equipment

Are You a Desk Jockey? Stand and Deliver

My standing workstation in my classroom.

By Todd Walker

When I took a stand two years ago, I’ve never sat at my classroom desk again.

Research has shown prolonged sitting to be neither healthy or natural for us. I built my standing desk out of a throw away desk and some scrap plywood, added paint, and mounted it on top my sit down desk. Being on my feet all day wearing minimalist shoes while teaching, has helped my posture.

It’s rare that I’m behind my desk during class anyhow. However, when paperwork and bureaucratic pencil-pushing call, I stand and deliver – literally.

To refresh my mind and get my blood pumping, I knock out several sets of push ups behind my desk on my PVC DiY push up handles.

Easy and cheap PVC pushup bars

Easy and cheap PVC push up bars

Doing push ups outside in the sunshine is my favorite place. Time constraints and weather don’t always allow me to do so. These bars are sturdy and allow me to twist my wrists to a natural angle during exercises.

Oh, and here’s a closeup of the poster on my wall behind my standing workstation.

The Primal Blueprint Pyramid

The Primal Blueprint Pyramid

You’re turn to stand and deliver. Got any stuff you do to blend health and fitness into your daily work routine?

 

 

 

Categories: equipment, Frugal Preps, Survival Education | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Confessions of a Flashaholic

“Hi, my name is Todd and I’m flashaholic.”

I’m addicted. Is there a recovery program called Flashlights Anonymous?

Confessions-of-a-Flashaholic

Two StreamLights: (L) Stinger LED; (R) Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L ~ my EDC torch

Dirt Road Girl stumbles upon my hidden stash, rolls eyes, and offers up a little prayer for intervention. She reaches for an ink pen only to find what she thought was a writing utensil is… you guessed it… a freaking flashlight!

Disclosure: I don’t advertise or make money from this blog. Any products or links mentioned are for educational purposes only. If I like a product, I’ll recommend it.

Just last week, a student asked me if that was a flashlight clipped into my front pocket. Even at school, I can’t seem to break the habit. Is it a disease? Maybe it’s the choices I’ve made. The company I keep. Maybe, as an infant, I was breast-fed too long or not enough.

Seriously, I’m drawn to lights like a moth to a flame. I see no way of breaking free. Nor do I intend to.

I own 3 or 4 pair of reading glasses with lights. These get the most use of any of my torches. During lessons in my classroom, I often turn the overhead lights off for easy viewing on the active board. To help a student at his/her desk in low light situations, I often illuminate their work with my LightSpecs. At first, kids made fun of my “glowing glasses”. Now, its old hat for Mr. Walker to light up their work space.

We recently lost power at school and the backup generator failed. My interior room with no windows was pitch dark. I simply reached up, hit the switches near my temples and then grabbed my EDC torch from my back pocket. The howling stopped.

Tacticool Flashlights

By far, my LightSpecs see the most use. They’re not a defensive tool per se.  Wearing them switched “on” would give an aiming point for a gun-wielding thug.

A “tactical” flashlight is needed for self-defense applications. I’m not a fan of tacticool stuff. I want my stuff to be functional and dependable. Depending on your budget and individual preference, there are many lights to choose from. Before buying, keep these tips in mind.

Size Matters

You want a torch that fits in the palm of your hand. Like a concealed carry gun, if it too large, you’re likely to leave it at home. It should easily fit in your pants pocket or attach to your belt or purse. A 3 D-cell Maglite makes a great blunt force object but not an everyday carry item.

Lumens

Most experts recommend 100 + Lumens. I own a couple of Streamlight flashlights. I acquired my first while on the road, literally. The flashlight gods dropped it in the middle of the road last year on our way home from school. I yelled, “FLASHLIGHT!”, did an immediate U-Turn, and saved this torch from destruction. DRG shook her head in disbelief at my addiction and driving. The strobe feature is designed to disorient and confuse an attacker with 125 Lumens. The battery is rechargeable. No need to get all the bells and whistles. Press on, press off with enough Lumens to temporarily blind a threat is all that’s needed to give you time to fight or flee. Here’s the charging cradle I just received…with a spare battery always trickle charged.

Streamlight charging cradle for my found Stinger and spare battery

StreamLight Stinger LED in the charging cradle with a spare battery

Construction

If all you can afford is a plastic flashlight, buy it. True tactical lights are lightweight metal, waterproof, and durable. If employed in striking with the bezel end, it’s sure to leave a mark on the threat.

Sticker Shock

You don’t have to mortgage you home to buy a quality torch. I’ve got some disposable lights – the ones you buy that come three to a pack at the box stores for 10 bucks that would make great barter items. For a quality light, you’re going to have to spring for a little more. I just ordered a few more of the Streamlight 88031 Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L. A 180 Lumen light for $44.00. I use mine for EDC – Every Day Carry. It clips into my left front pocket. The other two will make great stocking stuffers. Correction. DRG has just added one to her purse.

  • For more research, check out CandlePowerForums, a site with more information than you can shake a flashlight at. That’s right. There are entire sites that feed my addiction.
A few "drugs" for fellow flashaholics

A few “drugs” for fellow flashaholics

Little Lights

Button Lights

DRG has a small button light on her key chain. You can find these at camping stores, online or brick and mortar outlets. They’re useful for finding stuff like keyholes or dropped items. I carry a button light designed to clip on web gear on my “Get Home Bag“. It emits a blue light powered by a small LED bulb. Clipped on my boonie hat, it offers just the right amount of non-white light when getting set up in my hunting stands.

Pak-lite LED Flashlight

I first heard of these on a review at SurvivalBlog. These little LEDs on a battery get rave reviews. EagerGridlessBeaver Blog has an extensive write-up on testing these simple lights. You’ll want one after reading it.

Pak-lite LED Flashlight, Basic Economy

Head Lamps

These offer hands-free illumination. I keep them in my kits, BOB, and toolbox. Remember to keep fresh batteries on hand.

The Light Emitting Diode is your friend. Don’t leave home without ’em.

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. – You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. The Doing the Stuff Network community can be found here: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Lots of good stuff going on here… check it out!

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your  vote on the “Top Prepper Sites“! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Camping, equipment, Gear, Preparedness, Self Defense | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

Chainsaw Use and Maintenance for Beginners

It’s Sunday. No better day to catch up on your reading. Grab a hot cup of coffee, adult beverage, or both and crank up your chainsaw skills. Caffeine to keep you alert – alcohol to sanitize the chainsaw gash in your thigh. Joel also wrote a bit recently called What I believed when I was a little boy. Enjoy.

Chainsaw Use and Maintenance for Beginners

by Joel over at Joel’s Gulch

Here’s TUAK’s very first (and possibly last) how-to essay. If you already know how to use and maintain a chainsaw, or if you just don’t have one, proceed no further because this is rather long.

If you do own one and are feeling a bit uncertain on some related matters, click away.

BTW, if you do take the time to read this for information and find it inadequate, please leave a comment as to how it could have been improved. When writing a piece like this it’s very easy to make assumptions about what readers do and don’t already know. Y’know?


This is my Chainsaw. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

The thing to remember about a chainsaw, in terms of its maintenance, is that any time you’re using it you’re beating the hell out of it. A good saw will give you years of good, trouble-free service just like any tool. But that’s only if you treat it right. You just can’t ignore maintenance and expect it to keep running, because a little abuse and neglect goes a long way.

Consider the engine, for example.

That tiny little single-cylinder, two-stroke sucker can only do its thing under full-throttle, at which it’s cranking something like 13,000 RPM. The frictional loads it has to deal with are enormous (more on them later.) It has no liquid coolant, no bath of crankcase oil, and it will drag six feet of sharpened chain links through hard, seasoned wood all day long. Or not, depending on whether you do your part.

So let’s go through the parts of the chainsaw, and what care it needs to keep running right.

Read the rest here

Categories: equipment, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Shiny Objects Every Prepper Should Buy

by Todd Walker

SOS – Shiny Object Survival lures preppers into a false sense of preparedness. You see it. You even lust for it. You gotta have it. You start imagining how cool it would look strapped on your back. You save up to buy that SHTF-proof bug out bag with a built-in Rambo Night Vision Navigational System. Congratulations! You’ve got your fist in the coconut.

I remember telling the story of hunters in Africa using shiny objects in a coconut to capture monkeys to Sunday School class years ago. The hunter would drill a hole in the anchored coconut large enough for the monkey to fit an open hand in and grab a shiny trinket. With the object clinched in his fist, he hears the hunter approaching, but is unwilling to escape to safety with an empty hand. His unwillingness to let go lands him on the dinner table.

I have no clue if they hunt monkeys this way. But it paints a parable of many modern preppers suffering from SOS.

Shiny objects use to reek havoc on my attention like a kid with ADHD in Ms. Higginbothom’s 45 minute lecture on the importance of participles. It is hard not to want the latest gadgets shimmering on your computer screen. In the midst of Great Depression II, I ask myself and the reader, does it make sense (cents) to buy shiny objects?

Five Shiny Objects Every Prepper Should Buy or Make

Here are five areas where buying shiny objects makes survival sense and cents. Dave Canterbury has a video on his 5C’s of Survivability here. His system is based on the ability to conserve hydration, core temperature, and calories.

1.) Cutting tool: In any survival situation, a cutting tool is on top of the list. It can be used to make the remaining four C’s listed below. When buying, find the best you can afford. The “best” doesn’t always mean the most expensive. I own several knives in a variety of price ranges. My go to blade while camping and hunting is my Mora neck knife. I paid under $15 for it a few years ago. You can spend more on a knife, but my Mora has held up to the dirt-time-test (actually doing the stuff).

Don’t mind the toes inserted. It’s how I roll.

Love this inexpensive knife!

2.) Combustion: You don’t have to be a pyromaniac to appreciate the importance of fire. Boiling water, cooking, controlling core temperature, and signaling rescue are just a few uses. Making fire for survival burns lots of calories without modern combustion devices. While you could go all hardcore pure-primitive and stick to only bow drills, I think you’d be making a big mistake to not buy fire starters.

I have the Sparkie Fire Starter Orange in a couple of my kits. I like this fire gadget because it allows me to start a fire with one hand if I had to. Pack several different fire starters for redundancy: strike-anywhere matches, butane lighter, fire steel, etc.

 

Don’t forget to pack quick starting tender. I’ve used cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, but prefer my DIY tender: jute twine saturated in melted wax or crayons. Fat wood (called fat lighter’d where I came from) is a great fire starter. It’s the resin rich heart in dead pine trees. The key is having something that lights YOUR fire with ease in crazy conditions.

Cordage: I can make my own cordage. But it makes sense (time, energy, and money) to stock up on commercial cordage for emergencies. So I keep copious amounts of paracord in all my kits (BOB – bug out bag, GHB – get home bag, hunting bag, car kits, and survival bracelets). The many uses of cordage include, but not limited to: traps, tarps, medical slings, water procurement, DIY hammocks, lashings, sutures, climbing, and for the fashion conscious – matching survival bracelets :). Buy it!

Covering: I’m a tarp man. You may be a tent woman. Whatever you choose, it must be something that offers weather protection. Controlling your core temperature is priority. “But I could build a debris hut,” you say. That’s a fine skill to have and practice. However, building shelter from scratch burns a great deal of calories that could be conserved if you packed a tarp in your kit. In hot, humid climates, dehydration is possible in your prized debris hut. Plus, they aren’t mobile. Buy covering!

Container: It’s just a cup! Taken for granted, the humble container is in Dave’s five C’s for good reason. His TV partner, Cody Lundin, notes that entire civilizations have been built around containers. Again, you could make a container for cooking in the bush after you finish your debris hut using natural cordage you cut with the flint-knapped knife you crafted, but only if you didn’t pack this essential shiny object.

It’s great to be able to make all of these items if you have the skill and time. If not, go buy these five essential shiny objects! You’ll be glad you did.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, equipment, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Light-weight Collapsible Survival Water Storage Containers

[SS Note: Creek Stewart, author of Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag, has a great article on water storage containers on his site. Check out his site and book.]

Source: Willow Haven Outdoors

March 5, 2012 By

There  is a reason why I post so much about WATER.

WATER IS CRITICAL TO OUR SURVIVAL!

Some experts say that the next greatest world resource shortage will be WATER.  In many parts of the world, access to clean drinking water is already almost nonexistent.  The ability to source, carry, store and disinfect water should be at the top of your survival preps and skill sets.

There are all kinds of different skills and products that are relevant to a discussion about SURVIVAL H2O.  Today, I’d like to discuss 4 SMALL Collapsible Containers with BIG Potential.

First, why COLLAPSIBLE?

In many aspects of survival, portability is key.  Containers that are collapsible make sense to the survivalist for several reasons:

  • They weigh less
  • They take us less space
  • Can be carried easily in a BOB or BOV
Collapsible containers, however, are typically not as durable as their rigid counterparts.  You will have to decide when portability outweighs durability.
Below are 4 Collapsible Water Containers that I own – each have a slightly different place and purpose in my survival tool chest of products.  I detail why I own them, what I plan on or currently use them for, and where you can get them should you decide to add them to your survival preps.

The Water Bob

As you can see in the photo above, the Water Bob is a collapsible water liner that fits in your bath tub.  In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, the Water Bob can be deployed in a matter of minutes and holds a staggering 100 gallons of water.
The Water Bob also comes with a siphon for drawing out smaller portions of water.  Sure, you can just fill your bath tub up with no liner if you are desperate, but the food grade liner protects the water from A) Your nasty bath tub and B) Dust, debris, insects and air-born particles.
If you are limited on space for water storage in your house or apartment and you have a bath tub, the Water Bob might be a good solution for you.  If you see this fitting into your survival mix, you can order one at http://www.waterbob.com/  for $24.95.

The 5-Gallon Collapsible Container

I bought this container from http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MLT4945-1.html for $9.97.  Versions of this style container can be found in almost any camping section at any big box retailer.  I’ve seem them in hunting stores like Gander Mountain and even Wal-mart.  These are a great light-weight, portable solution for toting water from a water source back to camp or a Bug Out Location.  They can also be frozen.  This one is fitted with an easy ON/OFF spigot which is a nice feature.

The Jolly Tank

The Jolly Tank is my new favorite survival water storage container.  My friend (and occasional Guest Author on this site and owner of www.realitysurvival.com)  JJ Johnson recently introduced me to the Jolly Tank.  I’ve been in the survival biz for 15 years and have never seen this particular product.  It holds 2 gallons of water or fuel (6 hour limit on fuel) and folds down to about the size of your wallet.  And, it only weighs a few ounces.  I’ve added one of these to my BOB, my Bronco and also to my in-home safe room.  Trust me, I need one in my Bronco – that thing SUCKS THE GAS.
JJ has done an excellent review on this item at http://www.realitysurvival.com/jolly-tank/.  He also sells them for $10.  Other than his site, I don’t know of anywhere else to get them.

The Platypus Water Bottle

I’ve used a Collapsible Platypus Bottle ( http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus ) for as long as I can remember.  I use it as 1 of my 3 Bug Out Bag water containers.  I have the 2 liter version and it literally rolls up into nothing when empty.  It’s the best use of space I can think of in a BOB.  I’ve used the same one for over 10 years so I can attest to its durability.  I love that I can reduce the bulk in my pack as I consume the water in this bottle.  It is just one of those items that makes sense.

The Big Drawback

The obvious drawback of collapsible containers in their thin walled design.  Though most of them are surprisingly durable, they are definitely more susceptible to being cut or punctured.  This needs to be taken into consideration when using and packing these types of containers.  In a survival scenario where weight is critical, the pros of these containers certainly OUTWEIGH the cons.
Are you using a collapsible container that the rest of us should know about?  If so, tell us about it in the comments below.
Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,
Creek

Similar Posts:

About Willow Haven Outdoor & Creek Stewart
Creek Stewart is the Owner and Lead Instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor – a leading Survival and Preparedness Training Facility located on 21-acres in Central Indiana.  For more information on Survival Courses and Clinics offered at WHO, click HERE.  Creek is also author of the new book Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit.  His book is currently available for preorder on AMAZON.COM for only $11.20 – LIMITED TIME ONLY.  If you enjoy Creek’s Blog Posts, you will also enjoy his new book.  You can contact Creek directly at creek@willowhavenoutdoor.com.
Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, equipment, Potable Water, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Water | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Down and Dirty DIY: Fletching Arrows with Duct Tape

by Todd Walker

There’s gotta be a limit to the usefulness of duct tape. I’ve just not found it yet.

An older friend of mine gave me several wooden and a few aluminum arrows the other day. He’s unable to bow hunt due to an injury. The arrows needed fletchings.

Since the Dirt Road Girl has to take a year off of work for her cancer treatments (horrible side effects), money is tight to say the least. I refuse to buy “stuff” unless it’s a critical need. Wants have to wait.

No worries! I’ve got duct tape.

Years ago I watched Dave Canterbury fletching arrows for a survival scenario with one of the most important items to have on your person at all times – duct tape! In a survival situation, it’s a God send. While my backyard is not quite a life or death theater, it pays to practice doing the stuff in a controlled environment. A real survival situation filled with panic, extreme weather conditions, fatigue, and stress is not the time to practice a new skill. Especially one that requires fine motor skills like adding vanes to a makeshift wooden arrow.

Here’s what you’ll need.

Materials

1.) Gather the materials you’ll need: Duct tape (I use Gorilla Tape), knife, arrows. Of course, I’m in my shop and I used a table and other modern stuff. In the wild, you’ll only need the three items listed.

Materials: arrow, duct tape, knife

2.) To make one vane, you’ll want to cut two pieces of the tape about 4 inches long each. If I remember right, Dave applied one piece of tape on the arrow shaft at a time. I chose to go ahead and stick the two pieces together leaving about a 1/4 inch of sticky side exposed. Then I applied this to the arrow. Apply the vane about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the arrow giving you room to grip the arrow with your fingers. I don’t use a release. I shoot traditional bows.

Be careful when sticking the surfaces together. Once they touch, they’re not letting go. I went too far on a couple and had to start over. Wasted some good duct tape.

3.) Here I applied the first vane. In hindsight, I would recommend applying one piece at a time and then sticking the sides together. I had to trim the excess off the shaft with my method. Applying one at a time allows you to more accurately place the edge of the tape on the shaft. Lesson learned.

4.) Trimming the excess tape off the shaft.

5.) I used a straight edge in my shop to cut the vanes. The back of the vane measured about 3/4 of an inch tall going to zero on the front of the vane.

6.) I then measured in about 3/4 of an inch from the back of the vane and cut the corner off.

7.) I added three vanes to two arrows in about 10 minutes. They are not as pretty as store-bought, but they shot just as well. Pretty don’t always put meat in the pot. 

8.) I’d have no problem harvesting game with these in a survival situation or not. I plan on using them in the upcoming bow season. Practice your skills now. It will make all the difference when it really counts.

Nice group at 20 yards with down and dirty duct tape fletchings.

Hope you enjoyed my down and dirty duct tape fletching project. Got any other projects you’d like see? Suggestions and comments are always welcome!

Here’s another duct tape fletching link that might be of interest:

Sensible Survival – I really like the simplicity of Hank’s method.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, DIY Preparedness, Doing the Stuff, equipment, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Stop Bad-Brain-Think: Strategic Investment in Tangibles

by Todd Walker

Q: Why does stupid create bad results?

A: Evolution.

Now before you write me off as some nut case or evolutionist who believes we evolved from monkeys, let me explain. The effort here is to highlight our need to rethink bad ideas. When we continue to follow bad advise promoted by government, schools, churches, or any other person or entity, bad turns to worse. Darwin’s theory of evolution should wipe out bad ideas. However, bad brains that create bad ideas seem to be winning the battle.

Here are a few bright ideas spread by bad brains. Save and invest your money in the stock market (only if you are a well-connected insider like politicians and elites). Buy real estate (you never really own real estate, you just rent it from the government collective – don’t pay your property taxes and watch for the black boots to come knocking). Eat according to the USDA food pyramid (only if you want to be sick and die early). I know, we all want a little slice of the American dream. The dream is becoming a nightmare many. What to do?

My solution. Turn everything you’ve been told about investing on its head. Think for yourself. Train your mind to question everything. Look at what is not seen.

There’s not enough time here to delve into the cause of bad brained ideas. Since we can’t get rid of the bad brain collective, here’s a way to minimize the effects of their stupid ideas…until the evolutionary forces take over and they die along with their ideas.

There is a pronounced tendency when confronted with important questions to consider only what is seen and ignore that which is not seen. Frédéric Bastiat

In 1980, John A. Pugsley wrote Alpha Strategy. It’s a free download and worth printing a hard copy. We see prices of food, gas, and other basic commodities going up. I graduated from high school the year Mr. Pugsley penned his book. Oh to have known and practiced his Alpha Strategy then. It’s not too late. Start now.

Since the debasement of our money began with the creature from Jekyll Island (The Federal Reserve) and removing the gold standard, the age of inflation was born and is here to stay. Hiding paper money under the fireproof mattress is like building a pine box to cache food under the earth. The elements and environment will destroy the value. Inflation is our greatest enemy. A day of reckoning is coming. How do we prepare for the dollar collapse? Invest in tangibles.

James Wesley Rawles of SurvivalBlog gives sage advice below on how and what tangibles to acquire. Read the full article here.

Which tangibles? I recommend buying farm land, common caliber ammunition, guns, hand tools, good quality knives, silver bullion coins, and gold bullion coins.

To spell this out in greater detail, I recommend:

  • Productive farm land that is in a lightly-populated region with plentiful water and rich topsoil.
  • Factory made ammunition in common calibers (“ballistic wampum“) such as: 308, .30-06, .30-30, .223, .7.62×39, 12 Gauge, .22 Long Rifle (rimfire) .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm Parabellum (Luger). For your investment and barter stockpile, buy only name brands like Winchester, Remington, and Federal–and perhaps Hornady and CCI.
  • High quality guns from name makers, chambered in common calibers. Good choices include M4geries, AR-15s, Steyr AUG-A3s, HK91 clones, HK93 clones, Galil Golanis, Ruger Mini-14s, FN-FAL clones, M1As, .308 Winchester bolt actions, Glock double column magazine pistols, XD pistols, Colt and Kimber M1911 .45 pistols, and Saiga 12 gauge shotguns.
  • Well-made hand tools, with an emphasis on 19th Century technology tools, such as: shingle froes, scythes, adzes, draw knives, axes, crosscut saws, and so forth. BTW, many other old-fashioned tools are available from Lehman’s.
  • Well-made knives, such as: Swiss Army knives (of various models), CRKT knives, and Cold Steel knives. [Sherpa Note: ESEE Knives are great and made in the USA]
  • Silver bullion coins should probably be 1 ounce or less. Either buy 1-ounce bullion “rounds” from a name brand supplier like Northwest Territorial Mint or Tulving, or pre-1965 circulated US. silver quarters from a company like AMPEX.
  • Buy gold bullion coins only after you have secured at least 500 ounces of silver bullion coins. (Always prepare for a “disaster barter” situation first, and then move on to buying gold coins as a long term investment and inflation hedge.) In the U.S., I recommend buying only the most readily-recognizable gold bullion coins: American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs and Krugerrands.

It is difficult to predict when substantial inflation will emerge in the United States. There are too many variables that cannot be predicted. Some of them are essentially political, such as debt monetization, currency pegs, bailout programs, and changes in tax laws. Just be watchful for signs of resumed inflation, and be ready to act swiftly to get the balance of your investments out of dollars.

I’m thankful that my parents had the foresight to buy productive farm land 40 years ago. They bought over 200 acres at $200 an acre. It’s worth $5,000 an acre now. Of course, we’re not selling. It truly is a priceless family heirloom!

Develop a strategy that fits your individual needs. Get creative. And don’t forget to enjoy the process and journey.

 

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, equipment, Firearms, Gold, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Silver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

DIY Preparedness: Cigar Survival Fishing Kit

by Todd Walker

Improving on a great idea is what I tried to do.

The idea for my last fishing kit for my bug out bag came from Dave Canterbury. It was made of PVC, which was very sturdy, but weighed more than I liked. This summer I wanted to trim the weight on my BOB. It’s not going to be ultralight, but every pound I trim only makes humping that thing easier. So the first piece I tackle is my…um…my fishing tackle.

Step A: Assemble materials. I looked for a lightweight tube for a couple of weeks. I didn’t want glass. Plastic would work. Aluminum would be even better. I found a plastic tube that held a watch on a shopping trip with my wife. I bought it for $5.oo and ditched the cheap watch. The problem with the plastic tube is I would not be able to use it for boiling water in a survival situation.

Then we stopped by the adult beverage store for some wine. This place also has a nice humidor with a great selection of cigars. *Aha Moment*

We spent the next five minutes rummaging through stogies looking for the perfect candidate. I needed it to be long enough and with sufficient diameter to hold the necessary fish-catching supplies. I found a cigar, which I enjoy from time to time, with a great tube. It measures 1 inch in diameter by 6 1/4 inches long tube. Being aluminum, I can use it to boil water in a pinch. The picture below shows the difference in sizes of the old PVC kit (bottom) and the new one completed.

Old PVC kit vs. New Cigar Kit

Here’s what I used to assemble my kit: Cigar sleeve, duct tape, bank line, electrical tape, 10# fishing line, strike anywhere matches, fire starter (more details about this item later), dry flies, artificial lizard, non-lead weights, 3 types of fishing hooks, metal leader, swivels, 2 floats/bobbers, and a snack size zip-lock baggie.

Material needed

Assembly Process

Step A: Wrap the screw end (or non-rounded end) with about 3 or 4 feet of duct tape. Do I even have to tell you about all the uses for this miracle survival material?  I keep strips of it in my cars, wallet, desk, almost every where I go. Duct tape may not help you catch fish, but I’m sure it’s possible with a little creativity. It’s a utility player that should be on and in every preppers gear and bags.

Step B: Tie a slip knot on the end of your bank line (don’t forget to burn the nylon end to prevent unraveling) and tighten it around the tube next to the duct tape. Wind about 50 to 100 feet of line onto the tube. I used closer to 50 feet to keep the profile of the tube even. Bank line can be used for limb hooks and trot lines in a true survival situation. This allows for passive fishing while you attend to other tasks. [NOTE: Check your local fishing and game laws during times of rule of law before using these methods.]

The bank line can also be used for a makeshift fly rod (and other cordage needs). Simply cut a sapling about 8 feet, attach 10 feet of bank line to the end, add a piece of mono filament line to the bank line with one of the dry flies in the kit and you have a hillbilly fly rod rig. When no bait is available for your hooks, use this rig to catch smaller pan fish to use for bait on limb hooks. This is very enticing for larger fish and turtles.

Bank line being wrapped

Step C: Secure the bank line to the tube with a couple of wraps of electrical tape. Again, more tape to use as needed.

Electrical tape wrapped around bank line

Step D: Now you’re ready to add the mono filament fishing line. I used 10# line. I wouldn’t recommend anything below 6# line. In a survival situation, the last thing you want to see is a decent sized fish run with 4# line and snap it off. An old technique I’ve used for years is to lay the line inside a book and reel the line onto the tackle. I did this for the cigar tube as well. Tie a slip knot on the end of the fishing line and secure it to the tube where you taped off the bank line. Start rotating the tube to add line. I guess you could wind the line on the tube with you free hand. I prefer to roll the line on by rotating the tube with my finger tips from both ends of the tube. I’m a little OCD. I think the line might accumulate more kinks if you wind it on with you free hand.

Add line until you get within one inch of the rounded end of the tube, then double back over the existing line. I added about 50 feet of line to my rig. Next, add a layer of electrical tape to secure the line to the kit. A wide rubber band might work, but I like the tape.

50 feet of mono-filament line going on

Below is the finished exterior of the kit. By the way, if you haven’t purchased and read “Boston’s Gun Bible“, do so now. It’s one of my top go-to books for prepping.

Fishing line taped

Step E: Place the strike-anywhere matches, fire starter (more details about this item later), dry flies, artificial lizard, non-lead weights, 3 types of fishing hooks, and swivels in a snack size zip-lock baggie. Squeeze the air out by rolling it toward the top of the bag. Seal the bag and slide into the tube.

Contents in a zip lock bag

Step F: Screw end-cap onto tube and wrap with electrical tape for a water-tight seal.

Screw cap taped

Fire Starter Note: I made the fire starter that guarantees fire. It’s jute twin that was saturated with paraffin wax. It literally only takes a spark to get a flame going. Just cut a one inch piece, unravel, and “fluff” to create more surface area for your spark. Another added bonus is that it even lights in wet conditions. I have bundles in all my kits. You never know when you’ll need to cook up those fish you just caught with your new Cigar Survival Fishing Kit!

Got any suggestions to make this better? Please add them in the comment section. Thanks!

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

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Categories: DIY Preparedness, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, equipment, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, SHTF, Survival, Survival Skills, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Cash is Out, Bartering is King

It’s yard sale season now! It’s a great place and time to practice bartering skills and picking up cheap but valuable items. Part of my preps are acquiring items the majority of folks take for granted but will have huge value in an economic collapse situation. Fire, water, smokes, salt, spices, sanitation/hygiene items, etc. are just a few things that will buy me things I need and can’t produce myself in a SHTF event. Below, Tess Pennington pens her advice on items to stock for bartering. Don’t think it can happen here. Look at Greece. Spain is soon to follow. 

Author: Tess Pennington
Website: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: April 26th, 2012

Reality tells us that we may soon be coming to a point in which cash is no longer king.  The economy has been drying up for years.  Over one million Americans filed their initial unemployment claim over the last month.  The dollars we bring home are buying less on every trip to the grocery store.

Few of us are completely self-sufficient.  There are always going to be a few things that we cannot make for ourselves.  If your personal preps are in order, consider investing your prep dollars in a new way: purchase barter items!

A lot of things that are inexpensive now will be invaluable later.  As the economy collapses even further, people will be focused on survival and the barter system will reignite.  Barter items will be far better than cash – you can’t eat a dollar!

What kind of items will be worth their weight in gold?  Check out this list for a few suggestions:

  • Matches and lighters
  • Seeds
  • Canning jars, lids and rings
  • First aid items
  • Tools
  • Water Filtration Supplies
  • Sewing supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Salt
  • Feminine Hygiene Supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Fishing Supplies
  • Fuel (gasoline, propane, kerosene, etc)
  • Sweeteners such as honey, sugar and syrup
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Liquor
  • Cigarettes/tobacco
  • Small packages of food (baggies of beans/rice, etc)
  • Livestock
  • Cooking oil
  • Firewood
  • Farm supplies (pesticides, fertilizer, etc.)
  • Weapons, Ammo *
  • Batteries
  • Warm clothing
  • Hats/Gloves (think about those little dollar store stretchy items)
  • Soap/shampoo
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dental care items (toothbrushes/toothpaste/floss)

*Caution: Exercise great discretion when bartering with weapons and ammunition.  It is entirely possible that those items could be used against you to take your supplies.  These are items to be bartered only with someone you trust implicitly or as an absolute last resort.

Barter items can be purchased at the dollar store, the flea market or at liquidation houses.  Don’t forget yard sales – even though you already possess a meat grinder, someone who has ammo that you need might not have one. Items that you can acquire and store inexpensively may one day be more valuable than gold.

Don’t forget about the items that you can produce yourself.  This goes hand-in-hand with the barter of skills.  Stock up on the supplies you need to create the following items for a long-term flow of “income”.

  • Fresh produce
  • Ammunition (see *caution above)
  • Home canned items
  • Preserved meats (jerky, ham, etc)
  • Warm knitted or crocheted items (mittens, hats, scarves)
  • Yarn spun from animal fibers
  • Homemade candy
  • Homemade soap
  • Homemade candles
  • Wooden or clay bowls and plates
  • Herbal remedies

Use this list to get your creative juices flowing.  What items do you possess the ability to make?  Which of these items will be particularly useful if the grid goes down or if the economy crumbles?

What items are you stocking up on for life in a potential barter-based economy?  Please share your ideas below!

Author: Tess Pennington
Website: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: April 26th, 2012

Categories: Barter, Economic Collapse, equipment, Preparedness, Self-reliant, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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