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Running missions: 3 reasons you should keep an item of faith with you

If you are the type of rugged individual who enjoys the use of military surplus tents and equipment, (and it’s obvious you are or you likely wouldn’t be reading this), then you know what it’s like to run a mission.

And since the last installment was about the legendary Case™ trapper style pocket knife, I wanted to play off of that line of thought this week and talk about my personal Case™ trapper and explain why it has significance and what three very important reasons are that I carry this particular knife.  My particular Case™ knife has an excerpt from The Lord’s Prayer engraved on it’s white bone handle. This knife goes in my pocket everywhere I go and there is a distinct reason I carry this knife.

For those of you who were Ernest Hemingway fans, perhaps you will remember that he always had a good luck piece on him. Now, in his case the lucky piece changed regularly because he was prone to losing them. I personally don’t carry mine for good luck. I don’t believe in luck for one thing. I’m a man of faith who believes in the God of the Bible, and I carry mine instead as a connection between me and my Maker. Here are three reasons why I carry the blade I do, and why you should keep an item of faith on you as well.

  1. It gives me courage. If you believe in God, then you know that he is an ever-present help in times of danger. I have seen many people draw bravery from religious artifacts over the years, everything from Stars of David to St. Michael medals.
  2. It keeps me focused. When things are spinning fast and I feel like my mind is going ten thousand different directions a second, a brief pat of my palm on my left trouser pocket brings a feel of that familiar bundle that connects me to the Lord. That touch is often enough to get me focused.
  3. With it I’m always armed. I used to work in a maximum security prison, and I’ve seen dudes get killed with soup spoons sharpened on a concrete window sill. I know how much damage I can do with a knife of that caliber.
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Survival essentials: 3 reasons to keep a Case Trapper with you… no matter what

I have been a survivor all of my life, but I became a survivalist in 1987 when I took the Standard Course with the Old Tracker himself, Tom Brown Jr.

One of the things I had learned long before ever taking my first survival course was the importance of having a knife in your pocket. I grew up on a horse farm that also had a working herd of black angus cattle. My father, an old time cowboy, used to carry a pearl handled Solingen Cutlery stockman’s knife in his front right pocket which he used for everything from farm/ranch work, to entertainment. He even had one of the four blades on his full size stockman reserved for eating. He called it his apple blade. It didn’t escape my attention that the “apple blade” was also the preferred utility for cleaning the grit from under his fingernails when sitting around the stables at night after working horses.

We all know how important it is to have a good survival knife in your kit when on an expedition. However, you need to ask yourself how often the likelihood might arise for you to be thrown into an unforeseen circumstance where you won’t have time or opportunity to grab a kit bag, but will be forced to go with just what you have in your pocket. That’s why I always carry a Case™  brand trapper pocket knife. There are many companies that make these knives, however, few companies make them as well as Case™ does. Here are three reasons to keep a Case™ trapper in your pockets at all times.

  1. It has two blades. One is known as a clip point utility blade which comes in handy whenever you come across something that needs stabbed through… your belt for instance, if you lose weight and it needs to be tightened by making new holes. And lastly, the “spey” blade, which gained it’s name from the design which works perfectly for castrating livestock. It is also good for skinning by not having a sharp point that will slit your hide as you are skinning your game.
  2. It is well crafted. You might find other trapper style knives, but you won’t find one that is as well made as the Case™ brand. It is made to last and will hod up to the hardest abuse. There’s a reason you don’t find any cheap used ones on eBay.
  3. It has a lifetime warranty. If you manage to break this thing through normal use, you can get it replaced at no charge. Yet another reason you don’t find cheap used ones anywhere.
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Apocalypse survival: 3 must have critters for the coming storm

If you have been watching the news at all lately, then you are aware that the nation and even the world are on the precipice of volatility.

Therefore, it would behoove you to be prepared for any upcoming problems and you don’t even really have to change your lifestyle much.

The fact of the matter is that as a species, on the whole, humans are highly dependent on animals. Not only do we eat them, we are also dependent on them in other ways. So, taking that in mind, here are three animals that you must have right now to function in a coming crisis.

  1. A really good dog. Pictured here is an Australian Blue Heeler Cattle Dog. These are my favorite picks as a survival dog for many reasons. First they are full of energy and very smart. Next they are easily trained and very loyal. Lastly they are herders by nature, and not only will they defend your pack, (family), but they will control and corral other animals as well. (There’s no telling what you might wake up and find in your camp in the morning).
  2. A sheep or a goat. Not only can these things live on nearly anything, but they are meat in hard times, and milk and heat in better times. You’ve heard I’m sure of a “three dog night”, one in which it was so cold that you need three dogs in bed with you to stay warm, well the going consensus is that a three dog night is equal to a one got night, or a half sheep night.
  3. Some chickens. Chickens are great for many things. Not only do they offer food in the form of meat and eggs, but they offer feathers for warmth and crafts, and they make excellent alarms for more than just the crack of dawn. They will shriek and raise hell whenever confronted by any predator.
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4 military surplus items you can use every day

I am a connoisseur of all things military. I absolutely love to go to the military surplus store and buy any and everything I can get my grubs on; however, most of these things end up getting pushed into my shed or garage, and forgotten about.

Now I’m not talking about the bug things, like my military surplus tent, or the humvee that was sold because it didn’t meet military standards anymore. Those of course have their uses, but today I want to talk specifically about those pieces of military surplus that you can and should use every single day.

Here are four specific items, (and where to get them), that I use every single day.

  1. A military surplus web belt. The good news is that khaki goes with everything. And if you are at all like me, then you need to wear a belt everywhere you go regardless of whether you are in BDUs or not. (If for no other reason than to anchor your inside the pants holster appropriately).
  2. A military surplus backpack with frame. I love MOLLE gear. You can do anything you want with that stuff, and I use my pack in place of luggage and a purse. Not that I ever carried a purse, but the concept is sound.
  3. A camelbak hydration pack. In case you haven’t noticed, you have a tendency to drink water everyday. And the beauty of one of these packs is that you can mix your tea, or add a squirt of MIO to your water in this pack and have it with you wherever you go. No need to use the cupholder in your car, etc…
  4. GI combat harness. I’m a photographer and a survivalist. I always have the need to have a piece of equipment handy in order to perform whatever function is at hand.
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Pandemic Flu: 3 things you should always think about

Pandemic flu is the next apocalypse

If you are a survivalist, prepper, concerned parent, or just a crusty old veteran of this human race, then you have probably been indoctrinated into the concept of human tragedy and world destruction. It is a common theme from many different sources of history, primarily because it has been a problem in the past.

As survivalists, we all realize on some level that we are terminal in our existence. What that means is that we are all going to die at some point. Bad thoughts, I know, but true. The difference between us and others is that as survivalists we will do everything we can to fight and scratch our way into an extension of our existence. This is the same mentality that others before us had and which we all hope to convey to our offspring. So here are three things you need to keep in mind in relation to surviving the coming apocalypse wether it comes in the form of the flu or something else.

Stay away from people. As the Ol Tracker has said in the video that I linked here for you to peruse, people are going to be the conveying device of any pandemic which accosts the population. Just as in the days of old, the “sheeple” who make up the herd are the ones who will bring down the herd, some of them with their very breath… it is those of us who stand outside the herd, the strays, that will escape this calamity.

Watch the news. In other words, PAY ATTENTION! You shouldn’t be such a hermit that destruction creeps upon you while you are completely unaware. Watch the news, read the paper, get on YouTube on your phone, but don’t let the pandemic catch you at unawares.

Get prepared. What I mean of course is get supplied right now. Shelter, water, fire, and food are what you HAVE to have to survive according to the Old Tracker, TBJ himself. Get supplied with those elements right now so that you don’t have to scramble WTSHTF.

 

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Bees Please! 3 reasons you should keep bees if you’re a survivalist

If you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit series then you are probably especially fond of the scene where the Party gets to stay with Beorn. Beorn was likely a Norseman; a shifter, (Gandalf had seen him sitting alone on the top of a mountain – in bear form – reminiscing of times past), a vegetarian, a friend of the animals, a keeper of bees.  And it was here that the party was permitted to eat of the finest honey and cream that any loaf of bread had ever been slathered with.

Just the description of that fare when I was a child, reading this series in the hay mow of my dad’s old cow barn, sent my mind to spinning and my stomach to churning for the creamy sweetness that such a delicacy would construe. Alas I never found the exact combination of Tolkien’s imagination, at least not to the level that my own pondering dictated; however, I did get mighty close on occasion. Those occasions always included the obtaining the honey from a local bee farm and my grandma churning up a batch of what she called “cow salve butter”… at least that’s what I think it was called.

But, as usual, I digress…

We are here to discuss the implements of survival, and most importantly SHTF survival. Here then are three reasons to be a beekeeper if the economy falls.

  1. Honey is a great source of nutrients and energy. Calories and energy are supremely important in a survival situation, and this substance is perfect for giving you that burst of energy that you might need to rise to almost any occasion.
  2.  Honey farming is done by one of the most key elements of survival… letting someone else do all the work. This is a prime example of getting something for nothing, kind of. You still have to tend and care for your bees, protect them, provide for them etc.
  3. Honey is a great barter item. Remember, if TSHTF, there will not be the possibility of being able to buy goods with money. You will want to have ample amounts of much needed items in order to trade.
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Survival 101: 3 things you must consider when hunting with a throwing stick

By: Mr. X, survivalist

As we stood facing the long line of upended pieces of firewood – all set neatly in a row on top of the railroad tie which was itself suspended between two short fence posts buried deeply in the ground – I remember thinking again that this is stupid.

We were learning throwing stick from the Old Tracker himself, Tom Brown Jr. An avowed hunter and outdoorsman, I can remember thinking at the time that this was a ridiculous endeavor, because no animal was ever going to just sit still and let you hit it with a stick… ridiculous! Except, here I am decades later and I can assure you that hunting with a stick is completely do-able.  The trick lies in two areas; 1. slow down, and 2. move fast.

I know, a contradictory in terms right? Well, not really, because to be a successful throwing stick hunter you have to master both concepts. The nuances to hunting with a throwing stick are in-depth, and I will not be able to cover a lifetime of learning in such a short article, but I can give you the three main concepts right here, right now!

  1. Slow Down. You have to stalk to be able to hunt with a throwing stick. The real trick is to create an environment that triggers the instinct to freeze and blend in to the surroundings. It is this freezing in place that gives you the opportunity to throw your stick, otherwise you have to really hone those skills to be able to hit the animal once the flight instinct has set in.
  2. Move fast. When you are within striking distance, you must be able to throw the stick faster than the creature can flee for it’s life.  This takes being able to go from a non-threatening pose to a deadly one in much less than a second. To  really do this effectively you must learn to “cock” your throwing arm while still stalking because any threatening gesture will trigger the flight response, and animals, it appears, do have at least a minimal understanding of the basic concepts of physics.
  3. Throw True. The trick to effectively using a throwing stick lies in the same skillset necessary to effectively throw a tomahawk, but on a horizontal plane as opposed to a vertical one. (The exception would be if you are throwing at a squirrel on the side of a tree or something similar).

 

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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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The Military Surplus Store, several reasons you need to shop there

The government warehouses are full of treasure and buying surplus military clothing and equipment is the way to mine it. Though the days of the battle ridden surplus of World War Two and Korea are gone, many can still recall the joy of sifting for hours through piles of olive drab. Treasures back then were different than they are today.  A long bayonet, canvas .45 holster, or a metal canteen – often replete with a bullet hole or two – could set both man and boy aglimmer with excitement at the prospect of a world at war. The bullet riddled items scarcely cost much more than the ones that could actually be used but they were always the first to be snatched up.  Old Colt .45’s and Tommy Guns with thirty round magazines could be found next to Springfield 1903’s and M1 Garand’s, all silent after having barked their destruction into the mass of an invading army. There was so much equipment left after WWII that the government had a rough time getting rid of it.

The world moved on and the rules have changed. You can’t buy old flamethrowers and weaponry as surplus anymore but that does not mean that there aren’t treasures galore to be had in the new piles of military surplus gear and equipment. Today’s market isn’t restricted to USA surplus either. European military surplus has been made available to the masses, as has Russian, German, and Israeli.  A trip to your local surplus store can reveal almost anything. Of course you buy camo pants and shirts, but did you know that you could possibly find a BPS, (military jargon for a big plastic shoppingcart)? Was your father or other family member in the armed forces during a conflict? Quite often you can find unit insignia and period surplus uniforms which match those that he, she, or they wore during their service.

There are many practical civilian uses for military surplus items. Old document cases and shoulder packs make excellent ipad cases. Modern day hunters who like to shoot primitive weapons such as black powder rifles will be well pleased with a military bread bag to use as a “possibles bag” for quick at hand shooting supplies. Two bread bags would be an ultimate for dove hunters, one to hold shells and the other to hold birds. Military surplus makes a great medium for artist and upcyclers as well. Consider upcycler Jake Wright who makes beautiful furniture from decommissioned, upcycled military surplus; while others find surplus gear and accessories useful as an artistic  medium for a memorial day war display.

No matter what your needs are you won’t find equipment and gear more rugged or well crafted

Than that used by the military.    You won’t find a better value for your money either, as some statistics show that military surplus usually sells at 1 – 2% of its commercial value.1 So if you are a hunter, outdoorsman, picker, artist, upcycler, war buff, or collector, make sure you check your local surplus store. You just might be surprised by what you find.

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BIG CITY PREPPING: 3 THINGS YOU SHOULD PREPARE FOR

If you are at all like me, then the worst thing that you can ever find yourself doing is going to a big city. I am not joking when I say that I’d rather be poked in the eye with a stick… not a sharp stick, than to go to the big city. The reason is that it is just so full of people. I, as a survivalist, see other people as competition for resources. Unfortunately there are many times that I have to go to the city for business, taking the wife to a broadway show, etc… However, whenever I do, it doesn’t leave the back of my mind that we are just one act of terror away from a full blown survival situation, and because of this I try to prepare accordingly. There are three main concerns that I have whenever I’m in the city and they are fairly common sense. I call them the sacred city three in contrast to the “sacred four” of survival: Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food. Here are the three things I worry about and how I try to prepare for them.

  1. Water. This is a pretty easy one. After my wife and I get our baths/showers for the night, we fill the tub up. That’s it; fill it up in case you need it to fill bottles, wet towels, wet blankets, wet yourselves, etc…You can drain it if you need to use the tub again. As a matter of fact we often leave it full when we vacate just in case.
  2. Fire. I don’t mean the making of it, in this instance I mean the escape from it. The water from number one can come into play here as well, and one of the reasons we leave the tub full is so that we can wrap wet blankets and towels around us to protect us from heat if we have to make a hasty retreat in the midst of flames.
  3. Weapons. When I fly I don’t take guns with me. Therefore, I make a mental list of non-typical weaponry that is available to me for the event of an emergency. don’t limit yourself, there are lots of non-traditional options available which are the equivalent to the “lock in a sock” of prison fame.
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