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Survival Tip – Fire-starting

My mother named me after my uncle – Oscar. And just like him, I cherish hiking and camping a lot. In fact, I go for camping at least three times a year. Throughout my many years of hiking and camping experience, I have learned that fire is very important in wet weather. In some instances, it can be the difference between life and death. Five years ago when I was camping in the middle of the forest far away from home, something unusual happened. Well, I thought it was unusual because it had never happened to me before. The heavens had opened up and were pouring their wrath out, and it became so wet that nothing could keep me warm. The weather became unbearable. I tried everything possible to keep warm but the situation was not getting any better. Actually, it was becoming difficult to service.

Then I remembered all the hiking lessons I had learned. One of them was how to use fire to keep warm. But lighting fire was not the easiest of things to do in such an extreme weather conditions. Fortunately, I had learned some very useful skills on starting a fire in wet weather. I then started a fire to keep me warm and boil drinking water to add warm fluid in my body. Unbelievably, this worked wonders. Since then, I have always sharpened my skills on starting a fire at every opportunity I get. Tips to help you start a fire in wet weather In this section, I have briefly discussed some of the best tips for starting a fire in extreme weather condition. I have used these tips even when I pay for diving adventure packages to be included in my vacation.
I always stick with forest sticky material Whenever I am camping or hiking in a wet weather condition, I always look for needle bearing trees such as spruce and fir because their wood usually contains sticky sap. Because this is pitch and it is always very flammable, it makes lighting fire easier. I choose dead twigs that are found beneath the shielding canopy of needle bearing trees. Peeling off the bark Barks of many trees are not flammable. Below the surface of a bark of a tree, there is dry wood that gives me easy time to start a fire. I split the wood When wood is split, the drier inner wood is exposed. This will cause the wood to light faster and burn better. Furthermore, split woods have a lower mass and make them light faster as compared to a whole wood. I shape up the fire lay Instead of shaping my fire lay too flat, I do shape it appropriately. I usually build a raised cone of split twigs. This allows the heat to climb through the woods efficiently and thereby drying them out. I light it low When heat rises, fire climbs. Therefore, having my lighter or match touching the wood or any material I am using at the base of my fire lay heats the materials upwards and help the fire to climb. I use tinder Tinder is dead, fluffy, dry plant stuff and it can light on fire very easily. I usually place a tone of tinder at the base of my fire lay. I light my fire from where the wind is coming from If I light the fire from the direction the wind is blowing from, the flames do travel easily and faster through my sticks, engulfing them faster thus rendering the surrounding warm in a short time.

By Oscar Dergrond, ago
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Educate Yourself – Know Your Snakes

One of my worst fears is being bitten by wild animals such as wolves, snakes and bears because they are easily found where I live with my family. But my degree of fear for these three animals is not the same. Even though bear and wolf seem to be more dangerous, I have learned that their chances of biting me are far much lower than those of a snake. And this is why it is important for me to know more about all types of snake in any place that I intend to go hiking. In this way, I would know which ones are venomous. Why it’s important to know types of venomous snakes According to statistics, most of snake bites do happen due to human error. It can happen because I am ignorant of knowing whether a snake is poisonous. Knowing the type of snake helps me a great deal in knowing how to behave in its presence, or how to respond in the event that it bites me. Sometimes, a snake bites because it has been confronted. Experience has taught me that despite how dangerous a snake is, it will always tend to be reclusive if it is not confronted. A poisonous snake values its venom because it is what it uses to catch its meal. This, therefore, means that even the dangerous snake doesn’t just bite. It would rather reserve that venom for catching its meal than bite unnecessarily. Top Poisonous snakes and I can always identify them Having knowledge about poisonous snakes helps me a great deal. Apart from knowing how to avoid them, the knowledge also helps me make the right decisions in case I find myself in a bad situation.

The coral snake The unique feature of this snake is its distinctive black, yellow and red markings. In more often than not, a coral snake with red and yellow marking is very dangerous and it kills. However, the ones with red and black markings are always friendly but are still poisonous. These snakes are usually found underground, under leaves and in forest areas, and they have reclusive behaviors. These snakes never attack unless they are provoked.
The rattlesnake This snake has a thick, heavy body, and its head has a blocky diamond shape. Rattling it at the end of its tail is what gives them their name, and it usually acts as a warning sign to any threats. These snakes are found in swamps, forests, deserts and bushes. I usually identify these snakes by the sound of their rattle.
The cottonmouth This snake is mostly found in South Eastern regions of the United States of America. It is a semi-aquatic poisonous snake, and it is usually found in swampy areas, around and inside waters. It is cold blooded, and it loves basking on the rock during the day. Its eyes have a slit shape, and it has dark cross bands. The Copperhead This snake is poisonous and likes attacking prey and other animals, but not people. In fact, it tries to avoid confrontation with humans as much it can. It is semi-aquatic and likes staying on rocks and under leaves waiting to ambush. It has a brown/red skin with irregular brown cross bands.

By Oscar Dergrond, ago