Survivability while on vacation in Florida

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Motomom34, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I just spent a long weekend in Florida. Looking back, I do not believe I would have survived had an EMP or collapse happened. While there I realized that Florida was not my comfort zone. I did not know the plants, terrain and wildlife. I have always been a fan of @Bishop's videos but now I have a greater appreciation for them.

    We all have a comfort zone of where we live. We know the weather, plants, sounds etc. But have you ever gone on vacation to a different zone and asked, could I survive here?

    My observations:
    Most of the plants in Florida were unrecognizable to me. I saw all the palms and mentioned to my Aunt about heart of palms but we looked at the trees and were unsure of which one. I even pulled up Bishop's video, hoping to identify. I was happy to see some purslane growing because I knew that was edible.

    For meat type edibles, fish and birds seemed to be in abundance. Knowing how to make a net would be good for fishing and slingshot would be the best for birds, IMO. Wild hogs were around but they are hard to kill and was told a shot behind the ear will usually kill them. Fact or fiction, I do not know but that is what the locals told me. Locals also were nice to talk about gators and where I would most likely see them. Shallow water and warmth, also locals said to listen and look for other wildlife. They said no birds and real quiet, make note. Could all be BS but I do not know because it was all foreign to me.

    The bugs loved me. Nosee-ums and mosquitoes left there mark all over me. I know @hot diggity has a nosee-ums thread and I will be revisiting that because it is info I needed. My first day in Florida I got bit by something. I swatted it but the stinger needed to be removed. Within the hour my hand was red, hot and itching then it started swelling. Benadryl saved the day. It took 48 hours for my hand to get back to normal. Had there been no access to Benadryl, who knows what would have happened.

    I may live near a metro area but I am comfortable with the terrain and know the wildlife, plants etc. I have confidence in locating water. But if SHTF and I had to relocate to a place like Florida, my survivability would lower significantly.

    So I ask again, have you ever gone on vacation to a different zone and asked, could I survive here?
    Zimmy, Hanzo, Gator 45/70 and 10 others like this.
  2. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Sounds like your allergic to what ever bit you?
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  3. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Single best way to kill a hog with primitive weapons. A good stone headed club in the 3-5 pound range. It takes two good solid hits. The first hit is to paralyze the hogs back legs and should be center of the back (From side to side) and right in front of where the back legs meet the torso, or less effective but will still work a solid hit just forward from the base of the tail. A solid hit there gives instant disability for 5-7 minutes. Hitting any place else on a hog....... you may as well pound on a brick wall. The second hit should be a crushing blow center of the head just behind the ears. A sweet spot there where the skull is thin. just behind the sweet spot is nothing but thick neck muscle and forward of it is thick hard skull. Used to ambush wild hogs at a natural salt lick when I was a cave dweller. I would not suggest going after anything bigger than 100-120 pounds and have tree or rock ledge to escape up if you miss the mark on the first swing. Even when the back legs are taken out the front legs and head still work. Also a solid broad headed short spear with a needle point and razor sharp edges is very effective. Hogs are dangerous and clever and you will have to change your tactics regularly as they learn and adapt and you will soon find them doing one of two things if you hunt the same herd regularly......... Either hunting you or changing their territory to avoid you.

    I am a Eastern Hardwoods kind of guy and it is what I know. I Go back home to SD now and then and am like Yeah that ain't my cup of tea. Could I survive there probably with difficulty. FL on the other hand I would not even think about, been my experience that down there there are as many things that want to eat you as there are things you want to eat :) In the end I am a Zone 6 guy :)
    Ganado, sec_monkey, tacmotusn and 5 others like this.
  4. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    Around here the feral hogs are about the only thing I worry about. As T5R noted - they're smart, mean, and can be very aggressive. I'm thinking a couple/three decent spears of some sort would be best under primitive conditions. Trying to keep some stand off would be nice.
    As to Florida - eldest sister lives there. I've spent enough time there to have some comfort, but there's lots of things that would just as soon kill you as allow you to kill them. Gators are probably the worst followed by the venomous snakes. The gators want to eat you, the snakes will just kill you and keep on cruising.
    I am personally eastern piedmont/mountain oriented, and the swampier regions would be difficult.
    Making a note to add some reference material for the more nether regions I might visit....
  5. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    Good thread. I like the idea of adding more reference materials for different climates you visit just in case. I hadn’t thought about that. My stuff is more designed to get me home but if I end up flying somewhere What I can bring is severely limited compared to what I pack when I drive. I lived in FL a long time ago but am in no way an expert on it! I think I would also be pretty SOL if caught down there during an emp. I always try and have a larger amount of cash with me durig those kinds of trips to make try and buy a bike and a few other things if shtf. It’s not a good plan but hopefully between that and what I am allowed to carry on an aircraft I could get home by stopping at friends and relatives places along the way.
    Zimmy, sec_monkey, Lancer and 6 others like this.
  6. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    What part of we're you in
    Zimmy, UncleMorgan and Gator 45/70 like this.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    When I lived in Florida I would routinely see gators chillin' in the lawn of Home Depot because it collected some of the rain runoff and the puddles tickled their fancy. I'll never forget the time I left Steak N' Shake and nearly crapped my drawers when one stalked off just behind where I had parked the car.
    Zimmy, Ganado, sec_monkey and 5 others like this.
  8. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Gators will come to blood in the water even if its your own.
    Once while water skiing in Bayou Dularge I cut my hand on the side of the boat
    Got back up on the skies went up the bayou made a turn and coming back there was about a 6 ft. gator sniffing around where the blood was.
    Zimmy, Ganado, SB21 and 3 others like this.
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm on a heavy travel schedule this year - one week out of four - and this is something I've been thinking over. All my trips save one is to the east coast and the one that isn't is San Diego. If "things happened" during one of those I's pretty much be stranded. I don't see a cross country march ending well, but I'd have to find a way home to Mrs.3M. At least I could likely make all my weight loss goals before I croaked.

    Complicating this are the things I would need to take in order to get home on a flight along with electronics and business wear. Even with that - food, water, shelter, maps... Then there is explaining to the project manager when they get me at the airport why I have a back pack in addition to a suitcase.

    Many of the airports I will fly into are areas where it's unlikely I could bring a firearm.
  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    It is almost guaranteed by Murphy's Law that the only time you'll have bail out in a hurry will be exactly when you have the least access to your preps.

    Like when you're on a business trip or vacation.

    So--do some damage control. Wherever you are going, put together a survival report on that area, as well as the territory you must pass through on the way and coming back.

    Include maps, lists and photographs of edible resources, fire-making and cordage-making resources, places you can buy emergency supplies and gear on short notice, places to hide out, and the like.

    Put it in with all your vehicle preps.

    Which, of course, you should never leave home without.

    Do it every time. Mr. Murphy is watching.
    Lancer, oldawg, sec_monkey and 5 others like this.
  11. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    My weak point is desert survival, dehydration is the big killer there, only did a week of training in that environment, which is just an introduction in any natural environment. Lived and trained in Florida for several years, and the insects were always the biggest challenge, and I'm talking primitive survival without modern bug dope. I'm in Appalachia now, and insects are still the biggest problem in warm weather, followed by the abundant copperheads, but in winter all you have to contend with is the wet and cold. Survival has to be approached by the region along with it's natural assets and liabilities, and training never ends, because you can never know it all.
    sec_monkey, Motomom34 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I was at a fishing camp on Mosquito Lagoon.

    I flew there so a vehicle survival pack was not an option. I tend to pack light. While there I mentioned if there was a tsunami, chances of survival were real low then tried to find out where the highest point was but never received a clear answer.
  13. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    You can't always have your gear, which is where primitive skills come to play. When I lived in Florida I remember the highest point was an Indian mound,
    and a tsunami could roll across a lot of territory there, maybe even the whole state.
  14. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Florida is like 345 feet in one spot,Louisiana is not much better at 535 feet above sea level

    Mosquito Lagoon sea level classified as ''unknown'' which equals not good!
    Zimmy, SB21, sec_monkey and 2 others like this.
  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Years ago I read The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour. It is a great book and the main character spends time in the desert trying to survive. Desert survival is my weak point also. I have driven thru some desert areas and the lack of places to seek shelter from the heat is scary. Onr certainly would have to go primitive to survive in those conditions.
  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    The highest point in Florida is 345' above sea level. I would guess that there is no tsunami protection in the majority of the state. You are better off on the gulf side than the Atlantic side.
  17. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    You were probably a long way from any land 100 ft above sea level. It is a pretty damn low level State. Highest point in Florida 1/2 mile south of Alabama / Florida State line, 68 miles east north east from Pensacola. Place call Britton Hill, 345 ft above sea level.
  18. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Being a lifelong Floridian (though born elsewhere), Florida is my "comfort zone". Gators are seldom any problem. Raccoons and possums are much more troublesome.
    My wild plant knowledge could be better, but overall I like it here. The temp and humidity can be acclimated to. Skeeters aren't near as bad as years ago. All insects, except maybe fireants, have really declined in the last several decades.
    If I am in a group of people, skeeters bother others more than me.
    Up north I'd feel far less comfortable, and the southwest desert? Faggitabouttit! I dehydrate quickly.
    Zimmy, Ganado, Gator 45/70 and 3 others like this.
  19. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    And you survived?

    I anchored one night on a small island in Mosquito Lagoon. It was utterly uninhabited, no more than a clot of mangrove swamp on a tiny spit of sand. Not a bird or a bug in sight. I figured I catch a few z's and then get back to fishing at dawn.

    In the time it took me to pull my fishing boat ashore and toss the anchor up on the sand, I was stormed by a cloud of mosquitoes that looked like something straight out of a Hollywood horror flick.

    They were literally wing to wing, swarming in the millions--if not billions.

    And every one of them was after me. Specifically.

    I could have swung a pint jar once and caught a gallon of them, except that I would have lost a pint of blood in the time it took me to swing it.

    I tossed the anchor back aboard, pushed off, and ran upwind like the Devil Himself was behind me. I outran them a few miles later.

    The next time I hit the shore for some gas, I mentioned to this guy that I had tried to camp out on one of the little islands in Mosquito Lagoon.

    He laughed so hard I thought he was going to hork up a lung.

    If I ever go back, I'll take a flamethrower with me.

    For years I've wondered what all those mosquitoes ate with nothing warm-blooded around to feed on.

    Fish blood? Moon beams? Slug tracks? Each other?

    It's a Mystery of Nature.
    Zimmy, oldawg, Ganado and 3 others like this.
  20. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Last time I was in Florida , around 10 years ago. Summertime. I went to a town somewhere near Naples, on the gulf coast. If it hadn't of been for the AC in the truck , I think I would have died there. I don't think I cut the truck off maybe 1 time from the time I hit the stateline going south , till I hit the line again going north. That was a hot year. But you bring up a really good subject MM-34 , to research and try to know the AO you are going to .
    Motomom34 and Gator 45/70 like this.
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