Low, dead, needle-bearing branches of standing 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 way.
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.
SURVIVAL SELF-TREATMENT FIRST AID
During a survival situation the one thing that can jeopardize the aircrewman's 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.
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. Keeping 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 sun.
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:
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 skinContinue Reading