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  • November 4, 2013

    Survival Skills: How To Weave A Minnow And Crawdad Trap -2

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    The idea of a fish trap must have been a game changer for our ancestors. Imagine being able to catch fish and other aquatic critters without even being there. While today we’d argue that being there catching the fish is the whole point, when subsistence is your goal it makes a lot of sense to employ survival strategies like fish and crayfish traps. This small trap is just about right for my local crayfish, and took an hour and a half to build, including harvesting materials.

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  • October 31, 2013

    Survival By Coffee: 5 Emergency Uses For Java -3

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    Don’t feel like you could survive without your morning coffee? You’re not alone. According to Bloomberg.com, an astonishing 83% of American adults drink coffee, which is up from 78% just one year earlier. With all this coffee floating around, it makes one wonder about other applications for this everyday resource?

    Here are my top 5 survival uses for the flavorful beans we know as coffee. Pour yourself a cup, and read on.

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  • October 29, 2013

    Get Your Vehicle Ready Now, For Winter Survival-0

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    CC image from Flickr

    If the Farmer’s almanac is to be believed, this winter will be colder and snowier than usual in the lower 48. With fall retreating fast, now is the time to prepare for worse weather ahead by getting your vehicle “winter survival ready.”

    The first thing to consider is warmth and shelter. All of the metal in a vehicle can suck the heat right out of the occupants, but this is still preferred to sitting outside the shelter of the car or truck. Consider carrying sleeping bags or blankets (one for each seat in the vehicle) to provide your first line of warmth. A second line of protection could come in the form of additional warm clothing. Parkas, snow pants, pac boots, and other serious winter outerwear could be worn inside the vehicle, should you find yourself sheltering there.

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  • October 25, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: The Chinook MinimalistPAK First Aid Kit -3

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    When you hear the word “minimalist,” you probably think of something that is stripped down to the bone, and maybe to the point of being ineffective. But this certainly isn’t the case with the new Chinook Medical Gear MinimalistPAK. Being on a bit of a first aid kick lately, I was eager to check out this company’s version of the bare essentials.

    The kit was bigger than I expected it to be (though it does fit in a BDU pocket), yet lightweight at 9.2 ounces. Everything is contained in a waterproof zip-top plastic pouch, that measures 4 by 8 by 2 inches in size. Upon opening the kit, there was a nice assortment of quality supplies for basic first aid, even some name-brand stuff. The kit contains medicines, dressings for bleeding and wound care, and a few unexpected extras like a space blanket and rehydration salts. I don’t think you could purchase all the contents separately for the cost of this kit, a respectable $24.

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  • October 22, 2013

    Survival Food: 5 Merits of Sugar in an Emergency -0

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    Dietitians and dentists tend to frown on empty calories, like the ones found in table sugar. But who cares once you step out of the everyday world and into an emergency scenario. You’ll find that any calorie is a good calorie.

    Food 
    This multi-use food source can last for decades if it is kept dry and out of reach of pests. Food-grade plastic buckets with a Mylar liner bag and a couple of oxygen absorber packets will do the trick, unless you are plagued by rodents. If mice, rats, and other gnawing beasts are a possibility, swap the plastic bucket for a metal tin. Sugar can be used in so many ways, most notably to add valuable calories to mediocre food supplies. It can also turn hot water and wild tea ingredients into a delicious cup of tea, or turn your acorn porridge into something you won’t mind eating.

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  • October 21, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: The Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Para Knife 4.0 -1

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    Looking for a lighter weight survival knife? The 4.6-ounce UST SaberCut Para Knife 4.0 gave me a good first impression on appearance and listed features. But how would it perform?

    Out of the package, both the straight edge and serrated edge were plenty sharp. The straight section slices well, and ends at a very acute point. It has a grooved thumb guard and a finger choil for grip in slippery situations. The full-tang fixed blade is made from 4mm-thick titanium-coated 440C steel, and features a paracord-wrapped handle with a workable (but not great) grip.

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  • October 15, 2013

    72-Year-Old Hunter Survives 19 Days Alone-1

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    Move over, Sly Stallone, and take your aging action-hero friends with you. Gene Penaflor, 72 years of age, is now the toughest old guy in America. Penaflor, a San Francisco native, survived dangerous weather conditions for 18 days after a disorienting injury and several days of thick fog kept him stranded in a mountainous section of northern California’s Mendocino National Forest.

    According to the Ukiah Daily Journal, Penaflor went missing on Sept. 24 during a hunting trip with a friend. The two hunters separated, planning to meet up for lunch and to resume their hunt. But Penaflor didn’t make it to the rendezvous. He had fallen and been knocked unconsciousness much farther from basecamp than he normally traveled.

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  • October 15, 2013

    Survival Gear: What's In A SEAL's Survival Kit?-1

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    Masters of advanced planning and preparation, Navy SEALs are often trendsetters when it comes to gear and equipment. Earlier this year, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, AKA Navy SEALs, put out a request to vendors for 300 new survival kits. They were looking for a rugged survival kit, full of multi-use items that work in a variety of climates and situations. Here’s the list of the supplies they requested.

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  • October 14, 2013

    Survival Skills: Turn Any Snare Into a "Constrictor"-2

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    With trapping season already upon us, it’s a great time to dust off your snaring skills and maybe even employ an upgrade or two. One of my favorite upgrades for snares is to create a “constrictor” set, which enhances the strangling action of a standard snare trap. This choke point in the trap’s action also makes nylon or hand-woven cord a legitimate option for lethal traps. Paracord or hand-twisted bark rope might be the only cord you can access in a survival situation, and while these are far from being the best options for a snare line, the constrictor element of the trap makes them a realistic choice. This works because the constrictor chokes out your quarry quickly, and doesn’t give it enough time to chew through these soft lines. Here’s how to set this snare on your own trap line.

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  • October 10, 2013

    Ultra-light Bug Out Bag-7

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    The typical Bug Out Bag is often overstuffed with less-than-critical materials, but there are five pieces of gear that you absolutely must have in any good Bug Out Bag (and they might be the only components included in an ultra-light BOB). Every ounce should count in a situation where you must leave your familiar world behind and subsist on your own. Here is the minimum of what you’ll need. 

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