Are you ready for anything?
Last update: January 6, 2013, commences below the index.
This site is dedicated to those who have the will to survive. The time is now
to prepare yourself: keep a backpack with some creature comforts ready to
go, keep your body healthy so that a break in your dietary or sleep routine
doesn't send your metabolism into a tizzy. Develop a survival plan with your
family, friends and neighbors. Don't stew and fret over the possibility of
disaster, but think about what could happen, and how you might deal with
the various circumstances that could arise.
Remember that in widespread catastrophe or disaster, emergency services
are stretched to the max. Aid may be slow in arriving.
It remains to be seen whether you will be ready for anything that comes your
way, or ready for anything at all.
Now this site is being set up as a collation point for survival tricks and a
medium for possibility of organizing live workshop(s) in global wilderness
survival techniques. This is all in good faith, and speculation will never be
offered as fact on this site. Your questions and comments are welcome, and
will be answered whenever possible: firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY
Know as you make use of this site, that in so doing, you are agreeing to
release Survival Workshop from any and all liability connected with the use
or misuse or the interpretation or misinterpretation of any technique or
information presented or discussed on this site or on any link accessed or
recommended by this site.
Please realize that your survival and the methods you use to ensure it are
ultimately your choice, your responsibility. If you are unrealistic in your
survival plan, then hopefully time and weather, earth, wind and fire will be
kind enough to show you the errors of your ways in time to correct them.
Remember also, as you peruse these pages that the specific techniques
presented here are meant to be used only in extreme emergencies or
disasters, or in cases of prolonged isolation in primitive environments. Use
of many survival techniques in ordinary circumstances may be illegal, or a
violation of your homeowner's policy or somesuch. Look before you leap!
HOME PAGE: Are you ready for anything? Disclaimer and release from liability. Index.
Updates. Water Planet. People Planet. Catch the Wind--Introduction to the Whirligig. Into the Future
(Yucca Mountain, Nevada.) Warming Planet. Decentralization.
ABOUT US: What it is. What it isn't. What it might be?
TRICKS, ETC.: Swallow Air (gulp) to Increase Buoyancy. Survival Gardening. Procuring Wild Food
(Edibility Test.) Electricity.
CONTACT US: Questions and comments. Good Suggestions. Contact Survival Workshop.
SERVICES: Information. Outfitting. Camping. Covering Ground.
December 18, 2013. Economy is recovering slowly. Weather is becoming more severe, notably
in Hurricane Alley. Mass murders by disturbed individuals continues. These conditions are being
dutifully reported by mainstream media, but there is one place where they are maintaining a kind of
grey-out: that is the continuing disaster at Fukushima and its effect on the Pacific Ocean and the
Northern Hemisphere in general and the Canadian and USA western seaboard in particular. We are
coddled into thinking that Fukushima occurred on 3-11 a couple years ago, and now the cleanup
operations are in full swing. This is a truism, that makes it easy for individuals and groups to remain
in denial about the severity of the situation. The disaster is ongoing, and a delicate operation has
commenced to remove fuel rods from a cooling pool on top of a damaged reactor building. If the
engineers blow this operation, and the site goes critical, thousands of times more radiation than that
released at Hiroshima will be produced. This has the potential to radically alter or destroy life as we
know it on this planet. Apocalyptic conditions, so long the fodder of science fiction, are being met
with an antithesis of the suspension of disbelief in the enjoyment of drama, as if Fukushima will go
away with click of the remote. Radioactivity has definitely crept into the food chain, in Pacific ocean
fish, and agricultural commodities in the Northern Hemisphere. Background radiation, especially in
the Northern Hemisphere has increased substantially since 3-11-11. ~ What can we do about it?
Pray. Try to maintain open lines of communication, which may be difficult or impossible, since the
Japanese government is poised (through legislation) to put a media blackout on Fukushima. ~ Will
we know if a lethal cloud of radioactive isotopes is riding in on the trade winds? Can we count on our
government to let us know so we can kiss our families and sweethearts goodbye? I doubt either,
given our government's propensity to keep secrets from We the People. ~ Probably you haven't
heard much about this, and I wish I was making it up, fantastic as it is, but all this unfortunate
business is posted on the Internet, if you want to research it. Get to it quickly, though. There are
those in high places who think a prudent censoring of information that affects us all is quite
acceptable. Go fish. (Somewhere else)
January 6, 2013 Update: Of course, politics plays a part in determining our survivability. A couple
of things that happened during the general election may give us hope that sanity will prevail after all.
Firstly, the well-financed attack ads which could be traced back to business and industry interests
who are trying to gut environmental protections did not work. We the people didn't fall for it this time.
Next, marijuana was made legal for general use in Colorado and Washington states. Marijuana is a
valuable medicine, and a superior recreational or social drug. Its time has been long in coming. ~
Beware multi-national corporations that spew toxic chemicals into the environment and inject them
into the food supply. The solution is to buy local food and medicine, or grow your own. ~ Looks like
we got past the end of the world (winter solstice) OK. Or did we? Man is definitely out of balance with
nature. While the human race quibbles about appearances and beliefs, we are losing our life support.
Rampant procreation and industrialization are taxing the Earth herself, and there is no relief in sight.
Witness the recent climate summit.
August 26, 2011 Update: GULF OIL SPILL~ FUKUSHIMA AFTERMATH ~ARIZONA FIRES
Was it in April that the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan destroyed the nuclear plant at
Fukushima? Do we the people, the public, with our short memory, recall that horrific event? Do we
remember the exploding rig in the Gulf of Mexico? Though our memories have faded, the crude oil
remains in the gulf, the radiation from Fukushima is still spewing (see the newspaper back pages)
and riding on the trade winds.
The trees in our overgrown, second growth forests, many of which are diseased and infested, need
to be managed and fireproofed. The excess biomass can be burned to generate electricity. If it is left
in the forest, it is guaranteed to burn anyway, the energy lost in space. Wood can be converted to
natural gas or motor fuels without releasing carbon which was sequestered millions of years ago in
fossil fuels. Nuclear is dangerous, dirty and poisonous. The plants at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon
should be closed ASAP, due to their precarious geological locations, and the fact that the entire
nation lies downwind of these nuclear plants.
February 8, 2011 Update:
Recovery from the "recession" is slow, although business is good, and the stock markets and
money handlers are busy and making great profits and personal gains. Meanwhile, many people out
of work have quit looking. Jobs are being shipped out of the country. Stimulus funds are drying up,
and the country is not back on its feet yet. More poor and homeless all the time the media tell us that
things are getting better. For sure, the markets are full of good food and other products. Maybe it is
time to enjoy the unemployment until the greed-heads foreclose on your house and yank the carpet
out from under you--then you can enjoy your unemployment in a tent, if you have one.
May 24, 2009 Update: ECONOMIC MELTDOWN
At this time, the US is experiencing an economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Great
Depression. Many folks are finding themselves out of a job, and the ranks of the homeless are on the
rise. What can you do to help get through this tough time?
If you are forced to spend a lot of time at home, you can use this time to enjoy your home and
garden. If you have no place to garden at home, get into a community effort to grow food plants
anywhere it is practicable and permissive. Maybe you have clutter to deal with. Resist throwing
useful items out. Recycling to thrift stores or charities will aid in our recovery. One thing that helped
get us in this mess is the "throwaway society". Growing some of your own food will reduce your
garbage output. Jars with lids that seal tightly usually wind up in the garbage or to the recycler but
they are great for storing dried foods such as beans and grains which may be compromised by
vermin or other pests.
The population demographic has recently shifted to where there are more people living in large
metropolitan areas than in rural communities. Still in all, people are spread out all over the place.
Buying food at farmer's markets which are springing up all around the country makes sense. Less
energy is consumed getting these products to market, thus aiding our economic recovery and
greening our "carbon footprint."
May 15, 2012 Update: OCCUPY THE WORLD
Commencing as the Arab Spring last year in the middle east and arriving in New York City shortly
thereafter as Occupy Wall Street, rallies and demonstrations have sprung up in solidarity for the 99%
of wage earners who are being slowly starved out of the middle class, while the small percentage of
rich individuals running the show are letting the US economy go to hell in a handbasket. If the upward
trend of wealth continues, there will be more people eating weeds and hopefully waiting in soup lines
for a little hot nourishment. Junk is washing up on the west coast from the Fukushima tsunami.
Radioactive water dumped in the ocean has to be headed this way too, but, not to worry, it is being
monitored, so we'll have plenty of notice before our hair falls out and we get all nuclear. The Gulf of
Mexico is being set up for another assault of deep-water drilling, even though it has not had any kind
of real recovery. We need to get off petroleum, drive as little as possible, power things off the wind,
recycle, reuse, reinvent. Go local in every aspect possible from growing food and medicinal herbs to
producing electric power. See above. See below.
Approximately seven tenths of the Earth is covered with water. Over half the world's population is
located near flood plains and coastal areas. At this point in history, no respectable scientist refutes
the reality of global warming. The seas have risen a measurable amount in the past 5 decades.
Glaciers worldwide are melting at increasing rates and the polar icecaps are breaking up and
melting into the seas. As these waters rise, large numbers of people will be forced to move to higher
ground. Some will be caught in the rising waters, as have some already.
If you travel by air, boat, rail or road, chances are that sometime on your trip you will be over or
beside some water: an ocean, a lake or river, drainage ditch or canal. With all this water and
apparently more to come, it goes without saying that anyone serious about their own survival would
be motivated to learn how to swim. Survival Workshop is not designed to teach you how to swim--but
there are many public and private swimming instruction courses available for all ages. You are
hereby advised to learn how to swim. If you are a boating or fishing enthusiast, you would do well to
take a water safety course, or at least if you haven't, take time to peruse the water-safety literature
that comes with your licensing. Learn how to administer rescue breathing and CPR, and always
wear proper flotation device when underway.
When a pond or lake freezes, the ice can be strong enough to drive a car on, or not. If you walk out on
thin ice, you may break through into freezing water. If it's over your head, you may have a real
struggle trying to get out. If you're trying to rescue someone who has broken through, don't walk up
to the edge of the ice, you may break through as well. Best to toss a rope, or extend a tree branch to
the victim. If you need to go out, go spread-eagled to disperse your weight on the ice. This will lessen
the chance that you will break through, but if you're not anchored to the shore somehow (rope,
human chain) you may very well wind up in the water with the victim.
Never underestimate the power of running water. Whether in the sea, a river or canal, currents can
take you away, or hold you under.
It is arguable that there are enough people on this planet already...perhaps, too many. What can be
done about it? Unfortunately, population control too often has a dark side, as in ethnic cleansing,
holocaust, or war.
In ancient times there was a lot of wild country, and if you hated the people on the other side of the
mountains--it wasn't that bad. You might only fight them once or twice in your life and you might
never even see them, just hate them from the other side of the mountains. But then, after some
centuries go by, and the respective societies have grown out into the mountains and are grating
against each other, they must choose to tolerate each other, even as radical factions within them
perpetrate violence in the behest of political expediency.
So it is with the whole Earth. We are more interconnected all the time. For instance, pollution from
China regularly fouls the air over Reno, Nevada. A bustling international commerce has spread with
its prosperity a host of exotic diseases and invasive species. As the spectres of overpopulation
continue to haunt us: starvation, disease, deforestation, water and air pollution; many people
continue to build families. What will become of these children? Will they be able to get a drink of
clean water when they're 60? Something to eat?
As waters rise and coastal dwellers move inland to areas that are already populated, it will be a test
of our compassion as a society to see how we react to the increased population densities.
Pandemonium and mayhem are unacceptable.
Perhaps a new era of realism is in order. Perhaps general plans and building codes should be
revised to enable people to live and prosper without having to burn fossil fuels and spend 2 to 3
hours a day sitting in a car, stuck in traffic. A good start would be for we fortunate citizens of the
world who enjoy a high standard of living to assess just what the price is that we are paying for
power on demand, cities lit up all night, golf courses, food from halfway around the world and
suburban landscaping that you can't eat.
CATCH THE WIND: INTRODUCTION TO THE WHIRLIGIG
Efforts to generate electricity from wind power have been hampered for some years now by a
peculiar mindset within the inventor's community in general and the businesses who are presently
installing so-called wind farms worldwide. For some reason, all these fine minds will not get serious
about a windmill that does not rotate on a vertical axis in such a manner that it is always aimed into
the wind, despite the fact that in many of the high-wind areas available for development, the wind
directions are often fairly stable.
Take a look at the satellite motion pictures on the TV weather reports. You will see that, with little
exception, the weather patterns are moving from west to east. All across the country, the winds are
generally from west to east. These are the prevailing westerly trade winds of the northern
hemisphere, and they have been blowing like that since time immemorial..
Here in Doyle, the wind is almost always from the northwest or the southwest. The Whirligig is kind
of like a Ferris wheel, only about 12 feet tall, with six buckets arranged around its outer rim, kind of
like the seats on a Ferris wheel, only secured to the rotating framework so that the open side of each
bucket is pointed into the prevailing wind. The buckets themselves are shaped as half-cylinder, as if
you took a 55 gal oil drum on end, and cut it in half vertically. You can see the Whirligig in a short
movie at www.YouTube.com/dennisdavidhinze.
In any event, the Whirligig has basically only one moving part, which makes it easy to build and
maintain. Originally designed as a water wheel to power a gold dredge, I reckoned it would turn quite
smartly if elevated into the prevailing wind, and it did. Soon after, I set it up to pump water, and it did
just that for several years. Improvements are planned to increase the torque and add bench grinder
and electric generator.
INTO THE FUTURE
Let's take a quick look at this planet Earth we live on. It is composed of mostly liquid metal which is
very hot at the center, constantly radiating that heat outward, through a surface crust which we
often refer to as terra firma, and out into space. This crust, which is the bedrock for our wild
mountains, deserts and steppes, agricultural plains and hills, oceans, lakes, rivers, cities and
communities of all kinds, is very thin compared to the overall size of the planet. In comparison, if the
Earth were an egg, the crust would be about equal to the thickness of the shell, which works out to
be an average of about 20 miles thick. It is thinner under the oceans, and in "spreading zones" where
two or more tectonic plates are moving apart and stretching the crust between them. Such areas
often host geothermal activity, including hot springs and geysers.
The proposed site for a nuclear repository which would hold 77,000 tons or more of radioactive
waste is located on a spreading zone which is laced with fault lines. The site, Yucca Mountain in
south central Nevada, 90 miles north of Las Vegas, is the only site that has been approved by
Congress. If we can pull out that TV motion weather map once more, we can see that over half the
USA, the entire midwest, south and eastern seaboard are often directly downwind of this "remote"
site in Nevada. Much of the waste that proponents of the Yucca Mountain repository want to store in
the underground vaults is Plutonium with a half-life of 20,000 years. That means the site would still
be hot in 50,000 years or more. Many computer studies have been done, but never in history has that
much radioactive hot stuff been put together in one place. The waste will heat up when it's brought
together, the plan being to allow the surrounding rocky substrate to heat to a temperature just below
the boiling point of water. That is already too hot for humans to handle. If it melts the robots that
would ultimately be tasked with handling it and going critical or causing a meltdown, it would make
Chernobyl look like a campfire.
The Obama administration has recently cut funding for Yucca Mountain Project. It appears that the
project is doomed, but there are still people passionate about seeing it done, and so sensible
persons must be on the outlook for any sign of a reversal. If the nuclear power industry cannot deal
with the toxic waste, then they should be shut down completely!
Questionable scientific procedure and reporting have dogged the Yucca Mountain Project from the
outset. Literally billions have gone into the approval process which has been dragging on for about
20 years. Quite understandably opposed by residents of Nevada, it is ironic that Las Vegas and Reno
do not lie directly downwind of the Yucca Mountain site, whereas the majority of USA's population
centers do. It is they who should be alarmed....or at least more alarmed than those of us, say, who
live a whole world downwind away from the site.
Suffice it to say that the Yucca Mountain Project is one of the worst ideas that has ever gobbled up
big chunks of public funding. Hopefully, the many people who are trying to slay the behemoth project
will be successful and nuclear power will fade into antiquity.
Upwards of 90 percent of climate scientists agree that planet Earth is heating up and human activity
is contributing considerably to the "global warming." At this point in time the consensus is that even
if the CO2 emissions were stabilized today, the warming from damage already done would continue
into the coming century. A few degrees may not seem like much, but over the whole Earth, that's one
humongous amount of raw energy. A few inches rise in elevation of the oceans may not seem like
much, but already people in low lying areas are being displaced.
In addition, another unfortunate aspect of global warming, which has heretofore received little
attention is the fact that when stuff warms up, it tends to be more fluid. Like honey or motor oil.
Water, of course, when the weather gets cold enough--hardens up like a rock. So our planet Earth
mostly covered with water and ice is warming up and just like the cold honey sliding off your spoon
into the hot tea, or the grease in your transmission thinning out as the friction from spinning gears
warms it, the Earth's tectonic plates are bound to start slipping around with more frequency and
intensity. To my knowledge this concept is not supported by the scientific community, but it stands to
This phenomenon will undoubtedly lead to more geothermal and volcanic activity; in the worst-case
scenario, rapidly adding to the accumulated greenhouse gases to facilitate the warming and fluidity
of earth movement along fault lines, evoking volcanic activity with large masses of volcanic ash
taking up residence in the atmosphere for several decades (or centuries, as the case may be),
blocking the radiant energy from the sun and ultimately cooling the earth surface again, maybe cold
enough for another Ice Age. If this appears to be some kind of natural cycle for the planet Earth, it
sure looks like a wild ride for the human race.
Of course, it is what will happen to the earth and waters and the atmosphere in the next few
decades, and how the coming changes will affect us as individual human beings and as societies,
that we must immediately concern ourselves. Will reason triumph over greed and tradition and usher
in a new era of human compassion, compatibility with nature and a technology which will unlock for
us the wisdom of the ages and the secrets of the Universe? Will the flow of gas be disrupted and the
country sink into anarchy? Will global nuclear warfare reduce civilization to scattered tribes of
Something in our affluent, service and consumer oriented, modern society is causing a health crisis
right here in the good ol' USA. Kids are suffering obesity and all sorts of behavioral problems at rates
that have never been seen before. Incidents of neurological disorders and heart disease are on the
rise and appearing in younger and younger patients. Viruses and bacteria continue to stymie our
attempts to control them. Is this due to people isolating themselves from nature? I suspect that has
something to do with it. Also suspect is the polluting nature of the environments we live in and the
food and drugs we ingest.
OK This is alot of text, and it is more power to you that you have read this far. Now the big piece of
advice--and don't tell me they told you this in the Boy Scouts, because I know they did, and I heard it
too. You need to "be prepared" in order to ensure your own survival. To me in this age this means
prepared in body, mind and spirit, and have your backpack always loaded and ready to go.
Be ready to cover ground on foot or by bicycle at a moment's notice. Be ready to stay home for a
month and/or evacuate on short notice. Be ready to find your car keys in the dark while you're trying
to outrun the gang that wants to rape you. Be ready to swallow air when you're stuck in the cabin of a
sinking airplane with a broken arm and leg. Be ready to render assistance to someone the sight of
whose injuries makes you vomit, (this can be a tough one, especially if it's someone very close to you
like wife or child). Be ready to build a snow-cave if you get stuck in over your head. Be ready for the
total collapse of world economy, or not.
Move out of the city and up into the hills and learn to garden and live off the land. Do what you can to
support the use of clean wind energy and electric cars and factories. Promote the concept of
nurturing the people of the planet Earth in favor of exploring and polluting the other planets of the
In short, don't worry, be ready for anything. Do what you can to promote good sense and civil
behavior. Join and support one or more of the environmental groups. Vote for candidates who align
themselves with the scientific community and strive for world peace through diplomacy.
Getting out of town and living off the land to one degree or another is an option that many people are
choosing. This, depending on the amount of driving necessary to maintain touch with stores and
medical services, etc., from your "remote" location, will determine the increase or decrease of your
Try to power some/all of your electricity and pumping off the wind, or solar. Grow vegetables and
small animals to eat. Stay in touch through the Internet, TV and radio news, newspapers.
If you have a business, do as much work as possible from home, to reduce your overall commute.