View Full Version : SurvivalIQ.com

01-28-2008, 15:34
I like to ruck/hike/camp off the beaten path and am always looking to increase my knowledge of nature and surviving when things go wrong or when the feces inevitably hits the rotary cooling apparatus. While surfing the web looking for information on edible plants that grow in my neck of the woods, I stumbled upon the site http://www.survivaliq.com/.

I've just started reading in to the site and it seems to be useful source of distilled, if general, information. The site says it is based on FM 21-76, and I'm trying to locate my copy to verify. The edible plant guide is very limited and covers edible plants from all across the globe. The full-color photos are much more handy than the black and white drawings I remember in the FM. I would definitely love to hear from folks more knowledgeable than I as to the usefulness and accuracy of the information presented.


Jeff Randall
06-09-2008, 08:44
Personally, I don't care for the edibility test taught in 21-76. For most folks, a survival situation is not going to be long-term enough to worry about having to forage for plants of unknown edibility. The next issue with plant foraging is finding enough of something that is edible without having to expend more calories than you will take in by foraging the plant. So, in short, if a particular plant is sparsely populating your area, then forget whether it's edible or not and just leave it alone. Food, in most survival situations, should be the last priority of survival. Water, shelter, navigation, signaling and the "comfort" factor of fire (even in tropical areas) all rank way ahead of food. If you're fit, then the body will go a long way and for a long time time without food, and the feeling of hunger goes away after a couple of days of moving through bush. Properly identifying plants that have good food value takes a lot of practice with someone who really knows the area and usually that knowledge comes from years of practice and "living" the skill.

The Reaper
06-09-2008, 09:56

The guys you see on TV with the "survival" shows usually have some locals with them to help ID the flora and fauna they plan to eat, and probably a med team and chopper on call as well.

In a real survival situation, most of what they are doing (especially Bear Grylls) is wrong.

Leaping down steep slopes, climbing unnecessarily, crossing water obstacles the hard way without reason, chasing snakes, drinking your own urine, and eating poisonous bugs is not what I would recommend to the average person in that situation. More Fear Factor than survival show.

I would work to learn the edible vegetation in my home area, most importantly what not to eat. Wandering around popping random bits of plants into your mouth is generally a bad COA. As Jeff noted, everything is a calculated risk/energy equation, and spending precious energy hunting rare edible plants is probably not worth it.


Pete S
06-09-2008, 10:41
I have recently been looking at Ray Mears videos on *******. The videos are less adventurous and more informative compared to Survivorman and the like.

Here is his website: http://www.raymears.com/

And some videos:

Building a shelter:http://*******.com/watch?v=UsbSMplJ6g4

Making a snowcave:http://*******.com/watch?v=XOJQPz1s-1c

Fire by friction: http://*******.com/watch?v=Sn9GmxWvABk&feature=related

Jeff Randall
06-09-2008, 10:52
Ref: Bear Grylls, etc. - Exactly!

A lot of people believe that survival is a skill that can be taught in a few outings or sessions. Not so...It's a way of life for those that are good at it. Mostly it's mental conditioning, common sense, and being able to improvise that will get you through most happenings outside your comfort zone.

If the stuff really ever hits the fan those that will be comfortable will be those who have devoted a huge portion of their life to the lifestyle. There's something to be said for those folks that push groceries up out of the ground, can their own food, etc., can head shot squirrels with a .22 rimfire and iron sights, and pretty much live their life under the radar.

Here's part of an old article I did for SWAT magazine a few years ago on the subject:

Ask any true survivor and they will tell you that a survival situation itís nothing like you planned for. Gear breaks down, people break down, society breaks down, and eventually you will break down. To be a survivor requires that you be able to improvise, make decisions, and most important: utilize your individual skills and abilities.

A couple of weeks after Katrina devastated New Orleans I caught a blurb on one of the news networks about an old Cajun who was still living on the bayous south of the city. Life was still the same for him even though his shack was a little rough around the edges. He didnít evacuate or get in the midst of the mobs looting for survival (or profit). He lived a true survivorís life without the need for electricity, running water, or grocery store food. He was self-reliant and accepted the consequences of his actions. While itís true we canít all live that way, itís also true that people donít starve to death in one week, as the news organizations would have you believe about the people inside the Superdome. Weíve become a society of wimps who believe every scare tactic the college boy desk jockeys tell us. Then we follow the masses when things go bad, instead of avoiding these opportunistic human predators. Weíre not happy being individuals when itís dark outside and strange noises abound. When the lights go out and the food runs out, we panic and beg others to save us - then blame them when they donít show up fast enough. To our own demise weíre drawn to social interaction and Socialism during catastrophic events. All of our macho planning goes out the window along with the skills of being an Individualist. We either become predators ourselves, stealing gas and supplies at gunpoint (as seen with the motorists evacuating Hurricane Rita) or become another crying mouth to appease, unlike the Cajun in the swamp.

All of this is human nature; an ideology that has been instilled in us by years of living well in the Welfare State. We no longer practice hard skills. We never travel alternate routes from our homes and learn the lay of the land since itís not the shortest distance between two points, not to mention we might miss the football game on TV if we donít hurry and get home. We never store a few extra gallons of gasoline or keep our tanks topped off because the ďstop and robĒ down the road always has plenty at the credit card pumps. We never learned how to change a flat tire because we might get dirty and thatís what AAA is for. We never keep extra cash hidden away because the ATM always works just fine - besides, who cares about the 2 dollar service charge for such a great convenience. We never think about having a few days supply of our life saving prescription meds because the pharmacy is open 24 hours a day and an easy walk from the house, and Medicare wonít pay for more than one refill at a time. We buy 5-dollar a gallon drinking water (a gallon at a time) but never thought about simply filling a few empty jugs with tap water (oh, the horror!) for times when we may need it. The list goes on.

If you want to be a survivor then be an Individualist first. Think outside the box, avoid the predatory masses during a situation, donít trust or rely on the government to save you, and prepare your stores and skills now. Practice your efforts with your family and trusted friends, then learn from the mistakes of others. Having a good firearm with plenty of ammo doesnít hurt either.