In a survival situation you need to acquire protection, to better face: elements, injuries, wildlife and emotions.

Survival Duct Tape

During our H.E.A.T courses, attendees often ask what are the most important pieces of kit to pack when traveling to a Hostile Environment. 

Although we discuss the design of survival kits and grab bags on Day One of the course, and issue a H.E.A.T. survival capsule™ to all attendees, experience has shown that the “redneck repair kit” is a useful item in your gear bag.  The redneck repair pack was a phrase coined by Jim Berg and Tim Nyberg who have written several books about duct tape.

The redneck repair kit contains 2 items- a can of WD-40 and a roll of duct tape.  Adhesive tapes have been in use since the early 18th century when rolls of cloth tape had an adhesive coating on one side and were stiffened with dried urine from cattle.  Hospitals used a tape made from Read more

The five most dangerous anti personnel mines

Recent stories in the Egyptian press have disclosed that vintage anti personnel mines in places like Tobrouk andEl Alamein (scenes of battles during World War II) still claim the lives of locals.

The bulk of mines still used around the world are neither self-deactivating nor self-destructing, which suggests that future generations will be experiencing the same problems of unexploded ordnance as that faced by Egyptians today.

The mine was first conceived during siege warfare in the Middle Ages.  When attacking an enemy castle wall, a fire was positioned at the end of a tunnel dug out by the attacking force.  When the fire was lit, the tunnel supports burnt and both the tunnel and the wall collapsed.  For this reason, moats were dug around fortifications to prevent this type of tunnel and fire attack.

Later, the fire was replaced by an explosive charge and by the 20th Century, most mines were triggered by foot or by vehicle.

In the 21st Century, landmines are still triggered by foot or vehicle pressure and there are five types of anti-personnel mines which are in common use today.  The thinking behind such mines is twofold:  one, to dictate the direction of travel by the enemy through controlled detonations; and two, to incapacitate a soldier which will require two buddies to remove him and themselves from the battlefield.

The following most dangerous anti personnel mines are the ones found in Hostile Environments: Read more

Dirty Bomb and What to do in case of explosion

What to do if a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), such as a dirty bomb,  lands in your street

The decision by the Big 5 (US, Russia, UK, China and France) to renounce their obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is just one of several steps towards the realization of a nuclear war. Israel’s targeted assassination programme against Iranian nuclear scientists has hardened Iran’s determination to create a nuclear weapon.

Iran, North Korea and other countries have engaged in nuclear proliferation which has prompted policy changes for the use of nuclear weapons. Whether the use of such weapons is “limited”, the ongoing war against terror and ideological differences between the West and the rest of the world, suggests that a nuclear detonation, even if only a “dirty bomb”, might be witnessed within the next generation.

If a “dirty bomb” does explode in your street, you will need a strongpoint to retreat into. Read more

What is Anthrax and Four Steps to avoid its risks

Not all Hostile Environments are situated in emerging countries with poor infrastructure, corruption and inadequate law enforcement.  Sometimes, a Hostile Environment exists within the workplace, especially when anthrax is sent through the post.

Many people though still wonder:  what is anthrax exactly? Read more

Survival Knife

The necessity of a knife is obvious to those who carry one, but not so to those who don’t. 

Yet, like fire, a knife has a myriad of uses ranging from a bushcraft knife to a combat knife and a general utility tool.  With a knife, you can cut, chop, batten, hammer, pry, create fire, make fuel for a fire, hunt, signal and protect yourself.

Yet, there are as many types of knife as there are situations in which you might find yourself requiring one.  A switch blade might be suitable for intimidatory purposes or slicing salami.  Read more

Operating in Emerging Markets within Africa

As companies have realised that fewer business opportunities exist in a saturated domestic market, new business development has focused on emerging markets.

A recent review of emerging markets within Africa has identified nine countries that have already emerged; and a further ten classified as “up-coming emerging markets”.  Given the fact that many of these African countries have higher growth rates than many First World economies, it is not surprising that successful companies are looking to secure greater returns on their investments in these economies.

However, for companies interested in exploiting opportunities in African emerging markets, senior management needs to understand that areas of potentially high profits also pose equally high risks.  Read more

Protective Strategies for Hot Environments

During our H.E.A.T courses, many attendees have commented about how the African sun often creates a unique, but dangerous, hot environment for survivors.  As a result, attendees know about the power of the sun, but often fail to understand the danger of operating in hot climates.  Learn which are the more effective  Strategies for protection from Hot Environments.

Deserts occupy over 20% of Earth’s land surface and they often comprise sand, rock, alkali, rocky plateau and mountain.  Of the eight main desert areas of the world, two are located in Africa.  The Sahara desert has little vegetation and is characterised by loose shifting sand.  The Sahara has areas of sandstone, limestone, volcanic rock, salt marshes, canyons and erg (hard gravel).  The Sahara experiences hot cyclonic winds which cause major sandstorm.  The nights are cold during the winter months and require extensive insulation.

The Kalahari is located in the South African Highlands and consists of extensive areas of red sand and flats.  Much of the Kalahari is covered by a heavy growth of scrub trees.

Often, movement in the desert can be very hazardous.  You should avoid the mid-day sun and travel at night or before dawn.  You should follow trails, a water source or a road and travel in a specific direction rather than wandering aimlessly.  It is better to walk on the windward side of the tops of sand dunes than walk up and down them in an effort to stay on a straight course.  During a sandstorm, lie on your side with your back to the wind, but cover your face.  You can sleep through a sandstorm, despite the noise, without worrying about getting buried alive – a Hollywood myth.  Remember that objects always appear closer than they really are in the desert, so you should multiply your distance estimations by three.

Despite these recommendations for traveling in the desert, and in many hot environments, you must take steps to remain cool.  In urban areas, stay indoors as much as possible and remember that cool air falls, so you should stay in the lowest levels of a building i.e.: a cellar or bunker.  During hot weather, eat smaller meals more often.  You should consume carbohydrates rather than proteins, as proteins require water for digestion and increase metabolic heat.

Two adverse reactions are often experienced by people operating in hot environments.  When body fluids are lost due to heavy sweating, your body increases blood flow to the skin, decreases blood flow to your organs, and put your body into a form of mild shock.  Symptoms include cool or flushed skin; headaches; dizziness; nausea and exhaustion.  These symptoms of sun stroke require you to move out of the heat, loosen tight clothing and apply cool wet cloths to the body.  Drink slowly every 15 minutes and rest in a comfortable position.

Heatstroke is a more serious and life threatening condition.  When the systems which control sweating cease to function, your core body temperature can rise quickly and cause brain damage or death.

Symptoms of heatstroke include hot, red skin; quick shallow breathing; and a rapid but weak pulse.  Unlike heat exhaustion, the body temperature can become extremely high.

The solution is to cool down body as quickly as possible.  Emerge the victim in cold water or wrap the body in a wet sheet and use a fan to circulate cool air.  Keep the victim still, but do not provide anything to drink if the patient is unconscious, semi-conscious or vomiting.

Countering a Suicide Bomber Attack

In any hostile environment, terrorist weapons involving munitions and explosive ordinance require three types of delivery systems:

  • a missile, artillery shell or bomb launched from land, air or sea.
  • landmines, improvised explosive devices (IED) or explosive weapons such as mortars or rocket-propelled grenades (RPG).
  • suicide bomber Read more