Monday, 1 October 2012

Instruments for Survival and the Didgeridoo.

The didgeridoo. Instrument. Signalling device. Weapon? Yes. Read on to see the varied uses of this wonderful device.

A lot of people, when preparing for TEOTWAWKI prep only the basics, thinking of survival only in the most uninspired “will I starve, die of dehydration, or be eaten by a bear?” sense. Very rarely do I see posts pertaining to the morale of a survivalist, or more importantly a group of survivalists. If morale is poor, then performance will be poor. Simple as.
Therefore some form of entertainment is necessary. Electricity’s down, so the playstations out, so why not teach the kids to play an instrument whilst whiling away the hours in camp? Obviously there is a security issue, but as long as you have strong defences then I really see little problem with using an instrument as a form of entertainment. Plus, who doesn’t love a sing-song around the fire place? Another problem is weight, but a small fiddle, a flute, or any instrument of similar weight should pose little extra problems. It goes without saying that an instrument used for entertainment should not be the same one as is used for signalling.

Speaking of which, what happens when one of your guards spots an intruder? True, to start with it can be hoped you have some form of electronic device (walkie-talkies, mobiles etc.) but what about when they fail? Do your guards run to camp, abandoning their post? Or do they give three blasts on the old didge (the sound of which, believe me, carries a long way) and draw any available fighters to them? I should also mention the psycological effect of any kind of horn on a fighter. If you’re deep in the woods, and you hear that deep, bass note throb through your skull, your first thought probably isn’t going to be “Oh, that sounds like good news for me!”. This is the reason horns, bugles and the like have been used as signalling and rallying devices for hundreds and hundreds of years, often being the last sound a poor infantry man would hear before a couple of tons of man and horse smashed him into oblivion.

So why, then, have I chosen an article on the didgeridoo over a bugle or small horn? The answer comes in a couple of points.
The first is, I have no idea how to make a bugle, nor probably do I have the necessary skills. I’m guessing the average reader won’t either (if you do, go for it, and send me the results, it might end up on the site). A didge though, is a simple, hollow log. That’s not that dificult to do, if we’re honest, and if used for signalling, then you might need a fair number of them.
The second point is that a didgeridoo has uses other than as a musical instrument. They can be used to store things if not in use, adding a couple of square feet to your pack (dependant on length). They can be used to aid walking in the old or injured, and given their thickness and their design, will be of more use than a stick found on the ground. This also makes them emminently suitable as a support for a tarpauline tent (or other form of shelter), just make sure you don’t bury the end you blow into.
Finally, a (transportable) didgeridoo is a log of about 4 to 6 feet in length. If I smash you in the face with that, it’s unlikely you’ll want to get up for more. Whilst thick enough that they would be unwieldy as a permanent weapon, as an improv, back up or just desperate last grasp, they pack far more of a punch than a tin-whistle.

Obtaining a digeridoo pre-event shouldn’t be too difficult, either. I bought mine at a charity shop for £4, but you can buy them on Amazon for £15-£20 (although I’d keep scouring charity/60:40 shops and the like, so you can try before you buy, and get a decent

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