Survival Dictionary

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are 84 names in this directory beginning with the letter L.
Laceration
Lacerations have jagged edges, almost like a tear rather than a clean cut. If you cut yourself with a broken glass or pierce yourself with a sharp branch, lacerations are likely to occur.

Lactate
With strenuous exercise, breathing becomes faster as more oxygen is required in the muscles. The body prefers to generate most of its energy using aerobic (with oxygen) methods. Sometimes more energy is required than the body can deliver through oxygen. In such cases, the muscles generate energy anaerobically from glucose which is broken down into pyruvate. With limited oxygen the body converts pyruvate into lactate allowing glucose breakdown. During this time lactate can accumulate to high levels, increasing the acidity of the muscle cells. This is a defense mechanism to prevent permanent damage during extreme exertion by slowing the key systems needed to maintain muscle contraction.

Lagan
Cargo jettisoned from ship but marked by buoys for recovery.

Lagoon
A shallow body of water located along a coast.

Laid Rope
Also called twisted rope is the most common form of rope. Common twisted rope generally consists of three strands and is normally right-laid, or given a final right-handed twist. The ISO 2 standard uses the uppercase letters S and Z to indicate the two possible directions of twist, as suggested by the direction of slant of the central portions of these two letters.

Lake
A large body of water surrounded by land.

Lakshmi
Goddess of wealth and prosperity in Hindu mythology.

Laminar Flow
The smooth flow of a fluid in a constant direction without any mixing taking place.

Laminated Bow
A bow that is made of several layers of different materials glued together.

Landlocked
Surrounded by land on all sides.

Landlubber
A person unfamiliar with being on the sea.

Landslide
The slippage of rock, trees, mud, earth and other debris down a slope due to gravity.

Lanyard
A cord passed round the neck, shoulder or wrist for holding a knife, whistle or similar object.

Larva
The ‘worm’ phase of an insect’s life cycle.

Lashing
Securing two or more poles, branches, masts, etc together in a rigid manner using ropes.

Lateen Sail
A fore-and-aft triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle to the mast.

Latent Heat
Heat energy required to change a substance from one state to another. It is the energy stored and released as heat when water evaporates to vapour or ice melts to liquid.

Lateral Drift
Slow, unintentional movement away from the desired direction of travel in an attempt to compensate. Lost hikers have been known to walk around in large circles due to lateral drift.

Lateral System
A system of aids to navigation in which characteristics of buoys and beacons indicate the sides of the channel or route relative to a conventional direction of buoyage.

Latitude
The angular distance north or south from the Equator to a particular location shown on maps as circles parallel to the Equator. They run from 0° at the Equator to 90° at the Poles.

Latitude with LAN
At the exact time of Local Apparent Noon or LAN using the shadow stick method, if a second stick is placed at the base of the stick forming the shadow and pointed directly at the Sun, the angle formed by this stick and the vertical stick provides the angle of latitude for that particular location.

Latrinegram
Wild, unfounded rumor.

Lava Field
The area along which the lava released through volcanic eruptions flow and can extend for hundreds of miles.

Leaching
The loss or extraction of certain materials into a liquid

Leaching Field
The entire area where many materials (including contaminants) dissolve in rain, snowmelt, or irrigation water and are filtered through the soil.

Lead Acid Battery
Invented in 1859 it is the oldest type of rechargeable battery and have a large power-to-weight ratio. These features, along with their low cost, makes it attractive for use in motor vehicles to provide the high current required.

League
The distance a person can walk in an hour. Most commonly defined as three miles, though the length can vary. At sea, a league is three nautical miles.

Lean-To Shelter
A three-sided shelter, made usually out of logs, branches and leaves, with an over-hanging roof and one open side.

Leapfrog
When navigating and taking a bearing to the destination, it is possible to lose sight of the destination. In such cases it is a better idea to take bearings of other waypoints along the route to travel to mini destinations en route to the final one. This is leapfrogging.

Leave No Trace
Clean up the campsite before you leave in a state that you found it, or better. It is a set of ethics promoting conservation and consists of seven principles - (1) plan ahead and prepare, (2) travel and camp on durable surfaces, (3) dispose of waste properly, (4) leave what you find, (5) minimise campfire impacts, (6) respect wildlife, (7) be considerate of other visitors.

Leave the gate as you found it
A courtesy throughout the world. If a gate is found open, it should be left open, and if it is closed, it should be left closed. If a closed gate has to be crossed, it should be closed again afterwards.

Leeboard
Lifting foil used by a sailboat, much like a centreboard but located on the leeward side so that the leeboard is not lifted from the water when the boat heels or leans under the force of the wind.

Leech (Sailng)
A vertical edge of a square sail.

Leech (worm)
A segmented hermaphrodite worm, with a majority living in freshwater environments while others are found in terrestrial or marine environments. Most leeches are predatory feeding on other invertebrates, but are notorious for their reputaion as blood suckers. Commonly believed ... incorrectly ... to secrete an anasthetic while sucking blood. They do however secrete an anticoagulant enzyme.

Leeward Side
Side of an object sheltered from the wind.

Left over right or right over left
Rafts almost always flip side over side. If the left tube rises over the right tube, the raft is said to have flipped left over right and vice versa.

Legend
A key to the symbols or pictures in a map.

Lemon Battery
Simple battery with little use. A galvanized zinc nail (or magnesium wire) and a piece of copper inserted into a lemon and connected by wires can produce enough power to light up a LED bulb.

Lensatic Compass
A compass that has a lens at the rear end to be able to read the dial more accurately.

Lethargy
Tiredness, weariness, fatigue or lack of energy, sometimes accompanied by depression, decreased motivation or apathy. It can be a normal response to lack of sleep, overexertion, stress, lack of exercise or boredom. When part of a normal response, lethargy often resolves with rest, adequate sleep, decreased stress and good nutrition.

Lichas
Thumb length.

LID
Morse Code abbreviation meaning “Poor operator”

Life Jacket
A piece of equipment that enables the wearer to float in water. These can be either self inflatable, manually inflatable or manufactured with buoyant material to keep it afloat.

Life Raft
Small, rigid or inflatable boat for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster on a ship, or a water landing by aircraft. As per the guidelines set by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea certain emergency equipment has to be a part of every life raft.

Lifebuoy
Inflatable buoy designed to be thrown to a person in the water, to provide buoyancy and prevent drowning. Some modern lifebuoys are fitted with one or more seawater-activated lights, to aid rescue at night. Usually ring or horseshoe-shaped, it has a connecting line allowing the casualty to be pulled to safety.

LifeSaver Bottle
A proprietary water filtration device to filter objects larger than 15 nanometres. This blocks almost all bacteria and viruses thus preventing many waterborne diseases.

LifeStraw
A proprietary water filter to clean water to drink. It removes almost all waterborne bacteria and viruses. The engineering is such that water can be drunk through the LifeStraw straight from the contaminated source.

Light Year
A unit of astronomical distance equal to the distance light travels in one year, nearly 6 million million miles.

Lighter
A portable and lightweight instrument used to ignite a combustible material. For survivalists and adventurers a lighter is essential to start fires. Lighters usually comprise a case in which there is a flammable liquid and an ignition device. The ignition device could be a flint or piezoelectric crystal.

Lighthouse
A navigational aid for ships and aircraft, they are towers, buildings or other type of structure emitting light from a system of lamps and lenses. They also mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbours, etc. Their use is declining due to the use of electronic navigational systems.

Lightning
Natural short duration, high voltage electricity discharge within a single cloud, between two clouds or between a cloud and the ground, accompanied by a bright flash. The heat generated is approximately 54,000°F, six times hotter than the surface of the Sun.

Lima Charlie
NATO phonetic alphabet radio-speak for “Loud and clear”.

Lima Lima Mike Foxtrot
Radio speak for “Lost Like A Mother Fucker”.

Limpet
An aquatic snail with a conical shell with no obvious coiling.

Line-of-sight
Many communications technologies require unobstructed path between transmitter and receiver. When talking on two-way radios, it is preferred that the transmitter and receiver are in line-of-sight for better communications. Obstacles such as buildings, hills, even the curvature of the Earth obstruct line-of-sight preventing successful communications.

Lint
Short fibres that separate from the textile, garment or fabric during regular wear and tear, during processing or during washing. A concentrated collection is seen in washing machines. Makes for excellent tinder.

List
A vessel’s angle of lean or tilt to one side. Typically referred to when caused by flooding or improperly loaded or shifted cargo.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Battery
A kind of rechargeable battery type in which lithium ions move from the negative to the positive electrode during discharge and back when being charged. They are common in portable electronic devices like cell phones.

Living Bridges
In the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, tribal people have created living root bridges by training the roots of the Ficus elastica species of banyan tree across watercourses. There are examples with a span of over 170 feet. They are naturally self-renewing and self-strengthening as the component roots grow thicker and some are thought to be more than 500 years old.

Lizard
Widespread group of reptiles comprising over 6,000 species, and found across all continents except Antarctica. They have external ears and feet, many of them can detach their tails to escape predators. Most are harmless to humans, except the Komodo Dragon. Many species are edible.

LMN
Lima Mike November. Slang to indicate Lick My Nuts.

Loaded to the Gunwales
Meaning extremely drunk.

Local Apparent Noon (LAN)
It is the exact time when noon occurs at a particular location. This is the time when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky.

Long Shot
Venture involving great risk and unlikely to succeed, but offering great rewards once successful.

Longbow
A bow in which the string only touches at the ends of the limbs.

Longitude
The imaginary navigation lines joining the North and South Poles. A particular longitude is the angular distance east or west from the Prime Meridian to a particular location.

Longitude Act
It was a United Kingdom Act of Parliament passed in July 1714 that established the Board of Longitude and offered monetary rewards for anyone who could find a simple and practical method for the precise determination of a ship’s longitude.

Longitude with LAN
If one knows the GMT at the time of Local Apparent Noon or LAN at a particular location, one can calculate the time difference for it to be noon at Greenwich. The minutes of difference, divided by four provides the longitude for that location.

Longshoreman
Workers who load and unload freight from cargo ships to docks.

Loop
When a length of cordage takes a turn and crosses over itself.

Loose Cannon
An irresponsible and reckless individual whose behaviour, intended or not, endangers the group he or she belongs to.

LOS
Law of the Sea.

Loud and Clear
Used in radio communication to indicate strength of radio messages.

LPC
Leather Personnel Carriers. Slang for boots.

LPG
Liquefied petroleum gas is a flammable gas used as fuel for gas stoves and is made by mixing butane and propane.

LRRD
Linking Relief and Rehabilitation with Development.

Luff
The forward edge of a sail.

Lumber
Lumber is wood processed into beams and planks. It can be either raw of surfaced. It is used for structural purposes and for making furniture.

Lumberjack
Workers in the logging industry who cut and transported trees for further processing.

Lumens
Lumens are a measure of the amount of light from a light source visible to the human eye. The higher the lumens the brighter the source will appear. Lumens are different from Watts which is a measure of power consumption.

Luminous
Emitting or reflecting a steady, suffused or glowing light.

Lunar Eclipse
When the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow. This can occur only on a full moon night and when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned either exactly or very closely, with Earth in the middle.

Lure
Tempting a person or an animal) to do something by offering some form of reward. In fishing a lure is a type of bait that attracts fish to bite ad get snagged in the hook.

Lygophobia
Fear of darkness. Also called Myctophobia.


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  1. wilderness survival kit canada

    The term “survival kit” may also refer to the larger, transportable survival kits ready by survivalists , known as “bug-out bags” (BOBs), “Individual Emergency Relocation Kits” (PERKs) or “get out of Dodge” (Good) kits, which are packed into backpacks, or even duffel bags. These kits are developed especially to be more simply carried by the person in case alternate forms of transportation are unavailable or impossible to use.

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