SURVIVAL: Episode 2 - Starvation (With Subtitles)

Uploaded by BushcraftEU on 20.11.2011

My name is Michel Blomgren and my passion is wilderness survival...
...the art of keeping yourself alive under harsh circumstances.
SURVIVAL with Michel Blomgren
At the end of 2005, I went out with 16 kg on my back, including camera gear...
to record something I've been experimenting with on several occasions.
I didn't have much of a script, which proved to make the recording more difficult.
The idea of what I wanted to capture was, on the other hand, crystal clear.
I talk a lot about how one can manage without food in a survival situation.
Food isn't in my 5 points.
This episode has really only one focus...
I want to demonstrate that one can be perfectly fine without food for a limited time.
That's why I don't have any food with me...
...and I'm not going to eat anything for at least 24 hours.
It's winter which may make the situation a little tougher.
Hang on...
I'm going to need water, something I'm not going to be without.
I wouldn't want to go 24 hours without water in any case.
Sounds like there's a stream nearby.
That would be nice... find a place to camp where there's water nearby.
It's about -2 degrees Celsius.
Typical Gothenburg winter, not much snow.
Not enough snow to melt and get any substantial amount of water.
So I need water nearby where I'll make camp for tonight.
There is a stream here for sure.
There are enough spruces in the area.
One tree must be big enough to sleep under tonight for some protection.
The area seems OK.
Winds blowing from the north.
Spending the night protected by some of these rocks will be perfect.
Time to load up with some water.
Not the clearest water one could find.
But it'll do.
This kind of can isn't bad, can be folded up and easily carried with you everywhere.
Not that clear water... (looks like pee damn it)
It's water, should go down anyway.
Must be boiled - as always.
Time to find a decent camp site.
Been checking around, not fully satisfied yet.
Perhaps here...
Doesn't look all that bad.
Very well then...
In the previous episode I promised to talk more about gear.
Then I'll just have to take it all out...
A good rule in the outdoors is DWF - Dry, Warm, Fed.
Now, I can't be fed... so I'll have to compensate with the others...
which is exactly what I've done.
The first gear I'll get into is the clothing I brought.
The best way to dress is to layer your clothing.
By putting on one piece of clothing on top of the other you get air between the layers.
That air increases the insulation and helps you keep warm.
As base layer on the upper body I've got a fleece shirt.
On top of that I've got a thin wool shirt.
And on top of this I've got a wind-proof jacket.
Just temporary when still I've got an insulating coat on top of everything.
It's just -2 degrees C at the moment so it's a bit too warm at the moment.
It's often called a "warming jacket", but that's really a misnomer.
It increases the insulation and helps me keep warm.
It's filled with some kind of synthetic fiber, maybe hollow fiber that'll keep me insulated.
On my legs I've currently only got a pair of wind-proof Fj llr ven trousers.
Naturally I have long-johns with me, one should never leave home without them.
I'll probably put them on soon as it's getting chilly.
Long-johns are unfortunately underestimated.
We usually put on several layers on our upper body, but only one on our legs.
There's a lot of blood circulating in our legs.
If we can keep them insulated from the surrounding air we won't freeze that easily.
Half of the body heat disappears from the head even at -4 C if we don't wear a cap.
On my hands I wear mittens, that's very important.
The four fingers kind of heat each other.
By separating the fingers with a fingered glove, the insulation is degraded...
...the fingers will get cold.
On my feet I have a pair of really warm things.
The model is named Caribou and is made by the Canadian company Sorel.
The box said they were for activity down to -40 degrees Celsius...
Since it's not exactly that right now, I've been sweating quite a lot in them.
As I knew I would be sweating in them...
I actually put my feet in a pair of plastic shopping bags.
As usual, I'm wearing two pair of socks, one thin inner sock and one thicker...
by Lundhags.
By putting my feet in plastic bags I avoid getting the inner shoe wet.
It's nice and dry.
Down with the foot in the bag and into the boot.
Works great.
Socks should be made of wool or at least synthetic wool.
Cotton should at all costs be avoided on feet.
Cotton loses its insulating properties when being just a little damp.
Water can conduct heat up to 27 times faster than air.
For this reason it's important to keep one's feet dry...
especially when frost bite often hits toes.
We often talk about "warm clothing", as if the clothes could generate heat.
What I want to say is that warm clothing is insulating clothing.
It contains one of the best insulators there is, stationary dry air.
The air in our clothing is heated and creates a microclimate.
If warm air in our clothing is blown away our body will transfer heat to the new cold air.
The other gear I brought is the following...
A sleeping mat against the cold ground, will be especially nice tonight.
The poncho, in case of snow (or rain for that matter).
A folding saw.
Bahco Laplander. Excellent, light and useful.
A spare knife to use and abuse (splitting wood, etc.)
Map, very important.
A survival kit.
Speaking of that aluminium can conduct heat 100 times faster than ice...
One really feels it now. The fingers get really cold.
A box with various small stuff.
1 liter of water is all I brought. A bottle to store water in is very important.
I also brought a blood glucose meter to measure my blood sugar level.
A mug, something to drink out of is nice.
A cooking pot, very important.
It's hard to clean water without a cooking pot.
Primus Litech coffee pot, really light.
I also brought leather mittens.
It's perfect to have the wool mitten inside the leather mitten.
Protects against wind, snow, etc. and can also be used as working gloves.
This box contains various stuff of all kinds.
A thermometer.
Tape and string.
Liquid soap...
...which of course freezes below zero, smart Michel, really smart...
A bottle with activated carbon, Medikol, for stomach sickness or poisoning.
Swedish defense skin lotion (fat). Good for dry lips, sores and more.
A spoon.
A honing stone from F llkniven.
A diamond (coarse) honing stone.
A finer ceramic honing stone.
To keep one's knife sharp is extremely important.
One does not go far with a dull knife.
Nylon string.
Tooth brush, not bad.
Tooth paste, not bad either. Getting toothache is quite unnecessary.
A reflecting strip to put around the ankle if walking in traffic after dark.
A ball point pen.
There's a note book in the bottom. To make various notes.
Haha... I found some food.
First, this contains 4 Magnecyl (acetyl salicylic acid, aka Aspirin)
...and two Dextropur (dextrose sugar, pulverized glucose).
(I did have food with me, didn't know that)
My purpose in bringing Magnecyl is first and foremost not to treat headache...
...that's a good use too. Acetyl salicylic acid is a blood thinner.
By making the blood thinner you can get better blood flow to, for instance...
...toes and fingers that suffer from bad circulation due to the cold.
As a prevention in bitter cold, Magnecyl could help keep the fingers usable.
Maybe a little crazy to bring something to make your blood thinner...
...but you are who you are...
Here we have a head light.
It's the "dark age" so to speak. The sun will go down in about an hour.
A head light with LED lights lasts longer than any other battery-powered light.
What's this...
In case I want to do some fishing I've got the "Yellow Card" with me.
Here we also got antiseptic wipes, and a couple of plasters.
Here we've got something fun.
The Defense's Survival Pocket Reminder, accompanies the book.
An interesting booklet.
When it happens, accept your survival situation, strive on... sounds perfect!
Your will to survive is everything. Use your knowledge and your skills.
Don't think I'll cook a chicken in a pit oven at the moment...
It sure looks tasty though...
And here we have a little pencil.
Good to have if the ball point pen stops working in the cold.
A regular pencil obviously doesn't freeze.
The survival kit...
4 plasters.
Here we have...
A sewing kit, thread and needles.
Fishing lures (jigs), never bad. Fish, yummy...
Too bad there's no water nearby.
More jigs.
Fishing lure... and nylon fishing line.
A knife. Trailmaster by Victorinox.
Has a decent blade.
It's also got a long enough saw. Very nice.
Some other stuff, like tweezers...
Tampon, becomes a very fluffy material, good for fire lighting.
It's basically water proof packaged too.
A condom... strange thing to have in a survival kit...
Condoms are durable enough to carry water in (in a sock, mitten, scarf, etc.).
Here we've got a tick remover. I won't need one now, but always good to have.
Here we've got a necklace with a few things...
A compass.
Silva SERE 40.
A signal mirror by Ultimate Survival.
Works great, made of Lexan.
A LED light.
Cheap thing...
And of course, a very important item, a whistle.
Lasts longer than the voice and can be heard much further away.
One can not shout, the voice is ruined and one will get exhausted.
A fire stick. "Jukkasstickan"...
...and a saw blade piece.
Great stuff.
Snare wire, or for something else.
Safety pins.
Puritabs water treatment tablets.
A pencil...
A ceramic honing stone. Once again, very important to keep the knife sharp.
A few cable ties...
few sheets of paper, and...
a razor blade.
Some of the stuff comes from BCB Combat or Ultimate Survival Kit...
...something like that anyway.
Most of the stuff has been added by myself.
Well, now I've been chatting about gear so much it's getting dark.
I have to collect some fire wood for the night.
Boil some water, etc. Drink something hot.
It'll probably be spruce needle tea, which is close at hand...'s everywhere. It'll be perfect.
I'm just going to pack up my stuff...
and then get ready for the night. There's not more to it than that.
It's getting dark...
Got to find some fire wood before nightfall...
at least find a place with lots of it so that I can get to it after dark.
Here we've got something...
Time to make fire.
It's getting quite dark.
This time I'll be cheating with matches instead.
We'll see how that goes...
It's hopefully enough...
It's catching...
All of it is spruce, so it should burn...
...quite easily.
A bit too sparse on kindling... but it'll catch.
It sure take its time...
Hot as hell.
As I took water from the stream with this cup earlier...
I need to treat it before... drinking out of it.
It's boiling.
The problem with spruce is that it spits like crazy...
A bit problematic sleeping next to spruce fires.
Now is a good time for some spruce needle tea.
About the hunger...
It's not bad at all.
At the moment I haven't eaten in...
10 hours.
Not really hungry at all actually...
but spruce needle tea will be nice, that's for sure.
Earlier, I forgot to present the other gear I brought...
I have some more stuff with me, like a sleeping bag...
and 2 pair of extra socks.
It's nice to be able to change wet socks for dry socks.
Water can conduct heat up to 27 times faster than air.
To have wet feet is not good.
While waiting for the tea I'm going to take a blood sample...
to check on the blood sugar level.
It's done like this...
First you have to puncture a finger.
The gadget isn't very expensive, it's the testing strips that cost...
...depending on how many one wants to use.
About 7 SEK a piece... Need to get hold of one some time...
...doesn't work that well at the moment.
The ideal blood glucose value is 5.5 mmol/L.
2.6 is definitely not good.
That means that I'm...
way below normal.
I haven't eaten in 10 hours, so that could explain why... but still.
Let's try one more strip...
This strip didn't want to... ...there we go.
That should just about be the margin of error... 20 percent or so.
3.2, normal or rather ideal is 5.5
It will however drop to below 4 a few hours after our last meal.
The machine is definitely telling me I haven't eaten in a while.
In my haste earlier I forgot to mention my other gear such as...
knife, compass, fire stick, etc...
I'll show all of it in the daylight tomorrow instead...
But now, I'll grab some spruce needle tea.
A bit bitter, but it'll do.
I've just finished a couple of cups of spruce needle tea.
It's time for another test.
Let's see if there's a difference between without tea and with tea.
Maybe not that big a difference.
A little... perhaps.
I want to confirm the last test.
Check if it's higher or lower or whatever.
Then I think it's pretty clear that spruce needle tea contains some sugar.
Which means that... it should make some difference.
One ought to feel better in the head from this.
2.6 and 3.9... that's quite a difference.
...or 3.2 [correction] and 3.9. A little difference.
It probably helps if you drink a concentrated amount.
And that concludes our experiment.
The poncho in place, to protect against snow or possibly rain...
I'm after all in Gothenburg.
I'm filling my bottle with hot water.
This bottle will go into the sleeping bag, down by my cold feet.
It'll warm nicely... hopefully throughout the entire night.
The water bottle...
...into the sleeping bag.
Almost ready to crawl down into the sleeping bag to sleep...
...going to be real nice.
I've stripped down wearing only the fleece base layer and the wool shirt.
If you wear too much clothing in a sleeping bag it won't help you keep warm.
The clothing one is wearing will prevent the body heat from reaching the bag.
The heat will be uneven and you'll probably freeze.
Enough is, as usual, best.
When we're sleeping, quite a lot of water evaporates from our bodies.
Too much clothing and the clothing will be damp - with the result that we freeze.
The sleeping bag is not as close to one's skin, helping to keep the skin dry.
If you freeze, it's better to wrap clothing on top of the sleeping bag.
Well then... good night!
Good morning.
It's really been snowing tonight.
Perhaps you're wondering how I'm feeling today. It's been...
29 hours since I last ate something.
I actually feel... absolutely fine. Perfectly well.
Warm and nice, etc...
No problems whatsoever.
Dehydration is common in outdoor activities.
Before I start to hike I always try to drink a substantial amount of water.
I usually won't need to stop and drink, which you usually forget anyway.
Tracking how much you drink and having water left when hiking home is a good key.
I've slept really well tonight, despite a "WC" visit... that'll happen.
This one helped keep my feet warm very well tonight.
It was real nice to squeeze it with my toes. Wonderful.
It's been warm and nice.
I've slept throughout the "storm".
Storm is an exaggeration... Snowfall at least.
Now I'm going to boil a hot drink.
Cheating with matches today, too.
Matches are good.
What do you know, it catches.
Even if you pack snow hard, you'll only get half the amount in water when melted.
Yesterday I was talking about my other gear.
I obviously have more stuff with me than that I presented yesterday.
A knife is probably the most important piece of gear.
This is a nice handcrafted piece.
Gr nskniv 77mm by Kimmo Sorvoja
I have attached the knife to a string around my waist...
and a small carabiner.
On the same string the knife's on I've attached a fire stick...
LightMyFire ("Army" model)
I've obviously got keys.
Here I also have a fire stick. "Jukkasstickan".
I naturally have a compass...
around my neck so it'll keep warm...
to prevent getting bubbles that make it hard to operate.
Around my neck I've also got my usual necklace...
A LED light.
Another fire stick, a Jukkassticka.
About 5 meter of "paracord".
A small compass, Silva SERE 40.
First Aid Kit...
and a GPS.
A convenient gadget, does however never replace map and compass.
It runs on batteries...
It requires satellite reception, etc...
In the so called axe pocket I have a cellular phone.
Cellular phones are very good if one needs immediate help.
The sleeping bag is an army surplus bag from the Norwegian Defense.
Price is about 500 SEK.
Excellent. Dupont filling.
I've stuffed the bag inside a sleeping bag cover.
It's made by Hagl fs.
It's got a water-proof bottom layer...
and some breathable water-repellant polyester weave on top.
It's not water-proof...
but it'll do.
Light-weight in any case.
Time to pack up and get moving on home to the warmth...
warm food, warm chocolate and the other excesses of civilization.
The temperature was, as far as I know...
no higher than -2 degrees C and -5 degrees C at lowest.
Not very cold compared to other crazy stunts I've pulled...
As low as -16 C with a sleeping bag meant for summer climate...
not a very fun experience. (without fire)
I want to make clear that...
I under no conditions recommend anyone starve 24 hours in the wild.
A lot can go wrong, especially with tools such as axe and knife.
Mistakes such as a bad footstep and a sprained ankle happen more easily.
Starvation makes you more prone to hypothermia, especially in Winter...
but can also strike in the Summer if you're surprised by rain.
While packing... something happens that breaks the distant feeling of hunger...
While I've been packing up I got surprised by sudden nausea.
It's typical for people when they've been without food as long as I have now.
I haven't thrown up yet at least... It has passed for the moment.
All packed and ready to go.
It's getting dark.
The time is 3 o'clock... 3 o'clock???
That means that I have been without food for...
31 hours.
I've managed without any major problems.
A bit nauseous before, but that passed as fast as it struck.
Time to hike home.
It's important to be careful when hiking on an empty stomach...
Walk monotonously and slow, never run or push on hard.
Otherwise the energy will be sucked out fast.
The batteries in the GPS have stopped working - it's too cold.
The batteries were in the back pack throughout the night.
Now I'll have to manage with map and compass instead.
Filming, editing and music by Michel Blomgren