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How to use the stars for navigation (in northern and southern hemispheres).

In a wilderness survival situation, you can determine direction using “markers” in the sky, constellations and key stars, that point the way North or South.  The astronomical objects to use are dependent upon your location – Northern Hemisphere or Southern Hemisphere. The Northern Sky (Northern Hemisphere) In the northern hemisphere,…
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Other Uses for Plants

Medicinal use of plants in the wild – sedatives, antihistamines, antiseptics, anti-fungal washes and more

When using wild plants for medical treatment, positive identification of the plants involved is as critical as when using them for food. Proper use of these plants is equally important. Many plants have the ability to synthesize chemical compounds that help them defend against attack from a wide variety of…
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Water Procurement

Water Filtration – all about filtering water in a wilderness survival situation.

If the water you find is also muddy, stagnant, and foul-smelling, you can clear the water before purifying it.  Filtration removes the large, undesirable particles such as dirt and plant particles.  You can filter water by: By placing it in a container and letting it stand for 12 hours to…
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Water Procurement

Water Purification – dangers and how to purify water in the wilderness

Rainwater collected in clean containers or from plants is usually safe for drinking. However, water gathered from lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, or swamps should be purified, especially if the water source is near human settlements or in tropical environments.  When possible, purify all water you get from vegetation or from…
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Water Procurement

Water stills – how to build a water still to collect water in the wild

Above Ground Stills You can utilize water stills in various environments.  Even hot, arid desert habitats can yield water to a parched survivalist. Stills draw moisture from the ground or from plant material through the processes of evaporation and condensation. Various materials are required to build a still.  Some can…
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Water Procurement

Water sources – how to find water in just about any circumstance

Introduction You are in the wilderness and you need water – finding water is critical.  You can only live three days without it.  What do you do?  Almost any environment has water present to some degree.  You just have to know where to look. How to look for water First,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Yam bean – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Yam bean (Pachyrhizus erosus) The yam bean, commonly known as Jicama (and also known as Mexican Turnip or Mexican Potato), is a climbing plant of the bean family, with alternate, three-parted leaves and a large root. They can reach a height of a few feet given suitable support and grow…
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Edible Wild Plants

Yam – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Yam (Dioscorea species) These plants are twining, tuberous vines that creep along the ground or occasionally climb trees and other structures. The woody rootstock, or tubers, is pale brown, knotty, and cylindrical in shape.  Stems are reddish-brown and can grow to over 30 feet in length.  They have broad, alternate,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wood sorrel – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wood sorrel (Oxalis species) There are over 800 species in the Oxalis family.  Wood sorrel (also known as Woodsorrels, Yellow Sorrels, or Pink Sorrels) resembles shamrock or four-leaf clover, with a bell-shaped pink, yellow, or white flower.  The plants can grow up to 15 inches tall.  The leaves are divided…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild rose – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild rose (Rosa species) The Wild Rose shrub grows 60 centimeters to meters (24 inches to 8 feet) high. Larger stems are usually densely covered with straight prickles.  It has alternate, sharply serrated edged leaves with 3-7 oval or slightly spear-head shaped leaflets per leaf. Its oval to pear-shaped flowers…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild rice – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild rice (Zizania aquatica) Wild rice (also known as Canada Rice, Indian Rice, Marsh Oats, and Water Oats) is an tall, erect, aquatic grass that typically is 1 to meters (3 to 4 feet) in height, but may reach meters (15 feet). The leaves are flat, strap-like, about 3-4 feet…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild pistachio – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild pistachio (Pistacia species) Wild Pistachio plants can grow as shrubs or trees up to a height of 7 meters (23 feet). It branches are spreading and form a dense crown.  The bark of the Wild Pistachio is typically ashen gray in color and deeply fissured often giving the tree…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild onion and garlic – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild onion and garlic (Allium species) Allium cernuum and Allium canadense are examples of the many species of wild onions and garlics, all easily recognized by their distinctive onion-like or garlic-like odor.  Many have leaves located at the base that wither away as the flowers begin growing but the main…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild grape vine – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild grape vine (Vitis species) The wild grapevine climbs with the aid of “tendrils” on stems that are hairy when young but grow into hairless vines. Its bark is twining.  The tendrils that are used for support grow opposite the leaves.  Most grapevines produce deeply lobed leaves, alternately arranged, broad…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild gourd or luffa sponge – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild gourd or luffa sponge (Luffa aegyptiaca, Luffa cylindrica) The luffa sponge (also known as Smooth Luffa, Egyptian Luffa, or Wild Squash) is widely distributed and fairly typical of a wild squash. There are several dozen kinds of wild squashes in tropical regions. Like most squashes, the luffa is a…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild fig – how to identify figs and prepare for food

Wild fig (Ficus species) Collectively known as “fig trees” or “figs”, there are nearly 1,000 species of Ficus ranging from woody trees to shrubs and vines.  Most are of the “strangler” variety, with aerial root systems, and hence easy to identify.  The sticky seeds are spread by birds to other…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild dock and wild sorrel – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild dock and wild sorrel (Rumex crispus and Rumex acetosella) Wild dock (also known as Curly Dock, Yellow Dock, Sour Dock, and Narrow Dock) is a stout plant with most of its leaves at the base of its long stem that is commonly 15 to 30 centimeters (6 to 12…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild desert gourd or colocynth – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild desert gourd or colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis) The wild desert gourd (also known as Bitter Apple, Bitter Cucumber, Egusi, or Vine of Sodom), a member of the watermelon family, produces a to 3-meter-long (7 1/2- to 9-foot-long) ground-trailing vine with hairy, angular stems. The leaves are 3-7 lobed.  The perfectly…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild crab apple or wild apple – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild crab apple or wild apple (Malus species) Wild apple, also known as Crab Apples or Crabs, are a tree that grow to 13-39 feet tall with a dense, twiggy crown.  Wild apple varieties are much smaller than cultivated kinds; the largest kinds usually do not exceed 5 to centimeters…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild caper – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wild caper (Capparis aphylla) Wild Caper, also known as Kerda, Kair, Karir, Kirir, and Karril, is a small branched tree or thorny shrub that bears many thin, often tangled looking, leafless branches and grows to a height of about 15 feet.  Leaves are usually only found on young shoots and…
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Edible Wild Plants

Water plantain – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica) The Water-plantain plant, also known as Mad-dog weed, has small, white flowers and heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips. It has a fibrous root and several long-stemmed leaves with a triangular shaped stem.  The leaves are clustered at the base of the plant.  The plant produces many…
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Edible Wild Plants

Water lily – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Water lily (Nymphaea odorata) Water Lily plants, also known as Beaver Root, are aquatic plants that are rooted in the mud from branched roots with long stems and have large, round (typically notched) leaves that float on the surface of the water.  The Water Lily’s leaves have a waxy, waterproof…
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Edible Wild Plants

Water lettuce – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Water lettuce (Ceratopteris species) Water Lettuce, also known as Water Fern or Watersprite, is an aquatic or subaquatic fern buoyed via internal air pockets in its fronds.  The soft, pale green to brown (color depends upon how much light it receives) leaves of water lettuce are much like lettuce and…
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