Can You Learn Survival Skills From Youtube?

March 20, 2014 No Comments

youtube-targetedWe learn how to do things, most everything, in three distinct ways; visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically.  In easier terms for me to understand those are; we learn by watching, we learn by listening, and we learn by physically doing things.  

The direct question to be answered here is can we learn from youtube?  The short answer is that yes you can.  You can watch and listen, but unless you are doing something with it.  You are only learning a portion of what you can.  If you have watched our videos on our youtube channels you will note that I regularly tell people that you need to get out and practice your skills.  It has been my experience thus far on this wild ride of teaching outdoor, nature awareness and “survival” skills that the vast majority of folks are good at reading about and watching survival skill methodology.  Obviously, with the explosion of “reality” television shows covering the topic of survival this is becoming more and more prevalent.  

However if you watch you TV, youtube or any other media source and you try to be like ________________ (insert TV/youtube personality on the line) then you will often fail miserably.  That does not mean that you do not watch these how-to videos that we work so hard on.  What we do mean is that you watch them and then you go out and do the skills to see what works for YOU.  Not because your favorite youtuber, or TV survival guru does it, but because you do it and it works for you.  

With that said by following someone specifically on youtube you can develop skills in a much rapid pace.  Youtuber #1 might do fire building one way, and Youtuber #2 might do it another way, it is easy to get confused in the mix of things.  That is why a lot of people that follow us, stick with us, and then get supplemented by other videos.  It dwindles the confusion.  

For our particular youtube presence we really enjoy feedback.  We have started our weekly live webinars for those that are subscribing to the Dan’s Preparedness Plan Course and to Nature Reliance School online classes.  Not only that, we are still pumping out tons of free videos on a host of topics to help everyone both get prepared and simply enjoy what surrounds them.  You can follow us on two youtube channels:

Dan’s Depot Youtube and Nature Reliance School Youtube.

We hope you join us and give us feedback, ask questions and we will get them answered for you.  Cone on, join in, let’s learn together!


What is the best fire accelerant?

March 18, 2014 No Comments

2014-03-18_0756Starting a fire is of utmost importance in a survival situation.  Here are a list of possible uses for a fire:

  • Signalling
  • Getting Body Warmth
  • Boiling Water
  • Cooking Food
  • Making Tools
  • Morale Booster

Those 5 things right there are key to your extraction or maintaining your survivability until help arrives.  That is why survival folks spend a lot of time, energy, and even dollars on fire related preparedness materials.  I teach a lot of people the science of fire making.  I say science because it is simply that.  I am not saying finesse in an artsy way doesn’t make certain things work (particularly primitive methodology).  However the facts are that you need three things in the correct amounts to make a fire.  You need an ignition source, fuel source, and oxygen.  With those three things you will have what you need for starting and maintaining a fire.  

If you can increase your chances of building a fire you would do so wouldn’t you?  That is what this particular blog piece is about.  In particular a fantastic accelerant that you can use to help you get the fire going.  One of the problems that people have with fire building is that they may get a good spark, or even a flame, but they have nurturing whatever material they are using (fuel source) into a larger flame.  That is why adding some accelerant to your fuel source is beneficial.  

Here are some properties of a good accelarant in my opinion.

  • Low Flash Point – meaning it does not take a lot of heat to get it going.
  • Works Irregardless of Temps – some fuels (butane) does not work well in cold weather
  • Works Irregardless of Weather – some fuels are difficult to get moisture off of if they get wet, or do not burn in or near water.
  • Burns Hot – Once the material gets lit, I want it to burn hot. 
  • No dangerous fumes or material – All fuels/accelarants are harmful if you breath them directly.  I just do not want a fuel source that is dangerous to use unless I get everything perfect.  In essence, I don’t want a fuel source that has more cautions on the packaging than directions.  

That is why I use Fast-Fire.  This video will detail all the benefits of it, and why I think you should get some from the guys at Dan’s Depot.



Can Movies Mess Up Survival Techniques Any More?

March 14, 2014 No Comments

tom-hanks-in-cast-awayMost everyone likes a good movie.  Those of us in the survival and preparedness community are typically poorly portrayed in the movies.  Despite the wonderful success of modern TV shows and some of their solid survival and preparedness content, the movies seem to always get it wrong.  

Personally I think the methods and success rate of making fires is the biggest and worst fallacy in move making.  Seemingly those that make fire can so with no supplies and and in most conditions.  Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway and his incredible fire plow technique is on of those.  He actually has a decent setup with the fire plow (not really but I am going to give them that one).  With that said he does create a lot of heat and he did get decent tinder.  However, the way in which the tinder smokes so heavily and then burst into flame is a little much for me to take.  

We came across this blog piece with a bunch of movie mistakes in it.  This is not heavy educational reading but we enjoyed it and hope you do too.  What survival movie mistakes do you know of?


What goes in your Every Day Carry (EDC)?

March 13, 2014 No Comments

2014-03-13_1327I really appreciate all of you have started following our videos and blog posts here on Dan’s Depot.  I get asked alot from our followers and subscribers what someone should carry in their EDC.  It is my opinion that you should carry your basics like your wallet and keys obviously.  It is also important to carry a few extra items to keep yourself safe and to get you out of trouble.  

You also do not want to be walking around like “Tactical Timmie” and look like a specops warrior all the time.  It is my personal opinion that this methodology will bring you unwarranted attention.  I prefer to carry the item in this particular EDC and at the same time remain the “Grey Man”.   Meaning that I would rather blend in than stand out, basically look like a nobody. 

Follow this link to my blog piece on my EDC.

How to Start Prepping Water Storage on a Budget

March 11, 2014 No Comments

dollar-waterOne of the biggest sources of consternation for preppers is either getting the money needed to prep, or convincing a spouse or significant other that spending money on preps is important.  We are starting a series very simple blog posts over at my Nature Reliance School site on prepping on a budget.  In this first one we are going to detail how to start taking of your water needs.  

To read further, follow this link to my blog piece 

How To Start Studying Edible and Medicinal Plants

February 24, 2014 No Comments

381185_2930529433312_1179492535_nIt is most certainly one of the most often asked questions that we get in any class we teach.  ”How to do I get started studying edible plants?”.  Well here is your answer.  In this post I tell you some of the basics of getting started as well as give you a review of three fantastic resources on the topic at hand.  These are not dry, boring reviews.  But some matter-of-fact details from someone who has taken these resources to the field more times than I can count.  

I am always studying this subject on my own and with as many teachers that I can get access too.  One time I was attending a gathering of students under a well-recognized TV personality.  I was eager to take an edibles plant class from this person as again, I assumed it would be a good one.  What I was saddened to see was that some one else had put some sticks out identifying various species and this personality then utilized them to tell us what they were.  

I tell you this because many of us WANT to be able to identify plants for nutrition and well-being, but very few want to put the time in to actually do it.  We hope this blog piece is the encouragement you need to start your own study of the resources we have around us each day!

How To Grow A Garden From Table Scraps

February 19, 2014 No Comments

how to grow a garden from table scrapsThis is a fun video that shows you how you can grow several common fruits and vegetables using table scraps.  Seems like it would be a lot be a lot of fun as an experiment for kids even if you don’t plan to grow a garden. I have seen my mom use several of these techniques but a few of them I haven’t seen before. Enjoy… 





Most Missed Wilderness Survival Skill – Four Reasons You Must Get It

February 19, 2014 No Comments

Dan’s Depot founder Matt Longley, and Craig Caudill at Land Nav Class

People come to us from all over the Eastern United States to train in the classes we teach at Nature Reliance School.  Our survival classes are by far the most popular.  It seems that most of us want to understand shelter building, fire building, etc. in a wilderness survival situation.  That is all well and good and there is no doubt that those are useful skills.  However, they are reactionary skills.  Thinks about that for just a moment.  They are skills that we must have to react to a situation that we find ourself in.  

One of the things that we try to instill in our students is the need to develop PROACTIVE skills as much as the reactionary sills.  Proactive skills are those that keep you out of the mess in the first place.  Simply being lost is one of those thing that can be avoided. We put a lot of time into teaching folks in a dedicated class the lost science and art of land navigation.  This is nothing more than using a map and compass properly.  We also teach a small block of this class in our survival classes because it is simply too important a skill, not to have.  

Here are four main reasons you must get this skill set.  

  1. Being dependent upon anything that requires batteries (GPS for example) is a recipe for disaster.  Cold weather, water, uninformed operator, dead batteries are all reasons that a GPS can easily fail you.  
  2. Map and compass skills are the key to help you not get lost in the first place.  However if you do find yourself lost then these skills will help you find your way out. 
  3. It is not hard at all to do.  If you have never done them, or do not regularly utilize your skills, it would be in your best interest to take a class with someone.  Obviously we teach this class at NRS, but you may find yourself too far from us to come.  Find an instructor where you are located.  Get these skills.
  4. You will be able to see more. I know what leave no trace principles are all about, and I also understand certain land management regulations say about not leaving the trail…but daggone it, sometimes I just gotta go off the trail.  I am sure some of you are the same way.  By having good land nav skills you can navigate your way in, and out.  

Tracy Trimble, Instructor with Nature Reliance School, and I have put a few resources together that will help you see some of the gear you can get as well as some of the usefulness of these skills.  

In this blog piece Tracy, details what he carries in his Land Navigation kit.  If you are wondering read about Tracy’s background on our website.  Tracy has used and honed these skills both in the military and many years of personal use.  

In this video watch me take Tracy out blindfolded and get him “lost”.  He then goes goes through the steps on camera on how to find his way out. 

In this video you will see a somewhat humorous overview of Tracy and I playing with Land Nav Skills, ask yourself, “Does Tracy look like anyone you know?”


So I hope something in this post inspires you to get some skills so you can be proactive in not getting lost.  

Come on, join in, let’s learn together!


Cody Lundin Fired From Dual Survival

February 18, 2014 2 Comments

cody lundinI know there are many of you that love to watch the Discovery Channel’s hit show Dual Survival, so I thought I would post this announcement by Cody Lundin. Yesterday Cody posted this message on his facebook fan page

Dual Survival Update

Dear Campers,
Unfortunately, I have been fired by Discovery Channel for differences over safety and health concerns on the show and will no longer be a part of Dual Survival. 

Although I’ll miss elements of the show, what I’ll miss the most are my fans and the opportunity to teach – on a global level – life saving skills, indigenous culture, and values of integrity and respect toward our natural world. 

I have received numerous letters from viewers. Many are from kids, or their parents or grandparents, describing in detail how the show has changed their lives. It has brought families together, inspired kids to go outdoors, and motivated moms and dads around the world to take that family camping trip, many for the first time. If I can use a TV show to encourage people to turn off TV and turn on nature, I have done my job. 

Thank you all very much for your support over the years. Be safe and prepared, and maybe I’ll train with you in the woods some day!

Stay classy,
Cody Lundin

Four Most Useful Fire Starting Methodologies

February 17, 2014 No Comments

imagesI just posted a blog piece over on my Nature Reliance School blog.  We spend a lot of time talking about firestarting because it is so vital to our needs in a survival do-or-die situation.  With a little knowledge and know how you too can become a fire making dragon.  Just joking.  However, spending ample amount of time practicing and honing your firebuilding skills is vital to your survival in cold climates. 

In this blog piece we take a look at four ways to simply get a fire started.  Make sure you check out the Dan’s Depot Youtube Channel for info on most all these methods.

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