Save what you can in a POW campclothing, pieces of metal, cloth, paper, string
anything! A piece of twine may mean success or failure when the time comes for you to break
out. Hide these items under the floor or in a hole in the ground. Since they appear harmless,
little or nothing will be done to punish you if they are discovered.
Wear as few clothes as possible during your imprisonment. SAVE your shoes,
underwear, shirts, jacket, and any other items of clothing that will protect you from the
elements to wear during your escape.
Save any nonperishable foods you receive from the Red Cross or your captors. Candy,
for example, comes in handy as a quick source of energy when you are traveling. If no candy
source is available, SAVE each issue of sugar given you by the enemy. When you get
enough, boil it down into hard candy. SAVE it until you build up your supply. Store any
canned foods you receive. The enemy might puncture the cans to prevent you from saving
them. However, you can recook some food into another form that preserves it. Other foods to
hoard against the day of your escape include suet (a hard fat), cooked meat, nuts, and bread.
Save pieces of metal no matter how insignificant they may seem. Nails and pins can
serve as buttons or fasteners. You can use old cans to improvise knives, cups, or food
containers. If you are fortunate enough to have a razor blade, guard it. Use it for shaving only.
Devise ways of sharpening it; rub it on glass or stone or some other hard surface. A clean
shave is a good morale booster.
Save your strength but keep active. A walk around the compound or a few mild
calisthenics will keep your muscles toned. Sleep as much as you can. You will not get much
rest on your way back.
Use your ingenuity. Select those items that you cannot get along without and
supplement them; for example, your rations. There is more to eat in and around your
compound than you think. When you are allowed to roam around the prison campgrounds,
look for natural foods native to the area, such as roots, grasses, leaves, barks, and insects. If
possible, ADD these foods to your escape cache (supplies). They will keep you alive when
the going gets tough.
Supplement your clothing so that the more durable garments are in good repair when
you escape. A block of wood and a piece of cloth make good moccasins; that saves wear on
your shoes. Substitute rags for gloves; weave straw into hats. Do not forget to salvage
clothing from the dead.
Take care of
Probably the most important part of any plan for survival is the take-care-of phase.
Maintain what you have. You wont receive a reissue of shoes or clothes that you wear
out or lose. Also, maintain your health; it is not easy to regain once you lose it.
Put some of your clothing into your escape cache. Watch the rest for early signs of wear,
and repair them with improvised material if needed. Use a needle made from a thorn, nail, or
splinter and thread from unraveled cloth to mend a torn pair of trousers. Wood, canvas, or
cardboard bound to the soles of your shoes will save them from wear. Even paper will suffice
as a reinforcing insole if your shoes do wear through.