Drawing: Cobra helicopter Drawing: Cobra helicopter
Chapter 12 - Page 5

Square Pack

This pack is easy to construct if rope or cordage is available. Otherwise, you must first make cordage. To make this pack, construct a square frame from bamboo, limbs, or sticks. Size will vary for each person and the amount of equipment carried (Figure 12-10).

Drawing: Figure 12-10. Square pack


You can use many materials for clothing and insulation. Both man-made materials, such as parachutes, and natural materials, such as skins and plant materials, are available and offer significant protection.

Parachute Assembly

Consider the entire parachute assembly as a resource. Use every piece of material and hardware, to include the canopy, suspension lines, connector snaps, and parachute harness. Before disassembling the parachute, consider all of your survival requirements and plan to use different portions of the parachute accordingly. For example, consider shelter requirements, need for a rucksack, and so on, in addition to clothing or insulation needs.

Animal Skins

The selection of animal skins in a survival situation will most often be limited to what you manage to trap or hunt. However, if there is an abundance of wildlife, select the hides of larger animals with heavier coats and large fat content. Do not use the skins of infected or diseased animals if at all possible. Since they live in the wild, animals are carriers of pests such as ticks, lice, and fleas. Because of these pests, use water to thoroughly clean any skin obtained from any animal. If water is not available, at least shake out the skin thoroughly. As with rawhide, lay out the skin, and remove all fat and meat. Dry the skin completely. Use the hind quarter joint areas to make shoes and mittens or socks. Wear the hide with the fur to the inside for its insulating factor.

Plant Fibers

Several plants are sources of insulation from cold. Cattail is a marshland plant found along lakes, ponds, and the backwaters of rivers. The fuzz on the tops of the stalks forms dead air spaces and makes a good down-like insulation when placed between two pieces of material. Milkweed has pollen like seeds that act as good insulation. The husk fibers from coconuts are very good for weaving ropes and, when dried, make excellent tinder and insulation.


Many materials may be used to make equipment for the cooking, eating, and storing of food.


Use wood, bone, horn, bark, or other similar material to make bowls. To make wooden bowls, use a hollowed out piece of wood that will hold your food and enough water to cook it in. Hang the wooden container over the fire and add hot rocks to the water and food. Remove the rocks as they cool and add more hot rocks until your food is cooked.

Do not use rocks with air pockets, such as limestone and sandstone. They may explode while heating in the fire.

You can also use this method with containers made of bark or leaves. However, these containers will burn above the waterline unless you keep them moist or keep the fire low.

A section of bamboo works very well, if you cut out a section between two sealed joints (Figure 12-11).

Drawing: Figure 12-11. Containers for boiling food

A sealed section of bamboo will explode if heated because of trapped air and water in the section.

Forks, Knives, and Spoons

Carve forks, knives, and spoons from nonresinous woods so that you do not get a wood resin aftertaste or do not taint the food. Nonresinous woods include oak, birch, and other hardwood trees.

Note: Do not use those trees that secrete a syrup or resin like liquid on the bark or when cut.


You can make pots from turtle shells or wood. As described with bowls, using hot rocks in a hollowed out piece of wood is very effective. Bamboo is the best wood for making cooking containers.

To use turtle shells, first thoroughly boil the upper portion of the shell. Then use it to heat food and water over a flame (Figure 12-11).

Water Bottles

Make water bottles from the stomachs of larger animals. Thoroughly flush the stomach out with water, then tie off the bottom. Leave the top open, with some means of fastening it closed.

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Updated: 12 January 2008
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