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how rough of a time lol?. My idea of rough and your idea could be very different. Are you asking in home life and tricks to frugality/ simple living or are you talking back packing through mountains type of survival tips?
 

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more like backpacking through the mountains kind of tips along the lines of burying hot coals under you so you can sleep in heat
 

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more like backpacking through the mountains kind of tips along the lines of burying hot coals under you so you can sleep in heat
You're going to catch yourself on fire. Get an insulated sleeping bag.

Are you talking about being stranded somewhere or talking about prolonged power outages in your area? There are different methods for dealing with anything and everything but you kinda need some parameters so people can give you input. This can range from learning everything an eagle scout knows to learning about all the plants you can eat in your area.

The most common sense suggestion to combat any situation is be prepared and have a plan and materials to work with. If you're at home, make sure you have materials for lighting and containing fires, pots and pan that can be used with those fires, food and water for 30 days. Don't experiment when the SHTF, use what's tried and true and has already been proven to work. Materials will be precious and need to be conserved.

I suggest getting a survival guide but ask others about different guides first. Some are nothing more than scouting manuals with a different cover and are more affordable as an actual scouting manual. lol. Some guides are very comprehensive and some are junk. No sense in wasting money on junk.

There are too many suggestions to give without some idea of the situation you're thinking of.
 

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more like backpacking through the mountains kind of tips along the lines of burying hot coals under you so you can sleep in heat
You are better off building a long fire that burns 4' logs and sleeping long ways next to it with a reflector behind you than trying to bury embers...
I saw that on a movie when I was young and I've tried it several times... I just can't get it to work for me.
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My favorite Camping 'Trick' is to take a piece of 1/2" plywood along with three holes drilled in a triangle pattern near the edges,
Large enough to work as a cutting board, table for food preparation, and easy to cover with aluminum foil for sanitation or a fire reflector/emergency mirror if needed.

The three holes are about 3/4" in diameter so with three sticks you can make table legs and keep it up off the ground.

That and an old outdoor grill or refrigerator shelf for a fire grate, you can turn about any camp fire into real food preparation, dining and even have a table for 'Cocktails' afterwards.

When I'm not hiking far, like when hunting, I take a 3/4" thick piece, so it can use it for a stool/chair when I'm hunting!

I've even used it under the jack to keep the jack from sinking when changing tires or repairing the jeep!
On the motorcycle, they grate and board go in the back of the saddle bags to keep other packed stuff from pushing the leather into the tire while going down the road.
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Finding a fire spot with two or three saplings on the other side is always a good thing...
I often spread the 'Emergency Blanket' between the saplings on the far side of the fire to reflect the heat/light into my tent or shelter.

If you are someplace there aren't a lot of saplings, or they aren't handy (like on a slope where camping is inconvenient) then just push some sticks in the ground and stretch foil between them to reflect the heat/light back towards you.

Remember, the foil or reflector needs to have an air gap under it, since fire rings usually block the light down low anyway, and it's more effective if it's up 6" to 1' from the ground when it starts.
 

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Re: The Fire Bed, If you bury some hot rocks that you warmed by your fire, that can help... but I'd avoid actual embers under my body at night. You could ruin a sleeping bag at best, set yourself on fire at worst. Reflecting heat, insulating well, and maybe making use of hot rocks, is about as far as I'd reccomend.

As for survival "tricks"... they're just that, IMHO. The best "trick" around is to learn. What you have on you in a survival situation is what will get you through the day. A small kit, starting with a firestriker on your keychain, maybe a small emergency kit in your pocket on a dayhike, something more substantial on a weekend trip, a good 72 hour kit and a full tank of gas at home, and long-term stockpiles of key goods in case of disruption... along with THE KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO USE IT ALL... is the best trick anyone can have. Fundamental Preparedness.
 

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ke4sky
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Disaster Survival Skills for the Urban Environment

Our fire department has been conducting community disaster survival training in the Washington, DC area for several years. Our .ppt presentation may be downloaded at following URL:

W4AVA.ORG
 

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there's many options once u start looking

something i seen that was pretty neat is somebody took a tent pole or a pvc pipe and put grass in it, then charcoal, a lil sand and then more grass to make a water filtration device. something good to have ofcourse is lightweight stainless steel pots/mess kit. good herbal knowledge. would refer the petersons field guide to edible wild plants, their medicinal wild plans and herbs book is good as well. i would definatley recommend tom brown jr's series as well. he was raised by an apache grandfather who taught him alot about living off the land by itself and connecting to nature in very simple ways. learning from squirrels how to build shelter and what to eat and when, how to gather and store. among many other things.. it was incredible to step into their world for a lil while. starting out with "grandfather", then "awakening spirits." great reads on tracking and hunting as well, the old ways with out guns and what not. show's what types of shelters you can build in which ever terrain and depending on how permanent u want it to be there depending on how long you plan on being there ofcourse. the bed of coals from fire would work pretty good, i've known some who've tried it and its efficient as long as u put a good amount of soil over them 6 to 8 inches for sure. right now i'm reading his field guide to wilderness survival and his wild edible and medicinal plants as well. not many could replace this knowledge. hope this helps, there's a few tips and tricks out there such as using ur hand to mark how many hours are left in the day, moss on the north side of trees.. but definately subject to change in different terrain. after being out there and getting some practice in our instincts come out as well. those are worth listening to. hope this helps, oh yea definately have to add it would be worth it to have a flint striker/magnesium keychain block and a good flashlight. can pick up kindling along the way. make traps.. they make solar/crank powered weather radio/am/fm/flashlight/cellphone chargers. these are all well worth it as well as a good backpack.
 

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Smithy has it right. Learn all you can, for the area you are in or plan to be in. Which wild things are edible, which critters are going to be the most trouble, etc. My bag of 'tricks' includes a tarp big enough to sleep under in a pinch, duct tape (multi-use), paracord (multi use) and an altoids tin with several fire starting items (lighter, magnesium-steel combo, fire piston) all of which I have practiced with to learn how to use. Add a couple medicine bottles with locking caps to hold your little things (fishing kit, emerg meds, sewing kit, snare kit, etc) and all can be slipped in pockets virtually undetected and very quickly. Nothing to draw attention, either.
Knowledge they can't ever take away, though, it remains the best prep.
 

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Beware...

That and an old outdoor grill or refrigerator shelf for a fire grate,
Avoid using refrigerator shelf grills as they are coated with either zinc or cadmium, both of which are toxic and can contaminate your food when the metal heats up. Use a grill that was specifically made for barbecuing. You could get one of those cheap one use grills and use the grill top from that.
 
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