Follow the Birds: Surviving and Thriving in the High Desert (excerpts)

With regard to ground of this nature, be before the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots, and carefully guard your line of supplies.” Sun Tsu

This is by no means a comprehensive survival manual, rather it is merely an excerpt from an upcoming book being written. The title of this book will be Follow the Birds: Surviving and Thriving in the High Desert. I will be putting out more excerpts as time goes on so stay tuned. I hope to release the book before next summer if everything goes well.

So on to the excerpt, supply lines are essential to survival in any situation or climate. Among the most inhospitable places one can become lost is the high desert mountain ranges that span Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, California, Utah, and even into Washington as well. It is extremely easy to get turned around and given the situation it is even easier to become dehydrated and disoriented leading to a relatively painless, quick death.

Among the questions I have received with regards to surviving in the high desert some of the more frequent ones are on the animal and insects termed as dangerous by mainstream survival writers and media. Sadly, these are rarely the cause of death or harm in the high desert, rather, dehydration is the true threat. How do you prevent this? Follow the birds and always remember, the more activity during the day the higher the risk of dehydration.

There is a reason many cultures take a “siesta” or midday break from activity. During the summer months around 10 am through 4pm tend to be the hottest time of the day, rest during this time of the day. During the winter months both yourself and animals should and or will be moving throughout the day when it is warmest. Simply reverse your approach with seasons, and as always, follow the birds. When birds stop flying around, stop moving, either a storm is coming or predators are moving. When they fly, follow them they will lead you too water and or food.

More to come!

Free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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4 Responses to Follow the Birds: Surviving and Thriving in the High Desert (excerpts)

  1. I too am gimped out, 100 yards at a time max- 30 minute breaks- its bad- but…still very possible to not only survive but thrive, I know, I test that theory every single year several times a year!


  2. lillyaffenpinscher says:

    Well Jesse, to get trapped in the high desert with no water would be damned stupid of me, as I cannot walk very far, and I know it. I like to stick to places that are gimp accessible.


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