Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wild ginger soap and shampoo

Squeeze these ginger bulbs (Costus spicatus) to make a natural soap or shampoo. It's actually fairly common and easy to find in the jungle.

Wild ginger soap and shampoo
Wild ginger soap and shampoo

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Natural fire starter - Kapok tree pods

It's Kapok season (genus Ceiba) again. This is, in my opinion, the absolute best natural fire starting material available in the jungle. It doesn't stay lit very long, but it catches very easily and puts out good flames. You have to have something else ready, like grass, as soon as you get a flame as this only lasts a few seconds.

Of course, you can always make a massive pile so it burns a bit longer. You can also split the pod in half and burn it in the pod. If the pod is dry, it should burn nicely too.

survival campfire natural fire starter material
Kapok for starting a fire

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wild edible and medicinal food - Tropical Almond

The Tropical Almond tree (Terminalia catappa) is extremely common and prolific. They are on every coastline and most islands. The seed (nut) is edible,though it's a bit tedious to peck out the meat. It has a substantial amount of oil and thus, much-needed calories if you're in a survival situation.
The inner bark can be used to treat oral thrush.
The leaves are a common treatment for skin conditions and rheumatic joints. The leaves or tea from the leaves is used to fight internal digestive system parasites.

Tropical Almond wild edible food
Tropical Almond (Terminalia catappa)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wild Edible Plants - Tamarind

Something that is available all the time in this region is Tamarind leaves. I like the very young light bright green leaves, but the older leaves are also edible. The leaves are quite 'tangy', which is likely because these leaves are loaded with Vitamin C. You can crush the leaves and put them on a wound. The leaves have antiseptic properties. In addition, Tamarind leaves are good to apply on tooth aches and mouth sores. If you find a Tamarind tree, which is quite easy to do, give these leaves a try. They're quite tasty. If you're in a coastal survival situation and you've found some shells (Limpets, black Mangrove Snails, etc) or some crabs, add a few Tamarind leaves to make a nice sour seafood soup.

Tamarind leaves are edible
Hands-free dining on wild edibles. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Making tinder shavings

During the rainy season everything is damp and it's damp much of the time. Don't risk not being able to get a fire started by not having dry tinder. One thing you can do is us a pencil sharpener to make fine shavings. Do this from the convenience of being at home. Find a dry stick and shave away. You can carry your new tinder in an old pill bottle. 

Keep the desiccant pack that was used to keep moisture out of whatever pills/medicine was originally in the bottle in the bottle. I actually save them up and add more than one usually... just to play it extra safe.

DIY fire tinder idea
Pencil sharpener tinder shavings

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Khao Sok National Park floating jungle huts

When we're not out paddling or hiking in Khao Sok, we're chilling at the floating bungalows. They have several really cool diving platforms at the floating bungalows... good clean fun and entertainment. Or, you can just chill on the deck of your very groovy floating bungalow.

Khao Sok National Park floating jungle hut

Khao Sok National Park floating jungle hut

Bats in the jungle

When you hike through the jungle and come upon a fan palm with the leaves folded over, this is why. Bats hang out here (literally). They bite the leaves to make them fold over. Apparently, this is the help hide them from predators and perhaps to give them a bit more shelter from the rain.

Thailand jungle bats

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Edible ant eggs

On our jungle survival courses you learn how to find food that does require you to waste a lot of energy 'hunting'. These images are of Red Ant eggs for sale on the side of the road in central Laos. Red Ant nests are fairly common throughout the region and in a survival situation they're a very good find.

The ants are edible and the eggs are as well. The eggs are about 12% protein. They're low in fat. The are high in iron. They also have calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and three of the B vitamins: B1, vitamin B2 and B3 (Niacin).


Edible red ant eggs nest

edible ant eggs survival food

wild edible food red ant eggs

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Benefits of eating scorpions

Scorpions tend to have twice the protein content of their relatives, the crabs, but there are some negatives with consuming scorpions. The have tannin and phytate. Both tannin and phytate are water soluble, so boiling the scorpion, then pouring off the water solves that issue. This, however, also gets rid of any water soluble nutrients.

Phytic acid is claim by some scientists to inhibit the absorption of certain minerals, namely calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, and chromium. Other scientists claim this to be pure myth based on the fact that humans do produce the enzyme phytase, though the amount varies in individuals, so some folks could have issues while others not.
Some species of scorpions have calcium oxalate. This is not water soluble. In high enough amounts, the calcium oxalate crystals can end up causing kidney issues in the form of stones.

In a survival situation, this is somewhat a moot point as the benefits of eating overrule this downside and it's not like you're going to feast on them.
A very positive aspect of eating scorpions is the calories that they offer. 100 grams offers over 300 kcal of vital energy for your body.

benefits of eating scorpions
Eating scorpions in a survival situation