Low, dead, needle-bearing branches of stand-
ing spruce trees are good fuel. On the tundra,
wood is scarce. Look for any woody bush or
shrub; burn roots as well as stems. Look for dry
twigs in willow thickets or for dry grasses. On the
coasts, look for driftwood.
Animal fat and bones can be used as fuel. Put
chunks of fat on a stick or bone framework or
on top of a perforated can with a wick of greasy
cloth or sphagnum moss underneath, and light the
wick. Congealed oil can be burned in the same
A candle burning in a tin can makes a simple
heater for the shelter.
In cold weather, drain oil from the aircraft and
store it for fuel. If the temperature is not low
enough to solidify the oil, leave it in the aircraft
and drain it off when needed.
TROPICS. In the tropics, wood is plentiful.
Even if it is wet outside, the heart of dead wood
will be dry enough to burn. Dry wood can also
be found hanging in the network of vines or
lying on bushes.
In palm country, good tinder can be obtained
from the fibers at the bases of palm leaves. The
insides of dry termite nests make good kindling.
Keep spare wood dry by stowing it under the
shelter. Dry out wet kindling and fuel near the
fire for future use.
During a survival situation the one thing that
can jeopardize the aircrewmans ability to survive
is a medical problem. Injuries incurred during
ejection, parachute descent, and/or parachute
landing can reduce survival expectancy as well as
compromise the ability to evade the enemy.
Military personnel must be able to treat their
injuries and sicknesses in a survival situation. The
treatments described in this chapter are suitable
for application by nonmedical personnel.
Some of the first-aid procedures described
may be substandard compared with present
medical standards within U.S. medical facilities.
However, in a survival situation, they will increase
your survival expectancy.
Health and Hygiene
In a survival situation, cleanliness is more than
a virtue. It is essential if infection is to be
prevented. Since skin is the first line of defense
for your body, you must give particular attention
to the washing of your face, hands, armpits,
groin, and feet to minimize the chance of small
scratches and abrasions becoming infected. Keep-
ing the hands clean is especially important because
most germs are introduced to the body by the
hands. Keep fingernails short to prevent scratches;
scratches as well as cuts and insect bites can cause
serious infections, especially in the tropics. If an
antiseptic is available use it on even the smallest
of scratches or insect bites. Remember, an
infection may hurt your chances of survival.
Clean clothes help to prevent infections and
chafing, especially fungal infections that are
common in the tropics. If washing clothes is not
possible, at least shake and air clothing in the
Soap is not essential to keeping clean. A
substitute of ashes, sand, loamy soil, or other
expedients may be used in cleaning the body and
the utensils used in cooking and eating.
Contaminated water or spoiled food, fatigue,
overeating in hot weather, or using dirty utensils
may cause diarrhea and other intestinal illnesses.
Cook or wash food carefully before eating. When
possible, purify water by boiling for 10 minutes;
this will leave no doubt as to water purity at any
altitude. If diarrhea does occur, the following field
treatments may be used:
l Rest and fast, except for drinking water,
for the first 24 hours; then take only liquid foods,
and avoid starches.
. Eat several small meals instead of one or
two large ones. Drink tannic tea or eat clay, chalk,
or charcoal. Once the diarrhea has stopped, do
not worry about lack of bowel movement. This
will take care of itself in a few days provided you
have an ample daily supply of water.
If traveling afoot in a survival situation, you
should take particular care of your feet. Remove
clots of material from socks to eliminate possible
sources of friction and ensure that shoes fit
properly. If possible, air your shoes and socks at
night by putting them on small stakes. This keeps
the insides dry and eliminates the danger of
insects crawling inside. Watch for blisters and
apply adhesive tape smoothly to your skin