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  • January 31, 2013

    Bush Smarts: The Most Unbearable Outdoor Gear in the World-5

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    In case you don’t pay much attention to the goings-on of the nation’s urban areas, Brooklyn, NY, has become a fertile crescent of sorts for a now decade-long handcrafted/artisanal movement. These days, you can’t swing an ironically bearded and bespectacled inhabitant of the borough without hitting a beeswax candle maker or a chocolatier or a haberdasher of some stripe or another. And to be honest, a lot of the stuff these folks are making is of remarkable quality, if also remarkably expensive. And as a 10-year resident of Brooklyn, I take a certain amount of pride and satisfaction in being surrounded by such creative and hard-working types.
       
    This movement has also spawned a cultural paradigm in which eating locally-sourced, organic, and/or wild food is de rigueur, and participating in activities like gardening and even hunting—activities that people who live in the country classify as “everyday life”—have become trendy and cool.
       
    And then there are the nascent businesses that aim to supply these budding bumpkins with the wares they supposedly need to lead this sort of lifestyle. Take for example, Bush Smarts, a New York-based online purveyor of gear for the modern urban woodsman. Co-founder Kevin Sterling writes on the company’s web site, “As someone who goes out of his way for black market raw milk, Amish chickens and bio-active beer, I was bored with buying gear at chain stores that I would break and replace without a second thought…John [Davidson] and I launched Bush Smarts to put some soul back into outdoor gear as a cottage industry.”

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  • January 31, 2013

    Survival Skills: Finding The Best Vitamin C Sources In Winter Edibles-0

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    Some mammals, like mice, can produce their own vitamin C inside their bodies. Unfortunately, human beings are not on that list of critters. We need vitamin C, which we get from outside sources, because it performs such an important variety of functions in the body, including increasing immune system health, tissue repair, and iron absorption. Without enough vitamin C we can develop symptoms of scurvy, such as fatigue, weakness, capillary fragility, and gum disease.

    Fortunately, if you ever get stuck somewhere away from your normal food supply, there are several great sources of vitamin C in winter edible plants.

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  • January 28, 2013

    Survival Skills: How To Make Ground-To-Air Signals in Snow -0

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    One good thing about snowy survival scenarios is that ground-to-air rescue signals are easy to spot on the white background. One terrible thing about that same scenario is that a little more snow can hide your signal completely.

    Any rescue signal needs to be huge if it is to catch the attention of aircraft, regardless of the situation. This will be true on a desert island or deep in the snow-covered backcountry. While the snow does create a blank canvas for you to build a high-contrast signal for aircraft to spot, the snow also has its share of problems.

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  • January 25, 2013

    10 Fire Starters You Probably Have At Home-2

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    Chances are good that you currently have a newspaper within reach at your home or cabin. If you have a stove or fireplace, or just build a lot of campfires, chances are also good that you know how effective the black and white pages of newsprint can be at starting fires, both at home and in the field.

    But what about the rest of the stuff at home? What other items that you’d be willing to burn could be useful in the task of fire building?

    Here are a few you’ll know well, and a few you may want to try out.

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  • January 24, 2013

    How to Build and Stock a Bunker-4

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    You don't need to be a crazed conspiracy theorist to have a bunker these days. If you have the real estate, the means, and the time, building a bunker is a worthwhile endeavor and could end up saving your bacon in a number of survival situations. Here's a fun clip that illustrates the basics of building and stocking your bunker once you decide to break out the shovel.

    Find more great survival tips in our book: The Ultimate Survival Manual

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  • January 23, 2013

    Survival Skills: How To Make An Evergreen Bough Bed-0

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    A wintertime wilderness emergency can leave you with a lot to worry about. Fortunately, making a bed to get you up off the frozen ground is one of the easiest problems to fix—if you know how to make a bough bed.

    I am sure that beds and mattresses like this go back to antiquity, but they became common in the later days of the fur trade era in the northern U.S. and Canada. To make a bough bed you don’t need much in the way of tools—just a pair of gloves should do it.

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  • January 22, 2013

    Brown Bread in a Can and 5 Other Odd Survival Foods -4

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    If you had to make a quick run through the local grocery store for some survival-friendly foods, what would you grab?

    There are a number of options that are calorie-packed and shelf-stable. But I wanted to round up a food products that will keep for years, resist freezing, be ready to eat, and reside in containers that are bug and rodent proof. After a lot of taste testing (and no shortage of indigestion), here are six foods that I wouldn’t mind eating again, emergency or not.

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  • January 19, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: Rocky S2V Survival Grenade-5

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    Perhaps it is the way that this survival kit hangs from your backpack, ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice. Or maybe it’s its size and shape. Either way, the Rocky S2V Survival Grenade is a novel approach to survival kits. It’s not just another sardine can full of matches and fish hooks.

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  • January 19, 2013

    What’s It Like to Run a Survival School?-1

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    A few days ago I received a short email from a teenager who has done some survival training with me. The message was quick and simple, but the answer is another matter.

    He wrote: “What's it like to teach a survival school, or, better yet, own one? I want to someday either teach at one or own one and teach. Does it pay good? Or, rather, is it enough to live off of? Stressfull or not? easy or difficult?”

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  • January 14, 2013

    Diagnosing And Treating Frostbite In the Field-2

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    Frostbite can be a common injury during the winter months, especially in northern regions, at high altitude, and under windy conditions. Frostbite occurs when ice crystals form in your skin and underlying tissues. The intense cold that causes this type of injury also masks the damage. Skin will often go numb before the frostbite damage occurs. It’s only when the tissue thaws out that you feel the intense burning pain resulting from the sharp ice crystals that damaged your cells. How do you detect frostbite?

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