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  • June 6, 2014

    Survival Gear Review: The Vulture Cholera Knife-3

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    Earlier this year, Vulture Equipment Works debuted their new Cholera fixed-blade knife at SHOT Show, where it was declared “People's Choice Knife Shot Show 2014.” That’s quite an endorsement, but will I make this knife my choice for a wilderness EDC blade? Follow along and find out.

    First things first, I had to ask what was up with the name “Cholera?” Normally you’d want to avoid something like cholera, right? It turns out that this catchy bug is one of many pathogens that can live in the guts of a vulture (the company’s “mascot”). President and Chief Designer of Vulture, William Egbert Jr., spent years of R&D coming up with this wicked blade design, and he says a nasty knife name was just what he wanted. Fair enough.

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  • June 5, 2014

    Survival Skills: Make Your Own Primitive Fish Hooks -0

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    Gorge hooks may well be the oldest style of fish hooks on earth. They can be made from a wide range of materials and they can be surprisingly effective, though they are not suitable for catch-and-release. But that’s okay: We’re going to talk about them as a survival tool, so throwing back fish would be counter-productive.

    The function of these hooks is pretty straightforward. Your goal is to entice the fish to swallow a pointed object that will lodge in the soft tissues of its stomach or esophagus, allowing you to land the fish. Bait is usually involved, but the technique is different from those employed in modern fishing.

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  • June 3, 2014

    10 Survival Uses For Oil -1

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    Household oil might not strike you as a key survival item, but it can play a wide variety of roles in emergencies. It’s usually most important as a calorie source, but even rancid or out-of-date oil can still serve useful roles. Here are ten good reasons to add oil to your survival stash.

    1. Calories: Fats are the most dense source of calories, more so than carbs or protein, and in an emergency every calorie counts. Add a little oil to other foods to spike up the calorie content.

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  • June 2, 2014

    Survival Tip #183: Make A Cardboard Box Smoker -0

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    Editor's Note: This tip comes from our new "Prepare for Anything Survival Manual."

    When it comes to smokers, you can spend a lot of money buying one in a store. Restaurants will spend thousands on elaborate smokers. But you can make a backyard smoker out of just about any box, including cardboard.

    First, you need a box no more than 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and 2 feet (0.6 m) wide. Cut a door in the bottom of one side to remove and reload wood chips during cooking. Next, insert two parallel dowel rods through the box at 12 and 36 inches (30 and 90 cm). You’ll place your racks (one pan to catch drippings and a wire rack to hold food) on top of the dowels.

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  • May 30, 2014

    Survival Gear Review: The Platypus GravityWorks 2.0L Water Filter-1

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    Platypus gets it. You can’t last very long without water. That’s why they’ve been making water supply products for years. I still have two of the original 1-liter Platypus collapsible water bags. I thought they’d last a few months, at the most. The plastic seemed kind of crunchy, like it would crack at the corners. But they’re both still holding water 15 years later. How does Platypus’ new GravityWorks 2.0L water filter perform? Let me pour you a drink and I’ll tell you all about it.

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  • May 29, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to Make Lard and Lye Soap -0

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    Thousands of years ago, our filthy ancestors made a discovery that would keep them cleaner—soap. Over the last hundred years, soap has become an inexpensive and readily available resource, saving us the time and trouble of having to make it ourselves. Shortly after people stopped producing soap in the home, however, the art of making a batch of homemade lye soap became a mysterious and confusing process. If you’re like me and you can see the merits of being able to make your own soap, then you should appreciate this simple method.

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  • May 27, 2014

    Survival Skills: 14 Wild Medicinal Plants-0

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    Medicinal wild plants have been collected from the landscape and added to home gardens for centuries. In modern times, the cultivation and use of these healing plants may represent a healthier way of living to the homesteader crowd, and a sustainable re-supply plan for preppers and bug-out enthusiasts. While these home remedies should never take the place of professional medical care, it’s nice to have a sense that you are not helpless, should you end up fending for yourself. Below is a list of 14 great plants that you can find in the wild places. Some can even be picked up at garden centers and added to your own personal medicine garden. 

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  • May 27, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to Make Wild Medicine Tinctures -0

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    A simple and effective way to preserve the medicinal quality of a wild medicinal plant is to make a tincture using the plant and a food-safe alcohol. Tinctures are more powerful and last longer than dried herbs, and you can even make your own combination formulas.

    You’ll need three things to make your own tinctures—a strong alcohol, the dried plants, and plenty of time for soaking. Vodka is an affordable and common alcohol that can absorb and preserve the active compounds that you wish to keep, but the best choice is a high-proof product called Everclear, which is almost pure alcohol. This may be hard to find, though: It’s not legal to purchase or possess in some areas. 

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  • May 23, 2014

    Survival Skills: Learn to Forage for Urban Edibles -0

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    Urban foraging has grown over the past few years, from a few folks offering plant walks in city parks, to a career path for urban outdoors people. There’s good reason for it too. There is an amazing array of wild edibles within the limits of every city I’ve ever visited. Tough weeds spring up through the cracks in the sidewalk and in green spaces throughout the modern metropolis. If you're cautious about pollution, you might surprise yourself with a fancy meal of city weeds.

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  • May 19, 2014

    Is MERS The Next SARS?-0

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    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, has been in the news a bit lately. If this is the first you’ve ever heard about it, it’s important to realize that it’s not a previously unknown ailment that has taken the world by surprise. Knowledge of this emerging disease dates back to 2012, if not earlier. But what is MERS, and why should we care, especially if we don’t live in or plan to visit the Middle East?

    MERS is a virus that causes coughing, fever, and sometimes a fatal, pneumonia-like complication that accounts for its near one-out-of-three fatality rate. MERS is a coronavirus from the same family as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). If you remember the SARS scare, this virus killed about 800 people worldwide after first appearing in China in 2002. Since the discovery of MERS, there have been 572 cases of it in 15 countries, with a death rate of 30 percent. When compared to SARS with its 9- to 12-percent mortality rate, MERS is beginning to receive global attention.

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