What does a flashback feel like?

First thing to say is this isn’t a pity party.
It was triggered by reading an article penned by the usual “cut and paste nonsense” you find in what passes as journalism.

I guess it’s different for everyone and, for me, some flashbacks happen without me even knowing what triggered them.

Which is kinda confusing (and dangerous) as where and what I’m doing fades into the background. I absolutely hate those ones as it usually triggers extreme physical and emotional reactions. Although I had stopped hitting the ground and rolling many years ago.

I’m talking emotions like horror, smiley ones (Yes, some flashbacks do make me happy), being scared, confused, hot, sweaty, breathless, a racing heart, as cold as ice or as hot as hell. I still feel any loss intensely and sadness can overwhelm me. I also feel regret, abhorrence, but mainly I get angry. Angry with me, and the actions of others.

Yet some of that anger comes later as I rage within at circumstances that made me who I was in yesteryears and what I am reliving today.

Incidently, someone once asked me if I ever lashed out at someone.
Because of a flashback? Never.
Because they were being an asshole? You bet.

Yet I only feel the need to explain the regret bit.
All the regret is focused on one unforgettable event from a pointless loss of a young life of someone who had already lost everything they held dear.

Anyway, it led to me ‘being in the groove’, to being totally mindf’kd, in an instant.
(Little did I know how bad it would affect me in later life).

The others I was working with at that time were physically and emotionally as tough as it gets, but the raw emotions that came to the fore that night, while gallons of alcohol was drunk in honor of a lost friend were, in my mind, the cement that set that loss in concrete for me.

No, I’m not going into further details.
30(ish) years later it’s still deeply personal.

So why the post?
Many have suffered (or are suffering) from PTSD, ARS, battle stress, combat stress, or whatever you like to call it. I’m in no way unique.

A few, regretfully, have succumbed to the pressures it puts on your mind and body. They, either by taking their own lives, or dying from a terminal illness caused by the massive stress they have been living under.

When you read that stress kills?
Some really haven’t got a clue how accurate that statement is.

How to finish?
Memo to self: I really must stop reading before bedtime!
Last night I read a media feature piece on the fate of service personnel that had been diagnosed with PSTD and how they were NOT being considered suitable by workplaces as they were considered, ‘dangerous and unstable’. One word came to mind, ‘bollocks!’

Unsurprisingly it angered me that the soft in arse, hand, and possessing a civilian mindset, so readily dismissed those, some of whom had given their all, had been injured, and because of some ‘quirky fad’ were going to be shunned for employment.

It reminded me that I kept quiet about my illness so was still employable.
So yes, my resume wasn’t exactly accurate.
Even then I knew to admit a diagnosis of anything to do with the ‘mind’ was a quick way to be deemed unemployable. It was only in later life, after being rendered by illness unfit and too disabled to be employable, that I began to relax about what I was living with.

Bang. Some other soft in arse, hand, and possessing a civilian human resources weenie will take that as proof that vets can’t be trusted. So be it. However, I wonder what would happen if their bosses or staff put them under a microscope. EVERYONE has a skeleton in the cupboard (a secret) they wouldn’t want known about.

And finally.
From children to the elderly.
Those who served in dangerous times
Those who worked in dangerous occupations
Those whose job it was to save lives,
Those who got caught up in events that changed their lives.
Anyone can face a life changing, mindf’k event, at anytime.

However, it doesn’t mean that those who were injured are dangerous, volatile, or not worth a second look at today.

It also reminded me of the poem ‘Tommy’ (By Kipling)
How a common grunt level (in 1890) saw the soft in arse, hand, and a civilian mindset.
Nothing changes does it?

Hurt

Be kind to everyone as everyone is fighting some sort of battle.

Some will be fighting for their lives,
Some will be fighting for others,
Some who fight may get hurt,
And some hurt goes unseen.

Snares

Again a force multiplier in so much that a trap line is a setup, go home, do other things, and return later. I was very much a set up traps just after sunset, and retrieve before sunrise trapper.

Anyway, it’s an art, easily taught, can be hard to self teach,.
Although making snares is dead easy to improvise.
The ‘LEGAL’ snares all have stops (as shown below).
If you are caught without stops the fines in the UK are sometimes HEAVY.

Tying locking snares (Caution illegal and all over the UK).
First thing you’ll notice is no metal work, no bent washers or strips of metal, all these pictures show is how to tie (line or cord) or twist thin wire to make lockable snares. With rabbit you need to be thinking a minimum breaking strain of around 10 kg, hare 15 kg.

UK legal requirements call for a stop.

 

 

 

This is a retention snare. It job is to hold the catch not kill it. It also allows deer, dogs and cats to escape a leg hold.

You can fabricate snares out of just about anything from boot laces, fishing wire, para-cord, to electrical cable and stripping out the cores.

0.5 to 1 mm  is ideal for squirrel,
1.25-1.5 mm for rabbit / hare.
You do not need to use the brass wire, commercially produced snares!
I’ve tried brass and didn’t like it, preferring twisted strand stainless steel or old piano wire. I also use galvanised. Not to protect from corrosion, more because it’s ‘slippy’.

Squirrel. Basically stupid, will climb anything. this is a classic setup ,a leaning post against a larger tree is so easy. Don’t short change on the length, if the dangle is too close to the post, they can re-mount the post. One thing you should always remember. When a squirrel is still, not moving, it is not necessarily DEAD, and those teeth are like razors.

Lastly always think DANGLE and STRANGLE.
A springy sapling or a counter weight to lift the prey off the ground. (Note not required for squirrel posts). I always multiply the prey’s weight by 5.
Over kill? Maybe, but works for me.

Two reasons.
Firstly a quick kill is humane AND a prolonged struggle doesn’t spoil the meat as a build up of toxins always follows slow strangulation.

Secondly to get the prey off the ground stops ground predators like rats or fox from eating your supper. The smaller the prey, the better. Squirrel, rabbit, or rat, you can use a sapling (I use about an inch thick (25mm) sapling.

Snares are held in place using a tealer.
This one was made from a coat hanger, but a slotted stick is usually sufficient.

Where to set a rabbit snare.
They are creatures of habit that make clearly identifiable tracks.
To learn them, don’t walk in them but to one side. After a while you’ll see ‘something like’:

A tick is good, a cross is bad, and a large plot is where a rabbit browses so they aren’t moving at speed. Only that’s what you need, a rabbit moving at speed.

Fox snares.

Anchor notes. Determine what type of end you want on your snare.
Never skimp on anchors. Think of the prey weight and times it by 5.
10 kg fox, you need something that will hold 50 kg minimum. The same for the breaking strain of the wire. Always used twisted stainless steel. As opposed to a twist joint, try to use a crimp joint.
Whether you prefer to use a rebar stake , earth anchor, tree, or fence post. the anchor twist is best left as a sliding loop and locked onto the anchor with a heavy duty snap link.
Swivels are a must to avoid tangles as the animal as it rolls and fights. If you want to live catch anything, or preserve your snare, a swivel is a must. Only remember, prey weight times 5 as a minimum breaking strain.

Deer Stop: A standard deer stop makes a 65 mm diameter loop. The deer stop allows a leg caught deer to pull its leg free, while the stops shown are fitted to RETAIN the animal until you dispatch it. So that’s protected the deer, but what if that’s what you are after?

Size of a deer snare? two feet wide and three feet tall.
Bottom of loop to be at belly height. That is determined by the breed you are after. As for the snare rating? I still use body weight times five. 100 lb prey, 500 lb cable and ALWAYS using crimped loops on loops. As for a swivel? Deep sea and shark fishing swivels are usable but use way bigger than you need to as you should never underestimate the fighting power of a deer trying to get free.

Your anchor should be nothing less than a tree.
Some use drags. They are not so safe, especially when you approach a deer.
A drag is a felled tree with the branches towards the snare.
Think of it as an abatis. AKA natures tank stoppers!

Except  the criss-cross is for vehicles.
You only need one tree for your drag. Lopped branches about 6 feet across, (two meters).

Caution. Everything I’ve scribbled about is going to be illegal somewhere. Some counties (states) call for a licence. Others not, but most have strict laws on how to do (and not to do) things. Plus a list of things you are allowed to catch and when.

Can one voice make a difference?

The Brit, Macer Gifford, who fought 3 tours alongside the Kurdish forces against IS, has made comment about the growing attitude in the UK which he says ‘fails to recognise’ (while I say ‘has chosen to ignore’) the true victims of evil.

Quote: “We are so full of criticising our own country and our own institutions that we are not applying any form of agency or responsibility to the people that do harm to others”.

Bang on matey, and thank you for your services to humanity.

However, the UK political scene in the UK only makes populist policy in the form of appeasement, political correctness, woke, religious and ethnic tolerance. As such, all politics, the UK’s media, and the weak in mind and morals on social media, pander in some way to those who commit the obscene.

So personally, and sadly, I think he’s on a loser as I reckon one voice will never make a difference in the cesspit that is modern politics and social media.

I’m afraid the UK lost it’s way years ago on the altar of money, the allure of power, and the loss of common decency. Let alone politics supporting the warped morals of the woke, racist, and minority groups that infest our country. That and it’s wildly acknowledged that UK politics take their orders from allies that are nothing of the sort.

Now older, but no wiser, I yearn for the past when we were a nation.
Except that will never happen again under the archaic, self serving, uncaring, system of government the sheeple choose to support.

Rave over.
Y’all have a nice day.

Farm House

I penned this a while ago following a flashback set off by a news article.
I still see so much hatred in the world and it always targets those who could never fight back. In the main I see the foulest of crimes hiding behind religion. The only problem then is the investigation (if there is one) is always wary of taking on that religion, and that is mainly a political or cowards decision. Cowards and politicians. Sort of goes hand in hand doesn’t it? After all the power in the UK gets off beating on the little people. However, the media all talk of a government whitewash when an investigation fails. Only have you thought what color that whitewash is?

Farm House

The gentle sound of burning wood
The smell that a bonfire makes
Yet behind the smell, and on the wind
Was the odour of burning meat

Three families slain because of their faith
Nine souls sent off to their God.
But in a shed a child was found
Barely twelve she alone survived.

Her tale was bad as it all came out
Her home burning down as she was raped.
And who were the scum who had done this deed?
The ‘family’ of a girl who married out of her faith.

‘Which faith were they’, some will ask
Except knowing that changes nothing
What was true is nobody helped
They also too scared to challenge that faith.

If the smell isn’t enough.

UKGov ministers are fretting in private over the possibility Covid-19 is being spread via farting. Hell, I thought my farts were bad, borderline nuclear at times, but the thought of having to wear a bum and face mask in the next lockdown (due in August) will be taking things a bit too far.

Too Hot!

It’s an eye opener for some, but a lot more people die from Hyperthermia (getting too hot) than Hypothermia (getting too cold).
Worst thing about it?
It’s way more painful dying from being ‘cooked’ than frozen.

Heat Injury Avoidance in a nutshell.

  • Stay in cover, maintain good ventilation, and hydrate.
  • Rest in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
  • Keep your mouth shut and don’t talk.
  • Don’t sweat, strip off excess clothing to keep cool but keep your skin covered.
    Layers are always better than thickness
  • Keep your head covered with a wide brim hat and scarf around your neck or by using a Shemagh.
  • Use high factor sun screen to avoid sun burn.
  • Wear Polarized wrap round sun glasses.
  • Don’t suck sweets, stones, smoke, or consume alcohol.

And now we come to how much do you need to drink?
I was never happy about the general mantra that you need an absolute minimum of 2 liters in a cool climate. More if it is cold, and if in tropical heat, 4 to 6 liters as a minimum.
Don’t forget, the more you eat, the more fluids you’ll need.

The other view is you should hydrate during work and drink before feeling thirsty.
Because by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. As above, the more you eat, the more fluids you’ll need.

What a great help that is (not).
I mean, What’s too hot or too cold?
Where does exercise figure in the calculations?
Especially in temperate temperatures?
Does humidity come into it?
What about wind chill?
Are you eating properly?
What about when you are hungry?

Only it’s not good to just ‘jug’ loads of water down your throat.
Do that to excess and you will cause harm to yourself as you are constantly reducing the salts in your blood.

To that end, the sensible carry Electrolytes for when they can’t eat a ‘balanced meal’. They contain the essential minerals and salts you need.
Useful things to have when you are working in the heat or even surviving in the cold. They don’t weigh a lot or take up a lot of room.

Anyway, why a balanced meal?
What has been proven is if you can eat a balanced meal, you will replace any mineral (which includes salts) naturally. Besides, every packet of Electrolytes I’ve consumed tasted awful.

When working in the heat, drink 1 mug (8 ounces) of water every 15–20 minutes
This translates to ¾–1 quart (24–32 ounces) per hour.
Drinking little and often is way more effective than drinking large amounts infrequently.

If you are going to eat, double the amount of water you drink. This amount does not include what you use to cook with, this is additional fluids.

Never DRINK sea water, urine, DE-ionized water (used for car batteries and steam irons), fish juices, or blood. Don’t use sugared or alcoholic drinks as an alternative to pure water.

Emergency Re-hydration Fluids
Cholera and Dysentery are two of the common disaster diseases and can cause you to lose a litre of fluid AN HOUR. A dose of Norwalk virus does a pretty good job of stripping you of fluids too.

D.I.Y. Basic Oral Re-hydration Liquid.
1/2 teaspoon of salt ,
6 teaspoons of sugar,
and a liter of water.
A good temporary fix but you need proper electrolyte replacement therapy as well. You can buy these in tablet or powder form.

A D.I.Y. sugar free alternative with a mineral boost would be
2 liters of water
1 level teaspoon of salt
1 level teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt)
This tastes pretty horrible so I always add an orange flavored vitamin C tablet.
Add a banana (not easy to find when you need one, and it boosts your potassium levels.

Heat stress is just that, you get too hot and it causes stress within the body
You may be at the limit of self help.
Symptoms include:-

  • a headache
  • dizziness and confusion
  • Anger and irritability
  • loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or pulse
  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • being very thirsty

Treatment?

  1. Move them to a cool place.
  2. Lay them down, feet raised slightly.
  3. Preferably give them water but don’t just glug it down.
    Little and often should be you aim but you may have to encourage them.
  4. Cool them or spray  with cool water, NOT COLD, and fan them.
    Cold packs around the armpits, neck, or the groin help.
  5. Stay with them until they’re better.
    They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.
    Don’t let them leave as feeling good is not necessarily re-hydrated.
    They will be out of crisis when their CORE temperature is under 38 C.
    Best place to measure that? The back passage aka the butt.
  6. Is that it?
    No. Keep them out of the heat for 24 hours
    Water can turn to hot drinks later BUT NO ALCOHOL or sugar rich drinks.
    If they want to pass water that’s good but hold off giving them a large meal. It takes water to digest food and, right now, they need that water to seep into all their nooks and crannies. Keep an eye on the color of the urine.

Only what happens if you can’t cool them down?

This is A MEDICAL EMERGENCY as they are now in HEATSTROKE!

Symptoms include:

  1. Feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
  2. Excessively tired, listless, slow in responding
  3. Not sweating even while feeling too hot
  4. A high temperature of 40C or above
  5. Fast breathing or shortness of breath
  6. Confusion
  7. They may have a seizure,
  8. Slip into unconsciousness,
    And if there is no help forthcoming. . .
  9. Dig a hole.

You are way beyond self help and the quickest way to help someone if medical help is not an option is to rehydrate them via the anus.

  • Expose their butt
  • Lie them on their left side.
  • Wash your hands and don a pair of gloves
  • Add a lubricant to the of the end of the tube that will be inserted.
    Water based if possible (KY but a basic hand cream will suffice).
  • If you are using a camel pack, detach the tap.
    Use you finger as a stopper.
    All you need is the bag and tube.
  • Insert the lubed pipe 15 cm (6 inches) into the bowel.
    Slowly and gently, u
    sing tape secure it.
  • Cover the patient and watch out for hypothermia. It can come on quickly.
    Hang the bag above them, DON’T SQUEEZE IT, let gravity work for you.
  • This will rehydrate from the inside out which, short of putting up an IV, it might save them.

Finally what water? Potable (drinkable) is best BUT NEVER SEA WATER.
some say you can used un-purified water from streams BUT it’s the quickest way to get Giardia, Leptospirosis, Crypto, Hep A, Norwalk, viral Gastroenteritis, or dysentery.

How much water?
1.5 liters is the average Camelpac and it will quickly help the person.
Once they are more ‘with it’, get them drinking.
A patient will want to get up and move around. Don’t be fooled.
Feeling better is not fully rehydrated.
Treat as heat stress BUT if the patient slips back into heatstroke, you may have to consider another rear end infusion.

Note, I’m not a medical professional, check that what I have written is correct before trying it. This is as invasive as hell for some, so be VERY CAREFUL!

Remember if you are using force or causing pain, you are doing it WRONG.

Trapping Birds

Why trapping?
Shooting is expensive, it’s loud, tactically inadvisable and it’s you verses a bird.
Plus, you either have to go looking or wait until they find you. I’m talking gain for effort which is very important in survival.

So I would remind you that trapping is basically a force multiplier i.e. you set up traps, go back to base, and get on with the important jobs.

Most birds are caught during the day yet they won’t take to you constantly checking traps. Just leave things alone.
Set bird traps when you are coming back from your other trap lines, and check them late afternoon before you go out to re-set your animal snares.

Bird Snares are used for anything, large or small.
As they can’t chew through lines, you can use thin mono-filament line or inner cores from para-cord. A popular moan is trigger traps aren’t sensitive enough. One word, practice.
      

The type A shows a berry chain. Most ‘gobblers of food will follow the food and ignore the cord (if it’s thin and flexible enough.Type B. This is survival trapping. Every berry is mounted on a fishing hook.

The duck loop is not shown very clearly.A small bait (on a hook) gets swallowed, the duck swims away, the weight under the water gets dislodged sinks and drowns the bird.

Typically claw snares are 2″ in diameter and set an inch above the perch. If you are after wading or swimming birds, then set 3″ in diameter, same height. Neck snares are typically 3″ in diameter, overlapped.

Gorges are designed with the “gobbling” type of birds.Flock eaters or swooping types i.e. gulls (although gulls don’t make good safe eating as they eat ANYTHING).
Gorges In Use

  1. Split some para-cord down to thin thread or use thin fishing line. Thread a few berries onto the line. Flocking birds will rapidly swallow the food to prevent the other birds from getting to it. Let them eat as much as they can then run towards them. The swallowed line will prevent them from escaping. Grab and dispatch before they can pull the line out of their crops.
  2. Same principle but using small fish hooks at the end of threads baited with berries, maggots, or worm. Bird swallows the hook and cannot escape. CAUTION: the hook will be well embedded in the crop. Be careful when removing it as it will be contaminated with part digested food.

A more proactive type.25-35mm long, 4mm thick on a leader of mono-filament. Using a gorge, bait as shown above and throw out to swooping feeders like gulls. The gull will greedily swallow the gorge.When it tries to fly off, the gorge turns sideways and locks in the throat.Again, when recovering the gorge, take care as it may be contaminated with partly digested food. You can of course use fish hooks like gorges.

Be cautious of gulls, they are scavengers eating whatever they can find.
I did cut one apart once, the flesh was full of thready worms.

Don’t forget mouse and rat traps.Simply put, standard snap rat traps are useful for catching birds.Bait with offal, berries, worm, or maggots.They peck, trap snaps, you get a meal.Only remember to set the traps on a pole as you won’t like mouse or rat.

Line Snares
Small thin cord snares.3-4 inches overlapped on a frame Arrange in a box or triangle formation round scattered seed / berries. The cord must be thin and light. Mono-filament fishing line is ideal for this. Simply a ground “bird table” covered with horizontal thin snares 1-2 ” above the table.

Snares are 3″ in diameter.  Flocking birds like partridge or pigeon are a favorite prey for snares. They see the food and dive in desperate to eat before their companions.

Perching snares.Ideal for doves and smaller birds. the bird lands to feed and gets entangled. 

Bird Caps. Requires a little thought and preparation.  

You’ll need to collect holly twigs with leaves attached and some thin cardboard or very stiff paper.Boil the holly in a pot and reduce the liquid down to a thick glue.Make paper cones approximately 2″ in diameter Using the bird gum to make the cones. Smear a generous layer of gum round the inside top edge.Place into the ground and drop corn or other bait round and in the caps.The bird pecks the bait and the paper cone gets stuck on its head.It will not fly as it cannot see. Note, this one you need to monitor.

Mist nets.
If you are a survivalist a 12X12 feet, made of a 1/2″ clear or white mesh, catches fish and entangles feather and fur alike. They can be indiscriminate. Only bear in mind you are trying to survive in a world where a meal is what you can source or catch. Mesh nets for furries (rabbit, but not squirrel) don’t take a whole lot of pounding. Squirrel I only snare as they can decimate a mesh net.

All of these traps I have used.
Sometimes they work, other times not.
Only while they are doing their thing, I’m somewhere else doing whatever is necessary.
A caution. Conceal your traps as an experienced tracker will find them and it gives them a ‘start point’ to search for you.

Popular questions.

  • Do I every shoot bird?
    Occasionally, water fowl but that’s about it, and always with the low noise of an air rifle or a slingshot aka catapult. Tactically quiet and cheap to feed is an air rifle. Easy to maintain, and adapt to your own ‘spec’.
  • Do I ever use a bow?
    I’m just not good enough to hit a 1-3″ target at 20 yards. So no.
  • A naturist demanded, don’t I feel disgusted trapping birds?
    Nope, as I possess a strong desire to eat.
    That and mangled meat is of little use to me apart from baiting traps. so I try to keep the prey whole.
  • Do I ever use cage or fall traps?
    I never had any success with them.