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built to maul

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pepper spray for bears, keep it where you can reach it quikly. Cost usually ranges between 15 and 30 dollars  

Out In The Cold? Avoiding Hypothermia

 

The simple way to avoid hypothermia is a) dress warmly and b) stay out of the cold.

But things don't always work out and there may come a time when a) you don't dress warmly enough and b) you're so cold you can't remember your name.

DAZED AND CONFUSED

No, really. When your body temperature drops below 95 degrees F, you're hypothermic and one of the symptoms is that you're dazed and confused, not to mention shivering violently. You also get pale, and your lips, ears, fingers and toes turn blue.

Then things could get really serious. If your temperature should drop as low as 90 degrees F, your organs begin to fail and without immediate medical attention, you'll likely die.

FORGET THE WHISKEY

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of freezing to death. If you think you could be caught outside in very cold temperatures, dress in layers, preferably wool or other fabrics that can dry quickly. Keep your head covered. Drink plenty of warm fluids, but not alcohol or any caffeinated liquid, both of which hinder the body's heat-producing mechanisms. So forget about that shot of whiskey getting you through the cold night.

Also, do whatever you can to stay dry. Obviously, you're not going to go around flopping into streams when it's freezing outside. But if you should get wet, keep in mind that wet clothing can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating effect, so your risk of hypothermia could rise dramatically.

NO MASSAGES, PLEASE

If you're lucky enough to be with someone when your body starts shutting down, what should they do to save you? First, they should call 911. You're going to need medical help. They also should get you into shelter, if possible. If they can't get you indoors, they at least should move you out of the wind. Wherever you are, they should wrap you, including your head, in blankets, towels or even newspapers. Ideally, they should put hot water bottles under your armpits and between your legs, making sure that they don't put anything on bare skin. Finally, they should keep you flat and move you as little as possible. Movement could cause a severely hypothermic person to have a heart attack.

A few things they shouldn't do. They shouldn't rub or massage you. That could cause more damage if you also have frostbite. They shouldn't get you anything to eat. And they shouldn't give you anything to drink, especially alcohol, no matter how much you think that's just what you need.


The simple way to avoid hypothermia is a) dress warmly and b) stay out of the cold.

But things don't always work out and there may come a time when a) you don't dress warmly enough and b) you're so cold you can't remember your name.

DAZED AND CONFUSED

No, really. When your body temperature drops below 95 degrees F, you're hypothermic and one of the symptoms is that you're dazed and confused, not to mention shivering violently. You also get pale, and your lips, ears, fingers and toes turn blue.

Then things could get really serious. If your temperature should drop as low as 90 degrees F, your organs begin to fail and without immediate medical attention, you'll likely die.

FORGET THE WHISKEY

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of freezing to death. If you think you could be caught outside in very cold temperatures, dress in layers, preferably wool or other fabrics that can dry quickly. Keep your head covered. Drink plenty of warm fluids, but not alcohol or any caffeinated liquid, both of which hinder the body's heat-producing mechanisms. So forget about that shot of whiskey getting you through the cold night.

Also, do whatever you can to stay dry. Obviously, you're not going to go around flopping into streams when it's freezing outside. But if you should get wet, keep in mind that wet clothing can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating effect, so your risk of hypothermia could rise dramatically.

NO MASSAGES, PLEASE

If you're lucky enough to be with someone when your body starts shutting down, what should they do to save you? First, they should call 911. You're going to need medical help. They also should get you into shelter, if possible. If they can't get you indoors, they at least should move you out of the wind. Wherever you are, they should wrap you, including your head, in blankets, towels or even newspapers. Ideally, they should put hot water bottles under your armpits and between your legs, making sure that they don't put anything on bare skin. Finally, they should keep you flat and move you as little as possible. Movement could cause a severely hypothermic person to have a heart attack.

A few things they shouldn't do. They shouldn't rub or massage you. That could cause more damage if you also have frostbite. They shouldn't get you anything to eat. And they shouldn't give you anything to drink, especially alcohol, no matter how much you think that's just what you need.


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Bear Encounters



When Its a Bear , Dont Stare

Rule No. 1 when you're hiking in bear country: make noise.
Most bear attacks occur when hikers stumble upon and surprise a bear, often a mother and her cubs. Don't think they'll be easy to spot; even huge grizzlies can conceal themselves in the brush or the high grass of meadows
If you see a bear, fight the urge to run. Repeat after me: You can't outrun a bear. Bears can sprint for short distances at speeds up to 35 mph! And don't assume you can escape by climbing a tree. That only works if you have enough time to climb at least 30 feet high. Black bears are good climbers and grizzlies can climb at least partway up a tree. And if you're near water, e.g., a lake or river, don't get in the water and try to swim away from the bear. They can swim

Offer soothing words

What you need to do is stay calm and slowly begin backing away. If you are downwind and the bear hasn't seen you, try to make as little noise as possible as you slowly backtrack. If the bear sees you, however, you also should start talking to the bear in a calm, firm voice. That will allow him or her to identify you as a human. And try not to stare into the bear's eyes. The bear may interpret direct eye contact as aggressive behavior; it's better to avert your eyes and turn your head to the side, a more submissive pose. As you move away, it's not a bad idea to stay upwind of the bear, if possible — you want him to know you're a human

If you're in a group, stay together. You'll look larger and that could keep the bear from charging.

Often bears will bluff a charge, meaning they will rush toward you and then stop in close proximity to your position. It's a warning to back off. Heed the warning. Back off. Slowly. But should the worst happen and the bear attacks, reach for your bear pepper spray. If you carry bear pepper spray, make sure it is easy to reach — it won't do you much good in your backpack, so keep it close to your hands.

Duck And Cover

Sometimes just the sound of the spray discharge will stop a charging bear. But if the bear keeps coming, as a last resort, drop to the ground and play dead. Either lie on your stomach with your hands protecting your neck, or lie on your side in a fetal position with your legs and head tucked into your chest. And keep your backpack on. It can serve as a shield. Basically, you want to protect your soft tissue and organs to the best of your ability against a large animal that is built to maul.

Finally, don't move or get up until you're certain the bear has moved a distance away. There's a story of one hiker who made the mistake of reaching for his bear spray while the animal was nearby, an action that provoked another attack

One last bit of advice if you plan to camp in bear country. Most people know to keep their food either in the trunk of their vehicles or in an approved bearproof container. Many campsites, even in the backcountry of some national parks, have bearproof storage lockers or bear poles. If unavailable, hang a "bear bag" at least 200 feet from your campsite. A bear bag is a stuff sack loaded with your provisions, cooking gear and the clothing that you wore while cooking, which you suspend from a sturdy tree branch at least 10 feet above the ground and 5 to 8 feet from the tree trunk. Make sure you store your cooking clothes in the bear bag, because sleeping in the same clothes you cooked in is like yelling, "Come and get it!"
credit ~ Discovery Channel

Surviving a Bear Attack

Outdoor Survival Series
Tips that  could  make the difference between surviving and not!
 

Animals rarely are as threatening to the survivor as the rest of the environment. Common sense tells the survivor to avoid encounters with lions, bears and other large or dangerous animals. You should also avoid large grazing animals with horns, hooves and great weight. Your actions may prevent unexpected meetings. Move carefully through their environment. Do not attract large predators by leaving food lying around your camp. Carefully survey the scene before entering water or forests.

Smaller animals actually present more of a threat to the survivor than large animals. To compensate for their size, nature has given many small animals weapons such as fangs and stingers to defend themselves. Each year, a few people are bitten by sharks, mauled by alligators, and attacked by bears. Most of these incidents were in some way the victim's fault. However, each year more victims die from bites by relatively small venomous snakes than by large dangerous animals. Even more victims die from allergic reactions to bee stings. For this reason, we will pay more attention to smaller and potentially more dangerous creatures. These are the animals you are more likely to meet as you unwittingly move into their habitat or they slip into your environment unnoticed.

Keeping a level head and an awareness of your surroundings will keep you alive if you use a few simple safety procedures. Do not let curiosity and carelessness kill or injure you.

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Dangerous Creatures

INSECTS AND ARACHNIDS

You recognize and identify insects, except centipedes and millipedes, by their six legs while arachnids have eight. All these small creatures become pests when they bite, sting or irritate you.

Although their venom can be quite painful, bee, wasp and hornet stings rarely kill a survivor unless he is allergic to that particular toxin. Even the most dangerous spiders rarely kill and the effects of tick-borne diseases are very slow-acting. However, in all cases, avoidance is the best defense. In environments known to have spiders and scorpions, check your footgear and clothing every morning. Also, check your bedding and shelter for them. Use care when turning over rocks and logs.

Scorpions
You find scorpions (Buthotus species) in deserts, jungles and forests of tropical, subtropical and warm, temperate areas of the world. They are mostly nocturnal in habit. You can find desert scorpions from below sea level in Death Valley to elevations as high as 3,600 meters in the Andes. Typically brown or black in moist areas, they may be yellow or light green in the desert. Their average size is about 2.5 centimeters. However, there are 20-centimeter giants in the jungles of Central America, New Guinea and Southern Africa. Fatalities from scorpion stings are rare but they can occur in children, the elderly and ill persons. Scorpions resemble small lobsters with raised, jointed tails bearing a stinger in the tip. Nature mimics the scorpions with whip scorpions or vinegarroons. These are harmless and have a tail like a wire or whip, rather than the jointed tail and stinger of true scorpions.

Spiders
You recognize the brown recluse, or fiddleback, spider of North America (Loxosceles reclusa) by a prominent violin-shaped light spot on the back of its body. As its name suggests, this spider likes to hide in dark places. Though rarely fatal, its bite causes excessive tissue degeneration around the wound and can even lead to amputation of the digits if left untreated.

You find members of the widow family (Latrodectus species) worldwide, though the black widow of North America is perhaps the most well-known. Found in warmer areas of the world, the widows are small, dark spiders with often hourglass-shaped white, red or orange spots on their abdomens.

Funnel-webs (Atrax species) are large, gray or brown Australian spiders. Chunky, with short legs, they are able to move easily up and down the cone-shaped webs from which they get their name. The local populace considers them deadly. Avoid them as they move about, usually at night, in search of prey. Symptoms of their bite are similar to those of the widow's — severe pain accompanied by sweating and shivering, weakness and disabling episodes that can last a week.

Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders (Theraphosidae and Lycosa species) best known because they are often sold in pet stores. There is one species in Europe, but most come from tropical America. Some South American species do inject a dangerous toxin but most simply produce a painful bite. Some tarantulas can be as large as a dinner plate. They all have large fangs for capturing food such as birds, mice and lizards. If bitten by a tarantula, pain and bleeding are certain and infection is likely.

Centipedes and Millipedes
Centipedes and millipedes are mostly small and harmless, although some tropical and desert species may reach 25 centimeters. A few varieties of centipedes have a poisonous bite but infection is the greatest danger, as their sharp claws dig in and puncture the skin. To prevent skin punctures, brush them off in the direction they are traveling, if you find them crawling on your skin.

Bees, Wasps and Hornets
We are all familiar with bees, wasps and hornets.They come in many varieties and have a wide diversity of habits and habitats. You recognize bees by their hairy and usually thick body, while the wasps, hornets and yellow jackets have more slender, nearly hairless bodies. Some bees, such as honeybees, live in colonies. They may be either domesticated or living wild in caves or hollow trees. You may find other bees, such as carpenter bees, in individual nest holes in wood or in the ground, like bumblebees. The main danger from bees is their barbed stinger located on their abdomens. When the bee stings you, it rips its stinger out of its abdomen along with the venom sac and the bee dies. Except for killer bees, most bees tend to be more docile than wasps, hornets and yellow jackets that have smooth stingers and are capable of repeated attacks.

Avoidance is the best tactic for self-protection. Watch out for flowers or fruit where bees may be feeding. Be careful of meat-eating yellow jackets when cleaning fish or game. The average person has a relatively minor and temporary reaction to bee stings and recovers in a couple of hours when the pain and headache go away. Those who are allergic to bee venom have severe reactions including anaphylactic shock, coma and death. If antihistamine medicine is not available and you cannot find a substitute, an allergy sufferer in a survival situation is in grave danger.

Ticks
Ticks are common in the tropics and temperate regions. They are familiar to most of us. Ticks are small, round arachnids with eight legs, and can have either a soft or hard body. Ticks require a blood host to survive and reproduce. This makes them dangerous because they spread diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis and others that can ultimately be disabling or fatal. There is little you can do to treat these diseases once contracted, but time is your ally since they are slow-acting ailments. According to most authorities, it takes at least six hours of attachment to the host for the tick to transmit the disease organisms. Thus, you have time to thoroughly inspect your body for their presence. Beware of ticks when passing through the thick vegetation they cling to, when cleaning host animals for food and when gathering natural materials to construct a shelter. Always use insect repellents, if possible.

LEECHES

Leeches are blood-sucking creatures with a wormlike appearance. You find them in the tropics and in temperate zones. You will certainly encounter them when swimming in infested waters or making expedient water crossings. You can find them when passing through swampy, tropical vegetation and bogs. You can also find them while cleaning food animals, such as turtles, found in freshwater. Leeches can crawl into small openings; therefore, avoid camping in their habitats when possible. Keep your trousers tucked in your boots. Check yourself frequently for leeches. Swallowed or eaten, leeches can be a great hazard. It is essential to treat water from questionable sources by boiling or using chemical water treatments. Survivors have developed severe infections from wounds inside the throat or nose when sores from swallowed leeches became infected.

BATS

Despite the legends, bats (Desmodus species) are a relatively small hazard to the survivor. There are many bat varieties worldwide, but you find the true vampire bats only in Central and South America. They are small, agile fliers that land on their sleeping victims, mostly cows and horses, to lap a blood meal after biting their victim. Their saliva contains an anticoagulant that keeps the blood slowly flowing while they feed. Only a small percentage of these bats actually carry rabies; however, avoid any sick or injured bat. They can carry other diseases and infections, and will bite readily when handled. Taking shelter in a cave occupied by bats, however, presents the much greater hazard of inhaling powdered bat dung (guano). Bat dung carries many organisms that can cause diseases. Eating thoroughly cooked flying foxes or other bats presents no danger from rabies and other diseases but again, the emphasis is on thorough cooking.

POISONOUS SNAKES

There are no infallible rules for expedient identification of poisonous snakes in the field, because the guidelines all require close observation or manipulation of the snake's body. The best strategy is to leave all snakes alone. Where snakes are plentiful and poisonous species are present, the risk of their bites negates their food value. Apply the following safety rules when traveling in areas where there are poisonous snakes:


    * Walk carefully and watch where you step. Step onto logs, rather than over them, before looking and moving on. 
    * Look closely when picking fruit or moving around water.
    * Do not tease, molest or harass snakes. Snakes cannot close their eyes. Therefore, you cannot tell if they are asleep. Some snakes, such as mambas, cobras and bushmasters, will attack aggressively when cornered or guarding a nest.
    * Use sticks to turn logs and rocks.
    * Wear proper footgear, particularly at night.
    * Carefully check bedding, shelter and clothing.
    * Be calm when you encounter serpents. Snakes cannot hear and you can occasionally surprise them when they are sleeping or sunning. Normally, they will flee if given the opportunity.
    * Use extreme care if you must kill snakes for food or safety. Although it is not common, warm, sleeping human bodies occasionally attract snakes.


Snake-Free Areas
The polar regions are free of snakes due to their inhospitable environments. Other areas considered to be free of poisonous snakes are New Zealand, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Polynesia and Hawaii.

POISONOUS SNAKES OF THE AMERICAS

    * American copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
    * Bushmaster (Lachesis mutus)
    * Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius)
    * Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
    * Fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox)
    * Rattlesnake (Crotalus species)

LEECHES

Leeches are blood-sucking creatures with a wormlike appearance. You find them in the tropics and in temperate zones. You will certainly encounter them when swimming in infested waters or making expedient water crossings. You can find them when passing through swampy, tropical vegetation and bogs. You can also find them while cleaning food animals, such as turtles, found in freshwater. Leeches can crawl into small openings; therefore, avoid camping in their habitats when possible. Keep your trousers tucked in your boots. Check yourself frequently for leeches. Swallowed or eaten, leeches can be a great hazard. It is essential to treat water from questionable sources by boiling or using chemical water treatments. Survivors have developed severe infections from wounds inside the throat or nose when sores from swallowed leeches became infected.

BATS

Despite the legends, bats (Desmodus species) are a relatively small hazard to the survivor. There are many bat varieties worldwide, but you find the true vampire bats only in Central and South America. They are small, agile fliers that land on their sleeping victims, mostly cows and horses, to lap a blood meal after biting their victim. Their saliva contains an anticoagulant that keeps the blood slowly flowing while they feed. Only a small percentage of these bats actually carry rabies; however, avoid any sick or injured bat. They can carry other diseases and infections, and will bite readily when handled. Taking shelter in a cave occupied by bats, however, presents the much greater hazard of inhaling powdered bat dung (guano). Bat dung carries many organisms that can cause diseases. Eating thoroughly cooked flying foxes or other bats presents no danger from rabies and other diseases but again, the emphasis is on thorough cooking.

POISONOUS SNAKES

There are no infallible rules for expedient identification of poisonous snakes in the field, because the guidelines all require close observation or manipulation of the snake's body. The best strategy is to leave all snakes alone. Where snakes are plentiful and poisonous species are present, the risk of their bites negates their food value. Apply the following safety rules when traveling in areas where there are poisonous snakes:


    * Walk carefully and watch where you step. Step onto logs, rather than over them, before looking and moving on. 
    * Look closely when picking fruit or moving around water.
    * Do not tease, molest or harass snakes. Snakes cannot close their eyes. Therefore, you cannot tell if they are asleep. Some snakes, such as mambas, cobras and bushmasters, will attack aggressively when cornered or guarding a nest.
    * Use sticks to turn logs and rocks.
    * Wear proper footgear, particularly at night.
    * Carefully check bedding, shelter and clothing.
    * Be calm when you encounter serpents. Snakes cannot hear and you can occasionally surprise them when they are sleeping or sunning. Normally, they will flee if given the opportunity.
    * Use extreme care if you must kill snakes for food or safety. Although it is not common, warm, sleeping human bodies occasionally attract snakes.


Snake-Free Areas
The polar regions are free of snakes due to their inhospitable environments. Other areas considered to be free of poisonous snakes are New Zealand, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Polynesia and Hawaii.

POISONOUS SNAKES OF THE AMERICAS

    * American copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
    * Bushmaster (Lachesis mutus)
    * Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius)
    * Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
    * Fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox)
    * Rattlesnake (Crotalus species)

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