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Women in spec ops… one year later

Ok, so it was a year ago that the United States military opened the world of spec-ops to women, a move that brought angst, strife, dissension and lots of ego based opinions. And after a year, we still do not have any women SEALS or Green berets. In a recent article on Military.com it has been reported that the prospects for women in spec ops are very few and far between, with the military even looking at individuals in ROTC and in some cases at civilians who haven’t even joined the military yet. Rear Admiral Tim Szymanski, the head of the Navy Special Warfare Command, has stated that it takes about two and a half years to get into spec-ops from the initial inception phase, which means that even when we get female soldiers who are able to make the cut into spec-ops, it wouldn’t be until 2020 at the soonest that they could join a team. And that’s if she can actually make it through BUDS which is too much for most men. Even the two women who had gotten through the Army Ranger training in 2015 haven’t yet been picked up by a Ranger unit. Though MARSOC was the first to be able to brag that it had three women in the pipeline for spec-ops training, it was apparent fairly quickly that none of them would make the cut and they all dropped out for various reasons. Lt. General Marshall Webb, the commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command has made the statement that even though the standards might be too tough for the majority of women, the fact of the matter is that they are too tough for the majority of men too, and the standards are not going to be lowered just to get women in. “AFSOC is looking for the highest caliber candidates”, he said, “and when a person meets that standard, she will be joining our ranks.’ And hopefully not until!

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Survival 101: 4 ways to survive a vehicle attack

Carnage in Nice, France

As much as it pains me to have to be writing this, it has become apparent that a new method of terrorist murder is the use of heavy, large vehicles to carry out nefarious attacks. In a move that will undoubtedly end the old anti-gun debate to an extent, the local radical movements have discovered that they have implements of destruction more deadly and prolific than firearms at their disposal, they are now using motor vehicles to kill. In response, we who call ourselves survivalists must change our behavior in order to counter the use of vehicles as weapons against us. Though a fast moving vehicle is a weapon of true havoc, there are many things that we can do to both counter a vehicle, and to keep it from becoming a battering ram to pummel us into destruction. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Awareness, awareness, awareness… The best advice I can give you is to be aware of your surroundings. look at people, make eye contact and try to see if they have nefarious plans in mind for you. Trust me, having survived many deadly encounters over the years, anyone who wishes you harm will give you a look prior to making a move on you. This look will freeze your very blood and it is that reaction which is an indicator to you that something is awry. Trust your instincts and govern yourself accordingly.
  2. Use your terrain to your advantage. Think cover and concealment. In the event that some idiot suddenly becomes maniacal in the operation of a motor vehicle, try to get something between you and the vehicle that it cannot easily pass over or through. a fire hydrant, a tree, a large or irregular curb, etc… all of these things can be used to your advantage.
  3. Stay out of crowds. I know that this is easier said than done in many occasions; however, if you are in an overcrowded area, that is a target rich environment to an active killer. At least do yourself the courtesy of staying on the fringe of the crowd.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the effects of glass on bullets. If you are one of those people, like me, who runs around carrying firearms with you at all times, you need to know and practice how your rounds will be affected by vehicle glass. I know from experience that windshields deflect my 9mm rounds high and to the right and they virtually disintegrate my first few 5.56 mm rounds. Basically, my practice is to “punch a hole” that I can then shoot through. You need to develop your own style and methodology and then practice, practice, practice… don’t forget to do your dry fit and dry run exercises either.
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PA sort of says “NO” to semi-autos…

If you had been planning to schedule a big game hunt as a military surplus tent adventure this year in Pennsylvania using your AR platform rifle, you better make alternate plans or get thyself to the gun-store ASAP. Field and Stream magazine reports that in a last minute move from the PA commission on fish and wildlife, a vote was cast to allow the use of semi-automatic rifles for only small game and for furbearing animals. This contradicts the approval in January, by the commission, which allowed for hunting of both sets with semi-automatic rifles. According to Brian Hoover, the commission Board president, this decision resulted from the commission having “Listened to their hunters”. According to Hoover, a recent survey has revealed that 64% of Pennsylvania’s hunters opposed the use of semi-autos for big game hunting; however, the opposition to the use of semi-auto’s on furbearing animals was much lower. According to sources, Pennsylvania is the nations holdout in regards to allowing the use of semi-auto rifles for big-game hunting, with even Ohio finally acquiescing recently to allowing rifles for use in the pursuit of their only big game animal the Whitetail Deer. In Ohio, the only stipulation is that the rifle cartridge must not be fluted and above .30. Commissioners do say, however, that the prospect of semi-autos for big game use is not entirely off of the board, it is simply off of the board for the 2017-2018 hunting season. The fact is that a new law came into effect in November which gives the commission the right to approve the use of the semi-autos and in effect, the commission is being cautious in the application of that new ability. To all appearances they are trying to be inclusive of their clientele in regards to changing the hunting laws of their state. This is actually a welcome respite from the traditional bureaucratic practice of legislators making rules about things in which they are not directly involved, and is an excellent example of mis-representation being curtailed and stifled by the powers that be.

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Concerning the blood bubble; 2 reasons it’s important in the bush

I was recently on a military surplus tent adventure with the family when my youngest boy developed an urge to chop something with his new tomahawk that I had recently forged him. All was well and good until he actually got to swinging that thing wildly, and nearly slipped about two and a quarter inches of the razor sharp blade into my left leg. After going through the usual dodging and feinting routines that commonly accompany such situations, I managed to wrench the tomahawk from his sweaty little paws and get the situation under control. I realized then that I hadn’t really given him much instruction on the intricacies of using tools in a survival situation and decided that my nescience wasn’t going to be the catalyst for the little guys hurt feelings. I then gave him some very pertinent lessons on what is commonly known as “the blood bubble” in survivalist circles. As are most things in survival, the blood bubble is common sense that isn’t necessarily common knowledge. So, the blood bubble is, in a nutshell, the concept that any tool or device is dangerous to an outside party within the space of the length of the implement plus the length of the wielder’s arm. In my native tongue: “you don’t want to be where he can reach you with it”. That, in effect, is the concept of the blood bubble. Here are two reasons why this concept is especially important when you are in the woods.

  1. You’re in the woods. Even though you should always have a well supplied trauma kit with you whenever you are on a camping trip or on a military surplus tent adventure, you shouldn’t ever really want to use it. The absolute best thing you can do with your occlusive dressing, hemostatic gauze, and tourniquets is to let them quietly expire unneeded. Being out, far from a well stocked emergency room is not a recipe for success when you have a sucking chest wound.
  2. You’re more apt to make mistakes. let’s face it, survival can be tiring, and when we are tired we often slip up. Doing things with more directed cognizance will help us to not make mistakes as often as we may if we just run on auto-pilot.
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Why buy military surplus? Here’s four good reasons

Photo By: RDDUSA

Even If you aren’t an outdoorsman, tactician, doomsdayer, thrifter, anarchist, or survivalist you should still be looking for the best quality for the money when buying items for your family. There’s no reason to look further; military surplus is your answer. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking rugged, comfortable clothing that’s going to last for years, a backpack sturdy enough to live out of, or camping/survival equipment that is going to keep you and your family safe from the environment, there is no better option than military surplus clothing, tents, and gear. Here are four factors concerning military surplus that you should consider before buying anything else.

  1. Well manufactured. Think about it, the military requires stringent government regulations be followed in regards to any equipment that it has manufactured. This is because the military requires uniformity in all of its items and it demands that the best materials be used for manufacture. That means that this quality of material is passed on to you the civilian consumer. Think of the comfort you’ll have in knowing that millions of tax dollars has been spent by the United States Army and Navy in testing the quality of the clothing, tents and gear that you and your loved ones are using to survive.
  2. Good quality. Since the military uses only the best materials there are many different ways to upcycle military items as well. Repurposed fabric from army surplus tents can be made into clothing, waterproofing, upholstery, or car covers. Surplus gas masks can not only protect your family from gas attacks, they could mean the difference between dying from smoke inhalation and escaping to safety in the event of a house fire.
  3. Prolific and consistent. For nearly thirty years the professionals at RDD USA have been supplying the general public with the very best vintage and current military gear that can be found. They have a huge warehouse and compete in both the local and international markets, supply thrifters, preppers, military enthusiasts, campers, survivalists, upcyclers, and even governments; and they truly sell quality items.
  4. Economical. Why would you buy overly expensive equipment from a retailer whose bottom line is the almighty dollar when you can buy well researched and war proven equipment at a reduced price? Buying surplus is not only good for you, it’s good for the environment too as it provides a means of use for equipment that would be discarded otherwise. Do you and your planet a favor, the next time you are in the market for something, see if RDDUSA has what you need before you head to the local supercenter.
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SPARTAN SWIM CUT RIFLE PLATE CARRIER; 3 REASONS IT’S A GOOD BUY

I have given some shout outs in the past for several tactical armor systems that I have found to be particularly useful, and I will continue to do so whenever I find a product that fits the bill, and that offers you, the consumer, a hell of a deal for a good price. That’s why this old anti-terrorists fingers were twitching today when the USPS man rang my doorbell and I got my brand new swim cut Spartan® brand rifle plate carrier with side, front, and back plates,( rated for up to a 7.62×39). I got the whole package for… wait for it… $199.00 USD delivered. When I first found the ad on Google during one of my many forays into the realm of current survivalist gear and weaponry, I had never heard of Spartan Armor Systems and figured this would be some second rate, fly by night organization that was just trying to separate me from my hard earned cash. Then I called up a Ranger buddy of mine, M.J. Jarvis, who had recently returned from Afghanistan and he told me that he was going to order one right then just to have a spare. So, with still some trepidation… Jarvis will have you do some dumb shit just for a joke sometimes, I keyed in my order and got it just three days later… no shipping charge. I have to say that I have never been happier. Not only is this armor lighter than the thick ceramic armor I have been using, it is also incorporated into a very well designed carrier that has no plastic snaps at all… everything is triple thick, heavy duty Velcro. Here are the three main reasons I love this plate carrier and why I’m going to buy a few more when the funds come through.

  1. It comes with four rifle plates. Even though they are not yet coated with anti-spalling compound, they are primed with base coat. Some truck bed liner will work marvelously I should think. But for the price, who can fuss? The good news is that for $200 you are covered front, back, and on both sides.
  2. It is well manufactured and heavy duty. The plate compartments are built tough enough to last. An ingenious design holds your plates in securely, while being flexible enough to offer you the greatest in flexibility. Like I was asked once by one of my guys when we were dry fitting his rifle plate with his trauma kit… “What if I got to duck and roll sarge? I can’t do it with this bulky shit on!”
  3. THE PRICE! Did I mention this entire system is on sale for $199.00 delivered?
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CAREFUL HUNTING: 3 PITFALLS TO AVOID BEYOND MISSING YOUR MARK

It wasn’t long ago that a good friend of mine came banging on my door all a-quiver with excitement over the beautiful ten point whitetail buck he had managed to bag at my family farm. Stuttering and giddy, he retold the story of the kill over and over, and then showed me the tag he had, freshly printed, from his computer, (in Ohio, we tag deer electronically now, at least that’s how we check them in). In any event, I happened to notice that he had indicated on the tag that he had harvested the deer with a shotgun, and I knew that shotgun season didn’t open for three more days… My friend, (we’ll call him Tim because that’s his name), hadn’t been paying attention to changes in the game laws, and he though that gun season opened on Thanksgiving Day that year. It was actually a very simple but costly mistake. No, the Ohio DNR never came looking for him like I suspected they would, but he got so worried they might that he packed up everything he had and moved to Key West Florida. So, here are some tips for having a successful hunting season this year, and by that I mean one that does not involve a trip to court under a capias.

  1. Make sure of the season. I know that, in your area, trout season might have opened up on the same day for the last one hundred years; to the point that it has become a family tradition to go trout fishing on the first of April and you have been doing it for 80 of the one hundred years… but just for precaution, make sure you pull up the local and state game laws… just to be sure. Things change and so do procedures. Wildlife management is an evolving science.
  2. Check for zones. I was never so happy to have missed a shot one year, when I let loose an arrow at a turkey and later discovered that turkey season was only open in the Northern region of my state that year.
  3. Be cognizant of trailcams. Though I am no advocate of poaching outside of a survival situation, I am understanding of the fact that mistakes happen and I do believe in the concept of mental culpability. I’m reminded of the time a friend of mine shot a deer which ran into a thicket and stopped to look at him. He shot her again to put her down humanely, (he was sure he hit her the first time), and then… you guessed it, found two dead deer in that thicket. His first shot had been true and the mortally wounded deer ran into a thicket where her twin was bedded down and dropped at her feet. Said twin stood up and got shot too. THERE WAS NO INTENT TO BREAK THE LAW IN ANY WAY! This is a law abiding citizen who did the right thing, he called the game warden. Even though both deer were killed on his property and he had seven children, five of whom were of legal hunting age and all of whom were entitled to tag two deer each, he still paid a hefty fine. Simply because he was honest. I bring this up only because I recently read an article about a similar mistake which happened involving an elk that was shot on a trailcam, and the errant, (not criminal), hunter was prosecuted.
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MILITARY SURPLUS TENT ADVENTURES: THE BONNAROO MUSIC FESTIVAL

Photo by: AVILMANN @ Morguefile.com

Now that we have survived the Coachella 2017 festival, it’s time to set the sights on the southern midwest and that most famous of military surplus tent adventures… BONNAROO!! This year the Bonnaroo is going to be held on June 8th through the 11th at Manchester, TN. If you want to see what all of the hullaballoo is about, check out these 29 PHOTOS THAT WILL HAVE YOU BUYING TICKETS TO BONNAROO. This amazing photo lineup presents some of the favorite shots of last years Bonnaroo festival, as well as some golden oldies from years past. If you are a music lover, trend setter, aficionado, or just a very sociable person then you need to get your military surplus tent and cots ready, and prepare for the party of the year. The Bonnaroo is located in the heart of the southern hospitality belt in the foothills of Appalachia. This is the home of rocking chairs, walking horses, and Cracker Barrel™ restaurants. The Bonnaroo lineup this year includes :

U2, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, THE WEEKEND, CHANCE THE RAPPER, LORDE, CAGE THE ELEPHANT, THE HEAD AND THE HEART, BIG GIGANTIC, GLASS ANIMALS, FUTURE ISLANDS, TOVE LO, AND MORE…

ADMISSION INFO

$299.50-$349.50/4-Day General Admission Tickets All camping guidelines and information is available on the website, and believe me, this is the camping event of the year. There is just as much fun and adventure out of the venue as there is in it, it will be amazing if you are even able to sleep for the entire three days. New For 2017 Presale: Buy 4 General Admission tickets at once and get 1 Car Camping pass FREE! All ticket types will be available during pre-sale, Including GA, VIP, and the new Platinum Pass! Vehicle Passes, Le Bon Tents, and other convenient add-ons will be available too!

Official Website

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CAMPING 2017: 3 REASONS TO TAKE A FOLDING TABLE WITH YOU

If you are like me then you have already gotten a jump on the camping season this year and have gotten out into the Spring mix to get a taste of the crisp cool air and the gentle sunshine without the benefit of the noseeums and mosquitos. The fact of the matter is, at least for me, that it’s the little things that make a camping trip miserable or great. One of the things that I despise most in life is being hunched over something for any length of time. The worst for me is when filleting a thousand or so panfish; but a close second is trying to use some old log or a flat rock as a work space when I am camping and preparing game or fixing a meal. And as a matter of fact it was during a recent fling into the wilderness while I was trying to prepare venison kabobs, corn on the cob, and an apple strudel for the wife and the kids that inspiration struck. (This inspiration did not strike me in the usual way, it struck me right across the top of my head… the bald spot, where the errant, early season fly had landed, which my wife had promptly smacked with a rolled up magazine). It turns out the magazine was an old copy of Popular Mechanics™, and there was an article about fold up tables in it. (YOU CAN READ IT HERE IF YOU LIKE! 🙂 ) Here are three really good reasons to take a folding table camping with you:

  1. You don’t have to be hunched over. Most of these designs are made so that you can take full advantage of your homo-erectus status and stand erect while using them. What a treat for the back, huh?
  2. You won’t have to juggle your items to keep them clean. As I mentioned earlier, a log in the woods or an old flat rock both have a common characteristic that is problematic, namely, they are both filthy as hell.
  3. You won’t lose your knife. This might not be a problem for you, though I’d venture to guess it affects all sportsmen, but there is nothing I hate more than to be using my knife, lay it down for just a second, and then not be able to find it anywhere. With a handy dandy collapsable table in your midst, you shouldn’t have any problem at all finding it, it should be right there where you left it.
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CAMPING 2017: 3 WAYS TO SECURE YOUR CAMPFIRES

According to a recent article in the Smithsonian magazine, wildfires have already ravaged over 2 million acres of land across America. As a matter of fact, Doyle Rice from USA Today claims that this is ten times the average and is a near record in wildfires of all time. Though these fires have mainly affected the plains states, (they are affecting Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas the worst), these are near drought conditions in some parts of the nation, and it is expected that this could be a very bad year for wildfires.
With this in mind, it is suggested that you take some specific precautions this year as you head out on your camping trips and your family oriented military surplus tent adventures. These precautions aren’t really anything new or sophisticated, they are more common sense that isn’t necessarily common knowledge.

Here are three precautions you can take to ensure that you don’t set the woods afire as you’re camping this year:

  1. Take some buckets and fill them with water. It doesn’t take me to tell you that the easiest way to keep a fire at bay is with water does it? So it stands to reason that it will be a good precaution to have five or ten gallons of designated water for putting out your hot coals.
  2. Don’t build a fire on a windy day. Again, common sense here. Anything you build a fire with is going to produce ash and hot coals. There is no real way to prevent these things from blowing around and in drought conditions that can quickly equal disaster. Though there are steps you can take to try to prevent this from happening, nothing is foolproof.
  3. Dig a good firepit. By a good firepit, I mean one that is lined with rocks. It should be deep and lined completely with rocks and it is best to stay away from sedimentary rocks which have been in water because these can explode when exposed to the heat of a fire.
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