Comfrey is a Super Plant for a Survivalist Garden

Comfrey is a Super Plant for a Survivalist Garden

Some survivalist farmers call Comfrey a miracle plant. We’re certain that it should be something you consider learning to plant and grow, and this article will tell you exactly why.

Whether you’re a survivalist looking to find a source of natural medicine when you’re bugging out, or a homesteader.

So, what is comfrey?

Comfrey, like mint, is one of a family of plants. It’s origins are in Europe, where it grows very rapidly.

It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It used to serve as a great source of medicinal plant across Europe, where people had to make do with what they had. As such, many uses for comfrey are known to work.

Today, we’re told that Comfrey is toxic… despite it being used for thousands of years. The evidence, whilst suggested scientifically quite regularly, is thin. Proving the toxicity of comfrey involved feeding huge doses of the plant to rats – realistically your organs are not going to be impacted upon unless you too consume unrealistic amounts.

Whilst the industrial reason for stating the toxicity could be debated, this isn’t about politics – it’s about how you can use comfrey to help you survive and thrive, and why you’d want to.

Why Would You Want To Use Comfrey?

Comfrey has many uses, and whole books have been written about it.

We’re going to talk about a couple of the key benefits of comfrey:

Comfrey as a Fertilizer.

Comfrey grows quickly, and it grows in places where the soil wouldn’t be considered ideal. It releases nitrogen into the soil at rapid rates. This means if you’re creating a compost heap, you should definitely plant comfrey in it or close to it. Comfrey also enhances the release of other chemicals within the soil; and so minerals such as potassium, calcium and the like will be released into the soil faster and more densely, making the soil perfect as compost for later growing seasons.

Comfrey as a herbal medicine.

Legally, you aren’t supposed to ingest comfrey. (Though we’ve talked about this earlier in the article.) however, there are many other uses for comfrey.

For instance, you can use it to heal:

– Wounds and ulcers.

– Broken bones.

– On sprained muscles.

– On bites, stings and the like.

You can also use the plant to create oils.

How Do You Grow Comfrey?

Wild comfrey will propagate from seed – this is why it’s best used for fertiliser and for helping the ground that you aren’t going to work for a while. It grows quite quickly if you leave it to flower, and can be considered invasive – we say this not because it is like knotweed, but because if you allow it to grow wild, your neighbours might have something to complain about!

All the types of comfrey are very easy to propagate from cuttings. This is the best way to do it and it’s also more controlled than allowing comfrey to propagate from seeds. (There are four types of comfrey- and only wild comfrey propagates well from seed anyway.)

Many Uses of the Mint Plant (And Why You Should Grow it)

The Many Uses Of The Mint Plant (And Why You Should Be Growing It!)

You are probably looking at the title of this article and thinking, “What do you mean, many uses of Mint? It’s just Mint!”

Whether you’re a hobbyist gardener or a hardcore survivalist, you should be growing mint, and this article will tell you why.

A Little More About Mint

If you’re familiar with mint, it’s probably spearmint or peppermint, and it’s just a flavouring that you occasionally have. There’s a whole lot more to the mint family of plants than that – for instance, lemon balms are a type of mint. Even with ‘pure’ mint, there are various types – spearmint, peppermint, and the like, which all have different tastes and uses. Then there are bee balms and cat mints.

Essentially, you have a family of herbs which have variety and utility. We’ll talk about the utility and diversity of options next.

Why Do You Need Mint Plants?

The various types of mint have almost too many uses to list in a short internet article. However, if you’re reading this site, then you’re probably of a survival-mindset, and so we’ll skip some of the more decorative uses, such as pot-pourri and as a flavouring of cheese.

Firstly, and most obviously, mint plants are great to eat. You can put them in a salad, or you can make your own teas with them. Sure, it’s not going to feed your family on its own through winter, but few things are. Mint is easy to grow (we’ll get to that soon) and adds flavour to whatever it is you’re eating.

But that’s not all. Mint plants are medicinal. They are particularly good for upset stomachs and for the clearing of sinuses, as well as an anti-bacterial remedy and for general cleaning purposes. Hence their use in detergents and over-the-counter toothpastes and bleaches. Of course, if you grow your own mint, you can create your own cleaning materials and cures for ailments, without having to rely on commercial products which may or may not contain a cocktail of unknown chemicals.

For the rugged survivalist, mint works in other ways; you can use it to repel insects by burning some on your campfire, or you can use it to suppress your appetite, meaning that your food stores will last longer.

If you are a homesteader, then mint offers some additional uses for you; it’s great to plant for ground cover – protecting the soil from the elements. Because of its speed and ease of growth, it also makes a great plant to prepare the soil for a future season. It also attracts beneficial insects.

How You Can Grow Mint

Perhaps the greatest reason to grow mint is the ease at which you can grow it.

The reason we stated in the title that you should be growing it is that you can grow the plant in almost any circumstance. From a small herb garden on an apartment balcony to a dedicated plot on a farm for commercial growing, mint can be grown by anyone.

It will practically grow itself, so unless you have a dedicated plot, keep it in containers until you know more about the plant – it will propagate itself and spread like wildfire if you let it.

To start, grab some fresh mint from your local grocery store or plant nursery, and leave it in water until it sprouts roots. Then, plant it in regular soil in a small pot, and wait for it to grow.

You’ll have your mint farm in no time!

7 Ways to Save Water in Your Yard and Still Have a Pretty Landscape

I’d rather spend time enjoying my flowers and garden than watering them. I think most gardeners would agree with that sentiment too. Less work, money saved, land improved, recycling of natural resources and a pretty landscape to boot. That’s what you can accomplish with these 7 ways to save water in your yard.

Graywater_How It Works


Less Lawn Care 
Get rid of some of your lawn (and lawn care) by replacing some of the grass with low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants. Create large flower beds (or enlarge existing ones) and plant your choice of drought-tolerant flowers and shrubs. Mulch the bed with organic material to help retain soil moisture and prevent weed growth.

Gray Water 
Consider container gardening near your front or back door so the use of ‘gray water’ will be convenient. Gray water is the usable water we allow to literally go down the drain instead of using. Most people have some type of gray water they can use for gardening if the plants are located in a convenient spot. 
If you own your home, place a rain barrel under down spouts to catch useable gray water for garden plants.

Rain Garden 
Most landscapes have a slight indentation in them where rain water collects and the soil stays soggy most of the time. Use this wet area to install a rain garden. Use plants that tolerate ‘wet feet’ and enjoy soggy soil, like swamp rose and swamp azalea, and place pavers through the rain garden (aka rainscaping). This will improve the soil and landscape view while saving water and work.

Water Wisely 
During times of summer drought, plants must be watered, but you can still water wisely. Water at the base of each plant when hand watering and set automatic sprinklers to come on very early or very late to minimize the water lost through evaporation.

Less Concrete 
Concrete in the landscape causes usable rain water to run-off and be wasted. Consider using organic mulch or mulch made from recycled rubber instead of concrete in outdoor sitting areas to allow rain water to be absorbed into the ground.

Colorful Containers 
Not all landscape color has to come from flower blooms. Brightly colored pottery containers can hold low-water succulents and provide landscape color while saving water.

Plan It 
Plan it before you plant it. Place flowers and shrubs together that have similar water and light needs and place plants in the right landscape spots so most of their particular needs will be met by mother nature so you’ll have less garden work to do.

Nature-Loving Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Gifts that are homemade are wonderfully loving and surprisingly easy to make (and easy on the wallet). They’re always well received. Gifts that have a good purpose, such as benefitting nature in some way are always welcome and can be fun and interesting additions to a household. They make great learning tools and can open a whole new world to some. With simple tools and materials, you have a lot of options. Here are our favorite nature-loving homemade Christmas gift ideas that are easy and won’t break your bank.

Native bee houses are becoming fixture in gardens. Honey bees have become essential additions to our agricultural system throughout much of human civilization. Lately, with attention paid to problems with colony collapses, native bees have come to the forefront as important pollinators for not only crops, but for the health of native plant and animal communities as well. Giving native bees a place to overwinter in a bee house is a great way you can help encourage native bee survival. And they’re super easy to make. You can make them small and simple. Have children help even paint them! Include a pamphlet of information on where to set their bee house up and why it’s important.

Make butterfly houses! Butterfly houses are important for overwintering butterfly caterpillars, chrysalises that are in diapause, and even butterflies themselves. Many butterfly species don’t migrate like monarchs do. Like a bee house, you can paint a butterfly house beautifully, and they’d make a great gift. Include a pamphlet of information with your butterfly house in your gift.

Seed Bombs are simple and fun gifts that can open a world of gardening to a child (or adult) in a simple and fun way. Use an easy to grow wildflower mix, or use some zinnias or marigolds alone for almost guaranteed success. Package them up in a pretty way, and include growing instructions. A great gift!

Bird feeders are always welcome gifts for just about anyone. Here’s a list of really easy to make, yet very attractive and well-made ideas for bird feeders. Feeders that are fashioned like a wide platform are always heavily visited by all types of birds and make a great all-purpose feeding station. They can be hung from trees, hooks, balcony roofs, or any structure easily.

Bird baths can be easily bought from the store, but not everyone thinks of picking one up on purpose. Yet, they’re very welcome additions to the garden and landscape and can be easily made with simple materials. You can even purchase solar-powered heater units to keep them frost free in the winter. Here’s a great list of ideas to get you started

Bat houses encourage bats to stick around an area, which is actually a really good thing. They eat bugs by the pound every night, such as mosquitoes, spiders, and other nuisances. Many bats pollinate plants that open only at night. They’re essential parts of healthy ecosystems around the world. And some species of bat are downright adorable. Make a bat house and give as a gift to spread the bat love!

These gifts are fun, affordable, and simple to make. They also have a great purpose. We hope you enjoy these ideas, and have a great holiday!

Growing Chicken Fodder for Winter

In many parts of the world, chickens (and their owners) that enjoy warm season free range eggs and meat find themselves holed up for the winter when days are cold and locked in with snow. Chickens depend on prepared rations of food that aren’t fresh and varied, and owners spend time and money caring for birds that are no longer free ranging. Winter fodder growing and feeding supplements the long and cold days of bagged feed and improves bird morale during long days stuck inside the crowded coop. Here’s how to grow fodder in the winter for hungry birds that will also improve production quality and make a nice dent in your feed budget.

There are many kinds of seed you can sprout for fodder. Legumes such as alfalfa and clover are high in protein, and for late molts and winter broilers make great addition to the feeding routine. Cereal grains ideal for fodder include barley and wheat which are fast to germinate and much enjoyed by birds without much fuss. Other types of fodder can include pea, corn, soybean, lettuce, mache, cabbage, spinach, sunflower, or whatever other sort of edible seed you have in abundance.

Sprouting fodder is incredibly easy and doesn’t require a lot of extra space or heat. Sprouted fodder relies on the seed it’s started from for energy, and therefore also don’t usually require extra light to grow well. Growing fodder simply requires trays or containers to spread the seed into (either over some sort of soil or not), and plenty of counter space to grow on. You can do this in a simple greenhouse structure, in a garage, on shelving, or even in your own kitchen. Here’s how to grow wheat fodder, to give you an idea of what growing fodder requires:

  • Wheat grain seed
  • A casserole dish or pan that holds water
  • Some water
  • Counter space for the pan
  • A room temperature room (or so)

Soak your grain seed for 24 hours (or overnight) in a bucket with water covering it. After soaking, drain your seed and spread out flat in your pan, either by itself or over some soil if you like (but unnecessary). Let the pan sit out for about a week, keeping the seed grain moist (but not floating in water). After about a week you should have about 4 inches or more of growth. Remove the mass of roots and green sprouts, break it up into chunks and feed directly to your birds, or give them the entire pan. How you feed it is up to you! It’s the same process as growing wheatgrass for human consumption, and essentially the same exact thing as food. Nutritious and tasty!

Growing fodder is extremely simple, cost effective, and a great way to supplement your flock through the winter. You’ll notice a distinct uptick in morale in your flock, and your meat and eggs will be better quality. Try growing a pan or two of fodder and your flock will thank you!

Paracord Uses

Bracelets That Can Save Your Life

Talking about fashion with purpose, believe it or not, a little natty piece of jewelry might save your life. If you are stuck in the great outdoors busily preserving your life, a woven paracord bracelet might just be a life saver for you. Originally developed by firefighters, soldiers and outdoor backpackers for practical use, paracord bracelet is now a fashion statement by both outdoor aficionados and common urban “fashionistas”. 

Paracord Survival Bracelets

Paracord bracelet or commonly known as “survival bracelet”, has a very well crafted nylon cord like the cord used in parachutes. Measured 8 to 20 feet long, it is a must for adventure seekers for survival in the great wilderness.

Paracord Uses

This survival bracelet serves many purposes – not just for spicing up your looks but also comes handy when you try to save your life. Here are some uses of the paracord bracelets:

  1. Build a shelter. The paracord bracelet helps you create a makeshift shelter in the wild. When you get stranded in the wilderness, finding or creating a shelter is crucial for your safety. It will protect you from all the environmental elements like the rain, sun, wind, snow as well as wild animals. You gather wood branches and lash them together using the inner strands of your paracord bracelet.
  2. Build trap for your food supply. When you are lost in the wilderness, food supplies are scarce. Building a snare to trap your food like wild deer, rabbits or any small games could save your life. You can use the inner strands of the paracord bracelet to do that. You just need to create a contraption, fishing net or a gill net to catch non-picky eating fish in the water. You can even use your survival bracelet to create a makeshift bow and arrow for a small hunting game.
  3. Start a fire. By using the paracord bracelet to spin a bow drill, it will create friction, heat then fire. It is much easier and faster than rubbing two stones or tree branches to create a fire for warmth and for cooking your food.
  4. Serve as an improvised tourniquet, sling or splint. Accidents are sometimes unavoidable whether in the wild, in the city or even in your home. In any case, you can quickly use your paracord bracelet as a tourniquet to stop you from bleeding heavily if you are severely injured. Or use it as a sling or splint to immobilize your arm for injured limbs or fingers.
  5. Make some trail. To avoid going around in circle when you are lost in the wilderness, leaving a mark on your trail might help. Tie your survival bracelet on easily visible areas like a tree trunk, to mark your path. Who knows, that might even lead rescue team to find you easily.
  6. Quick repair. If you happen to have a tear on your backpack, you can use the thin thread in your survival bracelet to patch it up. Sometimes, you can use it as a makeshift belt or suspender for your pants and even a substitute for your shoelaces.
  7. Dental Floss. Yes, even your teeth need to survive in the outdoors as well. Using the thin inner layer of your paracord bracelet, you can floss your teeth in the wild to keep them shinny, healthy and free of those meat chunks that you just devoured.

How to Grow Your Own Bird Food

Flowers can do more than just look pretty, they can also provide food for the variety of birds that will fly by your yard. Beautify your landscape and feed the birds for free without any additional effort on your part, now that’s positive, sustainable living that’s good for both you and the birds. Plant some of these flowers and grow your own bird food almost every month of the year.

 Black-Eyed Susan

Black eyed susan – makes excellent bird food

Common flower with an uncommon beauty, black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) feature a black seed center surrounded with bright yellow petals that draw in migrating birds for a tasty treat. Tall stems produce flowers throughout the summer and keep the birds coming back for more free food. The flat blooms are also attractive to butterflies looking for a meal.

 Blazing Star

Blazing Star Flower – makes great bird food

Blazing star (Liatris)is also called gay-feather and is a favorite of the American gold finch bird. Small purple blooms are borne on a tall spikes in mid-summer with tasty seeds for the finches once the blooms have faded.

Coneflower

Coneflower makes very good bird seed

Coneflowers (Echinacea) are a staple in many flower gardens and are prized for their medicinal purposes and are often used in the making of tea to boost the immune system. Bright-colored, easy-care perennial plants that come in a wide range of bloom colors, coneflowers get their name from their center ‘cone’ in each bloom is filled with seeds that attract a variety of hungry birds. Coneflowers bloom continuously from mid-summer through early fall and attract a variety of birds with their bright colored blooms and can be used to make tea for you to drink while bird watching.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis is a common flower that birds love

Coreopsis, also known as tickseed, is a flower that will flourish in the hot summer heat with little water and birds love them. As a bonus, coreopsis is also a favorite food of many caterpillar species and will attract butterflies looking for a place to lay their eggs.

Cosmos

Cosmos – a tasty treat for feathers friends

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) grows care-free in full sun, producing an abundance of colorful blooms and birdseed from summer through fall. The blooms are flat and shaped like daisies, making them attractive to passing butterflies too.

Mexican Sunflower

Mexican Sunflower – seed senior

The Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia divers folia) grows tall and stately much like its common sunflower cousin. Mexican sunflowers thrive in heat and tolerate drought conditions, producing large flower heads filled with seeds. This hard-working flower will also improve garden soil quality by increasing all three vital nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).

Sunflowers

Sunflowers, who doesn’t like this staple?

With blooms the size of dinner plates, sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are as intriguing as they are beautiful. The flower heads turn and move with the sun each day and are filled with seeds that attract birds. The seeds ripen in late summer and keep birds fed during the fall and winter months. Sunflower seeds can be dried and eaten by humans and their oil can be extracted and used as a healthy cooking oil.

Purple Majesty Millet

Purple Millet Majesty

Purple majesty millet (Pennisetum glaucoma) grows to reach a mature height of five feet. The plant boosts long, fodder-shaped leaves that are deep purple in color. Each plant will produce one foot-long bloom in top of the plant. Each bloom is filled with seeds that birds can’t resist. The colorful foliage and bloom spikes will enhance your landscape and attract birds from late spring until the first frost of all.

Winterberry

Winterberry

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is a deciduous shrub in the holly family that produces bright red berries during the winter when bird food is hard to be found in the wild. The stark contrast of the red berries against a backdrop of white snow combined with a steady stream of hungry birds makes the winterberry one of the most beautiful ways to grow your own bird food.

Japanese Beetle Control: Protect Plants from Insects

Concord Grapes: 1 Japanese Beetles: 0

If you live anywhere in the Northeast of the US and you love growing grapes, then you should be familiar with a little thing called Popillia japonica. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean Japanese beetles. Yes, those lovely darlings that come visit my garden every summer. In droves!

Hundreds of them descend on my Concord grapes. Not on the grapes themselves but they were all over the leaves. Every last inch of them. Here’s what my grapes looked like after a beautiful mid-summer shower. Lovely bunches waiting to ripen and look at those leaves! Full and glistening.

Now here’s what they looked like after:

See the holes in the leaves and how they’ve turned brown? Not good. Sure, the grapes are untouched and I’m happy about that. Can you sense a “BUT” coming on? There are 2 BUTS actually.

1. The grapes are now exposed to the elements. If the grapes get too wet, they can grow mold and fungus. If they get too much sun, they can be dry and tough. Birds also love grapes and now they can clearly see them.

2. The energy and sugars that would have gone into ripening the grapes are now directed toward leaf regeneration. The grapes could be less sweet than expected with some bunches not ripening at all.

I didn’t want either of these happening so here is what I did. First I headed to my local garden center and scoured the shelves for the meanest, most potent Japanese beetle pesticide there was. When you see hundreds of beetles like I did, it sends you into a panic! I found a few bottles (5 actually), headed for the counter fully intending to race through the checkout, head home, and start a-sprayin’. Those beetles would have had nothing on me. I was armed and very dangerous. Then my rational side got the better of me. In other words, I did not want pesticide-laced grapes. That’s not the kind of dangerous I was hoping for. And my arms were aching from holding the heavy bottles while waiting in line. But that’s not the point!

So, I put the bottles back, headed to another aisle, and instead, picked up a few beetle traps. They consisted of pheromone pads strategically placed in a plastic casing. I’d heard that they work by attracting the beetles. Wait…am I going to attract MORE beetles? Sheesh, can’t catch a break. But it was better than picking them off 1 by 1. I set up 3 traps and within a few hours, there they were! Now what could I do with all of those darn bugs. Aha! The Chickens!

OK, so I have a few chickens in the back yard and I tried the beetles out on them. MY CHICKENS LOVED THEM! Free food and no pesticides. I had hit the jackpot. Sorta. It turns out that by the end of the day, there were about 100 beetles in the traps. My 3 hens could not keep up. The “excess” got churned in the compost.

So there you have it. Economical, simple, and safe pest control for your grapes. Here’s a shot of some of my grapes. Perfectly sweet bunches with the smoothest bluish-purple skin.

Wilderness survival shelter

Wilderness Survival 

Day hikes can turn into a fight for your life in a matter of minutes due to an unexpected weather event, an encounter with local wildlife or you simply become lost. Being lost in and of its self is not necessarily dangerous but the environment you become lost in can put your life at risk if you are not prepared. Your car can slide off the road or breakdown leaving you stranded along a remote section of highway and help can be days or even longer away. Anything can happen to anyone at any time. As you go about your daily life, you may not think about survival preparedness until you are in a situation, and then it may be too late. Some survival experts will tell you they do not prepare for the unexpected, because they expect anything can happen. To many it is not a matter of if, but simply a matter of when disaster strikes. 

You need certain things to stay alive in the wilderness and the basic essentials are shelter, water, and fire along with an eventual food source. Depending on the weather, you may have only hours to either set up a shelter you have brought with you or construct one from materials you find in your environment.

Ideally, you will always have a survival kit with you on any outdoor adventure. This means however, you will have to have an emergency kit packed and ready to go with you at all times. The kit will need to contain the tools and materials needed to construct a survival shelter, collect and purify a water source, build a fire and have the means to fish, hunt and/or trap. People tend to over pack thinking they need food and water for an extended period and soon the pack is too burdensome to carry.  Your kit is for when your normal supplies are depleted, it will provide you the means to endure for extended periods. Prioritize the items based on the basic essentials of shelter, water, fire and food. The items in the pack are for surviving on what you find in the wilderness and not with what you can carry. Water weighs 8.5lbs/3.8kg per gallon so you can as a practical matter only carry about three days worth if you use the one gallon a day per person recommendation. You will run out of water after three days, and you must have the means to collect and purify a surface water source.

The following is a list of items that will provide the essentials. The kit is designed to be in addition to any supplies and materials you would traditionally carry with you. Therefore, food and water is left off the list because it is assumed you would be carrying enough for the length of time you expect to be gone. Matches are purposely left off the list as well.

  • Multi-tool knife and a heavy fixed bladed knife
  • 15-20 pound fishing line with assorted hooks and tackle
  • Magnesium stick and Ferro rod for fire starting Matches are unreliable and they can put you in a life threatening situation if you rely solely on them for fire starting
  • 20-24 gauge wire for snares, shelter construction and general binding jobs
  • Sewing kit for gear repair and for emergency wound treatment if you do not have a suture kit You must have an assortment of needles and thread and consider a fine monofilament fishing line that can be used to sew up wounds Monofilament is less brittle and will stretch to a certain extent before breaking
  • Two rain ponchos large enough to cover you and a shouldered pack can also be used for shelters
  • Light nylon ground tarp
  • Camp ax/machete and/or a folding saw
  • Iodine or chlorine dioxide tablets for water purification
  • Small stainless steel bowl or camp coffee pot for boiling water and food preparation
  • Two stainless steel canteens
  • Cotton balls and petroleum jelly used as fire starting aids
  • Medical supplies
  • Compass
  • Magnifying glass as an alternative fire starting tool
  • Emergency solar blanket (thermal blanket)

The list has the tools and materials for you to construct a shelter, collect and purify water, build a fire and hunt, fish or trap food.

Without protection in cold weather, you can succumb to hypothermia in a matter of hours or less in some cases. You are in the first stages of hypothermia if your core body temperature is reduced by three degrees. You must have cover quickly from the cold. Clothing and fire also play an important role in keeping you alive.

Various examples of shelters that can be constructed with what you have with your or built from forest debris. The tarp cover would not be adequate for extreme cold without a quality sleeping bag, thermal blanket and fire. The inside of the snow cave can be as much as 20 degrees warmer that the outside air.

Once you realize you are lost, you must stay in place. Panicking will use up valuable energy, get you injured and force you to drink more water. You have to accept the fact you are lost and begin preparing for an overnight stay. You cannot hike through the woods at night. Nocturnal predators will begin hunting at dusk and this includes dangerous snakes. You can also walk off a cliff, fall into a gorge or simply trip and break a leg. Traditional wisdom dictates you stay in place at least for the first night and this means you need cover and a fire.

If you are not prepared by, having your emergency kit with you can use what you find in the forest to include snow, pine boughs, sticks and vegetation to build a cover for protection from the cold, animals and insects. The rule of three states you need protection within three hours. You can use the side of a fallen log by digging out a shallow depression using a stout stick and leaning poles and vegetation against the south side of the log if it is cold out. Crawl under the covering and pull vegetation in behind you to cover the opening.

You must have insulation between you and the ground. Warm air always moves from warm to cold in other words heat from your body will conduct into the ground chilling you. You must place pine bough, grasses, pine needles and other debris on the ground for a sleeping mat. You can get hypothermia even if the air is relatively warm because of the heat conduction from your body to the ground.