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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

TEST YOUR SURVIVAL SKILLS BEFORE A CRISIS

WAYS TO FIGHT ILLNESS ON THE RUN

LIVING
WITHOUT
MONEY:
MEET A PRO
SURVIVALIST

SPECIAL
SECTION
VOLUME 3 ISSUE 4

12

EDGED
TOOLS:

WAYS A
CANTEEN
CAN SAVE
YOUR LIFE

SUPERCHARGE
YOUR KNOW-HOW

DECODING
THE TIERED
SURVIVAL BAG
CONCEPT

The
Strong
Survive

GEAR
YOULL
NEED
ON THE
OTHER
SIDE

REFUELING
DONT MAKE A
FATAL MISTAKE

SURVIVAL
BUYERS GUIDES

Signaling
Devices,
Compasses
& More
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AUGUST 2014

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48
COVER

TRAPPINGS
TREASURE

If you need survival


gear, Major Surplus
is the place to go for
one-stop shopping.
By Gary Carter

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE (ISSN 2331-8937) Volume 3, Number 4 is published 9 times a year January, February, April/May, June, July, August, September, November, December by Beckett Media, LLC,
22840 Savi Ranch Pkwy., Suite 200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. POSTMASTER: send address changes to American Survival Guide c/o Beckett Media, 4635 McEwen Road, Dallas, TX 75244. 2014 by Beckett Media,
LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. GST #855050365RT001 Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Return undeliverable
Canadian addresses to: PITNEY BOWES, INC. P.O. Box 25542 London, ON N6C 6B2.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_TOC.qxp 6/10/14 1:07 AM Page 5

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4 | AUGUST 2014

BUYERS
GUIDES

FEATURES
GENERAL

WILDERNESS

PREPAREDNESS

PREPAREDNESS

18 INTRODUCTION

76 INTRODUCTION

20 HIT THE ROAD, JACK!

77 PACK-TICALITY

Follow these three valuable tips to ensure


you have the perfect evacuation plan.
By Torrey Kim

24 COMMAND CENTRAL
10 principles of effective survival group
leaders. By Roy A. Woodall, Jr.

28 SHEAR NECESSITY
Knife maker Lynn Thompson explains why
you should never be without a knife in a
survival situation. By Steven Paul Barlow

32 LIVIN THE LIFE


A professional traveler walks the walk and
shares his secrets. By Garrett Kim

38 EMP UPDATE
Electromagnetic pulses: be afraid, very
afraid. By Garrett Kim

52 GOTTA GET GONE


If you need to flee, consider all-wheel-drive,
good tires and efficient gas mileage in
transportation. By Alex LaGrand

HOMESTEADING
PREPAREDNESS

Arrange your survival kit so that it works


for you. By Jack Richland

Top 10 supplies you shouldnt be without


in an emergency. By Larry Schwartz

88 AWESOME ALTERNATIVES
Three ways to bug out and how to handle
each. By Garrett Kim

PREPAREDNESS
97 INTRODUCTION
When you have to refuel your bug-out
vehicle, there are some important points to
remember. By George Singarella

102 VITAL VESSEL


Think twice if you believe canteens are mere
water holders. By Garrett Kim

92
SPECIAL SECTION:

EDGED TOOLS
112 INTRODUCTION

You can have an Amish-built cabin that you


design. By Torrey Kim

113 GET AN EDGE

Honey is just one by-product of bees that


can benefit your homestead. By Michele Doele

106

Learn how to safely use and maintain your


edged tools.

116 THE SERVICEABLE SAW


A saw can be a priceless survival tool.

120 CUT TO THE CHASE


The humble axe could save your life in
an emergency.

124 STAY SHARP


THE COVER:
Photographer: GUS ALONZO
Model: ENRIQUE GAMBOA
Designer: JESSE CAO

72

98 DONT BE FUELISH

61 CUSTOM CABIN

68 HOW SWEET IT IS

54

URBAN

By Larry Schwartz

Learn about three natural remedies that can


work for myriad issues. By Alex LaGrand

42

82 HONE

60 INTRODUCTION

64 CONVENIENT CURES

42 SIGNALING
54 FOOD/WATER
72 COMPASSES
92 SLINGSHOTS
106 BOOTS

A good knife can handle a multitude of


tasks in a serious situation.

COLUMNS
FIRST WORDS 6
NEW PRODUCTS 8
NEWS & NOTES 12
GEAR REVIEW 16
PREPPING WITH RALSTON 127
CLOSING WORDS 130

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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FIRSTWORDS

BY BARRI SEGAL

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4 / AUGUST 2014


EDITORIAL
Editorial Directors:
Doug Jeffrey, Jennifer Degtjarewsky
Editor-in-Chief: Barri Segal
Managing Editor: Kari Windes
Creative Director: Eric Knagg
Art Director: Jesse Cao
Graphic Designer: John Bernikow

DOMINATE THIS

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

ACCORDING TO the book of


Genesis, the world is here for us
to oversee:
Fill the land and conquer it.
Dominate the fish of the sea, the
birds of the sky, and every beast that
walks the land. Genesis 1:28
Im sure we can all agree that
mission is accomplished. Filled,
conquered and dominated.
Unfortunately, knowing when to
stop filling, conquering and dominating isnt apparently understood by many on our planet.
Now consider that the population of the world has almost doubled since I was born, while earth
is still the same sizeone could
argue that 2,000 years of highly sanctioned poly-domination has led us to where we
are today:
Over-crowded
Limited access to rapidly diminishing resources
Ailing infrastructure
And so much more
Consider the possibility that a single EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) generated by
one nuclear event could wipe out almost all of our communications infrastructures
in an instant. You can guess what happens next. Its yet another checkmark on the
long list of reasons why we prep.

CONTRIBUTORS
Sean Cooper, Mike DAngona, Amber Erickson
Gabbey, Torrey Kim, Alex LaGrand, Tony Nester, Tim
Ralston, Larry Schwartz, Tori Tellem, Gary Carter

ADVERTISING
Gabe Frimmel - Ad Sales Director
(714) 200-1930 - GFrimmel@Beckett.com
Casey Clifford - Senior Account Executive
(717) 896-8956
Mark Pack - Senior Account Executive
(714) 200-1939
Gennifer Merriday - Ad Traffic Coordinator

DIRECT MARKETING GROUP


John Bartulin
Paul Caca
Ryan Lauro
Mary Ann Jaca

(866) 866-5146 ext. 2746


(866) 866-5146 ext. 4961
(866) 866-5146 ext. 2756
(866) 866-5146 ext 2716

OPERATIONS
Gus Alonzo: Newsstand Sales Manager
Celia Merriday: Newsstand Analyst
Amit Sharma: Business Analytics Manager
Mohit Patel: Newsstand and Production Analyst
Alberto Chavez: Senior Logistics & Facilities Manager
John Cabral: Creative Graphic Designer

EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE


22840 Savi Ranch Parkway, #200
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
Ph: (800) 332-3330
Fax: (800) 249-7761
www.americansurvivalguidemag.com
www.facebook.com/americansurvivalguidemagazine
www.facebook.com/eembybeckett
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE (ISSN 2331-8937)
Volume 3, Number 4 is published 9 times a year
January, February, April/May, June, July, August, September,
November, December by Beckett Media, LLC, 22840 Savi
Ranch Pkwy., Suite 200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. POSTMASTER: send address changes to American Survival Guide
c/o Beckett Media, 4635 McEwen Road, Dallas, TX 75244.
2014 by Beckett Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is
strictly prohibited. GST #855050365RT001 Canada Post:
Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PITNEY BOWES, INC. P.O. Box
25542 London, ON N6C 6B2.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

STRONG OPINIONS
Catastrophic events of all sorts are increasing and are measurable, verifiable
and often just plain obvious. So one might assume that preparing for these
inevitabilities would make sense, right? Not everyone thinks so.
Its not easy to get people to change their minds; most would rather express
their opinions than change them.
The good news is that those who act on their opinions increase their influence
and dwarf the impact of others who express opinions, but dont act.

AUGUST 2014

INFLUENTIAL BEHAVIOR

We all know what public opinion isits whatever doesnt rock the boat. Preppers, survivalists, minimalists: The important influence your actions have on others
can be vital for some who might otherwise ignore the danger signs.
This months issue is especially filled with a wide range of information focused
on not just surviving, but surviving well, and that alone might just pique the interest of those not normally inclined to prep. From home remedies to survival colleges,
slingshots to doomsday cars, tips on homesteading and urban environments
heres to surviving as richly as possible.

BECKETT MEDIA, LLC


4635 Mc Ewen Road. Dallas, TX 75244
SINGLE COPY SALES
(800) 764-6278
(239) 653-0225 Foreign Inquiries
subscriptions@beckett.com
customerservice@beckett.com
BACK ISSUES
www.engagedmediamags.com
BOOKS, MERCHANDISE, REPRINTS
(239) 280-2380
DEALER SALES
(239) 280-2380
NEW PRODUCTS OR TO CONTRIBUTE
A STORY OR PHOTO
jdegtjarewsky@beckett.com, bsegal@beckett.com

BECKETT MEDIA, LLC


Nick Singh: Executive Director
Jennifer Degtjarewsky:
Group Editorial Director & Business Unit Director
This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the
understanding that information presented is from
various sources from which there can be no warranty or
responsibility by Beckett Media, LLC as to the legality, completeness or technical accuracy.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_7 6/9/14 12:41 AM Page 7

When youre serious


about survival...
22 years in business.

Armor Up!
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SPIR Infrared Illuminator


Using (2) CR123 batteries, the
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ASG_1408_PRODUCTS-CX-8-9 6/11/14 11:44 PM Page 8

NEWPRODUCTS

C U T T I N G - E D G E I N N OVAT I O N

WHATS
HOT

SIX NEW
PRODUCTS TO HELP
YOU SURVIVE

3
1. TRUFUEL

2. GERBER

3. AZODI

PRODUCT: TruFuel 50:1


WEBSITE: Trufuel50.com
MSRP: $43.99

PRODUCT: Myth Hatchet


WEBSITE: GerberGear.com
MSRP: $48

PRODUCT: 1N1 Case


WEBSITE: In1Case.com
MSRP: $44.95

Specifications:
Pre-blended for outdoor power equipment
Premixed and ready-to-use formula with synthetic oil, a
fuel stabilizer and ethanol-free gasoline
Zero gum and varnish provides more power and easier
starting, smoother running for high-revving engines
Stable, long-lasting, high-octane, ethanol-free fuel with an
added stabilizer reduces engine wear for a longer life

Specifications:
Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Overall Length: 8.5 inches
Weight: 14.6 ounces

Specifications:
Blue pen and red pen
Nail file, tweezers, scissors and toothpick
Polycarbonate casing
Philips and flat-head screwdrivers
Scratch protection inside felt

AUGUST 2014

Defining Features: TruFuel is the worlds first pre-mixed,


pre-packaged engineered fuel designed specifically for use in
two- and four-stroke engines. Its perfect to use in your outdoor power equipment, including your generators and chainsaws. What sets TruFuel apart from the competition is its
ethanol free; youll never have to worry about the corrosive
effects and reliability issues of ethanol-enriched fuels again.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Defining Features: A robust, full-bellied hatchet, the new


Myth Hatchet is designed to expertly skin and chop even the
biggest game. Featuring a high-carbon, stainless steel
blade, the Myth Hatchet employs full tang construction for
superior strength and balance. Its cleverly engineered rubber handle delivers a grippy hold, no matter the conditions,
while a pronounced choil and finger hole allow the user to
choke up on the hatchet for delicate work.

Defining Features: Are you looking to protect a smartphone while on the go? Theres no worse way to begin your
venture into the outdoors than dropping your expensive
iPhone. Not only does the IN1 case protect your phone, its
sleek and stylish, too. The case is so much more than just a
protective case. Its been called the Swiss Army knife of
smartphone cases for a good reason: it comes in handy for
everyday tasks, with a nail filer, tooth pick, scissors and so
much more. We havent seen a tool quite as cool as this in
ages, so be sure to pick it up.

ASG_1408_PRODUCTS-CX-8-9 6/11/14 11:44 PM Page 9

5
4

6
CAN'T GET ENOUGH ASG? WHEN YOU'RE NOT OFF
THE GRID, BE SURE TO FIND US ON FACEBOOK.

4. THERMACELL

5. HI MOUNTAIN

6. GERBER

PRODUCT: Mosquito Repellent Appliances


WEBSITE: Thermacell.com
MSRP: $26.99 - $31.99

PRODUCT: Hi Mountain Camp Meals


WEBSITE: Hunteroc.com
MSRP: $7.99

PRODUCT: Decree
WEBSITE: GerberGear.com
MSRP: $95

Specifications:
Effectively repels mosquitoes, black flies, and other biting
insects
Has no open flames
Compact, easy-to-carry size
Weighs 0.7 pounds
Quiet on/off turn dial

Specifications:
Each meal contains three servings per packet
Lightweight; weighs only 8 or 9 ounces
90 percent lighter in their freeze-dried form
Easy to transport in a backpack or travel bag
Provides great-tasting meals wherever you are

Specifications:
Blade Steel: S30V
Handle Material: Rubber over molded, glass-filled
nylon
Blade Length: 3.7 inches
Open Length: 8.7 inches
Closed Length: 5.1 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces

Defining Features: The Mosquito Repellent Appliance is a


compact and easy-to-use tool to keep bloodsuckers away. It
creates a 15x15-foot bug-free zone, plenty of room for you
to enjoy the warmth of the campfire. If you have allergies,
no need to worryits free from scented lotions, sprays or
oils. This device operates on a single butane cartridge that
comes with the package.

Defining Features: Hi Mountain Camp Meals are ideal for


the outdoorstheyre guaranteed to keep you fueled up and
full of energy. They come in a variety of tasty and nutritious
flavors including Cajun Beans and Rice, Campfire Chili Macaroni, and Hot Caramel Apple Crunch. Although Hi Mountain is best known for seasoning, it does an impeccable job
with these products. We were sent a sample and it was
absolutely scrumptious.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Defining Features: The Decree features a premium S30V


steel modified tanto blade. The tanto point provides superior piercing ability, while the rounded bottom edge allows
users to sharpen the blade while maintaining the knifes
geometry. Thumb studs and a finger flip tab allow the operator to rapidly deploy the blade. Partial serrations provide
additional cutting power and the tempered steel glass
breaker in the pommel allows the operator to use the knife
in rescue applications.

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PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

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MERS: The Next Big Outbreak?

Book Review

Apocalypse Soon
YOUVE GOT A BUG-OUT BAG near the
door and enough water to fill a city reservoir in your pantryso youre prepared for
a major disaster, right? Not so fast. Preparation includes much more than the basics
that come to the top of mind, and Dana
Burkinshaws new book Apocalypse Soon
walks you through the items that youll
need to address if you want to survive anything from a terrorist attack to a financial
crash to a tsunami, and beyond.
Even if you created a preparation
plan 15 years ago, its time to scrap it
and update for the 21st century, because
the current threatsand potential reaction plansare now completely different.
The book is offered in a step-by-step
format so that even the most novice survivalist can create an action plan that
allows you to be completely ready for
whatever might come your way.
The 112-page resource is filled with
effective tips and preparation lists, and
you can buy it for $33 at BlackCardBooks.com.

AFTER SURVIVING SARS, bird flu, and the other illnesses that seemed to spread
quickly through the population, you may have thought that the United States had
seen enough plagues, but that would be incorrect.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that two cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) had been discovered in the U.S. Both of the
people with the illness had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia, where MERS has struck
scores of people, 30 percent of whom died from the disease.
The illness is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called MERSCoV, the CDC said on its website. Most people who have been confirmed to have
MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever,
cough, and shortness of breath.
MERS spreads from person to person, particularly when they are in close contact
to one another. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness within
two weeks of traveling to the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries, see a
medical practitioner immediately, the CDC advises.

12

IN MAY, THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC)


CONFIRMED THAT TWO CASES OF MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY
SYNDROME (MERS) HAD BEEN DISCOVERED IN THE U.S.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

AUGUST 2014

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/MERS/faq.html

ASG_1408_NEWS.qxp 6/9/14 1:33 AM Page 13

NOW THAT WEVE EMERGED from the snowdrifts of 2014s harsh winter weather, its time to take a look at the outlook for summer. Its
no surprise that excessive snow has made rivers swell significantly.
Rivers in half of the continental United States are at minor or moderate risk of exceeding flood levels, with the highest threat in
the southern Great Lakes region due to above-average snowpack and a deep layer of frozen ground, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a March 20 news release.
However, not every state will benefit from the winters wet weather.
Drought is expected to continue in California and the Southwest, the NOAA added.
Unfortunately, the prolonged dry weather in those regions could lead to an increased risk of wildfires, as well as massive stress on
gardens and crops that are essential to survival for those who grow their own food.
To read more about the NOAAs weather predictions, visit NOAANews.Noaa.gov/Stories2014/20140320_SpringOutlook.html.

Watch Out for Asteroids!


ALL KINDS OF DISASTERS require survival know-how! When you think about
asteroids colliding with other objects,
the thought of extinct dinosaurs or Hollywood movies may come to mind. But
the reality is that it happens with
increasing frequency, one nonprofit
organization says.
The B612 Foundation has tracked
infrasound signatures of nuclear detonations since 2000 by using a network
of sensors. Shockingly, the foundations
equipment picked up 26 explosions
caused by asteroid impacts between
2000 and 2013, which emitted energy
ranging from one to 600 kilotons.
To put this data in perspective,
the atomic bomb that destroyed

Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with an


energy impact of 15 kilotons, the
B612 Foundation says on its website.
That means that an asteroid impact
could be exponentially more damaging than a nuclear bomb.
Unfortunately, no single set of
eyes can detect every potentially harmful asteroid, because we dont have
enough coverage or telescopes to
watch the entire sky at all times. To
that end, the B612 Foundation is hoping to build an infrared space telescope that tracks asteroids while
theyre still far enough away to set up
a deflection system.
To read more about the asteroid
threat, visit https://b612Foundation.org.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Great Lakes Harsh Winter = Summer Floods

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

13

ASG_1408_NEWS.qxp 6/9/14 1:33 AM Page 14

WOULDNT IT BE NICE IF WE COULD LIVE SOMEWHERE


THAT HAS NO DEPENDENCE ON GOVERNMENT UTILITIES?

Off-Grid Island

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

WHO AMONG US hasnt mused,


Wouldnt it be nice if we could
live somewhere that has no
dependence on government utilities? That place exists, and its
called El Hierro.
The island, which is the smallest of Spains Canary Islands,
opened a wind farm in June that
made it a completely self-sufficient island. El Hierros unique
location allows it to harvest wind
off the coast of Africa to power five
turbines that can meet the needs
of its 10,000 residents, the UKs
Daily Mail reports.
In the event of a day too calm
for wind, the island has a backup
plana water turbine that can
generate additional electricity.
El Hierro joins the Danish
island of Samso in being completely free of dependence on
government utilities.

AUGUST 2014

MEMBERS OF THE SURVIVALIST community


have so many issues to prepare for that it
seems like just as youre ready for one
incoming disaster, another threat pops up.
And right now, that threat could be right
inside of the governments computers.
North Americas energy grid is facing
increased risk of cyberattacks from criminals, terrorists and foreign states, an article
in the Globe & Mail reports. The technological modernization of the gridfrom smart
meters to less-centralized generationis creating new opportunities for cyberthreats to
enter the system, and new risk for the utilities, the newspaper noted.
If an attack on American utilities does
occur, it will be the self-sufficient among us
who are still operating their homes and
businesses by doing so off the grid, which is
just another reason to ensure youre prepared now for a disaster that could strike
down the line.

14

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Cyber Attacks Likely

ASG_1408_15 6/9/14 12:43 AM Page 15

ASG_1408_REVIEW-CX 6/11/14 10:52 PM Page 16

GEARREVIEW

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the


power of an air gun when youre
in a bug-out situation.
For years, all I used for squirrel and
rabbit hunting was a venerable .22 rifle,
but a friend introduced me to highvelocity air guns and this has become
my primary tool for bagging small
game, especially given the shortage of
.22 rimfire ammo.
Air rifles have come a long way in
the past 10 years.
No longer is the shooter relegated
to using a low-velocity, break-barrel
rifle for plinking. In many states, you
can legally hunt small game with an air
rifle or practice target shooting in your
backyard. With this in mind, the AirForce Escape Airgun is a quality survival firearm to consider.

AUGUST 2014

THE BASICS

16

The rifle I received for review


required some assembly and the directions, air pump and tools were all easy
to use, enabling me to have the rifle up
and running within 30 minutes.
The first step in assembly was to
attach the air tank to the rifle frame
with a simple spin-lock. The company
also provides an instructional DVD covering the nuts-and-bolts of how to use
its products; I would advise reviewing
this material beforehand if you are new
to using this type of air rifle.
The air tank required filling using
the air pump that was provided with
this test product (sold separately). It
has a max fill pressure of 3,000 psi. The
instructional DVD shows you how to fill
the air tank off a scuba tank and serious shooters would save themselves a
lot of triceps workouts by going this

route. Better yet would be to have


some spare, fully charged air tanks on
hand; fill these via a scuba tank before
a weekend of shooting.
The Escape comes in both .22 and
.25 caliber. About a year ago, I switched
over to using the .25-caliber rifles for
small-game hunting and the difference
in range and power is noticeable.
The butt stock, which is attached to
the air tank, was a little short for me
and didnt offer any method for extension so I would want to purchase a
longer stock to suit my lanky arms.

THE FACTS
FEATURES
.25- or .22-caliber Lothar Walther Barrel
Lightweight
No recoil
Pressure relief device
Adjustable power
Quick-detachable air tank
SPECS
Velocity: 800 to 1,300 fps (depending on
caliber, pellet weight and power setting)
Power adjustment: User-adjustable
Maximum fill pressure: 3000 psi/200 bar
(use only compressed air or dry nitrogen)
Action: Single shot
Weight: 5.3 pounds
Length: User-adjustable, 34.5-39 inches
Barrel: 24 inches
Trigger: Two-stage adjustable, for position
Sights: Open or optical sights can be
installed
Typical groups: 1 inch or less, at 75 yards
Air tank volume: 213 cc
Safety: Automatic on cocking

CONTACT
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

BY TONY NESTER

The Escape features a precision, 24inch rifled barrel, which is a leap above
your standard break-barrel air rifles. I
used JSB Match Diabolo King .25-caliber
pellets obtained from Pyramyd Air. I use
these in my personal air rifles and found
they performed well with the Escape.
The brochure indicates a velocity
that ranges from 800-1,300 fps
(depending on power setting and pellet weight), and the rifle did an excellent job of dispatching plywood bunnies at 40 yards.
The trigger is the smoothest Ive
felt on a small game rifleeven superior to several of my .22 rimfire rifles.

AN EXCELLENT CHOICE
The difficulty of obtaining .22 rimfire ammo, coupled with the effectiveness of a high-powered air rifle, makes
the Escape an excellent choice for
varmint hunting or backyard plinking.
The multiple barrel lengths to
choose from, its lightweight aluminum
design and a variety of calibers renders
this is a noteworthy rifle to add to ones
survival arsenal. The spin-lock Escape
model retails for $660, minus the air
pump, scope and accouterments.
Tony Nester is the author of numerous books and
DVDs on survival. His school, Ancient Pathways, is the
primary provider of survival training for the Military
Special Operations community and he has served as a
consultant for the NTSB, FAA, and the film, Into the
Wild. For more information, visit APathways.com.

For more information, visit AirForceAirguns.com or call (877) 247-4867.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AIRFORCE AIRGUNS

THE GREAT
ESCAPE

Airforce Airguns
Escape Is Excellent
For Small-Game
Hunting In A
Survival Situation

ASG_1408_17 6/9/14 12:45 AM Page 17

Dillon Precisions

XL650
STANDARD FEATURES:

www.dillonprecision.com
Too receive
e i e a FREE
REE Catalog,
atalog call
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nd askk for
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umber K79-14690.
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ASG_1408_INTRO_GENERAL.qxp 6/9/14 1:35 AM Page 18

GENERAL
IN THIS SECTION

EVACUATION + GROUP LEADERSHIP + NO-MONEY LIVING + MORE

DOWN
TO BRASS
TACKS
Keep the Basics in Mind
When Prepping

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

HOW DO YOU DEFINE your life as a survivalist?


You may say youre preparing for any disaster
that comes your way, or you might instead
respond that your goal is to be completely off
the grid and self-reliant. But no matter what your
lifestyle and goals are, everyone has the same
basic needs when it comes to keeping our families safe. You need food, water, shelter and the
ability to stay unharmed if a storm or terrorist
attack should occur.
On the following pages, youll find out how to
remain safe from the threat of electromagnetic
pulses, and what it takes to live as a professional
survivalist. Well also take you inside the mind of
Lynn Thompson so you can learn just how he recommends you defend yourself if youre ever in an
extreme situation.

18

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_19 6/9/14 12:46 AM Page 19

ASG_1408_EVAC-CX-p20 6/11/14 11:45 PM Page 20

HIT THE ROAD

JACK
I

THREE EASY STEPS TO


CREATE YOUR PERFECT
EVACUATION PLAN
BY TORREY KIM

AUGUST 2014

TS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOULL TAKE WHEN


YOU BUG OUT OF TOWN FOLLOWING AN EVACUATION OR EMERGENCY.
The bug-out bag is just a small part of your evacuation plan. In addition to
bringing the right things on your trip, youll have to consider a few additional
important factors.
Check out what people have to say about their personal experiences, then
use the following three steps to round out your evacuation process.

20

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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EVERYONE IS
RESPONSIBLE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Long before you find yourself in the situation


where you have to evacuate due to a hurricane or
nuclear meltdown, you must discuss the possibility with your family so that everyone is on the
same page.
The American Red Cross advises families to
go over the emergencies that are most likely to
occur in your area, and then designate certain
responsibilities to each member of your family so
that everyone knows exactly what to do should
an emergency occur.
When we knew that Hurricane Katrina was
coming, the younger kids were responsible for
getting the pets things packed up and ready,
and ensuring that the car had a few bowls in it so
we could give the dogs water along the trip,
says Kathleen Corrigan of Metairie, La.

The teenagers were in charge of listening to


the radio to find out the most congested routes
and the best times to hit the road based on traffic patterns. My husband and I were able to pick
the best travel location based on that information, and it got us out of the house a full 18 hours
before the majority of people were on the road.
Remember to update your emergency
evacuation plan every year or so. Your younger
kids may be able to handle bigger responsibilities, and teenagers could be elsewhere, such
as work or college. In addition, roads can be
built or rerouted over time that can make
your evacuation plan obsolete if its based on
outdated information.

DRIVE YOUR PLANNED


EVACUATION ROUTE AND
PLOT ALTERNATE ROUTES ON
YOUR MAP IN CASE ROADS
ARE IMPASSABLE.
THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

CASH IS KING

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

If the grid fails during an emergency


situation, you wont be able to simply swing
through the ATM for some cash, and most hotels,
hospitals and grocery stores wont be able to
accept electronic payments. Therefore, you
should keep enough cash in your emergency bag
to get you out of town.
Although this amount will differ from one
family to the next, you will want to tabulate how
much your family would need, based on its size
and how self-sufficient you are (e.g., whether you
have food, water and a shelter, or if youd need to
pay for those). Make sure you dont just have big
billsyoull also need smaller denominations, the
Centers for Disease Control states in its Family
Emergency Checklist brochure.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

21

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AGREE ON A
MEET-UP SPOT

You should choose more than one spot where


your family can meet up after an emergency, the
American Red Cross advises. The first should be
right outside your home in case of a sudden
emergency, such as a fire, while the second
should be somewhere outside of the neighborhood in case you are away from the house when
the evacuation order comes through and you cant
return home.
Anne Russo of Apex, N.C., lives near a nuclear
powerplant, and the plant has issued information
about where families can be reunited with their
children in case of a breach. My older sons school

will release the students if theres an emergency


because the school is outside the emergency
radius of the nuclear plant, Russo says. But my
elementary schooler will be transported to a facility
30 miles from my house, so our secondary meetup
location is at that facility. All of the family members
know to go straight there in case of a nuclear meltdown, where we would get our youngest child and
immediately get on the road out of town.
Make sure that everyone in the family has a
mapped out route to the secondary location,
because GPS services may not work during
an emergency.

BROADCAST
THE BUG-OUT BAG
IS JUST A SMALL
PART OF YOUR
EVACUATION PLAN.

It has happened quite a few times in our nations historya terrifying event such as 9/11 takes place and all communication systems are
down, ensuring that you cant find out if your loved ones are safe or
not. When the phone lines are jammed, turn to the Red Cross Safe &
Well website, where you can register as being safe, and your friends
and family can search for your name on the site to determine your status. The website is available at SafeAndWell.CommunityOS.org.

GAS UP

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

When Hurricane Katrina was


heading toward the Louisiana
coast, residents lined up for
miles to get gasoline, and
many were unable to fill their
tanks because pumps ran out of
fuel, Corrigan says. To ensure
this doesnt happen to you,
keep a tank full of gas in a safe
storage area near your house so
you can fill your tank and get
on the road if everyone else is
flocking to the pumps.

22

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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MAPQUEST

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Make sure every member of


your family is able to read a paper
map in the event that GPS technology isnt operational.

PRACTICE
RUNS

UPDATE
You should update your familys bugout bags semi-annually, or whenever
you practice your evacuation routes.
Kids sizes can change and the seasons
may require different clothing, so you
want to make sure your bag is always
updated. However, dont make extra
room in your car for bags of clothes
instead, food and water are more
important in an emergency situation.
Just a few spare outfits will do the trick
so you can have enough room for nonperishable food and jugs of water.

AUGUST 2014

After youve established your meetup location


and shared it with family members, you cant simply
forget about the plan and push it aside. Instead,
you should practice evacuating your home twice a
year, the American Red Cross advises. Drive your
planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes
on your map in the event roads are impassable,
the organization states.
This is especially important since you might
change jobs along the way or your kids could be
coming from a different school than they had
originally attended. As long as you perform the
semi-annual practice run, everyone will have a clear
path to the meetup location from their current
place of school or business.
In addition, the practice runs will allow you to
jot down alternate routes you may see along the
way. This is particularly important if everyone is
heading out of town at the same timeif youre
the one person with a back route to another state,
youll experience a smooth ride while the rest of
your neighbors are sitting in traffic.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

23

ASG_1408_LEADER.qxp 6/9/14 1:38 AM Page 24

GENERAL

COMMAND
CENTRAL
10 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE SURVIVAL GROUP LEADERSHIP
BY ROY A. WOODALL, JR.

N A BAD SITUATION, its definitely a case of


survival of the fittest.
That said, sometimes a group has better
odds of surviving than individuals.
Groups can accomplish much more than a single
person. Groups with great leaders can pretty much
accomplish anything. Being a great leader isnt easy,
but with these tips, you can put together and lead an
effective survival group that will flourish through
hard times and ultimately develop into a family.

BACKGROUND

AUGUST 2014

I have been a member of many tactical teams


over the years: the U.S. Army; two police departments; and military contracting in Iraq, Afghanistan
and Africa have taught me a few things about leadership. Unfortunately, I learned more from the bad
experiences than the good. Being part of a dysfunctional team teaches you posthaste what traits make
for a good leader, and I got to see firsthand the
cause and effect of how treating people poorly
destroys morale and creates turmoil. In a survival
situation, walking away from a dysfunctional, toxic
or dangerous group would be an agonizing choice if
you and your family depended on it for protection,
shelter, food and water.

24

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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FOOD FOR
THOUGHT

LEADING PEOPLE IS THE HARDEST AND MOST REWARDING JOB EVER.

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

The fundamental principle of military


leadership is mission first, men
always. These words reflect the value
of people: never see them as
expendable; value them always.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

25

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QUICK TIPS
Just like plants need water, fertilizer
and sunlight to grow, human relationships need nurturing to survive. There
is a natural tendency for people to initially get along in a crisis because
everyone is trying hard and pitching in.
But as the days turn into weeks and
months, priorities can shift and bad
feelings can start to fester. Imagine the
danger created by exposing a group of
short-tempered, well-armed people to
no electricity, no water and no food.
To make a group work, it takes a
smart, empathetic leader who can foster loyalty, not lose sight of the mission
and hold on to his or her humanity.

> Establish yourself as an authority figure.


> Be a good role model.
> Be worthy of respect.
> Be clear about rules and expectations.
> Be consistent.
> Leave room for input and ask for help if you need it.
> Delegate.
> Show your love of teamwork.
> Show your expertise.
> Assess fairly and give praise when due.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

NURTURE

BIG 10
Below are 10 important traits that
every good leader needs.
1. Show the love: people know
when you care about them and also
when you dont. Be dedicated and loyal
to your team. Loyalty and trust is
earned. Learn peoples names and
> Failing to listen.
show genuine interest in their lives.
> Exhibiting thedo as I say, not as
2. Stay fit: if youre out of shape,
I domentality.
youll tire more quickly and not have
> Not providing adequate support.
the stamina to keep up with the
> Withholding information.
demands of survival. Tired people
> Being afraid to discipline.
have less patience and quickly lose
focus on the mission. It is hard to care
about anything other than taking
and you cannot stand for that. It is
shortcuts when you are exhausted.
impossible to be an effective leader
3. Keep informed: a leaders job is
when subordinates undermine you.
hard; youll get up early, stay up late
Leaders who withhold information
and work harder than anyone
encourage rumors, so have
in the group. You need to
scheduled times to dissemknow how to do the job
inate information, intelof everyone under
ligence, news, accomyour leadership,
plishments and
because knowlpraise.
Dont expect everyone to follow you. There
edge is power.
7. Be truthful:
are some people out there who just refuse
4. Set an examcredibility is such a
to follow. No matter how hard you try, you
ple: be on time to
fragile thing; do
may not be able to reach everyone.
meetings. Be organot lie to your sub-

BAD
LEADERSHIP
TRAITS

AUGUST 2014

WARNINGS

26

nized, neat and


ordinates. A good
You might get called bossy or pushy, no
clean. Work hard
way to encourage
matter what you do to be fair. Its
and dont ever be
people to lie to you
part of the game.
viewed as lazy.
is to lose your temper
Remember that ambiwhen you hear bad
tion, good attitude and
news. Resist the urge to get
friendliness are infectious.
upset when someone tells you
5. Build a team: set goals, inspire
something you dont want to hear.
vision and establish a chain of com8. Take responsibility: nobody is
mand. Make basic rules and encourage
perfect, so dont pretend to be. Be
feedback before any final decisions are
accountable, make the corrections and
made. Emphasize the importance of
apologize as needed. Taking risks
teamwork to minimize effort and maximeans making mistakes. Not taking
mize results.
risks and playing it safe can have a
6. Zero tolerance: rumors and gosdiminishing return. Dont be afraid to
sip undermine the chain of command,
be bold.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

9. Communicate: praise in public and


criticize in private. Dont micromanage.
Tell people what you want them to
accomplish, not how to do every little
task. Keep instructions simple and concise and encourage feedback. Allow
room for creativity. Trust the knowledge and experience in your group, but
be ready to make a hard decision if you
have to. Always conduct after-action
reviews at the end of projects to
encourage quality improvement. Focus
on three questions: What did we do
right? What did we do wrong? How can
we improve next time?
10. Dont forget to laugh: funny
people are a natural anti-depressant!
Humor is an important way of dealing
with stress and can significantly boost
the mood of the group. Use it liberally,
but make sure it doesnt get out of
hand; e.g. pranks, nasty sarcasm, etc.

REQUIREMENTS
Good leadership involves much
more than telling other people what to
do; it is about being a better person,
learning new things and never giving
up on yourself or your team.
Leading people is the hardest and
most rewarding job, ever.
A true leader requires wisdom,
patience and most important, compassion to get the job done.
Roy A. Woodall, Jr. is a veteran of the U.S. Army
Infantry. He is also a retired police officer, a post in
which he served as a SWAT Team sniper, firearms
instructor, armorer and field training officer. Woodall
has spent the last three years working overseas as a
private military contractor working in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Nepal and Italy.

ASG_1408_27 6/9/14 12:47 AM Page 27

ASG_1408_LYNN-CX-28 6/11/14 11:47 PM Page 28

GENERAL

SHEAR
necessity
KNIFE MAKER LYNN THOMPSON
CAUTIONS NOT TO OVERLOOK ONE OF
THE BEST SURVIVAL TOOLS OUT THERE
PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

28

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_LYNN.qxp 6/9/14 1:41 AM Page 29

IMPROVISE!

Choose your weapons. Lynn Thompson selects a kukri for a sparring exhibition at this years
NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

I MAKE EVERYTHING AS A WEAPON FIRST AND AS A TOOL SECOND


BECAUSE THERES NO HIGHER STANDARD THAN AS A WEAPON.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

T ONLY TAKES A MOMENT TO KNOW THAT THIS MAN MEANS BUSINESS.


Hes barrel-chested and powerfully built, and all 5 feet, 9 inches of him convey determination and direct purpose.
If his mere physical presence wasnt daunting enough, there are the knives,
one in each hand, the glint off of their shiny steel blades flashing a warning that
at any instant they can be unleashed in a hailstorm of misery and death.
Confronted by such a man in a dark alley or lonely parking lot would possibly
trigger a fight-or-flight response. But this man is one of the good guys. In an emergency situation, he is one person youd want on your side. He is Lynn C. Thompson,
president and founder of Cold Steel, Inc., a California-based business that is one of
the premier manufacturers of edged weapons in the world.

Thompson has hunted all over the world. He


was the first to shoot all of Africas Dangerous
Seven with an iron-sighted handgun. But
hes just as adept at taking game with primitive weapons such as spears and blowguns.
Even in some short-term emergency situations, you might have to fight other people or wild animals for your life and the lives
of your loved ones. And in those situations,
according to Thompson, you need to be able
to find improvised weapons.
I always tell people, a 10-inch chefs
knife. Every kitchen has one. You can get one
anywhere in the world. You can make a
sheath out of cardboard. Theyre always available. A hammers almost always available.
You can buy a hammer almost anywhere. If
you cant get a gun, there are tons of improvised weapons that you can get.
Ill tell you about my whole hierarchy of
weapons for survival. If youve got a good
survival knife, a big survival knife like a Trail
Master, you can make a bunch of other stuff.
The first thing is that all non-firearms
weapons are about distance.
If I can, Ill make a bow. One of the best
things you can do is to carry a bowstring with
you. They dont take up hardly any room at
all. You can make a bow from a green wood
sapling, from bamboo, from cane. There are
lots of things you can use to improvise a bow.
If I cant make a bow, I might make a
sling. You can braid a sling out of paracord.
You can cut the tongue out of one of your
shoes to make the pouch. I would make
lances and spears. A lance is typically not
thrown; its a stabbing weapon. A spear can
be thrown or used to stab.
I usually make my spears about 7-feet
long. Ill find a sapling and cut it down and
the fat end Ill carve into a point.
Thompson said a common mistake is to
make the spear point too short, which wont
penetrate very well.
Ill make that point about 6 inches
long, he said. And Ill bring it down to
where its about as big around as my little
finger and then Ill sharpen another bevel on
it so that it still has some strength, but its
pointy. I would fire-harden that. I would
make at least one lance and two or three
spears to throw.
I would make a quarter staff maybe 6 or
7 feet long and 2 inches in diameter. Id
make a succession club starting with a 4-foot
club that weighed at least 3, maybe 4
pounds. Id make some wooden daggers as
well. And then I would gather stones.

29

ASG_1408_LYNN.qxp 6/9/14 1:41 AM Page 30

What makes a good survival


knife?
When you think about a
survival knife, said Thompson,
the first thing you think about
is, is this your only knife? If its
your only knife, you cant break
it. Thats the most important
thing. I think it needs to have
enough blade length and
weight to be able to help you
to cut down saplings or at least
cut into them so you can break
them off to build a shelter. It
should be long enough to be
able to stab something or
somebody with and kill him.
Thompson firmly believes
a survival knife has to be able
to serve as a weapon. As an
example, he used the movie
The Grey, where survivors of a
plane crash are forced to fight
off a pack of wolves.
Youll never watch that
movie again and not think
youd want to have a big, bad
knife in your suitcase, especially when flying over a forest.
Even though it was fiction and
you know it probably wouldnt
happen in a million years, it
was very primal. I think your
survival knife has to double as
a fighting knife.
Im always bemused by
people who want to hammer
on the back of their blades, he
said. You dont risk batoning
with your survival knife. The
chance of breaking your survival knife negates any benefit
of batoning you could possibly
have. You can cut a wedge to

use to split things. You can


carve around a sapling and
snap it off or you can burn
through it. There are lots of
ways besides batoning. Ive
never agreed with that. I think
its stupid, unless you have
multiple knives.
As far as blade configuration, Thompson said he recommends a clip point blade rather
than a drop point preferred by
others.
A drop point doesnt stab
as well and it doesnt do
finesse as well, he said. Your
blade gets narrower at the tip
with a clip point so you can do
more finesse work. It is a
slightly weaker point than a
drop point, but with a lot of the
drop points I see on survival
knives, you have to put too
much pressure to stab anybody
with it. And a lot of people
arent interested in that. They
dont think youre ever going
to have to stab anybody. But I
make everything as a weapon
first and as a tool second
because theres no higher standard than as a weapon.
Thompson also prefers a
survival knife with a double
guard to protect his hands.
A large knife can be
pressed into a smaller knifes
role. But small knives, not visa
versa.
There are so many scenarios where you might need to
lay down fire, that I cant deny
the superiority of the semiautomatic.

Lynn Thompson
produces DVDs
showing cutting
tests on Cold
Steel knives.

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLD STEEL, INC.

TACTICAL TALK

EXTREME KNIVES
Thompson says that what separates Cold Steel from the competition is that hes willing to put his knives through extreme, abusive torture tests. He has showcased the results first through his Solid Proof
DVD and now his Apocalypse Proof DVD that accompanies each Cold
Steel catalog.
The company has produced numerous instructional DVDs, many
featuring Thompson, covering edged-weapon techniques. In this sixDVD set, Never Unarmed, Thompson takes you through the hunting
and self-defense capabilities and limitations of every type of firearm,
from pocket pistols to the largest double rifles.
Thompson believes in a multi-discipline approach to self-defense.
So what would he suggest to a person whos just getting started?
Id send him to a Filipino martial arts school, he said. If I had
kids, I would start my kids boxing and wrestling. I would start them
out on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or shoot fighting, which came out of professional wrestling in Japan.

Ready for anything.


Lynn Thompson
believes in a multidiscipline approach
to self-defense and
is ready to fight
hand-to-hand, with
firearms and edged
weapons.

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLD STEEL, INC.

AUGUST 2014
30

WARRIOR TOOLS

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Thompson is also an expert hunter


and marksman with both conventional
firearms and primitive weapons. He is a
recognized Master at Arms, a lifelong
student of several martial arts disciplines and an expert in fighting techniques, especially involving anything
with a blade. Knife, tomahawk,
machete, sword, you name it; Thompson can use it to slice you and dice you
with the speed of the best food
processor available on the market.
Thompson got into the knife business after he broke a knife from
another manufacturer while training.

ASG_1408_LYNN.qxp 6/9/14 1:41 AM Page 31

I went in the house and got


another one and broke it too, he said.
I was so disgusted, I decided to make
my own knives. That was the catalyst
for Cold Steel.
Thompson started Cold Steel in 1980
and built the company around his nowfamous series of tanto blade fighting
knives and large Bowie designs, such as
his Trail Master. He boldly marketed his
knives as being intended primarily as
weapons and that made the rest of the
knife industry uncomfortable.
Weve always been a warrior company, Thompson said. We were tactical when tactical wasnt cool. And now
you see all of my competitors have
opened tactical divisions. These are the
same people that criticized me in the
1980s and 90s for being too aggressive and too fighting-oriented, and now
theyre all making fighting knives.
Steven Paul Barlow is a retired sergeant/station commander and former firearms instructor with the New
York State Police. He has been writing on outdoor
topics for 30 years.

The Cold Steel Trail Master


with its 9-inch blade embodies
Thompsons idea of what a
survival knife should be.

SURVIVAL KNIVES YOU


CANT LIVE WITHOUT

Trail Master bowie912-inch


blade, double guard, the ultimate survival knife according
to Lynn Thompson, that can
handle any chore from cutting to chopping to
stabbing.
Recon Scout712-inch blade
(basically a smaller version of
the Trail Master).
SRK (Survival Rescue Knife)
6-inch blade (my personal
favorite all-around knife), big

enough to handle big jobs,


small enough for finer, detail
work.
Gurkha Kukri Plus12-inch
blade, really a curved
machete with excellent chopping properties, the Plus is
for the guard between the
blade and handle to protect
the hand.
Bushman7-inch blade, economical, tubular handle
extends from blade in one

continuous piece of steel.


Handle can be fitted onto
wooden shaft to become a
spear or lance.
XL Recon 1512-inch blade,
the only folding knife on my
list. Normally you want your
survival knife to be a fixed
blade for strength, but there
may be times when its inconvenient tot carry a fixed blade
knife. This extra-large Recon
1 is a huge folding knife.

WEVE ALWAYS BEEN A WARRIOR COMPANYWE WERE TACTICAL WHEN TACTICAL WASNT COOL.

Improvised weapons might be necessary in an


emergency survival situation. It helps to have a
Cold Steel Bushman, which can easily be fitted
to a wooden shaft to make a spear or lance.
AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

31

ASG_1408_32 6/9/14 12:48 AM Page 32

CONVENIENT FOR STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION


RELIABLE PERFORMANCE FOR WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST

20''

18.5''

The Ruger 10/22 Takedown combines all of the features and functionality of the 10/22 rie,

Americas

favorite rimre rie, with the ability to easily separate the barrel/forend and action/buttstock for convenient
storage and transportation. The simple reassembly of the barrel and action is secure, ensuring an accurate
return to zero for consistent, reliable performance when you need it most. Packed in a rugged, ballistic nylon case
(included with rie), the Ruger 10/22 Takedown makes it easy to keep Americas favorite rimre by your side.

RUGER.COM/1022TAKEDOWN

ASG_1408_33 6/9/14 12:48 AM Page 33

2014 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

050114

ASG_1408_PRO 6/9/14 1:43 AM Page 34

GENERAL

Livin
the Life
A PROFESSIONAL SURVIVAL TRAVELER SHARES
SECRETS FOR LIVING OFF THE BEATEN PATH
WITHOUT MONEY BY GARRETT KIM
Most survivalists

I DONT HAVE TO ANSWER TO ANYONE OR RELY ON


CORPORATIONS OR THE GOVERNMENT IN ANY WAY.
AUGUST 2014

LUKE RIEGEL, PROFESSIONAL TRAVELER

34

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

have had fantasies about exciting adventures in the


wilderness at one point in their lives, but few have gone out and acted on the desire.
Weve all heard, through movies like Into the Wild and 127 Hours, of people who
pursue these exciting lifestyles, traveling the country and living off the land, but is this
a path that is possible to follow?
We talked to Luke Riegel, who has been a professional traveler for the past 16
years, to discover what it takes to live life off the grid. He offered some insightful
answers to five quick questions that can help you determine if youre ready to follow
this path.

ASG_1408_PRO 6/9/14 1:43 AM Page 35

ASG: Is it possible to get by without


having a job or a trust fund to rely
on?
Riegel: Yes, its completely possible. I
am not a traveler who lives without
money, even though there are people
who do that and can get by well without it. But I can get by on very, very little money. I have a small tent that I
carry in my pack, and I can put it up on
most public lands. I do not have a car
or bicycle. I walk, but if I want to go
somewhere further, I will take a day
construction, landscaping or farm help
job wherever I am to make enough
money for a train or bus ticket, and
then Ill explore that new area for
months. Really as long as I have my
tent, Im set.
ASG: What do you do for food?
Riegel: Food is not a problem in the
slightest. I have never gone hungry in
16 years, and I dont beg for food or
anything else, ever. Between dumpster
diving and food available on public land
(insects, plants, fruit) I can eat every
day. I have even found strawberries
growing on the side of the highway. I
dont eat meat or fish anymore but
when I did, I was pretty good at fishing
for my dinner. As for water, I drink from
streams and public water fountains. I
will usually treat stream water with
bleach tablets I keep in my pack.

HITCHHIKING?
Riegel has hitched rides during his 16
years as a traveler, but not as often as
youd think.
I have done it if the weather is
really bad or if Im in a really hitchfriendly area, but its just generally
unsafe, he says.
If youre considering hitchhiking,
check local laws because some states,
such as Arkansas andPennsylvania,
prohibit it.
AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

35

ASG_1408_PRO 6/9/14 1:43 AM Page 36

KEEPING
IN TOUCH

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

If youre concerned about keeping in


touch with relatives during your travels,
remember that you can always mail a letter for 46 cents at any post office, and
you can check email at public
libraries during your travels.

36

ASG: Dont you miss sleeping in a


home or eating a meal made in a
kitchen?
Riegel: I actually do those things at least
once a month. That gets me to an important point. I am in contact with friends
and family through the Internet (anyone
can use a computer at a public library). I
will check my email a few times a month
and if Im traveling somewhere that I
have friends or family, they always offer
for me to spend a night with them.
I think the perception would be that
a lot of people would shun my lifestyle
but its really the oppositemost people I know will tell me I wish I could
do what youre doing and they respect
it, and they like to help out and spend
time with me and hear about my travels. I never ask for a place to stay but
people who know about my journey
will often ask me to let them know
when Im going to be in their area, and
when I do, they always offer.
Its really, really important to keep
your network of friends and family,
because its difficult to trust people on
the road that youve just met. Ive met
some amazing people who have
become lifelong friends, but Ive also
met people who you wouldnt want to
spend more than five minutes with, so
you just have to be nice to people you
meet but not trust them straight off.

WHERE TO CAMP
Riegel sleeps in his portable tent during his
travels, and you may want to follow suit if you
pursue this lifestyle. Keep in mind that you
can typically camp on public land, but most
public sites have regulations about how long
you can stay or where you can pitch the tent.
For instance, the Bureau of Land Management requires you to only stay in one location
for two weeks at a time. After the 14-day
threshold, you will typically be asked to move.

Other public sites allow you to sleep on location as long as you maintain a drug-free area
and you leave nothing behind at your site
(you must take away all waste), while some
states have more specific rules. In New York,
for instance, you can camp on public land as
long as you are more than 150 feet from a
road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body
of water. You can find most states rules on
their websites.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

AUGUST 2014

Riegel carries a portable tent on his travels, so he always has a place to sleep.

You can often find wild fruit, like these strawberries, growing on public land.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_PRO 6/10/14 10:36 PM Page 37

ITS REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR NETWORK


OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY, BECAUSE ITS DIFFICULT TO TRUST PEOPLE
ON THE ROAD THAT YOUVE JUST MET.
LUKE RIEGEL

UNSURPASSED
CAPACITY
CZ P-09

With 19+1 in its ush tting


magazine, the P -09 cant be beat
when it comes to 9mm service pistols.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Its a good idea to


treat any water you
drink in the wild
with a purifier, such
as bleach tablets, a
laser or a filter.

MAIN FEATURES
BATHING RULES
Riegel says he usually bathes in public bodies of water such as creeks, but he cautions other
travelers in following his lead and avoid using soap in a waterway because its harmful to the
eco-system. Instead, he uses sand to scrub himself, or he carries water to his campsite in bottles and then lathers up and rinses there, followed by a suds-free dip in the water.

ASG: It sounds like you go long periods without seeing peopledo you
miss that?
Riegel: No, I dont. I think anyone who is
going to take this journey as a traveler is
probably someone who is fairly solitary. I
like traveling alone, but if I get lonely, I
do talk to people I meet along the way.

1305&$5t)6/5t$0.1&5&

www.cz-usa.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

ASG: What are the best and worst


parts that people should know about
this lifestyle?
Riegel: The best is obviously that I get
to see the country and meet people
from all walks of life. I dont have to
answer to anyone or rely on corpora-

tions or the government in any way. I


have the knowledge that I am completely self-sufficient and can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Its a
very freeing feeling. The worst part is
probably weather fluctuation. I have
learned over time that I dont want to
be in Texas in the summer or Alaska in
the late fall (I was there one summer
and stayed a little too long and it was
dangerously cold, as you would
expect). I love nature (if I didnt, I
wouldnt be living this way) but there
are definitely weather events that
make you question living in a tent.

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37

ASG_1408_EMP-CX-all 6/11/14 11:51 PM Page 38

EMP UPDATE
IF
AUGUST 2014

AN EMP ATTACK WERE TO HIT THE UNITED STATES, our nation could become
crippled without possibility for repair.
Essentially, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a short burst of electromagnetic
energy that can fry any electronics in the vicinity. In todays society, if the power
goes out for an hour, we come to a standstillfrom cell phones to computers to
traffic lights, the population at large is easily crippled without their electronics.
Whether youre aware of the EMP threat or not, theres a good chance you could learn more
about how to protect yourself from this silent but realistic threat. The following tips from Scott
Hall, president of EMP protection supplier Relatus LLC, can help you stay safe from EMPs.

38

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSES,


BUT THEY CAN DESTORY LIFE AS YOU KNOW IT BY GARRETT KIM

ASG_1408_EMP-CX-all 6/11/14 11:51 PM Page 39

EMPs AS WEAPONS
If your only exposure to an EMP is learning about
EMPs that strike as part of a lightning storm, then
this reality might be eye opening: EMPs can be used
as weapons by terrorists who want to disable our
communications system, or worse.
The most common way an EMP attack could occur
would be if a nuclear weapon exploded high enough
over the middle of our country, Hall says.
The impact of a nuclear EMP depends on the
size of the warhead, explains Hall. A bigger bomb
creates stronger energy fields across a wider area.
Although it seems unlikely to happen, the reality
is that although large warheads are mostly in the
hands of the major powers, Pakistan and India also
have large bombs that could cause multiregional
damage, Hall reports.
Pakistan is a concern, since it is at risk of becoming a failed state, he adds.
However, an EMP attack could also be caused
from other non-nuclear means.
A non-nuclear EMP can be created a few different ways, says Hall. First, terrorists with explosives
and technical abilities could create a flux compression
generator (a device used to generate a high-power
electromagnetic pulse by using explosives.) Second,
a high-tech enemy could use a portable radar system
to create EMP-type effects. Third, the U.S. is in final
testing of an EMP cruise missile.
Although these attacks would be critically harmful, they would not be as devastating as the power of
a nuclear EMP, Hall tells us.

The important thing about all these is that they


are targeted energy weapons. Instead of creating
region-wide damage, they would damage only the
buildings/area they target. If terrorists or enemy
countries target important locations, that would cause
significant damage, but it would not be anywhere
near the impact of a high-altitude nuclear EMP.

RECOVERY?
Not only would electronic systems be damaged if an EMP hit, but
so could the power grid as a whole,
Hall says.
Lets use a worst-case scenario,
The United States government
he suggests. If Russia decided it
defines an EMP as the burst of
would benefit from knocking back
electromagnetic radiation created
the United States, it could launch a
when a nuclear weapon is detosecret EMP attack. It could place a
nated or when a non-nuclear EMP
nuclear missile launcher on a cargo
weapon is used. You can read
ship, then launch the missile from a
the governments stance on EMPs
point at sea. It could then sink the
on the Department of Homeland
ship. As revealed by the tragic
Security page at: Dhs.Gov/News
search for Malaysia Airlines flight
MH370, the sea is a big area.
If an EMP with a large warhead
struck, it could knock out the power grid for a good
portion of the country, Hall warns.
A large EMP would cause extensive damage to
the power grid. Large transformers would be damaged, and so would the SCADA computerized controllers that manage the power grid. This could lead
to power outages that last months in some areas.

EMPs
DEFINED

THE ABILITY OF THE


POWER COMPANIES AND
THE GOVERNMENT
TO MANAGE THE PROBLEMS
REALLY DEPENDS ON THE
SIZE OF THE ATTACK.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Lightning strikes produce electromagnetic pulses, and its clear how much can be destroyed when lightning
strikes. Just imagine that energy placed into a weapon to get a feeling for how powerful an EMP attack could be.

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

SCOTT HALL, PRESIDENT OF RELATUS LLC

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

39

ASG_1408_EMP-CX-all 6/11/14 11:51 PM Page 40

SOLAR STORM: SAME THING?


Although a solar storm can knock out the electrical grid, its different
than an EMP attack. Solar storms are natural disasters, Hall says, but
we have almost twice the odds of facing a solar storm than an EMP
blast. Fortunately, EMP cover bags will also protect electronics during a
solar storm, so the products can offer double duty to your devices.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

IF TERRORISTS OR ENEMY COUNTRIES


TARGET IMPORTANT LOCATIONS, THAT WOULD
CAUSE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE, BUT IT WOULD
NOT BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE IMPACT OF A
HIGH-ALTITUDE NUCLEAR EMP.

If the grid falls, even transportation


systems that are electronically
programmed could be crippled.

PHOTO COURTESY OF EMPCOVER.COM

SCOTT HALL

The four bags in the


10x9-inch kit can hold
slightly larger electronics, such
as tablet computers.

If the attacker used a smaller bomb, the damage wouldnt


be as horrific, but it would still be severe.
Fewer systems will burn out and the area of the attack
will be smaller, Hall explains. So, the ability of the power
companies and the government to manage the problems
really depends on the size of the attack. Some of the large
transformers could take more than a year to replace. Likewise, damaged SCADA controllers could take a long time
to swap out.

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE?


Today, the odds of an EMP attack in our nation are hard
to ignore, and many Americans have already began taking
measures to prepare for the possibility of an attack. To ensure
youd be prepared for an EMP blast, youll need an emergency
kit for your family and another for your business, Hall says.
Once you have about three days worth of supplies set
aside in your kit, you should consider placing some backup
electronics into an EMP shield such as a Faraday cage
protection, Hall says. Then you can place your emergency
radios, backup cell phone, etc. into the kits so if the grid goes
down, you could still be operating your backup electronics,
safe and sound from the EMP blast.

EMPCover.coms 8x7-inch
bag kit includes four bags
that can safely protect
your electronics.

Although an EMP attack would put the country in a terrible position, the situation isnt completely hopeless.
Regarding an EMP paralyzing the country, there is no
doubt that it would cause a large problem, Hall says. I,
however, am not in the camp that predicts 90 percent of the
country will die. Instead, the evidence points to a multiregion
disaster that would be terrible, but not unrecoverable.

FOR MORE INFORMATION


Halls company, Relatus, offers you an opportunity to see what an
EMP blast would really entail. Simply visit his website at EmpCover.com
and click on the EMP simulator at the top of the page. There, you can
change the target area and size of the EMP to determine what type of
damage it could cause.
In addition, the website offers EMP survival kits and Faraday bags, as
well as other EMP protection gear, to ensure that you stay safe in the
event of an attack.

AUGUST 2014
40

PHOTO COURTESY OF EMPCOVER.COM

HOPE

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_41 6/9/14 12:49 AM Page 41

ASG_1408_BG_SIGNAL.qxp 6/9/14 1:49 AM Page 42

Buyers Guide
SIGNALING DEVICES

HELP IS ON
THE WAY

AUGUST 2014

NOT EVERYTHING GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN.


What starts out as a fun day hiking or exploring unknown
areas of the outdoors can quickly and unpredictably turn into
a life-or-death situation if someone gets injured, lost, or disoriented from a sudden natural disaster.
There are numerous personal signaling devices that are
available on the market today. Always remember to include a
few different varieties in your bag before venturing out into
natures backyard.

42

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

For as Low as $1.50, You Can Start Stocking


Your Signaling Devices

ASG_1408_BG_SIGNAL 6/9/14 4:25 AM Page 43

SIGNALING DEVICES Buyers


Guide

1 MORE PREPARED

Model: Megaphone 16 Watt - 600 Yard Range


Website: MorePrepared.com
MSRP: $125

MORE PREPARED

1 $125

THIS COMPACT
SIGNALING DEVICE
CAN SEND A
DENSE CLOUD OF
EYE-ATTRACTING
ORANGE SMOKE
HUNDREDS OF
FEET INTO THE AIR
THAT CAN BE SEEN
FROM MILES
AWAY.

Key Features: Weatherproof; pistol-trigger talk switch;


built-in siren
Description: This megaphone lets people know you are
nearbyin a big way. Pumping out a full 16 watts of
power with a range of 600 yards, you can give your lungs
a rest and let this attention-grabbing machine do the work
for you. Its built-in siren and foghorn are perfect for signaling during unexpected emergencies or natural disasters. Constructed of sturdy, high-impact ABS plastic, this
unit is built to last under harsh conditions. This signaling
device is ideal for use when lost in marine environments,
deep woods excursions, or exploring unknown territories.
Volume control, dynamic microphone and pistol-trigger
switch makes this device easy to use and operate. It uses
six C cell batteries, and includes a carrying strap.

2 ORION

Model: Orange Smoke Signal


Website: OrionSignals.com
MSRP: $15.99
Key Features: Easily visible smoke; daytime use; selfcontained ignition
Description: Being lost while trying to enjoy the great
outdoors is a terrible thing. But it does happen. So, the
next time you go out, be prepared and carry the Orion
Orange Smoke Signal canister. This compact signaling
device can send a dense cloud of eye-attracting orange
smoke hundreds of feet into the air that can be seen from
miles away. Perfect for daytime use, this smoke signal
device requires no matches, has an included self-contained ignition mechanism and is fully waterproof. It
burns for a full minute, and is a necessity for hikers and
weekend explorers scouting through unknown territory.

ORION

2 $15.99
AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

43

ASG_1408_BG_SIGNAL.qxp 6/9/14 1:50 AM Page 44

Buyers SIGNALING DEVICES


Guide

3 SOL

Model: Sharx Whistle


Website: SurviveOutdoorsLonger.com
MSRP: $10
Key Features: Unbreakable ABS plastic; rubber grip;
piercing sound
Description: Dont expend needed energy yelling for
help when lost in the woods. The Sharx can do it for you
and much better. This unbreakable whistle emits an
ear-piercing 120 dB sound that can be heard for miles to
attract rescuers or people passing by in your surrounding
area. Constructed with a dual resonator body, this emergency whistle produces sound with minimal effort, so constant and steady signaling can be achieved. It works in
any conditions or environmentswont freeze or stick to
your lips, even in extreme cold. Its molded rubber grip
ensures a firm hold, while the included key ring secures
the whistle to your belt loop, zipper pull, or anywhere else
convenient for quick access.

THIS UNBREAKABLE WHISTLE EMITS AN EARPIERCING 120 DB SOUND THAT CAN BE HEARD
FOR MILES TO ATTRACT RESCUERS OR PEOPLE
PASSING BY IN YOUR SURROUNDING AREA.

4 SOL

Model: Rescue Flash Mirror


Website: SurviveOutdoorsLonger.com
MSRP: $9.50
Key Features: Unbreakable; lightweight; long range
Description: Sometimes simple is better, and with the
SOL Rescue Flash Mirror, signaling for help has never
been easier. Constructed of lightweight Lexan, this mirror
will not break when dropped or knocked about when lost
in the wild. The unit is very easy to operate, requiring only
one hand to aim the mirrors bright reflection to overhead
planes, helicopters or distant search and rescue teams. No
batteries, no moving parts, no power source of any kind is
needed for operation, just direct the mirror at the suns
powerful rays and send a signal up to 10 full miles away
or further; its a key necessity in your pack when traveling
in any unfamiliar environment.

EMERGENCY
5 ESSENTIALS
Model: 5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Website: BePrepared.com
MSRP: $1.50

Key Features: Tough plastic casing; survival essentials;


easy-to-use operation

AUGUST 2014

Description: This multi-function signaling device helps


get you out of a jam when lost by providing several means
of signaling. Its primary signaling device is a molded rescue whistle that creates a piercing sound that can be
heard for miles. Extend your chances of being seen by signaling planes overhead or other search vehicles with the
attached signaling mirror; its easy to use and operate
under the bright sunshine. Other features include a flint
fire-starter, aluminous dial compass and a waterproof
matchbox, perfect to fill with any wind- or waterproof survival matches (not included). Extremely cost effective, several of these could stock all your survival kits, backpacks or
even hang in your back pocket, just in case.

44

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SOL

3 $10

ASG_1408_BG_SIGNAL.qxp 6/9/14 1:50 AM Page 45

SIGNALING DEVICES Buyers


Guide

SOL

4 $9.50

THIS MULTI-FUNCTION
SIGNALING DEVICE NOT
ONLY GETS YOU OUT
OF A JAM WHEN LOST,
BUT PROVIDES A
WHOLE LOT MORE!

EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS

5 $1.50

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

45

ASG_1408_BG_SIGNAL.qxp 6/9/14 1:50 AM Page 46

Buyers SIGNALING DEVICES


Guide

ROTHCO

7 $2.49

6 ORION

Model: Pocket Rocket


Website: OrionSignals.com
MSRP: $38.99
Key Features: Reusable launcher; waterproof storage container; long burn time
Description: When you need to get the
message out that help is needed immediately, few items do this as well as the Pocket
Rocket Signal Flares. Small enough to fit
into your backpack or your camping supply
bag, these signal flares can be lifesavers for
you or your loved ones. Easy to operate, this
essential kit contains a much-needed waterproof and floatable storage container, a
reusable launcher and three aerial flares.
Each flare burns for more than six seconds
and can shoot upwards of 300 feet to alert
rescuers and make them aware of your location. Its bright red color can be seen during
daytime or nighttime. Be prepared for the
unexpected.

7 ROTHCO

Model: Dog Tag Signal Mirror


Website: Rothco.com
MSRP: $2.49

ORION

6 $38.99
WHEN YOU NEED TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT THAT
HELP IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY, FEW ITEMS DO THIS
AS WELL AS THE POCKET ROCKET SIGNAL FLARES.

Key Features: Scratch-resistant; integrated


sighting hole; neck chain hole
Description: Simple in use and design, yet
extremely valuable in a lifesaving situation,
the Rothco Dog Tag signaling mirror lets
overhead planes, helicopters or search-andrescue parties notice you amidst the backdrop of endless foliage or other natural terrain. Its reflective power sends a flash of
sunlight into the daytime sky, easily seen by
anyone in the immediate area. A sighting
hole allows you to line up your signal
towards whatever direction is needed to
maximize your chances of being seen and
ultimately rescued. The pre-punched hole is
perfect for any size necklace to keep the mirror secure and close by for easy access when
you need to signal quickly before your
chance passes you by. A must-add to any
survival kit or bag!

8 ORION

Model: Orion Safety Lightsticks


Website: CheaperThanDirt.net
MSRP: $12.38
Key Features: Nonflammable; waterproof,
provide 10 hours of light

AUGUST 2014

Description: These nonflammable light


sticks are waterproof, environmentally
friendly and will float in water. Each stick
provides more than 10 hours of light, and
theyre great to carry in your backpack or car
in the case of an emergency.

46

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ORION

8 $12.38

ASG_1408_47 6/9/14 12:50 AM Page 47

t
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When you own a Del-Ton rie,


you are guaranteed:
s!LIFETIMEWARRANTY

s'OODVALUEFORTHEMONEY
s%XCELLENTCUSTOMERSERVICE
s(UGESELECTIONOFPARTSANDACCESSORIES
Del-Ton Incorporated is a manufacturer of quality
AR-15 style modern sporting ries and your
online source for parts, upgrades, accessories,
optics, and custom rie kits. Ask your dealer
about Del-Ton ries or visit del-ton.com.

*For as long as you own it

www.del-ton.com

www.facebook.com/deltoninc

PHOTO BY GUS ALONZO

COVER STORY

ASG_1408_COVERSTORY.qxp 6/9/14 1:51 AM Page 48

ASG_1408_COVERSTORY.qxp 6/9/14 1:52 AM Page 49

TRAPPINGS
TREASURE
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SURVIVE CAN BE FOUND AT MAJOR SURPLUS
BY GARY CARTER

1. Voodoo Tactical
Combat Shirt

EING CAUGHT IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION WITHOUT THE RIGHT GEAR CAN BE FATAL.
Just like you need food, water and shelter to survive, you need gear to protect against the elements
and enable you to take on the tough tasks you will face.
Enter Major Surplus, carrier of all a comprehensive selection of gear that makes it a one-stop survival store. With a
wide array of clothing, backpacks, combat knives, first aid
supplies, camping items and food and water supplies, you
can bug out in comfort and security.
Read on to see how we geared up our cover model, then
check out the website and see what fits your own needs.

Stay comfortable under


your tactical vest or plate
carrier with our soft body
made of 100-perent
breathable cotton. Sleeves
have zippered hook-n-loop
pockets of various sizes
with outer soft hook-nloop to attach unit ID
patches. Double-reinforced elbows stay strong
and adjustable hook-nloop wrist closure to keep
out the sand.
MSRP: $38.95

2. Tru-Spec 24-7
Tactical Combat Pant
2

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

These 65/35 poly/cotton


Rip-Stop Tactical Pants
pocket design features
two front-slant pockets,
two open accessory pockets and six expandable
pockets with hook-nloop flap closures. The
pants are made with a
comfort waistband and
double-reinforced knee
with built-in kneepad
pockets. Colors include
black, OD and khaki.
MSRP: $39.95

49

ASG_1408_COVERSTORY.qxp 6/9/14 1:52 AM Page 50

TRAPPINGS
TREASURE

3. Italian Alpine Parka


The Italian, military-issue Alpine parka
offers superior cold-weather protection with its poly/cotton outer shell
thats waterproof and windproof. Outside theres a full-length front zipper
with outer wind baffle, adjustable
sleeve cuffs and two, flap-covered
pockets. Inside is a full length, sewn-in
wool liner with an added button-in,
quilted, insulated liner. The face-warming mouton collar and lined hood are
both removable.
MSRP: $49.95

4. Ambush LED Voodoo


Rechargeable Flashlight
This flashlight has been field tested
and approved by a tactical/law
enforcement professional team for
dependability and durability. Its
rugged aerospace aluminum alloy construction is combined with militarylevel anodized bodies featuring the
latest lighting technology; LED chipset
with America CREE Q3 and Q5 with
up to 100,000 hours. Models include
an ultra-bright spotlight, regular spotlight, low spotlight, strobe and SOS,
and all include a rechargeable lithium
battery and battery charger. Maximum
output on high is 245 lumens, medium
180 lumens and low 80 lumens. High
run time is 2.5 hours, medium is 4
hours and low is 20 hours.
MSRP: $99.95

5. Matrix Pack
The Mini Matrix features an
adjustable, padded shoulder harness
with attached electronics instrument
pouches; multiple side, upper and
lower pockets; and reversed coil zippers to keep the sand out. Other
features include lots of universal
webbing for pouch attachments,
hook-n-loop ID patch and an
enhanced harness-retention system
for maximum load carry. The mini is
hydration compatible with covered
hose exit port, and the main compartment features admin pockets
and compartments, a padded pocket
for laptop and hydration bladder
pocket. All seams are doublestitched and bar-tacked at all stress
points. It measures an overall 9
inches long, 13 inches wide and 15
inches high.
MSRP: $149.95/$159.95 (Multicam color)

CONTACT INFORMATION

AUGUST 2014

To see all of Major Surplus gear, check out


MajorSurplus.com, or for more information
call (800) 441-8855.

50

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_51 6/9/14 12:51 AM Page 51

J
A
N
T
Z
knifemaking.com
Pattern 42 Blades

CAT.# STEEL
FINISH
PRICE
1095
Satin
J4198
24.95
1095
Black Teon 24.95
J419K
Peened
J4127 D2 Steel
32.95
Satin
J4128 D2 Steel
32.95
J4137 CPMS 30V Peened
42.95
Satin
J4138 CPMS 30V
42.95
J4189 Damascus Random
79.95

Overall Length: 6 5/8, Blade Length:


2 5/8, Width: 7/8, Thickness: 1/8
CAT.# STEEL
FINISH
PRICE
1095
Satin
J4298
24.95
1095
Black Teon 24.95
J429K
Peened
J4227 D2 Steel
32.95
Satin
J4228 D2 Steel
32.95
440C
Peened
J4207
32.95
440C
Satin
J4208
32.95
Peened
J4257 CPM154
39.95
Satin
J4258 CPM154
39.95
J4289 Damascus Random
69.95

CAT.#
KT410
KT455

CAT.#
KT420

Pattern 41 Blades

Overall Length: 7 5/8, Blade Length:


3, Width: 1, Thickness: 1/8

SHEATH
Kydex
Kydex Belt Clip

USA

PRICE
12.95
9.95

MADE

SHEATH
Kydex

PRICE
12.95

PARACORD

Pattern 31 Blades

Overall Length: 6 1/2", Blade Length:


2 1/2", Width: 1 1/8", Thickness: 1/8"

CAT.# STEEL
FINISH
PRICE
1095
Satin
J4598
24.95
1095
Black Teon 24.95
J459K
Peened
J4527 D2 Steel
32.95
Satin
J4528 D2 Steel
32.95
440C
Peened
J4507
32.95
440C
Satin
J4508
32.95
J4589 Damascus Random
79.95

CAT.#
KT440
KT455

CAT.#
KT450
KT455

SHEATH
Kydex
Kydex Belt Clip

40

colors

SHEATH
Kydex
Kydex Belt Clip

CAT.#
J3128
J3148
J3198
J319K
J3189

STEEL
FINISH
D2
Satin
154CM
Satin
1095
Satin
1095
Black
Damascus Etched

HRC
59-61
58-59
57-58
57-58
58-60

PRICE
31.95
35.95
24.95
24.95
99.95

Pattern 36 Blades

COLOR

MATERIAL

PRICE
12.95
9.95

Rivets/Pattern 31

PRICE

B.I./Cocobolo Dymondwood
D3149
Black
G10
G3119
Red
G10
G3129
Handles Basket Weave Texture

16.95
18.95
18.95

CAT.#

M3131
G3111
G3131
G3151

PRICE
12.95
9.95

$6.99/100ft

Contoured and textured handles for Pattern 31.


Cut slightly oversized for proper tting. More
handle options are offered online.
Handles Smooth No Texture
CAT.#

Overall Length: 7 3/16, Blade Length:


3 1/4, Width: 1 1/16, Thickness: 1/8

CAT.# STEEL
FINISH
PRICE
1095
Satin
J4498
24.95
1095
Black Teon 24.95
J449K
Peened
J4427 D2 Steel
29.95
Satin
J4428 D2 Steel
29.95
440C
Peened
J4407
29.95
440C
Satin
J4408
29.95

Handles for Pattern 31

Overall length 7 5/8, Blade Length 3, Blade Width


1 1/8, Blade Thickness 5/32. Bolster holes 1/8,
Handle Holes 1/4, Thong Hole 1/4. Cryo Tempered.

Pattern 45 Blades

Pattern 44 Blades

COLOR

MATERIAL

PRICE

Red
Black
Orange
Olive Drab

Micarta
G10
G10
G10

16.95
21.95
21.95
21.95

Handles for Pattern 36

Torx Screw for use with


the G10 textured handles.
Corby rivets for use with
Dymondwood handles for ush surface.
CAT.#
TYPE
ALLOY
Torx
Brass
B451
Torx
Stainless
A461
Corby
Brass
B660
Corby
Stainless
A624

PRICE
3.95
4.95
3.49
3.49

260 brass and 410 stainless, with


matching pins. 3/16" for G10
contoured handles and 1/4" for
Dymondwood handles.
CAT.#
THICK
ALLOY
3/16"
Brass
K311
3/16"
Stainless
K316
1/4"
Brass
K313
1/4"
Stainless
K314

PRICE
6.95
6.95
6.95
6.95

Bolsters /Pattern 31

Pins/Pattern 36
Handle pins available
in brass and stainless
steel. (Set of 6)

Contoured and textured handles for Pattern 36.


Cut slightly oversized for proper tting. More
handle options are offered online.
Handles Smooth No Texture
Overall length 7 5/8, Blade Length 3, Blade Width
1, Blade Thickness 1/8. Bolster holes 1/8, Handle
Holes 1/8, Thong Hole 1/4. Flat ground.
CAT.#
J3628
J3638
J3608
J3698
J369K
J3689

STEEL
FINISH
D2
Satin
CPMS30V Satin
440C
Satin
1095
Satin
1095
Black
Damascus Etched

HRC
59-61
59-61
57-58
57-58
57-58
58-60

PRICE
31.95
41.95
31.95
24.95
24.95
74.95

CAT.#

COLOR

MATERIAL

PRICE

D3653 B.I./Rosewood Dymondwood


Wood
E3601 Birdseye Maple
Wood
E3672 Desert Ironwood
Handles Basket Weave Texture

16.95
24.95
39.95

CAT.#

G3610
G3630
G3650
G3660

CAT.#
B826
A846

SIZE
1/8
1/8

ALLOY
Brass
Stainless

PRICE
1.99
1.99

Bolsters/Pattern 36

COLOR

MATERIAL

PRICE

Bolsters are oversized, for proper


tting and include two matching
pins. Dry t bolsters and polish
front edges before peening it to the blade.

Black
Orange
Olive Drab
Blue/Black

G10
G10
G10
G10

21.95
21.95
21.95
21.95

CAT.#
K363
K364

THICK
3/16"
3/16"

Gift Certificates, Knife Projects and other knifemaking supplies online.


Download our digital catalog online or request our full color catalog for only $5.00 postage.
JANTZ * KNIFEMAKING.COM * 800-351-8900

ALLOY
Brass
Stainless

PRICE
6.95
6.95

ASG_1408_CARS-CX-p52 6/11/14 11:51 PM Page 52

GENERAL

GONE

IF YOU NEED TO FLEE, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TRANPORTATION
BY ALEX LaGRAND

N THE EVENT OF AN APOCALYPSE, DOOMSDAY, OR EVEN


A GOVERNMENT MELTDOWN, HAVING GOOD TRANSPORTATION IS ESSENTIAL.
Many realists are great about survival preparation, but often
the transportation issue is overlooked.
If youve seen shows like The Walking Dead and movies like
World War Z, you know that cars play an enormous role in survival
during an apocalypse, but how does one choose the most efficient
and durable car in order to ensure utmost preparation?
American Survival Guide met with car expert Robert Pelkey in
North Carolina to bring you the answer.

AUGUST 2014

GAS MILEAGE

52

With gas prices the way they currently are, its no question that
gas mileage should play an enormous role in choosing the best car
for your prepper needs. In the case of imminent government meltdowns or the possibility of a dooming apocalypse, gas mileage is
important to consider, for it could prove beyond pivotal if you want
to ensure that your car uses every morsel of oiland uses it wisely.
Car expert Robert Pelkey explained, Twenty miles per gallon is
the average for modern cars; this is the mid-range between sports
cars and economy cars.
It is highly important for one to consider the gas mileage each
model offers. As Pelkey noted, 20 miles or even more to the gallon
is great for adequate transportation in future doomsday events.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

LESS IS MORE
Technology is popular in todays world, seen
in every aspect of life from the ordering of food
to the way we communicate with one another.
However, too much technology in a car for
future survival needs could prove detrimental
and would be a waste of money.
According to Pelkey, Electronics and
extras from the factory are more things that
could go bad or malfunction, and he advises
installing as little extras as possible to ensure
that the number of malfunctions in your car is
little to none.
In addition, basic maintenance such as regular oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles with
good oil would keep the car in good shape for
future use.

TIRES
In the case of any natural disaster, Pelkey
suggests, One word: Tires.
Pelkey emphasized tires as the main thing
that could prove imperative in any situation,
especially in the case of snow, tornadoes, and
thunderstorms. Having good tires could ensure

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

GOTTA GET

rapid getaway from hazardous situations and


could end up protecting life.
Choosing tires is the same as choosing clothing. Many factors are included, and it comes
down to several questions, like, in what kind of
weather will the car be driven? And how much
will the car be driven? These should be considered not only when purchasing your car, but
purchasing tires.
Many tire companies offer a wide range of
options, each boasting various features. While
often the cheapest tire may prove convincing,
oftentimes it will lack safety features that could
come in handy with future survival endeavors.
Meet with a local tire specialist to discuss which
tire would be the best option for you, based on
your situation.

MODELS

Depending on the climate you will be driving in, take special circumstances
into consideration when purchasing your car. If you will be experiencing a lot
of snow, investing in all-wheel drive may be a benefit worth the money.

According to Pelkey, many import


vehicles offer all three in excess. My
favorite two [models] would be the
Subaru WRX STI and the Mitsubishi
Evo. Both have good power with
turbo-charged motors and both are allwheel drive.
He also goes on to mention that
the aforementioned Subaru WRX STI is
more of a rally car, referring to racing,
yet offers superb off-road capabilities.
As for more, Honda, one of the
most popular brands in the United
States and beyond, is known for its
long-lasting engine. They are priced
well and typically can run for more
than 300,000 miles, more than the
average car running for much less.
In the end, Pelkey explained, It all comes
down to how much you want from a car and
how deep your pockets are.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

With car companies and dealerships constantly boasting about having the latest available models, how are you to know which brands
give you the biggest bang-for-your-buck? Which
ones offer the most in terms of durability, gas
mileage, and speed?

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

ASG_1408_CARS.qxp 6/9/14 1:54 AM Page 53

Bio: Alex LaGrand is a North Carolina-based freelance writer who


enjoys writing about various topics, particularly involving the outdoors and the military.

ONE WORD: TIRES.


ROBERT PELKEY, NORTH CAROLINA-BASED CAR EXPERT

THE BASICS
Knowledge of basic car maintenance is essential for
any driver. Below are some things that should be
checked routinely to make sure that your car will
remain in working order:
Engine oil level
Antifreeze/coolant level
Brake and power steering fluid levels
Transmission fluid
Belts
Leaking fluids
Brake and headlights
Vehicle battery (Batteries should be replaced
roughly every five years)
Loose electrical connections
Radiator tube

Other items essential for safe driving may also require


maintenance in due time. While car maintenance may
prove costly, the biggest thing to remember is to address
issues in a prompt manner, otherwise safety issues could
arise. The following are parts, in addition to the regular
checkup, that should be inspected routinely:
Air filter
Headlight, turn signals, and brake lamps
Spark plugs and cables
Engine timing belt
Windshield wipers
Source: DMV.org

MORE 411

BRAND
LOYALTY
Each car brand is
famous for its own reasons; maybe its the top
pick in safety, durability, or even gas
mileage, and these
brands are constantly
competing for business. Below are some
of the top-rated brands
throughout the world,
but keep in mind that
the best choice in car
will depend on your
personal situation.
> Honda
> Mercedes-Benz
> Mazda
> Jaguar
> Skoda
> Lexus
> Kia
> Volvo
> Toyota
> Audi
Source: Telegraph.Co.UK

For more information about how to choose the right


tire for your needs, visit Auto.HowStuffWorks.com.

AUGUST 2014

Source: DMV.org.

OTHER COMPONENTS

Tires are the


most important
additional cost
that could end
up being the
deciding factor
in a life-ordeath scenario.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

53

ASG_1408_BG_FOOD.qxp 6/9/14 1:56 AM Page 54

Buyers Guide

SURVIVAL SUSTENANCE

AUGUST 2014

Food and Water Options, Including Gluten-Free and Vegan!

54

SURE, IN A CLUTCH SITUATION, you can go a long time without eating.


But your senses, reasoning skills and overall mental and physical state will be sorely
affected; and during harsh times, that could have very deadly results for you.
Constant nourishment and a well-balanced diet can help you maintain your sharpness under not-so-ideal conditions out there in the world.
To accomplish this and to avoid trying to secure food and water when thousands of
others are trying to do the same, you must prepare ahead. Lucky for you, your options
are plentiful in the form of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, water storage and
preservation items, easy-to-use MREs, as well as protein rations, energy bars and
dozens of survival food and water items available on the market today.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

FOOD&WATER

ASG_1408_55 6/9/14 12:52 AM Page 55

TWO is better than One


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ASG_1408_BG_FOOD.qxp 6/9/14 1:56 AM Page 56

Buyers FOOD&WATER
Guide
MORE PREPARED

1 $9.95

FOUR BRAND-NEW 55-GALLON


BARRELS ARE EQUIPPED WITH
PROTECTIVE SEAL CAPS TO KEEP OUT
CONTAMINATES, DIRT AND DEBRIS.

1 MORE PREPARED

Model: Five-Gallon Collapsible Water Carrier


Website: MorePrepared.com
MSRP: $9.95
Key Features: High-grade polyethylene; flexible material;
convenient dispensing spigot
Description: Having enough water is only half the battle;
storing it for your future needs takes planning and proper
supplies. Thankfully, the 5-gallon collapsible water storage
jugs do the trick. Constructed of a flexible, but highly durable
polyethylene, these water storage jugs hold up to 5 gallons
of fresh drinking water for you and your family. The carrier
features an integrated leak-proof spigot with an on/off option
for convenience when dispensing. Holds its shape and maintains sturdiness even in extremely cold temperatures and
folds down easily to conserve valuable space when storing.
An easy-carry handle is included.

2 NITRO-PAK

Model: Family Water Storage Package


Website: Nitro-Pak.com
MSRP: $625

AUGUST 2014

Key Features: Manual hand pump; protective seal caps;


five-year life

56

Description: Last-minute water storage plans dont always


go as planned, so dont take the chance. Fill up at your leisure
and enjoy fresh, drinkable water for up to five years without
replacing. Use ordinary tap water and treat with the included
water stabilizers and youre all set. Four brand-new 55-gallon
barrels are equipped with protective seal caps to keep out
contaminates, dirt and debris. An aluminum bung wrench is
supplied to open and reseal the barrels, as needed. The
included manual siphon pump makes access to the fresh
water easy and controlled, so you have little or no wasted
water. 220 gallons will supply water for a family of four for up
to 28 days. FDA-approved barrels.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

NITRO-PAK

2 $625

ASG_1408_BG_FOOD.qxp 6/9/14 1:56 AM Page 57

FOOD&WATER Buyers
Guide

3 NITRO-PAK

Model: Deluxe Security Pack


Website: Nitro-Pak.com
MSRP: $232
Key Features: Ten-year shelf life; quick-and-easy preparation; delicious taste
Description: The Deluxe Security Pack is essential for shortterm survival when food is unavailable or contaminated due to
natural disasters or other sudden emergencies. Equipped to
supply up to 1,530 calories per person per day, you and
another person can eat regular breakfast, lunch and dinner for
up to seven days. Compact and extremely lightweight, these
instant meals can be stored at your home, in your supply pack
or at your alternative Bug-out location for up to 10 years without worry. No cooking is necessary, just add hot water and eat
directly out of the bag. Enjoy beef stew, lasagna, macaroni and
cheese, and many other delicious varieties.

EQUIPPED TO SUPPLY UP TO 1,530


CALORIES PER PERSON PER DAY,
YOU ... CAN EAT REGULAR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER FOR UP
TO SEVEN DAYS.

NITRO-PAK

4 $232

4 WISE

Model: 60 Serving Entre Bucket


Website: WiseFoodStorage.com
MSRP: $134.99
Key Features: Easy-to-carry bucket; delicious variety; 25year shelf life
Description: Convenience, easy storage ability and delicious flavor all come together in this 60-serving entre
bucket. With enough food to last one person for a full
month or a family of four for a week, this collection of delicious entrees is perfect for long- or short-term food storage needs. The lock-in stacking buckets with grab-and-go
handles make storage and transport easy, even under
stressful or emergency situations. All entrees are pre-measured in convenient four servings per pouch which produces less waste while reducing prep times when feeding
2 people or more. All foods are sealed for safety and durability in strong Mylar pouches. Some items included in
this assortment include cheese lasagna, chili macaroni,
pasta Alfredo, chicken soup with noodles and many more
tasty varieties.

WISE

AUGUST 2014

4 $134.99
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

57

ASG_1408_BG_FOOD.qxp 6/9/14 1:56 AM Page 58

Buyers FOOD&WATER
Guide

LONG LIFE
5 FOOD
DEPOT
Model: MRE Breakfast Kit
Website: LongLifeFood.com
MSRP: $35.50

Key Features: Delicious variety; home-cooked


taste; hot preparation
Description: Under normal everyday conditions,
breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
During survival situations, this fact still holds
true. Start your morning with the MRE breakfast
kit. Each MRE comes complete with the comfort
foods you need to add a bit of normalcy during
trying or uncertain times. Your three-day breakfast kit is filled with favorites including pork
sausage, biscuits and gravy, French toast, cinnamon buns, muffins, cookies and three accessory
packets to round out this high-calorie assortment.
Pack a few kits when camping, and with your
short-term prepping supplies. Easy, delicious
and life saving.

6 MOUNTAIN HOUSE

Model: Gluten Free Scrambled Eggs


Website: MountainHouse.com
MSRP: $5.49

Key Features: Gluten free; durable Mylar pouch;


easy to prepare
Description: Personal dietary requirements
dont stop when disaster strikes. People requiring
gluten-free foods now have an option when food,
especially gluten-free foods, becomes scarce during emergencies or natural disasters. Pack for
short- or long-term food preparation and never be
caught without your needed gluten-free food
items. Add boiling water; allow reconstituting
and eat directly from the pouch. No matter what
your situation, the aroma of scrambled eggs and
crisp bacon will give you comfort and much
needed sustenance during trying times.

MRE BREAKFAST KIT

5 $35.50

GLUTEN FREE SCRAMBLED EGGS

6 $5.49

AUGUST 2014

ENJOY DELICIOUS GLUTEN-FREE SCRAMBLED EGGS AND


BACON IN AN EASY-TO-PREPARE, DURABLE MYLAR POUCH.

58

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_BG_FOOD.qxp 6/9/14 1:57 AM Page 59

FOOD&WATER Buyers
Guide

LONG LIFE FOOD DEPOT

7 $195
SURVIVAL
7 WAREHOUSE

LIFE
8 LONG
FOOD DEPOT

Key Features: 100 percent vegetarian selection; included heaters; full accessory pack

Key Features: Extensive food variety;


included heater units; meat and non-meat
options

Model: 12 MRE Meal - Vegetarian Case


Website: Survival-Warehouse.com
MSRP: $89.95

Description: Vegetarians can now maintain


their specific needs even during survival or
emergency situations. This full, 12-meal case
of entirely vegetarian entrees and sides has
everything you need to get your needed calories under not so normal conditions that
may occur in this unpredictable world.
Choose from three varieties, including vegetarian chili, cheese tortellini or pasta marinara and enjoy delicious sides such as dried
fruit, sugar cookies, raisin nut mix, crackers
and even high-energy bars. An accessory
pack containing a spoon, napkin, coffee, nondairy creamer, salt, pepper, sugar and a wet
nap comes complete with every meal and an
easy-to-use entree heater brings your meal
up to piping hot temperature in minutes.
Each full meal provides between 1,1001,300 calories.

Model: 72 Hour MRE Supply for 4


Website: LongLifeFood.com
MSRP: $195

Description: Prepping for the unknown is


not only important for yourself, but also for
your whole family. Now you can meet the
challenges of the first 72 hours of any survival
situation with the MRE supply kit for four.
Check food off your list of concerns because
this kit comes complete with 36 entrees, 24
side dishes, 24 bakery items, 12 desserts, 12
beverage bases, accessory packets with all
your essentials and 36 one-use heaters so
your meals are hot and comforting under
stressful circumstances. Great taste and long
shelf life makes these MRE meals a must for
every family members bug-out bag. They are
also available in an all non-meat option.

VEGETARIANS CAN
NOW MAINTAIN
THEIR SPECIFIC
NEEDS, EVEN
DURING SURVIVAL
OR EMERGENCY
SITUATIONS.
SURVIVAL WAREHOUSE

8 $89.95

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

59

ASG_1408_INTRO_HOMESTEAD.qxp 6/9/14 2:02 AM Page 60

HOMESTEAD

AMISH CABINS + NATURAL REMEDIES + BEEKEEPING + MORE

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

AUGUST 2014

Are You Ready for a Real Homesteading Lifestyle?

60

THE FOLLOWING PAGES will take you through the lives of homesteaders who are
achieving their dreams, one step at a time.
Being completely self-sufficient doesnt just mean youve got a vegetable garden and
a pantry filled with home-canned fruits. It means youre ready to handle illnesses, that
you can heat or cool your house without having to rely on government utilities, and much
more. But we dont all arrive at self-reliance at the same timefor many of us, it takes an
entire lifetime to completely disassociate ourselves from an on-the-grid lifestyle.
Explore the merits of beekeeping, get a handle on home remedies, and embrace
green power for your cabin with the turn of a page.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

IN THIS SECTION

ASG_1408_AMISH-CX-p61 6/11/14 11:53 PM Page 61

HOMESTEADING

custom

CABIN

THIS AMISH CABIN COMPANY WILL BUILD YOUR HOME TO YOUR SPECS
BY TORREY KIM + Photos Courtesy of Amish Cabin Company

THE AMISH JUST WANT TO BUILD


A GOOD PRODUCT. THEY WOULD
RATHER LOSE MONEY THAN
SACRIFICE THEIR REPUTATIONS.
LINTON WELLS, OWNER, AMISH CABIN COMPANY
AUGUST 2014

your dream of cabin living wears off once you realize youd have
to invest years to make it happen, listen up: Nows the time to
make your dream a reality.
One hard-working cabin company can deliver a pre-built cabin
to your property just three months after you order it.
Amish Cabin Company doesnt just build its cabins based on
the Amish style of quick-and-sturdy barn raisingsthe cabins
are actually built by the Amish in an off-grid facility, so you benefit from the well-known Amish craftsmanship without having to
move to Amish country.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

61

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Several years ago, I wanted to


build a cabin for myself, and when I
came across these Amish modular cabins, they just totally captivated my
interest, says Amish Cabin Companys owner Linton Wells. I struck
up a friendship with the Amish and I
have a lot of respect for them and I
think they can tell that.
Wells then worked out a relationship in which he hired the Amish
craftsmen to build the cabins in their
own facility.
The Amish just want to build a
good product, Wells says. They
would rather lose money than sacrifice
their reputations. Ive seen them rip
things apart and start all over again,
eating all the cost themselves, because
their character and reputation is
attached to everything they do.

[ABOVE] The Deluxe Appalachian


log cabin is the companys most
popular model, used for main
residences, getaway cabins,
offices, and guesthouses. It has
a full, six-foot front porch.
[LEFT] The companys 10x20-foot
Baby Boone cabin costs less
than $20,000 and makes a great
lake retreat for your fishing trips
or the perfect bug-out cabin.

GOING
OFF-GRID

Just the Facts

AUGUST 2014

Amish Cabin Companys products are indeed built by the Amish in a custom off-grid facility on an Amish farm in Kentucky.The floors are radiant heated by a wood-fired furnace
fueled by pine scraps to ensure proper application of stains inside the facility.The CNC
machines and all other tools are powered by an onsite diesel generator.
The cabins are built of eastern white pine, cut in the Amish sawmill.The same Amish
crew that builds the cabin makes the cabinetry and the interior and exterior doors.

62

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Youve got a sturdy wooden cabin and all


of the amenities you could wantcant you
get it powered by off-grid energy sources
as well? In fact, you can.
Amish Cabin Company has partnered
with an established regional solar energy
company to provide two primary off-grid
solar power options for its customers, and
custom solutions are available. The company can also recommend solar indoor
composting toilets, propane tankless
water heaters, solar-powered portable
lighting, and reasonable EPA-rated small
woodburning stoves.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY
If your cabin is being delivered within 200 miles of the companys headquarters in Elizabethtown, KY, delivery is free, but
the company can deliver just about anywhere for an additional
charge. The delivery charge is about $8 per loaded mile for
prebuilt cabins, and $4 per loaded mile for the do-it-yourself
unassembled cabin kits.
The company will then deliver its prebuilt cabins directly
onto your pre-existing foundation or pad.

THE DELUXE KITS, ONCE THEYRE DELIVERED


TO YOU, ARE READY FOR SAME-DAY USE.
LINTON WELLS, OWNER, AMISH CABIN COMPANY.

In addition to sturdy
Amish-built cabins, the
company can also help
you find Amish-built
furniture to complete
the look of your home.

THE DETAILS

DIY
If youve always wanted to
participate in your own
Amish cabin-raising, you can
buy the unassembled cabin
kit and build it yourself
based on the kit instructions
if youre already quite handy.
I definitely would not
recommend this for a novice
builder, Wells says. We do
provide technical support,
and the Amish can be
reached to provide support
and answer questions, but
you should only order these
if you have some residential
construction experience.
The kits start at about
$9,500 for the smallest insulated cabin set; all kits come
with all of the materials youll
need to construct the cabins
exterior, including the wood,
screws, caulking, windows,
metal roof, doors, precut
posts and beams, exterior
siding, window trim, stain,
flooring and ceiling, loft
materials and instructions.

Several of the layouts can be built to accommodate a spacious


front porch.

FOR MORE INFORMATION


To see the layout plans that Amish Cabin Company offers, as
well as a price list and a full description of the options available
for your cabin, visit the companys website at AmishCabinCompany.com.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Once you choose which of the five


main models the company offers, youll
place a deposit and then you can
expect delivery of your cabin about 10
weeks later, Wells says. The pre-built
cabins range in price depending on
your customization requests, but they
start at about $16,000.
The companys deluxe prebuilt cabins are delivered fully assembled and
offer the following as standard features: A metal roof with a 40-year warranty, energy-efficient 3Ht insulation,
energy star-rated insulated windows,
exterior stain, Amish-built pine kitchen/
bathroom cabinetry, kitchen countertop, Amish-built pine exterior/interior
doors, pine flooring, pine tongue and
groove ceiling, pine interior walls, pine
exterior siding, pine exposed 3- x 4-inch
posts and beams, prewired/inspected
200 amp electrical wiring with all fixtures/receptacles including back/rear
exterior receptacles and lighting, all
plumbing fixtures except water heater,
cosmetic exterior dormers, Amish-built
loft ladder, and shutters.
The deluxe kits, once theyre delivered to you, are ready for same-day
use, Wells says.

63

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HOMESTEADING

CONVENIENT

CURES

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

THREE NATURAL REMEDIES TO USE FOR A HOST OF AILMENTS BY ALEX LAGRAND

AUGUST 2014

A CLUTCH SITUATION, youre not going to be able to walk into a pharmacy and
get something for what ails you. Should you need to bug out, youll need to consider some natural remedies that could keep you going.
Many remedies offer a way to take care of the issue at hand, while maintaining a
perfectly natural and healthy medicinal option. American Survival Guide went
straight to an expert source, Angela Wastchak, known in North Carolina for her
copious use of natural remedies. She defines such as the utilization of natural
resources coming from the earth, including leaves, roots and plants through what
she refers to as Gods pharmacy.

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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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10 YEARS OF NATURAL
Wastchak began using natural remedies 10
years ago after finding a website to help her
with her familys needs.
She explained, I began my journey by looking for alternative ways to heal our family
health issues without conventional medicine as
the first line of defense. I also raise our animals
in a natural and holistic environment, as well.
There are many doctors and researchers to
whom I look to gain insight.
So far, Wastchak and her family have seen
astounding improvements in health and the
overall quality of life just by using natural remedies as opposed to conventional medicines. Natural remedies offer a world of wonders for those
who wish to pursue a natural, holistic lifestyle,
as Wastchak has done.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

1. GARLIC

Furry Friends
Keeping your pets healthy through natural means
is not an easy task, but it is more than doable with
the help of Dr. Becker, a veterinarian who operates
the animal section of www.mercola.com, a website
offering articles, videos, and various information
on maintaining health through natural sources. If
you are looking to include your pet on your journey to a natural and holistic lifestyle, visit healthypets.mercola.com for more information.

Olive oil is great


to help with the
common earache.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

In addition to fighting off vampires, garlic


provides a natural substance that helps to fight
many common illnesses.
Wastchak says, I use garlic because of its
anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibiotic properties.
Coming from the onion family, garlic is
something easily grown in ones backyard or on
ones homestead.
To help with the common cold, a sore throat,
or even the flu, take about three cloves of garlic,
dice them and leave them out in the open for at
least 10 minutes. According to Wastchak, the
more it is exposed to air, the more allicin it will
create and this is what helps to heal. Run a cup
of hot water through a coffee maker or bring to
a boil on the stove. Set it aside for about five
minutes to allow it to cool. Be sure to never
place garlic into too hot of water or it will break
down the healing properties of the garlic. Then,
place all the garlic in the heated water and let it
steep for about fifteen minutes. Finally, drain off
the garlic pieces through a strainer and sip what
Wastchak refers to as the hot toddy until it is
gone. She says to do this once a day for a few
days and a difference should be felt quite
quickly. Wastchak also noted that If you or
your patient find it hard to palate the taste, you

IT [OLIVE OIL] HAS SAVED MY CHILDREN ON MANY LATE NIGHTS.


ANGELA WASTCHAK

Whole
Health
Many books are available
for purchase to help one
initiate a natural lifestyle,
but the one Wastchak uses
most and found the most
useful was Whole Health: A
Holistic Approach to Healing for the 21st Century.
Available on Amazon, it
offers valuable insight on
how to achieve more vitality and energy through the
Whole Health Healing System. A winner of 2014
Nautilus Award, it offers
nutritional recommendations, help in diagnosing
ailments and techniques to
help balance the mind,
body and spirit.

2. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil, created from extracting the oil from
olive drupes, is a great resource to help ones
skin and overall health. By replicating our bodies natural properties, olive oil will help to
maintain good health and keep us going for
much longer.
To help with the common earache, take a
small container and slightly warm about a teaspoon of olive oilnot too hot, merely warm. In
order to make sure it is the perfect temperature,
test the temperature on the underside of your
wrist to ensure it will not burn. With the patient
lying affected ear up on a pillow, take an eyedropper and place about eight drops in the
affected ear canal. Wastchak suggested that if
you do not have a dropper handy, take a clean
tissue, absorb the oil and squeeze the drops in
with that. In addition, placing a towel over the
pillow beforehand will allow for easy clean up at

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Source: Amazon.com

can always add any kind of tea during the


steeping process. Teas have excellent healing
properties because they help pull toxins from
the body.

65

ASG_1408_HOMEREMEDIES.qxp 6/9/14 1:59 AM Page 66

I USE GARLIC BECAUSE OF ITS ANTI-VIRAL, ANTI-FUNGAL AND ANTIBIOTIC PROPERTIES.


ANGELA WASTCHAK

Natural vs. Conventional


Conventional medicine is often easy to accessone needs
only to head to his or her local grocery store to pick up an
over-the-counter substance that helps to treat whatever illness or ailment needs attention; however, conventional
medicine often treats the symptoms of that illness or ailment, rather than fighting the true cause and preventing it
from resurfacing later on. Wastchak has found that the use of
natural medicines often not only treats the symptoms, but
also offers that preventative aspect that conventional medicines dont offer. She suggests using the natural remedies as
the base medicine for most needs, and then supplementing
the use with conventional medicine as needed.

3. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Garlic can help


ease the common
cold, the flu or
even a sore throat.

the end. Now place a warm, wet washcloth


(heated it to as warm as the skin can take it) and
place it over the ear. Keep re-warming the
washcloth as it cools and placing it over the ear.
Keep an iron and a bowl of water close by and
dip the cloth in every few minutes then reheat
the damp cloth with the iron by pressing it like
you would iron a shirt; this helps to reheat the
cloth. This remedy is instant relief, and when
you have repeated the process for approximately
a half hour, place a few tissues over the patients
ear and have them turn over and let it drain.
Such a remedy comes highly recommended
from Wastchak, who says, It has saved my children on many late nights.

Weil

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Foundation

66

Some prescription medications have many unwanted


side effects; many home remedies have come about
in an effort to maintain health and treat both the
symptoms and causes of ailments or illnesses.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Offering valuable advice,


products, information, and
guidance in regards to
health, the Weil Foundation maintains a website
which provides endless
Q&A, numerous webpages
for every part of the body,
and in-depth information
on herbs and supplements.
Wastchak and her family
consult the Weil Foundation at DrWeil.com constantly for updated information and advice to maintain their healthy lifestyle.
It offers many resources
not offered anywhere else,
and Dr. Weil himself
answers questions that
everyone encounters, but
dont always ask.

A very powerful absorbent, activated charcoal binds with poisons and toxins in your body
to move them safely through the gastrointestinal tract.
In order to help a stomachache or for one
who has come into contact with raw or contaminated food, take one tablespoon of activated
charcoal in powder form and mix it into a full
glass of water. The charcoal will bind itself to the
toxins and poisons and move it safely through
your system. Or, if you have charcoal capsules,
take three capsules and follow suit with a full
glass of water to get the same results. Wastchak
emphasized that if you take charcoal capsules, to
always drink at least a glass of water to help this
to work safely and efficiently.
In addition to stomachaches or dealing with
contaminated food, activated charcoal helps to
relieve bug bites, particularly ant bites or even
bee stings. You will need to make enough of a
poultice to cover the bite area. Take equal parts
water and charcoal powder and mix together.
Then, take a few drops of flaxseed oil and mix in
with charcoal and water. This will allow the
mixture to stay moist while against the bite. Dab
on enough of this mixture to cover the bite area
and place a bandage over the area. Next, wrap
the bandage with a layer of plastic wrap to
ensure the poultice stays moist. This will work
by drawing toxins that are causing pain and
swelling out of the skin.

EXPLORE
Start learning about home remedies today;
you never know what could save you in a bad
situation. Mother Nature has provided us with
plenty of natural meds right under our noses;
wake up and smell the cure.
Alex LaGrand is a North Carolina-based freelance writer who
enjoys writing about various topics, particularly the outdoors and
the military.

ASG_1408_67 6/10/14 10:53 PM Page 67

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ASG_1408_BEES.qxp 6/9/14 2:06 AM Page 68

HOMESTEADING

How

Sweet It Is
BEEKEPING BENEFITS:
HONEY IS JUST ONE OF MANY
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MICHELE DOELE

Raising bees

is a fantastic way to add to your homesteading stores, we all know that. But do you know how many
things you can reap from bees work besides honey?
Raw honey is not only a great sweetener, but it contains antiviral and anti-fungal qualities that can be potent healing agents. In
addition, raw honey is great for treating
wounds and burns. Because of its chemical
makeup, honey is a great long-term food
storage item that can easily be preserved
> Honey contains vitamins,
for decades. Also, dont forget beeswax: it
antioxidants, is fat-free, chocan be used to make anything from canlesterol-free and sodium-free
dles to lotions and lip balms.
> Honey never spoils, and no
Armed with the latest in beekeeping
refrigeration is necessary
education, a few materials and the right
> High fructose levels make
outdoor setting, you can be an advocate for
honey 25 percent sweeter
the worlds best pollinators and not only
than sugar
produce honey, but also work to preserve
> Honey speeds healing of open
the environment one honeybee at a time.
wounds and combats both
One of the oldest forms of food producinfections and scarring
tion, beekeeping can be enjoyed by all

68

ages and almost anywhere there is enough


pollen for the bees to forage. Being witness to a thriving hive and
its perfectly running society is also quite inspiring and teaches
valuable life lessons and work ethics for anyone willing to learn.
Read on to find out what you need to do to start a bee colony of
your own.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

AUGUST 2014

Sweet Facts

ASG_1408_BEES.qxp 6/9/14 2:06 AM Page 69

RAW HONEY IS NOT


ONLY A GREAT SWEETENER,
BUT IT CONTAINS ANTI-VIRAL
AND ANTI-FUNGAL
SUBSTANCES THAT CAN BE
POTENT HEALING AGENTS.

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

69

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The smoker is filled


with pine needles and
used to keep the
bees calm while tending to the boxes.

Fun Facts
> Honeybees never sleep
> Younger bees are taught to make honey
by older bees
> Eighty percent of the pollination of fruits,
vegetables and seed crops is done by bees
> The hive has special nurse bees, whose
only job is to feed the larvae

A HOBBY WORTH HAVING

BEES ALSO KNOW TO MAKE AND STORE MORE HONEY THAN


THEY NEED. THESE RESERVES WILL PROVIDE NOURISHMENT WHEN
THE COLD WINTER MONTHS ARRIVE.

AUGUST 2014

Securing the hives


prevents the tops
from being blown
off by wind or
tampered with by
hungry bears.

70

Healthy Hive Hints


> When you examine frames, look for
signs that the queen is alive and laying eggs like she should: capped
brood in a compact pattern, tiny white
eggs at the bottom of cells.
> Routinely assess whether the colony
needs additional food stores, more
nectar storage space, increased ventilation, medication, swarm control
measures or a new queen and more.
> Medicate colonies with miticides and
antibiotics in the fall and spring to
protect against parasites and diseases.

The cells filled on the left side of this frame contain honey. On the right, the pink dot marks the
queen; she is tended to by other female bees and is much longer, almost twice the length of the
other bees.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

If you could do one thing for the


environment, be an ambassador for the
bee. Think like a bee, says Cindy Bee,
whose last name was bestowed upon
her family upon arriving in the states as
beekeepers. Cindy is a third-generation
master beekeeper with Overland Apiaries in Portland, and Jefferson, Maine.
Visiting her in the field that displays her decorative hives in deep purples and vibrant designs, she explains,
Bees are the best pollinators; they are
designed for it. They are covered with
hair, even their eyes have hairs on
them. When they land on a flower, the
electrostatic charge they produce
attracts the pollen and they do this
until they are covered.
Pollination allows a flower to
develop seeds or fruit and is essential
for plants and crops that feed us to
survive.
The hive works as a complete society where every bee can perform every
job, but they move through various
jobs mostly based on age. The young
bees start out as nurses, some move on
to foragers others remain nurses or
move up to nurses tending the queen.
Forager bees travel from pollen source
to pollen source, tirelessly bringing the
pollen back, along with nectar, to feed
the hive. Nurse bees feed the larvae.
They also make important decisions in
a hive like when to swarm which
means leaving the hive or when to
replace the queen.
Perhaps the greatest lessons we can
learn from these busy little creatures is
to first, rejoice in the good of the hive
as a whole and, also, how to save for a
rainy day. When a forager bee finds a
prime source of food, she returns to the
hive and does a dance to show her
excitement and, more importantly,
show the others where they can find
this source. No hoarding the treasure
in this community! When one wins,
everyone wins, all for the good of the

ASG_1408_BEES.qxp 6/9/14 2:06 AM Page 71

hive. Bees also know to make and store


more honey than they need. These
reserves will provide nourishment
when the cold winter months arrive.
Beekeepers extract some of the excess
honey from the hives and the bees continue working, refilling the hive.
For kids, it provides a wonderful
learning experience. It teaches sociability, math, history and responsibility,
says Cindy.

BECOMING A BEEKEEPER
Educate Yourself: Before starting,
educate yourself first. Immerse yourself in anything related to beekeeping.
Read, research and reach out to other
beekeepers online and offline. Most
importantly, learn to recognize signs of
a thriving hive and one suffering from
diseases, mites or the beekeepers
worst fear, American foulbrood. Being
well educated will help you help the
bees in your hive.
Location: While acres and acres are
not necessary, you will need to make
sure there is availability of forage for
the bees to gather pollen and nectar to
feed the hive.
Bees can travel up to three miles,
but its really not in their best interest
to travel that far, Cindy reports.
Instead you should have a viable
source of clover, wildflowers and trees
within a mile. Once the bees find a
source, they will revisit and thrive.
Tools and Equipment: Start with at
least two hives; this gives you the ability to compare one hive to another.
Youll need at least two boxes for each
hive. Eight frame boxes provide
enough room for the bees. Each frame
will need a starter sheet of wax to provide a foundation for the bees to build
their cells. You will also need a veil to
protect your head and neck; a long-

Bee Mentors
Mentoring is a core value of beekeepers. Find
groups and associations to join. Just like the bees
themselves help each other, so do beekeepers.
Visit the American Beekeeping Federation at
www.abfnet.org. to find nearby beekeepers.

sleeve, collared white shirt will provide


further protection. A hive tool, similar
to putty knife but stronger, is invaluable. You can use it to pry boxes apart,
scrape Propolis or wax and many other
tasks. Finally, youll need a smoker to
help keep the bees calm while you
tend to the hives.
When to Start: Winter is the best
time to start your education in beekeeping. Use this down time to gather
as much information as possible. Late
spring, or when there is enough to forage, is a good time to start. In the northern parts of the U.S., you can get two
[BELOW] The decorative colors on these hives
serve two purposes. The dark purple helps
absorb heat in the winter and the bees
remember the patterns and return to the
right hive.

[ABOVE] A sugar block can be used to feed


your bees during the months when foraging
is not productive.

harvests of honey from the bees. One


can happen near July 4, and one should
take place around Labor Day. In the
south, however, you will harvest once
before the heat sets in during July.
After that its just too hot for the bees,
warns Cindy. Once you have an established hive, it is important not to open
the boxes in winter; its too severe, and
the bees are busy inside trying to maintain a warm environment.
Getting Your Bees: When you are
ready to start, you can order bee kits
from catalogs, online or a provider
nearby. Youll receive about 12,500
bees to start and one queen for each
hive. Having done your research and
learned as much as possible, youll
have a much greater chance of success.
Cindy says there comes a time when
you just need to let the bees do their
thing and they know what to do. There
are things that can happen to a hive
and it is important to recognize signs of
disease or mites. Building a great network with other beekeepers will allow
you to call someone and find answers
to problems or questions you may have
in your hive.

GET BUSY AS A BEE

Michele Doele is a freelance writer who works at The


Damariscotta Lake Farm in Jefferson, Maine.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

This frame
shows a full,
healthy group
of worker
bees. All
worker bees
are female.

The honeybees natural predator is the bear, so


avoid anything that might have a
bee mistake you for a hungry bear.
Dark fuzzy clothing, like sweaters or
beards, are likely to cause alarm
around the hive. Choose light colorswhite is bestand keep
your movements calm.

Get started now! The honeybee


needs all the help and publicity it can
get. We depend on these industrious
little creatures for the food we love
so much. If beekeeping seems a bit
daunting at first, but you still want
to do something, then plant flowers,
fruit trees and for goodness sake,
leave the dandelions in your yard.
This is precious food for the bees, and
in turn, for you.

71

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Buyers Guide

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

COMPASSES

LOST AND FOUND


A Compass is a Crucial Tool for Finding Your Way in the Great Outdoors

AUGUST 2014

BEING LOST IN any environment can create extreme stress and anxiety, but being lost
in an emergency makes for a complete panic scenario.
A situation like this can cause you to make rash decisions that can ultimately put
you in perilous situations. One tool, the compass, which has been used for hundreds of
years, can help guide you to safety. Find the direction north, and use that information
to plot your way.

72

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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COMPASSES Buyers
Guide

THE COMPASS STORE

1 $16.50

1 THE COMPASS STORE

Model: Ultimate Para-cord Bracelet with Compass


Website: TheCompassStore.com
MSRP: $16.50
Key Features: Carrying convenience; compact size;
usable survival cord
Description: Never lose your compass again, thanks to
the Ultimate para-cord bracelet. This multi-function device
features a fluid-filled compass woven into the usable
nylon cord. This bracelet clamps around your wrist, and
stays locked in place until you need it. The compass is
easy to access when trying to find your way through deep
brush or spacious desert environments. Integrated in the
plastic buckle is a useful emergency whistle to sound out
your location when help is near. The 9-inch version fits
most adults, while the 8-inch version is perfect for kids
and younger teens. Black color.

THE COMPASS STORE

Model: Orienteering Thumb Compass


Website: TheCompassStore.com
MSRP: $39.95

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Key Features: Adjustable thumb strap; map marking


hole; bright north needle tip

DESIGNED TO FIT OVER EITHER


THUMB WITH ITS ADJUSTABLE THUMB
STRAP, THIS COMPASS OFFERS A
BRIGHT HI-VIS NORTH NEEDLE

THE COMPASS STORE

2 $39.95

Description: This handy little compass is made to lie over


any map to help you identify objects on your path during
your travels. Designed to fit over either thumb with its
adjustable thumb strap, this compass offers a bright HiVis north needle, meridian-orienting lines in the capsule
and a hole for map marking, if needed. High visibility on
the unit ensures easy readings, even during rapid movement through rough terrain. Its compact size and lightweight design allows for a comfortable hold during hours
of use.

3 ROTHCO

Model: Cammenga G.I. Military Phosphorescent


Lensatic Compass
Website: Rothco.com
MSRP: $109.99
Key Features: Magnifying sight wire; waterproof housing; nighttime use

THIS UNIT OPERATES IN LOW


OR NON-EXISTENT LIGHT
USING PHOSPHORESCENT
MARKINGS

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Description: The G.I. Military Compass has all the features of a more expensive lensatic compass, without sacrificing quality or accuracy. With only a brief exposure to an
external light source, this unit operates in low or non-existent light using phosphorescent markings that glow for
easy reading. Its equipped with dial graduations in both
degrees and mils to ensure accuracy and its unique copper induction dampening system slows the rotation of the
magnet without the use of liquids. Its outer casing is built
from durable aluminum and is fully waterproof and it
comes complete with carrying pouch, lanyard, and belt
clip. Its a rough-and-tumble compass that does the job
right every time.

ROTHCO

3 $109.99

73

ASG_1408_BG_COMPASS-CX-74 6/11/14 11:24 PM Page 74

Buyers COMPASSES
Guide

4 GERBER

5 SILVA

Model: Bear Grylls Compact Compass


Website: GerberGear.com
MSRP: $16

Model: Ranger CL (Hi-Vis)


Website: SilvaCompass.com
MSRP: $53.99

Key Features: Durable ABS plastic; compact & lightweight; lifetime warranty

Key Features: Map magnifier; included lanyard, nighttime illumination points

Description: When Bear Grylls puts his name on a product, you


can be sure it has been tested under the most extreme conditions
that can be faced on the planet. This compass is simplicity at its
best. It works in rain or shine, light or dark and requires no batteries. It has one primary, yet important function; help you find
your way back home. Its compact size and attached lanyard
allows it to be secured to your jackets zipper, so you will always
have it nearby. Constructed of durable ABS plastic, the Bear Grylls
compass can take some heavy punishment and still continue to
function for you when it counts. Comes complete with Bear
Grylls Priorities of Survival pocket guide and is backed by Gerbers lifetime warranty.

Description: The Silva Ranger CL delivers unsurpassed accuracy,


even when in demanding conditions or harsh environments. It
features three scales for quick, easy plotting with any topographic map, while silicone feet hold firmly on the maps surface.
The units geared declination allows you to set and forget the
declination for the area you are in, ensuring constant compensation for this variable when taking bearings. An added clinometer
allows you to measure angles of inclination and luminous points
on the device enable easy nighttime use when navigating under
low light.

GERBER

4 $16

WHEN BEAR GRYLLS PUTS HIS NAME


ON A PRODUCT, YOU CAN BE SURE IT
HAS BEEN TESTED UNDER THE MOST
EXTREME CONDITIONS

SILVA

AUGUST 2014

5 $53.99

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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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COMPASSES Buyers
Guide
SILVA

6 $29.99

6 SILVA

Model: Be Expert with Map & Compass Book


Website: SilvaCompass.com
MSRP: $29.99

DONT PACK A COMPASS OR MAP


UNLESS YOU HAVE
AN UNDERSTANDING
ABOUT HOW THEY
SHOULD BE USED.

Key Features: Complete overview; easy-to-carry paperback;


included compass and protractor
Description: A tool is only good if you know how to use it properly.
Survival supplies are no different. Dont pack a compass or map
unless you have an understanding about how they should be used.
This knowledge must be gained before any disaster or survival situation may occur. Lucky for you, Be Expert with Map & Compass is
there for you. This book covers all the essentials of learning the compass and reading maps properly, whether youre a beginner or veteran user of these two tools. Packed in 220 pages of material is information illustrating basic-to-advanced techniques everyone needs to
gain confidence with the use of maps and compasses, no matter
what environment that you may be lost or disoriented in.

EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS

7 EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS

7 $12.95

Model: Military Spec Prismatic Sighting Compass


Website: BePrepared.com
MSRP: $12.95

Key Features: Included pocket guide; front-magnified window; tripod ready


Description: Affordability and accuracy go hand in hand with this
precision sighting compass. This unit has all the bells and whistles
you need to obtain accurate readings when stuck out in the middle
of nowhere. When your GPS fails, you will have confidence that the
Prismatic Sighting Compass will assist you in finding your way back
to your family or loved ones. Use the added pocket guide to familiarize yourself with this amazing survival tool. A nylon pouch and lanyard are included to keep your compass safe and attached to you
when on the move.

8 CELESTRON

Model: TrekGuide
Website: Celestron.com
MSRP: $34.95

Key Features: Multi-functional; digital precision; easy-to-operate

CELESTRON

8 $34.95
THIS UNIT PACKS A
LOT INTO A COMPACT,
YET DURABLE, WATERPROOF PACKAGE.

Description: The Trekguide digital compass can be one of your most


important tools while trekking through unknown territory. The digital compass displays both heading and degrees for maximum accuracy to help get you out of an unexpected wrong turn. Other important readings to further aid you include current altitude, shown in
feet and meters, temperature, barometric pressure, local time, date,
calendar and alarm. This unit packs a lot into a compact, yet durable,
waterproof package. An LED backlight allows for use in nighttime or
low light conditions, and its included lanyard keeps the unit close to
you and secure at all times. Batteries are included. Comes with full
two-year warranty.

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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WILDERNESS

PACK-TICALITY + PERFORMANCE REVIEW + BUG-OUT ALTERNATIVES

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

IN THIS SECTION

INTO THE WILD


Crucial Survival Topics for
Beginners and Experts

AUGUST 2014

WHATS YOUR IMMEDIATE reaction when


you hear the word bug out?
Do you cringe at the reminder that you
havent yet fulfilled your dream of building a
bug-out cabin? Do you stare at your empty
backpack, wishing youd already created a
survival kit to stuff in there so you can head
outdoors at a moments notice? Or, do you
hear the term bug out and smile to yourself, knowing that your family will be completely ready if you have to get out the door
within seconds?
No matter which group describes your
situation, the articles on the following pages
will ensure your survival kit and bug-out plan
are ready to roll, and that you know exactly
whose leadership skills youll want to follow
when the stuff hits the fan.

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WILDERNESS

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

BE A SURVIVOR AND NOT A STATISTIC.

PACK-TICALITY

AVING YOUR SURVIVAL KIT


IN YOUR PACK, TRUCK, OR
CANOE WONT DO YOU
MUCH GOOD IF YOU GET
SEPARATED FROM IT.
The best safety measure is to layer
your survival kit on your person. The military teaches this principle and it is a very
effective technique if you happen to get
separated from your pack. You will have all
critical survival gear on your person to better aid you in a bad situation.

the beaten path. This is standard firstline gear that should accompany you
whenever setting foot in the outdoors.
Those essential items are:
Signaling device
Knife
Fire starter
Cordage
Sheltering equipment
Water container
Adequate clothing
Navigation tools

ESSENTIAL ITEMS

LAYERING PHILOSOPHY

Lets first go over a few items that you


should have with you when you venture off

The layering process is beneficial


because if you lose your survival kit,

LEARN HOW TO
USE YOUR SURVIVAL
KIT IN THE MOST
SENSIBLE WAY
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY
JACK RICHLAND

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

77

ASG_1408_KIT-CX-p77,79-81 6/16/14 12:31 AM Page 78

you lose everything. If you were in a


canoe that had been overturned by a
sudden encounter with rapids and your
gear is in only one bag/container, you
would lose your means of survival. As
the saying goes, dont put all your
eggs in one basket. Lets discuss how
we can layer these tools on our person
to increase survivability.

SIGNALING

A fixed-blade knife is one of your most valuable tools in a survival situation. Keep it safe and
secure with a good sheath.

GETTING RESCUED BEFORE YOU HAVE TO BUILD SHELTER,


START A FIRE, OR ACQUIRE FOOD/WATER IS THE BEST-CASE SCENARIO.

AUGUST 2014

Build a simple
neck lanyard to
carry a whistle,
small signaling
mirror, and LED
keychain light.

78

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Signaling devices are critical in making you more visible to rescuers. Getting rescued before you have to build
shelter, start fire, or acquire food/water
is the best case scenario.
You can wear a simple whistle
around your neck for accessibility,
especially in the case rescuers are in
sight and you need to deploy a distress
call quickly. Three short blasts from a
whistle is the international distress call.
Another item that can be added to
your survival lanyard is a small LED
light. This can obviously be used for
illumination, but it can also be used as
a nighttime signaling device. Mimicking
a strobe by using a sporadic on-and-off
pattern will get the attention of those
that may be searching for you.

CUTTING TOOL/FIRE
A knife is one of the most valuable
assets in a survival situation. It can aid in
creating a primitive fire-starting method,
such as bow or hand drill, to provide
warmth. You can obtain kindling by
employing techniques like batoning (a
method of splitting wood with a knife).
You can construct shelters to help maintain your bodys core temperature. You
can acquire food by building traps or
snares and subsequently preparing the
food by skinning and filleting your catch.
In some environments you can even find
water by cutting a water-bearing vine or
digging a hole near an underground
water source.
Bottom line: a knife can provide
many of your physiological needs. I
prefer a fixed blade that has a full tang;
they tend to be stronger than folding
knives and can handle the abuse in
extreme situations. A standard belt
carry is the easiest to ensure your knife
remains secure. Simply look down.
Sheaths are important to your survival
system; they retain your most important survival tool. A sheath needs to be
constructed from quality components
and have a secure retention strap. To
incorporate layering, I prefer to have a
firesteel loop attached to the sheath

ASG_1408_KIT-CX-p77,79-81 6/16/14 12:31 AM Page 79

THE TIERED
SYSTEM
A tiered survival system will ensure you
have redundancies as well as having the
minimum gear if faced with a survival
situation.
First-line gear: The survival equipment you have layered on your person; e.g., compass, lighter, knife,
whistle and emergency blanket.
Second-line gear: This refers to any
gear that you would take in a small
daypack, while leaving your main
pack at camp. These items include:
rations, headlamp, first-aid kit, cook
set and rain gear.
Third-line gear: Your primary camping equipment would be covered
under this tier. A sheltering system,
such as a tent/sleeping bag, large
backpack, food, clothing and water
bladders should be left at camp.

that holds a ferrocerium rod. As long as


you have your knife, you will have the
ability to make fire.
Fire is the next critical component
to survival. It can purify water, make
food edible, help with thermoregulation, illumination and lift morale. Weve
already discussed carrying a ferrocerium rod on your knife sheath. Having redundancies is the unwritten survival code. As the saying goes, two is
one and one is none. Carrying a gas
station- grade cigarette lighter in your
pocket is a sure flame, and in most
cases, your fastest way to start a fire.
Placing it inside a birthday balloon and
tying a knot will make it a waterproof
and ensure you dont use it until youre
faced with a real emergency.

A small button compass


will ensure your primary
compass is holding an
accurate reading, as well
as give you a general
direction in case you lose
your main compass.

Dummy cord your


compass by tethering it
to your belt loop. Keep
a lighter and a folding
knife in your pocket as
a redundancy to your
primary gear. This is a
good example of the
layering process.

NAVIGATION

EVERYDAY
CARRY
Make it a habit to carry a few essentials
with you every day. This is known as
EDC, an acronym for everyday carry.
Items such as small flashlight, pocketknife, and lighter are a great
starting point.

will ensure youre not walking in circles.


This is a problem when traveling long distances, since people tend to stray in the
direction of their dominant side.

THERMOREGULATION
Having clothing appropriate to the
season and environment is your first line
of defense when it comes to shelter.
When its hot during the day and cold at
night, carry a jacket for the coldest temperature possible for that season. Staying

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

A map and compass are essential to


any wilderness expedition. A good
base plate compass should be your
main tool in navigation. Tethering it to
your belt loop with a piece of cordage
is one method of layering. Carrying a
button compass on your watch band is
another method. This will give you general direction as well as a way to ensure
your primary compass is giving accurate readings. In the event your main
compass is lost, the button compass

79

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GETTING
FOUND

AUGUST 2014

Using components of your standard


backpacking gear can help you to be
better seen by search and rescue teams.
The mirror on a sighting compass can
double as a signal mirror for daytime
signaling.
By tying a glow stick to a 3-foot piece
of cord and swinging it in a circular
pattern, it can act as a buzz sawa
nighttime signaling technique.
A bright bandanna tied to a long
sapling can be waved like a flag for
aerial rescue.
Burning green vegetation will emit
white smoke to contrast in a woodland environment. In a desert or
snow-covered environment, you will
want to burn oil or dark rubber (like a
vehicle tire) to give contrast.

80

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Changing out
your bootlaces
for para-cord is
an easy way to
carry additional
cordage.

dry is also critical in colder environments as being wet will draw the heat
from your body. Throwing a small
emergency blanket in your parka
pocket will give you the ability to make
a simple shelter and reflect your own
heat back to you. They are small and
lightweight, and also available in bright
colors that can be used as a distress
signal for aerial search teams.

CORDAGE
Cordage is handy, whether youre in
a survival situation or not. Para-cord is
a favorite among survivalist and can be
layered in a few different ways. You can
replace your bootlaces with it, wear a
para-cord bracelet, or place a lanyard
on your keychain. This layering process
will ensure you have cordage in a time
of need.

ASG_1408_KIT-CX-p77,79-81 6/16/14 12:31 AM Page 81

WATER CONTAINER
A water container or canteen is one of
the most difficult items to recreate in the
wild. In a self-rescue situation, you may
have to leave your natural water source.
Stainless canteens are durable and can
boil water to kill any microorganisms that
can cause you to become ill. It can also be
used to make char cloth if you have trouble locating usable tinder in the wild.
Using a carabiner or cordage, you can
attach a canteen to your body. This is one
of the most crucial components of a kit
and needs to stay with you.

BE A SURVIVOR
Finally, understand that your most
important survival tool is you. Letting
someone know your destination and time
of return is a good practice before heading out on any activity in the wild. Practicing survival skills will not only help if
youre faced with a bad situation, but will
allow you to manage these situations with
less equipment. Be a survivor and not a
statistic.
Carry your map separate from your compass. If you lose your compass you will still be able to navigate by terrain association. Throw a brightly colored space blanket in your parka. This lightweight
item can help you signal for help or maintain your bodys core temperature.

Jack Richland is an expert in urban/wilderness survival


and the founder of BlackScoutSurvival.com.

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AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

81

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WILDERNESS

PERFORMANCE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

REVIEW

MAKE SURE YOURE READY: PRACTICE THESE 10


SKILLS THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

AUGUST 2014

82

HEN IT COMES TO OUTDOOR SURVIVAL, THE SKILLS YOUVE READ


ABOUT OR HAVE SEEN DEMONSTRATED ON TELEVISION PROBABLY
LOOK PRETTY EASY, RIGHT? THINK AGAIN.
Dont wait until an emergency happens to test out your skills. For instance, you
cant wait until youre lost or you break an ankle far from camp. In a true survival situation, you might find theres more at stake than a skinned knee.
It isnt enough to devote an entire shelf of your personal library to survival manuals. Its not enough to be a dedicated viewer of every survival television show ever
aired, both gimmicky and authentic. Until you develop the skills yourself and use
them regularly, you are ill-prepared to survive an emergency situation outdoors.
Make it a habit whenever you venture outdoors to continually test your knowledge and practice your skills. Here are some things you can practice to help
increase your odds of making it back to tell the tale.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

1. BUILD A FIRE
Every time you go for a hike or a
hunt, try building a fire. Can you get a
fire going in the wind, the rain, the
snow? Try starting fires with matches, a
lighter, a magnesium fire steel. Did you
ever try making a fire by friction using
the bow-and-drill method? Heres a reality check: it typically takes longer than
the 30 seconds usually devoted to it on
television. One secret is to carve some
flat sides on the spindle so that the
string on your bow wont slip as easily.
Can you find dry tinder and kindling
in wet conditions? Hint: look for standing dead trees and shrubs off the wet
ground and whittle down until you get
to dry wood to make shavings.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

ASG_1408_HONE 6/10/14 1:12 AM Page 83

Im not lost, just a little bewildered. Learning


how to navigate by map and compass and
practicing those skills regularly can give you
confidence when tackling new terrain and can
prevent instances where fun outings might
become survival situations.

How much wood do you need to


keep a fire going all night long? The
answer is much more than you think.
Try it on your next campout. You dont
want to be stumbling around in the
dark looking for more wood in a real
emergency situation.

2. READ A MAP

MUCH OF SURVIVAL COMES DOWN TO THE INTELLIGENT


EXPENDITURE OF YOUR TIME AND ENERGY, COUPLED WITH
MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

An easier, more efficient


shelter can be made from a
poncho. It will keep the rain
out without the expenditure
of time and energy that it
would take to make a shelter
from natural materials.

AUGUST 2014

Do you know how to read a topographic map? I am always amazed at


how many people, invited to hunt or
hike with friends, have no idea of their
surroundings. Sometimes they have no
intention of leaving a trail or wandering
far from it. And yet many of them end
up lost.
Make it a habit to carry a topo map
of the area youre hiking or hunting,
even if you have no intention of leaving
marked trails. Theres no excuse now
because maps can be downloaded and
printed for free through the Internet
from the U.S. Geological Survey and
other sites.
Learn how to use a map. Practice
identifying terrain features and finding
them on your map. Practice looking at
your map and anticipating what terrain
featuresa gully to your right, a rock
face to your leftare just ahead.
Dont wait until youre lost to pull out
your map.

Its not the Hilton, but it doesnt have


to be. Here the framework for a simple
lean-to is being erected, which will
later be fitted with brush to provide
some shelter. Here is where bringing
along strong, lightweight cord makes
things much easier than using vines or
braiding other plant material.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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Developing the ability to improvise primitive


hunting implements and then the skill to use
them effectively can be lifelong pursuits. Its
better to plan ahead and pack accordingly. If
taking a firearm along isnt feasible or permitted, alternatives such as slingshots can be
good choices if you are willing to practice.

road or river whether your starting


point is to the east or west.
Learn how to use your compass in
conjunction with your topo map to
plot a course and then practice doing
it to get from point A to point B.
Practice using identifiable terrain
features with your map and compass
to triangulate your position. From a
hilltop, you clearly see in the distance
a steep, pointy peak at 290 degrees
according to your compass and a
sharp bend in a river at 45 degrees.
You find those landmarks on your
map and draw straight lines directly
back (180 degrees opposite) from
those landmarks. In this case it would
be 110 degrees from the peak and
225 degrees from the bend in the
river. Where the lines cross is your
location.
Seem confusing? Thats not the
tricky part. You have to adjust the
readings for declination because your
compass aligns with magnetic north
and the lines on your map are aligned
with true north. See now why you need
to practice?

3. PLOT A COURSE
Carrying a compass isnt enough.
Practice using it. A GPS unit can be
handy, but dont let it replace your
compass. Learn to use the compass
with a simple baseline technique: youre
hunting roughly north of a road or a
river that runs east to west. Toward the
end of the day, plot a return course
slightly southeast until you cut that road
or river. Its then a simple matter to
head west to return to your starting
point. If you walked directly south, you
might not be sure once you hit that

4. BUILD A SHELTER
Practice building different types of
shelter using available resources in different areas. Chances are you built
forts in the woods when you were a
kid. Try doing it now. You can save
time and energy by adding to or
enhancing existing natural features
such as large boulders, downed trees
or earth embankments.
Next, try doing it without your parachute cord, using natural cordage,
instead. See how much more difficult it

[TOP] Pure water? Better not take a chance.


Water-borne pathogens can lead to debilitating illnesses. Make sure you have a metal cup
to purify water by boiling it if other treatment means arent available.
[BOTTOM] How much wood will it take to keep
a fire going all night? More than you might
think. Dry, dead branches such as these were
easily gathered in a few minutes, but the
trade-off is that their relatively small diameter compared to larger logs will mean they
will burn more quickly, requiring more of
your time tending the fire during the night.

COOK POT KIT

AUGUST 2014

The inexpensive ones are nearly worthless; the good ones are too expensive. You
can put together your own survival kit for less money, tailor it for your specific
needs and be thoroughly acquainted with its contents and capabilities.
I start with the container, which is always a small cook pot with a lid that
clamps securely. The cook pot keeps the contents from becoming crushed. It
enables me to purify water through boiling. It allows me to cook wild edibles and
to keep putting warm fluids into my body to ward off the cold. You are severely
handicapped in an emergency situation if you dont have such a metal container.
Inside my cook pot are these basic contents: pocket knife; water purification
tablets; butane lighter; magnesium fire starter (ferrocerium rod); tinder material
(dryer lint or cotton balls); fuel tablets or candle stub to keep a new fire burning;
whistle; small pill bottle containing fish hooks, small lures, sinkers, sewing needles, thread and safety pins (fishing line is wrapped around the outside, secured
by duct tape); small LED, button-type flashlight; compass; wire saw; adhesive bandages and antiseptic cream; tea bags; and bouillon cubes.

84

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ASG_1408_HONE 6/10/14 1:12 AM Page 85

[TOP] Can you cut it? Taking time during your


outings to develop and maintain your skills
with cutting tools such as hatchets and saws
will pay dividends in a survival situation
when you must call upon those skills to build
a shelter, cut firewood or improvise other
items you need.
[BOTTOM LEFT] Not as easy as it looks. Starting
a fire with the bow-and-drill method can be a
long, frustrating, exhausting process. Its a
good skill to learn, but its better to have
more than one reliable means of making a
fire on you for every outing.
[BOTTOM RIGHT] How does it work? Dont wait
for an emergency to test your new gear.
Here, a new hand chain saw is put through its
paces. It easily cut through this branch. Compact when rolled up, it will probably end up
as a regular item in the ready kit.

is to secure your shelters framework?


Add roofing materialspine boughs,
large leaves, sections of tree bark
from the bottom up, so rain will run off
your layered shingles properly.
Would your shelter do a good job
blocking the wind and rain?
Always carry a poncho and some
cord. With these, you can have a shelter up in about two minutes, saving you
valuable time and energy.

5. TEST YOUR GEAR


Does the equipment in your daypack or survival kit measure up? Or will
it fall apart when you need it the most?
Will that new hatchet or saw perform
as advertised? Do you know how to
use them properly? Just how warm are

UNTIL YOU DEVELOP THE SKILLS YOURSELF AND USE THEM


REGULARLY, YOU ARE ILL-PREPARED TO SURVIVE AN EMERGENCY
SITUATION OUTDOORS.
those lightweight emergency blankets?
How far away can your whistle be
heard? Will your water filter function in
extremely cold water?
Dont set yourself up for unpleasant
surprises. Dont simply trust the labeling on the package. Test your gear and
learn how to use it properly.

6. FIND THE EDIBLES

7. IMPROVISE WEAPONS
If you spent any time in the woods
as a kid, then you certainly learned how
to sharpen sticks and probably tried to
launch them with a bow and some kite
string. Nows the time to make a more

8. SET A SNARE
Snares are advantageous in that you
can set numerous traps that dont
require you to be actively involved with
them every minute of the day. You can
be resting or tending to your other survival chores while increasing your
chances of obtaining a meal.
Take a few minutes from your day
of hunting or fishing. Extend your lunch
break during a day hike and try to construct a snare. Learn and try different

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Learn about edible plants and their


uses. Know which can be eaten raw and
which must be cooked. Taking a trip far
from home? Take the time in advance
to learn what edible plants you can
expect to find. Start by learning just a
few and make sure you can positively
identify them.

Better yet, make them part of your


meals. Did you know that boiled dandelion greens taste much like spinach?
That can be a good or bad thing
depending on your point of view. Try
making tea from spruce tree needles
on a chilly evening in camp. Boil some
cattail or burdock roots in with your
soups and stews, or add some yellow
dock leaves to your salads to extend
your food supply.

educated, adult effort at the same


thing. Build a primitive bow, a slingshot
or an atlatl. Learn the challenges
involved. Once youve improvised
these weapons, take them into the
woods for some old fashioned stumpshooting to hone your skills.

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[TOP] Setting a snare. You can find ideas for


many types of snares and traps in books and
videos, but setting them yourself is a good
skill to practice. Location along a game trail
where small animals can be funneled toward
your trap is critical. White cord was used
here for demonstration purposes. Strong
wire especially designed for the purpose is
better.
[CENTER, LEFT] Watch the sparks fly. A good
fire steel (ferrocerium rod) can be a lifesaver.
Small, lightweight and waterproof, it will
provide hundreds of fires. Scrape the striker
across the rod to shower sparks onto tinder,
such as this cotton ball. It should be a musthave in your fire-making kit.
[CENTER, RIGHT] Tea time. Learning how to recognize and prepare wild edibles prevalent in
your area can be a lifesaver. The needles of
many evergreen trees such as spruce and
pine can add some flavor and some vitamins
to your water.
[BOTTOM] Hungry yet? Every ready kit or pack
should include a metal cup or cook pot to boil
water and prepare food. A cup of hot soup or
stew of wild edibles can keep away the cold
and help to maintain a positive attitude when
in a tough situation. Here, a small, lightweight
stove that burns denatured alcohol, was
made by punching holes in an old tuna can. It
too is a good addition to a ready kit.

THE READY
PACK

AUGUST 2014

Every survival pack should contain gear


elements that address the following:
fire, warmth, water (both containing it
and treating it), food, food procurement and preparation, navigation and
signaling.
Whenever I venture into the
woods, my cook pot survival kit goes
into my daypack or fanny pack. That
pack normally includes other items that
wont fit in the cook pot: a multi-tool; a
larger knife or hatchet; an emergency
blanket; a poncho; a headlamp; a
water bottle; 50 feet of parachute cord;
topo map; and a plastic bag containing
high energy snack bars, instant soup
and cocoa; more tea bags and bouillon
cubes; several folded paper towels;
spork; notebook and pencil; extra
ammo for the .22 pistol on my belt.
Sometimes I travel lighter. Other
times it looks as if Im running away
from home. But the essentials are
always with me. Your kit might have
things I didnt list here.

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The whole kit and caboodle. Add the cook pot survival kit to other larger items such as a water
bottle, poncho and cutting tools to your daypack and you have a ready kit waiting for any outdoor adventure.

trigger mechanisms. Be sure to disassemble your snares after your practice


sessions.

tice mentally filing away water sources


and recognizable terrain features that
you see along the way. Do it until its no
longer a conscious effort.

9. OBSERVE AND RECOGNIZE


You have to make it a habit whenever youre outside to continually watch
for sources of tinder, cordage and shelter materials. Learn to spot edible
plants and good shelter locations. Prac-

10. CARRY THE KIT


Assemble a good survival kit and
get into the discipline of always taking
it with you. Now that youve tested
your abilities, you know that the items

carried in a simple kit can make your job


of surviving an emergency a little easier.
Youll know from experience how
much harder it is to lash a shelter or
raft together without rope or cord;
how hard it is to start a fire without
matches; how hard it is to purify water
or cook wild edibles without a metal
container; how hard it is to build a shelter when you could erect a good one in
about two minutes with a good poncho
and some cord.
These practice exercises, if nothing
else, will emphasize the importance of
having cord, a poncho, a metal cup, a
water bottle, cutting tools and a fire kit
with you on every outing.
Much of survival comes down to the
intelligent expenditure of your time
and energy, coupled with maintaining a
positive attitude. By testing your abilities before a crisis arises, you will have
a better understanding of the time and
energy it takes to accomplish survival
tasks. Youll be better able to weigh
your options when your life might
depend on the outcome of the critical
decisions you make.

Find us on

Be prepared when
disaster strikes.

AUGUST 2014

www.facebook.com/americansurvivalguidemagazine

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

87

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THE MOST BASIC WAY OF BUGGING OUT


WOULD BE TO WALK OR RUN ON FOOT JUST
TO GET AWAY FROM THE DANGER.

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

SCOTT WILLIAMS, AUTHOR OF BUG OUT: THE COMPLETE PLAN FOR


ESCAPING A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

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WILDERNESS

AWESOME
ALTERNATIVES
IF YOURE BUGGING OUT, THERE ARE MORE WAYS
THAN ONE TO GET OUT OF DODGE! BY GARRETT KIM

OU MAY NOT HAVE A LUXURY BUG-OUT CABIN FULLY STOCKED


WITH YOUR FAMILYS FAVORITE FOODS, BUT YOU CERTAINLY WANT
TO GET OUT OF TOWN QUICKLY AND SAFELY IN THE CASE OF A
DISASTER. FORTUNATELY, YOU DONT HAVE TO INVEST MILLIONS
TO BUG OUT WHEN A CRISIS STRIKES. USE THE FOLLOWING THREE
TIPS FROM SCOTT WILLIAMS, AUTHOR OF BUG OUT: THE COMPLETE PLAN FOR
ESCAPING A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER BEFORE ITS TOO LATE TO HELP YOU
FIGURE OUT WHERE TO GO IF YOU JUST CANT STAY WHERE YOU ARE.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

FAST EXIT

and longer without food, its possible to


stay alive for at least a few days without
additional supplies. Clearly, what you
can take with you has a huge impact on
how comfortable youre going to be, so
even a backpack can increase your survival odds if youre just going out on
foot, Williams reports.
Make sure you have a backpack
already stocked and at the ready for this
type of situation; youll be happy you do.

VEHICLE BOUND
If you dont have anywhere to stop
your car at the end of a long drive, it
might be a good idea to bug out right
in your vehicle. But you should follow
different tips depending on what type
of car you have.

If your bug-out plan


includes heading directly
to your fully stocked bugout cabin, you still
shouldnt just hop in the
car without supplies. In a
survival situation, you
could hit traffic or find
other reasons why you
might be severely delayed
from getting right to the
cabin. At the very least, you
should have drinking
water, blankets, flashlights, matches and food in
your vehicle with you.
AUGUST 2014

Depending on how urgent your


need to bug out is and how quickly you
need to get out of town, your methods
may vary. The simplest of all bugging
out styles is to just head out of town
immediately, going in the direction
away from the disaster.
The most basic way of bugging
out would be to walk or run on foot
just to get away from the danger,
Williams says.
That would be the worst case scenario, because it would take a really
skilled outdoorsman to be able to do
that with just the clothes on his back
and have a good chance of surviving.
However, because most humans can
go at least three days without water

BE
WARNED

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THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KEEP IN MIND IF


YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE WILD DURING A DISASTER
IS TO HAVE A MEANS OF SHELTER.
SCOTT WILLIAMS

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

When it comes to bugging out in


your vehicle, I break it down into different categories of vehicles,
Williams says.
First, theres your basic car, truck
or SUV, which would be what I would
consider an escape vehicle, just enough
to get out of the disaster area quickly.
Then theres the class of vehicle Id
consider a mobile retreat, which would
be something like a small RV or van or
something you could live in while
youre bugging out.
If you do have an RV or van, you
should keep some bug-out supplies
(like canned food, bottled water and
fuel) inside of it in case you need to live
in it for an extended period of time.

WILD LIVING
When you plan to leave the comfort
of your hometown, the most dangerous part of your journey could end up
being the wilderness around you. Harsh
weather, unforgiving hunger and savage wildlife are just a few of the many
aspects that must be taken into
account if you plan to disappear into
the forest.

If you have an
RV, it can serve
double duty as a
bug-out cabin.

BOAT
BUG OUT?

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Essentially, you can bug out anywhere, and


a boat would not only make excellent shelter,
but could also be a mode of transportation. If
you have a boat that you dock within driving
distance of your home, it would be a
smart place to keep some auxiliary
bug-out supplies.

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PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

It is possible to
bug out in nature
and sleep under
the clouds, but the
reality is that you
will evetually need
some type of shelter to protect you
from exposure.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

FOR MORE
INFORMATION

The most important thing to keep


in mind if you want to live in the wild
during a disaster is to have a means of
shelter, such as a tarp or tent, and
some kind of sleeping bag or clothing
to protect you from the elements,
Williams says.
Those are important because you
can die quickly from exposure, especially if youre in a cold climate, so you
want to be sure and have things that
protect you from the elements.

BE PREPARED

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

These three scenarios are the most


likely should an emergency occur. Its
wise to be ready for all of them,
because you just never know whats
right around the corner.

BUGGING IN
When youre creating your bug-out
plan, keep in mind that you may not
want to leave your house for every survival situation. For instance, in the case
of volcanic ash falling near your house,
you are typically safer staying inside
with your doors and windows sealed
than venturing out. You should determine whether to bug in or out based
on your specific survival situation.

To read Williams
books, including Bug
Out: The Complete Plan
for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before
Its Too Late and The
Preppers Handbook,
among others, visit his
website at ScottBWilliams.com.

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Buyers Guide

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

SLINGSHOTS

WRIST ROCKETS
Slingshots Can Make Formidable Survival Weapons

AUGUST 2014

THE SLINGSHOT hardly takes up any room in that backpack, for sure. Plus, this small item can
come in very handy in a survival situation. Dont overlook it!
Slingshots have come a long way from the typical Y-shaped stick, a rubberband and a
small rock. They have evolved into sophisticated weapons, complete with sights, interchangeable bands, easy-grip handles and a variety of different-sized ball bearings and BBs.
Many characteristics make slingshots ideal for survival prepping, as well as real-life
ongoing survival situations. Their compact size takes up almost no room when storing; nearly
all, even the most complex, require little training to operate, and finding ammo is as easy as
looking down for loose pebbles or stones.
Pack several throughout all your belongings to be able to defend yourself against those
out to do you harm or steal your precious goods. Also, when or if food becomes scarce, these
modern high-powered slingshots make excellent weapons to snag small game or wild birds.

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SLINGSHOTS Buyers
Guide

ITS UNCOMPLICATED DESIGN AND


INCLUDED SHOOTING GUIDE IS
PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS NEW TO
THE WORLD OF SLINGSHOTS.
BLACK WIDOW SLINGSHOT

1 $9.99

PRO DIABLO SLINGSHOT

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

2 $24.99

1 BARNETT

2 BARNETT

Model: Black Widow Slingshot


Website: BarnettCrossbows.com
MSRP: $9.99

Model: Pro Diablo Slingshot


Website: BarnettCrossbows.com
MSRP: $24.99

Key Features: Fold-away wrist brace; soft-touch grip;


shooting guide

Key Features: Weighted stabilizers; wrist brace;


sight system

Description: The Black Widow slingshot pioneered the


ingenious fold-way wrist brace, allowing for easy storage
and portability when space is limited. Its comfort grip
handle ensures a steady shot and less handgrip fatigue.
Its uncomplicated design and included shooting guide
is perfect for beginners new to the world of slingshots.
Standard replaceable power bands and target ammo is
included. The Black Widow is economically priced, making it easy to add multiple units to all your supply or
gear bags.

Description: Steps above basic, the Pro Diablo slingshot


is a professional grade weapon that hits its target with
deadly accuracy. Using a three-piece weighted stabilizer
system and adjustable sight system, your ball bearings
ammo will find its mark repeatedly. The Pro Diablo is
equipped with magnum power bands for maximum projectile velocity. Its detachable wrist brace ensures compact
storage when not in use. Perfect for small game hunting
or personal protection during any unexpected crises. A
shooting guide, comfort grip handle and sleek body
design round out this awesome piece of weaponry.

THE PRO DIABLO SLINGSHOT


IS A PROFESSIONAL GRADE
WEAPON THAT HITS ITS TARGET
WITH DEADLY ACCURACY.
AUGUST 2014
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Buyers SLINGSHOTS
Guide

3 AFTERMATH

BONE COLLECTOR

3 $8.50

4 AFTERMATH

Model: Bone Collector


Website: AftermathAirsoft.com
MSRP: $8.50

Model: Kavia Elite


Website: AftermathAirsoft.com
MSRP: $15

Key Features: Rapid reloading: leather


carrying pouch; easy to use

Key Features: Adjustable sight; integrated handle magazine; jet-black design

Description: Add trophies to your collection with the Bone Collector Sport Slingshot. This highly durable and simple-touse slingshot will help you bag game
when hunting for food becomes a necessity. Equipped with high-quality tubular
thrust bands, the Bone Collector can
become your greatest asset when firearm
ammo becomes scarce. Use the built-in BB
magazine in the units handle for rapid
reloading so you never miss an opportunity to shoot. An included leather pouch
secures your weapon when not in use.

Description: The Kavia Elite Slingshot is


perfectly constructed for hitting your target time after time. Equipped with an
adjustable sight and adjustable wrist
brace, you are assured a steady and accurate shot. Its sleek black color melts perfectly into the darkness to launch a surprise attack or when defending yourself
against marauders or thieves. The Kavia
Elite uses 38-inch BBs as ammo, and offers
quick reloading, thanks to its integrated
magazine located within its contoured
handle. Leather pouch and high-quality
thrust bands are included.

ITS SLEEK BLACK COLOR MELTS


PERFECTLY INTO THE DARKNESS TO
LAUNCH A SURPRISE ATTACK

KAVIA ELITE

4 $15

AUGUST 2014

EQUIPPED WITH
HIGH-QUALITY
TUBULAR THRUST
BANDS, THE BONE
COLLECTOR CAN
BECOME YOUR
GREATEST ASSET
WHEN FIREARM
AMMO BECOMES
SCARCE.

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SLINGSHOTS Buyers
Guide

5 SIMPLE SHOT

Model: Axiom FlipKung


Website: Simple-Shot.com
MSRP: $75

Key Features: Slingshot minimalism;


extremely lightweight; interchangeable
band options
Description: Basically designed, but
highly customizable, the Axiom Flipkung
is your simple go-to weapon in a pinch. Its
unique 3G fork tips can accommodate
nearly any style elastic bands or rubber
tubes, giving you superior adaptability
when supplies may run thin. Cut from inch 6061T6 aircraft aluminum, this versatile slingshot is tough and extremely
durable while remaining lightweight to
carry in any 72-hour emergency bag.
Wrapped around nearly the entire unit is
10 feet of usable paracord, a crucial supply
for numerous survival applications. Multiple cord colors available.

AXIOM FLIPKUNG

5 $75

6 SIMPLE SHOT

Model: The Scout


Website: Simple-Shot.com
MSRP: $39.95

Key Features: Innovative flex-clip; simple


operation; comfortable grip
Description: Quality, precision and accuracy is what you get with this 100-percentmade-in-America Scout Slingshot. The traditional design of this fine weapon allows
for easy operation and pinpoint accuracy
on your target with every shot. The unit
comes fitted with .30-inch latex flatbands
and also includes an innovative FlipClip
band attachment accessory. At just under
6 inches in height, this slingshots design
allows it to fit into the back pocket of blue
jeans or shorts, reminiscent of days gone
by. This attractive piece comes in nine distinct colors, including hunter orange, royal
blue, desert sand, and lobster red among
many others. Comes complete with
leather carrying pouch.

THE TRADITIONAL
DESIGN OF THIS FINE
WEAPON ALLOWS FOR
EASY OPERATION AND
PINPOINT ACCURACY
ON YOUR TARGET WITH
EVERY SHOT.

THE SCOUT

AUGUST 2014

6 $39.95
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Buyers SLINGSHOTS
Guide

DAISY

7 $29.99

7 DAISY

Model: PowerLine P51 Slingshot Kit


Website: Daisy.com
MSRP: $29.99
Key Features: Full start-up kit; flexible wrist support;
molded pistol grip
Description: The Daisy Powerline Slingshot Kit has everything you need to hone your skills, when or if tough times
fall upon the world. The kit has everything you need to
become a great slingshot shooter, including a molded pistol-grip handle, comfortable wrist support, a tough
release pouch and durable latex tubing to send your shot
flying into the bulls-eye. The set comes complete with 75
count of 3/8-inch and 250 count of -inch solid steel,
zinc-covered ammo, and one replacement band to keep
you shooting for hours on end.

8 SURVIVAL SLINGSHOT

Model: Archer Complete w/ Tactical Light


Website: SurvivalSlingshot.com
MSRP: $139.95

Key Features: Archery configuration; tactical light;


25-pound pull

AUGUST 2014

Description: This is a serious slingshot for the serious


survivalist. This piece of weaponry is especially designed
for shooting arrows, as well as standard slingshot ammo.
Using a Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit for accuracy and
standard 25-pound pull bands, your arrows will find their
target with speed and power. The Survival Slingshot is
ideal for bow fishing as well as hunting small game and,
of course, personal defense when times get rough.
Equipped with a 1-inch tactical light for nighttime use,
this multi-use slingshot will come in handy on all outdoor
excursions or for protecting your home or camp using
stealth tactics. A watertight storage area can hold a multitude of small survival tools and necessities. A compass
and ball-bearing ammo are included.

96

SURVIVAL SLINGSHOT

8 $139.95

THIS PIECE OF WEAPONRY IS ESPECIALLY


DESIGNED FOR SHOOTING ARROWS, AS WELL
AS STANDARD SLINGSHOT AMMO.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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URBAN
IN THIS SECTION

REFUELING SAFELY + 12 CANTEEN USES + BOOTS BUYERS GUIDE

CITY LIFE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Dont Underestimate the


Value of Urban Prep

SO YOU HAVENT yet invested thousands of dollars in your


own survival kit, but you want to be prepared for whatever
might strike your city. Sure, MacGyver may have been a fictional character, but its possible for you to follow in his footsteps. You can find more uses for the items in your apartment
than you think are possible.
Thats the idea behind the articles youre about to read
to help remind you that an urban lifestyle doesnt mean
youre unprepared for the ultimate survival challenge. You
may not have 100 acres of land, but you most certainly have
what it takes to persevere.

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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URBAN

DONT BE

FUELISH!
CRITICAL STEPS TO REFUEL SAFELY DURING CIVIL UNREST AND OTHER DISASTERS

AUGUST 2014

BY GEORGE SINGARELLA + Photos By David Corey of David Corey Photography

98

YOU ARE AWARE OF THE SIGNS: CIVIL UNREST IS BREWING.


Your gear is ready, your supplies are prepped and youve practiced
your bug-out plan. You are good to go.
Regardless of where you are bugging out to, if you have to travel a
great distance, youll need to refuel your bug-out vehicle (BOV). Read
on to find out how to do that with the utmost security in mind.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

THE
ESSENTIALS
> Fuel cans
> Self-priming syphon
> Good location

ASG_1408_REFUEL.qxp 6/9/14 3:08 AM Page 99

I DO NOT TEXT OR TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE I WAIT


FOR MY VEHICLE TO FILL. I ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO
WHAT IS TAKING PLACE AROUND ME.

[ABOVE]

If youre bugging
out and need to
refuel, make it
snappy.

SAFETY FIRST

[LEFT]

Make sure you


insert the hose end
into the fuel tank
opening of your
vehicle at least 4
inches deep.

WORDS OF ADVICE
During a bug-out, security is paramount.
Hands-free refueling is the best practice so you
can focus on awareness and not be distracted.
Obviously, the first thing you need is fuel
cans. I use an external 12-gallon, Moeller marine
fuel tank I have modified so I can carry it on the

AUGUST 2014

As preppers, survivalists, or simply individuals who deem it necessary to be ready just in


case, you have made the conscious decision to
be prepared for something going wrong in society. That said, I assume youre already a security-minded person. My personal security practices arent just for special occasions, they are
part of my everyday life. For example, I have a
concealed carry permit and carry my pistol
always.
Similarly, my situational awareness is always
on high alert.
When I fill my vehicle up on normal occasions, day or night, I keep a watchful eye out. I
pick a spot around my vehicle from which I can
see as much of my surroundings as possible and
I move around. I do not text or talk on the
phone while I wait for my vehicle to fill. I actually
pay attention to what is taking place around me.

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Place the
siphon with
the self-priming end in the
extra tank
until it hits the
bottom and
make sure the
container you
are refueling
from is higher
than your
vehicles fuel
tank opening.

EASY AS 1, 2, 3, 4

AUGUST 2014

1_Put the hose end (without the primer valve) into the fuel tank opening of your vehicle at least 4 inches.
2_Place the syphon with the self-priming end in the extra tank or can
until it hits the bottom.
3_Set the primer by shaking the ball valve end a few times until the
fuel starts moving.
4_Remove the end from the external tank first and allow any remaining fuel in the line to empty into your vehicles tank. Replace the
filler caps on your vehicle and extra tank/cans and stow the syphon.

100

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

rack of my vehicle. It is extremely rugged, has


the ability to expel gasses so it will not bulge in
the heat and also has strap grooves to make
securing it with ratchet straps quick and easy. I
prefer to transport my fuel on the outside
because I do not like the smell of fuel in my
vehicle. I need the space for other equipment
and supplies.
Some folks are concerned about the security
of their fuel when it is on the outside of the
vehicle. Quite honestly, that is not a big concern
for me. If someone has the ability to get on my
truck and the time to take the tank or empty its
contents, then something went terribly wrong
for me.
You are also going to need a self-priming
syphon; luckily, many inexpensive options exist.
Finally, you are going to need to pick a location for the refueling. Depending on the situation and the environment, look for a spot that
will afford you the best area of observation
while providing some physical security attributes. A location that will give you the ability to
see danger from a distance is best, but not
always available. I am not a big advocate of
going off the beaten path to refuel. I know from
practice that it takes me about seven to nine
minutes from stopping my vehicle to getting
back on the road to unload the 12-gallon tank.
The majority of those minutes are devoted to
paying attention to my surroundings, not dealing with the refueling.

URGENCY COUNTS
Once you establish a good location for the
refueling, act with some urgency. Remember, in
your bug-out with a vehicle, speed is your security. The quicker you are back on the road and
moving the better. I set my vehicle up a certain
way so I know where things are. This is vitally
important, as you do not want to be searching
for the syphon in the dark when you should be
paying attention to whom may be approaching.
Know where your equipment is and practice
getting to and using it. Depending on the environment and the situation, you need to make a

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Set the primer by shaking the ball


valve end until you create a vacuum
and the fuel starts moving.

SAFETY
SIPHON
BENEFITS
A safe alternative to
transferring dangerous
fuels by usual means.
Eliminates the risk of
drawing hazardous or
nasty fluids into your
mouth when getting the
siphon process started.
Solves many draining
problems.
Lack of complex, moving
parts; relies on gravity.
Simply jiggling gets
things going.

tactical decision whether to keep the vehicle


running or shut it down during the refuel. Both
have advantages and disadvantages, so the
decision needs to be yours.

THE STEPS

If you practice and have a consistent


method for the way you perform tasks, you can
become quite efficient. The key is consistently
practicing these steps the same way every
time. For example, place the caps to the refueling tank in the same location, and insert the
syphon the same way. It is just like a draw
stroke for your pistol. If you are continuously
changing the location of your pistol and have a
plethora of techniques to get it into action, you
will not be as efficient when you need to do it
quickly or when under stress as if you trained
with it consistently in one location.
George Singarella is the president and founder of LANISTA International LLC, a training entity that specializes in combative disciplines. He is a former combat-decorated U.S. Marine, who in the
mid 90s began his career in the high-risk environment security
industry. He is the former director of training and protective operations of The Crucible training facility.

AUGUST 2014

From this point, the steps are quite simple:


place the hose end (without the primer valve)
into the fuel tank opening of your vehicle at
least four inches in so it does not slip out. Next,
place the syphon with the self-priming end in
the extra tank or can until it hits the bottom.
Remember, the container you are refueling from
needs to be at a higher level than the fuel tank
opening of your vehicle.
Now set the primer by simply shaking the
ball valve end a few times until the fuel starts
moving. Take up a position from which you have
visibility of anyone approaching. Once refueling
is complete, remove the end from the external
tank first and allow any remaining fuel in the line
to empty into your vehicles tank. Replace the
filler caps on your vehicle and extra tank or
cans, stow the syphon and get back on the road.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

101

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URBAN

VITAL
VESSEL
12 WAYS A SIMPLE CANTEEN COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE
BY GARRETT KIM

HEN YOURE IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION,


YOU OFTEN HAVE TO PUNT. YOU
WONT ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU NEED
AT HAND, AND FINDING CREATIVE USES
FOR EVERYDAY ITEMS COULD MAKE
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH.
A water canteen is most likely one of the first things youd
take with you for a trip into the wild, but it can save you in
more ways than just keeping you hydrated.
The next time youre trying to survive in the brush,
remember these 12 possible uses for a canteen from Dan
Baird, head instructor for California Survival School:
Signaling Device If your bottle is brightly colored or
reflective, it could be a great way to get the attention of
rescue crews.
A good signaling tool is one that contrasts with its surroundings and/or attracts attention with movement, Baird
says. Waving around a brightly colored water bottle
attached to a string may be just what is needed to attract the
attention of the rescue plane overhead.

You can use a reflective


canteen or water bottle
as a signaling device.

PHOT
O BY THINKSTOCK

OBJECTS THAT DO A GREAT JOB KEEPING LIQUIDS IN


OFTEN DO AN AWESOME JOB KEEPING THEM OUT, TOO
AUGUST 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

DAN BAIRD, HEAD INSTRUCTOR, CALIFORNIA SURVIVAL SCHOOL

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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REPURPOSE?
Much like you can with a canteen, you can use your other household
objects for survival purposes if you ask yourself a few questions.
First, you should evaluate the actual material from which the
item is manufactured. Ask yourself if it will burn, or whether you
can manipulate its shape to meet a survival need, Baird says. Plastic can be melted, metal can be bent or sharpened, etc.
For example, a metal spoon could be heated up and used as a
hot/sterile tool to cauterize wounds, or sharpened into a cutting
edge using heat and rocks, Baird says. A metal fork could become
a frog gig, or the tines could be broken off and bent into fish hooks
or shaped into a sewing needle set.

Alarm System As any survivalist can tell


you, its not always possible to make your
sleeping area completely safe from intruders,
especially if youre in hostile territory. Thats
where your water bottle can serve as your own
personal alarm system.
A canteen with rocks inside, suspended by
a trip wire, can work as an early warning system
for nighttime trespassers and predators, Baird
suggests.
Fire Starter: Remember starting fires with
magnifying glasses when you were a kid?
Using that same technology, your water bottle
can work as a great substitute for a lighter.
If you can use your canteen to focus light
into a tight beam either through reflection (think
focusing light off a metal canteen) or refraction
(focusing light passing through a see-through
canteen) and get the heat intensity of the light
high enough to ignite some grass or other natural tinder, then congratulations! Youre sleeping warm tonight, Baird says.
Cooking/Boiling Container: If you dont have
room in your pack for pots and pans, consider
using your metal canteen to serve double-duty.
Metal canteens can, of course, be placed
directly into the fire while cooking, Baird tells
us. Plastic, wood, or even throw-away containers (think plastic bag/paper cup) can become
cooking containers for water purification or for
soup if suspended above/out of contact with
the flames, or by using indirect heat cooking
methods like rock boiling, he adds.
Dry Storage: Objects that do a great job
keeping liquids in often do an awesome job
keeping them out, too, Baird says.
A canteen could be a great way to keep tinder and matches dry in a pinch.
Fishing-Line Bobber: If youre trying your
hand at some fishing in the wild, you might
need a quick bobberand your wattle bottle
could serve just fine.
The buoyant nature of your canteen could
serve well as a fishing line float in a pinch with
improvised tackle to get your bait out to where
it needs to be, Baird reports.

AUGUST 2014

104

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Drawing Surface: Most of us dont bring a


pad of paper on our travels, but if you really
need one, your canteen could do the trick.
A good, plastic canteen could provide a
great place to scratch out a map or a rescue
note using a knife or a sharp rock, Baird says.
Heat Pack: When you think of your canteen
this time of year, youre probably interested in keeping it filled with cold waterbut
it can also serve the opposite purpose in the
cooler months.
Filling a container full of hot water or hot
rocks (not too hot if its plastic) could be a great
way to keep some extra heat close to your body
when away from a fire or while youre sleeping if
done right, Baird says.
If the container is insulated, having a hot
cup of tea ready to drink at 3 a.m. without getting up to cook it sure is nice!
Lantern: No lantern? No problem.
Setting up a flashlight so light refracts
through the water in a see-through canteen can
be a nice way to diffuse light for a lantern
effect, Baird suggests.
Irrigation Syringe: If you need to perform
first aid in an emergency situation, your
canteen can be exactly what the doctor ordered.
If you can stab a needle-sized hole into the
bottom of your semi-flexible plastic canteen or
secure a piece of plastic bag with a pinhole over
the canteens mouth, an improvised irrigation
syringe could be made for cleaning out
wounds, Baird advises.

ROCK
BOILING
Baird refers to rock boiling in tip fourbut what
exactly does this mean?
To rock boil, simply heat
rocks that will fit into your
container and still allow
room for water/food, Baird
says.
Be careful to not use
rocks that may already
have water trapped in
them as these can explode
(like rocks scooped out of a
running river).
After heating the rocks
over your fire for an hour or
so, you can put them into
your soup pot to boil your
water.
Keep changing out the
rocks frequently to help
maintain a nice boil, he
adds.

10

ASG_1408_CANTEEN-CX-103-105 6/11/14 11:28 PM Page 105

$6.99/100FT
Genuine 550 lb. Type III, 1/8" diameter
nylon Paracord with a seven strand core.
46 colors available.

FISHING

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

You can use a canteen or


water bottle as a fishing
line bobber in the wild.

ONE MIGHT CONSIDER SACRIFICING


A PLASTIC CANTEEN TO THE FIRE GODS IF
THERE ARE NO BETTER OPTIONS.
DAN BAIRD

Hunting Trap: Although we think of our


canteens as a way to provide hydration,
they can also provide a meal.
The slick walls of your cylindrical metal canteen could be perfect for trapping critter edibles, like scorpions, Baird says.
Simply bury the canteen in an upright position with the mouth exposed right at the
entrance or below the opening of an active critter den (look for tracks and other recent disturbance) and check every few hours for a meal.
Fire Tinder/Extender In a last-resort situation, you can exchange your water bottle for a night of warmth.
When the need to get a fire going hot and
fast outweighs the ability to carry and store
water, one might consider sacrificing a plastic
canteen to the fire gods if there are no better
options, Baird says.
Since most plastics are petroleum based,
theyll burn and could provide the extra kick you
need to get your fire burning strong in wet or
cold conditions.

11

12

If youve ever been hungry


in the wild, youve probably
wondered whether youd
be able to create fishing
gear with your everyday
itemsbut remember that
youll need some fishing
skill before you start.
Necessity is the
mother of all invention, but
if youre not familiar with
how to improvise fishing
gear under normal conditions, your chances of
improvising effectively
under duress arent very
good, Baird says.
To greatly increase
your chance of catching fish
with improvised fishing
tackle in the wild, it would
be smart to make it happen
before youre stuck without
food somewhere.
You should use strong
clothing thread to braid
fishing line and improvise
curved or straight gorge
hooks from any material
that will hold the right
shape with a fish pulling on
the other end, Baird says.
Keep in mind as well
that there are many types of
fishing methods besides
bait and hook that might fit
better with your environment and resources at
hand. Fish can be trapped,
netted, speared, poisoned
and caught by hand. Investing time on the front-end to
become proficient in these
methods really expands
your options when it comes
to improvising your way
into a fish meal.

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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Dan Baird is the head instructor for California Survival School, a family-run school dedicated to
providing people with local access to hands-on adventures that refine inborn survival instincts into
functional survival skills-sets. Their survival courses focus primarily on equipping students with
functional knowledge of ancestral living skills that make it possible to survive wilderness emergencies using only resources from their natural environment.
For more information, visit the schools website at CASurvival.com.

PC101 White

105

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

ASG_1408_BG_BOOTS.qxp 6/9/14 3:19 AM Page 106

Buyers Guide
HIKING BOOTS
A STEP IN THE
RIGHT DIRECTION
Sizes, Prices and Styles of Boots that Fit Everyones Outdoor Needs

AUGUST 2014

BUGGING OUT? You wont get very far without some good boots!
Every journey begins with a single step, but to keep your survival trek going, you
need dependable footwear.
Quality hiking boots should be your first choice to protect your feet from the rigorous hardships of traveling through natures backyard.
The key to making the right choice of boots depends upon the environment
around you, so make sure you examine your needs and find the boots that conform to
the necessities of your outing. Choose wisely now and your hiking boots should be
beneficial for you now and for countless years ahead.

106

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_107 6/10/14 10:55 PM Page 107

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ASG_1408_BG_BOOTS-CX-108-111 6/16/14 12:34 AM Page 108

Buyers HIKING BOOTS


Guide

WOLVERINE

1 $100
ITS DURABLE OUTSOLE CAN TAKE A
BEATING FROM
STONES, FALLEN
BRANCHES AND
OTHER NATURAL
DEBRIS WITHOUT
SUSTAINING DAMAGE
THAT COULD END
YOUR TRIP QUICKLY.

1 WOLVERINE

Model: Black Ledge


Website: Wolverine.com
MSRP: $100

Key Features: Compression-molded footbed; rubber


outsole; cement construction
Description: Trekking over rocky terrain will be a breeze
with the Wolverine Black Ledge hiking boot. Its durable
outsole can take a beating from stones, fallen branches
and other natural debris without sustaining damage that
could end your trip quickly. The waterproof membrane
keeps your feet consistently dry, repelling any rain, morning dew on the grass or shallow puddles impeding your
trek. Constructed with a light flex to ensure stability over
uneven surfaces. The Black Ledge balances toughness
with flexibility to ensure quick movement under unpredictable conditions. Available in sizes 7 to 14.

WOLVERINE

AUGUST 2014

2 $104.99

108

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

2 WOLVERINE

Model: Rival Boot


Website: Wolverine.com
MSRP: $104.99

Key Features: Waterproof; full-grain leather;


slip resistant
Description: The Rival SwampMonster Boot offers slip
resistance and complete waterproofing to ensure easy
mobility over wet or swampy conditions. This tough boot
is constructed with lightweight, yet highly durable materials to keep you moving without weighing you down. Its
outsole has edges that grip surfaces and hold tight for
added stability. This is the perfect boot for wet rugged
trails or slippery rocks along streams or riverbeds. Keep in
mind, your hiking boot is your most important asset when
traveling in natures backyard; the SwampMonster will
not let you down when it counts. Natural brown color and
available in sizes 7.5 to 13.

ASG_1408_BG_BOOTS-CX-108-111 6/11/14 11:04 PM Page 109

HIKING BOOTS Buyers


Guide

THE ICETREKKERS GRIP THE


GROUND USING HUNDREDS
OF BITING EDGES

3 ICETREKKERS

Model: Diamond Grip


Website: ICETrekkers.com
MSRP: $41.95

Key Features: Multi-surface slip protection;


attaches easily; self-clearing design
Description: ICEtrekkers offer you an added
defense against slips on icy, muddy or slimecovered surfaces. Designed to fit easily over
your existing hiking boots, the ICEtrekkers grip
the ground using hundreds of biting edges
that prevent falls which could result in lifethreatening injuries while out in the wild.
Hardened steel alloy and steel aircraft cable
create an extremely durable impact web, while
the flexible rubber sling holds its shape and
remains elastic even under extremely cold conditions. Its self-clearing feature prevents buildup from snow or ice, so you will never have to
stop and dislodge any material while on the
move. Also works well on gravel, rocks or other
uneven surfaces.

ICETREKKERS

3 $41.95

4 KENETREK

Model: Hardscrabble LT Hiker


Website: Kenetrek.com
MSRP: $400
Key Features: Triple stitching; anti-corrosive
hardware; reinforced rubber sole guard
Description: The Kenetrek Hardscrabble LT
Hiker may just be the last hiking boot you ever
buy. Built tough is an understatement with
this exceptional pair of rugged outdoor boots.
Made in Italy, this boot features high-traction
K-Talon outsoles with extra stiff nylon midsoles
that keep you from slipping when traveling
over rough terrain.
In wet or excessively moist conditions, your
feet will stay dry within a breathable and fully
waterproof membrane. Constructed of 2.8 mm
full-grain leather, one-piece uppers with no
stitching, these high-quality boots wont wear
out like others do with time and excessive use.
Lightweight and high-traction outsoles wont
slow you down on long distance or intense
hikes. These boots come non-insulated to use
in warmer seasons and climates. Total boot
weight is 3.6 pounds; boots are available in
sizes 7 to 16.

KENETREK

AUGUST 2014

4 $400
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

109

ASG_1408_BG_BOOTS-CX-108-111 6/16/14 12:33 AM Page 110

Buyers HIKING BOOTS


Guide

THE MATHEWS BOA HIKER


COMBINES COMFORT,
FLEXIBILITY, RUGGEDNESS
AND EXTREME DURABILITY.

5 MATHEWS

Model: Boa Hiker


Website: RobinsonOutdoors.com
MSRP: $199.99
Key Features: Water resistant; durable
rubber outsole; protective rubber toe
Description: The Mathews Boa Hiker is
your all-around hiking boot, useful in
nearly all types of environments. Its
durable Vibram rubber sole protects from
the dangers of trekking through rough or
congested terrain. A rubber toe protects
from unexpected bumps into rocks,
fallen tree limbs or stumps, while also
keeping your toes safe if anything drops
from your hands while moving quickly
through the brush. The hiker utilizes the
Boa lacing system, which creates a controlled closure, unlike typical laces. A
removable insole features S3 antimicrobial technology, which helps to inhibit
the growth of odor-causing bacteria and
keeps the boot smelling fresher longer.

MATHEWS

5 $199.99

6 DREAM SEASON

Model: Knee Boot


Website: RobinsonOutdoors.com
MSRP: $179.99

Key Features: 100-percent waterproof;


multi-terrain traction; windproof material

AUGUST 2014

Description: The Dream Season Pro Insulated Boots keep you carefree in wet, snowy
or damp environments. They eliminate the
chance of suffering complications from wet
feet while in the wilderness or on the move
with their 100-percent waterproof Rainblocker protection. This unique feature
allows interior perspiration to be dispersed
through its membrane system, while keeping the boot waterproof, windproof and
breathable. All seams are heat sealed and
extra secured from moisture with waterproof tape. The interior is insulated with
wool to keep you warm and comfortable
during harsh or frigid conditions. A brush
blocker shin guard is added for extra protection throughout natures rough terrain.
Boots measure 17 inches in overall height.

110

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DREAM SEASON

6 $179.99

ASG_1408_BG_BOOTS-CX-108-111 6/11/14 11:05 PM Page 111

HIKING BOOTS Buyers


Guide

7 HI-TEC

Model: Altitude Pro RGS


Website: Hi-Tec.com
MSRP: $179.99

HI-TEC

7 $179.99

Key Features: Waterproof; rustproof


metal hardware; abrasion-resistant toe
and heel
Description: The Hi-Tec Altitude Pro
RGS combines all the necessary ingredients to create the perfect all-around hiking boot ideal for your outdoor adventures. This boot is constructed with rustproof metal hardware that will hold up
throughout all seasons and weather conditions, all while keeping your feet dry
and comfortable in waterproof interior
booties and waterproof, full-grain
leather uppers. Customize your fit with
its unique, locking-hook flex point; its
abrasion-resistant heel and toecaps
ensure no damage will be sustained
when traversing rough or jagged terrain.
Its Vibram rubber outsole powerfully
grips the ground, providing worldrenowned traction and durability. Available in sizes 7 to 13.

CONTOURED AND SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED


FOR THE WOMAN ADVENTURER

8 HI-TEC

Model: Sierra Lite Original


Website: Hi-Tec.com
MSRP: $69.99
Key Features: Versatile lacing system;
removable sockliner; soft padded collar

HI-TEC

8 $69.99

Description: Built to meet the demands of


the outdoors, yet contoured and specifically
designed for women, the Sierra Lite hiking
boot offers supreme comfort and performance when exploring, camping or hiking
throughout the wild. Its contoured sockliner
and soft, padded collar ensures mile after
mile of ache-free walking, while its versatile
lacing system and high-performance synthetic material provides a custom and secure
fit. A moisture-wicking lining will help keep
your feet dry in damp conditions. Style, comfort and quality round out this must-have hiking boot for women.

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

111

ASG_1408_INTRO_TOOLS-CX-112 6/11/14 11:55 PM Page 112

TOOLS
IN THIS SECTION

EDGED TOOLS MAINTENANCE + SAWS + AXES + KNIVES

TOOL TALK
Exploring the Use of Saws, Knives and Axes for Survival

112

NAVIGATING A SURVIVAL SITUATION without knowing how to use tools


can be a disaster in itself. For those of us still learning about the right way
to buy, sharpen, and swing an axe, the entire process can be intimidating.
Your brand-new custom cabin is perfect for your family, but now its
time to chop some wood in preparation for winter and create a storage
crate for the firewoodnot easy to do if you dont have the right tools.
Enter Larry Schwartz, our resident outdoorsman, who created this
special section just for readers who need a primer on using edged tools.
You cant appropriately live the survivalist lifestyle without some basic
tools and know-howand well shed some light on both those issues.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

AUGUST 2014

BY LARRY SCHWARTZ

ASG_1408_HANDLING-CX-p113 6/11/14 11:56 PM Page 113

PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY SCHWARTZ

EDGED TOOLS

GET AN
LEARN HOW TO SAFELY USE AND MAINTAIN YOUR EDGED TOOLS

IN

SKILLED HANDS, SHARP-EDGED TOOLS ARE AN OUTDOORSMANS BEST FRIENDS. IN UNSKILLED OR CLUMSY HANDS,
THEY CAN BE YOUR WORST ENEMY.
There are so many things you can accomplish with edged tools:
for starters, you can build a shelter or a shed in which to store supplies, chop wood for firesthe possibilities are endless. Follow along for some
great tips on developing your tool skills and how to safely use what can become
your new best friends.

SAFE USE

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

There are several key things to keep in mind when you use edged tools. Remembering these things will help you avoid any accidents and make using your tools easier and more efficient.
Keep your edge sharp. Dull blades on chopping tools like axes or machetes do
not bite into what you are cutting as well as a sharp blade, and as a result they can
glance off and injure arms and legs. Sharp blades also cut much more easily and
cleaner than dull or nicked blades, making them more efficient in use.
Always hold your cutting tool (knife, saw, axe, etc.) near the blade for maximum
control of the cutting edge; for example, hold the axe just below the head and a
knife with the blade pointed away from your body.
Move the sharpening stone or file away the blade, never towards the blade;
thats how hands get cut and fingers sliced.
It is safer to keep the blade stationary and move the sharpener rather than move
the blade along the sharpener.

Do not run or jump with an exposed


blade. Even if you are just walking a
few feet away through the brush, put
the sheath back on to avoid getting
injured if you stumble.
Never play around and throw
knives or axes. They are designed to
be used while in your hands, not
rotating through the air to bounce of
some distant log or tree and into a
femoral artery.
Make sure the area around you is
clear of obstacles and other people.
For example, rotate your axe above
your head to make sure there are no
overhead branches that could catch the
axe head as you swing it. If youre
using a knife, make sure nobody is sitting nearby who might walk into the
path of the blade.
Always cut away from your body
and the body of others in the area. Just
like the basic safety rules for guns, keep
it pointed down range at all times.

113

ASG_1408_HANDLING 6/9/14 5:05 AM Page 114

PHOTO COURTESY OF WORK SHARP

Use the right tool for the job. You


would never use a chisel as a screwdriver
or a heavy wrench as a hammer, so dont
use a heavy bladed knife to chop wood if
you have a hatchet or hand axe that will
do the job much better and safer. Use a
pocket knife for cutting sticks down into
smaller diameter pieces for use as tinder
rather than a hatchet; although both will
do the job, the pocket knife gives you
better control.

A power sharpener should have the


ability to handle different angles and
different types of blades.

AUGUST 2014

SHARPENING

114

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DIFFERENT
STROKES

SKY
OF LAN

The steel that goes into each of


your cutting tools was chosen specifically for that tool and what it would be
used for. Each type of steel is an alloy
of iron, carbon, and various other elements which affect its hardness, durability, brittleness, and flexibility.
Harder steels are used for jobs that
come with significant abuse, like chopping down trees with an axe or splitting a branch in half with a heavy hunting or field knife. Because of their durability, harder steels are more difficult to
sharpen but hold their edge better. For
this reason, even though it does not
receive a lot of abuse, straight razors
are normally made from harder steels
for their edge-holding qualities.
Softer steels are easier to sharpen
but dont hold their edge as well and
require more frequent sharpening.
They are used for less vigorous activities like cutting food and vegetables or
whittling.

SY
COURTE
PHOTO

Although sharpening a cutting tool


varies a little bit between knives, saws
and axes, the basic principles are the
same. Just remember the sharpness
trinity of maintaining the right angle
with the right grit and applying the
right amount of pressure.
To maintain the sharp edge that
came with your cutting tool, you need
to use the same angle for the cutting
edge. That means both using the same
angle that it came with and keeping the
angle consistent across the length of
the blade. The angle on a saw refers to
the angle of the cutting edge on the
saw tooth. The angle on a knife or axe
refers to the angle of the cutting edge
from the perpendicular, or centerline of
the blade. Do this by holding the file
or sharpening stone at the same angle
to the blade with each stroke. Use long
strokes rather than short strokes to
take the same amount of steel off of
the full length of the blade.
The type of grit you use will depend
on how rough or damaged the blade is.
The more you need to do to the blade,
the rougher the grit needs to be. For
very hard steel or if you need to take
off a lot of metal you may want to start
with a file instead of a sharpening
stone. You use a series of different grits
to move from fixing the rough edge
with the rough grit to finer/smoother
grits to clean up the edge, and then
finally to honing or polishing the edge
with a hone and then a final stropping
with leather or heavy fabric.
The amount of pressure you apply
as you move the sharpener over the
blade is the final factor that goes into
creating a sharp, clean cutting edge on
your cutting tools. The rougher grits
will obviously take off more metal, but
you can fine tune what they do by
reducing the pressure you apply to the
blade. Also, as you move to finer and
finer grits, you will need to reduce the
amount of pressure you apply so that
you are smoothing the edge, rather
than shaping it.

Sharpening kits, like the Lansky


Variable Angle Sharpening Kit shown
here, are very versatile tools for the nonprofessional who needs to sharpen tools
with different cutting angles.

As you have probably noticed,


sharpening a blade is not really complicated, but it does take some time and
practice to get the right touch with different grits and learn how to keep a
consistent angle as you move the
sharpener across the blade.

POWER SHARPENERS
If you have cutting tools with a lot
of damage to the edge, or that came
without a sharp, factory-made edge on
it, or if you have several tools that need
to be sharpened on a regular basis,
then a power sharpener might be a
good investment.
The regular grinding wheel or belt
sander you have in your workshop will
suffice for the heavy lifting needed to
add an edge to a new hand axe or
remove the dings and gouges made to
a kitchen cleaver or hunting knife
through incorrect use. However for the
finishing touches, or for finer edges, a
purpose-built, powered sharpener
might be easier to use.
The Knife & Tool Sharpener from
Work Sharp is a good example of a
good, purpose- built, powered sharpener. It is a belt-driven sharpener that
comes with a variety of different grit
belts, from rough for shaping axes and
heavy knives all the way to a fine belt
for the final polishing and stropping of
your newly sharpened blade. It also
contains two angle guides to help you
make sure you have the first part of the
sharpness trinity correct.
As with any power tool, care needs
to be taken to ensure you dont oversharpen what you are working on. Many
a first-time user of a belt sander used to
sharpen farm implements has unintentionally changed the shape of the blade
by applying too much pressure or not
looking at what is being taken off of the
blade. The picture of my favorite pocketknife with the dip in the blade by its
red handle shows the results of my inattention many years ago when I first
tried out a powered sharpener.

ASG_1408_HANDLING 6/9/14 5:05 AM Page 115

FIND YOUR ANGLE


TYPE OF TOOL
Razors and other fine cutting tools
Kitchen and general purpose knives
Hunting knives and other hard use tools
Chopping tools

STEEL CHARACTERISTICS
Hard and more brittle, excellent edge-holding ability
Hard but less brittle, good edge-holding ability
Good balance between hardness, edge-holding ability, and flexibility
Relatively softer steel, much less brittle, while still holding an edge

HAND SHARPENING

MAINTENANCE

SINGLE-PURPOSE
TOOLS
Single-purpose tools, like carbide sharpeners that have carbide blades fixed at a specific angle, have both advantages and disadvantages over general-use sharpening
tools, like files or whetstones.
PRO: Easy to ensure that you are using the
proper angle and can maintain it for the
full length of the blade
CON: They also only work for blades that
use that one cutting angle.

Sheaths made of plastic are available


commercially or can be made at home
to avoid this problem.
All blades should be kept clean to
prevent rust on high-carbon steel
blades or discoloration on stainless
blades. On non-stainless blades, a light
coating of oil, like WD-40 or another
lubricant will help keep it from rusting;
only a thin layer is needed, as a thicker
layer will tend to gather debris and grit
onto the blade.
For folding knives, the same application of oil should be made to moving
parts and pivot points a few times a
year, or as needed, to ensure smooth

operation of the knife. The internals and


the slots that the blades fit into should
also be cleaned out after each use.
After each use, you should
touch up the blade to bring it back
to its original sharpness, so it is
ready for use the next time you
reach for it. I keep a small file or
sharpening steel in my outdoor
kit at all times to touch up my
knives, broadheads, and other
cutting tools. Just a few light
strokes on the edge will bring it
back to its previous level of sharpness. The file from a multi-tool
works well for this purpose, as well.

VALUE ADDED
Using edged tools safely and effectively, whether in the field, on the farm,
or in your kitchen, is a very valuable
skill. Especially so is the art of sharpening your tools, the touch you developed in knowing how to hold that edge
and how much pressure to apply can
go away over time. So, use your edged
tools regularly and touch them up after
each use so that you can keep both
your skills and your tools sharp.
Larry Schwartz is an experienced outdoorsman,
hunter and former Boy Scout who enjoys passing on
his knowledge of how to be prepared through his
writing and workshops.

FOR MORE INFORMATION/CONTACT


Lansky: this company offers a wide spectrum of sharpeners, ranging from individual
sharpening stones and pocket sharpeners to
kits with multiple hones and sharpening
brackets, to special purpose sharpeners for
axes and other tools; Lansky.com.
Gatco: offerings include a similar products
to Lanskys but with a different mix of sharpeners; GATCOSharpeners.com.
Work Sharp: although it doesnt have the
wide variety of products that the other two
do, Work Sharp is one of the few vendors on
the market that produces a powered sharpener that fits into the home budget; it also
offers an innovative set of hand-sharpening
tools like its Guided Field Sharpener (GFS);
WorkSharpTools.com.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Once you have a sharp blade,


house it in a protective cover or sheath
to keep it from dulling due to contact
with hard objects and to keep yourself
from getting bloody from contact with
sharp objects. Sheaths are the protective covers we use when carrying our
sharp things, but if your sheath is
made of leather, then dont store your
cutting tool in it as the leather may
cause the blade to rust or discolor.

Saw blades are


sharpened one tooth
at a time, always
going away from the
cutting edge.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY SCHWARTZ

Although power tools make the job


easier when there isnt an existing
edge or it is very rough, it is better
to acquire the basic skills of sharpening by learning to do it by hand
first. This ensures you will be able
to sharpen your tools whenever
you need to with just a simple
file instead of depending on a
belt sander to do the work for
you when there isnt an electrical
outlet nearby. As a matter of fact,
you can touch up the edge on
most any cutting tool with nothing
more than a mill bastard file and a
piece of leather or heavy cloth.
To make your sharpening life easier,
there are a variety of sharpening tools,
some simple and some multi-function,
that will help you build your skills for
the sharpening trinity. Lansky, which
started in 1979, and Great American
Tool Company (GATCO), which came
several years later, both make excellent
hand-held sharpeners. The Lansky Controlled Angle Sharpening Systems
come complete with a set of hones that
range from coarse to fine, oil to lubricate the hones. Most importantly the
system also comes with a bracket with
slots in it so you can select and maintain the proper angle for the tool being
sharpened. This was the first sharpening tool I bought back in the 1980s and
I still use it today. It is a well thought
out design, easy to use and it gets the
job done.

SHARPENING ANGLE
15 degrees
20-22 degrees
27 degrees
30-35 degrees

CHART COURTESY OF LARRY SCHWARTZ

The cutting angle on your edged tool is designed for a specific use. So is the type of steel used in the blade.

115

ASG_1408_SAW.qxp 6/9/14 3:27 AM Page 116

THE SAWTURNED
SHAPING AND SIZING
MATERIALS FOR
CONSTRUCTION WORK
FROM ONE OF BRUTE
FORCE WITH AXES TO
ONE OF PRECISION
ACHIEVED WITH MUCH
LESS EFFORT.

THE
SERVICABLE

SAW

A SAW CAN BE A PRICELESS SURVIVAL TOOL

AUGUST 2014
116

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

OOLS ARE A MAJOR PART of any survival equation,


because they can help you build shelter, without which
you just wont cut it.
Make sure you have the right tools, and make sure you
dont forget the humble saw.
The saw, probably one of mankinds earliest big inventions,
turned shaping and sizing materials for construction work from
one of brute force with axes to one of precision achieved with
much less effort.
For the outdoorsman, they do things that an axe or knife cannot do. Follow along to see how this valuable tool can benefit you.

ASG_1408_SAW.qxp 6/9/14 3:28 AM Page 117

BLADE
HANDLE
BACK

The
parts of
a saw.

HEEL

FRONT

TOE

TEETH

To talk about saws we need to


know the names of their parts, and how
these parts work together to make an
effective cutting tool. Looking at a saw
from end to end, you can see it has the
following parts:
> Handle: The plastic or wooden grip
attached to the saw blade.
> Blade: The flat, sometimes tapered,
sheet of metal attached to the handle
with teeth on the bottom edge.
> Teeth: Cuts or serrations on the bottom edge of the blade designed to cut
the material the saw is designed for.
> Back: The top edge of the saw
blade, flat with no teeth.
> Front: The bottom edge of the saw
blade with the teeth on it.
> Toe: The end of the saw blade farthest
from the handle on the toothed edge.
> Heel: The end of the saw blade closest to the handle on the toothed edge.

VARIETIES

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Next, its important to understand


the different blade types:

SPECIALTY
SAWS
Nothing epitomizes the description of man as
the tool-making animal more than the wide
variety of special purpose saws available today
on the market. Some of the more commonly
known, and some of the rarely heard of are:
Keyhole Saw: A hand saw with a very narrow blade used to cut small holes in wood
and drywall.
Concrete Saw: A power saw with a flat circular grinding wheel in place of a blade with
teeth that is used to cut asphalt or concrete.
Plywood Saw: A circular saw with very small
teeth designed to make smooth cuts in plywood without making a jagged edge of the
laminated material.
Mitre Saw: A hand or power saw designed
to cut specific angles for moulding and other
small materials. If hand powered, it uses a
mitre box to get the correct angles. If powered, the arm on which it is mounted provides the correct angle.

CONTINUOUS: This blade on this type


of saw is actually a continuous loop
with the saw teeth attached to it, either
in the form of a belt or as a chain. They
include:
Band Saw: A band saw is a stationary
table saw with a metal blade that
spins along two wheels to provide
its cutting action. This provides a
very uniform cutting action, which

With its thinner and shorter blade and smaller


teeth, the hack saw is ideal for cutting
through metal sheeting, rods and even PVC
or rubber tubing.

makes it ideal for cutting meat,


metal, or timber. This type of saw is
commonly found in lumberyards to
cut logs into planks.
Chainsaw: The chainsaw is a handheld
motorized saw with a blade composed of a chain with cutting teeth
set along its length. Their main use is
outdoors cutting down trees, removing limbs, and clearing brush. It is a
lot of sawing power in a small package, so use of protective gear in the
form of gloves, chaps, and eye and
ear protection is needed for safety.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

STRAIGHT: These are what most people think of when they hear the word
sawa rectangular blade with a handle attached to it; these are hand saws
rather than a power saw. They include:
Crosscut Saw: A crosscut saw is used
to cut across the grain of wood,
either for cutting down trees or turning fallen trees into rounds for later
use. They are also commonly used
for cutting lumber such as 2x4s to
the proper length.
Rip Saw: Rip saws have teeth that are
designed to cut with the grain. As
such, they are used to cut strips out

of lengths of lumber or to square off


rough edges on planks.
Hack Saw: The hack saw blade is much
shorter in height than the crosscut or
rip saws, normally less than an inch
high. It has a U- or C-shaped frame
that holds each end of the blade and
attaches it to the handle. Hack saws
are used to cut very hard materials,
such as bone or metals; since they
are very rigid, they are also used for
cutting PVC piping or rubber hoses.
Coping Saw: With a handle like that of
a hack saw, the coping saw has an
even narrower blade and is used for
cutting intricate patterns which
change direction a lot.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

PARTS OF A SAW

117

ASG_1408_SAW-CX-118-119 6/11/14 11:07 PM Page 118

AUGUST 2014

Handsaws are greatly varied in use and


design, but come in just two major categories, based on their teeth.
Cross cut saws have teeth that are
designed to cut across the grain of
trees or lumber. For this reason, they
are the most prevalent of all general
purpose saws. The teeth flare out away
from the centerline of the saw blade so
that they cut a channel wider than the
width of the saw blade. This helps to
keep the blade from binding or catching when cutting through thick wood.
So, if you are cutting 2x4s to size, or
sawing a fallen tree into rounds for
later use, or cutting odd shapes
that go across the grain with a coping
saw you would want to have a cross cut
blade on your saw.
Rip saws are designed for cutting
wood in line with the grain, or ripping
it. Its blade design has the cutting edge
of the teeth facing forward, acting like
a chisel. This helps the blade cut
through the grain and avoid following
the grain and moving off of the straight
line being cut. So, if you are ripping
the edge off a rough-cut piece of wood
to get it to the width you needed, or
cutting a piece of lumber into several
narrower pieces, you would want to
have a ripping blade on your saw.
The size of the teeth also varies
based on the type of materials being
cut. For metal and bone, the teeth are
smaller and set closer together. For
wood, both soft and hard, the teeth are
longer in length and set farther apart to
cut deeper and clear the wood out of
the cut channel, or kerf.

118

CIRCULAR: These include what most


people think of when you mention
power saws. They include:
Circular Saw: Using a flat circular
blade, the circular saw is a hand-held
powered saw. It can cut through a
wide variety of materials just by
changing out the blade used.
Table Saw: A table saw is basically a
circular saw fixed in place on a flat
platform. Rather than moving the
saw across the material to be cut, as
with a circular saw, the material to

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

ITS ALL
ABOUT
THE TEETH

Chainsaws sounded the death knell for the


two-man cross cut saw used for cutting down
trees. With its various length blades, it can be
used for most trees; gasoline power makes it
much easier and less tiring to do large
amounts of work.

CHAINSAWS SOUNDED THE DEATH KNELL FOR THE TWO-MAN


CROSS CUT SAW USED FOR CUTTING DOWN TREES.
The handsaw is
designed to cut
either with or
across the grain
of the material
being cut. It is a
general purpose tool and
belongs in the
toolbox of
every home.

The jigsaw is designed for cutting curved


shapes, normally on a thin piece of material.

be cut is moved across the fixedposition cutting blade. Table saws


are commonly used for cutting lumber, either with the grain or across.
Radial Arm Saw: A variation of the
table saw, the radial arm saw has the
blade mounted on an arm which is
moved across the material that is
resting on the platform.
RECIPROCATING: This category of
saws, unlike the other powered saws,
has a single bladethat moves back and
forth, rather than in one direction. It
includes:

Circular saws work best


when cutting straight
lines through relatively
thick wood or cutting
across lumber to cut it
to size.

ASG_1408_SAW-CX-118-119 6/11/14 11:07 PM Page 119

[LEFT] Different materials, like bone or metal or


wood, require different tooth designs to effectively handle
each materials composition.
[RIGHT] Since it comes apart for packing and is lightweight, the bow
shaped buck saw is one of the most popular designs for backpacking
and camping. It has large, well-spaced teeth that make quick work of
dead branches for the campfire or improvised shelter poles.

Jigsaw: The jigsaw is another saw with a


narrow blade that is intended for cutting out irregular shapes rather than
straight lines. It is a hand-held saw and
is found in most home workshops.
Scroll Saw: The scroll saw is similar to
the jigsaw in function, except that it
is mounted on a platform. You follow
the irregular shape by moving the
material to be cut instead of moving
the saw as you do with the jigsaw.
Reciprocating Saw or Sawzall: This is
the power saw you see people using
all the time on the home improvement shows doing demolition work,
like cutting through drywall or interior

wall studs. It has a strong reciprocating blade that allows it to cut through
pretty much anything on the job site.
If you need to make a hole in a hurry,
this is the saw you want.

BE INCLUSIVE
The most sophisticated and most
varied of the edged tools covered in
this issue, the saw in its many forms
was probably one of the biggest jumps
in construction technology for early
man. It was definitely the first tool
made with other tools. Include a saw in
your survival tool must-haves and you
wont be sorry.

RECOMMENDED

VENDORS
Although you can normally find good saws at
your local DIY megastore, at times you may not
be able to find the one that best fits your
needs. The following are some of the better
known and well trusted makers of saws, and
they make a wide variety to fit most any need.
Black & Decker; BlackAndDecker.com
Makita; MakitaTools.com
Hitachi; HitachiPowerTools.com
Craftsman; Craftsman.com
Husqvarna; Husqvarna.com
(for chainsaws)
Stihl; Stihl.com (for chainsaws)

AUGUST 2014
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

119

ASG_1408_AXES-CX-p120 6/11/14 11:11 PM Page 120

EDGED TOOLS

CUT
TO THE CHASE
T

HE HUMBLE AXE COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.


Just think of all the things it can do: cut wood for a shelter and for a
fire, plus serve as a weapon, should the need arise.
Today, the axe in its various forms is an integral part of the life of the
outdoorsman, homesteader, woodcrafter and even first responders.
This tool started out as a sharp rock held in the hand of primitive man, then it
was attached to a split stick with animal sinew. The Iron and Bronze Ages contributed technical knowledge that led to the metal axe heads we know today and
the development of a wide variety of head designs and handle lengths began.
We explore the different kinds of axes and their use in the survival world.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

THE RIGHT AXE CAN BE A LIFESAVER


IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION

USE
YOUR HEAD

AUGUST 2014

The
parts of
an axe.

120

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDI.ORG

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

The shape of the head is based on its intended purpose,


and is critical to its effectiveness. Axe head designs range from
narrow with a straight edge for hewing trees, to wedge shaped
and massive for shaping logs into planks, to concave for use in
woodworking to hollow out a log. Its all based on what this versatile
hand tool needs to do. Whether it has a straight or curved cutting
edge, has a narrow blade versus a thicker wedge-shaped blade, or
has a beard that extends down for making bigger cuts, all go into
how well your axe does its job and how good it feels in your
hand. Try a few, pick the design that will work best for you,
and if you cant find one, then search out a blacksmith or
knife maker and create something new to add to
the hundreds of designs out there already.

ASG_1408_AXES.qxp 6/9/14 3:31 AM Page 121

PARTS OF A WHOLE
To understand axes and how we use
them, we need to first know how they
are made, the names of their parts, and
how these parts work together to
make an effective cutting tool. Lets
look at an axe from bit to butt and eye
to knob to see what those parts are:
Head: the metal cutting head
attached to the axe handle
Toe: the top of the cutting edge on
the axe head
Heel: the bottom of the cutting edge
on the axe head
Bit or Blade: the actual cutting edge
on the axe head
Beard: that portion of the bit that
extends below the point where the
axe handle meets the axe head
Cheek: the flat, unhoned sides of the
axe head
Eye: the opening in the axe head
through which the axe handle fits
Poll or Butt: the flat, back end of the
axe head
Haft or Handle: the handle of the
axe, often made of wood or a reinforced plastic composite
Shoulder: the point on the handle,
normally thicker than the rest of the
handle where the axe head stops on
the handle

A felling axe is
ideal for big
jobs, like cutting
down trees,
since its longer
handle provides
more leverage
and energy on
impact.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILIPEDIA COMMONS

SELECTING AN AXE,
WHATEVER LENGTH IT
IS, SHOULD BE
LOOKED AT LIKE
SELECTING A SUIT OF
CLOTHES.

121

Belly: the front side of the


handle, on the side facing the
cutting edge of the axe head.
(The reverse side, on the butt
side, is called the back)
Throat: the curved portion of the axe
handle, above the grip. This is the
portion that your hand slides along
on a two-handed axe.
Grip: the section of the handle just
before the bottom of the handle
Knob: the very bottom of the axe
handle

VARIETY
Although there are as many different
designs for the combination of axe handle and head as there are different uses
for an axe, we can look at them easiest
in terms of the length of their handles.

[ABOVE, TOP] A three-quarter, or


forest axe, is ideal for splitting log
rounds into useful-sized pieces for
the fire or other general purpose
cutting and chopping jobs.
[ABOVE, BOTTOM] Use your camp axe
for small chores like making kindling or tinder for the fire, making
tent pegs, or lopping branches off
of larger trees.

AUGUST 2014

HOW TO
CHOP WOOD

122

Heres how to use an axe to chop wood:


Place one of your hands 1-2 inches
above the end of the axe handle.
Place your other hand about 25 percent
down the handle, below the blade.
Stand over your wood and swing
the axe to chop into it at a 45degree angle.
Alternate swings left to right; bring
the axe up over your shoulder with
each swing.
Move the hand closest to the blade
toward the end of the handle as you
swing.
Bring the top hand down to meet the
bottom one as you finish your swing.
Aim your swing for the top, middle
and bottom portion of each side of
the spot where you are cutting the
wood.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Full-length or felling axe: A full-length


axe has a handle that is approximately
36 inches in length at its longest and
approximately 27 inches at its shortest.
With this long handle, both hands are
required to control the axe when
swung and to take advantage of the

The camp, or hand axe, is probably


the first thing that comes to mind
when most people think of an axe,
but keep its bigger brother and sister
in mind, too, as you start to do more
chores in the outdoors.

wedge shape of the head is designed


to make it more effective for cutting
with the wood grain, as opposed to the
felling axe, which is designed to cut
across the wood grain.
Half length or hand axe: A hand axe is
half the length of a full-length axe. The
handle can range from a very short 6
inches to around 18 inches at the long
end of the range. This short handle
makes it easy to use around camp and
easy to pack and carry on your belt or
pack. The axe head will weigh between
1 and 2 pounds, having a wedgeshaped head like the forest axe for
general purpose chopping and cutting.

THE THREE-QUARTER AXE CAN STILL BE USED TO FELL TREES


BUT CAN ALSO BE USED FOR LOPPING OFF BRANCHES, MAKING
KINDLING OR GENERAL CAMP CHORES.
extra leverage provided by the longer
handle. Full length or felling axes are
mainly used for chopping down trees
or cutting downed trees into segment.
The axe head on a full-length axe will
weigh between 3 and 4.5 pounds, giving it the mass needed to cut cleanly
across the grain of the wood. The
heads narrow head and thinner blade
are designed to allow it to cut across
the grain of the wood.
Three-quarter length or forest axe: A
forest or camp axe is three-quarters
the length of a full-length axe. The handle length ranges from approximately
27 inches down to 18 inches. The
shorter handle will accommodate use
with just one hand, but you can still
swing it with hands using a shorter
stroke if you need the added power. A
jack of all trades in the world of axes,
the three-quarter axe can still be used
to fell trees but can also be used for
lopping off branches, making kindling
or general camp chores. The head will
weigh between 1.5 and 3 pounds. The

GET ONE
Whatever your need is, chopping
kindling for a campfire, clearing a
woodlot for use as pastureland, or
hewing logs for use in a log cabin, a
sharp, well-balanced axe of an appropriate length can be a great tool. Find
one that fits your needs, feels good in
your hands, and have at it.

RECOMMENDED
VENDORS
Although you can normally find good axes of all
lengths at your local DIY megastore, at times you
may not be able to find the one that best fits your
needs. The following are some of the betterknown and well-trusted makers of axes, and they
make a wide variety to fit most any need.
> Gransfors Bruk; GransforsBruk.com
> Estwing; Estwing.com
> Cold Steel; ColdSteel.com
> Craftsman; Craftsman.com

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

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PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

EDGED TOOLS

CUTTING
AUGUST 2014

IT CLOSE
124

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

A GOOD KNIFE CAN


HANDLE A MULTITUDE
OF TASKS IN A SERIOUS
SITUATION

ASG_1408_KNIVES 6/10/14 1:22 AM Page 125

OW MANY WAYS CAN


YOU USE A KNIFE TO
SURVIVE? PLENTY.
You can use a knife to
prepare food, to dress out
small game, to cut a variety of materials and even to defend yourself.
Dont underestimate the importance of a good knife in a survival situation; it could cost you your life.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

FUNDAMENTALS
Each knife has as a minimum a handle of some form and one or more
blades. The hundreds of designs available today are variations of just two
basic designs; either a fixed blade knife
or a folding blade knife. These changes
are what transform a simple fixedblade knife from a butter knife to a
Bowie knife to a scalpel to a letter
opener to a meat cleaver to a chefs
knife or the ever popular hollow handled survival knife (more on these
later). In the same way a simple folding
knife design can transform from a
straight razor to a Boy Scout pocket
knife to a balisong/butterfly knife to a
switchblade to a heavy-duty pocket
folder carried as a field knife in a pouch
on your belt.
To understand knives and how we
use them we need to first know how
they are made, and the names of their
parts, and how these parts work
together to make an effective cutting
tool. Lets look at a fixed-blade knife
from tip to butt to see what those
parts are:

BATONING
From the French word bton,
meaning stick, batoning is a
technique for using a knife as a
chopping tool if you dont have
an axe close at hand. You are
basically using a strong field
knife, with a thicker and
stronger blade and a flat spine,
as a splitting maul to break up
thicker sticks into thinner sticks
for use as tinder or kindling.
The technique is pretty simple
to do.
You rest the stick you want to
split on something hard and
flat so that you will split it
and not drive it into the
ground.
Then you place the edge of
your field knife on the top
end of the stick with the
blade pointing straight down
its central axis.
Then, using a heavy stick, not
a rock, you start tapping/hitting the spine of your knife
until it starts to go into the
wood.
Once you get it started you
can use heavier strokes to
drive it down through the
stick you are splitting.
When the spine of your knife
is flush with the end of the
stick you are splitting you

A strong blade of 4 to
6 inches with a flat
spine makes a good
knife for batoning.

can start hitting the forward


edge of the blade to continue splitting the wood.
Be sure to strike the
blade close to the stick
you are splitting to
avoid putting undue
pressure on the tip of
the blade.
Continue to apply
downward pressure
with your other hand on
the handle of your knife
to keep the blade going
straight down.
Never use a rock, or anything
else harder than your knife
blade, to hit your knife
blade. You can damage the
blade or hurt your hand if
your baton slips.
Always hold the knife in line
with the center axis of the
wood you are splitting so
that it goes straight down
through the wood.
Always strike the knife with
the baton so that the force
goes straight down through
the knife blade and not at an
angle. Applying force directly
down will make your blow
more efficient. A blow to the
side may damage the knife
edge or the blade itself.
Avoid using a knife with

hard/brittle steel. Although it


will hold an edge better it
will not hold up to the striking very well and may break
or damage the edge.
Always rest the wood being
split on something hard so
that you dont waste energy
pushing it into something
soft.
In addition to splitting
thick branches you can also
use the batoning technique to
cut through thick branches, an
approach in which you are
using your knife as you would
a hand axe rather than as a
splitting maul.
Place your knife blade on the
branch at a 45-degree angle
and strike it with your baton,
again directing the force
straight down through the
knife blade.
Move the blade backward
and forward to free it from
the cut, do not move it from
side to side as this may hurt
the blade.
Place the knife blade to
make the second notch from
the other direction and
repeat the previous steps.
Continue doing this until
you have chopped through
the branch.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

AUGUST 2014

Point the sharp, pointy end of the


blade.
Cheek the flat part of the blade that
is not sharpened.
Spine the edge of the blade along
the top, it is often unsharpened.
Bevel the ground part of the blade
where it is sharpened.
Edge the cutting area of the blade,
where the bevels on each side come
together.
Belly the part of the blade where the
edge curves towards the point.
Heel the part of the blade where it
joins the handle, it is composed of a
small section of the bevel and the
ricasso.
Ricasso the unsharpened part of the
blade just before the handle.

Guard the piece that protects the


hand from slipping onto the blade,
and provides a place to press against
for leverage, a guard that does not
extend past the edge of the handle
is called a bolster.
Quillon a portion of the guard that
extends above or below the edge of
the blade and handle.
Handle the grip of the knife, it is
located around the tang.
Tang the piece of metal extending
from the blade into the handle that
is used to attach the blade to the
handle.
Scales the pieces of material that are
attached to a full tang knife to form
a handle.
Butt or Pommel the very end of the
knife and handle.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY SCHWARTZ

DONT UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD KNIFE


IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION; IT COULD COST YOU YOUR LIFE.

125

PHOTO COURTESY OF HORST BURKHARDT

PHOTO COURTESY OF MURRAY CARTER

PHOTO COURTESY OF JONAS BERGSTEN 1

ASG_1408_KNIVES-CX-124,126 6/11/14 11:14 PM Page 126

[TOP TO BOTTOM] The Swiss Army knife, with its


mix of useful blades, is one of the most popular styles of pocket knife made. I carry one
on a daily basis. The Bowie knife is an
excellent example of the chopper category
of knives. The straight razor is emblematic
of the hard and edge holding end of the
knife steel spectrum. Its hard steel takes a
very sharp edge but that same ability makes
it more brittle so it can nick or break more
easily than more durable or thicker blades.

A pocketknife or folding blade knife


has the same parts as a fixed blade or
sheath knife, with the addition of:
Pivot the point where the folding
blade rotates from the open position
to the closed position.
Locking Mechanism the mechanism
that locks the blade into the open
position so that it cannot close on
your hand; not all folding blade
knives have this feature.
Each of the many different knife
designs available today are tailored to
perform the specific set of functions
the designer wanted by modifying the
shape of the various parts of the knife
and the materials used in their construction.

AUGUST 2014

POCKET KNIVES

126

Most of us carry a pocketknife, and


if you dont, you should. They are small
enough to carry every day so you

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

BALANCE OF
BIG AND SMALL
If you could only have one knife for all
of your needs, then a medium-sized
field knife is probably going to be your
best option. What I call a field knife is
also called a belt knife, sheath knife or
survival knife. It is equally good at cutting as it is as a chopper or even for prying. Its steel is hard enough to give it
strength but also soft enough to give it
the flexibility to absorb impacts and
make it easy to sharpen. It has a full
tang blade to give it added strength.
The mid-sized length makes it long
enough for hard camp and survival
tasks like making tinder or building a
shelter, but not so long that it is cumbersome to wear on your belt or store
in a lumbar or backpack.
The shorter version of the KABAR
fighting and utility knife and the Gerber LMF are both good examples of a
field knife.

always have one when you need one.


Like the Swiss Army knife or the Boy
Scout pocketknife, they often have a
variety of blades for different purposes. This steel will hold up to normal
use, but is often a little too hard or brittle to be used for prying or digging. It
holds an edge well and is relatively
easy to sharpen.

MULTI-TOOLS
Multi-tools, like the Leatherman, are
like pocketknives on steroids, a cross
between the things you need most
often from your tool chest and your
favorite cutting blades from your EDC
pocketknife. Their steel is stronger
than that normally found in a pocketknife, but it will hold an edge but not
break when used hard.

FIELD KNIVES
Field knives, as I refer to them, are
normally made as fixed-blade knives,
but during the past decade more of
them are being made with the same
blade size and shape but as a single- or
double-blade folding knife. Unlike
pocket knives and multi-tools, whose
blades are normally less than three
inches in length, a field knife has a relatively larger blade, ranging between 36 inches in length. This extra length is

needed to perform the more rugged


jobs that it is designed to do, such as
chopping branches for firewood, digging if needed, use as a defensive
weapon, or cutting up game animals.
Given the wide range of uses, the knife
maker strives to get the right balance
between rigidity, ease of sharpening,
edge retention and durability.

CHOPPERS
These are the bigger, heavier, often
longer knives that are used for chopping
branches like you would with a hand axe
or cutting through foliage to clear a
path. Choppers include the classic Bowie
knife, machetes and myriad survival
knives designed with more mass and
larger cutting edges to meet their
design requirements. Their steel is
alloyed for durability and edge retention.

CUTTING IT CLOSE
Mans favorite cutting toolthe
knife. It comes in an amazing range of
sizes, shapes and purposes designed to
meet a number of uses. Choose the
knife, or knives, that meet your needs,
are of good quality and fit your budget. With all the different knife makers
out there, you will surely be able to
find one that meets all three of those
requirements.

RECOMMENDED

VENDORS
There are dozens of knife makers out
there to choose from. Below are some of
the most popular, quality-oriented, and
well established manufacturers of fixedblade and folding-blade knives; and they
wont cost you an arm and a leg.
FIXED-BLADE
Benchmade; BenchMade.com
Buck; BuckKnives.com
ESEE; EseeKnives.com
Gerber; GerberGear.com
KaBar; Kabar.com
Ontario; OntarioKnife.com
Schrade; SchradeKnives.com
FOLDING-BLADE
Benchmade; BenchMade.com
Buck; Buckknives.com
Cold Steel; ColdSteel.com
CRKT; Crkt.com
Gerber; GerberGear.com
Kershaw; Kershaw.KaiUSALtd.com
SOG; SogKnives.com
Spyderco; Spyderco.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM RALSTON

ASG_1408_RALSTON.qxp 6/9/14 3:33 AM Page 127

PREPPING RALSTON
WITH

BY TIM RALSTON

Timothy Bryan Ralston is an American inventor, veteran, adventurer, author and movie consultant for his expertise in the field of survival and
preparedness education. He is best known for his appearance in the powerful motivational film The Compass and for being the international
spokesperson in the launch of NatGeos No. 1-rated program, Doomsday Preppers.

BUG-OUT BASICS
Five Steps to Survive in the Wilderness
When it comes to survival situations, there are many
variables that would have an effect on your plan of action.
Ideally, being able to bug in would be your best scenario. For those who prepare correctly, you would have all
of the essential provisions needed for your family to wait
out the disaster. Yet, being that emergency circumstances
are unpredictable, there is no guarantee that your home
will necessarily be your haven. In fact, you may find yourself having to brave the great outdoors with nothing more
than the supplies you carry. It is for these times that you
must prepare alternative ways to survive, focusing on selfreliance and the tools that will get you there.
In the wilderness, there is a progression of steps that
you must take if you intend to survive. All five of these
steps would be much easier if they were paired with the
proper tools.

Step 1

FOR THOSE WHO PREPARE CORRECTLY,


YOU WOULD HAVE ALL OF THE ESSENTIAL
PROVISIONS NEEDED FOR YOUR FAMILY TO
WAIT OUT THE DISASTER.
AUGUST 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Your first priority needs to be finding or building a shelter. Having the ability to escape from the elements is crucial to your well being. Whether its the sun, the cold, the
rain, the wind ... out in the wilderness, Mother Nature can
be your worst enemy. Shelter will be your main weapon
of defense.
Tool Suggestion: cordage (paracord, rope, wire, fishing
line, etc.), Polarshield emergency blanket or a shemahg.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

127

ASG_1408_RALSTON.qxp 6/9/14 3:33 AM Page 128

AD INDEX

PREPPING RALSTON
WITH

AUGUST 2014

RECON
While the hope would be that you would have access to these prepared tools if a catastrophe
were to occur, unfortunately there is no guarantee that you will. Like I noted before, the many
variables that go into emergency situations make predicting their outcomes virtually impossible.
It was for this reason I invented the RECON 6, which is a survival watch equipped with the most
vital tools you need in the wilderness. This concept allows you to be prepared at all times.

ADVERTISER

FEATURES:
> Liquid compass
> Signal mirror
> LED flashlight
> Magnifying glass
> Knife
> Signal fire bands
> Can opener
> Bottle opener
> Ferro fire steel rod
> Aluminum survival
whistle
> Fishing line and
fishing hooks

PAGE

American Tactical Imports . . . . . . . . . . . .80

Blade-Tech Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15


Chiappa Firearms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
CZ-USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Del-Ton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM RALSTON

BARSKA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Dillon Precision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17


Jantz Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
Jantz Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
JRH Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
LifeStraw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Major Surplus & Survival . . . . . . . . . .11-Oct
Nitro-Pak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Plue Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Secure Medical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. . . . . . .32-33
Survival Bags Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Tactical Night Vision Company . . . . . . . .131
TOPS Knives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132
VICKI WILSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87

AUGUST 2014

W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. . . . . . . . . . .2

128

The Advertiser Index is provided as a service to American Survival Guide


readers. American Survival Guide is not responsible for
omissions or typographical errors on names or page numbers.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Step 2

Step 4

The second focus? Create a fire.


This source of energy will have many
benefits for you out in the wilderness. Not only will it keep you warm,
but also it will boil your water, cook
your food, and provide you with a
morale booster.
Tool Suggestion: fire starter

The fourth imperative step would be


to construct an edged tool if you
dont already have one. Some examples of where this tool would be of
great assistance would be in hunting,
preparing food, and self-protection.
Tool Suggestion: nax, crovel, knife

Step 5
Step 3
Next, you must locate a water source
and also an object to contain it in.
Lakes, puddles, and streams would all
be excellent finds, but without a
water filtration device or a contraption for boiling, you would be flat out
of luck.
Tool Suggestion: metal pot or container

This final step is for the event where


you have actually become lost in the
wilderness and are not just bugging
out. Being able to navigate and signal
may be what allows you to be found.
Use visual and auditory devices to
alert others of your whereabouts.
(This can be performed throughout as
long as you are able to still focus on
the preceding steps.)
Tool Suggestion: compass, whistle,
signal mirror

ASG_1408_129 6/10/14 11:01 PM Page 129

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ASG_1408_CLOSING 6/9/14 3:37 AM Page 130

CLOSINGWORDS

Keep busy with survival. Imitate


the trees. Learn to lose in order to
recover, and remember, nothing
stays the same for long
MAY SARTON, AMERICAN POET AND NOVELIST

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

130

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1408_C3 6/9/14 12:59 AM Page C3

Fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, terrorism, nuclear/biological/chemical, destruction, panic.


These disasters present lethal challenges in daylight. They are compounded by darkness. Are you ready?
TNVC is the only place to obtain all the necessary low light and no light gear to not only survive, but endure and
prevail when disaster strikes. Dont be caught in the dark!

NIGHT VISION

THERMAL

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MOUNTS

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ASG_1408_C4 6/9/14 1:00 AM Page C4

  
    

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