Outdoor Survival Skills Ferry

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Outdoor Survival Skills

Avoid thin ice:

dark colored ice=thin ice

light colored ice=thicker ice

Carry a light pole or ice auger when traveling on ice, use the pole or auger to test the ice before stepping, use another route if the pole/auger breaks into the ice ahead of you.

If you fall in: use a hooked walking stick with an ice pick at the other end to pull yourself out of water.

Find dried grass: stuff your wet clothes with grass.

If you don’t have tea available, drink urine and if handy with seal oil.

Make a shelter: Deep snow shelter/ or Under tree with wind behind you


Watch weather patterns:

stretched clouds=wind

glove around the moon=storm approaching

If you are lost:

If it is foggy: You will know which way to go based upon wind direction, waves, grass.

grass usually lay toward the South depending on the prevailing winds.

if it’s foggy and you are at sea, the warmth in the air is toward the land.

waves always move toward land.

the spruce needles=stick out sharper on the North side of trees, and slant on the South side.

rip tide=when tides meet between two rivers, current faces direction of flow of water

coming out of the two rivers-never sideways.

shallow sandbars=ice heaved up

If you become ill:

toothache: use Wormwood(stink weed) as a pack

Snow Blindness: After cooking Wormwood(stink weed), us a pack over eyes.

cuts: make a poultice of Wormwood(stink weed), place on cut w/bandage

fevers/colds: steep Wormwood(stinkweed) in water, drink a little liquid (not too much as it upsets the stomach).

Treatment for Hypothermia

Hypothermic persons should be warmed as fast as possible. The type of rewarming will depend upon the extent of hypothermia. The following steps should be taken:

  1. Remove victim from water to a dry, sheltered area (If there is no sheltered area, stuff wet clothing with grass).
  2. Make a shelter: Deep snow shelter(also known as a trench)/or under a tree with the wind behind you. Other types in emergency shelters include: a tarp tent, a lean-to
  3. Remove wet clothing and consider body contact to effect heat transfer (preferably inside a sleeping bag). Use layers of warm clothing, paying particular attention to areas of the head and neck.
  4. Apply heat to the neck, chest and groin area: use hot, wet towels, water bottles, hand warmers, etc.
  5. If in a populated area: Use electric blankets, heating pads, hot sweet beverages and hot baths.
  6. DO NOT administer alcohol.

Wilderness Survival Guide by Monty Alford, 1987 Alaska Northwest Publishing Company

Emergency Food Value of Alaskan Wild Plants by Horace F. Drury and Stanley G. Smith, 1957, Alaskan Air Command Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory

Tanaina Plantlore by Priscilla Russel Kari

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