Excerpts from Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps by Wanda & William Priday, Chapter 8 Navigation, Travel & Signaling

No phone, no compass, no problem. Learn how to navigate directions day or night without modern technology in Chapter 8 Navigation and Signaling.  If you’re traveling roads and interstates in the US, learn how the road numbering system conveys vital directional information.  Need to be rescued? Multiple ways to signal for help are relayed in this chapter.  


An East-West orientation can be obtained by using a stick, pebbles and the sun (Fig. 8-1) Push a 2’ stick into a flat patch of sunny ground at a 90o angle. Mark the tip of where the shadow falls with a pebble. Wait 15 minutes and place another pebble at the tip of where the shadow falls. Draw a line between the 2 pebbles. This line is oriented to the East and West. The longer you wait, the longer your space between markers will be and the more accurate your reading will be. You can also use a straight edge and hold it directly over the pebble markers to extend the line. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.  Once you know your East-West orientation, you can then determine North/South.

A North-South orientation can be obtained by knowing what time it is. Point the hour hand of a watch or clock directly at the sun. If your watch or phone has a digital readout, draw a clock face with hour and minute hands set to the actual time. Halfway between where the hour hand is pointing and 12 on the watch face is the North-South Line. Once you have determined your North – South Line, consider the following image (Fig. 8-2) to determine which is North and which is South.

The North Star does not move, all other stars rotate in a circle around it. Even if you cannot find the North Star you can still orient yourself at night. Find a thin forked stick, and a thin straight stick of similar length. Push the straight stick into the ground. Line it up with a star near the horizon. The forked stick is placed about 2’(feet) to the rear (as in a rear gun sight aperture) of the straight stick. Line up the star, the top of the straight stick and the Y of the forked stick. Try and imagine you have a rifle and are lining up your sights to shoot a star. You want to use a star near the horizon with greater movement, because stars closer to due North are circumpolar and will move in smaller circles. Watch to see which way the star moves from its original position for about 10 to 15 minutes. As the star moves, use the following directional key to decipher the direction you are facing.


If the star moved Right you would be facing South, if it moved Left and Up you would be oriented to the North East, Up and Right would be South East, etc. Remember the KEY to this is:


To ensure accuracy, repeat this process facing the opposite direction.  Your findings should lead you to the same conclusion if you have determined your orientation correctly both times.  For example, if your original finding was that you were facing West, your second finding (now facing opposite) should show you are facing East. There is also the off chance you have oriented on Venus, Mars or another visible planet, which will not give an accurate reading. Repeat the process using several different stars in the sky to ensure an accurate reading.


So, you don’t wear a watch and your cell phone is dead, damaged or lost. To tell the time of day, or how much daylight you have left, hold your hand flat, palm facing you, with your fingers parallel to the horizon, stacking your hands one on top the other, between the horizon and setting sun, allowing 15 minutes for each finger will give you the approximate hours of daylight left.


In the United States, you can tell whether an interstate highway runs north–south or east–west by its one or two-digit number. Although, in some cases an interstate doesn’t run exactly north to south or east to west, the number was assigned based on the road’s general direction.

Odd-numbered interstates run north–south, and the numbers increase as you travel from the West Coast (I-5) to the East coast (1-95).

Even-numbered interstates run east–west, and the numbers increase as you go from south (I-10) to north (1-94).

Interstate highways with three digits are those that connect to other major highways and interstates.

If the first number is an even number, it means the highway connects to another interstate highway at both ends, such as a beltway or a loop around a city.

If the first digit is an odd number, the highway is usually a spur route, which means it connects with an interstate at one end only, for example, a road that goes into a city.


Contrast in color and large movements are the keys to being spotted by rescue personnel.

Learn to use a signal mirror. Most come with the instructions on the back. If you don’t have a signal mirror, any mirror will do. Put two fingers out in front of you in a “peace” or “victory” sign. Use your fingers to sight in on the target you want to flash. Now with the reflective surface of the mirror facing away from you bring the mirror up between your eyes and your sighted target. Angle the mirror until you get the suns reflection on your sight. Keep in mind your target’s location in reference to the sun, you may need to pivot the mirror in a side to side motion, as well as up and down.

Carry a whistle. Yelling for help is definitely an option, but you will lose your voice quickly.  If you are alone, not a big deal, but if you are with others, you need your voice to communicate vital information with them to survive.

Our faithful survival chemical, potassium permanganate can be added to water to create a purple dye for a contrasting signal on the snow or light-colored ground.

Create what is called a buzz saw signal by tying cordage to your flashlight and swinging it in a circle to create contrast and movement at nighttime.  This signal can be seen by ground or air rescuers. Make sure it is securely tied or you could end up slinging your light into the great beyond or your survival partner’s head.

A tire, a shoe, rubber floor mat or any rubber material is flammable and when caught on a fire will create thick, black smoke and creates aerial contrast and movement. This method is most effective on a calm, windless day and less effective in high winds. Always remember to deflate a tire before burning. As a side note, if you don’t burn all your floor mats signaling for help, they serve as a moisture barrier and keep your butt dry and off the ground.

Three fires arranged in a regularly spaced row is an international distress signal. During the day, you can also attract attention with smoke. Green wood and leaves produce smoke. Start a fire using dry wood and add smoke producing material once it gets going.

Flares are an obvious signaling tool, ignite and wave it over your head or move in a circle to attract attention.

Flare guns are more effective than a flare, firing it up into the air allows you to clear visual obstructions and attract attention over several miles. Don’t point it at your face or another person. They can definitely cause injury.

Flags can be easily improvised, a national flag flown upside down is considered a distress symbol. In more recent years, this can also indicate an abandoned ship, national dissidence or a sign of war, subsequently not all countries recognize the inverted flag as a distress symbol.  However, a knot tied in any flag, a white flag or a flag with a square and a circle on it are all considered international distress symbols. (Seafaring vessels usually carry a pre-made orange SOS flag containing a square and circle.)

The above-mentioned visual signals can work, but sometimes you’ll need to communicate a more significant message to an aircraft. We’ve all seen movies where the actors use huge “SOS” signs on a beach to signal aircraft.  These are only effective when there is contrast between the “SOS” and the background. Create them with clothing, rocks, plants, sticks or anything else that’s clearly visible.

You will know that an airplane has spotted you when it tips its wings back and forth.  This is internationally known as the pilot saying, “I see you.”


Excerpts from Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps by Wanda & William Priday, Chapter 2 EDCs, BOBs, BUG Out/In & WROL

WROL scenarios mean the breakdown of society as we know it and if that happens personal security will be a high priority. In a WROL scenario, cover your windows from the inside with dark material, such as black trash bags or dark blankets or sheets. A week or 2 into WROL and people will be looking to take advantage of those with supplies. Blacking out your windows keeps others from seeing movement or lights (flashlights, candles, etc.) which indicate your presence.

Strew trash, furniture, debris and even feces on your lawn and porches to make your house appear as if it has already been looted and difficult to ingress.

Have stocks of ready to eat food to minimize cooking smells.

Be well armed. People regress when their lives are on the line and will be deadliest in WROL scenario. Read more in Chapter 7 Firearms & Security.

Stock up on toilet paper, alcohol, cigarettes and any medications, these will have value in WROL. Offering a cigarette or a drink could shift foe to friend.

Only keep pantry supplies that you can afford to lose to looters with you or in your home. Keep the remainder of your supplies in various caches that only you know their whereabouts.

One way to hide valuables in your home is to make those valuables look and smell as unattractive as possible.  Place old clothes, trash and towels in piles on top of your stashes, then urinate and defecate on them – NO ONE will dig through a pile of crap just to see what might be there.

This theory works for people too.  If you feel the need to, make yourself less of a target by smelling and looking bad.  Urine, feces and alcohol on your clothes will keep others at bay.

Making rudimentary armor from household items will give you an advantage in hand to hand combat and serves as a good place to keep a blade. Bracers around your forearms made from several layers of cardboard or a phone book and duct tape. Slide butter knives in between the layers will fortify the bracers. Grieves are primitive shin guards and can be made the same as bracers.

Place crushed glass on the floor by your windows and doors of your domicile to create noise if someone walks through. It is not an alarm, but an alert, so you can ambush them instead of vice versa.  Setting alarms, such as bells or glass jars above your doors will indicate to the trespasser that someone is present.

Place clothing against the bottom of your door. If it has been shifted or moved, it will indicate that someone has been there or is still there. Tape a strand of hair or strip of paper across the seam of windows and doors, so that if broken will show you someone has entered. Whether you choose to alarm upon entry or silently alert after the fact depends on whether you want to deter, confront or evade.

7 Ways to Safe Drinkable Water

Excerpt from Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps by Wanda & William Priday, Chapter 5 – Water

1. Always disinfect water when you can. Boiling is the most effective way to purify water. Boiling water will kill ALL biological contaminants, but will not remove chemicals, toxins, heavy metals or radioactivity. If you boil saltwater, the steam created is fresh water and if you boil all the water out, you are left with salt. Salt is important in all climates to maintain adequate electrolyte levels. To help replace electrolytes, add a small pinch of salt back into a liter of distilled water. If you need to boil water and you do not have a fireproof container, fill a container, such as a 5-gallon bucket, about halfway with water. Line the container bottom with small rocks (do not use sticks unless you are certain they are non-toxic and not poisonous) to protect the container from melting, and then add hot rocks from your fire into the container until the water bubbles and boils. Filter through a cloth or the above-mentioned filtration system to remove debris.

2. Iodine tincture 2% kills all biological contaminants except Cryptosporidium which comes from deer, goats, cows, sheep and elk. Pregnant women, children and those allergic to seafood should avoid this water purification method. Add 8-10 drops of iodine per liter of water and wait about 20 minutes.

3. Average household bleach containing 5% – 6% sodium hypochlorite disinfects water. Add bleach according to the chart below and wait 20 – 30 minutes before drinking. Bleach has a shelf life of no more than 1 year after its expiration date so rotating your stock is important. In an event that creates long term supply demands, it will most likely be an item that is initially available but over time become in high demand. 

.                                                 High Turbidity

Volume of Water to be TreatedBleach Solution to Add
1 quart/1 liter5 drops
1/2 gallon/2 quarts/2 liters10 drops
1 gallon1/4 teaspoon
5 gallons1 teaspoon
10 gallons2 teaspoons
Fig. 5-1 Bleach to Water Treatment

The chart above is for water that has high turbidity, such as muddy pond water or puddles. If the water you are disinfecting is clear to begin with, these amounts can be reduced in half.

4. Potassium  permanganate (a.k.a. Condy’s  Crystals  or  KMNO4)  disinfects bacteria from water. Add 3 – 4 crystals per liter of water and let sit for 2 hours. You want the water to be light pink which indicates enough potassium permanganate has been added to disinfect.

There are hundreds of water purification methods readily available on the market, whether tablet form, purification pumps or purification straws. Using iodine, bleach or potassium permanganate are recommended because they serve multiple purposes and are compact, easy to store methods.  Knowing what surplus water supply you will be using can narrow your method.  Be advised that due to the use of pesticides, mismanagement of industrial waste, boating accidents and other environmental hazards, many large bodies of water in the United States and abroad, such as Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River and the Potomac River are riddled with non-biological toxins that are not easily removed without specialized filtering systems. In some cases it is impossible to remove heavy metals/toxins to a safe drinking level, however if it is the only water available and you are on the verge of death from dehydration, you may want to drink it and deal with the toxicity concerns after you are rescued or out of the emergency situation.

5. Charcoal can be used to filter unwanted flavor and smell from water. Add charcoal to water when you boil it or pour water through a charcoal filter. This can be made by putting charcoal in a sock or piece of cloth and pouring the water through it and into a container. Making a larger water filtration system is easy. This method does not purify all contaminants from water, but it will reduce biological and chemical toxins and remove odors. Gather three or four 5-gallon buckets. Punch small holes in the bottom of 3 of the buckets. Half fill each bucket as follows. The top one gets gravel. The next gets sand. The bottom of the last bucket gets a piece of fabric or non-toxic plant fibers and then crushed charcoal from a fire. Add a fine layer of sand at the bottom of this bucket too if feasible. Stack the buckets one on top of the other, top – gravel, middle – sand and bottom – charcoal. Pour water into the top bucket and let it filter through. It won’t come out clear at first, so run the water through it repeatedly. It will eventually run clear. Again, this will not kill or remove all pathogens.  If you only have one container, you can layer the gravel, sand and charcoal in that container and allow to run through into a catchment device.

6. Transpiration devices can be made by using a plastic bag (no need to be clear) and filling them with non-toxic non-poisonous vegetation,  Fill the bag with green leaves, grass or other plant material such as roots, blow up the bag to add lots of air, tie of the bag and leave in the sun. This won’t work so well in cold climates.  In warm climates, the heat from the sealed bag will cause the plant material to evaporate moisture.  If your plant material was nontoxic/non-poisonous you will reclaim a small amount of water that has been evaporated from the plant material in the bag. This process will not yield much water, but a little water is better than none.

7. A distillation device can be made for both salt and fresh water, by using a clear plastic water bottle, you can create a solar distillation device. In an even circle, cut the bottom 3rd off of the clear plastic water bottle.  Take top 2/3rds portion of the bottle and make a 2 inch fold to the inside of the bottle. Fill up the 1/3 cutoff bottom with saltwater. Place the 2/3 top of the bottle over the bottom 1/3. Bury your bottle distiller in direct sun about 1 inch into the sand. The saltwater will evaporate and collect on the top 2/3rds portion of the bottle and potable water will run down the inside the top portion of the bottle into the portion you folded inside and up.  To get the clean, distilled water out, unscrew the top and pour out into another vessel. This will provide you with a few teaspoons of water.  For this method to be successful create multiple distillation devices. Fortunately (and unfortunately) you should have no problems finding plastic water bottles scattered on the beach, along roadsides or just about anywhere.  



  • Knife
  • Multi tool
  • Lighters
  • Micro Fishing Kit 
  • Mini Flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Mylar Survival Blanket
  • Water Bottle(s)
  • Eyeglasses
  • Essential and Common Medications
  • Identification & Copy of ICE (in case of emergency) contact list
  • Snack bar(s)

The short EDC checklist should be incorporated into the BOB checklist. The redundancies are intended. Your BOB becomes your EDC when you BO.


  • Machete & Saw
  • Small Spade/Shovel or Entrenching Tool
  • Knife (duplicate)
  • Multi tool (duplicate)
  • Blade sharpener
  • 550 cord
  • Duct Tape
  • Wire
  • Surveyors Tape
  • Cable Ties
  • Bungee Cords
  • Lighters (at least 3)
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Flares
  • Ferro rod/Mag bar 
  • Fishing kit (duplicate)
  • 1st Aid kit, including suture kit, ace bandages, & moleskin
  • Chapstick
  • LED Mini flashlights/Headlamps/Lantern
  • Batteries (AA, AAA, etc.)
  • Emergency USB charger
  • Tarps/Shower curtains
  • Additional Mylar Survival blankets
  • 2-quart wide mouth metal bottle w/ metal top / Wide metal cup
  • Food for 72 hrs – dried foods, peanut butter, drink mix, etc.
  • Water for 72 hrs or as much as you can carry
  • Water purification tablets/Water purifier or Life straw
  • Extra clothes – seasonally appropriate
  • Socks & Boots/Shoes you can walk comfortably in
  • Jacket/Poncho
  • Hat
  • Heavy-duty Leather Gloves
  • Extra Prescription Medications
  • Antihistamines/Ibuprofen/Activated Charcoal
  • Extra eyeglasses/Contact lenses
  • Toilet paper/Napkins/Tissues/ Wet wipes
  • Gallon Ziploc Baggies
  • Maps/Compass
  • Mini-Radio with solar or hand crank power backup
  • Childcare items as needed (diapers, sippy cup, blanket, etc)
  • Quick start fluid/Fuel/Tablets
  • Guns/Ammo
  • 5-Gallon Bucket (packed with BOB items and can fit in an Alice Pack)
  • A Towel 
  • Hardcopy of Survival Tips, Tricks & Traps by Wanda Priday & William Priday


Excerpts from Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps by Wanda Priday & William Priday

When bugging out you will encounter less predictable circumstances, regardless in some cases it will be safer to relocate. Maybe your bugging out to get to a more remote location or to be with a community of other self-reliant people you trust.

Have an escape route, from everywhere, all the time. Make note of where you drive and the places and landmarks you pass before an emergency hits. Satellites may go down and GPS or navigation software is notoriously unreliable in remote areas. Do not rely on your navigation app.

Have multiple bug out plans that vary the mode of transportation (by vehicle, on foot, motorbike, bicycle, or boat) and the location you are going to. If you live in an urban area, consider that people will be your biggest allies and adversaries, thus it makes sense for your group or family to get away from the hordes that will be vying for a small amount of resources.  Staying in the city a few days might be wise, to gather your gear, friends, family and review your exit plans.

Prearrange a location to meet at in case cell phones are not working.  From that meeting place, you can travel to a bug out/bug in location. Prepare that location and the route along the way with a cache of supplies to be used upon initial arrival.  An ideal location will be one that can provide for you on a long-term basis because it has shelter with a heat source (fire, fireplace or stove), water, food sources and woods for building and heating fuel.

During a crisis, stay alert while driving and understand that other drivers are stressed and distracted. Maintain a safe driving distance between yourself and other vehicles. Not only should you attempt to make this a daily practice, it could not be more important than in a critical situation. Leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you to maneuver into emergency lanes, onto the shoulder, sidewalk or median. When there is heavy traffic, or you are at a standstill, driving lanes could be permanently blocked.

Prepare and outfit your car for emergencies and survival in advance. If you become stranded while traveling, your car becomes your department store and your shelter. Have an emergency roadside kit in your car and know how to use it. Have a good, inflated spare tire, a tire changing kit and learn how to change a tire. Carry a can of fix-a-flat or 2 in your vehicle.

While having a clean car has its merits and comfort, a messy car could be your keys to survival. Just like a well-kept car, the messy car can be stripped of parts and used. However, the messy car is far more valuable in a survival situation. All that trash now becomes treasure, there may be stale food which is either bait or direct sustenance, fast food bags for fire starter, even the burger wrapper could be bait and containers like water and soda bottles will often have some liquid left in them and now have become suitable, but not necessarily desirable, option for caloric gain. A tin can is a container for cooking in, boiling in and sterilizing water. This list could go on and on and some of the items you may find or keep in your messy car have been addressed throughout the book.

A car can be literally stripped in a survival scenario to increase your survivability. Use the mirrors for signaling, the wires for cordage and the seats and mats for insulation. A car mat can become a sled to carry other items on, be made into a pair of flip flops, or used on a fire to create black smoke to signal rescue. Look at your car as a tool kit. Your car can be replaced, you cannot.

Consider how the amount of trash alongside a road can give you information. More trash generally indicates higher road usage. Less debris indicates someone maintains the road or it is not often used. If all you see are beer cans, then you might set your guard up a notch and be wary of the types of people in that area.

A game you can play to increase your ability to adapt is to take note of roadside trash and debris and name/consider all the things they could be in a survival scenario. Look at what you see, don’t label it trash, ask yourself, what can I use it for? A broken water cooler is a container, a float, a seat, insulation to keep you off the ground, a fire accelerant and signaling device. A metal hubcap is a plate, a grate, a signaling device, a shovel and plastic hubcaps will break to make a cutting edge. The proverbial plastic grocery bag (aka the urban tumble weed) becomes a carrying container, a rain hat, cordage, fire fuel or accelerant and when ripped into strips markers for your path.

The more you plan and practice your bug out plan, the more successful you will be in executing it under pressure when an emergency happens.

Check out Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps by Wanda & William Priday

Run out of hand sanitizer or toilet paper? These antimicrobial plants can be used for both, as well as, wound care.

During a without rule of law (WROL) scenario you must bug in; how do you proof your home to increase the safety of your family & possessions?

Don’t have a lighter or matches, discover multiple ways in each of the following categories to start a fire: solar, electrical, chemical, friction and percussion.

Lost in the woods and drank all the water in your pack, but found a creek, how do you turn that into safe drinking water?  

Want to know how to open a can without a can opener or how to make a slingshot with a condom and stick? How many ways can you use a hat to increase your survivability?

No phone, no compass, no problem. Learn how to navigate directions day or night without modern technology. 

Through trap illustrations & directions, we show you how to set up and catch small, medium and large game, including fish and birds.

Learn these tips, tricks, traps and so much more inside Survival Tips, Tricks & Traps by Wanda & William Priday, now available on


9 Everyday Items and Their Multiple Survival Uses

Excerpts from Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps by Wanda Priday & William Priday

In an emergency, items that did not have much value before can be life savers. Learn to be creative and learn how to improvise.  These 9 everyday items have multiple uses in a survival situation.


  1. Inner tubes from bicycle tires can be a great resource because of their versatility. Add one to your BOB or EDC. Cutting it into rings creates rubber bands and ranger bands (heavy duty rubber bands). Cut in a spiral it creates a long piece of cordage. Take out the valve stem, replace it with smaller tubing and seal where the 2 join and you have a mini camelback. Innertubes can be used as a tourniquet. They are also a waterproof container for items that you want to keep dry. Or as a water container that can be resealed using heat. If you heat it to melting point you can use it as a sealant such as patching a boat or floatation device. It serves as a fire starter, accelerator and produces black smoke for signaling. It’s a great asset in making traps and weapons when used as an action intensifier, such as a sling shot or Hawaiian sling.
  2. Condoms can be a good waterproof place to store and keep tinder, matches, a lighter or any other item you need to keep dry. A condom can be a water container and fortified by carrying in a t-shirt or garment. If you have a somewhat opaque or almost transparent colored condom, it can be filled with water and used as a solar lens to start a fire.  Even a slingshot can be improvised using a condom.  Find a thick Y shaped stick that will fit well in your hand.  Cut notches into the tops of Y.  Create an ammo pouch with a small sturdy rectangle shaped piece of fabric with 2 small slits cut on each side.  Tie a knot in one end of 2 condoms and slide the knotted condom ends into the notches of the stick, then tie the other end of the condom around the slit in an ammo pouch.
  3. Tampons can be used as a sterile wound dressing. The cotton also makes great fire tinder when pulled apart and fluffed. The plastic sheath can be turned into a fishing bobber.  The plastic sheath and wrapper can be used to help start or extend a fire. Together the cotton and plastic sheath can also be used as a straw to filter out water turbidity.
  4. Cigarettes, whether you smoke or not, can be a useful item in survival scenarios, a fire can be lit from the ember, mixed with saliva the tobacco is balm for insect bites and cuts. The smoke from them can keep insects away.  In almost any survival scenario, they become currency and when offered to someone can make the difference between friend or foe.woman-1150111_1280
  5. A hat, especially a wide brimmed leather or canvas hat can be used as shade, a container, a rain catch, and a thermo-regulator. It can assist you in fanning a fire or swatting away bugs. It can also provide concealment for clandestine activities or a place to store items out of site while you are wearing it.
  6. The umbrella is underrated. It can double as a walking stick, a shelter, a self-defense weapon, a rain catch, and shade from the hot sun. It is lightweight and small and can truly be a life saver. Keep one or 2 handy.
  7. A scarf or wrap takes up little space and has multiple uses. Used as a head-cover to stay warm or out of the sun, as a face cover to filter dust, debris, or smoke, as a bandage and when cut into strips becomes cordage.images
  8. A space blanket can be used in lieu of a tarp to create a makeshift shelter. It can serve as a rain catch when laid on the ground with the edges propped up using earth, rocks or carefully placed sticks to create a large low bowl shape.  Because of their reflective nature they make a great signaling device. Space blankets also make a crinkly noise that can be set up to notify you of someone or something approaching through a door or window. Two space blankets and 13–15 ft. of duct tape can create a fantastically warm sleeping bag. Space blankets work by trapping your body heat and reflecting it back at you. However, they do not allow for water vapor from breathing and sweating to escape, so to keep condensation away from you, stay clothed and/or line the bag with a wool blanket.
  9. A towel can be wrapped around you for warmth. It’s a cover that creates shade and it can keep you off the ground. Wet it to use as a club, whip or entanglement device. Snap someone in the eye with it or put an object in the end of it, such as a stone, and it becomes a blackjack or flail. Dragging it through the morning dew may yield enough water to be worth the effort.  It can be a transfer device, by absorbing water with it from a difficult to access water source and then wring it out into a container. It can also be a signaling device when waved and when push really comes to shove you can dry off with it. Hitchhikers across the galaxy highly recommend carrying a towel!

4 Alternative Ways to Start a Fire (excerpts from Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps)

A battery can create enough heat to start a fire. Touch the positive and negative ends of almost any battery (including a cell phone battery) with wire, steel wool, a strip of aluminum foil, a foil backed gum wrapper, a wire bread tie, or the foil from a cigarette pack to create heat enough to light a very fine tinder. This is not an easy method and can burn your fingers; you may want to practice this in advance. Using steel wool is the easiest to light tinder, gum wrappers and lighter material burns quick and hot. Have the metal touch the tinder as you connect the ends to the battery. A cigarette or cigar can be substituted for tinder to create a slower burning ember.

 Projection TV sets from the 80’s, contain a Fresnel lens as the screen. They also make them in many other sizes for magnified reading, etc. Book stores and craft stores will carry various sizes that will be weightless in your B.O.B. Use it to start a fire and even cook with in bright sun. Hold the lens in the bright sun over a bundle of tinder, focus the point of light on the tinder, steadily until it starts to smolder and catch flame. Add additional tinder, twigs until established, then ad more sticks, getting bigger as the fire builds. Use it to start a fire and even cook with in bright sun.

yabbies summer 2013 021 A third way to alternatively create fire is to use clear plastic, such as cellophane or garbage bags, can also be attached to a frame, like you are putting glass in a large picture frame except you use plastic and secure it all the way around with tape. Mount the frame off the ground, using four forked sticks as a stand. Pour water into the frame, the water will create a belly and function as a lens. The height will need to be adjusted so that the bottom of the lens focal point is off of the ground. Move your tinder bundle to the focal point, ad mass underneath the tinder bundle (rock, wood, etc) to set it in place. Be careful to watch the process carefully, you want to remove the tinder as soon as it catches, otherwise, you will melt the lens and water will splash down and put out your embers. This is a fun one to do in the back yard with the kids, it also takes some practice.

 And lastly, a chemical reaction fire, potassium permanganate mixed with glycerin. These 2 ingredients are often found in traditional 1st aid kits and the potassium permanganate can be used to sterilize wounds and water. My favorite thing about this trick is that you can find potassium permanganate in the “stay – fresh packets” that come with cut flowers and glycerin or glycol is found in antifreeze.  Who knew you could start a fire with fluids from your car and flowers from your friend.

#surthrive, #survival, #selfreliance, #bushcraft #saltheartpublishers #womensselfreliance

 Content by William Priday, Edited by Wanda Priday

Copyright © 2014.


Hello Everyone,

Thanks for taking time to check out my blog.  I have created this space to share bushcraft, survival and emergency preparedness information.  I hope you will find the videos and writings useful.  Beyond all that I have learned over the years, having a basic knowledge of how to take care of myself and my family in a survival or grid down scenario has given me self confidence and allowed me to live more freely in my life.  This website is dedicated to the memory of my husband, William Priday, who taught me a lot of what I know and who will be missed deeply.



Situational Awa…

Situational Awareness – An excerpt from the upcoming New Book “Women’s Self Reliance & Emergency Preparedness”

Situational Awareness is the practice of being aware of your environment and the situation you are in at all times.  This is not a paranoid, hyper awareness but a little forethought and contemplation about your surroundings.  Take some time out and think about where you are live, your neighbors and town.  Think about where you go, what the environment is like, what the weather will be and the potential for it to fluctuate?  What environment do you find yourself in most?  What are the potential hazards of where you are going to be?

 Being aware of your surroundings and knowing what your options are in your surroundings is being situational aware.

This is not just about walking down the street and looking around you through mundane, everyday eyes, but its about looking beyond what you accept as daily, normal and only applicable to you.  Look into what is really happening right around you and in front of you.  Our world is getting smaller, through the vast amount of technological advancements and lightning speed communication.  The entire world is your world and what happens in it affects you.  Be aware of the world in which you live in; be aware of its strengths and weaknesses.  Be aware of its condition and how it impacts your species, your country, your state, your town, your friends, your family and your life. This concept spans the entirety of our lives, from recognizing the facts that you live in a city with 15 million other people within 15 miles of you and the recognition that the grocery stores get food shipped to them.  It is grown and produced far away from where you are.  Be aware of the political climate, the economic indicators, the weather, the crime rate.  Situational awareness requires us to look at life on many levels and in connection with the bigger whole of our world.

It also asks us to look closely at what we have and how we can best utilize what we have at our disposal.  One true trait of being self reliant and a survivor is training your self to see opportunity in everyday situations and materials.

 Mental Exercise – Imagine an emergency has occurred where you are on Manhattan Island and the grocery stores have been empty for a day or 2 and the bridges are blocked by abandoned cars or by the National Guard.  What makes the most sense for your survival?  Should you bug out or bug in?  Are you going to wait for someone to bring relief and goods?  Think about the shear logistics of supplying food and water to 1.6 million people with the power out.  Evaluate the risks associated with being in the middle of an emergency in a city.  Many 911 survivors and witnesses will tell you that all of Manhattan was in complete chaos.

Exodus not likely.  Just being aware of this reality, is crucial to your survival. Preparation is key when there is a limited amount of supplies available at any given time in proximity to you.