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Archive for June, 2016

How to Make a Rudimentary Survival Saw

How to Make a Rudimentary Survival Saw

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Have you thought about what you would do if you lost your knife?  That can be a more unthinkable scenario than facing the situation itself.  It’s important to know how to use cave-man style tools in case you ever need to rely on rudimentary items in an emergency.  Let’s take a look at a simple way to make a basic saw that can be surprisingly useful in the field.

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Required Items

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All you really need for this project is some fibrous material, string or cordage, a couple of rocks and a decent stick that’s about 16 inches long.  When choosing the rocks, you want one that is thick enough to be sturdy, thin enough to fit in the stick, and wide enough that you can fashion it into a triangular-shaped blade.  The other rock should have a narrow, sharp end on it while the back is smooth.  You will use this one to fashion the blade, and it will need to fit comfortably and rest in the palm of your hand.  Be choosy, as the quality of the rocks will translate into how much time it takes to make the blade as well as its effectiveness as well.

For the string material, you will quickly discover that thin, stringy, fibrous forest material works better than cordage.  It simply gives you more string to use for wrapping, and the fibers tend to fill in nooks and crannies that will make the connection more secure as well.  Try to use fibers from palm fronds, tree bark, ivy or any other similar forest material you come across.  You can also cut your cordage into strips of thin string as well.  Get yourself a good handful of the material as you be doing a lot of wrapping later.

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Fashioning the Blade

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The next step is to fashion the blade.  All you need to do is hold the rock that will be used for the blade in your non-dominant hand.  Have the edge that will be cut facing outward.  Take the rock that you will be using for cutting, and hold it in your dominant hand. 

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Work the tip of the edge of the cutter into the front-edge of the blade rock and start cutting away at the front side of the tooth.  Keep whittling until you get the angle right.  Then, whittle out the back-side of the tooth by moving the cutting rock about ¼ inch back.  Keep repeating until you’ve cut out enough teeth.

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Preparing the stick

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The easiest thing to do is take a stick that is study, yet slightly moist and pliable.  Fold it in half by bending it backward and allow the wood to break.  However, try and keep some of the fibers and bark intact as a way to reinforce the stick later. 

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Place the rock vertically into this bend so the narrow side of the rock is situated between each piece of branch.  Take a piece of cordage, braid it if necessary, and secure the rock to the stick by wrapping at around the center.  Align the rock so that the teeth are oriented at the proper angle and add another strand of string. 

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Next, start weaving or wrapping the material around the base of the rock and work downward.  This stub will secure the blade in place.  Then, keep wrapping the cordage around the bottom half of the rock to finish things off.  You can now wrap some cordage around the handle-end of the tool in order to make it easier on your hand while using it in the field.

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Try this method out, and feel free to improvise as necessary.  Keep in mind that you can also use duct tape as a way to reinforce the handle as well.  However, learning how to use cordage from nature is an important skill to have on hand.  However, at the end of the day, the important thing is to produce the most efficient tool, so how you do it is up to you. 

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How to Make the Easiest Self-Watering Planter Ever

How to Make the Easiest Self-Watering Planter Ever

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We’ve touched upon the importance of water conservation and gardening before, especially in a prolonged self-sufficiency situation.  While there are a lot of really good ideas out there with respect to building semi-permanent systems with minimal supplies, what would you do if you didn’t have things on hand like PVC pipe or aquarium tubing?  Here’s an option that can give you a chance to grow certain crops and plants with little more than a 2 liter bottle and some ingenuity.  Take a look at the steps below and see how easy it is to put this project to work for you.

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Required Items

Drill

2 liter soda bottle

Scissors or survival knife

Good soil mix

Nutrients for hydroponics (optional)

Absorbent material that can be used as a string or wick

Keep in mind that you don’t need to use special soil for this project, however if you have some on hand, it can greatly increase the health and growth rate of your plants.  However, you can use good soil from the ground as long as it has nutrients that promote good plant growth.

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Getting Started

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The first step is to peel off the label and thoroughly rinse and dry the inside of the soda bottle.  Next, cut it in half around the middle with your scissors or survival knife.  Consider tracing a line around the mid-section to make the cut as consistent and level as possible.  Next, drill a hole through the center of the cap and re-attach it it was removed beforehand.

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Next,  take about 16-18 inches of string and double it up.  Feed it through the hole in the cap and tie it off as close to the underside as possible.  Cut the bend at the bottom of the string so that you now have two pieces dangling from underneath the cap.  Make sure that half of the doubled-up string is sticking out from the top of the cap and cut as well.

Keep in mind that the material the wick is made from will have a direct relationship with how much water can be absorbed and distributed through the planter.  Choose nice cotton string or fibrous twine, felt, or even thin strips of cotton if you can twist it and feed it through the hole for maximum effect.

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Assembling the Planter

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The next step is to invert the top half of the planter so that it rests inside of the bottom.  Then, mix your soil and hydroponic nutrients (or whatever else you’re using) and fill it about 2/3 the way up in the inverted portion of the bottle.  Don’t pack it too tight, and make sure that you hold up the strings so that they will extend throughout the depth of the soil. 

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Remove the top and fill the bottom portion of the container with water until it is about ¾ full.  Make sure that the bottom strings are extending out from the lid and almost or are touching the bottom.  All you need to do now is re-assemble the container and plant your seeds.  The wick will absorb the water and transport it into the soil, hopefully giving you the plant exactly the amount it needs to grow.

You may need to do some experimentation in order to find the best material to provide optimal water distribution.  You should also make sure that you’re not using plants that require more water than this system can provide.  However, if worse comes to worse, you can pour some water through the top as a supplement as well.  The best thing about this trick is that it can help to conserve water while giving small crops, herbs and starter plants just what they need to get established.  You can transplant them as necessary or keep them in the bottle as long as it is big enough to support their growth.  Try this out for yourself today and see how this simple trick can make a huge impact on your crop productivity while also helping to make good use of recyclable materials.

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