Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Staying Warm

Now that winter has returned to most of the country I thought I would spend some time on various situations you may encounter. One of the biggest problems in winter situations obviously is staying warm. Whether you are stranded in your car, out in the wilderness or even in your house during a power outage. Staving off hypothermia and frostbite can be the difference between life and death in any type of survival situation. Over the next few posts, I will be concentrating on staying warm to stay alive!

Stranded in your car:

If you live in an area where the winter comes on hard and is utterly relentless staying warm while stranded is a must. The first rule is being prepared. You should have with you at all times a winter driving kit. You may refer back to an earlier post as to what should be included in your kit. The first rule to winter driving is to keep a full gas tank. The second rule is to NOT go out in bad weather. (we all know this one but never really grasp it I don't think). To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure that the tail pipe is clear of snow and ice. Remember that your car is essentially one big metal box thus becoming a freezer in the winter when the heater is not running. It will not hold heat very well once it is shut off. Pick a time schedule and stick to it! Only run the cars engine for 3 minutes out of every half hour to conserve gas. Here is another thing to keep in mind, if you are able keep your feet off of the floor. We all know that cold air drops to the lowest point, so keeping your feet off the floor will keep them warmer while the engine is not running. If you do happen to run out of water, cut the top off a plastic bottle and fill with snow. When your running your heater melt some of the snow to drink. Another thing you may do is fill 2 different bottles and let one become fully melted. Leave it on the heat as much as possible. As the water gets warm, you can drink the warm water during the times when your car is off to help maintain body heat.

As always, I hope that you find this post helpful. Till next time!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Birch Tree

The Birch tree can be identified by it's bark, it has silvery white smooth bark with dark to black horizontal lines. The tree grows primarily in the northern parts of the U.S. as well as other countries. The Birch tree is also known as the tree of life because of all the medicinal properties it has. 
      The leaves contain saponin, a bitter substance, mucilage, procatechinic tannin, essential oil, betulin, saccharose, resins. These substances offer the following properties to the birch leaves: diuretic, detoxifying, cicatrizing, anti-rheumatic, astringent, antiulcer, choleretic, slightly hypertensive, anti-fever. The buds also have a diuretic and antibiotic role. The bark is diuretic, digestive and anti-fever. The juice squeezed out of fresh leaves is used in treating infections and inflammations of the urinary tract.

Birch leaf baths help strengthen hair roots, prevent the forming of dandruff and contribute to the healing of skin irritations.  Externally, it is used for treating affections of the skin such as  dermatitis and types of eczema. An interesting side note an infusion of birch leaves, water and sodium bicarbonate can be used externally to strengthen hair roots. Birch bark decoct is made by 2 teaspoons of dried and cut bark, which is boiled for 5 minutes in 200 ml of water, it is infused for 10 minutes, let it stand  for 6 hours, then it is filtered, sweetened and drunk in portions of 3 cups per day, before meals, having digestive, depurative, anti-ulcer effects, with applications in gastric ulcer and skin diseases.

     The Birch sap can also be mixed with water as an energy supplement. As you can see, the birch tree has many many beneficial uses.
      Once again, I hope that you find my posts informative and helpful. If you have any comments and questions feel free to post them and I will do my best to answer them.