And you’re out of shotgun slugs the only shells available are cheap birdshot shells. Here’s a quick survival hack that allows you to turn that bird shot shell into a slug capable of taking down bigger game.
The hack is quite simple all you need to do is use a pocket knife and cut around the wadding area, but don’t cut all the way through. What happens is when the shell is fired, the full frontal portion of the shotgun shell hull, shot and the wad becomes a fearsome projectile.
Last thing is, this can be very dangerous due to the pressure spikes from forcing the whole chunk of shot shell down your barrel. So only use this hack in only survival situation.
By Eric Nestor
Source: EatalltheBirds Youtube
Solar chargers and gadgets that run on solar can be found all over the place, and like many I have tried almost all of them disappoint. Some never fully charge, lose their charge too quickly, fall apart, short out if they get wet or any number of things that render it useless after just a couple tries. These are all the reasons I fell in love with Sunjack.
First: The basic specs for the 14-watt version (also comes in 20-watt)
– Four solar panels that come in an easy-to-carry and pack case
– Fast-charge battery pack
– Fast charge cable
– One-year warranty
Second: The dimensions
– Folded 9″ x 6.5″ x 1.75″ (23cm x 16.5cm x 4.5cm)
– Fully unfolded 9″ x 31″ x 1″ (23cm x 79cm x 2.5cm)
– Weight 1.75 lbs (0.8 kg)
My first impression of the Sunjack after taking it out of the package was wow! The quality of the case, stitching and construction was exceptional – good sign. Then I expanded the case and was impressed to find four full solar panels. Surprising for such a thin case, but the test was yet to come, and test it I would.
The Sunjack was clearly designed by those who need and use these devices. It comes with a carabiner and multiple attachment points around the case, so that you can hang, attach, suspend and clip onto almost anything and any angle. Nice touch.
On the back of the case – non solar-panel side – there is a mesh compartment which neatly stores the Sunjack portable battery (more on that in a minute) and cable as well as the solar plug-in with dual USB ports. This is actually attached to the case, so you cannot lose it. I would lose it.
Some solar chargers only offer the ability to either charge a portable battery or charge directly to a device – not both. Sunjack offers both.
Let the testing begin – Mwahahhahaa!
I can be pretty tough on things, so I expect my gear to take a beating. I put the Sunjack through some pretty impressive paces to include purposely leaving it out in the rain, dropping it and the battery pack numerous times and basically using it as it was intended – to provide power for the earth-wandering explorer/survivor. Almost to my dismay, it continued to work flawlessly.
Using my iPhone 6 Plus, I ran down my battery to just five percent and plugged it directly into the solar charger. It took about three hours to fully charge my phone. It also charged my Ipad in about 3.2 hours from a 10 percent starting point.
Charging the battery pack that was included with the kit took about two full hours. Not a bad rate of charge considering the time it took to charge a phone and tablet.
This is where this little device excels. Charging directly from the already charged battery pack, I was able to charge my iPhone from eight percent to fully charged in 32 minutes … twice! On a single battery pack. This means that if I left my house with a fully charged Iphone and battery pack, I could get three full iPhone-battery cycles without plugging into a wall – SOLD!
No other solar charger or solar battery pack has ever provided this kind of speed, and the battery pack is tiny – about the size of a standard iPhone.
Another great feature is the battery-pack charging port. Because the port is not one of the two USBs on the pack, you can charge the battery pack and an iPhone simultaneously.
I love this little device, and am happy someone in the solar world finally got it right. Thanks, Sunjack.
This article originally appeared on SailingwithJODA
How to make a mini flamethrower with household supplies! Yes, you too can make one to build a fire at your next camp outing or just to bring it up at a cocktail party. Here are the items that you will need to get started watch the video to see instructions on setup and assembling:
Inventor719: Hello everyone, Inventor 719 here, and today I have a VERY cool how-to video, where I’m going to be showing you guys how to make your very own simple flamethrower. Let’s get started.[Intro sequence]
All you’re gonna need for this project is four simple household items: You’re gonna need a barbecue lighter that you can take apart, it will have to have gas in it. A little lighter like this cigarette lighter, mine’s basically capped but it doesn’t matter. You’re gonna need a little syringe or needle, size is kind of irrelevant, I have one this size, it works perfectly. And you’re gonna need a hot-glue gun.
First grab your barbecue lighter, and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna remove the gas tank part right here. So you may have seen in my other videos, but all you’re gonna do is remove the screws, take off the little cap part right here, break the lighter open, and simply take the clear square part out, and what you’ll be left with is this right here, and by pulling up on the valve here you can get gas to come out, so this is what we’re going to use for the fuel for our flame thrower.
To make the actual flame thrower, grab your needle and take off the safety cap, and CAREFULLY –depends on the model, but on mine you can just– unscrew the top and the actual pointy part will come off. So you’re gonna SAFELY dispose of this in a Sharps container or something, and of course use an unused needle, because if not that would be very unsanitary and quite gross. So, now what we have to do is mount it just like so on the top of your lighter, plunger at the back, and so the opening to the flame of your cigarette lighter is close to the nozzle as you see there. And we’re gonna use the hot-glue gun for that.
There is the completed flamethrower, and a bit of tape for extra support, aside from the hot glue. There you have it, now let’s do some shooting tests. So I’ve turned the lights down, and we’re gonna pull the plunger all the way back. We’re gonna fill this part here with gas right here, tip it upside-down since the butane is heavier than air, for about five seconds (three, four, five), now before it all runs out, light the lighter and press the plunger. [thwip]
I’ll go it again for you, a side view in the dark. [Thwip]
That might’ve been a bit too close, here’s a bit farther away. [Thwip] [instant replay]
Here’s another the Point of View
Alright everyone, thanks for watching! Hope you enjoyed this simple but very cool project, I hope you like it, let me know what you think in the comments below. As always, help me reach the fifty-thousand subscriber mark, I’m getting up there, and I’m going to be doing a givaway, so look forward to that, and if you’re not subscribed, please subscribe, I promise you’ll like my channel. So thanks for watching, and as always, like, comment, and subscribe.
Source: Inventor719 Youtube
As I unpacked the bag, I was immediately impressed and wished I had found it years ago. It is stored in a nice nylon sack, which should work great to keep it out of sight. No one needs to know that you have something hidden away for an emergency. The pack is midsized, but has plenty of room to add personal items and additional supplies if you wish. Pockets and compartments abound on this bag, all with heavy-duty zippers or elastic tops to help keep things organized.
Another great thing about this bag is that it comes loaded and ready to go. All the items – and they are plentiful– are neatly stowed and organized. No bulky packaging here.
THE BASIC KIT INCLUDES:
1 compact backpack
1 2.5-liter hydration system by Condor Outdoor
1 Echo-Sigma 1-3 Day Provision Pack (arid, with a ﬁve-year storage life in a warmer environment)
1 Echo-Sigma Compact Survival Kit that includes:
1 emergency whistle
1 emergency blanket by Coghlan’s
1 BIC-brand butane disposable lighter
1 magnesium ﬁre starter with ﬂint striker
40 waterproof matches by Coghlan’s
1 Live Fire Sport Emergency Fire Starter
50 inches of duct tape
1 bottle of water puriﬁcation tablets by Coghlan’s
2 chemical light sticks by Coghlan’s
2 BIC-brand ballpoint pens
1 pad of paper
1 set of earplugs
1 Echo-Sigma Compact First Aid Kit with:
1 4-inch scissor
1 3-inch tweezer
1 ﬁrst aid card
20 plastic bandages
12 alcohol swabs
10 wet wipes
10 antiseptic swabs
3 sting relief swabs
4 pain relief tablets
2 3-inch by 3-inch sterile gauze pads
1 2-inch by 5-yard gauze roll
1 5-inch by 9-inch sterile abdominal dressing
1 0.5-inch by 2.5-yard roll of tape
Access to 14 exclusive online training videos
1 SOG Reactor multitool
1 waterproof LED ﬂashlight by Fenix (187 lumen)
50 feet of military-grade 550 paracord
10 extra large zip ties
1 Coghlan’s Emergency Tube Tent
1 emergency poncho
1 plexiglass mirror for signaling help
1 Cocoon thermal sleeping bag by Survival Industries
6 premium AA alkaline batteries (guaranteed fresh for seven years)
1 pair leather work gloves
2 N95-rated respirator masks
1 pair of protective goggles
2 hand warmers by Coghlan’s
But this bag is not simply a “one size fits all” solution. You’ll find a wealth of customizable options based on your personal needs and preferences on the company website.
First among these are three bag color choices: red, black and coyote brown. Want a more powerful flashlight? No problem, as even a headlamp is an option. Would you like more food? Add an MRE to boost calorie count and time in flight.
How about a different multi-tool? Four are offered at different price points.
Further website research reveals the availability of knives, axes, a folding shovel (entrenching tool) and more goodies, including a multi-powered radio.
LifeStraw and other water-purification items are available as well, and did I mention the Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration System with inline filter? There, I did. The instructions for each item in the bag are also included in a small waterproof pouch. After all, depending on the scenario, you might just need something to read.
But wait, there is still more! Want to step it up another notch? Echo-Sigma offers a SOG special edition Get Home Bag loaded with lots of gear.
Feel as if you don’t need all the items listed above? Opt for the Runner bag, a slimmed-down bag geared for lighter weight and faster travel, although it is also available with plenty of options and upgrades.
Desire something even larger? They have many fullsized bug-out bags with plenty of options and upgrades, plus a monstrous Emergency Roll Away for Two (ER2) kit that is packed with two bug-out bags and more gear. (Quick pause to drool – I do want one of these.)
What if you are already working on your own bag and just need a few more elements? No sweat. EchoSigma can provide a wide variety of pieces and parts to top off your kit, including food and water, trauma kits, compact survival kit, knives, tools – you name it. I ordered an Echo-Sigma Provision Pack to supplement my own ever-changing pack, an addition that will provide three to 10 days of food and water, depending on my activity.
This great company offers several other products, and among those are three I would consider “special” bags. First, a Range bag that includes magazine pouches, a first aid kit and a trauma kit (which I review elsewhere in this issue), and two Active Shooter Response System bags of different sizes. These are designed in conjunction with federal law enforcement officers to help keep them supplied in that type of situation.
All Echo-Sigma offerings are very well thought out, packed in heavy-duty packs and bags, correctly stowed and ready to use, so kudos to this fine company for doing much of the hard work for us.
To start your research, or to continue planning and building a personalized kit for yourself or a loved one, visit echo-sigma.com. ASJ
Originating in the late 50’s, the Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 rifle was designed by Eugene Stoner who was known as the father of the AR-16. Eventually, the design was sold to other manufactures. Today’s AR-7 .22 is manufactured solely in the U.S.and has evolved in many ways. Its design changes and updated manufacturing controls have provided advancement in this unique rimfire. Some of the improvements include a new barrel bushing which has increased the feeding reliability. In addition, the magazines have been upgraded which also improves feeding. The magazines are now manufactured from steel and have an eight-round capacity with a feed ramp that guides each round into the chamber.
Acquired by Henry Repeating Arms in 1997, the U.S. Survival AR-7 has a long list of benefits that make it one of the first choices in survival rifles. The president of the company states that the new version is the most reliable of the AR-7’s. As far as strict versatility, besides carrying the most popular cartridge in the world, it has many other outstanding qualities.
While there is no single best weapon for every situation, the .22 rifle is the perfect survival weapon for the majority of circumstances. First of all, you probably can’t find a more accessible gun in the U.S. or Canada. Most shooters learn on a .22 and are familiar with how it works. Since it is so common, it doesn’t have as many restrictions as other caliber weapons. Any place that sells ammunition, you are going to be able to find .22 rimfire ammo.
Some of the other features that make it an ideal survival weapon are that it requires less cleaning and maintenance than a centerfire. How many of us have left a .22 sitting in a closet and pulled it out years later. It still works! In addition, the low weight of both the rifle and its ammo are a definite advantage. You can carry 500 .22 rounds for the same weight of 25 12 gauge shells. It does its job on any small game as well as animals the size of large deer. There are reported accuracy shots of 300 plus yards and it has enough retained energy to neutralize prey.
Let’s talk about convenience in dismantling and stowing. The .22 AR-7 can be dismantled quickly and without tools. The main components are the barrel, magazine and receiver. These can be stowed in the ABS plastic stock which is both waterproof and dust-resistant. The receiver is made of aluminum while the 16-inch barrel is made of a steel liner cased in a composite housing. The rifle can be stowed in a backpack or in the trunk of a car, all wrapped up neatly in its polymer stock.
As far as ease of shooting goes, the sights on the AR-7 are easy to see due to their bright orange color. The rear sight has a tube built into the receiver. If it was alone, it would work like a ghost ring, but it has a cap which is similar in size to a Popsicle stick, that screws into the back of the receiver. It can be flipped so the two holes, one set wider and one set narrower, can be used. It can also be adjusted for personal preference either up or down.
Stacking against Other
Ease of handling, reliability, easy break down and good shooting, how does the .22 AR-7 stack up to other survival rifles? On the higher end, there are several rifles that will cost you 2 to 5 times as much as the AR-7. Starting in the $700 range is the Armalite AR7. The Armalite Explorer runs in the $800 range. Your Windham Weaponry runs in the high $800’s and the POF Upper DPMS Sniper Stock will set you back $1,500, just to list a few. The disadvantages of these weapons is that there are many restrictions buying not only the guns but the ammo as well. They are difficult to break down and store and they require lots of maintenance. They do not store easily, are not compact, and the weapons and the ammo are heavy. One more advantage of the .22 AR-7 over the other guns is that there is no recoil. It can be handled by someone with health issues or by novices.
When it comes to pest control, a good air rifle is good enough to scare off rodents. However, you can fire your .22 and scare off even medium sized animals with a few well-placed shots. Sending a safe warning shot off in the correct direction will discourage poachers or thieves without spending money on high-cost ammo. Remember to respect the gun laws and don’t fire in any situation that goes against gun regulations. However, in the case of having to put down a wounded animal, butchering, or a mercy killing of a sick animal, the AR-7 fits the bill for all those scenarios.
The AR-7 survival rifle has been the first choice of the U.S.Air Force pilots since 1959. They knew this small-caliber rifle could be counted on for survival in remote areas. It has built its reputation on ease of operation, portability and reliability. It is a favorite for backpackers, adventurers and even bush pilots. It is an all-purpose, affordable, easy to use and effective survival rifle.
Story by J Hines
Photos by Wiki
Source: Hickok45 Youtube and Wiki
The amount of work and level of detail, all done by this one guy determined to make the coolest bunker ever, complete with running water, food, weapons – a seriously cool stash of weapons – and creature comforts.
Video Transcribed by Sam Morstan
In an old town…
[“Take that Lincolnshire!”] On an old street…
[Digging Machines whirring] In an old house…
[Distant yelling over loud noises] In an old garden…
[more machines whirring] In an old shed…
“Not everything is normal. Right there, under my garden, I’ve dug an underground bunker. And the entrance is in ‘ere!”
[Rock music “When thoughts collide” by Heroic blaring] “Oh yes. Ahahaha! How cool is that?! Oh we’ve got the bowed ceilings, ‘cuz you know, I’m three meters under the ground, I wanna feel like I’m underground, and I’m not just in a metal box. Let’s go have a look at the main room!”
[Claps hands together] “IT’S FINIIISHED! AT LAST”
“Here we are, still underneath my Garden. And why? ‘Cuz I was asked, ‘What would you do if the world was to end in thirty-four days?’ I said, ‘I’d make a bunker!’, Which is basically me digging through solid rock, turning my garden into a quarry, welding tons of steel, and pouring buckets of concrete, ‘Till we’ve got this! So then, ‘Give you a tour!”
“So, Kitchen area! Cutlery, knives, and forks; that’s all up ‘ere. Down ‘ere we’ve got all the food an’ stuff, tin food, dry food, anything that doesn’t go off, doesn’t go out of date.”
“To cook it, we’ve got a microwave, ‘Course in my case, it’s a freezer-wave should you want to freeze stuff, whih you probably won’t. Water! We’ve got mains water effect from outside, and should that fail, got plenty of stored water up ‘ere.”
“Now the waste is dealt with quite coolly, it goes underneath here into a maserating unit which is behind the toilet system, and it’s all pumped up outside. Now the toilet, of course it’s uh, not very private, but it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t really matter.”
“Good air in, bad air out. Sleepin’ arrangements: Got me an ejector bed. Which I’ve got to admit, is not so effective down ‘ere. Got a gas mask in case of te inevitable, and as this bunker is heavily reliant on electricity, should mains power fail from above, ‘ve got a generator down here, and I’ve got another backup one in the shed.”
“Now then, natural disaster may not be the only thing that brings on the end of the world, humanity might go nuts. So we need to protect against that as well, so I’ve got THESE.”
“We’ve got Wolverine claws. If you want to be a little bit more stealth, the Assassin’s Creed Hidden Blade. And we’ve got THESE two wonderful items, you’ll find out what they are in future videos, but what if we’ve got some crazies trying to bash the door in.”
[KLANG KLANG KLANG] “Well with this little remote control, push this button…”
[Whirring] “Awww yess!”
[airsoft gun shooting rapid-fire] “Job done, They’re all taken out.”
“Now, also’ve got the cat bowl down here, so, the shady cat is down here somewhere. Cuz let’s face it, you’ve got an underground bunker, there’s just some things that you have to have.”
“Now at the moment we’re not in an apocalyptic situation, so this is basically currently the ultimate mancave, which is why we’ve got this lot!”
“You’ve got a MASSIVE flatscreen TV, we’ve got surround sound, which is has been built into the metalwork so there is no cables tanglin’ anywhere. Over ‘ere we’ve got all sortso f game consoles ranging back from the nineties up through present day, ‘course we’ve got a Skybox, and because you can make all the noise you want down here and no-one can here you, we’ve got a drumkit!”
[Loud drumming] “And there we are! The Colinfurze apocalyptic bunker project. Now the most surprising thing, other than the fact that I’m sat underneath my lawn, is it actually looks remarkably like the plan I drew all those months ago. Now this is not the last think you’ll see of the apocalyptic bunker on the Colinfurze chanel, in future videos I’d like to look at making an air filtration system, but also different ways of generating power
other than using petrol generators. We should all thank Sky1’s “You, Me, and the Apocalypse” program because it was them that funded this, and made this all possible; but for now I think I’m deserved a well-earned cup of tea! Wooh! That was a long project.”
“So, to see the program trailer that sparked this all off, click up here [to the left of the video]; if you want to see how this whole thing was built from start to finish, playlist up ‘ere [To the right of the video]. And there we are! The Colinfurze Apocalyptic Bunker project is finally finished!
The AK family of weapons is reliable and rugged. It was designed to be operated by illiterate teenage conscripts with little to no training. It was never intended to protect a family after a natural disaster and is ill suited to that purpose. If the answer comes down to supportability and simplicity, you need a shotgun.
Everybody has their own ideas about guns, that is part of their charm. There are near-infinite combinations of precision, wounding potential, and magazine capacity. There is much opinion on this. I will give you mine. You are welcome to violently disagree; it is your God-given right.
I have been to some bad places around the world and have seen bad things happen. When I lived on the Gulf Coast, I went through the aftermath of several major hurricanes. I now live in a rural area and maintain a wide selection of weapons. When I hear a noise in the night, I grab the shotgun.
The AK was designed for wartime production. The elimination of a bolt hold-open feature saved three parts. In Soviet Russia, magazines are scarce and valuable, so you are driven to hold the magazine to work the flapper magazine release. This is meant to make you hold on to magazines rather than let them drop free, since it’ll be in your hand before you insert the next magazine. The sights require a tool to adjust. This keeps recruits from messing up the fine zero the factory armorers put on it.
Semiautomatic rifles have their place. In the proper hands, with quality ammo and parts, they can shoot a lot of rounds a long way. There is also a place for bolt guns, but the relatively slow rate of fire demands that they be employed with some stand-off. At distance, even a Lee-Enfield or Mosin-Nagant could be effective.
My vote for home protection? The all-American choice is the Remington 870. The pump shotgun is incredibly simple. The controls? A safety button and a pump. Work the pump and shoot. Got a jam? Work the pump and shoot. Repeat as necessary and reload.
It is funny the way people take to a certain gun. My God-father used the Remington 870 in Vietnam. He told me to buy one. The 870 always felt right to me. I am not knocking the Mossberg or other pumps, but I like the 870. If my God-father had been issued a Mossberg, I would probably have one.
The 870 has great ergonomics and a Magpul stock makes them even better. The shotgun itself has a modern, modular design with many aftermarket upgrades available. I recommend a flashlight and Tritium sights for home-defense use.
Without a magazine or available ammo, the AK is a pretty ineffective club. If you are planning on serious use, you’d better have extra magazines and more ammo than you think you need.
Pump shotguns are dead-simple and rugged. There is no magazine to lose, and with minimal care, your grand-kids will still be able to use it. They should be cleaned and lubricated every 10,000 rounds or so, but even that is not necessary.
The AK doesn’t fail often, but it can fail. I have broken trigger springs and had ruptured cartridges that required a special tool to clear. The parts are not designed to be replaced or interchangeable. Ever changed the barrel in an AK? The Russians would laugh at you. They never figured any Russian soldier would survive long enough to shoot out a barrel.
In spite of loose tolerances, every country that made an AK added a little flair. I have seen guns where parts were hand-fitted with files to go together. Better to have a spare gun than spare parts.
The AK has a rough trigger and poor sights. If it ever gets dark where you live, you might consider how hard it is to see those sights at night.
The AK comes in two main calibers: 7.62×39mm and 5.45×39mm. If you are serious about using an AK for SHTF in America, there are some variants around that shoot .223; this would be very handy.
Shotguns can use an astounding variety of readily available ammo. Even during the great ammo famine I could still find 12 gauge.
Because of its caliber, the 12 gauge shotgun is considered a Destructive Device by federal law. There is a specific exemption for “sporting purposes” which permits this powerful weapon to be sold without a tax stamp. The famous 12 gauge “Street Sweeper” was removed from the exemption and declared a Destructive Device after the fact by ATF.
A typical OO Buckshot 12-gauge buckshot round has nine 30-caliber pellets and will keep a man-sized pattern out to 25 yards. The creation of multiple wound channels is devastating. Even birdshot hits like a slug at room distances. A 1-ounce slug will reach out accurately at 100 yards if you know what you are doing. Think about how far you can see from your yard. Science demands the insertion of a ballistic gelatin video here.
Not surprisingly, Buckshot was so named for killing deer. My favorite is the Remington Reduced Recoil 8-pellet. They eliminated one of the pellets and did some kind of vodoo with seemingly defies Newtonian Physics by maintaining good penetration and patterns good while producing much less recoil.
A shotgun with an 18-inch Cylinder Bore or Improved Cylinder barrels will fire buck shot in a cone shaped pattern which spreads from the barrel of the gun at a rate of about one inch for each yard traveled. Knowing your pattern and using loads with tight shot patterns keep all the rounds in the target and out of your neighbors and family.
Shotgun buckshot and slugs will go through eight or ten layers of sheet rock in walls, so you can’t just spray it around. If shot up in the air it will fall out of the sky in a few hundred yards.
FUN HISTORY FACT: The Imperial German Army in WW1 knew a few things about effective weapons. They had deployed flame throwers, poison gas, machine guns and high explosives. In 1918, the German’s ran into Americans carrying the Model 97 Trench Guns (a 12 gauge pump shotgun) shooting 00 buckshot. They filed a diplomatic complaint that the shotgun was cruel and illegal because the 1907 Hague Convention said “it is especially forbidden to employ arms, projections, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering”. When the Americans laughed at this, the German Army threatened to execute soldiers caught with shotguns. Challenge accepted! American General Pershing replied that Germans caught with flamethrowers or saw-bladed bayonets would be shot.
Pump shotguns are reliable and fast, but hold relatively few rounds and are slow to reload once empty. My 870 holds nine rounds. If there are more than nine people I need to kill all at once, I will call a friend with a shotgun and/or transition to a handgun as I run away.
United States Vice President Joe Biden is a big shotgun fan. He has recommended shotguns as the best choice for home defense. As he famously said “You don’t need an AR, you don’t need thirty rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun. If you want to protect yourself, get a double barreled shotgun.”
I would give almost the same advice, “Jill, if there’s ever a man who is trying to rape and kill you and the kids, just walk out on the balcony here…and fire two blasts into his chest. Then reload and call the neighbors for help.”
Whether you are trained on the AK or you just have a lot in common with an illiterate teenage conscript, you may want to consider a shotgun for around the house. They are legal in all 50 states, will run under filthy conditions, and tolerate inexcusable abuse. High-quality shotguns and 12-gauge ammo are cheap and plentiful; after a disaster, availability may vary. Buy a couple of them and make some friends.
(Featured image courtesy of gandermountain.com)
by Mark Miller loudoutroom.com
Mark Miller is a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense, a casual hero and a student of science.
Story and photographs by John Wood
Do you recall how you became interested in prepping? Was it a personal experience from a localized disaster that you were not prepared for, or perhaps watching a catastrophic event on television? Maybe you fear the economic crisis in Greece or exodus of thousands of people from troubled countries who might reach the shores of America? Maybe it was triggered by a stock market shutdown due to a computer glitch?
Whatever the reason or motivation that started you into prepping, the good news is these are all issues you are thinking about. You might be eager to carry this concern forward to the next logical phase. Here are some initial planning steps to get you pointed in the right direction.
If you wanted to learn how to change the oil in your car, shoot a gun or know how to do yoga, what would you do first? You might buy a book on the subject, look up information on the Internet, watch a YouTube video or possibly sign up for a class to learn how-to, firsthand.
These are all reasonable approaches, but the core element here is to learn. This is the first step with prepping, too. It can be accomplished in a host of ways, including tasks as simple as visiting the local library or bookstore. Maybe it would help to seek out a few survivalist Internet sites like Alloutdoor.com or SurvivalCache.com. These sources can open many doors to education and planning.
Knowing what to do first, then second and so forth is crucial, because with prepping you really cannot afford to make too many mistakes. Also know that prepping is a lifelong learning process.
Get a big notebook! In this prepping journal you will want to start jotting down copious thoughts,
ideas, concepts, basic planning lists, evaluation of gear or prepping assets, to-buy gear lists, and a rudimentary budget to carry it all out over time. While prepping is an expedient activity, hopefully the disaster won’t happen tomorrow. Unfortunately, it might be next week.
Start by asking yourself basic questions that relate to your situation: What kinds of problems are you likely to encounter? Will you bug in or out, meaning will you stay put in your fortress or take off? If you leave home, where will you go, and what will you need to take with you?
These kinds of thoughts help to get the mental juices flowing and face the realities of prepping.
You may be an experienced outdoors person or have completed Delta Force training in the Army, which certainly would have provided some background skills, but more than likely you’re an accountant, an elementary school teacher or mechanic at the local garage. You need to assess the skills you possess and those of your team, which can include family, friends or like-minded individuals. Everyone has a role. This will help you determine what other skills you need to acquire.
Can you shoot firearms and reload them without blinking? Can you put up a tent in a windstormor light a campfire in a downpour? Can you pry open a can of beans without a can opener? Do you know how to set a broken bone or sew up a deep laceration? Can you find your campsite in the pitch dark? What happens when the power and water goes off at home? Just think of the scenarios you might face during a severe event like a tornado, forest fire or widespread economic collapse.
Begin to seek out local sources for skills training. Look at potential courses taught at local community colleges, or outdoors groups. Look on bulletin boards at supplier stores to see if related events are scheduled. You will likely be surprised at all of the prepper activities going on right in your own hometown. Avail yourself to as many of these training opportunities as you can. Send one person, then execute train-the-trainer.
Now comes the fun part. What stuff do you need to prep? First, look at what you already have. Undoubtedly you will find a ton of stuff suitable for a bug-out or stay-home plan. This could include kitchen utensils, sleeping bags or blankets, camping gear (tents, stoves, lanterns, etc.), a hunting shotgun or rifle, backpacks or tote bags, extra sets of suitable clothing, shoes
Don’t discard or discount anything. An extra bicycle could be used to pedal around your bug-out camp. Those plastic storage boxes can be used to collect emergency gear for a grab and go. Pack up some extra personal hygiene products, first-aid supplies, hardware, garden tools, make up a mechanics tool box, save that old battery-powered radio, those sports binoculars and fold-out chairs. Any of these kinds of things can be used to set up a bug-out camp elsewhere.
Prepping is a process, and not something you can accomplish overnight. You have to take small bites, but chew thoroughly. Practice with your gear ahead of time. Forever add to your journal pages, revise them and replan accordingly. Study, plan, learn, train and execute are all the means to becoming a proficient prepper. It all starts with that
first step. ASJ
Hunting season is fast approaching, or maybe not fast enough. There are many different schools of thought on how to pack your day pack for hunting season, and I personally prefer the minimalist approach. Less is more. I do not believe that there is a need to pack 50 pounds of unnecessary weight on my back, so my goal is to pack as light and as smart as possible. For the overpackers out there, answer this question: When was the last time you used even a quarter of the gear you packed each day? 1992? I thought so!
If you are in a water-rich environment, why pack water around? It weighs a ton. I prefer a Lifestraw, which weighs almost nothing and filters 99.99 percent of the impurities from water. I just drink from a stream if I need water. This way I can hydrate all day if necessary and I’m not weighed down. But I fully realize there are many areas that do not have flowing water, and if that is the case, I fully encourage the use of any type of water-bladder system. Most hunting packs have an integrated water bladder, or at the very least, a system that can be used with one. It’s just a matter of finding the pack you prefer.
Think this through. If you are hunting in the West and are going to really exert yourself, you will need nutritional support. My recommendation is to condense your food and ensure the best possible protein and carb loads for your physical requirements. I pack a handful of protein bars, string cheese and hardboiled eggs. I also take a small bag of nuts, a couple of Power Blocks for extra energy and a few instant coffee packs to fuel my caffeine demon. All of this takes literally no space and weighs ounces. If you are working out of a blind or are doing a more stationary hunt, your physical requirements are less and you can pack accordingly.
If I am bowhunting or packing into the high country on horseback, I always pack a pistol with an extra magazine in the event I have to put an animal down. If I am rifle hunting, the sidearm, in my opinion, is unnecessary.
Whatever your preference, and they have multiple uses.
You can use your imagination here. Throw a handful in a plastic bag and you’re good to go! Literally and figuratively.
Bring additional ammunition, but don’t go crazy. You most likely don’t need to tote boxes of ammo with you each day. Personally, I tend to pack additional rounds in the pockets of my pants for easy access. Game calls should also be readily accessible.
I will pack the smallest tube known to mankind with minimal fragrance. I also pack a tube of scent-free lip balm with sunscreen.
A high-quality range finder is a must in all hunting situations. I recommend any product that effectively compensates for uphill and downhill ranging. Additionally, binoculars are as important as your weapon. High-quality glass is a game changer. While it may be spendy, I recommend Swarovski products, but there are many products out there with great quality at lower pricepoints. Also, binoculars should not be kept in your pack. Keep them somewhere where they can readily accessed.
I am a huge proponent of layering, and I will limit what I carry in the field. I prefer a merino-wool base layer. I often opt towards vests for core warming and will choose a jacket based on the temperatures and conditions. If it is cold, I bring a packable down jacket. If it is not, I will bring a lightweight jacket with wind stopping capabilities. If rain gear is necessary, pack the lightest option you have. There is absolutely no need to pack three jackets. Choose the most functional gear for your body type, climate and geography. I will typically have my jacket secured on the outside of my pack or on my saddle. I will not pack a jacket into my day pack; it wastes space and can become a huge nuisance.
A lighter and some lightweight fire-starting product like Wetfire, a type of tinder, is perfect. I like this because you can light it in the rain. I keep these items in a plastic bag and squirrel them away in that one random and illogical pocket that is in every backpack.
You can pack a prefabricated kit or make your own, but think of weight and space. I prefer a SAM splint, Ace wrap, needle and dental floss for emergency sutures, medical tape, gauze pads and iodine tablets to make a disinfectant. Bend the SAM splint and pack supplies in the splint then wrap it all with the Ace wrap. This takes less room and the contents stay secure. I have seen some first aid kits that are loaded. While there is nothing wrong with preparation, you can make due with the supplies I’ve listed for most injuries.
Not a bad idea in case you get stranded or weather becomes severe. You can use it as a blanket or a shelter, and it folds up into a tiny weightless packet.
I recommend packing a small roll of lightweight nylon cord. You can “Macgyver” just about anything with this.
Depending on the temperatures, I will pack either lightweight merino-wool gloves or, if it is cold, I will bring a heavier, insulated, waterproof pair. Not both.
My tip? Carry all of your licenses, all states and all game at all times. I keep mine in a plastic bag inside an internal pocket of my pack. This way, no matter where I go, I never forget them. This works great for me because I use the same pack for hunting and fishing.
You never know!
And that is it. All of this gear has minimal weight and covers most of your needs. Again, consider that what I have described here is for a day pack. Proper planning and packing can truly reduce your energy expenditure when it is needed most! ASJ
Editor’s note: Kirstie Pike is the CEO of Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women.
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