What Survival Food Can You Find on the Trail? Plants – Part 2

Additional plants that you will want to learn to identify include burdock, cattail, wild onions and leeks. Burdock has wavy arrow shaped leaves and can reach up to 6 ft tall. Burdock can have pink or purple flower clusters and a large fleshy root. It is often used to relief the sting from nettles. Strip the stalks and eat them raw or cook them up in water. The roots can be boiled or baked. The leaves can be eaten in the spring but may require boiling to soften.

Cattails are grass-like plants that can grow to 6 feet tall. The leaves are 0.5 to 2″ in width. Cattails are found around the edge of water. The tender shoots can be eaten but you should boil them in water to kill any protozoa. The roots are starchy and can be pounded, to remove the starch and create flour. The green cattail flowers can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob. The brown cattails can be broken apart and used as insulation in a light jacket, or turned into a pillow. The cattail fluff also makes good tinder for starting a fire.

Wild onions and garlic can be easily identified by their distinctive odor. The tender shoots and bulbs can be eaten raw or boiled like a vegetable in soups or to flavor meat. The plants can be found in sunny areas. Do not eat bulbs that do not have an onion smell as they could be poisonous. Wild leeks are found in eastern woodlands and can be gather easily when the ground is soft.

To avoid being poisoned stay away from plants you don’t recognize. A general rule of thumb is to avoid plants that have any of the following:
• Milky or discolored sap.
• Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.
• Bitter or soapy taste.
• Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
• Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley like foliage.
• An almond scent which indicates cyanide, in any of the woody parts and leaves.
• Any grain heads with pink, purple, or black spurs.
• 3-leaf growth patterns.

This list might eliminate some useful foods but you are better to be safe than sorry.

If you are by the ocean you should not overlook seaweed as a good source of food. Find living plants attached to rocks or floating free. You don’t want to use seaweed that has washed ashore as it may be spoiled or decayed. Thin and tender varieties of seaweed can be dried in the sun or over a fire until crisp. Some species can be eaten raw, others will need to be boiled to make them more palatable as a vegetable or in a soup.

In large quantities seaweed can have a laxative effect, so eat seaweed in moderation at first. Seaweed is a valuable source of iodine and vitamin C. There are also some fresh water varieties that can be eaten. As with making water safe anything collected from fresh water sources should be boiled in water to kill any protozoa that may be present.

Seaweed species you might want to learn to identify include:
• Dulse (Rhodymenia palmata)
• Green seaweed (Ulva lactuca)
• Irish moss (Chondrus crispus)
• Kelp (Alaria esculenta)
• Laver (Porphyra species)
• Mojaban (Sargassum fulvellum)
• Sugar wrack (Laminaria saccharina)

CW’s TV Show Arrow Comic Book Origins

Green Arrow has been a long running character in DC comics, ever since the 1940’s. It wasn’t until two decades after his debut and until 2007 his origin story was expanded upon. As with many comic book heroes his origin story has been expanded upon and revised several times.

The general background story is that Oliver Queen was a wealthy playboy and CEO of Queen Industries. He was wild, reckless and an alcoholic, living a hollow existence of luxury. Oliver Queen was orphaned at a young age when his parents were killed on a safari in Africa by lions. Oliver Queen blamed himself partly for their deaths, not wanting to use a weapon to kill the lions. After that incident he was no longer hesitant to kill animals in the future.

Oliver Queen started his training as a hero when he was marooned on an island after falling off (in some cases pushed off by his friend) where he had to survive for several months (or years depending on the source). He constructed a bow out of materials he found on the island and became an expert archer to hunt for food and survive. He also perfected many trick arrows that he would later use to fight criminals.

To get off the island, depending on the source comic, he either fought off pirates/druglords and took their boat or was found on the island by chance. The modern show “Arrow” takes a slightly different take with him being marooned on an island with mercenaries, former special forces members (such as Slade Wilson), Shado and her father.

After returning from the island and with his new found skills he put them to use to fight criminals. Despite running a billion dollar industry, Oliver Queen has always been the most left wing, anti-establishment hero of DC comics. In some origin stories he loses his company and his money due to inside corruption and finding out his company makes weapons.

Roy Harper, the sidekick with him from the beginning was an orphan as well. Having grown up on an Indian Reservation he was trained as an expert archer and hunter. When he joined up with Green Arrow he was called Speedy but later on when he went his own way would be called Red Arrow or Arsenal. Speedy eventually went his own way after dabbling in drugs and alcohol to the dismay of his mentor and partner Green Arrow.

More Than Thanksgiving Food: Interesting Facts About The Turkey

A food lover’s delight, an ecstasy for the taste buds; there’s no denying the fact that the turkey makes for a great dinner – one that all food lovers would look forward too. Every year on Thanksgiving this bird sends the taste buds of 95% of Americans into raptures. Even as we savor the turkey there are interesting facts about this about this bird that we often don’t care to take note of.

Let’s take a look – 1) Research says that the turkey is over 10 million years old and has its origins in North and Central America. However, this ruling bird of Thanksgiving, the turkey, was domesticated in Mexico, where it was a bird of sacrifice. 2) There are two species of turkey – The North American Wild Turkey and The Central American Ocellated Turkey. 3) Farm-raised turkey cannot fly. Only wild turkeys have the ability to fly for short distances and are the fastest runners on ground among all birds. 4) They’re found in all US states except Alaska. Alaska it’s too cold for the turkeys. 5) American Indians were very fond of hunting wild turkeys because of its tasty flesh and for its feathers. The feathers of a turkey were used in arrows and to decorate their ceremonial attire. 6) Turkeys were once used to remove green worms from tobacco plants. 7) Benjamin Franklin had proposed in 1776 that the turkey be made the official symbol of the nation. However ultimately the bald eagle was chosen. Franklin later noted in a letter to his daughter “the turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.” 8) The Thanksgiving turkey is also well-known for its eggs, which are about double the size of the eggs of chicken. 9) A turkey egg takes approximately 28-30 days to hatch. 10) A baby turkey is called a ‘poult’ and is tanned brown in color. 11) A male turkey is called a Tom while a female turkey is called a Hen. Only Toms can gobble. Hens communicate with clicking noises or pseudogobbles. 12) A hen can lay upto 100 eggs. 13) A full-grown turkey has about 3500 feathers approximately. 14) The long, loose piece of skin hanging from a turkey’s neck is known as ‘wattle’. 15) A group of turkey is known as a flock. 16) Turkeys have a great sight, great hearing, great sense of taste, but a very poor sense of smell. 17) The Guinness Book of World Records holds that the largest weight recorded for a turkey (after having been dressed and cooked) is 86 pounds. This turkey-fic record was made on December 12, 1989. 18) The turkey industry is a very popular industry in the US, grossing over $1 billion each year. 19) An average American consumes about 15 pounds of turkey every year. On the day of Thanksgiving, Americans treat themselves to about 675 million pounds of turkey. 20) California consumes more turkey than any other US state.

21) In the historical 1969 voyage to the moon, the food packets of US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had roasted turkey and all other trimmings.

From Arrows to Ghillie Suits: For a Perfect Hunting Experience

Hunting has been part of the human race since thousands of years ago. It began out of necessity, a prerequisite for food and nourishment and a task man couldn’t survive without. Later when man discovered domestication and agriculture, hunting still played a large role in early lives and only evolved from that point forth. Man started to use bows and arrows, then spears, then later on because of domestication, other animals even aided them during their hunt. At the present age, man had become so adept at the activity that he could kill an array of animals a man from the past could only dream of.

Man has gone a long way. When earlier men used wood and stone, the men of today use metal and plastic. Now there are numerous methods that a hunter can use to find his game and equally numerous choices of apparel he can utilize. One such example of the evolution of hunting gear is the ghillie suit. The suit is designed to camouflage the wearer by mimicking thick foliage. When prehistoric men used twigs and leaves from the ground to cover themselves, modern man designed a synthetic type of clothing one only needs to slip on to be camouflaged. Originally developed in Scotland, it is now used by militaries of different nations.

Yet in the present world filled with instant noodles and vending machines, it might be hard to believe that hunting is still being practiced today. Just as it was during the days of man’s prehistoric ancestors, hunting is still very much alive. But why? One might think there is no need, for the average man today does not spend his life constantly hustling through thick shrubbery and fearing for his safety each moment. Oh no, he spends it doing quite the opposite: sitting on a couch and surfing channels or doing paperwork at a cubicle in the office. Times have changed drastically. But what might come as a shock to any caveman who had to risk his life to get a meal thousands of years ago would be that now, modern man engages in that life risking activity for the mere fun of it. Yes, he now crawls through the undergrowth, wades in mud and smells like an animal because hunting is now regarded as a leisure activity.

Now one cannot be surprised that the word “game” is associated with hunting for a reason. To hunters, game is what they call what they are hunting, usually mammals or birds. The entire activity is much like a child’s game as well. There is a prize, and only through cunning, resourcefulness and skill will one be able to get it. The rush and adrenaline that was once a need born from desperation has now morphed into the thrill that hunters seek and relish.

However, like with any game, there are rules. And although it is the human race that carries the gun around this planet, it doesn’t mean brandishing it carelessly is acceptable. There are seasons when animals must be left in peace. There are animals that just cannot be hunted. And there are manners of killing game that cannot be tolerated, such as torture. Failure to play by the rules does not reflect skill, only deception and desperation. It is still a life that a hunter takes away, and there are many laws that attempt to balance the value of this life with that of the sport. It is the duty of the hunter to recognize this and to follow it wholeheartedly.