Outdoor survival is a constant state of being prepared. Outdoor survival will not happen by accident you must plan and prepare. The best way to do this is to have a list of your daily needs where to get them and how to replenish them. Where ever you chose to be or live will have to have what you need fresh water being the biggest factor. Water is the first necessity for health. The position you chose must be defence-able and safe to live in. Mostly out door survival comes down to basics keeping fed warm and safe. This means having water food and warm sleeping cover. Clean water should be the first and big concern because all the food and warm is no good if you have no safe water source. It can be argued many ways how to prioritise different situations but it comes down to fitting the solution to your immediate needs.
I think in a situation where Tshtf you want to b e part of a like minded group of people. Even with the best of weapons the job of security for yourself in troubled times will take its toll. Plan on being in and with a large group will give a far better chance of survival because we are social and need that to keep our sanity. It also makes getting food and water and basic survival possible with the daily chores divided up. Having any kind of a survival kit will be better than nothing.
Outdoor survival should not be that hard to achieve in north america in most places you are not to far from the nearest help. In tougher times all things change. You will want to be prepared with what ever you need. Getting lists should not be very hard and can be had for free on-line just type in survival. The great god Google has more than enough information on the topic. I am not sure all of what you will learn will be correct so I would follow the best reviewed product ideas and the books written by writers who have actually had to survive in the great outdoors.
I think the idea of planting a food source near to where you live and having access to would be a great idea. I think planting fruit trees where you hunt could really help as well even if for now the fruit just made the animals healthier that live there. learning to hunt and trap is just something that takes time and patience. Knowing where to hunt and trap could be more difficult. The animals you will need to harvest will have the same needs as you for the most part. More important will be knowing what plants you can grow that can really be used to supplement what food supply you have. When you understand what the animals also need to eat and drink you will have a much easier time harvesting them.
One item I see a lot of outdoors articles seem to miss is the importance of keeping your self and your food clean. When you think food think clean and clean up after. Having a three year supply of food will not help if you die of food poisoning. We always took a huge wash basin when camping . We took kids on most trips so a cloths line was an essential. Children put a whole new slant on survival in the outdoors. One of the biggest things to learn in outdoor survival is knowing the plants and food you can eat that grow where you will be.
You can actually live in a tent in the winter but it is just very hard and should be more just for an emergency situation. Winter tents are practical for hunting camps and temporary use but the reality is they are to hard to heat and the expense in time and effort is not realistic for survival. I think the idea of having a store of food just in case is going to help greatly in most situations. Also hoarding what medical supplies you can get is going to save lives as well. Having weapons just makes sense. The big things you will find you need are sugar and flour and salt. You can just about live on that. But having baking powder and a lot of spices would make it better. Most of your dry goods are easy to store and in time you can get a lot ahead. The other survival products to look at are dried beans, peas and fruit but mostly grains that can be cooked with iron and protein. I am not advising you to buy a first aid kit to get by. It is just not right. Go to a first aid store or competent supplier and ask for the best. For your idea of what is needed. Take a short course in survival first aid or CPR both a few days of your time could save many lives.
One good note a Bic lighter works great is cheap. Making a fire a best practice is to make a fire starter using canning wax an egg carton and drier lint this is the cheap and easy way. Just put tufts of drier lint in the paper egg carton. Melt and pour the wax over top and let harden. You can use chips or anything that will burn instead of dryer lint. I have tried these things out and it works great. I never buy them or make them because it is all free in nature when you practise a little. One of the better natural fire starters is birch bark. The stuff can be taken off the trees with out killing the tree. Birch bark burns very well. The other way is to get your tinder from in under the branches of a conifer. The moss and branches up against the tree are dead a lot of times or there are twigs there that are dry and will burn excellent for tinder.
One more way is to use the sap wood of a tree to get a really hot fire fast. Find an old stump that is dry and cut slivers off it ,pine or fir works best. When a tree dies the sap is forced back into the roots when the tree falls the roots can be exposed and you can find them like that . This type of fire is not usually good for cooking because of the high flames and over heat. It would be best to let it burn down and then ad just dry wood until you have cooking coals. Using the sap roots is a great way to get a good fire in wet weather as well the stuff really has a lot of turpentine content so it is easy to light. You will still need a dry tinder to get flames started but from there to a warm fire happens fast. One more great way to get a fire going in pine or fir country is use a cowboy fire.
Find a bigger tree with a large pitch deposit at the base this can be lit with just a match most times. In most cases this is not a good idea unless you really know what you are doing because all this fire is for is fast heat and not in the summer you could burn the forest down.
I have seen where some people can not tell a dry tree from wet or green wood. The rule of thumb here is the inner bark will turn brown also look for splits in the bark usually a good sign but if the inner bark is brown instead of white it will burn. One more good thing to know is most bigger types of willow have some dry stalks in with the green ones. This is true with most types of alder it is great for getting a fire going but burns with little heat and takes a lot of wood gathering. The best fire wood is going to be from evergreens. Hard wood makes a great fire but is hard to cut and it burns hot, to hot in most cases.
Try and build a fire against a wall of some sort to reflect the heat or hang a tarp or build wall shelter. This way you get heat reflected back at you and stay warmer and use less wood. Do not try to make a bonfire for heat to big a fire is just trouble in most cases and will use to much wood to fast.
Instructions As such, when using this blanket, you should squat down and wrap it around you. By laying on the bare ground, there is no “dead air space” for the hot air to collect so, by the process of conduction, your body looses heat through the ground. This product works really well as a sort of “base layer” type of blanket. If you have a sleeping pad and sleeping bag, line the insides of your sleeping bag with one of these and you’ll be toasty in no time. Just be sure not to start sweating too much, because of hypothermia and stuff. Even without those fancy sleeping bags, one of these covered by a wool blanket will keep you very warm. Just remember not to wrap the blanket to tightly around you. It is instinctive when you want to get warm, but it’ll decrease the effectiveness and may rip it since it’s so frail.
Where I live there is a lot of water so I have never had to use a water trap to get condensation for drinking. But it really makes sense to learn this method in dryer climates. If you have to find water do not try and use it from below a forest fire area if possible. The same goes for an cut block. The water is usually more contaminated from these streams. If you can find a stream coming out of the ground it is usually great water.
One great lesson to learn is never leave your shoes or anything by the fire to dry unless you are there to watch it. Most times a fire is a poor way to dry cloths out. The reason being the heat all goes mostly straight up and the sparks go onto the cloths or shoes burning them.
This is the Wiki method
Today, with the advent of plastic sheeting, the moisture trap has become more efficient.
A single sheet of plastic is used instead of branches and leaves. The greater efficiency of this type of trap arises from the waterproof nature of the plastic, which doesn’t let any water vapour pass through it. This efficiency requires a certain amount of diligence of the part of the user, in that the plastic sheet must be firmly attached to the ground on all sides; this is often accomplished by using stones to weight the sheet down and/or covering the edges of the plastic sheet with earth (such as that dug out to make the hole in which the trap sits). Weighting the centre of the plastic sheet down with a stone forms the funnel via which the condensed water will run into the receptacle.
The truth be told most fires we started we used liquid boy scout and a Bic lighter. But we learned the hard way how to do it safely.