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4 USES FOR A RUSTIC CAMPFIRE OVEN

Photo By: Instructables.com

I recently read an article on Freedom Prepper™ regarding the making of “bushcraft pizza” by a survivalist named Survival Lilly, who is reported to be incredible, talented, and very beautiful. The article can be seen in it’s entirety here, and the gist of this writing isn’t an accolade to the claim that Survival Lilly’s pizza is in fact “delicious looking”, (there’s something about a wood ash dusting on melted cheese that puts me in the ditch theoretically), however, her cooking technique is awesome, specifically her quaint method of creating a minuscule Dutch Oven from nothing more than what she finds laying around the wilderness. This brings me to the topic of today’s conversation, the many uses of a Dutch Oven when out in the bush. We previously discussed a commercial style solar powered oven that you can take with you while camping; however, I want to expand that notion to the realm of extremes survival situations, or at the least, military surplus tent adventures. So, here are four uses for a Dutch Oven in the bush. (Perhaps next I will delve into the many ways of making a dutch oven, but the theory is pretty sound and simple. It is, in effect, an oven within an oven… you’re smart, you can figure out how to get that). Here are four uses for a survival Dutch Oven:

  1. To make survival pizza. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of this notion, especially while I’m sitting at McDonald’s using their internet connection and sipping hot coffee out of a paper cup; however, if I were in the bush for a few days, that dust encrusted bit of flatbread might appear Heavensent. You be the judge…
  2. To make acorn cakes. I have given this recipe before and acorns are plentiful all over the nation. I will only say, however, you better learn how to remove the tannins from your flour or you are in for a bitter surprise.
  3. To cook a meal unattended. There is nothing more rewarding to me than consuming the flesh of one of God’s creatures that I battered the life out of myself, skinned, and placed on a spit over a hot bank of coals, however, I do find it tedious having to spit cook the thing and spend so much time preparing my victuals. It is much better to set up the food, and be able to busy myself doing other things while the oven cooks it.
  4. Making survival bread. This oven will bake any type of bread that you choose to put together and will often keep it from getting too dry providing that you keep an eye on it.
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FOUND DEAD IN THEIR HOMES… THE IMPORTANCE OF ALWAYS BEING READY

Photo By: WCPO.com

Three people in their early 20s were found dead of gunshots wounds in a home in Florida after they were attacked during a Super Bowl party, police say… ¹ A 39-year-old woman and a juvenile girl were found dead Monday morning at a home in Highlands Ranch. ² Eight members of a single family were executed in their homes in a matter of hours… ³

One thing is certain my friends, and that is the fact that this is still a dangerous world, and it is seemingly getting more and more dangerous and volatile as time goes by. You are not safe in your homes anymore, if you ever were, because criminals do not hold anything sacred these days. Everyday, if you look, you can find a story about a home invasion that has left one or more, (sometimes all), of the members of a single family dead in their own domicile. As I sit here in my sun room writing this, overlooking the pool and sipping a hot cup of java, I have in my waistband a Glock model 17, fully loaded and charged, in a DeSantis inside the pants holster. (There is an extra magazine in the pouch attached to the holster). Near me, leaning against a table, is a Remington™ 870 fully loaded and ready to roll with 00 buckshot. I am home on a day off and am catching up on my writing; however, even when I am home I am always armed and am always prepared to commit to violence if need be. Many would think that I am paranoid… perhaps they are correct, however, I think the people mentioned in the above excerpts from recent newspapers would disagree. I think if they could do it over again, they too would have been armed and ready. If you think about it objectively, you can probably relate to the fact that we as Americans have had it too easy for too long, in direct contrast to those in our ancestry who always had to worry about someone forcing their way into their cabin, teepee, or house in an attempt to take their lives or possessions.

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SPRING FLINGS… 3 GREAT IDEAS FOR SPRING MILITARY SURPLUS TENT ADVENTURES

As the cold grasp of winter melts away and the sun begins to shine more regularly, it is again time to fish that old military surplus tent and equipment out of the garage, crawlspace, attic, or basement, and get her ready for some serious adventure and family fun. March and April are just a stone’s throw away, and though we could still technically see some winter weather between now and the real sunshine, any inclement weather at this point will be like the dying twitches of an aged old bear, who, having spent himself in the agonies of winter, has just had his heart pierced by the razors edge of a young warrior’s bow. So, the good news is that the joys of warm weather and summertime are nearly upon us. And here are three great ideas for springtime military surplus tent adventures for you and your fam…

  1. Let’s go fishing! Spring bass and crappie are going to be in abundance, and there are even going to be lots of fishing tournaments that you and the kids can go on together. Some tips for tournaments? Get local intelligence from the old guy who hang out on the docks every day. Develop a bait plan from that intelligence, and know the rules of the tournament.
  2. Attend fairs and festivals. There are lots of ideas out there for spring and summer fairs and festivals and we will be talking about each and every one as the time comes close to attend. There is nothing more fun than taking a week or long weekend off and enjoying the atmosphere of celebration that corresponds with enjoying the music, food, and beverages of a summertime festival.
  3. Go ghost hunting. This might seem a little weird, and it might not be suitable for the little ones, but ghost hunting has become a fun and fairly lo-risk endeavor… depending on where you go.
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FISHING TOURNAMENTS; 4 NEW IGFA RULES APPLY

Photo By: IGFA.com

If you are going to pick a fishing tournament as a form of recreation this year, here are some changes being made to the rules by the International Game Fish Association that you might need to know about. Effective April 1, 2017, these rules come into effect and will be governing all tournaments which are being officiated by the IGFA. What this means for you is that if you choose to attend a sanctioned event as a military surplus tent adventure, or s a family camping trip, then you need to abide by the new rules or face disqualification from the tournament. Here are the four new tournament rules.

  1. Backing. (Current rule), “If the fishing line is attached to backing, that catch shall be classified under the heavier of the lines”. The new rule adds that backing can be used, but the catch shall be categorized by the first 5 meters of the line preceding the double line, leader, or hook.
  2. Assisting. (Current rule), ” The act of a person other than the angler touching the rod, reel, or line either with the body or a device is grounds for disqualification.” The new rule clearly states that touching the angler in a manner which assists him or her is a disqualifying act.
  3. Game Fish Species. (Current rule), “… only certain game fish species are eligible in the additional line-class categories…” The new rule removes class-record consideration from the following saltwater species: Pacific barracuda, black seabass, Japanese parrotperch, spotted parrottperch, Florida pompano, doublespotted queenfish, black-blue rockfish, Atlsntic spadefish, oxeye tarpon. Freshwater: rock bass, shoal bass, white bass, yellow bass, bluegill, black bullhead, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, burbot, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, freshwater drum, Florida gar, shortnose gar, spotted gar, oscar, European perch, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel, red piranha, shorthead redhorse, silver redhorse, sauger, American shad, hickory shad, splake, green sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, tench, warmouth, lake whitefish, mountain whitefish, round whitefish
  4. World-record weight requirements. (Current rule), “…to submit a line class or tippet class (fly rod) world record, the only weight requirement is that the fish must weigh at least .45 kg (1 lb). As a result, the IGFA has accumulated a significant amount of records where the weight of the fish is much lighter than the size of the tackle used to land the fish. The new rule for line class categories up to and including 10 kg (20 lb) and all tippet class (fly rod) categories are: The weight of the catch must weigh at least ½ as much as the line class it is eligible for. For example, a fish entered for the 6 kg (12 lb) line class or tippet class category must weigh a minimum of 3 kg. For line class categories greater than 10 kg (20 lb): The weight of the catch must be equal to, or greater than the line class it is eligible for. For example, a fish entered in the 24 kg (50 lb) line class category must weigh a minimum of 24 kg.
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THINK YOU COULD BE A HUNTER – GATHERER? THINK AGAIN

Photo By: Wikipedia.com

Consider if you will, the Hadza people of Tanzania. They are a true hunter-gatherer society who’s men leave their grass huts at the crack of dawn, poison tipped arrows in hand, and venture out into the wilds of Africa in search of their next meal. This meal could be anything from a small frog or bird, to a full or half grown giraffe. The women also venture forth to perform the other aspect of their existence, the gathering. They go in search of berries, roots, vines and tubers which add supplement to their otherwise protein rich diets. This is everyday life for this indigenous people, and it is the same lifestyle that your ancestors lived so many thousands of years ago. It is the same life that we practice, train, and prepare for as survivalists; however, a close look at these people reveals to us, if we are completely honest, a strong deficiency in our commitment to make a living like they do. In all fairness it must be said that the ability to eek out a living on the plains of Africa is not going to be the same as trying to live in the wheat belt of America or in the mountains and fruited plains. However, it becomes apparent that society and evolution have not necessarily been good to us as far as keeping our survival skills keen goes. A recent study from Yale researchers has shown that these people exercise vigorously nearly two and a half times as much as the modern athletic American or European. As a result the studies further show that these people are extremely low risk for ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol, and diabetes. They furthermore don’t seem to slow down as much or are effected as much by age as are their Caucasian counterparts. Nor do they suffer from dementia. Do you want to be a real survivalist? Take heed of these people then and see what it will really take in a post-apocalyptic society to stay ahead of the game… no pun intended.

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SPRING BEAR HUNTS; 5 OF THE BEST SPOTS FOR BEAR

Photo By: MPatterson

I have told you before about my favorite bear hunt plan that was going to be a combination military surplus tent adventure and hunting trip. In this endeavor, myself and The Wildman had planned on taking a black bear with a couple of spears in the Great Smoky Mountains, since we both fancied ourselves to be great hunters and survivalists. That was, until we actually arrived and found out two very key factors: 1. The black bears at the Great Smoky Mountains are protected, and 2. They are just little bitty things that are nearly as tame as dogs. After having fed several of them bologna and cheese sandwiches, and hearing one of them literally cry like a baby when The Wildman cuffed it on the nose for getting a bit “nippy”, we both elected to amuse ourselves with taking pictures and we left the hand forged spears in the truck. However, the North American Grizzly bear is another critter entirely, and if you are actually in the mood for a spring bear hunt, let me give you five recommendations, (according to LiveOutdoors), for an excellent bear hunt this year, where you will be more than happy in pitching your military surplus Army tent and making a week out of hunting this big, magnificent creature.

  1. Russia. In Kamchatka they offer more to enjoy than a milky butter rum drink, there are bear aplenty. Just a few miles away from Alaska, this territory is densely populated and very affordable in terms of actual cost. A guided hunt here starts at around $8,000.00 American and goes up from there.
  2. Romania. In the Carpathian Mountains is the place where 70 percent of the bear population can be found. These mountains stretch all of the way into the Ukraine, and this would be the site for a true and exotic adventure… there are many skeletons weathering on the crests and bluffs of these rocky mountains and not of them are quadrupeds.
  3. Canada. In Canada we have ample bear hunting in British Columbia, which will run you about $3,500.00 American dollars for a black bear and it just climbs from there for griz… however, there are ample griz and if you’re willing to pay you can harvest one for the hunt of a lifetime.
  4. Canada. Manitoba is another Canadian spot which just re-opened it’s bear season last year. Jump on the new season for a mere $2,650 dollars for a week in the wilds.
  5. Croatia. Gorski Kotar is a mountainous region in Croatia which is reportedly famous for it’s bears. Trophy hunting is the most expensive but is also most likely to be the most rewarding starting at $6,000.00 American.
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SAD NEWS IN HUNTING?: 2 THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT PEDALS BEING KILLED BY A NJ HUNTER

Photo By: The New York Post

It is with a heavy heart and sad visage that I must report to you the demise of the nations most beloved black bear, Pedals. Pedals was a stalwart and comely bear who had learned to walk around on two feet like a human after having probably been injured by a car collision. He lived in New Jersey. Pedals has been the ire of many an over-enthusiastic would be Sasquatch hunter and has also sent lots of people fleeing into the underbrush screaming at the top of their lungs, while he simply ambled about looking hither and yon for any scraps which would be of interest to a bi-pedal bear. His demeanor was always one of mild disinterest and he somehow created an air of Narnian proportions as he strode about like an absent minded professor who had somehow mis-placed his car keys. It is reported that a bow and arrow shooting bartender from Somerset County is the one who dispatched young Pedals to wherever it is that bi-pedal bears go when they get their birthdays turned off. And the New York post further reports that this individual has been targeted with scads of offensive hate-mail, threats, and petitions for his revocation of hunting rights… he did, after all, kill a beloved New jersey icon. I would like to point out however, two things that should be considered before passing judgement on the poor guy from New jersey.

    1. Pedals was a bear. And as such he was available for harvest in accordance with state law and game regulations. This means that even if the act of killing him was distasteful to some, he was open game during the hunting season. There had been a act afoot to have him removed from the public domain prior to his being harvested and the state of New Jersey had declined to remove him to a private sanctuary.
    2. He was wounded. This means several things. First of all, he wasn’t a Chronicles of Narnia character like Mr. Tumnus, he was a bear who was struggling to make a living because he was hurt. This is why he was often seen close to and in towns… he couldn’t compete in the wild. He was also dangerous. Since he was hurt, he was going to have to get food any way could and it is rumored that pets would disappear in any area he was seen at. This means that anything that was small and weak was at risk to become Pedals’ next meal… these are not conditions that make it favorable to enjoy a military surplus tent adventure anywhere near where Pedals was prowling around, especially if kids were involved.
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COACHELLA AND BONNAROO IN COLORADO; A NEW MILITARY SURPLUS TENT ADVENTURE

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

According to UPROXX, the organizers of Coachella and Bonnaroo are preparing to bring a new music festival to Denver Colorado this year which is a great opportunity to expand our horizons and have yet another opportunity for a military surplus tent adventure. Though this one may be a bit too wild to be considered a “fun for the whole family” style of adventure, it is definitely an opportunity to get out into the mountains, pitch a military surplus tent, and “Howl at the Moon’ in a very real way. Though this is a project which is still in the works, the organizers of these events are planning to create a super-fest of dynamic proportions. According to AEG’s David Ehrlich, this plan has been in the making for about six years and has nearly come to fruition. Of course, he said, it is going to be up to the residents and the local interests to have the final determination on the inclusion of a new festival, but in reality, who wouldn’t want a fresh influx of tourism to a community that makes it’s living on tourism anyway? This new festival will be started on the grounds of Denver’s Overland Park golf course, and the report is that this festival idea has already been brought up to residents at a community hearing in the courses clubhouse on January 30, 2017. The makers of things, in this instance, have given their blessing however to a new music festival, and a new music festival they shall have. It has already been determined that there are definitely other places which will be open to a new music festival in the event that this one is rejected. So better start budgeting now, and make sure that you have taken the necessary measures to prepare your military surplus tent for yet another rock and rolling, beer slurping, late night, music adventure.

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SURVIVAL 101; 3 WAYS OF MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR FIRE

A simple reflector

In the event that you ever find yourself in a true to life survival situation, it would be most beneficial for you to know how exactly to make the most out of your fire, because the fact is that the least you can waste the better off you will be. This isn’t a difficult concept to master, and the truth of the matter is that most survival knowledge is nothing more than common sense that isn’t necessarily common knowledge. Therefore, in this installment of survival 101, I will go over several ways that you can enhance your fire in the event that you are in a survival situation, or even if you are simply involved in a military surplus tent adventure with your friends or family. Here are three ways of making your fire something special.

  1. Build a simple reflector around it. The heat from a normal fire that is simply built on the ground will radiate away from the source in any direction that doesn’t present some form of resistance. This reflector can be made from anything; however, you would be smart not make it with something that is overly inflammable, or with rock that holds moisture. Neither situation will be conducive to a good nights sleep.
  2. Build a self feeding fire. This is not a difficult concept either, and the two can actually be combined to serve one purpose. A self feeding fire is accomplished by allowing gravity to work on your behalf and building a reflector that is made out of wood, which will slowly feed into the coals at an angle as the fire devours the wood on the bottom.
  3. Build a teepee fire. I have always preferred a teepee fire over a log cabin style fire simply because it is more efficient and doesn’t leave those unsightly ends laying around the coals. I can’t say that the teepee fire saves wood or burns slower, but it definitely burns more efficiently.
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CAMPFIRE RECIPE; STEW AND BISCUITS, NO DUMPLINGS

A dutch oven and fire

I was perusing the news recently when I happened upon an article which had the uncommon ability to start my mouth to watering and which furthermore set my imagination onto a much needed adventure, which entailed it’s being transported immediately to an arctic environment where I was suddenly inside a small trapper’s cabin, in the midst of a winter storm. It wasn’t really much as far as articles go, just an idea for a simple campfire recipe of Dinty Moore beef stew and some Bisquick biscuits, however, the combination of the two together elicited an excited stimulus of Pavlovian dimensions in my tongue and belly and I immediately began to scheme. In the original recipe it called for a can of Dinty and some Bisquick and milk… pretty boring, so I went into the kitchen and began to concoct this:

JOHNNY’S WHATCHA-GOT? STEW AND BISCUITS

Ingredients: One small roast cubed, three potatoes, six carrots, and some peas of you’ve got them. In a survival situation, I would prepare whatever meat I could get, excluding fish, and use cattail tubers in place of the potatoes and wild carrots in place of the carrots, (think Queen Anne’s lace). The initial trick is to boil the beef first, until it looks a little “raggetty”. In a survival situation, or even on a military surplus tent adventure with the family I would probably pull some wild onion and garlic to enhance the stew and keep the black flies away. In normal situations however, there is no need to put them all through that. Feeds four. The biscuits are most easily prepared in a skillet and are a concocted from lard, flour, some baking powder, and milk. In a survival situation you might be ok trying to use acorn flour in place of regular flour; however, it will be bitter and most likely will serve you better as dumplings rather than biscuits. In any event, I can easily imagine trying to brave the wilds of an Alaskan Wilderness with a belly full of beef stew and biscuits much better than I can a mouth full of jerky and hard tack.

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