Oct 12

Beginners Guide For Keeping Chickens

Have you ever considered raising your own backyard chickens? Today is #NationalFarmersDay, and in celebration of farmers everywhere and anyone who has ever had a spark for farming, we have a guide for everything a beginner needs to get started keeping chickens.

Chickens have been domesticated for most of human history, and remain a mainstay of many homesteads, farms, and even urban family homes around the world. They naturally fit into life with people. You can raise chickens for their eggs (and sometimes for meat), but they also happen to make wonderful pets and companions. Chickens are practical pets that simply make a lot of sense to have around. Despite all of the good things and history chickens have with people however, they do require some extensive care. While this shouldn’t come off as overwhelming for someone new, you should understand that chickens are needy. If their needs aren’t met, the chickens’ health and well-being fails drastically and they no longer become wonderful additions to a family… and not of their own fault.

Here’s the very basics of chicken care every new chicken keeper needs to know and understand before they jump into chicken keeping.

Housing

The first thing you need to consider is how you’ll shelter your chickens. Chickens need to live in a safe environment that’s designed and built specifically for them. Chicken coops need to serve several functions. They need to be able to keep the chickens sheltered from bad weather as rain and cold are two big enemies of chickens, as well as heat in some areas. Chicken coops need to be able to house chickens in a way that’s healthy and clean, with good ventilation. Plus, chicken coops also need to keep chickens safe from predators.

A chicken coop needs to keep the chicken dry and out of the wind. This means they need to be constructed sturdily. It needs to have a roof that doesn’t leak and walls that don’t let the wind blow right in. Lighting in a coop can sometimes offer comfort to chickens, especially to the young chicks. Heating chicken coops is generally unnecessary and can actually be detrimental to chicken health as well as being a big fire hazard. Chicken coops need to have basics inside for comfortable chicken living, such as a roost, nest boxes, and a place for food and water access.

The floor of the coop can be made of many materials and can be made to use lots of kinds of litter (there are lots of types of litter that chicken keepers use, such as wood shavings, sand, straw or hay, etc.), but the floor needs to be fresh and dry at all times no matter what litter is used. Surfaces in the coop can gather a lot of poop, so coop construction that discourages “poopable” areas other than the floor is ideal. For example, nest boxes should be made so that they are lower than the roost bar or platform (chickens like to roost in the highest spot possible) and they need to have slippery slanted roofs to discourage a chicken from not only pooping in the nests but also from pooping all over the tops of the boxes.

Ventilation is one problem that’s hard to solve- and many people confuse being out of drafts for good ventilation. Good ventilation means that the hot wet air naturally generated in the coop by the birds and their droppings can leave the coop easily. This is normally done with some sort of pipe or vents along the top of the coop so that the warm air naturally goes up and out of the pipe, and fresh air can circulate from a door or window in the coop naturally and passively without creating a wind in the coop. This can help your chickens avoid air quality problems which can make them sick, and frostbite issues in the cold temperatures of winter.

And finally the coop needs to be predator proof. There are all sorts of predators that want to eat chickens – from raccoons to hawks. Snakes like to eat eggs and baby chicks. Even the neighbor’s dog can be a serious threat. The coop should be well constructed with good locks and fencing that can’t be ripped apart or manipulated/mauled by a predator. Cracks and holes should be sealed if possible. A well fenced chicken yard is a good start to keeping out most predators and a covered and protected run keeps the chickens safe from aerial predatory birds.

The general rule on space per chicken is thus: For the coop you need 4 square feet per standard size bird and 2 square feet per bantam. In the run you need 8 square feet per standard sized chicken and 6 per bantam. And of course, the more room you can provide in their living quarters, the better.

Food

Thankfully, feeding chickens and keeping their nutritional needs fulfilled is simpler than housing. There are lots of formulated chicken feed available that’s scientifically proven to provide all the basic necessities of chicken nutritional needs. You can find these feeds at any feed store. Supplementing this diet isn’t necessary but chickens do enjoy it. You can feed your chickens just about anything you eat yourself- in fact many chicken keepers use their chickens to recycle and use the kitchen scraps that they don’t want so food doesn’t go to waste. Garbage kitchen scraps turned into delicious eggs? Yes please! Other supplements such as scratch grains or plain cracked corn are also other additions to the regular pellet or mash ration that you can buy. Some even plant a part of their garden just for their chickens!

You may find yourself sampling different chicken feeds to find one your flock likes best. Chicks need a special food, and layers need another kind. Thankfully the info on what to feed and when is always printed right on the bag so you know what you’re feeding.

Feeders designed for chickens are readily available. Whatever way to choose to offer your feed to your flock is up to you, but the same rules apply to food- food has to be kept from getting poop in it, and it has to stay dry and fresh. And, it needs to be available to laying flocks at all times.

Water is also something that chickens need constant access to and it needs to be clean and fresh and always available. Chicken waters are easy to find. Some have to be heated to keep water from freezing solid in the winter. There are lots of DIY watering systems available to look at on the internet, as chicken keepers are never satisfied with watering systems. But, a basic bucket cleaned and filled daily works for most.

Disease and Overall Health

Unfortunately, chickens are prone to a lot of parasites and sickness, a lot like people and other pets are. Chickens also do things like eat their own eggs, or even cannibalize. Chickens need to stay engaged and mentally healthy, too. A clean living environment that is well ventilated and plenty of clean water and good food is a good start to helping keep sickness at bay. Having a large space to graze and peck at is necessary – keeping in mind the general requirements for minimum space needs will also help keep birds happy and healthy.

And, while chickens are needy, like any other pet, once their needs are met, they make wonderful additions to the family. They naturally fit in with most any human life. Chickens are wonderful backyard animals!

Cheryl D. Jones, shares gardening tips and landscape ideas through her blog, newsletters and her nursery’s website. Visit GreenwoodNursery.com for a full line of plants including trees, flowering shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and ground covers.

You can skip all the worry and purchase one of our ready to assemble chicken coop kits and enjoy. They are beautiful, functional, affordable, and are perfect for small backyard flocks of chickens.

Click here for a listing of plants safe for chicken gardens.

We hope this helps you get started with your backyard chicken endeavor! Get started keeping chickens with our easy to assemble chicken coops that are perfect for smaller spaces.

Jul 09

5 Facts About Honey Bee Health

Honey Bee Health

Honey bees are a popular topic of conversation these days all around the world. Here at home, the latest Statistics Canada data show that honey bee populations are on the rise. However, they face several challenges every day that can impact their health. These include:

1. Inadequate nutrition.

Without enough pollen and nectar collected during the summer months, a colony of honey bees won’t have enough food to survive the winter. Did you know that canola is one of the best sources of nutrition for honey bees?

2. Parasites.

Even something as tiny as a bee can get a bug. The varroa mite, for example, can infest honey bee hives and weaken them, lowering their chances of producing strong baby bees.

3. Weather.

In many parts of Canada, the long winter can be a harsh stress on a hive. In addition, unseasonable weather in the spring and summer months can also affect crops, reducing the food supply for honey bees.

4. Disease.

There are more than 18 viruses that can harm honey bees, as well as dangerous bacteria like European and American Foulbrood.

5. Pesticides.

They’re safer than they’ve ever been before, but they can affect honey bee colony health if used improperly in the hive to control mites and disease or on the land to protect growing crops.

You can help honey bees thrive by ordering and planting a free seed kit full of flowers that are nutritious to honey bees. You can order a free Buzzing Gardens seed kit and find out more information about the factors affecting honey bee health in Canada at www.beesmatter.ca.

www.newscanada.com

May 10

5 Recipes for DIY Spring Cleaning

Many of the products we use while spring cleaning our homes are filled with ingredients that have negative long-term effects on our health and environment. For example, ammonia, sodium hydroxide and triclosan are some of the culprits found in products ranging from laundry detergents to glass cleaners. These ingredients can linger on surfaces and are easily absorbed by our skin, exposing us and our children to hazardous chemicals with unhealthy side effects.

Fortunately, you can make your own, natural alternatives with just a few ingredients from your kitchen. . And they’re just as effective but much safer for you and your family.

Here are some environmentally-friendly recipes for DIY household cleaners you can use on nearly any surface in your home.

All-purpose cleaner.

Combine one cup each warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well. Use on most surfaces. Add 20 to 30 drops of your favourite essential oil if you prefer something scented. For tougher jobs, double up on the vinegar.

Furnish polish.

Add two tablespoons each of olive oil and white vinegar (or lemon juice) to two cups warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well before spraying on wooden and plastic furniture and wiping clean.

Laundry detergent.

Dissolve six tablespoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of course salt in 2 litres of hot water, then add six tablespoons of liquid castile soap. Mix well and add half a cup per full load directly into the washer tub.

Glass and mirror cleaner.

All you need is equal parts water and white vinegar, mixed gently in a spray bottle. Wipe with an old newspaper for a streak-free finish.

Stainless steel cleaner.

Gently massage a very thin layer of olive oil onto stainless steel surface, then wipe off with a cloth dampened in white vinegar. Now your appliances are clean and fingerprint resistant.

If you’re not into DIY, then stop by your local CHFA member health food store and explore the many natural household cleaning products. Find more information and recipes online at chfa.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Jan 22

7 Essential Herbs and Spices for Every Kitchen

Depending solely on salt and pepper for food flavoring is boring. There is a wide range of herbs and spices available to consumers, enough to make every meal unique. A little extra tang is not all you are missing out on. Many aromatic additives are beneficial to our health. Think about that the next time you are visiting your supermarket.

Seasoning makes a meal complete. Most spices are inexpensive, and many can be grown at home. Even if you do not have a garden, small containers can often find a safe spot on a sunny windowsill. Are you wondering which herbs and spices to try first?

7 Essential Herbs and Spices

Basil

  • Basil is a culinary herb with round, often pointed leaves. There are numerous kinds to choose from. The deep rich taste works well with tomato-based sauces, juices, and dressings. French chefs are quite fond of basil.

Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon is a versatile spice generally used to enhance savory and sweet dishes. It is a bit pricey, but worth the expense when doing a lot of baking. It also enhances warm drinks like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and cider.

Curry

  • Curry is used mostly in Southern Asian cuisine. The composition of curry powder varies widely because it is a blend of spices. Tastes range from sweet and mild to extremely hot. For that reason, try a little before buying large amounts. Use it to flavor vegetables, rice, meat, and fish.

Ginger

  • Ginger is a flavorful spice widely used in Asian cooking. The roots can be purchased fresh or ground. Tastes vary. You can grow your own ginger in the garden or in a plastic tub. Ginger root stays fresh for several weeks in the fridge.

Nutmeg

  • Nutmeg has an earthy, nutty taste and comes from a species of evergreen tree. It is available as a nut or in powder form. Nutmeg is often used in mutton and lamb recipes, stews, and tomato sauce. Europeans use it in processed meat, mashed potatoes, pies, and soups.

Paprika

  • Paprika has an intoxicating flavor. The bright, red powder is often used in soups, stews, meat dishes, and tomato sauces.

Red Pepper Flakes

  • Red Pepper Flakes give pizza and Italian-style dishes that extra zing. Not all crushed red pepper flakes are equally hot. Buy smaller amounts when trying out a new kind.

Honorable Mention
Although garlic is technically neither a spice nor herb, it should be used in every kitchen. Garlic can be purchased fresh, pre-packed frozen or minced, and in powder.

 

Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jan 21

The Best Rabbit Food for a Healthy Diet

The right diet keeps rabbits healthy, whether you are raising house pets or breeders. While this is true, the type of rabbit food to provide depends on the animal’s life stage. In general, rabbits thrive on a 16 percent protein diet. Nursing mothers and their kits need at least 18 percent protein.

The effects of a constant, non-balanced diet are easy to recognize. The coat is dull. The rabbits have a weak immune system, and they often experience digestive problems. Baby rabbits grow slower.

Rabbit Food Suggestions

  1. Timothy Grass Hay – Always have a decent supply of this type of hay on hand to ensure that your rabbits get enough fiber. Without hay, your cottontails could be plagued by hairballs and suffer from diarrhea. The animals will likely become obese.
  2. Alfalfa Hay – This should be given to just the adults if that is the only hay type you can find in your area. Quantities should be limited. This hay has high protein content, too much calcium, and far too many calories for rabbits.
  3. Manufactured Rabbit Pellets – The bite-sized rabbit pellets that are available in stores are made from ground hay, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are good for a bunny’s digestive system. Expert breeders suggest two daily feedings. Give rabbits one-eighth to one-fourth of a standard cup per five pounds of a rabbit’s body weight. Stay away from colored pellets or feed that is old and moldy.
  4. Fresh Vegetables and Fruits – Green-leaf veggies like romaine, parsley, endive, arugula, chervil, dandelion greens, and collard greens are excellent choices. Iceberg lettuce should not be on your list of rabbit food. Its nutritional value is limited. Do not feed vegetables and fruits to baby bunnies if you want to prevent enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine). Slowly introduce these new foods to your young rabbits, and monitor their progress.
  5. Treats – Carrots are starchy and should only be given sparingly as a treat. Introduce your rabbits slowly to fruits like cored apples, pears, strawberries, plums, peaches, bananas, and melon. The rabbits should be at least six months old before introducing these types of rabbit food.

Water

Water is essential to a rabbit’s diet. It regulates the animal’s body temperature during hot summer days. Change the water daily, no matter which type of watering system you use.

 

Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Sep 25

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known to be a natural remedy for many ailments, a cleaning agent, and a tangy ingredient in many dishes, which is why it’s worth trying to make at home at least once! If you haven’t made your own apple vinegar before, try this simple technique.

What You’ll Need

  • 3 medium sized apples
  • 5 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • a sterilized jar
  • cloth for cover (cheesecloth or dishcloths work great)

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Chop the apples into medium sized pieces and place the pieces, including the core and peel but no the stem, into the sterilized jar. Keep the chunks fairly sizable, – one inch cubed pieces work fine.
  2. Mix the sugar with the water and pour over the apples.
  3. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure with a rubber band.
  4. Set aside in a shaded area on your counter or cupboard for two weeks and gently stir as needed.
  5. Strain out the liquid and throw out the apple pieces.
  6. Return the liquid to the jar and store like before, covered with a secured cloth.
  7. Stir the liquid as needed, and taste the liquid after three weeks. Keep storing, stirring, and tasting from this point on until it achieves the taste you desire.
  8. Once it has achieved a taste you like, store in a bottle in your refrigerator.

Apple cider doesn’t go bad so you don’t have to worry about that as long as you started with a sterile jar. you can keep the vinegar in a pantry once it has achieved the desired taste, but I prefer to refrigerate mine to keep it at the taste I like longer.

Sep 25

Cider Making: Five Incredible American Cider Apples

apples-in-basketCider was America’s first beverage. Not the apple juice we call cider, but real cider… hard cider. In colonial times water was not clean enough to drink. The fermentation process that juice must go through before it becomes hard cider kills most pathogenic bacteria. As a result, in those times there was nothing safer to drink than hard cider. Orchards became a fixture of American farms and most contained apples that were unique to that farm.

Thanks to John Chapman and many others who planted apple seeds in the colonies and all across the country, apple trees of American origin came into existence. The ability for apples to create many very different combinations of genes contributed to the apples success in the new world. Each apple seed is as unique as a snowflake, which gave rise to limitless new apple varieties. Most of these seedling apples would eventually go the way of the buffalo. However, a small number of these chance seedlings would have just the right combination of genes that would go on to make great apples. These varieties were selected for and propagated by farmers and orchardists throughout the country. Of all the apples of American origin, only a handful are truly suited to making great cider, the kind our forefathers drank morning, noon and night. These apples form the backbone of the list of American cider apples.

Try Homemade Warm Spiced Apple Cider for a Delicious Fall Treat

Try Homemade Warm Spiced Apple Cider for a Delicious Fall Treat

Campfield

Many cider apples were named after the farmer who found them or the place in which they came from. This is the case with the Campfield apple as it was named after a family who lived in Eastern New Jersey. According to historical writings, a 50/50 blend of Campfield and Harrison made a cider of “superior quality”. It was also said that Campfield made a great single variety cider.

Hewe’s Crab

Also known as Virginia Crab, this variety was favored by some of the founding fathers including Thomas Jefferson. In fact, a large planting of Hewe’s crab can still be found at Monticello. Hewe’s crab makes a very high flavored dry cider. It is unknown when the first Hewe’s crab tree came into existence, but writings from 1817 describe trees of this variety that were already about one hundred years old.

Newtown Pippin

The Newtown Pippin is perhaps the oldest American apple, or at least the oldest of record. A single Newtown Pippin tree was found in Queens, New York in 1730. Classified as a mild bittersweet and I would add very mild, the Newtown Pippin will make a wonderful light bodied cider in its own right and is also well suited to contributing to a blend. The Newtown Pippin apple is also a top-notch eating apple that ripens in November and doesn’t hit its peak of flavor until resting in storage for about a month.

Harrison

Of all the American apples, the story of the Harrison is my favorite. It was discovered around 1770 in New Jersey, and at one time was thought to be extinct, forever lost from this earth. It was rediscovered in 1976, with just enough time to take scions from the tree before it was cut down. After careful examination and consultation with historical descriptions of the Harrison apple… over the course of 17 years, Tom Burford, a renowned apple expert determined that it was in fact the lost apple. Fortunately for us, Harrison trees were propagated and can be found through a number of sources.

Wickson Crab

Unlike the varieties listed above, the Wickson crab apple was a product of an intentional breeding program. Bred by Albert Etter by crossing two crab apples and named for his friend and famed U.C. Davis pomologist E.J. Wickson, this apple can make a cider of vintage quality. Wickson apples are bittersharps and tend to have loads of sugar and acid so depending on the year they may be best used to balance out a low acid cider.

Where you live will determine how easy it is to find the apples above, either for eating or hard cider. But if you have the chance, definitely give them a try. Your taste buds will thank you for it.

 

Galen Williams is the co-founder and cidermaker at Bull Run Cider in Forest Grove Oregon. If you are ever in the area please drop in and try some of our hard cider.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Sep 23

10 Reasons to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many people have a bottle of apple cider vinegar (ACV) somewhere in the kitchen. Chefs add it sparingly to enhance the flavor of certain dishes or as a salad dressing. They may start using it a bit more if they knew how beneficial this sour-tasting liquid actually is.

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy to cure everything from warts to the flu. Although many claims remain unproven, medical professionals are convinced that adding a splash to your diet may be quite healthy. Experts suggest drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water or juice every day. Here are 10 reasons why.

  1. This liquid, which contains acetic acid, has antibiotic properties, which you need when suffering from diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection.
  2. The pectin in apple cider vinegar can help control intestinal spasms and indigestion.
  3. Do you have a sore throat? Gargle infections and nasty germs away with a concoction of a quarter cup of warm water and a quarter cup of your special vinegar. The acid will kill the germs.
  4. Scientists believe, after completing studies on animals, that your newly discovered sour mixture is also capable of lowering cholesterol in humans. More tests are needed.
  5. Are you often plagued by a stuffy nose or nasal congestion? The potassium in raw apple cider vinegar can thin mucus.
  6. Acetic acid can suppress a person’s food cravings, reduce water retention, and increase metabolism. Consuming fewer calories equal weight loss.
  7. Nobody wants dandruff. Mix a quarter cup of water and a quarter cup of this unique type of vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz it on your scalp before washing your hair. Wrap a towel around your head for 15 minutes. This routine should be done at least twice a week. Your hair will also be shinier.
  8. Need a boost of energy? You now know what to drink to beat fatigue!
  9. Individuals with eczema problems can clear up their skin and prevent outbreaks by ingesting ACV diluted in water.
  10. Stop bothersome nighttime leg cramps through the potassium found in apple cider vinegar. Make your new home remedy a little sweeter by adding a teaspoon of honey.

Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

3 Most Overlooked Fire-Starting Methods

campfire on the beachThough people are eager to learn and adopt different fire-starting methods, there are always some fire-starting techniques most learners overlook. Ideally, these overlooked fire-starting methods are extremely important. Think of a situation where you do not have a readily available kit of cotton balls or commercial/military developed tinder, but you have to create fire to stave off the chills or scare away wild animals. It can be hell on earth, right? The good news is most of these overlooked fire-starting methods require none of those.

The Most Overlooked Fire-Starting Methods

These include:

  • Flick the Bic Lighter
  • Fire Piston and Char Cloth
  • Fire Striker and a Piece of Char Cloth
  1. Flick the Bic Lighter

More than a few people might be opposed to the idea that this method is actually on the top of the list, but honestly speaking, we all know that this method requires nearly no effort or too much thinking. It is the most overlooked fire-starting method yet it is essential, especially for survival purposes. It is not glamorous, neither is it crafty nor ancient, but let us adopt it. Apart from being easy, flicking the bic would cost you not more than two bucks at the local mart. Bic lighters are just everywhere (from grocery stores to reputable retailers). You can learn this method before departing for a camping trip where there is likelihood of fire piston being low on lube or steel stickers failing to work accordingly.

  1. Fire Piston and Char Cloth

If you are unfamiliar with how to make char cloth, it is basically just a small sheet of cotton, which has been “charred” by being placed in a steel container or vented tin and heat in a fire. Though you should allow the char cloth to “burn”, it should not be consumed by fire during the process. You can actually do this with a piece of, say, a bandana or a cotton tee shirt and an Altoids tin. With these, be sure to make an effective char cloth that has an incredibly low combustion temperature, and can form embers from the steel striker’s mere sparks. It is vital to have char cloth because the fire piston technique cannot work without it. Because the 25:1 compression ratio would make your char cloth flash, the fire piston technique applies physics to handle the hard part. You can design a fire piston by yourself. Fire pistons have been around for almost two centuries, and similar to steel strikers, you can find a classy-looking fire piston, which could add a brilliant touch to your archaic fire kit.

  1. Fire Striker and a Piece of Char Cloth

Apart from bow drill method, fire striker and a piece of char cloth is arguably the oldest fire-making technique in human history. Maybe this explains why the method has been overlooked from generation to generation. The fire striker and char cloth technique uses the trusty flint and steel kit to make fire. As a result, it is commonly referred to as the “ye olde tinderbox” and flint striker. Some people also refer to it as the “percussion fire-making method”, a method that began during the Iron Age period. Despite its long-term existence, most people have overlooked it.

Unlike the first two methods, this method does require a rich knowledge and skills, just like the bow drill method, where you have to learn how to make precisions. Nevertheless, it is better than the bow drill, and you do not have to kill your arms while using it. Here is how this method is done:

  • Have the needed materials on hand. Such should include a steel striker, char cloth and flint or chert.
  • With a steel striker in one hand and flint or chert on the other, strike the steel striker against the rock. Striking the steel striker against the rock will make the falling sparks land on the char cloth below. You should be able to notice the formation of embers after just a few strikes.
  • Put the smoldering char cloth on the tinder bundle, and wait for a few minutes.

Bottom Line

It is crucial to have the knowledge and skill of starting fire, especially if you are planning to have a lengthy time in the wilderness or forest. Fire is highly important. Aside from keeping that eerie nighttime psychological Sasquatch at bay, fire has the ability to offer life-sustaining access to heat; thus, can stave off chills when temperatures hit below the zero mark. Fire can also be essential in a survival-type situation. It is one of the greatest ways for making sure your presence is noticed by anyone who happens to be searching for you. Because of these, it is necessary that you learn various fire-starting methods without overlooking others, as they can sometimes be of great benefit.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

10 Most Important Survival Skills for Wilderness Living

WildernessNature is one of the greatest gifts our planet has to offer the human race. Not only is the natural world full of beauty and possibilities for adventure, studies have proven that exposure to nature improves our physical and mental health. However, when it comes to embracing the great outdoors, there is a huge difference between enjoyment and survival. It is one thing to embark on a weekend long camping trip, and another thing altogether to survive in the wild when all goes amiss. Would you be able to survive if you became stranded on your next casual outdoor exhibition? What would you eat? How would you gather water? Would you have the skills you need in order to ensure your safety and sustenance?

We have drawn up a list of the 10 most important survival skills a human requires in order to champion life in the wild. Read on to learn if you have got what it takes to survive in the great outdoors.

10 Most Important Survival Skills for Wilderness Living

1. Food: Your body requires nutritional sustenance in order to survive. Food provides your body with the water, energy, and focus it needs in order to properly function. How can this be accomplished? Being aware of edible plants and insects is a great start. A general rule when it comes to wilderness plant cultivation is to avoid munching on plants that appear milky, hairy, bulbous, or have three leaves, or pink spurs – these are sure signs that the plant is poisonous. Wild plants like clovers, dandelion, and sorrel are common and edible. However, your body will not survive on greens alone. You require protein and fat in order to thrive. Nearly all common insects are edible – from ants, to grasshoppers, to worms, to even bees, insects are your go-to source for protein in the wilderness. Or, try your hand at survival hunting. A simple snare requires just a noose, which can be crafted from rope or wire. Simply tie the noose to a tree near an animal’s den, and wait for your next meal.

2. Water: It is impossible for a human to survive without water. In order to survive in the wilderness, you must know how to collect and purify water. This can be done in a number of ways. One way is to collect rainwater in tarps or pots. Another way water can be obtained is by digging a foot deep hole in a muddy area, and waiting for water to surface. Once you’ve collected your water, you must purify it. You can do so by boiling your water over a fire in a tin or aluminum can, a glass jar, or a plastic bottle.

3. First Aid: Learning first aid is a simple way to help ensure your survival in the wild. Knowing how to properly dress wounds and fashion splints and slings could be the difference between life and death in the wilderness.

4. How to Start and Maintain a Fire: Fire is essential for warmth and water purification. Therefore, knowing how to get a fire going and keep it going in both wet and dry environments is one of the most important survival skills you require in order to survive in the wild.

5. Self Defense: When forced into wilderness survival, it is likely that you will find yourself in a situation in which you are required to defend yourself or lose your life. Taking the time to learn self defense and remembering to pack a pocket-knife when leaving on an adventure are two ways that can help you protect yourself in the wilderness.

6. Learn How to Repair Your Clothes: Clothing repair may seem an outdated skill to master, but when it comes to surviving in the wild, maintaining your clothes can offer you much needed protection and warmth.

7. Grooming: Keeping yourself clean may be the last thing you think of when you think of wilderness survival, but basic grooming skills can help maintain your health and keep you alive.

8. Expect the Unexpected: Train your mind to expect the unexpected, and accept the unexpected. Your mental outlook greatly affects your morale, and your morale greatly affects your ability to survive.

9. Worldly Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings, and the dangers and advantages they have to offer. Awareness can help you to be a more proficient and successful survivor.

10. Practice Makes Perfect: At the end of the day, no matter how many precautions you take, preparations you make, or intelligence you cultivate, surviving in the wild poses an undeniable challenge. Continue to cultivate a survivalist mentality – see the possibilities objects in nature offer you, learn the art of scrounging, and develop your resourcefulness. Push on, no matter the direness of the circumstances, and you will be well on your way to being a true survivalist.

 

Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com