Survive famine

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Solution

Increasing the odds to survive a famine

The description of "Famine" can be found under "Why be prepared".

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The following information has been provided with the intent to aid survival minded individuals in preparation for the possibility of enduring a famine.

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Prelude

 There's nothing funny about starvation. It is an unfortunate exposure to long periods of time without food, ... regardless of the cause. It is most agreeably not something we want to experience. The fact is, ... famine's are a condition which can be prepared for regardless of the cause. Knowledge and action are key if the aim is to survive extended periods without sustenance or disruption to food supplies and resources. Governmental organizations have been encouraging preparation over the years for a number of contingencies. In the last few years large budgets have been allocated to schools and hospitals with instructions to acquire emergency food, water, generators, protective suits etc.  What do they know that might benefit us all?  Preparing for a famine is simply smart and wise.

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Statement of encouragement

Preparation can be accomplished in small increments or on a large scale. There are a number of skill sets and advantages that can be learned and implemented to increase the odds of surviving a famine. Extreme measures of preparation can provide a great deal of security and assurances that you and your family will live and prosper during a time when food is scarce.

A strong mental attitude and willingness to think outside what is typically normal will also determine the duration of survival. Preparing for a famine is not a new activity. Planning for periods without food production goes back as far as recorded biblical history and most likely prior to that time as well. [Source].

Survival minded people are inspired to prepare for a number reasons. Some survivalists perform a great deal of homework which inevitably brings them to the conclusion that it's just a smart thing to practice. Others prepare for no other reason than having a strong intuition for the potential of such an event to occur. It is that deep rooted feeling that things are about to change which may threaten our survival. The will to live and survive is a commonality between survival minded people. The idea of starvation is simply unexceptionable. Starvation is slow and painful usually ending in death if not rectified. Unless food falls from the sky people should have some knowledge that will encourage and support survival during a famine.

There are signs leading up to famines which can be indicators to prompt others in making preparations. However, ... intuitive survivalists typically engage in preparing long before the signs of a famine surface and the public becomes aware of the situation.

The human race is certainly diverse. There are those who are instinctively drawn to assisting others and those who are not. Compassionate people may have a difficult time watching others starve and are often compelled to offer help. Taking on a famine with a servants heart requires resources and planning if success is to be achieved. Without  compassion and team work the human race may not be able to sustain a continuity of a civilized existence ultimately forcing survivors to live in a barbaric world. This can be an unfortunate circumstance where morality has been lost and rules of humanity discarded. This is not a safe condition for many families or those who may be less fortunate or unable to care for themselves.

Having a clear understanding for the potentials of a famine to occur and acting proactively in preparation against such an event is key to surviving.

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Below are a few helpful hints to consider when preparing for a famine.

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Mind set adjustments

A change of mind set is advantageous when entering a time of famine. It means that it is far more advantageous to be flexible and open minded when uncomfortable options must be considered. The things we put in our mouths may not be something we once appreciated as food and a discipline for rationing is a must as well. The value of food and water become much higher in value and may be horded by others to a point of scarcity. An understanding in the fact that food resources may be depleted and scarce should prompt most survival minded people to implement new skills. It is also important to realize that new security measures need to be considered to protect those valuable resources.

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Physical conditioning

The condition of our minds should be in line with what has briefly been mentioned above. Just as important as our mental state is physical conditioning which has a roll to play during times of famine. History depicts that good physical conditioning regardless of age was a determining factor in surviving those times when food was scarce. It helps to fight off the results of impurities found in foods that are not normally consumed as a result of desperation. People should expect to exert far more energy to acquire food than what was previously done prior to times of famine. Competition for local resources will be extremely high. There is a fine balance between the energy used to acquire food and the value gained from that food. Nutrition must accommodate the exertion of energy. An imbalance between the two can inevitably end in weakness, a lack of enthusiasm as well as illness and death.

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Daily nutritional requirements

Food energy is potential energy that animals (including humans) derive from their food.  Humans and other animals need a minimum intake of food energy to sustain their metabolism and to drive their muscles. Food energy is derived from carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as organic acids, polyols, and ethanol present in the diet. Fats and ethanol have the greatest amount of food energy per mass. Each food item has a specific metabolized energy intake (MEI). This value can be approximated by multiplying the total amount of energy associated with a food item by 85%, which is the typical amount of energy actually obtained by a human after respiration has been completed. The human body uses the energy released by respiration for a wide range of purposes: about 20% of the energy is used for brain metabolism, and much of the rest is used for the basal metabolic requirements of other organs and tissues. In cold environments, metabolism may increase simply to produce heat to maintain body temperature. Among the diverse uses for energy, one is the production of mechanical energy by skeletal muscle to maintain posture and produce motion.Increased mental activity has been linked with moderately increased brain energy consumption. Older people and those with sedentary lifestyles require less energy; children and physically active people require more. Recommendations in the United States are 2,700 and 2,100 kcal (11,300 and 8,800 kJ) for men and women (respectively) between 31 and 50, at a physical activity level equivalent to walking about 2 to 5 km (1 12 to 3 mi) per day at 5 to 6 km/h (3 to 4 mph) in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life, with French guidance suggesting roughly the same levels. In Australia, because different people require different daily energy intakes there is no single recommended intake. Instead there is a series of recommendations for each age and gender group, although packaged food and fast food outlet menu labels refer to the average Australian daily energy intake of 8,700 kJ (2,100 kcal). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the average minimum energy requirement per person per day is about 7,500 kJ (1,800 kcal).  [Source].

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Foods of value

Survival minded individuals who engage in making standard preparations usually stock up on a variety of foods and packaging. Categories of collected foods range from canned goods, MRE's, freeze dried and dehydrated items, beans, rice and other long term foods. If stored with care many of these foods can last years. Much of these types of foods require re-hydration so a clean source of water may be necessary. Grains, wheat, flour etc. can also last for extended periods of time if prepared correctly. Some canned foods have been known to last up to 100 years . If a can of food is not bloated and does not smell bad when opened, it stands a good chance that it is OK to consume. It is very common that canned foods from World War 2 survived  the duration of time and are perfectly fine to eat. Canned foods are generally cheap and can be collected in increments that do not compromise or burden one's income. It is fairly easy to begin collecting foods especially from the canned food and dollar stores in town. Canned foods need to be rotated but can last longer than the listed expiration date. Spam for instance has a shelf life of 25 years regardless of the date listed. This is an item that can be found at your local dollar stores as well. What canned foods last the longest? [Video]. Dehydrated and freeze dried foods can also last longer duration's of time. The concept of removing the moisture from foods creates an environment which supports longer preservation. Preserving meat into jerky has been a long lasting method of enduring famines, [Source]. Placing values on foods is also determined by the choices made between hunkering down or bugging out. Most wilderness type survivalists rely on their skills to forage, trap, hunt and fish as a means to acquire food which places a higher value for nutrition found in the wild. Those are the people who are far more comfortable in bugging out than others without the wilderness skills to survive. It is certainly advantageous to learn a few wilderness skills, ... just in case. It is also important to understand that as time progresses forward the canned or stored foods will rum out. By that time survivors should have developed a set of skills conducive for living off the land. Don't be afraid to eat bugs. Many are full of nutrients. [Source 1], [Source 2], [Video 1], [Video 2].

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Finding food

Fishing 

It is advantageous to survey the areas in which we live. Assessing the area to determine the potentials for fishing, hunting or gardening is just a smart practice to engage in when making plans to survive conditions of famine . This is important if the plan is to "Bug out". Make note as to where lakes and rivers are. Along with the many lakes and rivers that you are already aware of, there will also be many small ponds that can be stocked with fish as well.

Typically, a pond can provide 200-300 pounds of fish, per acre, per year when properly managed. Most ponds will continue to provide over 100 pounds of fish per year as the Eco system continues to cycle forward. It will vary according to the species of fish but on average, one pound of fish provides 400 calories, 6 to 7 grams of fat, 150 to 200 mg Potassium, and 80 to 90 grams of protein.  Streams, rivers, and large lakes will vary on what they provide per acre, but will still remain a resource which can be relied on in a long term survival situation to supplement your food supply and daily caloric intake.

Traps are useful apparatuses used in catching fish without having to remain in the immediate area. They can be set up and checked on periodically. Fish traps can be fashioned utilizing metal wire and natural materials. The basic premise of a fish trap is that it is fashioned similar to a basket with a bait/attractant in the center and a necked down opening that allows the fish to enter the trap but not easily exit.  There are numerous options and configurations for various types of fish traps and they range from rather “high tech” to rudimentary in their construction.  Generally, these traps work great and produce more fish than set hooks or trot lines.  However, they are also better suited for bug in or stationary situations where you will remain in place for longer periods of time because of their lack of portability.  If you are interested in fish traps, there is a large host of information available on their construction and implementation.

Nets present another option for acquiring fish in a survival situation.  There are numerous kinds of nets out there ranging from cast nets to rather large gill nets.  They can be utilized as stationary “traps” in running water, as a seine to corral fish, or as a thrown net for catching smaller fish.  If your location is close to a large stream or small river, then a small gill net will probably provide you with better options for netting fish but the type of net that will work best for you will depend on the resources which are around you.  I have utilized a survival gill net in a private pond and it works well as a seine and a stationary trap.  This type of net packs well and can be incorporated into a bug out bag.

As with any other survival technique, there are several other means of acquiring fish which include spear fishing, bow fishing, and muddying or poisoning the waters.  These methods work and if you do not like any of the other options presented, you can research and determine which option works best for you in your own unique situation.  However, before you go out and test any of these methods, check the local game laws in your area and make certain the technique is legal and you have the proper licenses or permits in hand.  In most States, it is illegal to net or trap freshwater fish but game laws normally do not apply to private ponds if you have the landowner’s permission. [Source/Read more].

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Trapping 

In addition to what has been mentioned above regarding the trapping of fish are a few references associated with trapping food of various types in the wilderness. Trapping or snaring wild game is a good alternative. Several well-placed traps have the potential to catch much more game than a hunter with a fire arm or bow. In order to be effective with any type of trap or snare it is important to understand the following:


fig8-13...... Be familiar with the species to be trapped.
...... Be capable of constructing a proper trap.
...... Not alarm the prey by leaving signs of your presence.

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There are no catchall traps used for all animals. You must determine what species are in a given area and set your traps specifically with those animals in mind. The heart of any trap or snare is the trigger. When planning a trap or snare, ask yourself how it should affect the prey, what is the source of power, and what will be the most efficient trigger. Your answers will help you devise a specific trap for a specific species. Traps are designed to catch and hold or to catch and kill. Snares are traps that incorporate a noose to accomplish either  task. The use of nets are also a form of trapping which is still practiced around the world in various remote locations. Creating a net out of foliage, vines and branches is a tactic often overlooked but has more value in the larger scope in surviving. Nets capture a great many things resting in land or water. For more details on how to make effective traps and snares continue to [Read more] or proceed to [Source] , [Video's].

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Hunting 

Hunting food out of necessity to survive becomes far more important than it was as a sport. Possessing the knowledge, skills and experience as a sportsman certainly has it's advantages but is not equivalent to the actions and drive of a desperate hungry crowd looking for food, especially when we are responsible for feeding others. Typical practices by hunting enthusiast often limit them selves to the catch of their choice while avoiding wasting time on smaller or less popular critters. Having the ability to Hunt critters as well as game broadens the menu when the end goal is to attain food. Trapping of course is a an effective way to acquire food but the act of hunting to survive takes on a proactive approach that reaches far beyond the typical hunting skills associated with the sport. The need to eat often pushes the boundaries regarding the kinds of things we are willing to put in our mouths during times of desperation. Even bugs are on the menu. Tracking down prey, roosting in blinds and hides as well as feasting on dead carcass can become routine. Below are a few help hints to consider when hunting to survive.

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With the use of Firearms

Hunting with a fire arm has its advantages. Rifles can take down prey at long distances with less effort or waste of resources. Guns are also easier to use and are inexpensive compared the equipment needed for bow hunting for instance. However, using fire arms to hunt has it's share of disadvantages during situations of survival. Ammo will eventually run out. Fire arms can jam and have unfortunate circumstances. In survival situation the use of a fire arm might draw unwanted attention to those who are preferring discretionary hunting, especially from others who are also looking for food. Fire arms are generally blatant and obvious unless a silencer is used. Ammo may be better served in the realm of protecting ourselves from others who are determined to misbehave simply meaning that many hunters may care more about the food than those around them.

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With the use of a bow

Bow hunting is quieter than hunting with a rifle, bow hunting often allows opportunities to bag several animals due to it's discretionary nature. The quietness of bow hunting does present a superior advantage. However, since bows generally can't produce the same type of power as rifles, aim and accuracy are a skill that requires more practice. Hunting with a bow to survive requires patients and an understanding that larger prey have far more value than smaller animals as they are difficult to take down. Another advantageous feature of bow hunting is the ability to create more arrows or projectiles out of materials found in the wilderness.  [Video 1] , [Video 2]

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Using Decoys 

Decoys are typically used for hunting in place. Here is where the hunter persuades the prey into an environment that will inevitably end at the dinner table. It is a form of deceptive hunting that works. Some of the persuasive methods of luring prey to a specific area are call noises of other animals, scents and relevant decoys to implement distraction. Caution is advised when using decoys, especially using the type that requires the hunter to rest inside. This has been known to present dangerous conditions where the hunter was attacked without provocation. Many bore hunting enthusiasts have been known to use people as bait or decoys. During times of survival desperate measures can be expected. Be cautious and run fast!!! Decoys can increase the chances of having a successful hunt, which is especially important if you are hunting out of necessity instead of trophies.  [Videos]

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Tracking

Many hunters choose to track their prey instead of waiting for it to come to them. Bow hunters are more likely to track than rifle hunters, mainly because a bow is quieter and less likely to run off the prey. Once the first shot has been fired from a rifle tracking prey becomes more difficult. Tracking requires some skill and knowledge with the aim of identifying animal tracks, scat, and other signs that tells the hunter their next meal is in the immediate area. A skilled tracker can almost guarantee contact with the game that they are hunting. The confidence of that knowledge make tracking a successful and proactive skill to have for any survival minded hunter.  [Video 1] , [Video 2]

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Blinds & Hides 

The use of blinds, hides, lodges, and similar hiding spots is more common than tracking because it requires little more than patience in order to have a successful hunt. Blinds and hides are set up in areas where the desired game is common, and then the hunters simply wait in their hiding spot for their targets to arrive. Abundant hunting gear can be stored in the blind. The main drawbacks to using a blind or a lodge are that they require time to set up, and there is no guarantee that the desired game will make an appearance on that day. Patients is a virtue.

[Source] , [Video]

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Alternate resource:

http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2012/07/survival-hunting-without-a-gun.html

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Scavenging 

First line of scavenging involves stealing or raiding other potential known locations where food sources might exist such as with farm lands,  factories and markets. Be advised that these locations will most likely be guarded by others.

Second line of scavenging involves consuming dead animals or other source of carcasses. As with humans, necrophagy is taboo in most societies. Many instances have occurred in history, especially in war times, where necrophagy was a survival behavior. In the 1950s, Louis Binford suggested that early humans were obtaining meat via scavenging, not hunting. In 2010, Dennis Bramble and Daniel Lieberman however proposed that early humans used long-distance running to hunt, pursuing a single animal until it died of exhaustion and hyperthermia. Such behavior has been suggested as an adaptation to ensure a food supply that in turn made large brains possible. The eating of human meat, a practice known as anthropophagy (and known across all species more commonly as cannibalism), is extremely taboo in almost every culture.   [Source]

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Bartering

"Barter" is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce. During times of desperation when survival is on the line it is important to have something of value, .... something that other people need or want. The highest value can be found in items of necessity and to have the ability to provide such things repeatedly is a huge advantage when it comes to bartering, [Source].

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Edible wilderness

Pine sap, spruce and pine bark »  Carbs and calories. believe it or not many plants, trees and other foliage can sustain human lives.  Cat tail sprouts as well as other items found in the wild can be used for nourishment. Just the same are those wild plants which should be avoided. While some plants can make a person sick other growth can take lives. Below are a few links to some great resources regarding edible growth.

Several Survival Uses for Pine Trees

Plants you can eat to survive in the wild [FOX NEWS]

52 Wild Plants You Can Eat

Edibility of plants

Edible wilderness , [Videos]

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Growing food

Some people may think that winter gardening is impossible. But believe it or not, this is untrue. Anyone can still grow a number of plants, vegetables, herbs and flowers in cold and even freezing temperatures. As a matter of fact, maintaining a winter garden is very beneficial. It helps not only the gardener himself but also the environment. There are many techniques that can help you garden any time of the year. The cold and frost of winter should not be a hindrance to using your green thumb [Source].

9 Winter Gardening Tip  ,  Plant a secret survival garden , National Geographic ,   Vegetable Garden Planning for Beginners , Survival gardening.

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Storing food 

Keeping food is tricky when the comforts of home are taken away. Most survival minded people acquire food items that can withstand the test of time with little effort. Survival foods range from freeze dried and dehydrated foods to preserved type foods such as jerky which has been a common food for preppers for eternity. Regardless of the type of foods we have the methods of storage is important. Heat is bad, Bury items when possible. Diversify the quantity and hide in multiple locations in-case robbery or theft occurs. Removing oxygen from food in storage is a plus. Vacuum seal food when it seems like a good idea.  Go here for more great info on food storage.   Tag: “food-storage”  ,  [Video].

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Food Management

Managing your resources during disastrous situations is crucial. Especially food and water. Keeping it short and simple food management is all about being smart and frugal. Ration accordingly. Foods that perish quickly should be rationed out first. Be aware that some foods require re-hydration so it is important to factor water into the rationing equation. Jerky can be preserved in salt and has a long shelf life. While food is slowly depleting which is expected is just as important to educate and adapt to a new menu of foods as mention in above segments. Be aware of security issues as food become more and more valuable or scarce.

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Discretionary behavior 

Be safe and refrain from broadcasting to the world that food can be found where you and your family camp out. Cooking food must be done discretely so as to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Consider wind direction and rising smoke from your location. To divulge your stash of food is to place survival at risk.

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Alliances

It is important when making alliances to choose carefully. Survey's indicate that trust is the most valued attribute survival minded people seek out during times of desperation and chaos. Skill sets and resources are generally considered less important to family oriented groups. Establishing trade with nearby groups is a huge advantage in survival situations however as resources dissipate even those who have been traded with can become unpredictable and present a threat.

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Videos

Food for Preppers

How to make fish traps

Ezekiel Bread - Prepper food

Easy Emergency Wilderness Survival Food  

Survival Food: Food with Indefinite Shelf Life!

Wild Edible Plants Part 1- School of Self Reliance

Edible Food on the Trail, Edible Plants Are Abundant!

Edible Food Sources in the Wild for Foraging and Survival

PREPARE FOR GLOBAL FAMINE - Food shortages are closing in

How to make the worlds best and easiest animal snare step by step

How to Make a Basic SNARE Trap with Para-cord or Wire - Catch Your Own Survival Food 

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References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat_preservation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meal,_Ready-to-Eat

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/food-2.php

http://www.prepperwebsite.com/tag/foodstorage/

http://www.insectsarefood.com/what_is_entomophagy.html

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/06/03/plants-can-eat-to-survive-in-wild/

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/08/03/52-wild-plants-you-can-eat/

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/edible-insects-zebz1305znsp.aspx

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/doomsday-preppers/articles/plant-your-own-secret-survival-garden/

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2013/06/14/vegetable-garden-planning-for-beginners/

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survive famine