2011, Nature  -   30 Comments
Ratings: 7.38/10 from 21 users.

SurvivalHis name is Michel Blomgren and his greatest interest is survival in the wilderness and primitive, but comfortable, outdoor life.

He has earlier shared his outdoor experiences and experiments through photographs and stories.

This engagement has now resulted in the making of a short movie series about survival with a documentary touch.

Episode 1 - Five Points Survival. I illustrate a person who get lost and at the same time go through my 5 points. The episode deals with immobilizing fear, our need for warmth & water, spruce roots as string, fire with fire steel, tinder, feather sticks & fire wood, spruce bows as a bed and smoke signal.

Episode 2 - Starvation. If it's something I maintain to that one can do without in a typical survival situation (shorter than a couple of weeks), it's food. In this episode I get out in nature to starve for one day while I also present my gear in (too much) detail. I also brought a blood glucose meter to measure my blood sugar level. It's revealed that spruce needle tea contains some amount of sugar (although small).

Episode 3 - Quest For The Stone. A short episode about fire making with a carbon steel knife, quartz and charred cloth. The episode also demonstrates how to boil water or cook food without a pot. The speech is now in English (or Swenglish rather).

Episode 4 - In The Cold of The Night. No shelter, no sleeping bag, no food, just a multitool, a traditional fire making kit, and some spare clothing... in other words: an ordinary weekend after work.

Episode 5 - Survival and Abseiling. Me and Johan Forsberg from Nordic Bushcraft starve in the forest during a weekend while attempting to move cross the terrain and abseil/rappel down mountain cliffs. It was rainy and Johan didn't bring a sleeping bag or a proper shelter. We brought very little food, but I still enjoyed the comfort of a bivybag, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping mat which made the night comfortable.

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30 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Guest

    Well done Ed, a truly fantastic achievement, if you’d been
    permitted to shoot large game, you’d have gone the full term….I spent quite a few years in Vancouver and well remember going up to the Dew line…..breathtaking country.

    I doubt if you’ll ever read this, but did it prompt thoughts of how people manage to survive in solitary confinement and the emotional effects
    of loneliness? It did me....stay well.


  2. Jason Loewenstein

    I really enjoyed these, thank you very much.

  3. Elderkin

    In Canada I have always drank water from any Brook/ Lake. I did'nt realize in Europe there was so much contamination.

    1. Si Hunter

      I must say that even in the UK It is possible to drink from fast flowing streams with no ill effect. Maybe what he means is in a survival situation it is not worth the risk? Oh, and arguing about god is one of the most popular but least rewarding things to do in a forum. Whoops, i just did it....

  4. Joeri Rouwen

    First of all.. Great video's man! watched them after each other in one big breath. A shame we don't have nature of that kind here in Holland.

    Second is more a reply to princesspatricia, I have to go with Neil on this one, Mankind created God and not vice verse. Its in the nature of human that he/she wants answers on certain things and mostly they cant give them themselves, so its easier to create some great force AS answer to all that questions. That has been done in all great times (remember that we use to worship different gods for different needs? What was the turning point to go on believe in one?) from the Aztecs to the Roman empire from the Indians to the Old Greeks and don't forget the Egyptians. All great empires that thought there where more Gods, well they created more gods just to satisfy their need for answers to their questions. The bible and all other religious books are not just more than a fairy tail, made up to ,again, give people answers to difficult questions in life that they can not explain. Nowadays we cant just deny the science that is given to us.

    I will make three points:
    1. The Earth was made by God in seven days?

    The universe and all that's in it is created by a big bang and a fusion of different atoms and protons all going back billions of years.
    It will take millions and millions of years to create a planet

    2. The big Armageddon is comming! And it is happening because the disbelieve and sinning of people!

    WRONG, it happens to earth EVERY some-billion year, they caused extinction to the dinosaurs and other species (maybe they had sin too). No, It is a recurring event caused by a track of meteors that are passing through our milky way.

    3. When you die you will walk through a with bright light surrounding tunnel to heaven.

    The white light you see is just an image that is send out, projected if you prefer, by our brain, triggered by the all natural process named death..

    Science explains everything, believing in a god does not. I can go on resetting people all day, but is on to you whether you go on seeking your own answers and your own truth or you go on follow the lie like billions of people do.

    And now I am sorry for your lack of awareness

  5. Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

    princesspatricia, Im sorry about your close-mindedness and ignorance. GOD was created by man. GOD doesn't hold any answers. We have all the answers we're ever going to get.

    1. brianrose87

      Neil DeGrasse Tyson, even when directly asked, refuses to speculate or talk about God. If you're going to imitate Neil DeGrasse Tyson at least stay true to the mans methods!

      In case anyone is curious he refuses to discuss "God" because its divisive and draws attention and focus away from the beauty of the universe, which he would very much rather lend attention to.

      If you find the right videos he openly criticizes Richard Dawkins' approach to dealing with this issue.

      Thats not to say that I, or even the real Neil DeGrasse Tyson, disagree with you. He just hates touching the subject because its corrosive.

  6. princesspatricia

    What an amazing series of short films! Thought they were absolutely fantastic. The only downfall is the characters unawareness that everything of nature and being comes and was created by GOD. I truly do not understand how he could have been surrounded by all that life and beauty, not even once realizing the grace that was with him. Wonderful films....... Sorry about your Atheism and lack of awareness

    1. james mastin

      I'm pretty sure you don't need to be sorry about any of our common sense of religion, nor you lack of common sense or awareness. I truly do no understand how you think he didn't realize the beauty of the life surrounding him when he was the one out there enjoying it. If god created you and all that nature for you to live in, then why are you living in a "manmade" not "godmade" shelter? or do you not have faith in your diety to keep you alive in the wild? probably would feed you some horrific parasite that will later eat its way out of your head. I know I would if i was stuck in the wild with you and your.... god.

    2. UniversalCypher

      is it an act of god, if a meteor strikes the planet and obliterates humanity? i assume it would make jesus' sacrifice seem rather..hasty.

    3. princesspatricia

      no, not hasty. but it would be a revealing of gods people and those who would be saved... something to think about

    4. Achems_Razor


      Prove it!

  7. ameriturds

    Thanx for a great series! Mr Savage must have misunderstood the episodes (although subtitled..). This isn't a hardcore suvivalist series, but rather a pretty informal basic introduction. Also this is set in subarctic terrain, so good luck with the "machette" (it's "Machete" btw)! Big ups to Michel!

  8. memory

    wow mr savage, huge post for nothing.
    first, i believe this was made for total begginers (i guess that's why it explains everything so detailed) so they wouldn't freak out if they got lost - so the theory of not using man made fibres is a bit drastic. amatures who will maybe watch this episodes probably use those man made fibres, and "a real survival junky" would already be way ahead with the knowledge that was given here and supposed to recognize that these movies were not made for him.
    i think it is very educational for an average man. teaches him not to panic and basics: how to start fire without burning the whole forrest, to drink purified water and to stay dry and warm as much as possible (and YES Eff - if you're going in the woods and you do not know your enviroment you should bring gps, or at least a map...what the hell are you doing in the woods without anything?!).
    and for "real survival junkies" feel free to do your own doc mr savage. a "better" one.

    thanks for the effort Michel. good job :)

  9. helen

    Thanks for the info and the clips. I am aware it is firstly for Swedish peple and it's a 'first aid survival'. I agree there are many more ways to learn how to survive in the wilderness, but I like this one too. As about not being in English, we have to forgive the world for not being of English speakers 100%. We are humbled by other smart nations.

  10. mr savage

    thanks to VLATKO for making this site one of the best on the net!

  11. mr savage

    this guy sounds like he swallowed a millitary survival guide and its given him verbal dioreaha!
    but seriously, top 5 important items for a kit list are:
    1- machette
    2- striker/mag glass/lighter/tinder etc
    3- basha and cords
    4- hide tool
    5- metal pot
    the most important thing is a prior knowledge of your envirnment and of the food sources available and the possible weather conditions you may face.
    a real survival junky would not be seen dead wearing man made fibres! wool,leather,cotton,feathers,silk and felt are more suitable/practical than the stuff they sell in amature camping stores, just try drying man made fibres on a fire when its below zero one sides frozen stiff and the other halfs on fire! . also the stuations in these docs are our natural environment and we VERY succesfuly have been living in it for thousands of years. if you don't have the skills/knowledge to survive, equiptment won't save you. just about the only thing this guy has right is the idea that 'will to survive' is of key importance. i think if it came down to it you might just about survive using his methods/kit, but theres a lot more that can go wrong and it encourages an unhealthy mentalty in relying on technology and/or a rescue team. over all i give these docs a fair 2/5. i can respect what the guys trying to do and the scenery is beautiful, but i'd class this more as light entertainment than a true survival doc.
    thanks to vladko for making this site one of the best on the net, zed.

    1. Felix Svedlund

      When you can use a machete to chop trough a 1,5feet wide me.

    2. brakommentarer

      in the first movie the situation described was a promenade so it's quite unlikely that the intended person would have spent any time on learning the area and it's vegatation in advance. Concerning natural fibre getting stiff and worthless above a fire, is it because of the smoke? If it is the smoke and not the heat, it might be possible to dry natural fibre cloth by making a raised bed with two logs, smaller sticks placed across on top and then using stones preheated in the fire placed closely under it? Do you think that would work in low temperatures?

    3. brakommentarer

      I don't agree with your kit list priority, at least not when it comes to surviving a wilderness promenade which is pretty much what was featured in these doc-videos. Maybe your 5-items kit would be useful if you were to be dropped in the jungle in the middle of nowhere, and far from civilization. If being in some proximity to civilization I think that a more useful survival-kit for the "wilderness"-promenade would be this:
      1. a turned off full battery cellphone
      - emergency help is of course the most effective way to stay alive.*
      2. map in a watertight plastic bag (or a watertight cellphone shell)
      - a map is primarily precautionary but usually if you would find yourself not knowing exactly where you are you are quite likely to figure it out if you have had some precautious attitude and been checking the map now and then (at least if you have been sticking to the pathways).
      3. rainponcho
      - let's say it's autumn and +2-3 degree Celsius, a sudden heavy rainfall after which you are soaked in water, and 1h later the temperature drops below zero. If you ain't home bnefore nightfall in this situation you might not survive the night when temperature drops even more. This is quite a likely situation unless your jacket was waterproof (not just water resistant), or you had bad shoes or bad walkingpants/thermopants.
      4. compass
      - a second chance of finding your place on the map and then being able to get home.
      5. firetool, preferably a fully fueled lighter
      - this is of course your survival insurance if you have to stay the night, getting tinder and enough firewood for staying warm during the night is possible without a knife. There are several means for scraping the birch bark off the birch tree and you could look for big fallen trees and find dry stuff beneath those. If your firetool is a lighter you can make fires for quite a while with just pine needles for tinder/kindling and these are usually not moisty, not even in rainfall for most part.

      *Your call location could most likely be spotted if it's an emergency. In fact every call's call location is being registered and stored in this country so it shouldn't be a problem, especially not if you have several hours of battery life and it's an emergency situation.

  12. Eff

    SURVIVAL 101
    Bring along a Swedish-English dictionary. I will remember to always bring along a GPS locater and a stainless steel pot... the next time I decide to get lost in the woods.

    Hey Man! Where's the ZIPPO lighter. Screw the flint and steel crap...get serious this is Survival camping isn't it? Spruce Tea anyone? (and where's the closest McDonalds?)

    1. Joeri Rouwen

      Maybe it is handy to take indeed a GPS locator or otherwise a compass to your hikes so you WONT GET LOST

      Zippo lighters as in all lighters, have to be refueled, that can become unhandy when your lost for several weeks and have to make fire over and over again, so a firesteel or something like that could SAVE your life, That is why he is talking about a prior and a second way to create fire. And as last, Every major survival books is talking about spruce tea so its not that uncommon.

      If we got lost, and i had the choice to go with you or the maker of these films.. well easy choice for me, it wont be you Eff.

  13. Form the C

    Really meditative doc actually. Very cute survival interested guy.

    Funkar alldeles utmärkt!;)

  14. kain

    steve - its advisable in such situations to wash your feet in cold water before you try and sleep, they almost feel like there burning as they warm up lol.
    i do understand what your saying still :)

    grate docs, very likeable film maker, very straight forward docu's

    thanks for the upload

  15. Steve

    Nice vids. Learned some useful stuff. Likeable film maker.

    I disagree with his five points in his first video--that was certainly verified in his last video: perhaps the MOST important bit of survival gear is a good sleeping bag (certainly more important than first aid kit)! You CANNOT last long if you can't sleep, and you cannot sleep if you can't keep warm. FYI, there's actually a "circuit" in your brain that signals to warm your feet before you fall asleep--and if your feet do not warm up, you cannot fall asleep.

    1. james mastin

      you can fall asleep with cold feet. you can sleep without feet too incase you ever feel the need to amputate them, don't worry you will still sleep. also if you think a sleeping bag is the most important(even more than a first aid), may I recommend you only go out WITH someone else to help you? ever hear of an eskimo? they make homes out of snow. snow can insulate. you can dig a hole in the ground, which will provide heat while you dig, will also provide a barrier between you and the wind...... anyways just follow your instinct you'll do just fine or become composte. few sticks of swedish fire steel will be alot lighter, alot less wasted space in your pack, and a fire provides much more heat than any sleeping bag ever could, but hey, each to their own.

  16. Grow

    Episode 4. Interesting wording at the end. Totally agree with that, humanity within the modern city seems to act as if there is evolving but in reality the city life is blind, it is not in harmony with nature and will eventually collapse if harmony is not restored.

    Great vids, well presented. Simple straight to the point and easy to understand. If the video quality was better these videos would be more appealing but for a one man job, very good indeed.

    Great Effort! Thanks!

  17. swede

    Lol, it's swedish, subtitled though.

  18. Vlatko

    I can assure you that all episodes are in English. Episode 1,2 and 5 are subtitled. Just press the "CC" button down-right on the player if you want English subtitles. Episodes 3 and 4 are spoken in English and there is no need for subtitles.

  19. needitinEnglish

    You might want to note, that this is NOT in English.
    Or, see if there's a version with subtitles.