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Uncle John’s Truck: A Story of Coming to Manhood in Rural America (part 3)

As soon as I was free of the crash and saw the scene, I knew someone had to be hurt, (it never really occurred to me that I was the someone who should have been hurt). I immediately reached back into my car, rummaged around in the debris until I felt the familiar canvas of my medical kit, and rushed to the Expedition that I knew had been occupied by the woman. I picked her first for two reasons. First, I knew she was of “young mother” age, and, though an Expedition is technically an SUV, for many it serves the same purpose as a mini-van, albeit a 4 wheel drive one. So I fully expected there to be a child restraint seat or two in that Expedition. I wasn’t wrong, there was a child restraint seat in the back; however, it was unoccupied.   Second, I was a little pissed at the old man in the huge pickup truck to be honest.

As it turns out, both of the other drivers were fine, and even I was fine, though I turned out to be sore as hell for about a week afterwards. Unfortunately my car was destroyed front and back.  My dad came and got me and together we followed the tow truck to the impound lot, we grabbed the plates off of the front and back, grabbed my personal gear… and left my first car in a dirty old gravel lot, crumpled and destroyed, surrounded by the corpses and skeletons of other peoples dreams and visions that had been decimated in like manner.

I don’t know what made my dad think of it, but he recalled that his sister’s husband, my Uncle John, had mentioned a few weeks earlier that he had bought a new truck and had his old one up for sale.  Uncle John is one of those guys that you want to have as a neighbor and a friend. He stands 6’7″ tall and weighs in at about 450 pounds. He’s not fat though. He’s a big solid chunk of muscle on a steel alloy frame. He used to pick up trailers and pull them to a bumper hitch while the rest of us were trying to back up and align the two. John was also the type of guy who really took good care of his things. A chainsaw, for instance, was taken apart and cleaned after use instead of being thrown haphazardly into the bed of a truck…

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Uncle John’s Truck: A Story of Coming to Manhood in Rural America (part 2)

… The car that stopped in front of me was pretty straightforward. The lady driving the heavy Ford Expedition pulled up to the stoplight and ceased all motion as planned, I followed suit, and the guy in the F350 dually – which was directly behind me – blew it!

The crunch was horrendous as everything moved in slow motion around me. I remember thinking back to every modern action movie I had ever seen, with “The Matrix” taking a predominate spot in my rumination. As the shattered glass, bits of plastic, and personal items that had been sitting in the seat beside me began to dance in strange rhythm around my head, and the ass end of that Expedition loomed menacingly in my windshield preluded by the crumpled metal that had just milliseconds before been the hood of my car, it occurred to me that I could be injured and I experienced a strange calm and quieting.

Suddenly everything sprang into motion and I could hear a horrible cacophony of sound. There were car alarms sounding, the tinkle of glass, loud honking, and the memory of that never ending thud of being battered from both ends by vehicles far larger than mine.

My first thought was for the injured. By this point in my training I had adopted the mindset of a first responder, and grabbing my medical kit from the floorboard where it had landed, I pulled the door handle on my car and threw my body weight into the door. It squeaked open grudgingly, and in a moment I was free. In my periphery, I could discern that the Expedition was driven by a young woman, mid-twenties to early thirties. The truck I had seen was driven by an older man. I had noticed this somehow as I glanced in the rearview mirror after stopping at the light, and saw that he had a dogged, determined look on his face as he barreled into the back of my car; I don’t think he even saw me or the Expedition for that matter…

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Grubs, Slugs, and Earthworms: 3 Foods You Must Not Pass By in a Survival Situation

It is with great trepidation that I relay this information to you, strictly because it is to most people, distasteful.  However, in the interest of all aspects of survival, I feel like I must share these options with you.

Before we get started, let me say this: I would only use these food sources in one scenario – well, actually two – I would eat snails grubs and earthworms if I were A: in a position of needing to move quickly and maintaining strength, (i.e.; I were being pursued),  or B: I would resort to this if I were sick or wounded and had to have quick and easy proteins.

But this article isn’t about me; it’s about a quick and easy meal that will keep you alive in the event that you are caught in a life or death situation. Trust me, if you are starving, you will eat anything including the leather from your own shoes or backpacks. So let’s talk about how to eat these easy to catch, protein rich foods. First of all, you don’t want to eat them like you find them. Just because an old bear in the woods, or a skunk can eat earthworms right out of their nest, that doesn’t mean that you can. Your digestive tract is just way too pampered to deal with all of the residuals that come with such a meal. Secondly, understand that it does you no good to get food into your mouth or belly that won’t stay there because of your retch reflex.

  1. Earthworms: These should be purged before consumption. Much like a lobster, worms have a mud-vein that is full of worm poop. Worm poop is neither tasty nor nutritious. After purging, (leaving them contained in moist leaves for a couple of days), they should be boiled aggressively for at least thirty minutes.  Eat quickly with your nose pinched shut…
  2. Slugs: These should be cooked similarly to the earthworms above; however, I would collect snails in their shell before I would slugs. They are easier to handle, and there is less of a chance to come in contact with a toxic species, (Often due to their diets). The shell also gives you an opportunity to slow down and look for contaminates.
  3. Grubs: You should boil these as well, and my advice is to watch the local animal population to determine what local grubs would better serve as food. Bears, skunks, weasel’s, and Badgers  all eat grubs. Many of these are even tasty I’m told.

Just remember, there is always risk involved with consuming unknown sources of protein, so use caution and common sense as much as possible, and if a little bit of something makes you feel ill, you certainly shouldn’t consume any more of it.

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Ricin at the White House: What you need to know

If you haven’t heard, there was recently a package sent to the White House containing Ricin, the deadly byproduct of castor oil, made with castor beans. This is reminiscent of the anthrax scare that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Ricin, you might remember, was made famous from a Breaking Bad® episode where Walter ended up killing a nemesis by poisoning her sugar substitute with… Ricin.

This was a recent article in the BBC:

A package containing ricin poison that was addressed to US President Donald Trump has been intercepted before it reached the White House, officials told US media.

The letter was discovered at a screening facility for White House mail earlier this week, the officials said.

They said a substance found inside the envelope was identified as ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans.

The Trump administration is yet to comment on the reports.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service are investigating where the package came from and whether others have been sent through the US postal system.

“At this time, there is no known threat to public safety,” the FBI told CNN in a statement on Saturday.

One official told the New York Times that investigators believe the package was sent from Canada. Reports say the presence of ricin was confirmed after tests by the FBI.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Saturday it was working with the FBI to investigate the “suspicious letter sent to the White House”.

Ricin is produced by processing castor beans. It is a lethal substance that, if swallowed, inhaled or injected, can cause nausea, vomiting, internal bleeding and ultimately organ failure.

No known antidote exists for ricin. If a person is exposed to ricin, death can take place within 36 to 72 hours, depending on the dose received, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What you need to note as a citizen survivalist is the fact that the most lethal and quick method of getting poisoned by Ricin is by breathing it. A gasmask with a filter can be a definite lifesaver if you get into a batch of Ricin.

Carnivorous Deer? What you need to know

Recent articles in several different magazines have shown a disturbing trend in the deer population. That is the act of some deer trying to eat meat. Before we go any further, let me assure you that this is no attempt at science fiction, and the articles I’m referencing are from legit publications, not from some serial thriller rag like “Bloody Detective” or anything like that.

This article, for instance, recently published in Outdoor Life™ Magazine, follows a formidable researcher who documents several instances of deer evolving from herbivores to carnivores, a behavior that has never been documented before. That’s not saying that this behavior has not been replicated before; on the contrary, it could very well be a common practice among the deer population to consume proteins in whatever forms they can find them if driven by sheer hunger. However, consider then the fact that some deer have been documented consuming humans in the wild.  Recently, National Geographic published a story revealing that trail cam footage of a human cadaver placed in the wilds for experimental purposes was actually partially consumed by a young deer during a time when heavy foliage wasn’t covered by a plethora of snow.

As alarming as this might seem at first glance, one thing to note is the fact that in the Natgeo article, the deer is only noted as actually consuming a rib from the human body. One of the reasons for this, obviously, is because of the high calcium content coupled with the fact that rib bones are fairly soft and pliable, especially on the ends.

In any event, I don’t think we are yet to the place where it is necessary to carry “deer spray” while out hunting like it is in some areas to carry bear spray.  However, those days might not be far off.

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Squirrels n Such: 3 Reasons to Depend on Small Game in an Emergency

If you are a fan of old western movies, then you’ll remember the line in The Outlaw Josey Wales where one of the members of the cavalry unit, who is surrendering after the war, is told to turn in his rifle along with his two horse pistols. With a look of sheer unbelief he says to the Union officer: “I’ll be needin this… fer squirrels n such”. 

Needless to say, beyond great scope and setting, there was a lot of wisdom in that narrative. Because the truth of the matter is that rodentia are a viable means of food across the world.  The Rodentia includes beavers, muskrats, porcupines, woodchucks, chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs, marmots, chinchillas, voles, lemmings, and many others. What’s not included, (but should be noted), is that rabbits aren’t included as a member of the rodentia family, though they are rodent like in their mannerisms and they make an excellent source of protein for quickly gotten meals. 

So with that understanding, here are three important things to note about survival in a hostile environment.

  1. Food sources need to be obtained quickly. They also need to be easily prepared and discarded and then replaced quickly as well. This means that if you’re on the move you won’t have the time to prepare and deal with a large mammal such as a deer, an elk, or a bear. These food sources need to be killed easily, cooked quickly and evidence of their presence discarded easily.
  2. Small animals such as squirrels and rabbits take very little time to prepare. Not only can a small mammal be captured and killed efficiently, they can literally be cooked on the run. Even if using the meat as a base for a stew to feed an entourage or a small team or family, the cooking of the ingredients or the parboiling of the meat is easily achieved on the move.
  3. Small animals can be collected passively. Unlike deer or other large game, small game can be trapped while you sleep or pursue other endeavors, (yes, I know large game can be trapped as well, but not easily or quickly for that matter).  Simple knowledge of a trigger snare or a simple figure four trap can produce lots of small game in a very short period of time if set correctly.
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That Coming Storm: 3 Re-purposing Rules in the Event of a Global Pandemic

If you have been paying attention, then it is likely that you have seen more troubling times right now than you have ever experienced before; that is most of you.  Many of the rest of you have been through far worse and will know all about the topic which I have chosen to cover today.

The topic that I wish to cover is that of re-purposing abandoned or discarded equipment and properties for your own use. Now let me make clear that I am not talking about stealing anything. I am talking about picking up, (or inhabiting), a property or item that someone else has lost their need for, either through death or other circumstances beyond their control.

This re-purposing includes the use of military surplus equipment of course; however, it is not in any way limited to such. The fact of the matter is that humans come and go, and they have for years. It was a common occurrence for settlers of the Americas to move into an area and take over a farmstead that had been abandoned by it’s prior inhabitants. Even as late as the early part of this century, (and even still in Alaska), it was a common practice to stay in cabins that others had left, (either permanently or temporarily).

However, at least in regard to re-purposing an abandoned house or building, here are three things you should always consider.

  1. Don’t keep it (too) nice. Nobody like weeds and disrepair, but keep in mind that in the event of a nationwide period of lawlessness, others are going to want what you have for their own use. On the same token, there will be many who will be looking for what you were looking for: something no one else is using. Therefore my advice would be to make it low-key, but leave enough evidence to others that it is being used on closer inspection. Hopefully, those interested then in usury will not pay it close attention, while others will see it’s unavailable.
  2. Don’t stay too long. In the event of an emergency, you’re better off to keep moving.
  3. Be cognizant of the fact that the original owner might be coming back; if he does, govern yourself accordingly.

 

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A time for reflection: 3 things you can do to prepare for self sustenance

In this crazy time it is important that you be prepared to not be dependent on others for the needs in your life. Beyond binge watching old episodes of Little House on the Prairie and Survivorman, there are a few things you need to do to be ready for living without a support structure.

  1. Learn the sacred order of survival. Those are water, shelter, fire, and food respectively. When I say learn them, I don’t mean memorize. By learn I mean that you should come up with a method of acquiring these things. There are lots of great resources for learning survival. One of my favorites is the series put forth by Tom Brown Jr., (Tracker inc). Tom puts survival in layman’s terms and takes the concept of the Peterson field guides to another level.
  2. Learn home medicine. Before modern society became so overbearing, people doctored themselves and tended to their own survival. As a culture we have grown away fro that tendency and though it has served us fine, (for about eighty years or so), this modern pandemic has shown that government, with all of it’s bark and bravado, is ill-equipped to actually be helpful in the event of an emergency without being self-serving. There are excellent options available to learn medicinal herbs and concepts. Tom Brown Jr., (of course), has an excellent field guide to medicinal herbs. He also teaches it at his standard course,  (A lady named Wendy taught it in the 1980’s when I went through). But you might also want to invest in a set of Foxfire books if you can find them. Mother Earth News is also a good reference and old copies can be readily purchased on ebay.
  3. Lastly, you need to learn warfare on some level. It should not be a secret to you that if you have resources in a post-apocalyptic world, others will want them… you must be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones who depend on you.
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Combatting Covid 19; 3 things you must do from a warriors perspective

After the tenth or eleventh time some nine year old skateboarding girl killed me in a game of World of Warcraft™, I decided that enough is enough.

I have been in lockdown, you see. I don’t know why I have been in lockdown, it is not me who falls into the susceptible class of individual who is likely to die from a Covid 19 infection. I mean, I am turning fifty this year; however, I keep myself fit by running and lifting weights and to be quite honest I am a bit of a masochist anyway. I am one of those rare individuals who enjoys having a surgery done and who gets a kick out of the recovery process. I recently had a rotator cuff repaired and the challenges I faced in the 10 weeks of recovery were high times.

Along the same lines, though I do not necessarily want to be infected by Covid 19, I certainly don’t fear it. I never expected to live forever anyway and have been in many situations where I expected the sudden thud and tug of a bullet to be the last sensation I would experience as I shed this mortal coil and traversed onto bigger and better things. To be honest, even if the afterlife were to hold nothing more engaging than the act of being transformed from organic matter into a bear turd, (Timothy Treadwell), it would certainly beat getting my ass repeatedly kicked in World of Warcraft™ by some 10 year old girl.

And so, as I said, I decided that enough is enough. I have been social distancing for two reasons. The first and most important is the fact that I hang around some old codgers who are susceptible and I wouldn’t want to get them sick; secondly, I don’t like being around people all that much anyway.  But I have found myself getting lazy and soft, and so I came up with three things we must do during this pandemic to get ourselves prepared for seeing it to the end.

  1. Get back to the basics. I mean this on a deeper level than the simple act of buying more mason jars or extending your garden. Get back to your roots as a hunter gatherer. These are the most basic of skillsets that allow the survivalist to subsist indefinitely with nothing more than good information and a field of adequate rocks. A good guide to follow is the teachings of Tom Brown Jr. (Ol Tracker® hisself). Though possibly not in print anymore, Tom’s books can easily be found in the library and on ebay; and he has a plethora of videos on Youtube, AND a school in Asbury New Jersey. The skills you can learn from Tom are second to none and I can’t recommend him highly enough.
  2. Stay in shape. Though I have developed great finger dexterity by playing World of Warcraft™ so much, the rest of my body has gone a bit to flab over the last couple of months. Get that ass out of that chair and go work out!
  3. Stay close to God. Most of the men and women I know who are survivalists or warriors, (often the two correlate it seems), have a strong faith in God the Father, if that is who you are, make sure that you take the time to spend with him that he is entitled to so that your faith doesn’t wane.

Mr. X, survivalist

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COVID19: Using Military Surplus to Keep Your Family Safe

If you are a world inhabitant, then you have likely been affected in some way by this new pandemic, the Corona Virus: COVID19. The current fad nationwide is to wear a surgical mask, because the way that this virus is transmitted, mostly, is by getting it on your hands and then touching your nose and mouth, and thereby transferring it to your respiratory tract where it can cause all sorts of havoc and even lead to your death.

While the use of a paper or light cloth mask is better than not using anything, consider the fact that muscle memory is a powerful thing. It is inherent to the Pavlovian theory of conditioned response, and is even relevant in cases where you are either unconscious or asleep.

A simple paper barrier is easily manipulated in the event that you have an itch or sensation in your sensitive E.N.T. tract. The fact of the matter is that you will only be truly safe from inadvertent infection if you are able to establish a significant barrier to your respiratory tract that cannot be easily traversed. On the same token you have to be able to respirate.

Though it’s not exactly designed for such a measure, consider then the advantages to using a military grade gas mask to prevent becoming infected by this troublesome virus. If you observe what the professionals use when they are trying not to be contaminated, you see that they often wear a head to toe PPE kit with, you guessed it, a cranial containment apparatus that separates the respiratory system from the environment.

You can achieve the same effect without breaking the bank or having to re-invest in volatile equipment. A military gas mask is easily sanitized and can be re-used indefinitely. There are millions in existence right now, worldwide.

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