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Happy Memorial Day; 3 places you must go if you’re a vet this weekend

As hard as it is to believe, it’s that time of the year again and Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. That means many things to many people. If you were part of the greatest generation then you will reminisce about the great struggle of WWII and ponder upon some of the miraculous outcomes from it.  The restoration of Israel as a nation for instance, or the rise of The United States  to be the greatest world power.

Perhaps though you are too young to be affected emotionally by such things. If that is the case then you are still most likely influenced by a loved one or friend for whom this day holds honor. And if you are a veteran then this day holds special meaning for you, as well it should. Because you are one of the heros for whom this day holds meaning for the rest of us. Here then are thre places you can go this weekend just because of who you are and what you have done… Enjoy!

  1. Blue Star Museums. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. See the map below or select from the list of states for museums that are participating in the Blue Star Museums 2018 summer season.
  2. Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is the name of two amusement parks in the United States, owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment. The original park is in Tampa, Florida, and the second park is in Williamsburg, Virginia.

      3. California’s Great America. Roller coasters, live shows, amusement park food favorites and a water            park. Satisfy your craving for thrilling rides on coasters such as Demon, Flight Deck or Gold                        Striker,  the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern Cali, with high speed turns, twists           and drops at speeds of up to 54 miles per hour. Coming in 2018, blaze a new path on RailBlazer, the           west coast’s only single-rail steel roller coaster with a 90 degree initial descent and three inversions.           For those with families with younger children, Planet Snoopy offers pint sized thrills that the kids               will love. everyone has used up most of their energy, time to head over to Boomerang Bay for a cool           down by the lagoon or hop on a tube and lounge on down the long and lazy river. In the end, this               amusement and water park has everything needed for a great day of fun right here in beautiful                     California!

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Zippo Fire Kit: 2 reasons you can’t live without this kit

Everyone’s familiar with Zippo for their top notch, refillable lighters, but that’s not their only fire making item. Recently I came across a device that Zippo has introduced as a survival item, the Emergency Fire Kit. This comes in a waterproof  tube made of plastic, which makes it light enough to float in water. The kit also comes with five tinder balls that can catch a spark, wet or dry, and burn for five minutes a piece.

This is a great little addition to your survival kit; however it is a bit “gimmicky” if you ordinarily carry a lighter with you as a smoker. Where it isn’t gimmicky and becomes vital however, is for those instances when you need an extra edge to get a fire going. Here are two reasons that you really need one of this in your survival kit.

  1. When it is raining. If you’ve never tried to start a fire in the rain then you don’t know the misery of trying to hunch under a ledge somewhere, trying to stay out of the torrent, while you clasp a scratchy wet birds-nest in the hollow of your armpit trying to get it dry enough to combust from your body heat. This little kit comes with five combustable pellets that are infused with accelerant and fuel.
  2. In the event of a fall in the water during cold weather. If you’ve never soaked your lighter in the cold, you don’t know what fear is. I’ve had to start a fire with a shredded knot of tinder and a piece of flint, striking off of the back of my bowie with shaking fingers and knocking knees before finally catching a spark and gaining a life saving flame. Trust me when I tell you, that experience isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds…
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Hunting Season 2018: 3 reasons to learn to do things the old way

 

By: Mr. X, Survivalist

Today I want to talk to you about hunting, and not just hunting, but hunting with a black powder rifle; and not only hunting with a black powder rifle, but hunting with a black powder rifle that you have built yourself! The first black powder gun that I ever owned came in the form of a Connecticut Valley Arms .36 Navy Revolver kit that my dad bought for me at the the local VAL store.

I can remember opening this styrofoam box and finding chunks of raw white metal, roughly milled bronze, and chipped wood that loosely resembled the parts of a gun and which required six months of TLC to form a working firearm from. The end result was hours of shooting fun and the exhibition of God’s love and mercy in the form of his preventing me from actually killing myself. Years later when I received the above pictured .54 Thompson Center Hawken Rifle, the two made a complimentary pair of primitive weaponry that accompanied me on many youthful forays into the wilderness. These kits can still be had and the adventure still relived from places such as Dixie Gun Works, a catalog from which can be easily found online. Here are three really good reasons to learn to hunt with primitive weapons.

  1. You only get one shot. You’d be surprised at how much more cautious it makes you when you only get a chance to shoot once and then go through a three step process to reload. I can remember shooting for hours with my muzzleloader and only just getting it sighted in. You really learn to appreciate your shot.
  2. You can really improvise your ammunition. With a muzzleloader you don’t have to be a chemist to learn how to get black powder, it can actually be made in the wilds with the right substances. Ok, being a chemist would help immensely but it isn’t necessary.
  3. There is less chance of accidental discharge. Since the cartridges are actually broken down to three different components, the chance of accidental discharge is slim, especially since it’s obvious if it’s loaded or not.
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Survival 101: 3 ways to make your own knives

Two handmade knives constructed from re-purposed materials

If you are reading this the chances are that you are the type of person who is self sufficient and who wants to do things on your own.

I am the same way and am even self sufficient to the point that I make my own knives.  Though I am a big fan of shows such as “Forged in Fire“, I actually learned to hand forge and craft my blades from a American Blade Smith, (ABS), certified knife-maker.

The good news is that if you want to learn how to make your own knives, you don’t have to set up an apprenticeship for yourself, there are lots of resources available to you that will allow you to easily learn some simple ways of making your own knives.

Here are three methods that you can use to make your own knives for both survival and utility use. These are just concepts. The scope of this blog is too narrow to allow for the intricacies of techniques involved; however, these will give you some research direction if you are interested in pursuing these ideas.

(1). Forging and grinding. We forge first so that we don’t have to grind so much. Plain and simple, the easiest way to shape your steel is to get it pliable and hammer it in. This type of blade can usually be finished by hand with files and sandpaper and don’t actually require a grinder.

(2). Hollow grinding. This is a different form of bladesmithing that usually involves just grinding to shape the blade you want from a piece of steel. The blade angle in a hollow ground knife is very different from the blade angle in a forged knife usually, it is less tapered.

(3). Flint napping. This is the lowest form of knife-making but is the best to be known for survival situations.  Basically you take rocks to make the knives you need to use as tools.

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Survival 101: 2 things you should never eat in the wilds

Consider this, years ago when I attended tracker school, I remember being told that I could eat anything I could catch in the woods during a survival situation. And for years I thought that was right. However, I have recently become enlightened concerning several animals that you should never eat because the risk of catching sickness from them is just too great.

Here are two critters you should leave be if you are hungry in the woods.

  1. Turtles. Though I have eaten many snapping turtles over the years, I am told that box turtles or other turtles are a bad choice as consumables because they are full of salmonella. I personally have never even been tempted to try to eat a box turtle, but point taken, if it ever comes down to it I will refrain from consuming such bounty, just on the off-chance that they are carriers of bacteria.

 

 2. Buzzards and other carrion eaters. I haven’t ever been interested in trying these either, but I have had ample opportunity to. These things lurk around the wilderness with a confident sulkiness that certainly would make them easy prey if you were so inclined to try to take them as game; however, this sulkiness may very well be a result of their knowing that they are inedible. They are in fact, a protected species and it would therefore be illegal to take them anyway. But beyond that it is said that since they eat refuse they are carriers of disease anyway and are thus not fit for consumption themselves. The truth of the matter is there is plenty to eat in a survival situation without having to rely on these two choice morsels. For the sake of friends, family, and those members of your party who are dependent on you, it’s probably best to stick with those known sources of protein.

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Honeysuckle: 2 reasons you must learn about nature’s treat

When I was a little boy running around my grandpap’s farm, some of my fondest memories came from learning from Grandpa and Grandma how to live off of the land.

They taught me many things about farm life and wilderness survival, having both lived through the Depression in Gobbler’s Knob, Kentucky… (Seriously)!

One of the things my grandma taught was one of nature’s simple little sugary treats, the dewdrop of nectar that can be ha from a Honeysuckle flower.

Now, don’t be surprised when you go to gather honeysuckle flowers, if you find it necessary to compete with any manner of bee-folk who will busily be buzzing around trying to gather sap themselves. Try to avoid the bees because if they sting you they will die, (usually because you slap the hell out of them), but sometimes because they are the type that gut themselves by using their stinger.

Here are two reason’s you should learn how to gather the drops of sap from these flowers:

  1. Because they are delicious. Though not much in quantity, these flowers are high in quality and the sweet droplets make a welcome respite when in a survival situation.
  2. Because they make a delicious and refreshing tea.  Simply take a pitcher of water, soak 25-30 flowers in it in the sunshine for 6-8 hours. The sun will brew the flowers into a crisp and refreshing sweet tea if you can get it cold, (a two hour dip in the creek will do it), but if you try to drink it warm you probably won’t like it much… at least I don’t.

I almost forgot to share the technique to enjoy the dewdrops of nectar straight from the flower. Simply pinch the petals between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, and pull the pistil out slowly with the other. The drops will appear on the end of the petals as the pistil is withdrawn… simply apply gently to the tongue for maximum effect.

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4 must do tips for varmints

As spring blooms upon us, so does the annual varmint hunts. I speak of course of the wanton shooting of groundhogs, prairie dogs, muskrats, coyotes, field mice, rats, possums, skunks, moles, and other such vermin as are legal to hunt and fun to shoot. I purposely failed to mention either wild dogs or feral cats for obvious reasons that will become apparent as you  read further into this post.

Many people love to hunt varmints for various reasons ranging from target practice to revenge. These creatures are destructive by their very nature, and as such have made bitter enemies with mankind. There is the quandary however, of what exactly to do with varmints after you have successfully hunted them. Here are 4 ways to justify varmint hunts.

  1. Eat them. This is not as nasty as it may sound with the exception of maybe the coyotes and skunks. Muskrat and possum are very tasty if cooked right and both have a very dark, fatty meat. Groundhogs, prairie dogs, mice etc… are good eaters too, and are especially good cooked over an open fire.
  2. Sell them. Ok, you’re going to ask: “who the hell would buy a dead woodchuck?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Most taxidermists will put them to good use for you, They may not give you much if anything, but the hides are useful for taxidermy pieces.
  3. Skin them. Though the fur isn’t worth much anymore, the skins can be used for all manner of crafts and especially for traditional fly tying. There are lots of “outdoorsy types” who will purchase fur and skins for their own nefarious purposes.
  4. Make your own dog food. Why not buy a grinder especially for you K9 friends and grind the flesh and bones of these various varmints, (as well as a few road kill deer), to make a healthy, natural food source? It is more fitting for their digestive tracts than kibbles, and cheaper as well.
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4 survival lessons you must learn from the Bible

As the world grows more dangerous in the form of terrorist attacks, wars, widespread violence, and the eruption of superpower conflict, it becomes apparent that the temporary reprieve that this nation had acquired after WWII is coming to an end, and we may indeed be all thrown in to new conflicts that require us as individuals and clans to withstand the oppression of others. The safety and freedom that we enjoy is not common to the world, and has not been the norm throughout history.  Take for instance, the history of the Jews of the Bible. A tiny race of people who have not only survived through the harshest of conflicts, but who have thrived.  It could argued that they have done so through the grace of God, and while this may be so, here are five strategies that you can use to increase your chances of survival should the bottom drop out from under you:

  1. When the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. (Deuteronomy 7:2)  This one goes without saying, If you want to survive you must eradicate those who have chosen to oppose you. God told the Israelis to wipe their enemies out completely because he knew there would be no making peace with them. A point that has been proven repeatedly over the years.
  2. Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. (Deuteronomy 14:21) Great advice in a survival situation. Who knows the implications of consuming meat from an animal that died of causes unbeknownst to you? However, why let that commodity go to waste when it could be put to use as barter material.
  3. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:14). This is a great piece of advice too. Leave no clues behind for your enemies to find and decipher information from, and exercise cleanliness in your camp as an attempt to combat disease and to cut down on the bacterial discharge of composting materials.
  4. Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. (Deuteronomy 23:19) Another way of saying this is to treat your friends as close confidants and associates. Do not let them become just another business associate, lest they see the relationship as simply one of profit, and seek their commitments elsewhere.
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Military surplus equipment: 3 reasons you must be an outdoorsman

In these days and times, it has become more and more important to get off of the couch or out of the easychair. This is for many reasons. As in the days of Hemingway, the world has become a scary place and disorder and war is the commonplace. We had a time of peace and prosperity that has lasted a little more than fifty years, and now it is starting to heat up again.

Prior to and immediately after WWII, nearly everyone knew how to grow a garden, dress game, clean fish. This isn’t so much the case anymore and this generation would much rather scan Google on their iphone than they would scan the horizon for signs of wild game.

The problem with this is the fact that if TSHTF, you can’t eat that iphone. The good news is that we are not so far removed just yet from our roots that we can’t get back there fairly easily. So, here are three reasons you need to get back to nature and become an outdoorsman, three reasons that is if you want to be prepared to survive any form of apocalypse.

  1. It will keep you fit. One of the truest aspects of survival is the concept of survival of the fittest. Basically the fastest, strongest, most adept will get the resources over the one who is slower, slovenly, or weak. Plus, keeping fit is conducive with better health as well.
  2. It will help you learn to find food in the wilderness. Good hunting and fishing skills are akin to survival as well. It is a very small adjustment mentally to go from hunting mode to survival mode.
  3. It will give you confidence in times of trouble. Most people die of panic in survival situations. People have been found dead from exposure and starvation lost in the woods with lighters in their pockets while carrying rifles fully loaded. That only happens when you are not in the right frame of mind for survival.
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Wilderness photography: tools to take it to the next level

If you are an adventurer, survivalist, hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman, prepper or any other form of military surplus equipment connoisseur, then you are probably a photographer as well, at least on some level. Photography is my passion. I am an avid hunter and outdoorsman; however, in this day and time I have traded in my rifles and bows for cameras.

Not that I have anything against hunting, I still will if and when the need arises, but in the meantime I prefer to keep my skills sharp by  taking photographs of the animals that I like to hunt and eat. I have found that it is less expensive in the fact that I don’t have to pay Big Brother for the privilege of shooting deer with a camera, (not yet at least). There are several plusses to shooting with a camera as opposed to using a rifle; if I accidentally shoot my buddy, it’s no big deal. Me and my buddy can each shoot the same deer, (several times), and if I happen to see the game warden sashaying down the trail, my guts don’t turn to jelly…

But that’s not the purpose of this blog, I want to turn you on to a great little invention that I have recently stumbled upon that has taken my wilderness photography to an entirely new level, that is the window based camera mount. I discovered this at my local outdoor outfitters store and couldn’t buy it quickly enough.

Now I don’t need to scramble for a camera when I see a sasquatch hunting feral pigs in a wooded meadow, or a fox squirrel riding a blue heron as it flies around Acton Lake… no, from now on I have my camera mounted to my driver’s window and merely have to turn it on and focus as best I can.  This thing is even designed to offer one handle operation for tilt and swivel.

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