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Survival Glossary

A

Avalanche – An avalanche is a rapid flow of snow down a slope, from either natural triggers or human activity. Typically occurring in mountainous terrain, avalanches have the capability to entrain ice, rocks, trees, and other material on the slope and are among the most serious objective hazards to life and property.

B

Bollard – In mountaineering, a bollard is a large pile of snow or a block of ice shaped to form a secure anchor point. The size of a bollard anchor varies depending on the snow condition. Larger size is preferred for new snow which is soft and loose. Often the bollard will have a rope groove carved around it. Bollards are great for anchoring while you are rappelling in a survival situation when you have little or no gear. They are quite strong and, set up correctly, are fairly easy to retrieve your rope from.

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F

G

Glissading – is the usually voluntary act of descending a steep slope of snow in a controlled manner either for the sheer thrill of the ride or to bypass tedious scree. Glissading is an alternative to plunge stepping and also cuts down on descent time.

H

Hootchie – ground sheet often used by the military for shelters and camouflage.

I

Igloo – An effective, dome shaped shelter built from blocks of ice or compacted snow.

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K

Kit – Gear

Kindling – Mid sized fuel used in the process of making a fire. Kindling usually consists of dried twigs and sticks. (See also: Tinder)

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O

Offal – Edible organs of an animal.

Old Man’s Beard – Green or grey moss which grows from the branches and trunks of trees. Also known as sphagnum moss it makes excellent tinder and is found in most parts of the world.

P

Parkour – A dynamic, fluid method of travel across rocky or obstacle ridden terrain. This method of travel is used to efficiently overcome any obstacle by adapting movements to the environment. Practiced and perfected by the french military this technique relies on momentum and speed.

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R

S

Soak – A soak is where water naturally seeps from a fault in a rock wall.

Spring – Like a soak, springs occur when water seeps or flows between plates of rock from an underground water source. Springs often appear as a patch of boggy ground at the base of a rocky outcrop and can be an excellent source of fresh water.

T

Tinder – A combustible material which is fine enough to take a spark and start fire. Tinder is the finest of all of the fuels used in fire-making.

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