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Outdoors, Wilderness & Survival Skills

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Inspired by @Bluewolf's suggestion in the TV series thread and Alone TV survival experiment.

Anyone else into it? I'm fascinated by people who have skills and are able to survive (and even thrive) in wilderness completely off-grid.

 

 

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I do like a bit of outdoors... It's really interesting to see how people get on when faced with the harsh reality of it... I often wonder what it would be like to pit myself against the elements in an 'Alone' type scenario.. I think I would probably do ok but depending where you are and whats available would determine your success... Certainly would test you both physically and mentally, working out what to prioritise , Shelter, Fresh water, Food.. etc..

All sounds good from the sofa but lets not kid ourselves, being out in a place that has Bears and Wolves wandering around with only a light tent and your kids glowing plastic lightsaber for protection is not going to cut the mustard.. Not to mention the Cougars!! and here we are not talking about the slightly older female seeking a sexual relationship with a young fella like myself but those with teeth and claws... hard to tell them apart I know but I think you now what I mean... 

I reckon I would probably opt for a decent solid Shelter first. Do it in the early stages while you still have plenty of energy to get it done so that if those Bears or Wolves come calling you can at least ride out the danger rather than cacking yourself every time you hear the tent rustling in the wind... Mentally I don't know to be honest, I consider myself to be a fairly strong character and not a lot ruffles me and as I get older the idea of spending a long period of time away from others does have it's appeal but again, no-one to talk to all day and night, no internet or phone all the pastimes that make 'being alone' not so lonely and not being able to share it with anyone would surely get to you after a while.. You get through some of the toughest times because there is always someone there like a Friend or your Family who steps in when you have doubts or misgivings about things, if all that decision making was left to just you with no second opinion could you still persevere against the odds or would the loneliness eat away at you??? 

What 10 items would you take???  

Edited by Bluewolf
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Young fella ? I guess we are talking relatively to 110-130 years old women.

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1 hour ago, Stick With Azeem said:

Young fella ? I guess we are talking relatively to 110-130 years old women.

Lucky I like you... 

I have got to that certain age now where I don't need the drama of the day to day, I don't want to fight with anyone or insult them but if forced too you need to know that I will not quit and there are no weapons I am not prepared to use to gain victory... You are probably better off not poking the old folk or for sure they will no doubt verbally or physically hurt you, probably both... just leave us to our Coffee and Scotch in peace... 

#Respectyourelders

Would have replied a bit sooner but took me a while to find the hashtag thing on my keyboard... B|

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5 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

I often wonder what it would be like to pit myself against the elements in an 'Alone' type scenario.. I think I would probably do ok but depending where you are and whats available would determine your success... Certainly would test you both physically and mentally, working out what to prioritise , Shelter, Fresh water, Food.. etc..

All sounds good from the sofa but lets not kid ourselves, being out in a place that has Bears and Wolves wandering around with only a light tent and your kids glowing plastic lightsaber for protection is not going to cut the mustard..

Having wild animals such as bears, wolfs and cougars and no means to defend yourself in case of attack (other than a knife or an ax maybe) is the thing that would scare me the most as well; even if animals naturally avoid humans most of time. I actually wonder how were they able to get the show approved in the first place to be fair. Unless it's heavily scripted (doesn't look like it and I don't think you can easily script wild animals anyway haha), there's a lot of uncontrolled risk of someone getting seriously injured or even killed. I'm sure there's something going on behind the scenes; maybe they are given some means of protection or something that they are only supposed to use in case of emergency?
Another thing from the show that would bother me a lot and make things very complicated is the weather; everything is just wet all the time; it's like trying to live in a permanent swamp. Very extreme and outright depressing.

16 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

I reckon I would probably opt for a decent solid Shelter first. Do it in the early stages while you still have plenty of energy to get it done so that if those Bears or Wolves come calling you can at least ride out the danger rather than cacking yourself every time you hear the tent rustling in the wind...

That's also what I thought while watching the first two episodes. A solid shelter makes a lot of sense and is probably the most important thing given that they are not allowed to wander much so you're more or less stuck in one place. Even something simple like an improvised wickiup shelter and then a fence out of sticks driven into the ground should be more helpful than just a makeshift tarp tent in order to keep the animals out... And fire of course. Also probably not a good idea to prepare, eat and store your food where you sleep. 

42 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

Not to mention the Cougars!! and here we are not talking about the slightly older female seeking a sexual relationship with a young fella like myself but those with teeth and claws... hard to tell them apart I know but I think you now what I mean... 

xDxDxD 

43 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

Mentally I don't know to be honest, I consider myself to be a fairly strong character and not a lot ruffles me and as I get older the idea of spending a long period of time away from others does have it's appeal but again, no-one to talk to all day and night, no internet or phone all the pastimes that make 'being alone' not so lonely and not being able to share it with anyone would surely get to you after a while.. You get through some of the toughest times because there is always someone there like a Friend or your Family who step in when you have doubts or misgivings about things, if all that decision making was left to just you with no second opinion could you still persevere against the odds or would the loneliness eat away at you??? 

I think that's actually where I'd have an advantage xD That, and fasting which would inevitably be a part of any survival scenario, at least at the beginning. 

45 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

What 10 items would you take???  

This is the question that I had in mind as well while opening this thread. I'll have to think about it, but to make it more interesting, maybe let's stick to the list of 40 items that the participants of the show also had to choose from?

(*Each participant was allowed to select up to 10 items from the following list.)

SHELTER

12×12 ground cloth/tarp (grommets approved)

8 mm climbing rope

550 parachord – 20m

1 hatchet

1 saw

1 axe

BEDDING

1 multi-seasonal sleeping bag that fits within provided back-pack

1 bivi bag (gortex sleeping bag cover)

1 sleeping Pad

1 hammock

COOKING

1 large (no more than 2 quart) Pot, includes lid

1 steel frying pan

1 flint or ferro rod set

1 enamel bowl for eating from

1 spoon

1 disposable lighter

1 canteen or water bottle

1 bear canister

HYGIENE

1 bar soap

1 8 oz tube of toothpaste

1 face flannel

1 40 m. roll dental floss

1 small bottle bio shower soap

1 shaving razor (and 1 blade)

1 towel (30” x 60”)

1 comb

HUNTING

1 300 yard roll of nylon single filament fishing line and 25 assorted hooks (No lures)

1 primitive bow with 6 Arrows (must be predominately made of wood)

1 small gauge gill net (1.5 m deep x 6 m long and 2 inch [50 mm] mesh)

1 slingshot/Catapult

1 net foraging bag

3.5 lb roll of trapping wire

FOOD RATIONS

5 lbs of beef jerky (protein)

5 lbs of dried pulses/legumes/lentils mix (starch and carbs)

5 lbs of biltong (protein)

5 lbs of hard tack military biscuits (carbs/sugars)

5 lbs of chocolate (Simple/complex sugars)

5 lbs of pemmican (traditional trail food made from fat and proteins)

5 lbs of gorp (raisins, m&m’s and peanuts)

5 lbs of flour. (starch/carbs)

2 lbs of rice or sugar and 1 lb of salt

TOOLS

1 pocket knife

1 hunting knife

1 leatherman multi-tool

1 sharpening stone

1 roll of duct tape or 1 roll of electrical tape

1 small shovel

1 small sewing kit

1 carabineer

1 LED flashlight

1 pair of ice spikes

 

*Also it's worth noting that the participants had a lot of gear that was given to them outside of those 10 items they had to selected. So keep in mind when making the choice that you already have following items:

CLOTHING/APPAREL/PERSONAL EFFECT ITEMS

1 pair high leg Hunting boots

2 pairs of Outdoor Pants (can unzip into shorts)

1 t-shirt

2 fleece or wool shirts (a hooded fleece is approved)

3 pairs wool socks

1 hat (brimmed, wool or baseball)

1 bandana or shemagh

1 pair gloves

1 light outdoor jacket

2 pairs underwear

1 rain jacket and rain trousers

1 thermal underwear (long)

1 pair of gaiters

1 pair of Crocs, Teva sandals or Keen sandals

1 toothbrush

1 pair of prescription eye glasses

1 personal photograph

TRACKING/SAFETY ITEMS

1 canister wild animal repellant

1 air horn

1 backpack

1 camera pack

Camera equipment

1 emergency flare

1 satellite phone

1 emergency personal flotation device

1 first aid kit (military type – tourniquet, wadding, ace bandage, alcohol, plastic bag, etc)

1 small mirror

1 20×20 canvas tarp

1 10×10 canvas tarp for camera gear

1 head lamp

1 gps tracking device

1 emergency rations pack to include water and food

WINTER SURVIVAL ITEMS

1 woolen sweater

1 pair of gloves

1 trapper’s hat with ear protection or toboggan

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Is this show about survival or how much of a donkey you are going to be with all that stuff strapped to your back?

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5 minutes ago, Mel81x said:

Is this show about survival or how much of a donkey you are going to be with all that stuff strapped to your back?

This looks like a huge list but they honestly don't have that much. Reserve/winter clothes & emergency items and cameras for filming themselves (there's no camera crew) + 10 items of their choosing. Most of them just have one big backpack for all the stuff. 

I find it to be a very realistic show so far to be fair.

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4 minutes ago, nudge said:

This looks like a huge list but they honestly don't have that much. Reserve/winter clothes & emergency items and cameras for filming themselves (there's no camera crew) + 10 items of their choosing. Most of them just have one big backpack for all the stuff. 

I find it to be a very realistic show so far to be fair.

Fair play. I quite like the idea of being thrown in the middle of nowhere and surviving. Albeit if you threw me somewhere in the winter my first course of action would be to find a way to stay warm and fast or I doubt I'd last the night. If you threw me in a desert on the other hand I'd probably last two weeks with 10 items just because I did a lot of desert trekking when I was younger so learning how to avoid the heat and what to use to survive comes quite easily to me.

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1 hour ago, nudge said:

Having wild animals such as bears, wolfs and cougars and no means to defend yourself in case of attack (other than a knife or an ax maybe) is the thing that would scare me the most as well; even if animals naturally avoid humans most of time. I actually wonder how were they able to get the show approved in the first place to be fair. Unless it's heavily scripted (doesn't look like it and I don't think you can easily script wild animals anyway haha), there's a lot of uncontrolled risk of someone getting seriously injured or even killed. I'm sure there's something going on behind the scenes; maybe they are given some means of protection or something that they are only supposed to use in case of emergency?
Another thing from the show that would bother me a lot and make things very complicated is the weather; everything is just wet all the time; it's like trying to live in a permanent swamp. Very extreme and outright depressing.

I was wondering that as well.... The couple of occasions they have had Bears in fairly close proximity would be a concern even for an experienced outdoors person let alone someone who has no/little experience... I did laugh when they are running off shouting "Hey Bear" xD Someone has obviously been giving them a few tips on how to best keep them away before letting them loose in there... They must have snipers or shooters that watch over them from a distance surely?? There is no way you can tell me that in the event that one of those contestants was getting a savage mauling from a Bear or a pack of Wolves that they would be anywhere up to an hour away before getting to them?? that would be TV suicide.. as you say, some safety has to be going on behind the scenes to give the impression they are really miles from anyone.. They have flares as well don't they to help ward off danger... Fire!! that's the best animal deterrent, one big blazing fire    

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2 minutes ago, Mel81x said:

Fair play. I quite like the idea of being thrown in the middle of nowhere and surviving. Albeit if you threw me somewhere in the winter my first course of action would be to find a way to stay warm and fast or I doubt I'd last the night. If you threw me in a desert on the other hand I'd probably last two weeks with 10 items just because I did a lot of desert trekking when I was younger so learning how to avoid the heat and what to use to survive comes quite easily to me.

I'd probably die in both scenarios pretty soon xD but originally coming from a region with harsh winter temperatures going as low as -30°C, I'm definitely more comfortable with my that than with a desert...

What is the best way to get water in the desert?

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Just now, nudge said:

I'd probably die in both scenarios pretty soon xD but originally coming from a region with harsh winter temperatures going as low as -30°C, I'm definitely more comfortable with my that than with a desert...

What is the best way to get water in the desert?

That Discovery Channel guy even drank his own piss... 

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1 minute ago, Bluewolf said:

I did laugh when they are running off shouting "Hey Bear" xD

xD My favourite was one of them sewing a pair of eyes on the back of his hat to trick the cougars who attack from behind xD 

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3 minutes ago, Stick With Azeem said:

That Discovery Channel guy even drank his own piss... 

Won't have much urine to drink if you're dehydrated... 

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1 hour ago, Mel81x said:

Is this show about survival or how much of a donkey you are going to be with all that stuff strapped to your back?

It's not that bad to be honest although I was surprised about how big the luggage cart is for it they have to pull around... having to lug that lot around each time you decide to relocate must be like trying to push a supermarket trolly through a Paddy field... 

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If i ever have to get lost being totally alone these would be my preferred environments

- winter wasteland

- thick jungle

- desert

- in the ocean on a boat or on a lone island 

- swamps, rain forest

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Finding water really varies depending on what your physical condition is going to be and most importantly time of day.

  • Never and I mean never travel in the late day going into the afternoon, that is a recipe for dehydration and lost of consciousness. Travelling during the early morning/break of dusk is generally a better idea. If you really have to do afternoon trekking and want to conserve water try drinking water with something like salt in it (i know it sounds yucky but the electrolyte balance is better for you in the longer run). 
  • If you do plan on taking a whizz and are low on water then store it (chances of this happening are very low anyway but if the situation does arise you'd be surprised how much water your body lets out). The first time you do take a pee is probably the worst for your body so I'd avoid it but the later you go into the day the better chances are you're going to get some rehydration from your pee.
  • It used to be a joke when we did these things but starting out with a bottle colder than the outside climate increases the chances of you using dew and other stuff on the bottle to keep your head cool during the trek. This isn't really hard to do.
  • Wearing socks with holes on the top of them outweighs just wearing socks because trapping heat in your feat is terrible for your body and walking on hot sand is bad for your feet period. Find a way to keep your feet aired at all times because it seriously helps with moving around.
  • Look around for any kind of wildlife, they tend not to stray too far from a water source and if you can follow them its in your best interest to do so because they'll lead you to some kind of shelter and water source
  • Desert plans are rarely poisonous more dangerous to get through if they have thorns or barbs, once you get past that you can get water from inside them too.
  • Use your sweat to your benefit in not just letting it cool your body naturally but also using soaked garments to keep you cool during the day by applying them on your head
  • Drinking overly cooled water doesn't really help the situation either so drinking mildly warm water I find keeps me going longer

If I was taking 10 items two of them would be water bottles and one would definitely be electrolytes followed by some socks because from personal experience once your feet get hot it doesn't matter how much water you have your body is going to crave it more than normal. 

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1 hour ago, nudge said:

Won't have much urine to drink if you're dehydrated... 

That's the other thing I like about the show, in reality while you are located 7.5 miles away from me happily surviving off the juice of a soya bean I will be struggling to work out what is safe to eat and what's not... xD that would be my biggest problem, and what I like about the show is they give you some really interesting facts about vegetation and wildlife, like the Kelp for example and what it contains which is great if you know all this beforehand but not so great if you know bugger all.. it would all be trial and error for me.. "Ooohhh look some mushrooms.. " then self doubt creeps in, " Are they edible or poisonous ones?? " "fuck it, can't chance it.."  

You would find my decomposing body some 6 months later with 'Died from lack of knowledge' scratched out on some tree above me... 

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I think basic survival is important even if you don't do the kinds of extreme things that folks on these TV shows do. Being able to keep a fire running versus starting one is a basic skill I think most people should know if they like the outdoors. More often than not, the fire gets started but stoking it and keeping it going aren't really of a big concern especially on cold nights.

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12 minutes ago, Mel81x said:

Finding water really varies depending on what your physical condition is going to be and most importantly time of day.

  • Never and I mean never travel in the late day going into the afternoon, that is a recipe for dehydration and lost of consciousness. Travelling during the early morning/break of dusk is generally a better idea. If you really have to do afternoon trekking and want to conserve water try drinking water with something like salt in it (i know it sounds yucky but the electrolyte balance is better for you in the longer run). 
  • If you do plan on taking a whizz and are low on water then store it (chances of this happening are very low anyway but if the situation does arise you'd be surprised how much water your body lets out). The first time you do take a pee is probably the worst for your body so I'd avoid it but the later you go into the day the better chances are you're going to get some rehydration from your pee.
  • It used to be a joke when we did these things but starting out with a bottle colder than the outside climate increases the chances of you using dew and other stuff on the bottle to keep your head cool during the trek. This isn't really hard to do.
  • Wearing socks with holes on the top of them outweighs just wearing socks because trapping heat in your feat is terrible for your body and walking on hot sand is bad for your feet period. Find a way to keep your feet aired at all times because it seriously helps with moving around.
  • Look around for any kind of wildlife, they tend not to stray too far from a water source and if you can follow them its in your best interest to do so because they'll lead you to some kind of shelter and water source
  • Desert plans are rarely poisonous more dangerous to get through if they have thorns or barbs, once you get past that you can get water from inside them too.
  • Use your sweat to your benefit in not just letting it cool your body naturally but also using soaked garments to keep you cool during the day by applying them on your head
  • Drinking overly cooled water doesn't really help the situation either so drinking mildly warm water I find keeps me going longer

If I was taking 10 items two of them would be water bottles and one would definitely be electrolytes followed by some socks because from personal experience once your feet get hot it doesn't matter how much water you have your body is going to crave it more than normal. 

Good stuff.

Have you ever tried setting up a moisture track in a desert? I've read it should generate about a cup of water an hour which sounds great tbh.

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First aid techniques are important

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26 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

That's the other thing I like about the show, in reality while you are surviving 7.5 miles away from happily surviving off the juice of a soya bean I will be struggling to work out what is safe to eat and what's not... xD that would be my biggest problem, and what I like about the show is they give you some really interesting facts about vegetation and wildlife, like the Kelp for example and what it contains which is great if you know all this beforehand but not so great if you know bugger all.. it would all be trial and error for me.. "Ooohhh look some mushrooms.. " then self doubt creeps in, " Are they edible or poisonous ones?? " "fuck it, can't chance it.."  

You would find my decomposing body some 6 months later with 'Died from lack of knowledge' scratched out on some tree above me... 

For me it depends on which continent and region I'm stranded at... I'm quite well versed in fauna & flora of northern/eastern/central Europe, but would certainly struggle anywhere else. Used to forage and eat a lot of plants in my childhood. Mushrooms are particularly easy for me as we've been gathering mushrooms for food in the wild every autumn since I was a child, so it was essential to learn to distinguish the edible ones from the non-edible and poisonous ones at the very early age... I would be cautious with berries though as while we used to gather them as well, it's much easier to get them confused, in my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, nudge said:

For me it depends on which continent and region I'm stranded at... I'm quite well versed in fauna & flora of northern/eastern/central Europe, but would certainly struggle anywhere else. Used to forage and eat a lot of plants in my childhood. Mushrooms are particularly easy for me as we've been gathering mushrooms for food in the wild every autumn since I was a child, so it was essential to learn to distinguish the edible ones from the non-edible and poisonous ones at the very early age... I would be cautious with berries though as while we used to gather them as well, it's much easier to get them confused, in my opinion. 

They would be the easiest for me... If I found a bush full of them where wildlife is in abundance in the area then I would avoid them like the plague... If they are not being eaten by the animals then they probably won't be any good to me either... I am not sure who would have the advantage really... you might die while being savaged and eaten by a Bear because the 'all round protection' tag on your sleeping bag didn't quite live up to expectation or me dying alone of starvation in a castle style rock solid Log Cabin that a Swat team would struggle to break into.... 

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I love it. I spent the whole of last weekend out in the outdoors in fact when I was fishing for the weekend. I did a full week in a tent(well a bivvy, which are better than tents) last August and I'll be doing the same again at the end of August this year. In fact, I'm off work next week and will be doing 3 days in a bivvy from Wednesday to Saturday. This isn't exactly what nudgey is referring to, although the closest you'll get in terms of living wild.

 

I've recently bought one of these for cooking with:-

 

Absolutely brilliant and easily worth the £80 I paid.

 

 

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2 hours ago, nudge said:

Having wild animals such as bears, wolfs and cougars and no means to defend yourself in case of attack (other than a knife or an ax maybe) is the thing that would scare me the most as well; even if animals naturally avoid humans most of time.

Depending on the part of the world you're in, you may also have to look out for tribes or rebel groups.

Luckily we don't really have anything dangerous in the UK. There are animals, that if they wanted to, could cause serious damage, although most are timid when it comes to humans.

I've seen alsorts though when fishing:- Badgers, Foxes, Deer, Adders, Grass Snakes, Slow worms, Bats, Weasels, Stoats, Hares, Mink, Voles, Mice, Rats, all type of birds of prey(Buzzard, Peregrine, Kestrel, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite...), Tawny owls, Barn Owls, Kingfishers..obviously fish as well :ph34r:. Oh and you could add Frogs, Toads and Newts as well.

If I wasn't an angler then I may have never seen some of those animals on that list.

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I don't mind wild animals, as already said they avoid humans mostly they might as well let me live with them once they get to trust me.... 

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33 minutes ago, The Rebel CRS said:

I love it. I spent the whole of last weekend out in the outdoors in fact when I was fishing for the weekend. I did a full week in a tent(well a bivvy, which are better than tents) last August and I'll be doing the same again at the end of August this year. In fact, I'm off work next week and will be doing 3 days in a bivvy from Wednesday to Saturday. This isn't exactly what nudgey is referring to, although the closest you'll get in terms of living wild.

 

I've recently bought one of these for cooking with:-

 

Absolutely brilliant and easily worth the £80 I paid.

Well look at Mr. Fancypants here with all his fancy new gear :P 

Nah it looks good. Food for some reason tastes so nice when you prepare it on a campfire and eat it outdoors... A bit unrelated, but have you seen any videos of AlmazanKitchen? A Serbian lad cooks dishes on fire in the wilderness using mostly natural or homemade ingredients. Very relaxing and looks sooooo good.

 

 

26 minutes ago, The Rebel CRS said:

Depending on the part of the world you're in, you may also have to look out for tribes or rebel groups.

Luckily we don't really have anything dangerous in the UK. There are animals, that if they wanted to, could cause serious damage, although most are timid when it comes to humans.

I've seen alsorts though when fishing:- Badgers, Foxes, Deer, Adders, Grass Snakes, Slow worms, Bats, Weasels, Stoats, Hares, Mink, Voles, Mice, Rats, all type of birds of prey(Buzzard, Peregrine, Kestrel, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite...), Tawny owls, Barn Owls, Kingfishers..obviously fish as well :ph34r:. Oh and you could add Frogs, Toads and Newts as well.

If I wasn't an angler then I may have never seen some of those animals on that list.

Most of my exposure to animals (and nature in general) comes from my childhood and teenage years when I used to spend a lot of time at my grandma's in remote countryside surrounded by thick woods. I feel seriously sorry for kids these days who grow up with little to no exposure to the wilderness...

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1 hour ago, Bluewolf said:

They would be the easiest for me... If I found a bush full of them where wildlife is in abundance in the area then I would avoid them like the plague... If they are not being eaten by the animals then they probably won't be any good to me either... I am not sure who would have the advantage really... you might die while being savaged and eaten by a Bear because the 'all round protection' tag on your sleeping bag didn't quite live up to expectation or me dying alone of starvation in a castle style rock solid Log Cabin that a Swat team would struggle to break into.... 

We could team up to improve our chances of survival B| You build the shelter and carry out most physically challenging tasks, I forage for food and cook it and keep you company so you don't go insane xD 

 

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1 hour ago, nudge said:

We could team up to improve our chances of survival B| You build the shelter and carry out most physically challenging tasks, I forage for food and cook it and keep you company so you don't go insane xD 

 

Image result for deal gif

And yes I will be wearing my Green all weather survival outfit while we are out there... The bloke down the shop said he has sold hundreds of them and I believe him because.... I am easily led as you know.. B|

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Did enough of all that in my army days, eating out of a mess tin in the middle of a field in the summertime with insects and flys falling in and you just gulped the lot down because you were hungry.  

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1 hour ago, nudge said:

We could team up to improve our chances of survival B| You build the shelter and carry out most physically challenging tasks, I forage for food and cook it and keep you company so you don't go insane xD 

 

On the first day you would go out foraging for supplies and when you got back I could say I have made a start on the shelter how did you do??? 

Image result for log cabins in the woods

You will probably come back with four berries a mushroom and a dead frog or something... xD 

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