Monday, March 5, 2018

Rule of 3 part 2

Back with part 2. I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

In my first post I spoke of shelter, our first priority in a survival situation. Remember we are using the scenario of heading out on a day hike. Only expecting to be gone a few hours but something happens and you are out overnight.

Now, if you were lucky you started to hydrate before you left on your trip by drinking plenty of water. Good old H2O. Camlebak used the slogan “Hydrate or Die” and, as we know, this is true. So if we start the day before, event eh night before and just…drink water. You don’t have to force hydrate in most cases, just simply up your water intake a bit.  Like we talked about with your clothes being your first line of shelter, being hydrated before your trip is a good base line. You don’t want to set out and already be mildly dehydrated.

Now, your planning your outing you’ve picked out suitable clothes and been drinking water but your still going to need water ON your trip. Simple answer, bring a water bottle. My local thrift shop has stainless steel bottles for sale very cheap. Nalgene bottles are still readily available and work great. Some folks like to bring a Camelbak type product. Some of the packs are of a good enough size and have pockets that you could make a day pack out of them easily.

 Even just stopping off at a convenience store on your way to your hike you can get a bottle of water, a bag of trail mix, some beef jerky and, my favorite, a Snickers bar. Don’t forget to grab a bright colored bic lighter at the check out too J.

Bottom line, water is too important not to bring along on any hike.

I’ll be back with more!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Survival rule of 3

This post is kind of a basic survival 101.  Knowledge is power, especially in survival situations as well as in bushcraft. Mors Kochanski has been quoted as saying something to the tune of the more you know the less you have to carry. Great advice.  Survival is just that, a situation that you may find yourself in which your very existence is on the line. Bushcraft is similar, I think. You take to the woods and use your knowledge and skills to make your self comfortable.  There is some cross over here for sure. The skills and techniques I practice in Bushcraft could very much come in to play in a survival situation.

on to the Rules of 3

1st - you can survive 3 minutes with out air. This is a no brainer to me. We breathe air and thus we need it to live. No oxygen and we die, simple as that. When you search up survival rules of 3 this one seems to come up first always so I include it here but come on....this is basic.

1. You can survive 3 hours in an extreme or harsh environment.
2. You can survive 3 days with out water.
3. You can survive 3 weeks with out food.

There they are. 3 simple rules but if you can't meet them, you die. Another survival rule of three is similar but slightly different. These three are in order of importance.

1. Shelter
2. Water
3. Fire

Slightly different but still very similar. I roll water and food in together as #2 with more importance placed on water of course.  These are 3 basics that will let you survive a situation until rescue or you find your way back if lost.

So, what does this mean from a survival stand point. well, you can help yourself before you even set out. You can have a car kit in your trunk or way back in your car. A 5 gallon bucket with a blanket, some bottle of water and a bit of food could make all the difference in a winter emergency. Your car itself can act as shelter.

Lets look at those last 3 on an even more basic scenario. Your going on a day hike. Nothing crazy, out for a few hours and then back. Something happens and now your out over night. For this I'll assume lost and not injured as that is a whole other barrel of monkeys.

Well, we can help ourselves with shelter right away with what we choose to wear. Our clothing can be our first level of shelter. Dress for the weather of course, Bring something along for just in case. I'd recommend some good cargo type pants. Something with good pockets and belt loops. I'd aslo wear a good sturdy belt and a belt knife or mulitool of some kind. If you don't want to wear a knife, a pocket knife in your pocket is a great idea. A moisture wicking top if hiking in war weather will help control body temperature during the hike.  Carrying a light weight jacket,a rain poncho/ tarp,  or even a sweatshirt can make a huge difference if your day hike suddenly turns in to an over nighter or a weekender.

 In the Winter you may need to bring along something more substantial, heavy coat, underwear, etc... location dependent. That means what I bring for a winter emergency here in Minnesota may be different than someone in Arkansas.

Alright I'll leave this here for now and we will return in the next post and take about part 2 Water.

Hey, let me know what you think, leave a comment or a suggestion.

Thanks for coming along.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

What happened to the good old Leatherman?

Rewind to the year 1991.  I was stationed in Ft. Richardson, AK.  At the time I was a young Infantryman in Bco (Mad Dogs) 1-17th IN.  Just about every one of us had a multitool on our belts daily. That tool was the Leatherman.  It's name was a brand standard like Kleenex or Fed ex. You didn't ask your buddy for his multi-tool when you needed it, you asked for his leatherman.  It had everything you could need on a regular basis: pliers, a good knife blade, a file, screwdrivers tips. It was awesome.  I remember it had a little tip that was awesome at getting the carbon off of the bolt on an M16A2.

I used mine daily whether we were in garrison or the field.  There was always a use for it.  On a deployment to the Philippines I gave mine to a counterpart. A tough as nails Phil Corporal who could drink beer with the best of us and showed me how to live in the field on the islands. I figured I'd just pick up another one when I got back to Rich at the PX, no big deal.  Long story short, I forgot.

A few months later I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC with the 82nd.  there were options now in the multi-tool department. Gerber had one out know that could deploy it pliers with just  quick flick of the wrist.  I decided to give that one a try.  It worked just fine, in fact I noticed over the years soldiers changed from asking for a Leatherman to asking for a Gerber... Times change. I'm not sure where mine ended up, a few years later and we were even issued them from Uncle Sam.  I still have one in my OTIS cleaning kit too.

early this year, 2018, I got to thinking that I really wanted to have a multi-tool on hand again for day to day needs.  I searched up Leatherman again as it was the original and the one I liked the best. To my surprise the original model is available again!  I can get an original PST for the low low price of $245!!!  No way in hell.

 I was really surprised that the original model was not still widely available.  Leatherman DOES have quite a number of models available in several sizes. The Wave, the Surge, the Sidekick, all have great tool features and wonderful curves and lines to them. I wanted the classic though, just as I remembered it. 

I was happy to find a model that was very close to the PST and decided it would be the one I wanted.  The Rebar.  It has 17 tools on it as opposed to the original PST's 14. It has pliers, wire cutters, crimpers, wire stripper, ruler, knife blade, serrated knife blade, a file, a saw, and several screw driver blades....

I found one on ebay for less than half the MSRP shipped only missing a sheath. I ordered it up and got in my happy hands this past Tuesday.

I'll be happily using it from now on. I'll post up a quick review of it later on this year as I've out it through it's paces.

If you are interested in Leatherman products, here is the link to their home page.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A boy's first knife

It's an important time in a young boy's life when he gets his first pocket knife. 

My first pocket knife was a two blade jack knife. It had a brown handle with small silver shield on the handle. My Grandfather took me down to our local Target store and we picked it out.  I was 7 years old. I was SO proud. Then I screwed up and lost it.  I had it in my pocket, where it had lived from the day it was given to me. I was playing at a friends house when it fell out. My "friend" grabbed it up from the ground and ran inside his house. I ran after begging him to "Give it back!" He didn't. In fact he lied to his Mom and told her he didn't have my knife. His older sister took his side too, even though she knew he did have it.  I was beside myself crying. I walked slowly home and sat on  he front steps feeling awful.  A few minutes later the older sister came up the street on her bike. She said something about giving back my knife and she threw it. From the street. My heart leaped at the idea that I would get my most treasured item back! She didn't throw it very hard and it fell into the street before it got to me. It fell in to the street and right down a storm drain. I was crushed.

In the short time I did have that knife I had the wonderful experience of sharing time with Grandpa. We sat in his back yard and whittled away at the many maple branches that fell from the huge tree in the yard. Even now I can remember how smooth those twigs and branches felt after we stripped them of their bark. The fresh green scent that came up from the bark curls gathered around our feet.  I knew I was doing something with Grampa that"kid stuff". This was important stuff, grown up stuff. Even at that young age I could feel the seriousness of handling a pocket knife safely.

Tonight I had the privilege of working with a group of cub scouts on their Bear Claws adventure. We learned safe handling and care for pocket knives. How to cut with their knives, how to sharpen, even the correct way to hand their knife to someone else.  I don't know if they picked up on the seriousness of the lessons, I know from the smiles and nods I received their Dads and Grand Dads did.

Pictured at the beginning of this post is my son's first pocket knife, an Opinel No. 6. 
As promised, here is a better picture of the completed axe.  I really like how the BLO took to the handle and the rich color it added.  I did sand the handle first with some 220 grit sandpaper. Some of the handles bought at stores feel like there is a thin coating on them. I also wanted to make sure the handle would take the BLO.  Also I checked and the handle is a 26" model.

I do have some more file work to do on the blade edge. There are still some small nicks I want to get out of it. At this point, though, it is VERY sharp and would be just fine in the woods.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I hung a new axe

Welcome to 2018!

To be honest I hung this axe in the summer of 2017.  I purchased a Swedish Military Surplus Axe from Sportsman's guide back in about 2013 or so. Finally this last summer I got around to putting a new handle on it and stripping off the OD paint job.

The picture below is a WIP shot about mid way through the process.

Shown are the tools I used for the process minus a shot of a few of the clamps I used as needed.
A bastard file, a 4 in hand rasp, rubber mallet, spoke shave, a beer and my Aegishjalmer pendant made for me years a go by Lee Kinder.

The process is simple enough, but as this is only me second time I know I still have much to learn.  I picked out a handle at my local Mom and Pop hardware store, I think this is a nice 24" one. The head itself isn't very big, I think its about a pound and a half. Its not to long or too heavy; I can strap it to a pack and take to the woods easy enough.

I learned how to hang from the Bushcraft USA forums linked in my side bar. Also i supplemented my learning with You tube videos.

I'll post a follow up picture of the axe as it looks now, oiled up with multiple coats of boiled linseed oil or BLO as many folks tend to refer to it.

enough for now, I need to leave something for more posts!

Get outside!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Garden Time!

Hey All,

Getting ready to put the garden in here at my small city lot. Nothing fancy, mainly things I know we will eat as a family, either fresh or canned.

For simplicity sake I ordered all my seed and plants from Territorial Seed Co.

Here is what's going in:

Hot Peppers (Jalapeno, Habenero, and Pepperoncini)
Various cooking herbs

Lots of root veggies I'm hoping will keep. Fixings for my own salsa and tomato sauce. I'm going to try to make my own gardiniera relish and pickles.

Anyway, that's whats going on at my homestead,