Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Knife

Essentials for Wilderness Survival, Part 1.

Say you're out in the woods, then what?

Most of us, when we think of being in that situation, we think of survival. How about you? You too? Good.

So then what? How do you survive? Well, one way is to make a list, then take the list along. If you die, then there are only two possibilities.

  • You didn't pay attention to your list, or
  • You couldn't read your writing, or
  • You didn't believe what you wrote, or
  • Something else

In case you noticed that there were more than two possibilities, you're catching on. Reality has a way of rising up and biting your butt like a snake in the grass, so for all-around practicality, it's hard to go wrong taking a knife.

If you have a knife you can cut stuff. Cutting stuff is fun, and it relieves the boredom while you wait for the search party.

Then again, if the search party doesn't show up and you get really bored with cutting stuff, try shaving some animals. Animals are everywhere and most of them have way too much fuzz. Just put up a small sign offering your services in return for meat and you'll have more chow than you can gag down, while meeting some interesting critters.

Still not rescued? Hey, time for Step Two. Find a cabin, then use your knife to pick the lock. Once inside, you'll be cozy unless it gets really cold, so then...?

Use your knife to hack the cabin into firewood. When the cabin is all gone, look for another one.

But! (There's always a but, ain't there?) You need a sharp knife for this, and picking locks dulls knives like crazy, so get on it. Sharpening a knife is easy if you know how.

First, don't try sharpening the knife all over, only on the edge. Novices always try to sharpen the handle and then cut themselves when the next coyote shows up for a quick trim around the ears.

Save handle sharpening for later if and only if you need to drink your own blood to keep your strength up. Not now though. We get to that in the advanced course.

Well, say none of that works and you're kind of getting by, but it's only surviving, and not Surviving! What next?

Knives are shiny, right? So use the blade to signal with. Try signaling aliens — they have advanced technology and probably good food and stuff, though signaling them only works at night for some reason, so do it by candle light. It works great.

Not sure about that? Well remember, light travels at the speed of light — even if it's dim light, so those aliens could be parking their rigs in your meadow even before your candle gets warm.

And if it takes a little longer, build some yurts and open a resort. Call it something catchy like Al's AAA Alien Airpark-O-Rama and you'll probably have more business than you can shake your knife at, especially if you know how to make crop circles, which we'll get to later, after we have a few drinks.

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