tablet if you don’t have time to build fire. Also use a water filer and drink directly from the water. Filters have a litre limit and hose. Still a chance of getting a disease. Resource: hydration in the body.


Lateral drift: you'll favour the right or left side and eventually walk in circles.

Navigation: if you know of a major landmark in a certain direction, you can use a compass. Magnifying glass on some compasses will start a solar ignition fire. Mirror on compass where you can see your face in mirror. Compass: allows you to walk a straight line. Lateral drift: unless you have something in clear sight and see it, you can’t walk in a straight line. If you pick a ridge and can pick an object on that you can keep straight. Visual bearing that you ‘plug’ into a compass.

Use bright coloured objects as bearings. In forest, objects in different places.

Compass: point compass at object. Move needle into dog house. Then walk in a steady direction. Close non-dominant eye, aim at object, open both eyes, check. Keep compass in middle of body, needle in dog house. As long as you keep it in the middle of the dog house. Watch you don’t have metal objects on your hand or near the needle.

Get a visual bearing on something that’s straight, pointing at it and keeping the needle in the dog house.

Compass: glow in the dark. 2 lines under north: ‘dog house’. Maintain needle in the dog house to walk a straight line.


Compass with mirror for signalling. 180 degrees depending on sun direction. From shore out to the water.

3 of anything: I need help. Morse code. Repetitive pattern of signalling to get attention.

Smoke generator: tripod lashed together with some cordage, deadfall shelf. Build a tinder bundle on ledge. On top: pine needles, pine cones to smolder with smoke. Lasts about 15 minutes.  


Fire: comfort, peace of mind, warmth at night, signalling. 

Building a fire: prepare for a fire. Fire needs fuel, oxygen from air, and combustion. Sure fire: heavily combustible material with accelerant that will catch fire by fume. Fire steel (pharaceum rod) with built in rod for sparks. Wax cake of burnable material for fire tender that will burn for six to seven minutes. Waterproof tinder: open up to expose fibres inside that should be dry because impregnated wih wax. Dryer tinder -> wetter tinder.  Tinder: highly combustible. Kinding: sticks that are pencil size and smaller, down to the size of needles. Fuel: larger fuel.

Bundle up firewood to carry back to camp. Thin cloth.

Use bigger fuel to build a fence around raised bottle, with kindling on top placed around bottle. Spread the fuel out. Leave room for oxygen: spread it out. Leave one side open, light tinder and slide inside under kindling. Let kindling burn, then add fuel over, then let burn. The more you can set to burn itself without expending calories, the better. But the more fuel you burn, the more you have to find. 

In game: you have to have someone close to the fire in certain circumstances.


Carry a container with you. Metal bottle with cup over the top. Getting the bottle or cup above the bottom of the fire is important. Hottest part is three centimeters above the base. Put pack stove on the ground and build fire around it, allowing oxygen underneath the bottle. Dump water between containers and boil again. Use stick to lift items off and onto heightened metal platform in fire.   Edible plants

Amaranth, wild asparagus, burdock, cattail, clovers, chicory, chickweed, curled dock, dandelion (roots, leaves, and flower), field pennycress, fireweed, plantain, purslane, sheep sorrel (not in large quantities), white mustard, wood sorrel, chufa, daylily, nettle, oaks, persimmon, pokeweed, strawberries, thistle, lotus, wild onion and garlic, wild rose, sassafras, chestnut, beechnut, blueberries, blackberries, arrowroot.


Lady Ferns: minor cuts, rashes, stinging nettle burns. Marijuana: depression and anxiety relief, reduced blood pressure, pain alleviation, glaucoma treatment.Poppy (in tea): anxiety; (in stew (whole plant)): stronger decoction. Blood Flower: expectorant, purifies poisons. Mint: headaches, nausea, calming the stomach, reducing nervousness and fatigue.  Korean mint/Indian mint/hyssop: antiviral for cold and flu. Whatever continent you’re on, some type of mint is usually to be found. Eat whole, garnish food or make tea to get the all purpose health benefits.

Alfalfa is fodder for livestock for a reason: richin minerals and health-promoting nutrients and compounds. With roots that grow 20 to 30 feet deep, alfalfa is considered the “father of all plants”. (It also contains a high amount of protein for a green.) Alfalfa originally grew in the Mediterranean and Middle East but has now spread to most of Europe and the Americans. It can treat morning sickness, nausea, kidney stones, kidney pain and urinary discomfort. It is a powerful diuretic and has a bit of stimulant power, helping to energize after a bout with illness. It’s a liver and bowel cleanser and long-term can help reduce cholesterol. You can purchase seeds and sprouts, but it’s fine to eat the leaves straight from the earth.

Catnip has health properties that are great for humans, too. Catnip can relieve cold symptoms (helpful if you’re on a camping trip and don’t have access to Nyquil). It’s useful in breaking a fever as it promotes sweating. Catnip also helps stop excessive bleeding andswelling when applied rather than ingested.

Sage is an incredibly useful herb, widely considered to be perhaps the most valuable herb. It is anti-flammatory, anti-oxidant, and antifungal. Sage aids digestion, relieves cramps, reduces diarrhea, dries up phlegm, fights colds, reduces inflammation and swelling, acts as a salve for cuts and burns, and kills bacteria.

Marjoram has many uses (it’s a famous digestive aid) but it is effective as an antifungal, antibacterial and disinfectant treatment in a pinch.

Sweet Violet:  Native to Europe and Asia, sweet violet is cultivated around the world and is a pleasant, delicate purple color. When brewed into a syrup the plant is effective as a treatment for colds, flu and coughs or sore throat. However, when made as a tea, it is wonderfully effective for relieving headaches and muscle and body pain.

Winter savory is your savior against insect bites and stings. One of the most effective natural plant treatments for bug bites is originally from Europe and the Mediterranean but often shows up elsewhere thanks to global trade. Is an antiseptic.

Other stuff (Barks, roots)

Willow bark -  eases pain and reduces inflammation.


Insect larvae: boil to kill parasites. Larvae of wasps. Grey, tiered, paper-like nest found underground.

Wood beetle larvae just beneath the bark of dead trees, standing or fallen. Roll over a dead tree using a lever and check the compressed earth beneath it. Larvae might be at the surface, protected by the tree. Pull away bark and look for larvae implanted in exposed tunnels. Parent beetles often hide larvae in tunnels in the wood.

Corral larvae and earthworms in a confined area where the only food is ground up seeds like nuts, so you can force out waster material from their digestive tracts. Then boil.


Fish: catch crayfish by hand.

Twist line from clothes fibers or yucca leaves, cattail roots, milkweed, dogbane, blackberry, or ironweed stems, and the inner bark of hickory, basswood, walnut, black locust, hawthorne, pawpaw, and tulip magnolia.

Three pronged spear with reversed barbs.

Hand or spearing fish.

Corralling a stream to one side, into a stone corral. People would stand beating the water in the stream to get fish into the corral. Close gate. Small quantities of crushed leaves, roots, or fruit of toxic plants added to water to stun fish. Crushed yucca root, walnut husks, buckeye nuts.


Meat from elusive land animals: hide and wait along a known animal path. Call an animal with a coaxing sound. Move towards an animal until close enough to make use of a killing tool. Hiding and waiting requires accurate tracking and signs. Body control, mental discipline, patience, agility.

Lure animals into a waiting place. Use sounds with the mouth or blow into an acorn cap or whittled call device or mimic animal sounds – rattling found antlers. Or use a visual lure like a feather attached to a bush. Or use fire in a clay bowl in a dug-out canoe – draws deer to a riverbank so an archer could shoot.  Smells: animal oil, crushed aromatic plants, rotting meat, honey. These things should be kept out of site in a campsite!
Own body scent works against a hunter. Use the inner bark of hemlock trees, dried and ground into powder, as an odor-eater. Chemistry absorbs human scent.


Stalking physically more demanding and riskier because motion might be detected. Requires muscular control and balance so that movement is not discenerable: slow-motion walk, ten feet in fifteen minutes.

Weapons for stalking: stone, club, throwing stick, sling, spear, spear launching device, bow and arrow (most difficult to make). Throwing stick: tree limb 1 .25 inches thick, the length of elbow to fingertips plus one hand. Used as mallet, shovel, bludgeon, and fruit and nut liberator from high branches.

Yellow-jacket wasps: venom is powerful and they will protect the nest if it is active. Approach before dawn. Torch with acrid properties set upwind so fumes surround the digging area.  Dig with sharpened sticks. Take nest, split open, brush away adults, then run.

Hornet nests: tear drop-shaped nests of grey paper suspended from tree limbs.


Trapping requires knowledge of animal movement patterns, dietary likes and dislikes, making your structures appear ‘natural.’ Locate areas of high activity by ‘reading’ the landscape. Scout areas around sources of water and edge environments. Spot trails, runs, day beds, lays, and feeding areas. Trails are heavily used tunnels or paths. Note animal scat, hair or such. Wild animals will follow the easiest route available unless they’re pursing or being pursued.

Avoid eating any creature that shows signs of illness.

Rollling snare: a noose from wire, string, or cord, positioned to ‘lassoo’ animal. Placed directly along a well-travelled animal run or trail. The animal puts its head through the loop, trigger is released, and a sapling to which the noose is tied whips upright. Depends on size of the animal – if on a trail used by animals larger than those you’re after. Good in cold weather .

Figure four deadfall: baited trap that when triggered allows a weight to drop on the animal, often killing it outright.

Trigger: three sticks, two about six inches long. Third stick about eight inches. Weight usually a large flat rock or log. Four deadfall should never be directly in a line of travel: rather, near trails or established feeding areas. The vertical stake should not be positioned beneath the rock or log, should be attached to the crosspiece and as far under the weight as practical. A small fence of twigs around the outer portion of the upright can prevent an animal from inadvertently setting off the trigger when not under the log or rock.

Basic shelter and sleeping:

Stuff a bag with leaves to create a sleeping bag. Moisture barrier towards to ground. Blanket. Clothing including outerwear. In cold weather, have four inches of compressed leaf matter between you and the ground.


Shelter: loop cord between two trees. Use a slip knot on both for adjustment. Adjust height to reduce or gain heat for breeze and heat with closeness to fireplace.

Wrap treated blanket over. Tie one corner to loop. Cut three pieces of cord a foot long. Create a loop in all three. Use the lines to stake the corners of the blanket down. Three corners staked to the ground. Diamond shape for heat. More rectangular shape: take a loop and pass the line over the loop several times for a 'self-tightening' knot; use a stake as a toggle; tighten. Stake the other two corners

Lean-tos allow more wind through in hot weather.

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