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  • June 29, 2011

    Loss of a Wilderness Legend: Goodbye Ron Hood-1


    Survival expert and knife designer Ron Hood, of the Hoods Woods survival school, passed away on the evening of June 21 in his home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

    Ron will be remembered for his many contributions to the survival skills and outdoor sports industries. 

    We here at Outdoor Life send our deepest condolences to Ron's wife, Karen, and his son, Jesse, who were the love of his life.  Ron was not only a beloved husband and father, but was one of the most respected wilderness and survival experts in the world, as well as a veteran who served in Vietnam and a respected knife designer and developer.

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  • June 28, 2011

    New Mexico Wildfires: How to Survive the Blaze-0


    A fast-moving wildfire broke out in northern New Mexico Sunday, June 26, and has led to voluntary evacuations for the city of Los Alamos, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory. If that name rings a bell, Los Alamos was the site where the world's first atomic bomb was developed.
    The Las Conchas Fire began Sunday afternoon, about 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos. The blaze has burned more than 3,500 acres, and is endangering one of the nation's key nuclear weapons laboratories, along with the nearby communities. Authorities have said that the fire was rapidly advancing toward the National Laboratory, but had not yet reached lab property.

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  • June 27, 2011

    Flood Evacuation: Lessons Learned From the 2011 Spring Floods -0


    North Dakota's fourth largest city made the news last week as the rising waters of the Souris River poured over flood defenses in Minot, North Dakota, on Wednesday, forcing the immediate evacuation of 12,000 people.

    The residents knew that the evacuation was imminent, but emergency sirens sounded some five hours earlier than was expected—around 1 p.m.—as the water began flowing over levees.

    Heavy rains over the past six weeks have swelled Canadian reservoirs in the Souris River basin, forcing water releases of an unprecedented volume. Here in the U.S., officials must release water from the Lake Darling Dam above Minot at a rate more than double what the recently fortified protections can bear. It’s that, or risk losing the dam entirely.

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  • June 24, 2011

    Survival Gear: New Tick Removal Tool-7


    I don’t know if it was the full moon last week, but the ticks decided to eat me alive while I was out in the woods teaching survival classes. Annoying as the little insects can be, they gave me the chance to test out a new tick removal tool, the Tick Key.

    The brave and determined ticks made their way up my DEET-soaked pants and dug in all around my waist and a few places we can’t mention on our family-friendly web site.

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  • June 17, 2011

    Survival Fishing Kit: Fish Like Your Life Depends on it-3


    Fishing is the ideal method for acquiring protein with minimal gear in a survival situation. Sure, hunting is a great way to get some meat, but you need guns and bows, which often don’t fit in a survival kit.

    You can take snares with you or build traps from the natural materials around you, but it takes a lot of time to make them, set them up and then wait for the animals to hit them. The stack of fish I can catch in a day with hook and line will pile up higher than a stack of critters anyone can trap in one day with a pack full of snares.

    Dunk A Worm
    Some of my fly-fishing purist buddies frown on my habit of “worm dunking,” as they call it. But when it comes to minimalist fishing, it doesn’t get any more streamlined than a hook, several yards of monofilament, a long stick and a worm.

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  • June 16, 2011

    How to Escape a Riot-2


    It’s been hard to miss (and at times stomach) the graphic news today out of Vancouver, British Columbia, where hockey fans rioted after the hometown Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night.

    What began as a few random fires and incidents of vandalism on the evening of June 15, soon became utter chaos, with looters stealing from local stores and police trying to clear the streets. Windows were smashed, fires were lit, police cars were flipped and more than a hundred people needed to visit the hospital. Downtown Vancouver was in a state of anarchy.

    So what would you do if you get caught in a ruckus like this?

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  • June 13, 2011

    Are You Prepared For the Next Solar Flare?-3


    The sun coughed up a significant and fiery blast last week. The Class “M” solar flare erupted Tuesday, June 7, and NASA says it will give our planet just a "glancing blow." The National Weather Service is expecting only minor disruptions to satellites and power grids.

    NASA officials say that big flares like this are likely to be common during the next few years, with solar activity expected to peak around 2013. Most solar flares will only cause minor problems, but there's always a chance that a huge Class “X” flare could hit us. 

    The largest flare on record to hit Earth occurred in 1859. It created auroras worldwide and interrupted telegraph service for weeks. Considering today's technology-dependent societies, a major solar storm could plunge the modern world into some serious trouble.

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  • June 3, 2011

    How To Survive A Gunshot Wound-5



    In 2010, British Army Lance Corporal Luke Reeson was shot in the face by the Taliban in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.  The bullet ricocheted off his body armor, smashing into his lower cheek and back out through his mouth.  Instead of going into shock, or giving in to panic, Corporal Reeson spat out the bullet and walked two miles to get help.

    While most of you will likely never be in the position that Reeson found himself, the question is worth asking: If, god forbid, you are ever shot, what should you do to survive?

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  • June 2, 2011

    E. Coli Kills in Europe—Will It Happen Here?-1


    A foodborne bacterial outbreak in northern Germany and nine other European countries has left more than 1,000 people sick roughly 500 with symptoms of a condition that can cause acute kidney failure. Seventeen people in Germany and one in Sweden have died as a result of the bacteria.

    The creature doing all the damage is a strain of E. coli known as Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, or EHEC, which causes symptoms ranging from bloody diarrhea to kidney failure.

    E. coli is found in large quantities in the digestive systems of humans, cows and other mammals, and most strains are generally harmless, or at worst, cause non-lethal stomach ailments.

    But this strain, believed to be riding on or inside contaminated vegetables, threatens a significant part of Germany’s food supply. Authorities have determined that most of the patients who have been sickened ate cucumbers, tomatoes and leaf lettuce, and were located primarily in northern Germany. The exact source of the contamination is still under investigation.

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