In any survival situation shelter, water and food are your main priorities. The rule of three which many experts subscribe to, state that you cannot survive longer than three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water and three weeks without food. Shelter is subjective however, it can be a pile of leaves or a depression scooped out next to a log. That being said, the reality is, you cannot survive and do what is needed without calories and an ample supply of clean drinking water. You need the energy from food to be able to maintain your shelter and also to collect, and purify water.
Making Your Own Fishing Tackle
You may be on a day hike or overnight camping trip when things go horribly wrong. Your gear does not contain the traditional means for fishing. However, you can make fishing line, fishhooks, crude netting, traps and even fish spears from what you find in your camp gear and what nature provides.
You will need fishing line. To make line you can unravel rope strands then twist the strands into a suitable line. Tie one end of the rope off and begin separating the cords. Once the strands are separated tie off one end of the stands and begin twisting the line together, one strand over and under the other and repeat until the line is braided together. You can also make line by cutting strips from clothing and twisting the strips into line using the same technique.
Make a simple hook by trimming a small twig down to about one inch. Sharpen both ends so that when the line is tied in the center of the hook bait can be placed on both sharp ends. The hook must be small enough for the fish to engulf the entire thing. Hooks can also be made from small twigs with a small notch or crook in one end. Sharpen the curved portion into a fishhook shape. Bobbers can be fashioned from pieces of Styrofoam or even a light plastic cup bottom that will float on the surface. Bait can be grasshoppers, seed pods, worms, grubs, minnows and even strands of bright cloth.
You can tie the line to a pole to dangle in slow running streams, ponds or lakes. For fast moving streams that may contain trout, you may have to hold the line by hand and let it flow, and continue to cast to attract the fish. Tie several grasshoppers to the line to act as flies. Lines can even be tied off on over hanging branches. Use small limbs with some give so you see the limb bob if you have a bite. Bobbers should not be used if fishing in deep bodies of water unless you see fish actively feeding at the surface. The bobber is designed to keep your line at a certain depth. Bobbers also alert you to a hit so you can draw back on the line to secure the hook. Ensure you do not have too much slack in the line. You need to be able to set the hook.
You can make a scoop net out of cloth or rope and two sticks. Attach some cloth or weave rope or string between the sticks. The sticks act as handles with the cloth or rope in between. Use the net in shallow spots such as bank undercuts or even along the shoreline. Simply drag the net under the fish and scoop and flip on to the bank or grab by hand.
You can spear fish as well. Make sure and attach the spear to your wrist with enough rope or string to allow you to toss, yet you can retrieve the spear. The sharpened end must be heavy enough to penetrate the water and still have enough force to spear the fish. To make the spear you sharpen the heavy end of a seasoned piece of wood. Once sharpened, harden the spear end by holding over a flame. You do not want the end to catch fire however. Remove and let cool and repeat. This will help keep the end from splintering if it strikes a rock or submerged log.
Build a crude trap in a shallow spot by driving stakes into the water in a semi circle against the bank. Leave a small opening for the fish to enter. Once inside they will be easier to spear or scoop out. You can close off the opening once there are enough inside. Capture as many as possible because the trap is not perfect and eventually they will find their way back out.