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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Desert Survival

I saw this article recently http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article532400.ece.

It reminded me that although we here at Barre Army Navy Store live here in a cold, wet place with it's own survival challenges. We do not talk much about survival in a desert environment. There are several excellent tips in the article. The first is the if you are riding in a car in a desert environment and you are lost or stranded the car may be your greatest survival tool immediately at your disposal:

1. As a source of shade. The author says dig a hole and make it your home. For all us un-dingo dogs that goes against our need for movement but it makes sense. Sun saps you of your strength and ability to think clearly.

2. There are several unclean or unfiltered sources of water with in the car. Your radiator and possibly washer fluid (although many of us are more likely to have toxic fluid in our window washer tank).

3. Tires and the car can be burned a signal. The author cautions against burning inflated tires and explosions.

The other great advice in the article is about not panicking and about your food and water situation. People can survive many days without food and less time with out water but water should be used only sparingly unless absolutely needed and there are ways to control body temps and breathing to limit evaporation from your body.

No deserts here but if you are looking for survival supplies or water containers see Barre Army Navy Store http://www.vtarmynavy.com/


Anonymous said...

Lots of washer fluid contains methanol and will kill you. Most anti-freeze is made with ethylene glycol, another deadly poison. Even new, nicer anti-freezes will still contain additives and impurities you shouldn't drink. Terrible advice. If you are traveling in the desert, be prepared. You'd gas up first, right? Well, think a little further and take supplies!

Barre Army Navy Store said...

Good Advice they had saying in the military poor planning makes for poor performance.

James said...

In the american southwest, we have at least one very common type of cactus known as the prickly pear. It is easily recognizable with its large "paddles". It's fruit is edible and will provide water and nourishment. The paddles themselves should be avoided as a straight emergency food/water supply (do to a chemical that dries you out, i believe with the runs). Instead, scrape off the spines, mash the paddles up with a rock, bag the pulp and use it as a solar/vegetation still. It will take several stills to provide a long term solution to a lack of water in the desert.

As stated previously, car fluids contain chemicals that should not be digested and may be difficult even to use as stock in a solar still.