Adventurer skill: Foraging

13325721_10209000240020292_6121262933806491174_nWell, if you plan to escape into the great outdoors, you need to learn a little about living off the land. God’s bounty can provide plenty to sustain us if we just know how. As always make sure you know very well how to identify the various substances. If you don’t know don’t eat it.

If you are starving and don’t know if help is on the way, then you may have no choice but to risk it. First try rubbing the substance on your skin to see if there is a reaction. If no reaction is observed, you may decide if you want to try ingesting it. Only eat a small portion. Wait for a reaction. If you start to feel sick, it may be wise to vomit up what you can. If you have any activated charcoal use it. It is known to absorb ingested toxins. This is very dangerous so don’t do it unless you are in a dire situation and close to starving to death. Never ingest anything you don’t know what is.

Here are a few safer options for surviving in the wilderness.

Here are some tips. Pine trees are a great source of foraging. The needles are great for making tea and are rich in vitamin C.  The pine cones hide tasty little nuts inside that can be eaten raw or roasted. It can take a little doing to get them out though. The easiest way is to heat them up, but BE Careful! They pop.

The soft inner bark of the tree can be salted and fried up like a chip. Never tasted it myself though.

Wild cattail can be found in many places. Most people can recognize them. As well as the various parts are edible. The summer flower heads can be gathered and cooked and eaten. The stem could be eaten raw or cooked. In the winter the roots can be mashed in water and let sit for a few hours and then drain and eat.

Thistles can be eaten and easily recognized. Pick the seeds out of the purple head and may be eaten raw or cooked. The stalk can be peeled cut and boiled. The roots can be washed and eaten raw or cooked.

If you are a beach goer you know what seaweed is. It looks slimy (and is) but can bee eaten raw or cooked.

A short story for you. My uncles when they were young with their friends, once picked daffodils for their teacher and decided to eat them instead. Yes. They acted loopy after that and the principal had to rush them to the hospital and make them throw up and give them activated charcoal to absorb the toxins.

Paracord Bracelets

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Wanted to do a little something on paracord bracelets. I love them. Wear mine all the time although I am constantly changing it up with buckles and accessories. I guess it is probably because I am a Harry Dresden fan. If you have ever read those novels you would know that one of his common tools is his shield bracelet. For some reason it resonated with me. I had to make one of my own. Mine is of course Christian themed. I have three medals on it. That is the one in the middle. I don’t always wear that one. I change to a different color sometimes. There is the sacred heart medal, The crusader’s cross medal and the large one which has scripture on it. Within it, that you can’t see is a line of st. benedict medals. Very small I wove it in the center. My second favorite is the one just above it. It has the multi tool with a flashlight, compass, and flint. They make all kinds of buckles and accessories. The most common are whistles, flint and striking tool with a saw edge. More recently I found one with a thermometer on it. The only problem is all the ones I could find are in Celsius. I’m not good with Celsius.

If you are going to be an adventurer, this is a must have tool. You can customize it with whatever easy access gear you need. If you need to light a fire, signal help, keep track of the temperature. Or unravel it to string up a trap, makeshift weapon, or temporary shelter. If you are creative and a bard at heart you can use the whistle for more than just signaling. You can make music with it. In a clumsy way. Controlling your breathing and strides. A flashlight can be good for roaming the dark woods or caves. You could theoretically fashion little colored caps to fit over it. Something mostly see through to change the light to a different frequency. Check my post on colored light.

The compass is a great method for navigating. Also it can detect changes in magnetic fields. Certain supernatural phenomena are reported to have magnetic disturbances including ghost, angel, demon, and alien encounters.

If you are a Christian you can channel your faith through it. Just regulate your breathing and focus on God. Imagine his holy light raining down on you and surrounding you.

Pictured also is my crucifix I wear. If anyone has read the Dresden Files books will understand. Harry wears a symbol of his faith. His is a pentagram. (he is a wizard after all) Although his best friend wears a cross. (a holy knight of the cross) Mine is a reliquary. It has a piece of dirt from the holy catacombs. A third class relic.

Alternative house for CASA

Ok, so a friend of mine, who is not a Christian, asked me for an alternative house for the game and scenarios. There is another house I have been toying with that didn’t fit with my system exactly. My system used three primordial beast of land sea and air, with body mind and spirit. A fourth did not work well, but I did have one for fire. Not really from the Bible though. The Phoenix. Beast of fire many used as a symbol of resurrection and Jesus. However didn’t fit with my three fold method or color scheme. (red already being used for body and behemoth)

So here is an unofficial house. Go ahead and use the quiz to get your stats for the game and your color. Red for the fire bird. Yellow for the Thunderbird, and blue for the blue phoenix (ice bird). None of which are Christian exactly. The fire bird I believe is Chinese in origin and the thunderbird is native American. The blue phoenix I don’t know the exact origin except from anime. You probably know them best from the game pokemon the bird trio.

I know hard core Christians wont like me doing this, but I have many non Christian friends, It is everyone’s right to choose for themselves. So come in look around, the place for your eternal soul is your own choice. I wont be throwing anything in your face here. However that being said you should review with an open mind. A closed mind never learns, never grows, and eventually falls flat on their face and can’t accept criticism and is swallowed up by pride. (that is not a religious statement, that is a fact from psychology.)

Adventurer’s Almanac: Moons

Matthew 27:45 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.”

10985053_10206571194655676_1116744643366009306_nOkay so the moon is this big rock out in space that reflects sunlight. It changes in appearance that we call cycles. Many people think it plays a mystical role in the world. Who am i to say otherwise. It did eclipse during the crucifixion after all and God gave us the stars and seasons for signs and wonders.

Full moon: This is when the moon looks the biggest and reflect the most light. It is easier to see at night. Many say this is when animals and people act strange during a full moon. The moon is also closest to the earth at this point and it’s gravity has a kind of pull on the earth and the oceans.  The moon will appear full for three day. The day before the full moon and the day after.

In the lunar cycle their is at least one full moon in every month. A second full moon is called a blue moon. Has nothing to do with it’s actual color.

Many people associate the full moon to witchcraft and dark magic, but i would disagree. I would think that the new moon would be a better moon for dark magic since the moon light is just reflected sunlight and the new moon is the darkest moon. Sunlight is known to weaken magic and during full day all magic is eroded like a river erodes the earth. So by that theory a full moon would weaken spells and magic. It does pull on the seas though and it’s gravitational pull is theorized to cause people to act crazier. That is the origin of the werewolf and the full moon thing. having to do with it’s closeness to the earth.

New Moon: This when the lunar cycle starts over again. This is when the moon looks completely black and reflects no light. It is very dark at night and hard to see.  There is at least one new moon in each month and a second is called a black moon.

A crescent moon is when you can only see a fraction of the moon lit up. What it is called depends on what phase it is in. Either darkness or light will be taking over the moon moving from the right side. Just after the new moon you will start to see a crescent of light appearing on the right side of the moon. This is the waxing phase where it becomes brighter until the full moon. Then starts the wanning phase where a crescent of shadow appears on the right side of the moon until all you can see is a crescent of light on the left side of the moon that dims until the new moon phase again.

Other celestial event that  happen to the moon.

The Lunar Eclipse. This is when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow and is totally dark. It can take quite a while for this to happen. It happens during a full moon. The face of the moon will turn sunset red for up to an hour or more as the eclipse unfolds.

A solar eclipse is much more dramatic and happens faster. This is when the moon passes in-between the sun and the earth. For a moment the sky is totally darkened during the day. Somewhere in the world there is a point of total darkness that the moon blocks all the sun’s light.

An event that happened one night during a full moon.

This was when my brother lived with us. He was the only witness. He heard all the dogs go crazy one night. He said they were barking at something out by the storm cellar. It is in the front yard a ways from the house near the fence line. He stepped out to look. He caught a glimpse of something big and grey standing approximately 34 to 36 inches tall.

He told me about it the next day and i walked out there and looked around. I checked the barbed wire fence for any hair snags and the ground for any foot prints. I didn’t find anything. We realized that was the night of a full moon, so it must have been a were-wolf right? (although we do get the odd stray wolf or coyote around here)

Parable, Two Sisters

Here is a parable i came up with.

There were two sisters. A practical sister Martha and an impractical sister Jerri. There was a task that that they shared together. One of them had to do. Neither of them wanted to do it. Martha was tired and had been working long hours. Jerri was out of shape and also very tired. Jerri wants her sister to let her know who is going to do it, but Martha doesn’t want to tell her until morning to see how she feels.

She says, “Why  should I? Isn’t that what my sister does. Never decides or tells anyone until the last minuet.”

But does it make it right. By the world’s  standards yes. That is what the impractical sister does so why isn’t it okay for the practical sister to do so.

But by christian standards No. By Christ’s standards you are to do what is right even if it is not he world’s way. You are to turn the other cheek and forgive others and do what is right always.

To know what is right and to not do it is sin.

Survival Skill: Cooking.

10303737_10204729753100788_8941379443868987784_nI wanted to just touch on an important skill. Cooking is a simple skill to master. I of course am talking about survival cooking, not the fancy cooking on food network. At the very least the adventurer should learn to boil water for the purpose of making it safe to drink. As well as cooking meats over an open flame.

Boiling water is very simple. You just need to make a fire, See Fire stating skill, You will need something like  a pot to put over the fire to boil in, and just wait for the water to start bubbling really well. This is called a rolling boil. After that has begun you can remove it from the flames and let it cool down to put in a safe container or to add you coffee, tea, or pour it into a dehydrated meal.

This is one of the most common ways people clean water. It doesn’t get rid of the bits of stuff that is in the water, it just kills bacteria. You may still want to filter it before you boil it, if the source seems sketchy.

Of course as long as you are boiling water, you can make a soup. Just have to have something worth adding to the water like vegetables or meats. Something to give the water flavor. If you are surviving, then it doesn’t need to be good, just sustainable. You can concentrate on eating good food when you are safe again.

Okay so on to cooking over a flame. It is as simple as it sounds as well. The most common, stick something on a stick and hold it over the fire until it is black enough to eat, but not so black it is all charred.

Okay maybe a little more complicated than that. It depends on what you are cooking really. The big thing is meats. If you are cooking meat, you don’t want a lot of pink on it. It can give you the runs. You don’t want that when out adventuring. You don’t want to get parasites form whatever animal you are cooking, if it is some wildlife that you have caught. You don’t really know where it has been or what it has been eating before you killed it. Cook it all the way threw. If it is something you already know to be safe like marshmallows or smores just heat it up.

Everything else about cooking really just depends on what you have to cook on. Are you hauling about a lot of gear, or are you going to have to rough it. Pretty much anyone can scramble an egg or grill a sandwich. For a survival skill, you wont want to do a lot of steps and preparations. Learn to do some simple cooking at home on the stove and it transfers easily.

Two More Concoctions

As I was talking about potions for the adventurer, I forgot about two things that deserved to be mentioned. I didn’t have them with the others, because they were more for health and body where as these two are more for defense or distraction.

DISCLAIMER: These are dangerous if inhaled directly and should be used by adults or with adult supervision only. Do not be reckless.

Stink bomb

Simple way to make a stink bomb. You will need a container, some matches, and some ammonia. In a jar or whatever you choose to use, cut the heads off the matches and place them in jar, Pour in some ammonia, just enough to cover them. The more matches you use the stronger the smell will be. Cover with tight fitting lid. Give it a shake and let it sit for one week. Remove lid and give it a whiff. DON’T SMELL DIRECTLY FROM JAR! These fumes are dangerous. It should smell like rotten eggs. PS. don’t spill on your clothes or anything you care about ever enjoying again. You will never get rid of the smell.

In a survival setting I can’t think of much use for it. But it is something you can use those matches you are hoarding. It could be used to drive people out of an area.

Smoke Bomb

This is not really a potion exactly. All you need is a straw a ping pong ball and some aluminum foil. (see no liquids) Okay to start cut a hole in one end of the ping pong ball. Just big enough to poke the straw in one side. Cut the straw off about 3 or 4 centimeters. On the other end of the ping pong ball just a little flap Just long enough to stick out a bit. This is going to be your wick. Now cover the whole thing with aluminum foil and with the end of the straw sticking out one end partially covered and the wick the other.

Place it where you want it (be safe) and light the wick. It should smoke up a lot. DO NOT INHALE FUMES!

In survival setting such a smoke bomb could be used to signal for help or provide a distraction to escape a situation.