USA Certified and Approved.
Leading Supplier of Military Field Gear for Over 30 Years

Springtime Dandelions: 3 Uses You Have to Know

One of the memories I have of my childhood, (I won’t call them fond so as to avoid deception), was that of my old grandma gathering a spring mix of greens for the family to eat. Now, to those of you who are less cultured, “greens” amongst the mountain people is actually an accumulation of any leafy weed that sprouts up from the recently thawed ground. For some reason, it was thought that fresh and tender equaled edible, and while that might have been true for the most part, it certainly didn’t equal palatable.

However, this isn’t true for dandelion greens. These are not only palatable, they are downright tasty and I’m actually surprised that they aren’t included in most spring mix salads you can get at the grocery store, considering their prevalence across the landscape.

In any event, here are three uses for the common dandelion that every serious outdoorsman or survivalist must know:

  1. They are edible. Both the yellow flowers and the leafy greens associated with the plant are food worthy. My favorite way to eat them is to have the flowers fried in batter like a hushpuppy (called fritters), and to have the greens freshly washed and sprinkled with vinegar and oil. I’ve also had them boiled like spinach with bacon and onion.
  2. They are potable. You can actually make a coffee of sorts out of the dandelion root. You can literally do  this with any root, but dandelion coffee is pretty ok, compatible at least with chicory coffee, (neither is as good as the real thing). To make the dandelion coffee, you must finely chop the root and then parch it in a pan over low heat of a fire. When it is brown and brittle, grind it up as you would coffee beans and brew as you would coffee… it’ll get you through some cold nights.
  3. They have down that is multifunctional. Whenever the flower goes to seed it leaves a head of down that can be used to enhance your tinder bundle, or if gathered in enough quantity, add insulation to clothing or bedding to create dead air space.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Uncle John’s Truck: The, (next to), Final Chapter

That Fall arrived subtly, it was a very smooth transition and arrived more from the acknowledgement of the date on the calendar than it did from an awareness of the change of season. It had been a fairly mild winter, not too sunny and mostly rain for some reason. This had made it pretty insignificant in regards to the various sportsman adventures that I was used to having. Political unrest in the venue my dad worked at kept him pretty busy and he didn’t have much time to run to our fishing hole, even on the days that were nice and sunny.

And so I went about my routine, I was working at McDonald’s still even though I had finished my training. I was volunteering at two different fire departments, and since that was my passion, I focused my energy there. But with the advent of deer season coming into the scene, I suddenly started getting buck fever.

Over the summer my grandpa had died and he had left my mom some acreage in the woods of hilly eastern Ohio. It was a long way from where we live, but it was definitely teeming with wildlife and I decided that I was going to have a deer hunt there to enjoy my first deer camp as a full grown man, (I had just recently turned 18), and would be eligible to finally hunt without adult supervision. I also wanted to test myself as I had never been in any sort of survival or wilderness situation without the supervision of my dad or older brother.

I took advantage of the local Black Friday Sales to purchase a deer stand and a really good sleeping bag. My dad offered up grandpas old military surplus army tent for me to use since work wasn’t going to be able to let him go to the regular deer camp we usually pitched that year…

Tags: , , , , ,

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…

Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , ,

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.

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.
Tags: , , ,

Fighting the Mob: 5 Survival Tips for Surviving a Hostile Crowd

If you have been watching what is going on in the world today, and specifically in the big cities in the United States, then you are likely noticing a disturbing trend. That is mob rule and mob attacks.

Recently at the Republican National Convention, a senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, found himself in the middle of a, In his words, hostile mob which might have killed him and his wife had 4 police officers not been there to intercede. Lets face it folks, if it can happen to him it can happen to any of us. The question to ask is this: What would Rand Paul have done if he had been alone with his wife? Here are 5 strategies to consider if you find yourself in such a predicament.

  1. Try to get out of it without any form of altercation. If you can go around people trying to block your way and they don’t physically stop you in some manner, take advantage of the fact that it hasn’t escalated to that point, swallow your pride, and keep moving. Don’t taunt back, but try not to look too intimidated or scared at the same time. Confident and indifferent is what you are shooting for.
  2. Stay together. If it is not possible to get peacefully away and you are getting jostled around, understand that the worse thing you can do is allow yourselves to be separated from loved ones or other members of your party. Smaller, weaker members should be prepared to get a firm grasp on larger stronger members. A good rule of thumb is to grasp each other by the belt and do not let go for any reason. Smaller people should be surrounded by larger members of the group, and the group should stay together. Predators work to isolate the weaker from the herd to kill them easier…
  3. Never turn your back. If a predator gets a chance to attack you from behind, it will deliver killing blows un-obstructed. If you are in a group, go back to back and maintain body contact so that you are not separated.
  4. Attack weak areas. If you have watched any of the clandestine footage of certain threat groups, you will see that they generally always train to eye gouge their opponent. There is wisdom in this. I teach women to attack men in one of four place depending on the situation. The eyes, throat, testicles, and knees.
  5. Use unconventional weapons. Keys, pens, belts, etc… All are items that have other uses but that can function fully as weapons. If you have to attack, attack in a way that is going to end the threat. Poke an eyeball hard with a pen, some keys, or your thumb if you have nothing else. Kick nuts like they’re a kickball in high school gym class that you want to send over the fence. If you pick up a BFR, (big F…… rock), hit them in the eye socket with it like you’re crushing black walnuts. The purpose is to make them not want to be in the altercation anymore.
Tags: , , ,

5 Things You Must Do to Prepare For the Coming Double Hurricane

Next week, for the first time on record, two hurricanes could hit  the Gulf of Mexico at the same time.

According to sources there have been two other times in history that two storms have entered the gulf at the same time, but they have never been hurricane force.

Though the threat of a double hurricane is looming, it’s not necessarily going to be the case because, as of this writing, one of the storms is merely a cyclone.

However, here are 5 things that you need to do immediately to be prepared for the emergency that is certain to arise if both hurricanes do hit.

  1. Get a portable temporary shelter. This doesn’t have to be a military surplus tent, but there is no better option than this. The problem is that in the event that two hurricanes hit at once the water damage and volume will be multiplied by two as well. If you have a home in an affected area you might be unable to use it for months after the hurricane is even over.
  2. Get plenty of waterproof storage containers. Even if you do have a survival tent for shelter, there is no guarantee in flood water that you will be able to keep it dry, together, and usable. Same goes for food and other supplies; therefore, make sure you get some containers that are able to seal tightly, (with a rubber seal preferably), and make sure that it’s buoyant. You might find the need to tow it with a kayak or other type of watercraft.
  3. Get some sort of an emergency flotation system. This can be something as simple as a heavy duty inner tube and paddle. A flat kayak works well too. It is important that you get some type of craft that isn’t susceptible to filling with water and then sinking should you find the need to brave the storm while it’s still raging.
  4. Plan for Potable water. This should be stored well as described above, but to be honest it’s a pain to try to haul around potable water. You would be much better off investing in a few portable infiltration devices.
  5. Get Non Perishable Food. That should be stored in a manner described above and secured tightly.
Tags: , , , ,

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.

 

Tags: , , ,

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.
Tags: , , , ,