Survival skills in Morgan Hill are techniques that a person may use in order to sustain life in any type of natural environment or built environment. These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life which include water, food, and shelter. The skills also support proper knowledge and interactions with animals and plants to promote the sustaining of life over a period of time. Practicing with a survival suit An immersion suit, or survival suit is a special type of waterproof dry suit that protects the wearer from hypothermia from immersion in cold water, after abandoning a sinking or capsized vessel, especially in the open ocean.
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Survival skills are often associated with the need to survive in a disaster situation in Morgan Hill .
 Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that ancients invented and used themselves for thousands of years.
 Outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, and hunting all require basic wilderness survival skills, especially in handling emergency situations. Bush-craft and primitive living are most often self-implemented, but require many of the same skills.
Jump to navigation Jump to search The ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes at work in the Amazon (~1940s) Ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. An ethnobotanist thus strives to document the local customs involving the practical uses of local flora for many aspects of life, such as plants as medicines, foods, and clothing. Richard Evans Schultes, often referred to as the "father of ethnobotany", explained the discipline in this way: Ethnobotany simply means ... investigating plants used by societies in various parts of the world. Since the time of Schultes, the field of ethnobotany has grown from simply acquiring ethnobotanical knowledge to that of applying it to a modern society, primarily in the form of pharmaceuticals. Intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing arrangements are important issues in ethnobotany. Plants have been widely used by American Indian healers, such as this Ojibwa man. The idea of ethnobotany was first proposed by the early 20th century botanist John William Harshberger. While Harshberger did perform ethnobotanical research extensively, including in areas such as North Africa, Mexico, Scandinavia, and Pennsylvania, it was not until Richard Evans Schultes began his trips into the Amazon that ethnobotany become a more well known science. However, the practice of ethnobotany is thought to have much earlier origins in the first century AD when a Greek physician by the name of Pedanius Dioscorides wrote an extensive botanical text detailing the medical and culinary properties of "over 600 mediterranean plants" named De Materia Medica. Historians note that Dioscorides wrote about traveling often throughout the Roman empire, including regions such as "Greece, Crete, Egypt, and Petra", and in doing so obtained substantial knowledge about the local plants and their useful properties. European botanical knowledge drastically expanded once the New World was discovered due to ethnobotany. This expansion in knowledge can be primarily attributed to the substantial influx of new plants from the Americas, including crops such as potatoes, peanuts, avocados, and tomatoes. One French explorer in the 16th century, Jacques Cartier, learned a cure for scurvy (a tea made from boiling the bark of the Sitka Spruce) from a local Iroquois tribe. During the medieval period, ethnobotanical studies were commonly found connected with monasticism. Notable at this time was Hildegard von Bingen. However, most botanical knowledge was kept in gardens such as physic gardens attached to hospitals and religious buildings. It was thought of in practical use terms for culinary and medical purposes and the ethnographic element was not studied as a modern anthropologist might approach ethnobotany today. Carl Linnaeus carried out in 1732 a research expedition in Scandinavia asking the Sami people about their ethnological usage of plants. The age of enlightenment saw a rise in economic botanical exploration. Alexander von Humboldt collected data from the New World, and James Cook's voyages brought back collections and information on plants from the South Pacific. At this time major botanical gardens were started, for instance the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1759. The directors of the gardens sent out gardener-botanist explorers to care for and collect plants to add to their collections. As the 18th century became the 19th, ethnobotany saw expeditions undertaken with more colonial aims rather than trade economics such as that of Lewis and Clarke which recorded both plants and the peoples encountered use of them. Edward Palmer collected material culture artifacts and botanical specimens from people in the North American West (Great Basin) and Mexico from the 1860s to the 1890s. Through all of this research, the field of "aboriginal botany" was established—the study of all forms of the vegetable world which aboriginal peoples use for food, medicine, textiles, ornaments and more. The first individual to study the emic perspective of the plant world was a German physician working in Sarajevo at the end of the 19th century: Leopold Glück. His published work on traditional medical uses of plants done by rural people in Bosnia (1896) has to be considered the first modern ethnobotanical work. Other scholars analyzed uses of plants under an indigenous/local perspective in the 20th century: Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Zuni plants (1915); Frank Cushing, Zuni foods (1920); Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Anishinaabe fungi (1998), and the team approach of Wilfred Robbins, John Peabody Harrington, and Barbara Freire-Marreco, Tewa pueblo plants (1916). In the beginning, ethonobotanical specimens and studies were not very reliable and sometimes not helpful. This is because the botanists and the anthropologists did not always collaborate in their work. The botanists focused on identifying species and how the plants were used instead of concentrating upon how plants fit into people's lives. On the other hand, anthropologists were interested in the cultural role of plants and treated other scientific aspects superficially. In the early 20th century, botanists and anthropologists better collaborated and the collection of reliable, detailed cross-disciplinary data began. Beginning in the 20th century, the field of ethnobotany experienced a shift from the raw compilation of data to a greater methodological and conceptual reorientation. This is also the beginning of academic ethnobotany. The so-called "father" of this discipline is Richard Evans Schultes, even though he did not actually coin the term "ethnobotany". Today the field of ethnobotany requires a variety of skills: botanical training for the identification and preservation of plant specimens; anthropological training to understand the cultural concepts around the perception of plants; linguistic training, at least enough to transcribe local terms and understand native morphology, syntax, and semantics. Mark Plotkin, who studied at Harvard University, the Yale School of Forestry and Tufts University, has contributed a number of books on ethnobotany. He completed a handbook for the Tirio people of Suriname detailing their medicinal plants; Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice (1994); The Shaman's Apprentice, a children's book with Lynne Cherry (1998); and Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets (2000). Plotkin was interviewed in 1998 by South American Explorer magazine, just after the release of Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice and the IMAX movie Amazonia. In the book, he stated that he saw wisdom in both traditional and Western forms of medicine: No medical system has all the answers—no shaman that I've worked with has the equivalent of a polio vaccine and no dermatologist that I've been to could cure a fungal infection as effectively (and inexpensively) as some of my Amazonian mentors. It shouldn't be the doctor versus the witch doctor. It should be the best aspects of all medical systems (ayurvedic, herbalism, homeopathic, and so on) combined in a way which makes health care more effective and more affordable for all. A great deal of information about the traditional uses of plants is still intact with tribal peoples. But the native healers are often reluctant to accurately share their knowledge to outsiders. Schultes actually apprenticed himself to an Amazonian shaman, which involves a long-term commitment and genuine relationship. In Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing & Chinese Medicine by Garcia et al. the visiting acupuncturists were able to access levels of Mayan medicine that anthropologists could not because they had something to share in exchange. Cherokee medicine priest David Winston describes how his uncle would invent nonsense to satisfy visiting anthropologists. Another scholar, James W. Herrick, who studied under ethnologist William N. Fenton, in his work Iroquois Medical Ethnobotany (1995) with Dean R. Snow (editor), professor of Anthropology at Penn State, explains that understanding herbal medicines in traditional Iroquois cultures is rooted in a strong and ancient cosmological belief system. Their work provides perceptions and conceptions of illness and imbalances which can manifest in physical forms from benign maladies to serious diseases. It also includes a large compilation of Herrick’s field work from numerous Iroquois authorities of over 450 names, uses, and preparations of plants for various ailments. Traditional Iroquois practitioners had (and have) a sophisticated perspective on the plant world that contrast strikingly with that of modern medical science. Many instances of gender bias have occurred in ethnobotany, creating the risk of drawing erroneous conclusions. Other issues include ethical concerns regarding interactions with indigenous populations, and the International Society of Ethnobiology has created a code of ethics to guide researchers.
Summer is for picnics, hikes, outdoor concerts, barbeques ... and enjoying the wilderness.Camping with family or friends can be a great way to spend a weekend or a week. But unlike picnics, outdoor concerts or barbeques, camping or hiking in wilderness areas can turn from a fun outing into a very scary experience in just a few hours or even minutes.As long as you stay within a recognized campground, you have very little to worry about. You can get rained or hailed on or wake up and find the temperature has dropped 20 degrees, but none of these is a life-threatening issue. Sure, you might get cold or wet but there's always a fresh change of clothes waiting in your camper or tent.When in the wilderness, the most important thing to remember is that nature is not always a kind, gentle mother. The morning can be warm and sunshiny with not a cloud in the sky. But that doesn't mean that by early afternoon, conditions won't have changed dramatically.How can you forecast bad weather? Wind is always a good indicator. You can determine wind direction by dropping a few leaves or blades of grass or by watching the tops of trees. Once you determine wind direction, you can predict the type of weather that is on its way. Rapidly shifting winds indicate an unsettled atmosphere and a likely change in the weather. Also, birds and insects fly lower to the ground than normal in heavy, moisture-laden air. This indicates that rain is likely. Most insect activity increases before a storm.The first thing you need to do if bad weather strikes is size up your surroundings. Is there any shelter nearby - a cave or rock overhang -- where you could take refuge from rain or lightning? Probably you already know this, but never use a tree as a lightning shelter. If you can't find decent shelter, it's better to be out in the open than under a tree. Just make as small a target of yourself as possible and wait for the lightning to go away.Next, remember that haste makes waste. Don't do anything quickly and without first thinking it out. The most tempting thing might be to hurry back to your campsite as fast as you can. But that might not be the best alternative.Consider all aspects of your situation before taking action. Is it snowing or hailing? How hard is the wind blowing? Do you have streams you must cross to get back to camp? Were there gullies along the way that rain could have turned into roaring little streams? If you move too quickly, you might become disoriented and not know which way to go. Plan what you intend to do before you do it. In some cases, the best answer might be to wait for the weather to clear, especially if you can find good shelter. If it looks as if you will have to spend the night where you are, start working on a fire and campsite well before it gets dark.What should you take with you? First, make sure you have a good supply of water. If you're in severe conditions such as very hot weather or are at a high elevation, increase your fluids intake. Dehydration can occur very quickly under these conditions. To treat dehydration, you need to replace the body fluids that are lost. You can do this with water, juice, soft drinks, tea and so forth.Second, make sure you take a waterproof jacket with a hood. I like the kind made of a breathable fabric as it can both keep you dry and wick moisture away from your body.Another good investment is a daypack. You can use one of these small, lightweight backpacks to carry your waterproof jacket, if necessary, and to hold the contents of a survival kit.Even though you think you may be hiking for just a few hours, it's also a good idea to carry a couple of energy bars and some other food packets. A good alternative to energy bars is a product usually called trail gorp. Gorp, which tastes much better than it sounds, consists of a mixture of nuts, raisins, and some other protein-rich ingredients such as those chocolate bits that don't melt in your hands.It's always good to have a pocketknife and some wooden matches in a waterproof matchbox. If by some unfortunate turn of events, you end up having to spend the night in the wilderness, matches can be a real life saver, literally.Taking a compass is also a good idea. Watch your directions as you follow a trail into the wilderness. That way, you'll always be able to find you way back to camp simply by reversing directions. I also suggest sun block, sunglasses and by all means, a hat to protect you from the sun and to keep your head dry in the event of rain or hail.Surviving bad weather doesn't have to be a panic-inducing experience - if you just think and plan ahead.
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