Survival Thoughts One Year After Hurricane Katrina

A new television program aired on the Science Channel last night – Survivorman: Surviving Urban Disasters. It’s running again at 9:00 AM EDT.

Les Stroud did say he had nothing to do with post production. I found the editing confusing and wish CBS editors stuck with one scenario at a time, rather than rotating from home to office to car.

I’m sure this program was intended for release on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to get people thinking. Viewers were also treated to reruns of two SURVIVORMAN episodes. I’ve attempted some of what Les Stroud is demonstrating; he’s right, it’s difficult enough to develop competence – or even mastery – if you are among friends, well fed and well rested. But he is burdened with equipment that weighs almost as much as I do while surviving by his wits – alone.

Watching is a terrific first step. Taking a survival skills class is an excellent investment. But nothing beats practice.

A reader thought my inclusion of a cricket recipe in my Wild Foods Recipes was a turn-off. If she takes her children to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, they’ll find crickets sold as candy in the gift shop. I’m still trying to find out more about cooking small animals before removing entrails. If you’ve ever hunted, fished or farmed, you know that raw flesh is slippery. I just thought it was essential to remove entrails before cooking. Rather than expose himself to bacteria, Les roasted the squirrel he caught and removed the entrails later. If he’d had water, could he have also boiled the squirrel?

I’ve added a new item to my camping gear, called MICE CUBE. It’s a rectangular plastic crystal polystyrene box with a door on a one-way hinge. I successfully removed my resident mouse last spring, setting it free far enough from my apartment that it would not return. I just wasn’t willing to share my tomatoes and EVOO. This product is manufactured by Pied Piper International in Portsmouth, NH. I found an online directory listing with a phone number, 603-430-5424. Unfortunately, there are no plans to design a Plexiglas trap strong enough to keep a squirrel or rat from breaking out. The trap would be expensive to produce.

I reason that it’s easier to set than a deadfall – traps and flint knapping are my weakest skills. If I could catch and fresh-kill small animals in a survival situation, without having to remove microscopic entrails, that would make survival just a bit easier.

These may seem like outlandish thoughts. I was raised on a farm. By the time I could walk and talk, I clearly understood the relationship between the chicken walking around in the yard and the chicken on our dinner table. The smell of burned feathers – you dip the chicken in boiled water to loosen the feathers before you pull them out – is imprinted in my memory.

Most people get their meat clean and neatly wrapped in plastic. But if the food supply were interrupted – as it was for people in many Gulf Coast communities – what are the options?

Share this post

    Tags: , ,

    No comments yet.

    Post Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.