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Winter Survival: 3 Things to Consider to Live Through Being Stranded

Recently a friend of mine was out delivering fertilizer to local farmers when he got caught in a flash flood in rural Indiana. It turned out ok, however he wasn’t sure, for a while, that it would. Luckily for my buddy, he couldn’t have died from exposure in this instance because it was summertime. What would he have done though if it had been winter and he had been trapped in his vehicle either by an avalanche or a blizzard?

There are several factors to consider here. First off the fact that in a vehicle you have a few things already established. You already have shelter from the environment to an extent, (most animals and wind, snow, etc…), and you also have a source of heat as long as you can keep the motor running.

However, one of the age old questions as far as survivalists go, is whether or not you’re better off staying in the car or getting out of it and making a survival shelter of some sort. Though I don’t want to get into any sort of debate on this, I do want to point out some key factors that support staying in your car as opposed to venturing away from it. Here are three factors to consider.

  1. You have an established, basically waterproof, structure. The only issue with the cab of a motor vehicle is the fact that there is so much dead air space that has to be heated rather than chilled in order for you to survive any length of time. Water isn’t a problem in  this scenario because you have snow to melt, (don’t eat the snow, melt it and drink it because the calories burned in converting something frozen to 98 degrees are necessary for your survival). Consider the use of snow, debris, seat cushions, etc… inside the cab of your vehicle to create less dead air space for your body heat to sustain.
  2. Your vehicle is like a flag. I used to be a deputy sheriff back in the day; and there is nothing that draws a cop’s, (or any other rescue worker’s), attention like an obviously stranded vehicle. Even if you’re not actively seeking rescue, if you get caught in a disaster and are snowed in, eventually somebody is going to come poking around to make sure you’re ok.
  3. Your vehicle has resources. I mentioned before the insulation capabilities from the seats etc…; however, there are other resources that can be used for survival that every vehicle has. A powerful battery for instance, as well as flammable fluids that can be used for creating fire, torches, better shelters, etc…
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Product Alert: The All New 2022 Ford Maverick

The Ford Motor Company has recently  released a bombshell new product that I believe is going to take the survivalist/prepper community by storm. This is the new 2022 Ford Maverick, (which is scheduled to be made available in the Fall  of 2021), and this truck is a game changer on many different levels. First of all, the base price for this truck is a mere $19,900. This is for a standard size vehicle with front wheel drive and a hybrid engine that is expected to achieve 500 miles from one tank of gas. For a few dollars more, (about $5000), you can have the bigger engine with a tow package, better cooling system, and AWD. This still brings your base price for an all terrain, adventurous, economical, and sporty 5 seater pickup truck to under $25000!

The towing package is rated for 2000 pounds base, with a maximum capacity of 4000 pounds. This means that you’ll be able to easily tow most boats, utility trailers, and many small livestock trailers. The good news here is that unless you are a big time rancher or are interested in hauling horses around for some reason, this will likely be the only truck you will ever need.

Another factor to consider in this bold move by the Ford Motor Company is the fact that this truck is likely to drive the market regarding the availability, quality, and prices of it’s competitor’s small size pickup truck. It will also, ultimately, effect the trade in and resale value of any older trucks which might currently be on the road.  As a case in point, just last year, this writer was in possession of a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4 wheel drive crew cab pickup truck. Though it was in good shape, it had some issues; however, those issues didn’t prevent it from appraising at around $5000 and actually selling, (because they’re so hard to find these  days), for $6500. My guess is that in the Fall, that wouldn’t be the case.

Ernest Hemingway: 3 Reasons That You Must Watch This New Documentary

If you are an outdoor enthusiast and sportsman, then there is a new documentary out there that you absolutely must see. This documentary is just released on Monday April 5, 2021 and is available at no cost through the PBS channel.

I have always been a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway. His minimalist style of writing and life experience were second to none.  He was definitely a man’s man, and and any serious look into his life will illustrate that. He was the epitome of a survivalist and made do in war torn Europe and Spain on many occasions; he thrived with little of nothing or with great affluence the same. One of my favorite stories of Hemingway involved his life in Paris as a starving writer trying to learn the craft:

His first child, Bumby, would accompany him on walks to the park where, with old bread purloined from the dumpster of the bakery near his flat, pigeons would be enticed to come to the baby’s stroller. Here, the illustrious old man would snatch and wring them and then  stuff the still warm and feathery body into the folds of the baby’s blanket until there were enough in hand, (or swaddle as the case may be), to proffer a full meal of squab for the family for the evening.   It can be surmised that it was said; at one time,  by the locals, that Hemingway was an learned and dedicated ornithologist of the first order… though his genus of regard lacked any form of particularity

It is for these following reasons that you must watch this most informed and inclusive of documentaries:

  1. Hemingway was a hunter and an avid outdoorsman. His hunting writing gets so in-depth that some people have learned how to wing shoot simply from reading his narrative on the technique involved.
  2. Hemingway was a warrior and a poet. And though this cliché is quite common in  todays literary world, this is exactly the case in regards to Ernest Hemingway.
  3. Hemingway was a purveyor and user of military surplus equipment. Whether he was fishing in Michigan, hunting in Idaho, or on safari in Africa, Ernest Hemingway was a prolific user of military surplus tools and equipment. He stayed in military surplus tents, slept in old army cots, and even hunted big game with military surplus weapons. This expose and documentary are both enlightening and conducive to having a fire lit in your belly regarding the understanding of the impact of the written word. The air of nostalgia that surrounded Hemingway is eloquently captured here. Ken Burns, along with Lynn Novick, were able to show you the man without telling you how to take or partake of him; and they did it in an Ernest way.
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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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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.
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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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